Hi there, first time poster but hardly new to the hardware scene.
I'm looking for a new base model for our enterprise to replace our current HP Probook 6560 & 6360 setups. I liked those models, they offer a sturdy design and hardware that remains potent for ~3y with solid warranty. Only looking for a 13-14" model now, not 15".
As it's been 2y since we bought these models, I'd like to find more performance at the same price point (600-800€ ~ 900USD ~ 600GBP).
Unfortunately, I only see a slightly better CPU in HP's new business lineup at this price point. The CPU wasn't the bottleneck, it can remain a gen2 i5. I'd at least expect more RAM (old 4GB -> 6 or 8GB) and a (cache) SSD. The only solid addition is USB3, hardly worth it for us - when enterprise IT is moving towards cloud storage.
HP Probook 6470b - i5 3210 - 4gb ram - 128GB SSD - W7/8 Pro -> too expensive: ~970€
HP Envy 4 1100sb - i5 3317 - 8b ram - 32GB SSD + 500GB - W8 -> No Windows Pro = excluded. Great pricing though ~640€
Dell Ultrabk XPS13 - i5 3437 - 4gb ram - 128GB SSD - Win8 Pro -> Still too expensive ~900€
Lenovo Thinkp T430u - i5 3317 - 4gb ram - 128GB SSD - Win7 Pro -> Barely in price: ~790€, low ram, no win8 pro
Lenovo Thinkp E530 - i3 3110 - 4gb ram - 128GB SSD - Win 7/8 Pro -> Price OK ~600€, low cpu, low ram
I can find separate 128GB SSDs for 90€, it's outrageous they're trying to have us shell out 270€ more when the only other benefit is a gen3 core i5 in stead of a gen2.
We'd rather not install SSDs ourselves to remain in extended warranty coverage.
These are used in a broadcasting services enterprise, by engineers, sales, planning, ... Various profiles, of which some need to run pro A/V software. No rendering though, so we won't need workstation class performance.
So, for tl r:
My ideal laptop would be a gen3 i5, 8GB ram, 128GB SSD, W7/8 Pro (driver support for both), sturdy, solid support for around 700€ - 900USD - 600GBP.
Extra points for VGA+HDMI, rs232 port, cardreader, 3x usb3.
I've made a pick and am recommending the Probook 4340s with 128GB SSD (will build it in ourselves) and 4gb extra ram. The combination of these 3 is 606,71€. The price advantage will cover for work hours in swapping the drives easily. It's made out of aluminum, the sturdiness makes up for it's slightly heavier weight.
Was hoping the DIY times would be over in 2013, but I guess overpricing standard options never stops as long as people keep buying it.