Quick laptop question/purchase decision help wanted.


Hey all, I need a new laptop/notebook for work only. That work is mostly going to be spreadsheets, word processing, online work within google docs,etc. In other words…not gaming at all.

I’m looking at what appear to be two models of the same laptop, sold by different stores. Both have 12gb of RAM, same storage size/speed, same resolution, same weight.

The biggest difference: one has an i5-8250u CPU. The other has an i5-7200u CPU. The 8250 costs $200 more than the 7200.

I’d really rather not pay that extra $200, especially if I don’t need it for the work-related stuff I’ll be doing. There’s no graphic rendering or anything else that I’ll need it for. Strictly office-style stuff.

Will the 7200 suffice? Or is there such a huge difference between the two that I should just grin and bear it and fork over the extra $$ for the 8250?

Thanks in advance foor any guidance here!


The i5 is a 4 core/8 thread CPU, while the i7 has 2 cores/4 threads. The extra cores won’t make any difference in office stuff.


So…sounds like I can easily get all the computing power I need from the 7200. Great. Appreciate the help!


Yeah the cheaper one is fine.


I do a lot more stuff than you with a lot slower CPU. You’ll be just great with that cheaper one.


That’s good to know, arrendek. Thanks!


So this is the laptop I ended up going with today:


Pretty much perfect for what I’ll use it for. Even the magnetic storage drive works best. While I know an SSD would be faster, for clients I typically have to record sessions with Snag-it as mp4’s, and while we’re in the editing and finishing process on those prior to delivery, it’s not uncommon for me to have 150-200 gigs of video alone stored on my computer after a busy week. So the 7200 rpm drive is a good compromise.

For the features and a 1920x1080 resolution screen, it’s a damned good deal. Best Buy has its big brother with the 8250u CPU for $649 at the moment.


Hey folks. The time has come for a new programming/gaming laptop. I have used Macbook Pro’s for the past few years but the time has come to change.

My criteria
Price ~$2000 or less
Keyboard - must be at least as easy to type on as the Macbook. I already own two ASUS laptops and sadly their keyboards are just too deep into the case for me to effectively type on so they are probably out.

Performance - should be able to run a middling game without the fans blowing out of its arse. A good gaming laptop should be able to run say Football Manager or Divinity 2 with no fan noise (note: Mac’s cannot do this so it needs to be better than a Mac). Higher graphics intense games are fine for the fans to kick in, I wont be playing them much.

Graphics - a decent card, 1060 or 1080? Doesnt have to be that special.

Speed - 2.5 or above is fine

Storage - At least a TB

Screen size: I am flexible but 14" or above?

Size/ weight: doesn’t matter really. I accept this is going to be heavier and bulkier than my MacBook’s. Thats fine. As long as I can program with it on my lap.

Thoughts? Any programmers out there have good recommendations?

Thanks for any advice!


Just a note, but my expensive Falcon NW gaming laptop can’t do that. Fans kick in for pretty much any game, so I am not sure if this is a reasonable requirement. (Don’t know about FM, but they do for a game like Divinity, Civ, etc.)

Probably doesn’t need to be said, but I wouldn’t recommend a Falcon NW, for the price I wasn’t very impressed. It is fast and capable of playing anything my desktop can at near equal performance, but the thing looks and feels like a cheap plastic laptop.


Thanks. hmm fair point. I guess the fans are ok, its more the fact my mac becomes as hot as the sun when playing a fairly mid weight game like FM for example. Thanks for the Falcon heads up. I am strangely drawn to the Razor Blade which my son has, mainly because of the form factor and its a delight to type on. Word from the subreddit seems to be its a bit shoddy on the construction side though. Shame about the Falcon, you got the DRX or the TLX? I have to say they both look badass from the specs.


Spec wise the Falcons are great, but since they are much more expensive than anyone else, I expected more, but it looks and feels cheap. Maybe I am too used to the high quality of Surfaces and Macs?

Mines the cheaper one, TLX I think. Splurged for the full paint job. Even that was disappointing, in a lot of the cracks and crevices the clear coat left white marks that I can’t get off.

Loved everything about buying a desktop from them, they made it a great experience, 2 years later when I got the laptop it was a completely different experience.

Surprised you aren’t getting more feedback here…


Cheers! No biggy I know folks are busy. I appreciate you taking the time! I am getting a lot of feedback from work as well!


I wouldn’t buy an intel CPU until they fix meltdown in hardware, which will likely be the as yet unannounced 9-series chips. Ryzen laptops are just starting to come out and not well-reviewed yet.

If you can’t wait, like it’s your company’s money and you need to spend it or lose it, I would probably buy a Dell XPS 15 with a GTX1050. That’s sufficient for gaming at 1080p, and it’s a nice laptop.

Any real XxXtreme! gaming laptop with a GTX1060 or higher will probably bake your externally-facing genitalia and crush your thighs.


Thanks! yeah its my money so it matters :) Not sure I really want to wait months though.


I just looked at the XPS 15 models on the Dell site, and: jeez, part for part, the $1300 model (with an i5-7300 and a 4GB 1050) is almost exactly the same as the Inspiron 15 I’m getting. The XPS 15 seems to have a much better display, but no one will ever convince me it’s better by enough to justify the extra $550 over the SSD model of the Inspiron 15.


Much better display, tiny bezels, dramatically slimmer form factor, 2 pounds lighter, and much better build quality. But yeah, except for that stuff.

If the laptop sits on a desk with external mouse, keyboard, and display, none of the above really matters. If you take it off that desk, it does.


I bought the Inspiron 15 because I’m not made out of money and I like it a lot.

Then again if my budget were $2000 I’d probably have bought something else.


Keyboards are hard to evaluate without trying. If you already know you love the Razor Blade that your son has, I think that’s worth a lot. And Razor is generally fine. One of the last brands that actually puts real buttons on the trackpad.

Agree that a Dell with a 1050 is probably a good cheaper alternative.


Yeah the keyboard swung it for me. I snagged my Razor Blade at Best Buy today. I am absurdly excited. I LOVE new computers :)


I’ve been waiting to replace my Alienware M17x R4 with a new very lightweight laptop. Doing a ton of research. As has been discussed, I’m reluctantly not going with the Dell XPS 15 due to all of the build and quality consistency issues, so I’ve been waiting for the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon gen 6, and it is just now available. My current laptop weighs about the same as my Miata, has zero battery life, and it works well in hotel rooms as a hotplate for cooking soup or making fried eggs.

However, I do hate that the days of customization seem to be over unless you’re buying from a builder. They have a build that has the 1T SSD I want and everything else, but it isn’t offered in a 1920x1080 version. I don’t need higher resolution, and I prefer the longer battery life from the 1080p screen.