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laptop help

Discussion in 'Technology' started by maser, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Feb 2, 2012 at 5:26 AM
    #1
    maser

    maser [OP] Hello, my name is Maser... and I'm an alcoholic

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    looking to spend a couple $$'s on a laptop/ netbook with tax return money and I need some advice. I've done a lot of searching and comparing of units on google and everywhere....and my question is, what machine is the best bang for the buck? <$500. Speed and memory.. Primarily used for working on doc's, social media, some gaming ( not hardcore ), and general web browsing. I was looking at Dell's XPS machines, but they're a little pricey. Thanks for any advise/ help I can get.
     
  2. Feb 2, 2012 at 5:33 AM
    #2
    jflames05

    jflames05 Active Member

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    I'd say a machine with at least 4-8gb of ram, a minimum of a 15.4in screen with a decent graphics/resolution.

    Other things I'd look for is about a 500GB of memory with about a >2.2GHz processor.

    I'm a big fan of Macs, but PC's are less money by a long shot. If you're buying new, its hard to find a super awesome comp for that, around the 700 range you can get something great!

    If you buy used make sure it has a care plan just in case something goes wrong.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. Feb 2, 2012 at 5:48 AM
    #3
    Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    Stock for now
    My last two laptops have been Dell XPS.
    I bought an XPS 15 w/ 1080p screen last Dec. Love it.
    My other was an XPS M1210 which was close to a netbook before they were netbooks.
    I am not a big gamer though, bought mostly for video & photo editing.
    Neither system has given me any trouble. The 5 yr old M1210 still works great though very legacy when it comes to technology.
    Yes they are priced above $500.
    Notebook review has very good forums & recommendations. It helped me make my decision.
     
  4. Feb 2, 2012 at 5:58 AM
    #4
    Rusty 06 4x4

    Rusty 06 4x4 NBHNC

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    The macbook is a great one after having about 5 dells in the past have had no problem with the mac at all
     
  5. Feb 2, 2012 at 6:23 AM
    #5
    maser

    maser [OP] Hello, my name is Maser... and I'm an alcoholic

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    I was looking at this http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834158184

    with an extended warranty of course. Any feedback on this? I am a complete noob when it comes to new machines.


    I'd say a machine with at least 4-8gb of ram, a minimum of a 15.4in screen with a decent graphics/resolution.
    Other things I'd look for is about a 500GB of memory with about a >2.2GHz processor.

    ^^^ I plugged in these parameters you gave me jflames, newegg gave me this. Be honest is this a POS ??
     
  6. Feb 2, 2012 at 6:33 AM
    #6
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    I've never been a fan of refurbs, but probably most are just open box items that have been returned and are being resold.
    I would go for something with an Intel processor, preferably an i5, but the i3s are pretty decent as well. Go for at least 4GB of RAM minimum, shooting for 8GB. And for hard drive you want to look for maybe 500GB or so, but make sure it's 7200RPM. Makes a big difference.
     
  7. Feb 2, 2012 at 6:49 AM
    #7
    maser

    maser [OP] Hello, my name is Maser... and I'm an alcoholic

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    I really appreciate all the good feedback guys. I knew to ask THIS forum ( most taco owners are very tech saavy ). I am more confused then ever..LMAO. I will take a few weeks to find the right machine.

    Looks like only higher-end machines run 7200rpm?? most that I'm finding are 5400...
     
  8. Feb 2, 2012 at 6:56 AM
    #8
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    5400 is sufficient but I think it's worth it to get the 7200. You can always get a 5400rpm laptop and in the future upgrade the hard drive to a 7200. I went from a 160GB 5400rpm drive to a 500GB 7200rpm drive in my laptop at home (4 years old now) and saw big improvement.
     
  9. Feb 2, 2012 at 6:59 AM
    #9
    CRU

    CRU Well-Known Member

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    Stay as far away from HP as possible. Dell, Lenovo, & Toshiba are all good. Acer and Asus are good bargain brands. That laptop is a refurb. I don't care for pre-broken products myself. The problem is you want a Porsche for the price of a Toyota. I'm not saying it's impossible, but deals like that are far and few between. If you want something that is also good for gaming, you'll have to spend at least 700-800 to start. Try to find minimum i5 processor. Minimum 4g of ram though 8 would be better. Having a dedicated video card would also help for gaming. Don't worry about having a huge hard drive. Smaller will help save you some money. But it's hard to find one under 500g these days. If you drop the gaming requirement, you can find a lot of decent machines for under 5 bills.
     
  10. Feb 2, 2012 at 7:04 AM
    #10
    maser

    maser [OP] Hello, my name is Maser... and I'm an alcoholic

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    Hmm, with that being said...what parts of the machine are not easily upgradable? I can focus on them, and in time, upgrade things to put together the machine I want.
     
  11. Feb 2, 2012 at 7:08 AM
    #11
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    hard drive and memory are easily upgradable. Anything more than that is getting tricky. For RAM you need to make sure you got the same type (DDR2, DDR3, etc...) and different motherboards can only accept certain types and sizes. So if there are two DIMM slots and 8GB max memory, it'll accept 2 4GB chips...if that makes sense. For hard drive just make a backup of your drive onto an external (Ghost, Acronis, etc...), pop in the new drive, restore your image to the new drive, voila, you're back up and running.
     
  12. Feb 2, 2012 at 7:08 AM
    #12
    CRU

    CRU Well-Known Member

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    I assume you mean for a noob. Everything except the memory. Memory is incredibly easy to upgrade. Hard drive is easy to switch but reloading the OS can be a pain if you don't know what you are doing.
     
  13. Feb 2, 2012 at 7:16 AM
    #13
    maser

    maser [OP] Hello, my name is Maser... and I'm an alcoholic

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    Thanks for the heads up on HP. I did notice a lot of refurb from newegg is HP...coincidence? IDK. I'm not looking for a Porsche ( would be nice ), I think that's just my lack of knowledge on machines coming to light :eek:. Bang for the buck....and is newegg the place I should be looking?

    You guys have already helped me greatly by telling what to look for. I really appreciate it. There is nothing worse than dropping $$$ on a POS that ur stuck with.
     
  14. Feb 2, 2012 at 7:46 AM
    #14
    CRU

    CRU Well-Known Member

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    Newegg is a good place to start. It just depends on who has a good deal going. Tech Depot, CDW, even Buy.com can have a deal. If you are shopping for a Dell, go to them directly. Also look for online coupons. Dell will sometimes have great coupon deals. I once bought a 1500 laptop from Dell for only 750 cause of a one day 50% off coupon they were offering. Just do a google search for Dell coupons, CDW coupons, etc.
     
  15. Feb 2, 2012 at 8:34 AM
    #15
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    Other good places to look, although I haven't looked in a while so I have no idea whats out there, are places like dealcatcher.com and techbargains.com
     
  16. Feb 2, 2012 at 8:39 AM
    #16
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    I just looked at techbargains and found this: http://www.techbargains.com/news_displayItem.cfm/284528
    Its slightly more than what youre looking to spend but it's got an i5, 750GB hard drive (7200rpm according to the link to Dells website), 4GB of RAM (looks to be upgradable to 8GB), NVIDIA graphics, and HDMI (if you want to attach to a HDTV).
     
  17. Feb 2, 2012 at 8:44 AM
    #17
    TacoCat

    TacoCat Look away, I'm hideous!

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    And if you wanted to upgrade the memory later I just priced out 8GB (two 4GB sticks) of DDR3 RAM on Newegg for less than $50 for the name brand stuff.
    Dell wants $120 to upgrade from 4GB to 8GB :laugh:
     
  18. Feb 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM
    #18
    Simon's Mom

    Simon's Mom Wag More Bark Less

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    Not all cases are created equal meaning some make upgrading easy others not so much.
    It can be done but not always pnp
    The notebook review site or cnet gives reviews on all aspect plus the discussion forums on the notebook review site are mfg specific and look a lot like TW.
    I have posted over there quite a bit & have gotten some good diy stuff for upgrades or what models are having problems.
    The even cover budget systems.
     
  19. Feb 2, 2012 at 11:40 AM
    #19
    tostidos

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    OP do you do any traveling? a big screen isn't always the best. my 13" macbook is the right size.
     
  20. Feb 2, 2012 at 11:44 AM
    #20
    pyroskier

    pyroskier Well-Known Member

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    OP said he wants to do a little gaming... Silly Mac people... :rolleyes:

    Keep checking Newegg, they run some great deals. Stay away from big name brands (HP, Dell, Sony). Go with an ASUS or MSI. Bulletproof machines, great warranty, and they're about $500 cheaper than the big names, because they don't charge you out the ass to put their fancy logo in it like Apple does.

    Also, tigerdirect is a good place to look.

    I order custom laptops from xoticpc.com, but they're SUPER top-notch and pretty pricey...
     
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