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My trusty old HP Pavilion is becoming long in the tooth and I am looking for a suitable, 14" or smaller laptop to replace it. The ASUS ZenBook UX430 and Lenovo Flex 14 has caught my eye for its great specs and reasonable price, but I hope that is not coming at the expense of build quality or poor warranty support (I have no prior experience with ASUS laptops but their desktop components have been rock-solid so I have never had to deal with their customer service).

Dell is also offering their entry-level XPS 13 model for ~$799 on sale (same price as the ASUS) but with half the SSD space (128GB instead of 256GB) and an i5-7200U instead of an i7-7500U, but I have heard excellent things about Dell build quality and warranty support. Both laptops come with a 1-year manufacturer warranty. The Lenovo comes with the i5-8250u quad-core, but again raw processor speed is less important than build quality/durability and warranty support.

Build quality and warranty is important to me and I would not mind sacrificing some performance for peace of mind, but all else being equal I would prefer the ASUS or Lenovo over the Dell for the extra storage capacity.

So for anyone with experience with laptops from these two manufacturers, I would appreciate any input/advice/suggestions, particularly with the following questions:

  • How is ASUS build quality / durability vs. Lenovo?
  • Is their warranty for laptops any good?
  • Is the Dell build quality and warranty support really that much better than ASUS?
  • Does upgrading RAM/SSD void ASUS warranty (I can't find a definite answer to this)?
I will mainly be using it for basic productivity tasks, internet browsing, watching / streaming movies, some photoshop work and maybe some light 3D Studio Max work. I have a desktop for heavy lifting, so portability and durability/build quality is more important than raw computing horsepower.

Thanks in advance!
 
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