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  1. #1
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Default So I'm buying a new laptop...

    But which one!

    (Before anyone says it, I don't want a Macbook. I'm not too fond of dishing out $1,000+ for anything, esp something that'll technically be obselete in a few years. I'm just a student. I don't do any extensive video/audio editing and thus don't need one. Unless you have such a compelling argument as to why I should go Mac that you're convinced I'll be convinced, don't bring it up.)

    I've been doing a little research and have an idea of what I want (Intel Core i3, 14 to 16 inch screen, at least 3GB of RAM with 64 bit operating system, Windows 7, nice quality webcam, reasonable battery life, optical drive), but even still the whole process kind of intimidates me. I'm afraid I'll end up with something that doesn't suit my needs just because I'm being cheap.

    Anyway, does anyone have any thoughts about or suggestions on what type (as in power/desktop replacement, ultraportable, etc.) and brand of laptop I should buy?

  2. #2
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    For $350 you will be hard pressed to beat this Compaq I just bought.
    I absolutely love it.

    Compaq - Factory-Refurbished Laptop / AMD Athlon™ II Processor / 15.6" Display / 3GB Memory / 250GB Hard Drive
    Model: cq62-209wm | SKU: 1272095

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Compaq+-...&skuId=1272095

    What's Included
    •Compaq Factory-Refurbished Laptop / AMD Athlon™ II Processor / 15.6" Display / 3GB Memory / 250GB Hard Drive
    •6-cell lithium-ion battery
    •65W AC adapter
    •Software: Adobe Reader; Adobe Flash; Microsoft Silverlight; Cyberlink DVD and more
    •Owner's manual
    Product Features
    •From our expanded online assortment; not available in all Best Buy stores
    •VISION Technology by AMD
    Makes your digital photos and Web sites look amazing and gives a boost to digital music playback.
    •AMD Athlon™ II dual-core processor P320*
    For enhanced performance.
    •3GB DDR3 memory
    For multitasking power, expandable to 8GB.
    •Multiformat DVD±RW/CD-RW drive with double-layer support
    Records up to 8.5GB of data or 4 hours of video using compatible DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL media; also supports LightScribe direct-disc labels using compatible LightScribe media.
    •15.6" LED high-definition display
    With BrightView technology and 1366 x 768 resolution showcases movies and games in stunning clarity.
    •250GB hard drive (7200 rpm)
    For fast read/write times.
    •ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 graphics
    Feature up to 1405MB video memory for lush images.
    •One-touch launch keys
    Open your frequent applications with the touch of a button.
    •Built-in high-speed wireless LAN (802.11b/g/n)
    Connect to the Internet without wires.
    •Built-in 10/100 Ethernet LAN with 56 Kbps modem
    For quick and easy wired Web connection.
    •Weighs 5.5 lbs. and measures just 1.4" thin
    For easy portability.
    •Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit operating system preinstalled
    Provides a stable platform for word processing, Web navigation, gaming, media storage and more.
    •Software package included
    With Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, Cyberlink DVD and more. 60-day trial version of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2007 included.
    •AMD, AMD Arrow logo, AMD Athlon, QuantiSpeed, AMD PowerNow! and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  3. #3
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Default

    My mom actually recommended this one. Which is ironic, seeing as how she knows nothing about computers beyond Microsoft Word & Yahoo Mail.

    I'll look into this one more. How are the quality of your webcam pictures? And what's the battery life?

  4. #4
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by neptunesnet View Post
    My mom actually recommended this one. Which is ironic, seeing as how she knows nothing about computers beyond Microsoft Word & Yahoo Mail.

    I'll look into this one more. How are the quality of your webcam pictures? And what's the battery life?
    I don't ever use a webcam.
    I honestly have no idea if this laptop has one or not.
    From the specs above I don't think it does.
    I'm old school I guess.
    I don't know how important a webcam is to you.
    For the price of this system if the webcam is the only thing it is missing, what would it cost to get a USB webcam nowadays?
    I dunno.

    Regarding battery, I have been able to run mine for about 1 hour and 45 minutes without the battery, using Windows 7 and MS Word + MS Excel.
    CD-burning uses up alot of power.
    With the right power settings it is OK as far as battery life is concerned.
    --------------------
    Type Stats:
    MBTI -> (E) 77.14% | (i) 22.86% ; (S) 60% | (n) 40% ; (T) 72.22% | (f) 27.78% ; (P) 51.43% | (j) 48.57%
    BIG 5 -> Extroversion 77% ; Accommodation 60% ; Orderliness 62% ; Emotional Stability 64% ; Open Mindedness 74%

    Quotes:
    "If somebody asks your MBTI type on a first date, run". -Donna Cecilia
    "Enneagram is psychological underpinnings. Cognitive Functions are mental reasoning and perceptional processes. -Sanjuro

  5. #5

    Default

    Cheap normally equals cheap, but you can reduce the price sensibly by not spending on what you don't need.

    If possible I'd go for something that has low power usage. It means better battery life, less heat and less fan noise while trying to think. The mobile i5 is not a bad processor choice for this (i3 might be enough), and get a mobile graphics card that will run well on windows 7, but is low power rather than built for high end gaming. You also want to watch the weight. If you are a student you don't want to lug around something too heavy (ie. the decision should be do I need my computer with me today, not can I be bothered carrying it). Third thing would be the screen type. If you get something with a really cheap screen, the text might look blurry; you will also never get the right colours out of it, but I'm more picky about colour because I use it for photography. Maybe just check one of the models you are getting in a shop to see if the screen is okay. Also check for ghosting in video if you use it for watching movies and webcam.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  6. #6
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Default

    I just bought this Vaio with similar specs to the ones you listed. Best Buy has black and white versions..If it matters, you could customize something similar for a little more on the Sony website.

    This HP is cheaper than the Sony, but still an i3 laptop with webcam and better battery life (over 5 hrs). Might be more up your alley. And here's a Toshiba with similar features and 6 hr battery life. The difference is that the Sony has 4g and some wireless hdtv features you probably don't need. The Sony screen is probably better too. That, and cheaper Toshibas kind of feel like they're made with flimsy plastic.

    As for categories, I guess this $500-700 range is "high end budget". The avg person can't go wrong with them. So don't worry about being cheap, you can still get something decent for it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TopherRed's Avatar
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    Default

    Might want to look into Acer laptops too...they tend to specialize in affordable. Specs, I'm not too familar with.
    Love is the point.

  8. #8
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for your suggestions, but I bought a laptop! Actually bought it about a week ago.

    She's an HP Pavilion dv5, and she's everything I wanted! (Intel Core i3, 14.5 inches, 4 GB of RAM with 64 bit operating system, up to 4.5 hours of battery life, Windows 7, optical drive, under $700)



    My only complaint is that I wish the webcam were better. But other than that, she's great!

  9. #9
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Default

    I just got a new laptop for $1700 (Australian).

    Toshiba, 18.5" screen, 1TB HDD with a thing that removes the head if it falls to prevent data corruption, 6GB DDR3 RAM, 2.4GHz intel i7 processor, webcam, thumbprint recognition, Windows 7, Blu-Ray drive, backlit keboard, some other specs that I forget... Anyway, I'm very happy with it. The cheapest I found the same computer outside of where I got it was $2200.
    JiNe
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    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

  10. #10
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I know you said not to say it but Macbook Pro is the best. Your PC is far less likely to be riddled with spyware or malware which is actually worth something.

    Please provide feedback on my Nohari and Johari Window by clicking here: Nohari/Johari

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