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New Laptop - Please Help with my Decision Making Process - HP Pavillion, Ryzen 5 or 7

Jerry L
Jerry L used Ask the Experts™
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I am considering which Laptop to purchase. Here are the questions I can come up with for now. This will be a machine I travel with. Should be durable, lightweight, long battery life, quiet, not hot. Some processing power needed for extra large Excel files and VBA macros; some Photoshop image or photo editing, and some Camtasia or other video editing; Some software development with API development environment; May need for ROS2 robot simulator on Linux OS.

I AM NOT A GAMER.

THIS IS ON SALE for Pre-Black Friday Special

1. HP Pavilion - 15z - What has your experience been?
2. HP Phone Tech Support & WARRANTY RETURNS - What has your experience been? I've seen LaptopMag review of tech support not as good as others, 28 out of 40. They are only open until 9pm weekdays, 6pm Sat & Sun which isn't ideal for my work hours (mostly nights).
3. Seems like a great discount this week until ship date of Dec. 16th.
4. AMD Ryzen™ 7 3700U (2.3 GHz, up to 4 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores) + Radeon™ Vega 10 Graphics
- Will the Ryzen 5 3400 be more than adequate? What is the Ryzen 7 3700 going to help with?
- HP site shows these as only 4 core CPU's. Elsewhere, I saw them as 6 and 8 core? see: UserBenchmark dot com
5. Is the upgrade to 512GB NVMe M.2 worth $150 upgrade from the 256GB NVMe M.2? or would Samsung-970-EVO-500GB be better at $90 from elsewhere? I wonder if there are two slots, one for OS boot, and one for data storage.
6. How cool or hot does this run at lower speeds? Fan noise?
7. Is there an easy way to toggle on and off the mouse touch pad?
8. HP Shows these Ryzen CPUs available: Which is better for battery life and runs cooler?
AMD Ryzen™ 5 3500U (2.1 GHz, up to 3.7GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores)+AMD Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics
AMD Ryzen™ 7 3700U (2.3 GHz, up to 4 GHz, 6 MB cache, 4 cores) + Radeon™ Vega 10 Graphics (add extra $100)
9. Battery evaluation?
Charge time.
Discharge time, 7 hours optimal. Seems low. Any suggestions?
Catch fire?

SPECS
How much does it weigh? 4.27 LB
Is the SATA drive available only with the option that comes with the 1TB HDD + 128 SSD.
Windows 10 Home 64
16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM (2x8GB)
15.6" diagonal FHD IPS BrightView micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen (1920 x 1080)
256 GB or 512 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD (or 128 GB NVMe with 1 TB 5400 rpm SATA)
HP 3 year w/Accidental Damage ($120 - 3 years, Includes phone support)
3-cell, 41 Wh Lithium-ion prismatic Battery
No DVD or CD Drive
Full-size island-style backlit keyboard (color of backlight?)
HP Wide Vision HD IR Camera with Dual digital microphone
802.11ac/b/g/n (2x2) Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® 4.2 combo
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Sam Simon NasserIT Support Professional

Commented:
AMD Ryzen™ 7 is better than 5 (like comparing i5 to i7). also, the graphics card that comes with ryzen 7 (vega 10) is better than 8
256G hard disk drive is quite enough unless you need more space for your data. the 1T (5400 RPM) is very slow.
memory is more than enough (16G)
even if you are a gamer, the graphics card (vega 8 or 10) is much better than the intel graphics card.
Top Expert 2013

Commented:
post the actual moels plse
Software & Systems Engineer
Commented:
One thing for sure
AMD Ryzen™ 5 3500U will run much cooler than AMD Ryzen™ 7 3700U given the fact that its TDP is 15 W compared to UP to 35W for only 5% being slower
AMD Ryzen™ 5 3500U
AMD Ryzen™ 7 3700U
This also mean (normally) better battery life (provided they share the same battery)
Now for the question of SSD....factory installed is always better....there is a price difference but laptops do have their quirks...like whitelists...so you *may* run in bizzare issues if you choose a 3rd battery component...not to mention the disassembly of the laptop that might cause scratches...
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
You have specific criteria, "Should be durable, lightweight, long battery life, quiet, not hot."

Macbook Pro with pure SSD drive (no mechanical or Fusion drive).
John TsioumprisSoftware & Systems Engineer

Commented:
Macbook Pro with pure SSD drive (no mechanical or Fusion drive).
These are always true BLACK all the days of the week....the prices are as Black as they can get ... :)
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
This ASUS i3 8th gen looks like a nice configuration and nice price, except I'd rather have a smaller, 13 inch display. But the i3 does not have a low idle speed and may run hotter than the i5 8th generation which can idle down. Also, the 2-core vs the 4-core may be a problem. So I am looking for the same configuration and price, but with i5 8th gen, 13 inch if possible.

Also, the fact that their sales team (and tech support) are not available on weekends is extremely annoying. Dell has 24 hour support, but you must pay dearly for it. Who else has 24-hour support? or at least something on weekends? I believe HP does have weekends until 6pm PST, 9pm PST on weekdays. Buying from Best Buy will provide 24 hour support, I believe. But their available configurations are limited and I could not find one that suited me.

https://www.newegg.com/p/1XV-000C-00121

ASUS VivoBook Flip 2 in 1 Touchscreen PC 14" FHD 8th Gen i3, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB M.2 SSD, Backlit, Fingerprint, USB Type-C, 1920x1080, WebCam, USB 3.0, Win 10
Jerry LOperations Manager

Author

Commented:
Thanks to everyone for your input.