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Old 12-30-2013, 03:17 PM   #1
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Default Yet another laptop advice thread

I know, I know. Before Joe comes in promoting the e4200 (or whatever machine he's still raving about) I'd like some more options.

My HP dv6617 is crapping out and I need something fresh(er).

I can spend ~$500 (might stretch to $600 if it ticks all my boxes)

Wishes:
  • sturdy to some degree
  • 15" screen
  • 200(ish)GB SSD (not negotiable)
  • 4-8 GB RAM (or at least upgradeable)
  • webcam that isn't complete ****
  • NO windows 8, vista or 7 preferred (unless there's only 8 and I need to get 'creative')
  • Preferred gigabit ethernet port
  • be quiet, I hate loud fans
  • No fancy glossy screen you can only see from 1 specific angle (current one is **** for tuning unless you bump up brightness all the way)
  • DVD player/burner (preferred, no absolute dealbreaker if the rest is awesome)
  • HDMI port, at least 4 USB ports

Weight and color are of no real concern, black and sub 12lbs preferred but again no dealbreaker.

I have no idea what's current in the processor business. i3/5/7?

It's mostly browsing/mail/tuning/movies/tv shows watching stuff. No serious gaming etc so onboard graphics is probably fine as long as it's able to play 1080p stuff. Current lappy is choppy, both with mp4 and youtube vids.

Does something like this exist in my price range or am I looking for a unicorn again?

Thanks x0x0
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:32 PM   #2
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there are a couple of issues: First I would recommend searching for a laptop that has a platter drive, and immediately upgrading the hard drive to the SSD - this will open up an additional galaxy of options for your search. By doing this, you're probably looking at saving $150 on the laptop, which you can immediately turn around and invest in a good quality SSD such as a Samsung 840 instead of accepting whatever crap SSD a computer comes with. YGWYPF in the SSD world. Try and get a laptop with an included recovery disk if possible to remove the hassle of installing everything on the new drive. Alternatively, use the windows utility to burn a full recovery dvd.

Your next problem will come with the screen style - that "fancy glossy screen" is used by every manufacturer because of its energy efficiency. Battery life sells laptops, viewing angle does not. You might still be able to find what you're looking for, but it's going to be in-store only. You can't judge a laptop screen by looking at a picture of it through another laptop screen.

If you're looking in-store only, you'll probably also be limited to Windows 8. Windows 7 is still very available online.

As a personal recommendation, I've had overwhelming success with gateway laptops. I still think gateway is an underrated brand. I'm also of the opinion that HP and Dell are the weak links in the computer market. Whenever someone asks me to look at their laptop for hardware issues (shot hard drive, power supply, keyboard/trackpad, etc.), it always seems to be a Dell or an HP - but that could be because there are simply more of them than anything else.
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:42 PM   #3
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Yes, I noticed the very second you choose a 120GB SSD over a 500GB spinny disk the price jumps ~$200. I might disregard HDD size when looking and buy a separate SSD.

I figured I'd start with a fresh install on the new laptop, disregarding any pre installed crap (or a fresh SSD to begin with) and just copy my profile and add programs as I need them. 'Finding' windows online shouldn't be a problem. I'd rather just start fresh then so to speak.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:54 AM   #4
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Ok, so far I've found the Dell inspiron 15 to tick most of my boxes:
  • 15.6" screen
  • i5 4200U, 3MB cache, upto 2.6Ghz
  • 6GB DDR3L at 1600MHz
  • 750GB SATA disk (will exchange for SSD anyway)
  • Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • 8x slimline dvd+/-rw-station
  • Dell™ Wireless 1705 802.11b/g/n with Bluetooth v4.0
  • 4x USB port, HDMI, RJ45 etc.

Comes in at €529, so just within my budget.

Second contender:

Gateway NE56R50u
  • i3 2.3Ghz 2348M 3MB cache
  • 4GB DDR RAM (expandable though
  • 500GB SATA disk (will replace with SSD)
  • Intel HD Graphics 3000
  • 3x USB, HDMI, VGA, RJ45 etc.

Comes in at $450ish, but I'm struggling to find a euro-based retailer.

Both come with windows aids, but I'm ditching that ASAP as I swap in a 250ish GB SSD.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:08 PM   #5
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Have you looked at the Dell E4200? Heck of a great machine.











(Snicker)
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:45 PM   #6
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The HP you posted has some very attractive numbers. If I wasn't an HP Hater, I'd say you found your winner.


Just a couple more options to add confusion to the fire:


Newegg.com - ThinkPad Edge E545 20B2 AMD A-Series A6-5350M (2.90GHz) 4GB Memory 320GB HDD 15.6" Notebook Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

It's a "ThinkPad" - this means it's visually unattractive.
AMD A6-5350M 2.9ghz
Radeon HD 8450G
Windows 7 64-bit
4x USB
HDMI
VGA
GB-LAN

$489



Refurbished (So basically "New"):
Newegg.com - Refurbished: TOSHIBA A665-S5184 Intel Core i7 2630QM (2.00GHz) 6GB Memory 500GB HDD 15.6" Notebook Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

This is not a thinkpad, is has some semblance of sexual appeal.
Intel Core i7 2630QM (2ghz)
6GB Ram
Intel HD 3000 graphics
Windows 7 64-bit
Non-GB LAN
BD reader, DVD writer
4x USB, HDMI, VGA

$529
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:56 PM   #7
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You mean the dell inspiron of my previous post? Looks like a winner so far too. The ones you posted look good too, trying to find that locally is proving rather difficult though
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:03 PM   #8
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Ordered the Dell. So what's good in the (laptop sized) SSD world? 250ish GB.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:38 PM   #9
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AFAIK, all SSDs are laptop sized. Buy the biggest you can afford in the Samsung 840 lineup.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:55 PM   #10
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Samsung 840 Evo in 250GB is about €140 here. Looks like another winner.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:43 PM   #11
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I just had one of these threads, I ended up getting my dad a refurb acer aspire. Its a few year old aluminum ultrabook, with windows 7.

I gave 350 for it in like new condition.. Has an i3 and a 120gb ssd drive, its only a 13" screen IIRC, weighed like 3 lbs. I really like it but it misses a few of your boxes.

The only fthing I dont like about it is no back lit keyboard.

maybe this one
Amazon.com: Acer Aspire E1-571-6607, 16 - Inch Notebook Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit, Intel Core i3 2348M(2.30GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD: Computers & Accessories Amazon.com: Acer Aspire E1-571-6607, 16 - Inch Notebook Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit, Intel Core i3 2348M(2.30GHz) 4GB Memory 500GB HDD: Computers & Accessories
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