Laptop Recommendations for an incoming CG student

May 20, 2020
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I’m an incoming university student who’s looking for a laptop to work on light 3D modeling/texturing, some rendering, scripting, and writing papers on the go along with potentially showing my portfolio to employers during career fairs. The plan is that, if I have to work on very intensive rendering or modeling, I’ll use my laptop to remote into either the lab computers or my main workstation (6-core AMD FX-6300 processor, 24 GBs of RAM, 2048MB ATI AMD Radeon R7 360 Series for video card, 223 GB Solid State Drive and 1TB hard drive, but planning on upgrading the OS and storage).
My current pick is either the ASUS ZenBook UX430UN-IH74-GR or the Lenovo Flex 15IWL.
Here are the specs and prices for each machine:

ASUS ZenBook UX430UN-IH74-GR = $729.99

PROCESSOR

CPU Core: Kaby Lake R
CPU Brand: Intel
Cores: Quad-Core
CPU Type: Core i7
CPU Speed: 8550U (1.8GHz)
Smart Cache: 8MB
FSB: 4 GT/s
Turbo Boost Speed: Up to 4.0GHz
CPU Main Features: Hyper-Threading Technology
Virtualization Technology: Intel 64
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
Idle States
Thermal Monitoring Technologies
Intel Flex Memory Access
Execute Disable Bit
Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d)
Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Intel VT-x with Extended Page Tables (EPT)
Intel Identity Protection Technology
Intel Secure Key
Intel Smart Response Technology
OS Guard
Intel AES New Instructions
Intel Speed Shift Technology
Intel Optane Memory Supported

MEMORY
Total Memory: 16GB
Memory Type: LPDDR3
Memory Speed: DDR3L-1866
Maximum Memory Supported: 16GB
Memory Configuration: 16GB onboard

SOLID STATE DRIVE
SSD Interface: M.2 SATA
SSD Capacity: 512GB
SSD Configuration: 1 x 512GB

VIDEO
GPU Type: NVIDIA GeForce MX150
Video Memory: 2GB

Lenovo Flex 15IWL = $599.99
PROCESSOR

CPU Core: Whiskey Lake
CPU Brand: Intel
Cores: Quad-Core
CPU Type: Core i7
CPU Speed: 8565U (1.8GHz)
Smart Cache: 8MB
FSB: 4 GT/s
Turbo Boost Speed: Up to 4.6GHz
CPU Main Features: Hyper-Threading Technology
Virtualization Technology
Intel 64
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology
Idle States
Thermal Monitoring Technologies
Intel Flex Memory Access
Execute Disable Bit
Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d)
Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Intel VT-x with Extended Page Tables (EPT)
Intel Identity Protection Technology
Intel Secure Key
Intel Smart Response Technology
OS Guard
Intel AES New Instructions
Intel Speed Shift Technology
Intel Optane Memory Supported
Intel Thermal Velocity Boost

MEMORY
Total Memory: 8GB
Memory Type: DDR4
Memory Speed: DDR4-2400
Form Factor:260-pin SO-DIMM
Memory Slots (Total): 1
Memory Slots (Available): 0
Maximum Memory Supported: 16GB
Memory Configuration: 1 x 4GB
4GB onboard

SOLID STATE DRIVE
SSD Interface: NVMe M.2
SSD Capacity: 512GB
SSD Configuration: 1 x 512GB

VIDEO
GPU Type: NVIDIA GeForce MX230
Video Memory: 2GB GDDR5

Both laptops are refurbished.
I’m planning on using programs like Maya, Mudbox, and possibly Zbrush and Substance Painter, but I never used the later two programs and, if I have to, I’ll probably just use my main PC and/or the lab computers.
How would these laptops fair with working on 3D modeling in my case?
My budget is under $1000. Again, at most, I’m looking for something that can handle light modeling/sculpting and possibly rendering. If not rendering via Maya, then probably through After Effects and Premiere.
What would you recommend?
(Thank you and if you need more of the specs, please let me know.)
 

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