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Author Topic: New Laptop Recommendations?  (Read 12670 times)

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eHalcyon

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New Laptop Recommendations?
« on: April 16, 2013, 12:13:39 pm »
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My current laptop is having tremendous difficulties. I think it's time to get a new one. Any recommendations?

Gaming need is low - sometimes I play League of Legends, but that's about it. I am online a lot. 

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mcmcsalot

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 01:23:41 pm »
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The first question is do you want to use a Mac or pc.

If you want a Mac the next question is what is your price range and how large a laptop do you like.

If you want a Pc I would suggest no matter what you want to get get an hp. It is a very reliable brand with good pricing and a solid range of casual to high intensity computing. I cannot suggest an exact model as I am not on the website right now but will when I get home. Things I would suggest is to make sure the computer has an I5 or I7 processor and then go from there. If you ever feel like projecting your computer screen to a tv, I suggest getting a laptop with intel widi software(I personally have an older I3 without the software and have no way to project my computer screen to a tv for under 150$) if you do decide on an hp read the reviews, most of there computers look similar in specs but can be a big difference in usability.
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Robz888

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 01:25:38 pm »
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I just got the Toshiba Satellite P875-S7102.

I'm a very hard person to please, when laptops are concerned. But so far, I am very satisfied with it. It's drawback is low battery life. It's plus (IMO), is it's huge, huge screen.
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theory

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2013, 01:27:56 pm »
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I tend to lurk on slickdeals or fatwallet or something when buying a big-ticket item.  After picking out some features I need, I wait until I see one with those desired features and then pull the trigger.
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mcmcsalot

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2013, 01:40:50 pm »
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First off good to see you move away for those god awful dells. Second if you check, you laptop is an I7 processor with intel hd graphics that support widi. It's the exact laptop you can get from hp.

Difference between hp and toshiba:
Hp is cheaper by about 100$
Hp has more compatible software
Hp allows customizable options for all specs of all computers.
Toshiba has structurally better laptops which will last longer
Toshiba has better audio and visual output(physical speakers and screen)

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Ozle

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2013, 01:49:26 pm »
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I always go the other way to these things.

How much do you want to spend, whats the budget, and then work backwards on the most important features.
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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 01:56:55 pm »
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My HP tx1000 has a faulty gpu heatsink which caused me to send in my laptop for repairs. HP was so kind as to give me a new hard drive instead of fixing the board.

Laptops can be convenient, but I don't think I'll be buying another one anytime soon. I've had two give up on me. My Gateway laptop was a wonderful machine, until the hinge broke and the screen didn't know when to turn on or off.
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mcmcsalot

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 02:00:21 pm »
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Soo here's something I just stumled upon for decent reference.

http://us.toshiba.com/computers/laptops/satellite/P870/P875-S7102/
That is the computer Robz mentioned

http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/C2Y80AV;pgid=c7twGfjc0ptSRpIq7ZUcoGXQ0000ejjXTUBF;sid=gUb2XaRhH1hCfPUMDrRf1XxutVozCJB9RBOynlH0i5179mIQDHO6hhY-?HP-ENVY-dv7t-7300-Quad-Edition-Notebook-PC
That is a computer 100% identical aside from the outer shell and brand name for 125$ less.

Two things are to be learned from this; one Hp has changing deals on their computers almost all the time, find the one you want and watch for a deal on it you like, and two robz you should really talk to me when your getting a new computer.
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theory

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 02:04:39 pm »
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I always go the other way to these things.

How much do you want to spend, whats the budget, and then work backwards on the most important features.

To me the budget is too hard to define.  Everyone wants to pay less and everyone wants to do more.  Plus, if you tell yourself, I won't spend more than $X, you end up spending very close to $X-1.

For me I prefer to try to identify which features are important to me, which games I might want to play, and try to benchmark.  So by far the most important feature is size/weight: what kind of form factor do you want?  Very big laptops and very small laptops are both quite pricey.  Then I look at benchmarks: can this play TF2 or LoL?  Then I get a sense of what the average cost is for this type of computer via Newegg/Amazon MSRPs, and then I lurk slickdeals and wait for a computer in that ballpark to drop in price substantially.
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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 02:06:12 pm »
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I think the suggestions here are pretty overkill for what seem to be your requirements.
For your applications (surfing the internet) you don't need that much processing power. I think the most important features you should be looking at are screen size and weight. A non-reflecting display is pretty cool as well, but they are hard to find.
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Taco Lobster

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 02:17:29 pm »
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I'd also recommend taking battery life into account.  I bought a new laptop recently, and went through a process where I determined I wanted something lightweight and durable with a long battery life.  Then I somehow managed to get obsessed with having a ten-key and bought on the basis of that after a long day of shopping.  The results have been less than ideal...
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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 02:17:43 pm »
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Soo here's something I just stumled upon for decent reference.

http://us.toshiba.com/computers/laptops/satellite/P870/P875-S7102/
That is the computer Robz mentioned

http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/C2Y80AV;pgid=c7twGfjc0ptSRpIq7ZUcoGXQ0000ejjXTUBF;sid=gUb2XaRhH1hCfPUMDrRf1XxutVozCJB9RBOynlH0i5179mIQDHO6hhY-?HP-ENVY-dv7t-7300-Quad-Edition-Notebook-PC
That is a computer 100% identical aside from the outer shell and brand name for 125$ less.

Two things are to be learned from this; one Hp has changing deals on their computers almost all the time, find the one you want and watch for a deal on it you like, and two robz you should really talk to me when your getting a new computer.

Yeah, I didn't pay that much for it. It only cost $750 or so when I bought it.
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eHalcyon

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 02:33:53 pm »
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I'm probably looking around the $1000 CAD range.

I'm currently looking hard at the Toshiba Satellite Z930.  $1000, but there is this little note on Futureshop that says "Save $250" (that is, $1000 after the sale)...

I know buying from a store like this is not really cost effective, but it is convenient. :P

Pros: i& core, good size SSD.
Cons: pretty expensive?

It also lacks an optical drive, which scares me a bit, but it's probably better for me overall.  I don't really use a drive much so I can certainly get away with using an external optical.



Any thoughts on the benefits of a SSD?
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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 03:05:55 pm »
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I always go the other way to these things.

How much do you want to spend, whats the budget, and then work backwards on the most important features.
I don't think that's a good way. When I'm deciding on a bigger purchase such as a laptop, I always start by thinking what I want from the product, then thinking whether or not I can afford it. This way, I can make sure I'm not spending money on something that I'm not completely happy with, and thus, I don't ever have to buy a more expensive version of the same product because of dissatisfaction with the cheaper version (or even the cheaper version breaking down because of low quality). Often, this means that I just won't buy a laptop at all when I can't afford the laptop I want, but I'd rather have no laptop at all than a laptop that doesn't fulfill my needs.
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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 03:25:42 pm »
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I'm probably looking around the $1000 CAD range.

I'm currently looking hard at the Toshiba Satellite Z930.  $1000, but there is this little note on Futureshop that says "Save $250" (that is, $1000 after the sale)...

I know buying from a store like this is not really cost effective, but it is convenient. :P

Pros: i& core, good size SSD.
Cons: pretty expensive?

It also lacks an optical drive, which scares me a bit, but it's probably better for me overall.  I don't really use a drive much so I can certainly get away with using an external optical.



Any thoughts on the benefits of a SSD?
SSD is useful if you use your disk intensively. That means constantly opening and closing stuff. If on the other hand you have a set number of programs open at all times, like mail and a browser, they're only slow on start, you keep them in memory anyway.

Memory is also good to pay attention to. 4GB is pretty sufficient for day to day office-like usage, but if you are a developer with a lot of stuff open, you really need 8.

Processor speed, less important, mainly because all semi-decent laptops have semi-decent processors anyway! And there haven't been that many revolutions in the processing world lately. Yes, more cores is fun, but most software is not optimized to make good use of cores anyway.

My own laptop is about 3 years old, but still suffices for most of my day to day usage, just to give you an idea about longevity and that a "mediocre" laptop may even be good enough.

What you want to do is also maybe not a good way to assess a new laptop. You may find you want to do more once you have one and explored its capabilities. But as long as you're not doing too specialist stuff like graphics design or film editing, an average laptop is good enough.

Gaming is an important factor as you have to decide whether to get onboard graphics or a 3d-card.
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Ozle

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2013, 03:40:40 pm »
+5

You can buy mine off me if you like, $50

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eHalcyon

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2013, 09:06:35 pm »
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Interested, Ozle, but I think the shipping would kill me! ;)



Currently considering this Samsung laptop but maybe it is too expensive.  Hm.
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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2013, 09:36:07 pm »
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Interested, Ozle, but I think the shipping would kill me! ;)



Currently considering this Samsung laptop but maybe it is too expensive.  Hm.

Oh gosh that's overpriced the dual cores are not that useful and as davio said, 4gb of ram is definitely not standard for a high performance laptop. Screen size is a personal preference but 13.3 is a bit middling for that price range
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eHalcyon

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2013, 10:17:50 pm »
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Interested, Ozle, but I think the shipping would kill me! ;)



Currently considering this Samsung laptop but maybe it is too expensive.  Hm.

Oh gosh that's overpriced the dual cores are not that useful and as davio said, 4gb of ram is definitely not standard for a high performance laptop. Screen size is a personal preference but 13.3 is a bit middling for that price range

Are you taking into account that the price is in CAD?  Err, well I guess CAD and USD are still pretty close right now.



Hmm, so I guess what I'm looking for is:

i5 or i7 processor
6-8gb ram?
vga output would be nice (sometimes I need to work with projectors that take vga input)

I'm pretty interested in getting something with a SSD.  And I think 13.3 is a good screen size for me, actually.  And as per Davio's advice, no worries about multiple cores?



Edit: how overpriced do you think that Samsung laptop is?  Checking it out in store, I actually quite like its look and feel.  It does have a matte screen. :P  Reviews online for it seem to be good too.  The main complaints I see are about the keyboard and touchpad, which are not deal breakers for me.



Edit:

And I found it for $50 cheaper at Memory Express, but that's a sale price from a regular price of a whopping $1500.  Wow...
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 11:26:25 pm by eHalcyon »
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Davio

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2013, 02:21:49 am »
+1

You can buy mine off me if you like, $50


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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2013, 06:14:08 am »
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This is intended to be helpful rather than evangelism.

I'm using a 7 year old machine.  It crawled on XP even when new, but 6 months in I installed Ubuntu and haven't looked back.  About a year ago it was getting a little slow, but then I increased the RAM from 512MB to 2GB and now it flies.  So you absolutely don't need top end hardware if all you want to do is text-editing and web browsing (or playing Goko Dominion).

The disadvantages are that I have no battery life to speak of, and that a lot of games you might be interested in still require Windows.
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eHalcyon

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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2013, 10:07:45 am »
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This is intended to be helpful rather than evangelism.

I'm using a 7 year old machine.  It crawled on XP even when new, but 6 months in I installed Ubuntu and haven't looked back.  About a year ago it was getting a little slow, but then I increased the RAM from 512MB to 2GB and now it flies.  So you absolutely don't need top end hardware if all you want to do is text-editing and web browsing (or playing Goko Dominion).

The disadvantages are that I have no battery life to speak of, and that a lot of games you might be interested in still require Windows.

Haha yes. I was already planning on trying Ubuntu on my current machine to see if it would be happier. But I would like to have Windows for general ease.
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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2013, 10:26:56 am »
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I installed Ubuntu into a brand new Acer Aspire S5 and everything worked with minimum effort. The computer is great, incredibly light and it absolutely flies with the Linux (it also worked with that ugly Windows it came with, although it took a little longer to sleep and wake up and I've only used it for an hour to try everything before formatting). Battery seems to last 4+ hours while using wifi.
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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2013, 03:07:55 pm »
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This is intended to be helpful rather than evangelism.

I'm using a 7 year old machine.  It crawled on XP even when new, but 6 months in I installed Ubuntu and haven't looked back.  About a year ago it was getting a little slow, but then I increased the RAM from 512MB to 2GB and now it flies.  So you absolutely don't need top end hardware if all you want to do is text-editing and web browsing (or playing Goko Dominion).

The disadvantages are that I have no battery life to speak of, and that a lot of games you might be interested in still require Windows.

Haha yes. I was already planning on trying Ubuntu on my current machine to see if it would be happier. But I would like to have Windows for general ease.
I'm a Windows guy de facto, meaning I basically have to use it for day to day use.
I program with Visual Studio, I use Outlook and other MS Office products, Remote Desktop a lot, etc...

But if you don't need to use any Windows specific programs and find you're mainly using your browser, a Linux distribution is nothing to be scared about. A decade ago you really had to be a geek to even be able to install Linux but nowadays the distributions are a lot more user friendly.

You can get Live CDs to try it out and see if it's something you would enjoy and if you do you can go ahead and install it. I would highly recommend Ubuntu or any other common distro if you find that you don't need the Windows programs all that much. You might need to tap into the terminal every now and then, but oh well.

The beauty about Linux is that it seems so modular. With Windows if you update one little thing, you have to reboot the entire system. It seems a lot more easy in Linux to start, stop and update things without having to restart the laptop.

And it's even free! If I'm not wrong you pay for support but not the OS itself, correct? Or at least, that's how I thought it worked.
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Re: New Laptop Recommendations?
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2013, 03:19:16 pm »
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If you don't need it for gaming, and if you don't need it for work I would say at the moment Linux > Windows for the average user.

Of course people are scared because it's different than they are known, but for Office, Image, Mail, Browser, Messenger you have everything you need, and for the standard user it's more than enough if you don't need 100% compatibility to someone using MS Office or Photoshop.

But the big plus is the Software Centre, you just install what you need and don't need to find it from 3rd party sides, and more importantly (that's the '>' above) you get updates automatically and don't have Flash, Acrobat, Adobe Download Manager, Adobe Download Manager Manager [recent relevant xkcd somewhere], Java, Mozilla et al installing their own update routines and trying to transform your browser into a set of toolbars if you forget to unclick some checkboxes.
And you can c&p scripts form f.ds on how to search for your gamelogs...

Edit: I think the biggest problem is that you have to run some obscure script for some video codecs because of some patent issues before you can view all videos.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 03:24:05 pm by DStu »
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