I want a "sort of new" laptop.

tigerwillow1

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J-sig, thank you for the pictures and info. This forum has cost me money again! I was at costco yesterday and they had the little HP laptop on display. Screen looked ok, keyboard looked ok, and I gave in and got one. Haven't figured out yet how to explain a 4th laptop to the wife. I use a laptop mainly when traveling and my goal with this one is that it's faster, lighter, and has more battery endurance than what I use now. It would be nice if it plays well with an external DVD drive I have. The 128 GB SSD might be large enough for me because that's what's in the laptop I use now and I'm good on free space. First thing I need to do is make an image of the SSD as shipped because I might well mess it up and have to start over. I'll be installing a dual-boot linux setup. I dislike windows in general, and 10 in particular, but figure with the 8th gen hardware I'm probably stuck with it. Nothing will happen fast. This was 100% impulse, 0% necessity.

I still remember the pain of $200 floppy drives and $500 10 MB hard disks, in early 1980s dollars. Getting all this for 300 bucks seems crazy.
 

J Sigmo

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I would get either an 8 or a 16gb module as that will give you more scope in the future should you decide you need more. They don’t need to be matched though if they are there will a slight unnoticeable performance increase which you only see when benchmark testing.
I think you're right. Going with a larger RAM module or modules might be a wise choice. The RAM modules aren't all that expensive right now. This unit won't need to have a lot of RAM, but you never know what the future will bring!

J-sig, thank you for the pictures and info. This forum has cost me money again! I was at costco yesterday and they had the little HP laptop on display. Screen looked ok, keyboard looked ok, and I gave in and got one. Haven't figured out yet how to explain a 4th laptop to the wife. I use a laptop mainly when traveling and my goal with this one is that it's faster, lighter, and has more battery endurance than what I use now. It would be nice if it plays well with an external DVD drive I have. The 128 GB SSD might be large enough for me because that's what's in the laptop I use now and I'm good on free space. First thing I need to do is make an image of the SSD as shipped because I might well mess it up and have to start over. I'll be installing a dual-boot linux setup. I dislike windows in general, and 10 in particular, but figure with the 8th gen hardware I'm probably stuck with it. Nothing will happen fast. This was 100% impulse, 0% necessity.

I still remember the pain of $200 floppy drives and $500 10 MB hard disks, in early 1980s dollars. Getting all this for 300 bucks seems crazy.
Me, too! Things have gotten progressively better and cheaper over the years! I remember buying a RAM board with a whopping 16K of RAM on it to upgrade my AIM-65 from its native 4K of RAM. I think that cost me $280 in about 1980 or so.

Yes. I'd make an image of the OEM SSD in that thing so you have a fallback position before setting up the dual boot system. One of the things I sort of like about having installed the larger SSD is that I do have the original one that I could clone again if I get things really screwed up. You could do that, too. Get a larger SSD, clone the OEM one, then do whatever you want, knowing you have the original stashed away just in case.

Being used to the old beast I already had, this thing is so light and thin, it's pretty amazing. And it really is nice having a full HD display in a nice little unit. This will certainly be nicer for general laptop playing as well as when scrunching into tight places to update various gadgets. The old laptop I have actually has a serial port on it. And that's nice for dealing with some of these gadgets in the field. But a USB-Serial adapter is so small and light that it doesn't add much to the bag-O-goodies needed.

What little I have been able to play with the unit, the battery is holding up quite well. I got it charged to 100% initially, and have been using it on battery since then to see how long it will last. I also want to run it down to about 30% before recharging it the first few times in case that helps form the battery. I expect its capacity will improve a bit after the first few charge/discharge cycles. So that bodes well.

So far, I give the unit two thumbs up.
 

tigerwillow1

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Totally off topic, when I was a newbie college grad in the early 70s I was tasked to deliver a memory board from the factory in Texas to a customer in NYC. It was a 16-bit, 4 k-word board with ecc (very early semiconductor memory board) and sold for $10,000. Driving to the airport I realized that the memory board was worth more than the car I was carrying it in. The most stressful part was carrying it on the NYC subway. I was genuinely scared of getting mugged and losing it.

My old beasts are a Dell D630 and D830. Built like a tank in comparison to the new HP. Will be interesting to see how I comparatively rate them after using the new one for a while.
 

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What little I have been able to play with the unit, the battery is holding up quite well. I got it charged to 100% initially, and have been using it on battery since then to see how long it will last. I also want to run it down to about 30% before recharging it the first few times in case that helps form the battery. I expect its capacity will improve a bit after the first few charge/discharge cycles. So that bodes well.

So far, I give the unit two thumbs up.
What, you don't have more thumbs? :goodpost:

p.s.: Didn't see the actual processor specification, so I looked up the laptop model number. That's an impressive CPU: i3-8130U (2.2 GHz base frequency, up to 4 GHz w 4MB cache, 2 cores)
HP Notebook - 14-df0023cl Product Specifications | HP® Customer Support
 
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tigerwillow1

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I'm having a hard time finding good technical info for the 14-DF0023CL. I couldn't find a spec sheet on my own (thanks IaMATeaf), and the manual is generic to a bunch of models. No detailed specs available like I've gotten used to with Dell machines. For example, can a PCIe SSD be used? From J-sig's pictures it looks like the socket is m-keyed, which means a PCIe SSD would plug in. But will it work? And if it works, will it run NVMe? The generic maint manual shows optional PCIe SSDs, but being a generic manual you don't know what does and doesn't apply to a specific model.

The Intel CPU specs don't agree with the HP spec sheet on processor speed. The Intel specs say the highest clock rate is 3.4 GHz, not the 4.0 that HP says. I compared with the i3-8145 cpu that the higher priced i3 laptops use. It has a higher max clock rate of 3.9 GHz and some feature improvements such as fancier audio. The passmark benchmark is about 10% higher for the 8145U, so there's not much sacrifice there with the lower cost chip. The 8130U is Kaby Lake architecture, and the 8145U is Whiskey Lake. Both have a 4 MB CPU cache.

The Intel specs say the maximum memory is 32 GB. That doesn't mean the computer will use that much, but in any case, the memory controller is dual channel so populating the second slot should in theory double the memory bandwidth.

The HP spec sheet says for the USB 3.1 ports "Data transfer only". What the heck does that mean?

I think today is the last day for the $299 costco price. At my store they weren't particularly easy to find. They weren't on display with the rest of the laptops, but off in their own secluded corner of the electronics section. They weren't trying too hard to sell them, I suspect. When they pulled mine out of the locked merchandise cage it looked like there were a bunch more in stock.
 

J Sigmo

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Totally off topic, when I was a newbie college grad in the early 70s I was tasked to deliver a memory board from the factory in Texas to a customer in NYC. It was a 16-bit, 4 k-word board with ecc (very early semiconductor memory board) and sold for $10,000. Driving to the airport I realized that the memory board was worth more than the car I was carrying it in. The most stressful part was carrying it on the NYC subway. I was genuinely scared of getting mugged and losing it.

My old beasts are a Dell D630 and D830. Built like a tank in comparison to the new HP. Will be interesting to see how I comparatively rate them after using the new one for a while.
I will find, and post some pictures I took of the innards of one of the Core memory modules I salvaged from a Control Data computer. I couldn't bear to see them go to the landfill! RAM from when RAM was magnetic. :)

I'm having a hard time finding good technical info for the 14-DF0023CL. I couldn't find a spec sheet on my own (thanks IaMATeaf), and the manual is generic to a bunch of models. No detailed specs available like I've gotten used to with Dell machines. For example, can a PCIe SSD be used? From J-sig's pictures it looks like the socket is m-keyed, which means a PCIe SSD would plug in. But will it work? And if it works, will it run NVMe? The generic maint manual shows optional PCIe SSDs, but being a generic manual you don't know what does and doesn't apply to a specific model.

The Intel CPU specs don't agree with the HP spec sheet on processor speed. The Intel specs say the highest clock rate is 3.4 GHz, not the 4.0 that HP says. I compared with the i3-8145 cpu that the higher priced i3 laptops use. It has a higher max clock rate of 3.9 GHz and some feature improvements such as fancier audio. The passmark benchmark is about 10% higher for the 8145U, so there's not much sacrifice there with the lower cost chip. The 8130U is Kaby Lake architecture, and the 8145U is Whiskey Lake. Both have a 4 MB CPU cache.

The Intel specs say the maximum memory is 32 GB. That doesn't mean the computer will use that much, but in any case, the memory controller is dual channel so populating the second slot should in theory double the memory bandwidth.

The HP spec sheet says for the USB 3.1 ports "Data transfer only". What the heck does that mean?

I think today is the last day for the $299 costco price. At my store they weren't particularly easy to find. They weren't on display with the rest of the laptops, but off in their own secluded corner of the electronics section. They weren't trying too hard to sell them, I suspect. When they pulled mine out of the locked merchandise cage it looked like there were a bunch more in stock.
Heres' the maintenance manual I found for this:

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c06146792

It's sort of generic, but did have what I needed for doing what I needed to do replacing the M2 module, and does show the possible RAM configurations, if I remember correctly.

@J Sigmo
Crucial.com can tell you what memory will work if you decide to upgrade.


The port won't support charging or powering a device.
I looked somewhere, and found that this PC supposedly will only support a max of 16GB in the form of two 8GB memory modules. Looking at Crucial's site, I found what they recommended and ordered a pair of what I hope will work. I'll end up having the original 4GB module as a "spare", but this should max the unit out.

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B019FRDAY6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also, I didn't even think about the typical laptop limitation where they won't supply much power out of their USB ports. But when I connected the little M2 drive case via USB, it DID power the unit up and allow me to clone it. So at least SOME power is available from the USB ports. I hope it will be enough to power USB to Serial converters. It is enough to power the USB to M2 drive gadget that I used (link to what I ordered is in an earlier post above).

Many laptops will not power an actual "spinning" HDD from their USB ports. You need an external drive that has a separate power input. But this little M2 SSD did work, and I suspect thumb drives and the like will be fine. Just not higher power gadgets.
 

tigerwillow1

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If you want to have a backup copy of the original win 10 software you have to use an external enclosure like j-sig did, remove the SSD from the machine and back it up using a different machine. Don't even power it up first. I tried otherwise and spent half the day getting a backup image that isn't all that close to the factory image. I thought all I had to do was (1) Install Macrium Reflect, (2) Make the backup. Here's what really happened:

(1) On bootup this abominable thing called Cortina starts talking to me like I just graduated from kindergarten.
(2) Fortunately there's a way to shut her up, but you still have to suffer through a slow-motion setup sequence.
(Why isn't there a "I didn't just fall off the turnip truck" option?)
(3) The desktop comes up full of disgusting tiles that look like an arcade game.
(4) OK, now install Macrium Reflect.
(5) Can't install it because it's not from the microsoft store. Must disable "S" mode.
(6) Must go to microsoft store to get "S" mode shutoff software.
(7) Must have a microsoft account to use the store
(About then my hate for win 10 multiplied greatly)
(8) Finally get "S" mode off and Macrium Reflect installed.
(9) Choose as first job to create a bootable rescue media. Macrium has to download a bunch of stuff for this.
(10) Macrium download kept failing. I figured out a couple hours later it failed because windows loaded over a gigabyte of update files without my knowledge.
(11) Finally got Macrium download done, made rescue media, and image backup.

The good news:
(1) Rescue media to usb stick boots ok.
(2) Rescue media to external DVD drive boots ok.
(3) 8-year-old lite-on external DVD drive works seamlessly.

That HP statement about no power in the USB ports must mean something else, because the ports ran my memory stick and DVD drive without a hitch.

This silent update stuff is troubling. You can shut some, but not all of it off. So if you do what I do and go on a camping trip using a 1 gigabyte prepaid phone card and it decides to update, you're simply screwed. The machine becomes a brick, except this one doesn't even weight as much as a brick.

Next steps are to run some benchmarks, repartiton the drive, and get linux installed.
 

tigerwillow1

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Benchmark results, comparing old laptop (Dell D-630 with core 2 duo 7500 2.2 GHz built in 2008), desktop (Dell T1700 with i7-4770 at 3.4 GHz built in 2014), and new HP laptop 14-DF0023D (i3-8130U at 2.2 GHz), using Novabench 3.0.2 .

CPU (relative overall scores):
old laptop 212, new laptop 498, desktop 799

Memory speed (relative overall scores):
old laptop 92, new laptop 138, desktop 185

Disk throughput, all SSDs:
old laptop 67 MB/sec, new laptop 146 MB/sec, desktop 205 MB/sec

Graphics 3d frames:
old laptop 19/sec, new laptop 162/sec, desktop 279/sec

CPU thermal design power:
old laptop 65 watts, new laptop 15 watts, desktop 84 watts

Overall it looks like the new laptop is double the speed of the old one, and 2/3 the speed of the desktop. Except for graphics where the old laptop is horrible. The on-chip graphics of the older Intel chips has a reputation for being not so good. The power consumption difference is huge.
 

J Sigmo

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I thought about several ways to install the larger M2 SSD in mine.

I could pull the original drive out, and, using a different PC and two external M2 cases, make a clone that way.
I could just pull the original drive out, install the larger SSD in its place, and then use the media creation tool to do a "clean" install of Win10 on the new drive in the new machine.
Or, do what I did which was to go through the initial setup of Windows on the new PC, and then clone that drive.

I was worried that the media creation tool might fail to set up all of the built-in peripherals of the laptop because laptops are notorious for having odd drivers that may or may not be on, or accessible by, the media creation version.

So I went through a lot of what @tigerwillow1 did, and let the machine do its normal setup. Of the five PCs I've set up with Win 10, this was the first and only one that forced me to create a Microsoft account. All of the others were the Pro version, however. This laptop is the "home" version, and of course, starts of in "S Mode". So one or both of those things are probably the difference. Certainly, if you're going to run in S Mode, you will need to have a Microsoft account to get all of those approved "apps" (I sort of hate that word - they're programs!)

After I did the setup, I did go and switch the machine out of S mode before trying to download and install the Acronis software. So it all went fine.

What I lost is having an image of the "never-run" OS, that would fire up and walk a user through setting itself up. But I don't care about that.

And since I have the original SSD, I can always revert this machine back to haw it was right after setting it up. So I could now plug in the USB thumb drive that I have with the MS Media Creation version of Win 10 on it, and get the machine to boot from that and see if it will let me do a clean install that way. Nothing to lose, really.

That might be better because this version does have some annoying bloatware and adware on it that keeps trying to get me to set up Office, Dropbox, McAffee, etc. And now that I do have a MS account, I'm not sure what evil that may bring upon me. ;)

I know I'm going to want the extra RAM that I ordered. I tried running the programming environment for the PACs along with having Firefox running, and the machine sort of gagged. Checking with only Firefox running, it's using almost all of the RAM just by itself. So I hope the 16Gig of RAM I have on order does work in this machine. I'm sure that will be plenty!

Then again, maybe I really will need to have the "pro" version of Windows to run that software. If so, I don't know what it costs to upgrade, if anything. Perhaps the media creation tool will just slap it on here! That might be worth a try, but I suspect it would "know" what this machine is authorized to have, and only install in that mode (meaning Home).

But this really is a pretty nice little machine. It's fast, quiet, small, light, great display, etc. And it doesn't roast my lap when I'm using it. The old one I had really did get hot. I always put something flat under it to hold it away from me and give it better ventilation, which was kind of a pain. This thing must use a LOT less power. It stays rather cool to the touch.

It's nice to know that your external optical drive ran fine, powered from the USB port! That makes me wonder if it would also run some of my external mechanical HDDs, too.

I wonder if the "silent update" thing is true only in S mode, or if that's a "home" version thing. In Win 10 Pro, you can switch off updates. It just lets you know that updates are available, and you choose to allow the updates or not. So that may be another reason for getting "Pro".
 
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tigerwillow1

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The forced updates are part of the home version. From what I have read, if you have a license key from win 7 or 8 pro, that will let you do a free activation of win 10 pro. I don't need any of the pro features other than being able to shut updates off. Since I got the laptop because of the low price, I'm not inclined to add another $99 to it. There are some hacks I the internet I will look into someday down the road.
 

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I routinely get discounted 10Pro licenses on eBay. Seems a bit dodgy but they are valid MS licenses and I've never had a problem. Genera $10 or less. Pick one with lots of positive feedback.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6013 using Tapatalk
 

J Sigmo

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I may try and see if I can put Win10 Pro on my OLD beast of a laptop. It's got win 7 pro on it now.

I've already put extra money into the new little laptop with the bigger M2 SSD and the RAM I have on order. It's a nice machine, but knowing what I know now, and having spent extra money on it to upgrade it, I quite likely could have found an already fancier unit with 10 Pro on it for what I've spent, or maybe a bit more. Project specification creep. ;)
 

tigerwillow1

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Maybe I didn't write clearly. What I think I read is that you can use the win 7 pro license key to activate win 10 pro on the new laptop. No need to do it on the old machine. Here's where I read it:
How to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro for free | ZDNet

It says they verified it works about a year ago. I like the first sentence of the article: "If you purchase a new PC with Windows 10 Home preinstalled, prepare to be annoyed."

I got linux installed ok today. Just a lot of work setting up a new machine. When I'm traveling the only things I do online are web browsing and email, with firefox and thunderbird. So to solve the unwanted update problem I just have to make sure my hotspot is off if and when I have to boot into win 10. A lot of the win 10 preinstalled junk can't be deleted, which IS annoying. I'd totally dump win 10 except I sometimes run an app that isn't available for linux.
 

J Sigmo

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That's interesting. I was actually thinking of updating the old laptop, though, just to make it useful for longer. But it would also be worth considering updating the new laptop, too, to get pro on it.

I have several win 7 pro installs, so I could use one of those licenses to upgrade the laptop, and get an entirely new win 10 PC to replace one of the old desktops that have 7 pro now.

I end up needing Windows for a number of programs. But for surfing, I would actually prefer to use Linux with Firefox, and Thunderbird for email. I use those on Windows, anyhow.

What I could do is set up one of the old desktops with some flavor of linux, and use its win 7 pro license to put 10 Pro on the new laptop.

I need to play with linux and learn. I used a flavor of unix on a system where I worked back in the '70s and early '80s. But I remember nothing. :)
 

tigerwillow1

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I use the Mint Cinnamon flavor of linux. The UI is pretty close to windows UI.
 

J Sigmo

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I use the Mint Cinnamon flavor of linux. The UI is pretty close to windows UI.
I really need to play with and learn Linux.


I received and installed the two 8Gig RAM modules today. All seems to work just fine. I think that's the max you can install in this little laptop, so I've got it pretty well maxed out for what I'll want now.

It really is nice to finally have a small, light, low-power laptop. I'm not sure why I waited so long to upgrade.

The keyboard is quite nice, and I really do like that it's backlit. The display is also very nice.

I think I'll get a lot of good use and fun out of this little computer.
 

tigerwillow1

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I turned the little HP laptop over to my wife who's been using it for surfing and email a couple of days, on linux. It's a lot more responsive than the D830 she's been using and there's a risk I won't get it back. The responsiveness increase is from both linux and the faster machine. The way I might get it back is to keep showing her how much bigger the screen is on the D830. Today I saw that newegg has a 512 GB PCIe SSD, HP branded, for $35, and the 4 GB memory module for $25. I had quite a fight convincing myself to take a pass. Just kept repeating "Don't need it, don't need it.....". If you do install linux, I made an installation cheat-sheet that could save some time. Info on setting up the boot loader, enabling hibernation, etc. At this point I don't know whether to say "thank you fenderman" or "d*mn you fenderman", so I'll skip that part and just say how impressed I am with it for what it costs, and I never would have discovered it on my own.
 

J Sigmo

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I'm still unclear on how one would attach a PCIe or SATA device to this mobo. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place. Where's the connector one would use for that? Or do you need the special adapter cable spoken of earlier in the thread?

And... I doubt you're getting yours back any time soon. ;)
 

tigerwillow1

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For a 2-1/2" sata drive, you need the cable and bracket that HP no longer sells. I found some on ebay and the price is high enough to make it not worth it, in the $35 ballpark. After seeing that I didn't bother looking for the bracket. From the generic service manual it's an easy assumption that some variants of the machine shipped with with 2-1/2" drives instead of m.2 drives. For PCIe it would be an m.2 drive with PCIe interface. Looks like the socket will accept a PCIe drive, and the service manual implies it was at least an option from the factory. The risk is in the assumption that this specific machine won't work with a PCIe drive. It could be as easy as disabling it in the BIOS. One of the amazon reviews says this. Not the final word but sounds promising:

"There is a 2.5” SATA drive bay, but no cables or drive caddy are provided. The M.2 slot supports either SATA 3 or PCIe 3x4 NVMe drives.

I upgraded the M.2 drive to a Mushkin PCIe NVMe. Disk benchmarks are attached. While the serial transfer rates are exceedingly fast, the 4K random [low queue depth] are the more important values to consider for common work scenarios. The original Samsung PM871b is actually quite respectable."
 
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