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Which Laptop is best for HTPC?

Revolution 11

Senior member
Jun 2, 2011
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I will be buying a laptop for my parents. It will replace a Core 2 Duo P7570 @ 2.26GHz. There are a lot of great laptops out there but all of the laptops that could drive a 4KTV seem to lack wired gigabit Ethernet or HDMI 2.0 ports. Which laptop can be used as a ad-hoc HTPC and also has wired Ethernet and HDMI 2.0 ports? I would like it to be a bit future-proof regarding 4K playback.

For example, the Dell XPS laptops look amazing and they actually list HDMI 2.0 ports in the technical specs (which many companies don't) but their only flaw is that they lack wired Ethernet.

Basic questions are answered below. Thanks for your help.

1. What YOUR PC will be used for. That means what types of tasks you'll be performing.

Besides mobile browsing, it will be used as a HTPC that needs to be capable of a minimum of 4K 30FPS video playback.

2. What YOUR budget is. A price range is acceptable as long as it's not more than a 20% spread

I am looking at a budget between $800 and $1000. The very highest I can pay is $1400.

3. What country YOU will be buying YOUR parts from.

United States

4. IF you're buying parts OUTSIDE the US, please post a link to the vendor you'll be buying from.
We can't be expected to scour the internet on your behalf, chasing down deals in your specific country... Again, help us, help YOU.

N/A

5. IF YOU have a brand preference. That means, are you an Intel-Fanboy, AMD-Fanboy, ATI-Fanboy, nVidia-Fanboy, Seagate-Fanboy, WD-Fanboy, etc.

No brand preference

6. If YOU intend on using any of YOUR current parts, and if so, what those parts are.

No current parts

7. IF YOU plan on overclocking or run the system at default speeds.

Default Speeds (system needs to be rock stable)

8. What resolution, not monitor size, will you be using?

Any resolution 1080p and above is fine.

9. WHEN do you plan to build it?
Note that it is usually not cost or time effective to choose your build more than a month before you actually plan to be using it.

N/A

10. Do you need to purchase any software to go with the system, such as Windows or Blu Ray playback software?

N/A
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
57
91
At first glance I find it hard to believe that laptops generally lack a wired gigabit Ethernet port. Maybe something has changed. Please provide links to the specific laptops you are discussing.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
57
91
$700 should cover it. Got your HDMI 2.0, a video card plenty new and fast enough to play 265 encodes, and even though it doesn't say so on Newegg it has a network port. I think this feature is so common or ubiquitous that they just don't bother mentioning it anymore.

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=1TS-000X-00S36

If you don't like this one there are others well within your price range.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
57
91
Those Nitro's lack optical drives so if you need one you would need to get a USB version.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
57
91
So Costo does not specify HDMI 2 on the Costco Nitro but I bet it is there. Just like the network port is there even though it is not specified on the NewEgg version.
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
57
91
The GTX 1050 card supports HDMI 2.0:

https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-1050-Notebook.178614.0.html

"NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)

Features

The GP107 chip is manufactured in a 14 nm FinFET process at Samsung and offers a number of new features, including support for DisplayPort 1.4 (ready), HDMI 2.0b, HDR, Simultaneous Multi-Projection (SMP) as well as improved H.265 video de- and encoding (PlayReady 3.0)."
 

lakedude

Platinum Member
Mar 14, 2009
2,063
57
91
If you don't like Acer, Costco has some Dells with 1050 cards that run $600 if you need an SSD or are only $550 if you can settle for a 1TB mechanical.

https://www.costco.com/Dell-Inspiron-15-5000-Series-Gaming-Laptop---Intel-Core-i5--4GB-NVIDIA-Graphics---1080p.product.100397512.html

https://www.costco.com/Dell-Inspiron-15-5000-Series-Gaming-Laptop---Intel-Core-i5---1080p---4GB-NVIDIA-Graphics.product.100339965.html

Out of all these only the NewEgg Nitro specifies HDMI 2.0 but we know from Notebookcheck that the 1050 card supports HDMI 2.0. It is a pretty safe bet that all these systems have everything you are looking for.

The Acer specifies an IPS screen while the Dells do not.
 

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