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Help: Powereffecient laptop for writing, powerpoint etc. I5 TDP=15W max

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Hi guys,

I'm looking for a power effecient Laptop for writing (12-15Inches max) and making powerpoint presentations in windows 10:
I know from this article that the Intel U-series processors have TDP= 15Watt and that the 8th gen intel perform 50%-92% better than 7th gen processors. What would be a good laptop under $700 for all around use? I could get it used. At the moment i have a Lenovo X200, it's not that fast, and Probably will have problems when going to windows 10, but i like writing on it.

The Y-series offers TDP down to 4.5 Watt but I suspect they are quite slow or laggy because they often come fanless.

Any suggestions or expeirence with this?


Common Intel U Series CPUs (2 cores, 4 threads)
ModelBase ClockTurboCacheTDP (w)GPUvPro
Core i7-8650U1.9 GHz4.2 GHz8MB15Intel UHD 620No
Core i7-8550U1.8 GHz4.0 GHz8MB15Intel UHD 620No
Core i7-7600U2.8 GHz3.9 GHz4MB15Intel HD 620Yes
Core i7-8559U2.7 GHz4.5 GHz8MB28Iris Plus 655No
Core i5-8269U2.6 GHz4.2 GHz6MB28Iris Plus 655No
Core i5-8350U1.7 GHz3.6 GHz6MB15Intel UHD 620No
Core i5-8250U1.6 GHz3.4 GHz6MB15Intel UHD 620No
Core i7-7567U3.5 Ghz4 GHz4MB28Iris Plus 650No
Core i5-7200U2.5 GHz3.1 GHz3MB15Intel HD 620No
Core i5-7267U3.1 GHz3.5 GHz4MB28Iris Plus 650No
Core i3-7100U2.4 GHzN/A3MB15Intel HD 620No
 
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Why does the TDP matter at all? Shouldn't battery life be the thing you should be concerned with, alongside the cooling system?
The Core i5-8250U tends to be in a lot of affordable laptops, but it's no low power CPU, even though Intel sells it as such. Got an HP something or the other for my old man and the cooling is kicking in all the time. It's not as if he cares, so it doesn't matter in this case.

That said, with your budget in mind, why don't you have a look at the Lenovo ThinkBook series?
The base models come with a Core i5-8265U.
 
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Any suggestions or expeirence with this?
Nowadays basically any laptop with Core U or Ryzen U series CPU is gonna fit your bill and requirements, since most of them(especially compact models >14") are TDP-capped to 15W. E.g. your price range starts at $400, maybe less if you are from US.
My personal favorite is Lenovo Thinkpad E485(AMD) or E490(Intel), since both are lightweight 14" laptops with a decent FHD IPS screen, both are quite expandable and most importantly - have a decent KB. Both are around $700 in my parts of the world, just on the edge of your budget. Depending on how my things go this year, I might snag a E485 or maybe an upcoming E495 for work.
 
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Nowadays basically any laptop with Core U or Ryzen U series CPU is gonna fit your bill and requirements, since most of them(especially compact models >14") are TDP-capped to 15W. E.g. your price range starts at $400, maybe less if you are from US.
My personal favorite is Lenovo Thinkpad E485(AMD) or E490(Intel), since both are lightweight 14" laptops with a decent FHD IPS screen, both are quite expandable and most importantly - have a decent KB. Both are around $700 in my parts of the world, just on the edge of your budget. Depending on how my things go this year, I might snag a E485 or maybe an upcoming E495 for work.
The E490s looks like a pretty good deal right now.

Not that the E490 is priced that differently.
 
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Not that the E490 is priced that differently.
Not sure if it's because we have a big-ass Lenovo office smack in the middle of Kiev and general brand presence in the region, or if it's a worldwide thing, but these models frequently go on sale. I think the base E490 config was as cheap as $550 on the last sale, and it happened at least 4 times since this model came out.
 
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Why does the TDP matter at all? Shouldn't battery life be the thing you should be concerned with, alongside the cooling system?
The Core i5-8250U tends to be in a lot of affordable laptops, but it's no low power CPU, even though Intel sells it as such. Got an HP something or the other for my old man and the cooling is kicking in all the time. It's not as if he cares, so it doesn't matter in this case.

That said, with your budget in mind, why don't you have a look at the Lenovo ThinkBook series?
The base models come with a Core i5-8265U.
How can you be so sure the I5-8250u is power hungry? according to this review, it does seem to consume a up to 62W under Heavy / full load, but should remain at 15W for everyday tasks

Would i be biased to think that older laptop and their CPU's in general consume less Power, so the older the pc is (for instance my lenovo x200 consumes with a Core duo 2 consumes less than a new one with an intel 6,7 or 8 gen CPU?

I do like the Lenovo laptops in general, I have also been considering a T460s (it's a bit cheaper than the E485 where I'm from (scandinavia)
For some reason I like, quiet low power consumption laptops in general.
 
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How can you be so sure the I5-8250u is power hungry? according to this review, it does seem to consume a up to 62W under Heavy / full load, but should remain at 15W for everyday tasks

Would i be biased to think that older laptop and their CPU's in general consume less Power, so the older the pc is (for instance my lenovo x200 consumes with a Core duo 2 consumes less than a new one with an intel 6,7 or 8 gen CPU?

I do like the Lenovo laptops in general, I have also been considering a T460s (it's a bit cheaper than the E485 where I'm from (scandinavia)
For some reason I like, quiet low power consumption laptops in general.
Newer tech is more energy efficient, not less.
 
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I have a Lenovo E480 with a 8250U. Cost me around €650.

Overall pretty good quality device, especially for the money. I like the keyboard a lot and it feels solid but not too heavy (not macbook solid though). Battery life is very good, lasts me most of the day. Definitely would recommend that.
 
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Newer tech is more energy efficient, not less.
I believe he ment low power in general. Energy efficiency is something else. And of course newer hardware is way more power efficient.

As I understand he is interested more about low power than efficiency.
2 days ago I was messing around with a friend’s laptop that has a Ryzen 3200U 2C/4T 3.4GHz turbo and that CPU was drawing 8~9W all core CPU-Z bench according to HWiNFO64. Score was 340 1T, 1000+ 4T.
 

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If you can flex your budget about $150, you can often grab a Surface Pro with TypeCover for $800+tax from the Microsoft Store. Looks like an offer is available now:

You don't get to choose your TypeCover color (right now, looks like Platinum is the only option) and 128 GB is kind of limiting but they're extremely well built machines. Intel® Core™ 8th Gen i5 w/ Intel® UHD Graphics 620 (i5) According to your list, it has to have Core i5-8250U or Core i5-8350U which have 15w TDP.

Two things to beware of: it only has 1 USB 3.0 port and 1 mini DisplayPort. If you want to plug in more than one thing, you'll need a hub.

Because the TypeCover isn't locking, it doesn't work the best on your lap. It's better to have something solid under it.



Ohh, they have the previous gen available for $500 too (while supplies last):
That has 7th Gen m3 w/ Intel HD 615 GPU.
 
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How can you be so sure the I5-8250u is power hungry? according to this review, it does seem to consume a up to 62W under Heavy / full load, but should remain at 15W for everyday tasks

Would i be biased to think that older laptop and their CPU's in general consume less Power, so the older the pc is (for instance my lenovo x200 consumes with a Core duo 2 consumes less than a new one with an intel 6,7 or 8 gen CPU?

I do like the Lenovo laptops in general, I have also been considering a T460s (it's a bit cheaper than the E485 where I'm from (scandinavia)
For some reason I like, quiet low power consumption laptops in general.
You just answered your own question...
And having used a notebook with the CPU, I can tell you it runs quite hot. Obviously it will vary between notebook manufacturers, but based on my X250, Lenovo doesn't do the most amazing job in terms of cooling on their smaller notebooks and don't seem to use TDP down.

No, older notebooks don't use less power as such. In fact, older production nodes are in general less efficient. However, older notebooks had less powerful CPUs as well, so they could often run at full tilt for longer, whereas the design logic behind current CPUs is to do things quickly and then go into low power mode, where the latter is using less power than what an old CPU would do in its comparable mode. However, as you're now looking at four cores vs. two cores, the full tilt mode would indeed use more power.

T460s would be second hand no? T490s/T495s are the current models.
 
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Get something with a 1065 g7 or another ice lake equivalent i5/i3
 
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You just answered your own question...
And having used a notebook with the CPU, I can tell you it runs quite hot. Obviously it will vary between notebook manufacturers, but based on my X250, Lenovo doesn't do the most amazing job in terms of cooling on their smaller notebooks and don't seem to use TDP down.

No, older notebooks don't use less power as such. In fact, older production nodes are in general less efficient. However, older notebooks had less powerful CPUs as well, so they could often run at full tilt for longer, whereas the design logic behind current CPUs is to do things quickly and then go into low power mode, where the latter is using less power than what an old CPU would do in its comparable mode. However, as you're now looking at four cores vs. two cores, the full tilt mode would indeed use more power.

T460s would be second hand no? T490s/T495s are the current models.
I see so in general Core i5-8250U are not power effecint and run too hot in lenovo laptops. You also mentioned rCore i5-8265U and the Lenovo Thinkbook series. Is this because these systems in general are more power effecient or have better and quiet cooling in your opinion?
Yes I was thinking either get a cheap power effecient laptop like a t460 for writing, surfing the web and then get a PC for camtasia /video editing
but if the laptop can pull off both then I might consider the newer models and pay for that., I also considered Lenovo L480 if i get the better ones,

I'm willing to broaden my CPU choice and not limit it to Core i5-8250U or Core i5-8350U as long as the laptop runs power effecient and well in windows 10 doing tasks like powerpoints, maybe on-screen recoarding and editing those on screen recoarding videos, and writing, surfing the web.

Other options from previous posts
E480 with a 8250U
Surface Pro with TypeCover for $800+tax from the Microsoft Store.
i ocnider a
ThinkPad L480: - 14" FHD 1920x1080 IPS - i5-8250U Qaud Core 1,60 GHz - 8GB Ram - 256GB SSD

Zach_01: That laptop you referre to sounds amazing - Ryzen 3200U 2C/4T 3.4GHz turbo and that CPU was drawing 8~9W all cores.
Do you know the name of it?
 

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Core i7-8550U
FWIW, I have an HP Spectre with this CPU and it works alright. I do my job (software engineer,) on it without too many issues, however I would probably replace it with a Dell XPS 13 Dev Edition laptop if given the option. This CPU also has a configurable TDP. In the case of the Spectre, it configured to 25-watts, not the default 15-watts IIRC.
 
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I've got a Dell Latitude 7390 2-in-1 with a Coffee Lake Kaby Lake-R i7-8650U, and it's a quick and responsive laptop but it runs very hot. Part of that is due to it being very thin and having a sub-par cooling system, but part of it is also due to that chip being quite hot-running. Not the best combination. (For reference, my partner's XPS 13 with the i7-8550U runs nearly as hot, and it has far better cooling and a layer of thermal insulation to keep the bottom from getting too hot, which ... does a little, but not much.)

As you are used to the amazing keyboards on ThinkPads I would try to aim for a ThinkPad again (even if the old non-chiclet keys on laptops like yours are slightly superior to the modern chiclet design, the new ones are still very good for typing).

Frankly, at this time for your type of use case I'd likely go for an AMD-based ThinkPad like the T495s. Notebookcheck actually prefers it over its Intel equivalent, with very similar battery life (worse for video playback, better in their WiFi daily use test), similar CPU performance, far superior GPU performance (which can be useful for hardware acceleration even in office applications), and lower peak power draw. NBC has very detailed measurements and do direct comparisons between the AMD T495s and Intel T490s.

It currently starts at $990 on Lenovo's site, but they tend to have frequent sales and you're probably going to find it cheaper somewhere else. They also have something like a 10% rebate for students and teachers.

Edit: got my Lakes mixed up.
 
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I see so in general Core i5-8250U are not power effecint and run too hot in lenovo laptops. You also mentioned rCore i5-8265U and the Lenovo Thinkbook series. Is this because these systems in general are more power effecient or have better and quiet cooling in your opinion?
Yes I was thinking either get a cheap power effecient laptop like a t460 for writing, surfing the web and then get a PC for camtasia /video editing
but if the laptop can pull off both then I might consider the newer models and pay for that., I also considered Lenovo L480 if i get the better ones,

I'm willing to broaden my CPU choice and not limit it to Core i5-8250U or Core i5-8350U as long as the laptop runs power effecient and well in windows 10 doing tasks like powerpoints, maybe on-screen recoarding and editing those on screen recoarding videos, and writing, surfing the web.

Other options from previous posts
E480 with a 8250U
Surface Pro with TypeCover for $800+tax from the Microsoft Store.
i ocnider a
ThinkPad L480: - 14" FHD 1920x1080 IPS - i5-8250U Qaud Core 1,60 GHz - 8GB Ram - 256GB SSD

Zach_01: That laptop you referre to sounds amazing - Ryzen 3200U 2C/4T 3.4GHz turbo and that CPU was drawing 8~9W all cores.
Do you know the name of it?
Nothing specific about Lenovo and Intel CPUs, these are simply not that power efficient as Intel is making them out to be. As there's a TDP range, it depends on what the notebook manufacturer decides to with a specific product SKU. If you look at Intel's ARK, you'll see these chips, regardless of model, are 10-20W TDP. I doubt a lot of companies are using TDP down, but rather go up if anything, as that allows for longer periods of time at max CPU boost.

The i5-8265U seems to be what Lenovo is using as their base i5 in most of their notebooks. It's a slightly updated version if the i5-8250, hence why I mentioned it.
The ThinkBook was more because it's a model between a Thinkpad and their other "consumer" notebooks in terms of price, yet it apparently has Thinkpad level keyboards.
That said, it seems to be priced similar to other Thinkpad SKU's once you compare what you get for your money, so it might not be worth it.

I think you're confusing power efficient and what I presume you want, i.e. low fan noise, long battery life and not too hot?
These aren't really related, as a lot of that depends on how good the cooling system in the notebook is, how large the battery is and what you do on your notebook.
Both the 8250 and 8350 are "older" processor SKU's at this point and it seems that at least in the case of Lenovo, the 8265 is their base model.
 
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Nothing specific about Lenovo and Intel CPUs, these are simply not that power efficient as Intel is making them out to be. As there's a TDP range, it depends on what the notebook manufacturer decides to with a specific product SKU. If you look at Intel's ARK, you'll see these chips, regardless of model, are 10-20W TDP. I doubt a lot of companies are using TDP down, but rather go up if anything, as that allows for longer periods of time at max CPU boost.

The i5-8265U seems to be what Lenovo is using as their base i5 in most of their notebooks. It's a slightly updated version if the i5-8250, hence why I mentioned it.
The ThinkBook was more because it's a model between a Thinkpad and their other "consumer" notebooks in terms of price, yet it apparently has Thinkpad level keyboards.
That said, it seems to be priced similar to other Thinkpad SKU's once you compare what you get for your money, so it might not be worth it.

I think you're confusing power efficient and what I presume you want, i.e. low fan noise, long battery life and not too hot?
These aren't really related, as a lot of that depends on how good the cooling system in the notebook is, how large the battery is and what you do on your notebook.
Both the 8250 and 8350 are "older" processor SKU's at this point and it seems that at least in the case of Lenovo, the 8265 is their base model.
Yeah, it's important to note with modern laptops that TDP is flexible and largely configured by the OEM. For example, my Latitude seems to have a 12W rather than 15W long-term power limit (at least according to all measurement software), yet it still runs very hot. On the other hand my partner's XPS runs at 25W with a nominally 15W chip (in cTDP-up mode) which mostly translates to longer Turbo durations and not much else. Both of these laptops have excellent battery life, btw, it's just that they can get uncomfortably hot. Using my Latitude on my lap while charging is a no-go, as it goes beyond even what I would call "uncomfortably hot" and into "disconcerting" territory.

As such, "power efficiency" is a bit of a moot point when looking for desirable features. Pretty much all laptops are power efficient, but how that efficiency is used varies wildly. Does the OEM want maximum performance and thus raises the power limits? Does the OEM want maximum battery life and thus locks down power beyond short bursts? Does the OEM want a very thin laptop and therefore go for a smaller cooling solution? Etc., etc.. More useful things to ask for: battery life, heat output, fan noise, performance (CPU/GPU), size/weight, and so on. Power efficiency affects these in all kinds of ways, all of which are dependent on OEM design choices.


Btw, it's worth mentioning that CPU performance for laptops these days is generally excellent. The difference between Kaby Lake-R (i3/5/7 8x50u) and Whiskey Lake (i3/5/7 8x55u) is minimal, and mostly in maximum short-term turbo speeds. This will only really be noticeable in edge use cases, as sustained performance between the two is near identical. AMD's 3000-series APUs are slightly behind in performance, but not enough that it actually matters in the real world. They compete very well with all current U-series i5s, but lag a bit behind the i7s.
 
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Zach_01: That laptop you referre to sounds amazing - Ryzen 3200U 2C/4T 3.4GHz turbo and that CPU was drawing 8~9W all cores.
Do you know the name of it?
That specific laptop was an entry-level HP one (less than 400€), dont remember the actual name of it.
But... any laptop you see with a Ryzen 3200U will perform just about the same, give or take depend on cooling. You should consider a Ryzen 3000 laptop. Great performance/price... value, and staying cool.
 
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, it's just that they can get uncomfortably hot. Using my Latitude on my lap while charging is a no-go, as it goes beyond even what I would call "uncomfortably hot" and into "disconcerting" territory.
You're probably blocking the vent having it sitting on your lap you need to get a lap tray




@OP I would absolutely agree with the Ryzen 3200U based laptops they're really good
 
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just move up the lenovo numbers.. i just bought a nice ips screen 380 yoga for just over £500..

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You're probably blocking the vent having it sitting on your lap you need to get a lap tray




@OP I would absolutely agree with the Ryzen 3200U based laptops they're really good
Yeah, no, I'm quite capable of spotting the air intakes on my laptop and not blocking them, thank you. Besides, thermals are similarly terrible if it's placed on a flat, hard surface (if I have it plugged in and run something demanding, then remove the laptop, the table underneath feels hot). The only way I've managed to keep thermals "in check" (as in "heat doesn't bleed through to the keboard deck and make even that uncomfortable) during heavy use is to use a cooling pad with fans. Luckily I'm not likely to be using this very heavily while on the go, and in the office it lives on a raised stand on top of the TB3 dock. Also, the charging circuitry (which is the hottest part of the laptop) has no cooling whatsoever, which is why this part of the laptop gets so crazy hot. It's near some vents, but they really don't do much. And don't get me started on the underpowered and tiny fan (something like a 30mm blower) in this thing. Given how small it is, it's actually quite impressive that it can sustain a 12W heat load - but that still means skin temperatures way beyond comfort. I guess the main saving grace is that when using it as a tablet, all of this is tucked away on the inside.

But that's enough OT for one thread. The 8650U inside is still a good CPU, it's just not a cool-running one.
 
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From what I've heard the E series thinkpads with 3000 series APUs are pretty good options, I honestly would consider those over the intel counterparts, the intel stuff has slowed noticeably in the past 6 months or so due to the security patches...
 

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Look at Asus, they have a few that will last 8-10 hours
 
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TheLostSwede
Yes i agree that cool performance and low noise don't really go hand in hand
unless it uses Noctua :)
I would rather want a bit of cooling when it has to perform than having a hot oven on my lap.

I actually don't care much about battery life. I often use a
laptop with a wire at home and no battery

A old Report stated that you save up to 20% energy by running the laptop from the AC / wall if you set it up right
" A report (PDF) prepared by the Natural Resources Defense Council five years ago
estimated that running a laptop from AC power is about 20 percent more energy-efficient
than doing it off a battery. Even if battery charging systems"

However

"Still, there’s a catch—although it’s one you can do something about.
Most laptops are set up to use less energy when they aren’t plugged in, since battery life is at a premium. As soon as they start receiving AC power, however, they’re often set to start running at higher speeds—and thus use more energy. If you’ve never touched your laptop’s
power settings before, chances are it uses more energy when it’s plugged into the wall."
have improved since then, common sense suggests that using AC power requires less energy."
it makes

Valantar: Yea i definately don't want a an oven in my "disconcerting" territory! So hurray for Lap trays :D
So what you mention here is that as long as it's an 8 generation Intel (U-model) it's pretty good
for KAby LAke-R and Whiskey Lake and the difference is minimal, that's nice to know.
I tihnk in general i will shot for i5 since i7 are often more power hungry and run hotter it seems.,

There are almost too many options -
* E series thinkpads with 3000 series APU
* Lenovo Yoga series fx x380 yoga (probabyl over my budget in Scandinavia)
*Ryzen 3200U based laptops
* AMD-based ThinkPad like the T495
*ThinkPad L480
*In general most never lenovo T or X series.
 
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I would suggest seeing if you can try some of them out at a shop, even if just to look at keyboards and other UI, build quality, screens, etc.
 
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