Questions about buying a laptop.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Firestar, Aug 19, 2011.

?

Which manufacturer do you prefer?

  1. Lenovo

    24 vote(s)
    64.9%
  2. Asus

    6 vote(s)
    16.2%
  3. Acer

    2 vote(s)
    5.4%
  4. HP

    4 vote(s)
    10.8%
  5. Dell

    5 vote(s)
    13.5%
  6. Toshiba

    10 vote(s)
    27.0%
  7. Sony

    8 vote(s)
    21.6%
  8. Samsung

    7 vote(s)
    18.9%
  1. Firestar, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011

    Firestar macrumors 68020

    Firestar

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    221B Baker Street.
    #1
    Many, many questions.

    I'm a student, so what I'll probably be doing on this computer include MR, Youtube, MS Office, etc. Probably a flash game every once in a while.

    1. Proccessor. What processor-i3, or i5? (I know I won't need an i7.) Realistically, I would prefer an i5, but do you really think I need it? I'd rather not spend the extra if you don't think I'll really need it.
    2. RAM. 3GB, 4GB, or 6GB? It seems that there wouldn't be much difference between 3 and 4, and they don't seem to be a common offering. 4 should be fine, I think.
    3. Manufacturer. I've been thinking mainly about Toshiba, Dell, HP, and Sony. But Sony's more on the expensive side, so do you think it's worth the extra for Sony?
    4. Hard drive. I'll probably be using this for a few years, so do you suggest 320GB or 500GB, because I doubt I'll use 1TB.
    5. Accesories. What do you think is nessacary for a laptop? Do cooling docks help that much? Are keyboard covers difficult to use? Do you think I'd need an external hard drive?
    6. Wi-fi router. This is probably the area I'm the most clueless about. Suggestions? Really, I should be the only one using the router, but my brother might occasionally use it.
    More will probably be added soon, but that should be it for now.

    Edit: Oh, and my budget for the laptop itself will probably from anywhere to $600.
     
  2. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #2
    See response in red, twin
    If $600 is your budget, might I suggest: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/HP+-+La...otti/1623867.p?id=1218273846897&skuId=1623867
     
  3. Firestar thread starter macrumors 68020

    Firestar

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    221B Baker Street.
    #3
    Much appreciated.

    As for the RAM, I think I'm going to just go with 4GB anyways, because 3GB isn't a very common offering, and even if it is offered it won't make much of a difference.

    I'll look at Lenovo.

    I'm leaning towards 500GB for the hard drive, it doesn't seem to be much of a price difference, and it seems worth it for an extra 180GB.

    I think the only accesories I'll use are a keyboard cover, maybe a screen protector, and probably a sleeve.

    Thanks for being specific on the router. :p

    Does anyone reccomend any router manufacturers? It seems like Linksys would be a good choice.
     
  4. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Totalitarian Republic of Northlandia
    #6
    You should check out Lenovos - they have pretty boring looks, but they have marvelous build quality. Much better than HP, Dell and Toshiba (the latter being absolute crap IMO). Sony models are nice too (my roommate has one), but I wouldn't buy one for ethical reasons.
     
  5. Firestar, Aug 19, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011

    Firestar thread starter macrumors 68020

    Firestar

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    221B Baker Street.
    #7
    Alright. I just checked out Lenovo and they seem to have a fairly decent price.

    Edit: I have a question about processors. On some of the i3's, they have different specs like 2140M, so should I just look at the GHz as the final decision?

    That sounds really confusing...
     
  6. borisiii macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    #8
    In general faster is better, although there are some exceptions.

    Look for a second generation core processor, with a model number iX-2XXX, such as an i3-2330. Anything without the 2, such as an i3-370 is last year's technology and is significantly slower. Also avoid anything which is core 2 duo (old), pentium (slow), and celeron (very slow). I would also only buy intel and steer clear of AMD.

    Another +1 for a Lenovo. They are built like rocks, and the thinkpads have spill-proof keyboards so if you drop a drink on it, the liquid just drains out the bottom.
     
  7. Firestar thread starter macrumors 68020

    Firestar

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    221B Baker Street.
    #9
    That helped a lot. Thanks.
     
  8. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #10
    Why would you avoid AMD?
     
  9. Fugue macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    #11
    The only two manufactures that come close to Apple's build quality are Lenovo and Sony. That, and some of the higher cost Dell notebooks. I would steer clear of HP, particularly now, since they are withdrawing from the hardware business.

    As far as processors go, I only recommend Intel - preferably the new Sandy Bridge i3, i5, and i7 ones. i3 will be sufficient for most of your needs, but i5 is usually not much more expensive and provides at least a bit of future proofing. AMD processors are not as efficient, they are not nearly as quick, and I have seen many freezes on Windows 7 due to them. If you are planning on doing some gaming, then go AMD as they tend to push out better FPS because they come bundled (usually) with better graphics.

    I wouldn't worry much about RAM as it is easily, and cheaply, upgradable. For you, 4GB would be plenty.

    Hard Drive? Personally, 100 GB is more than enough for me, which is why I use an SSD. Most PC's come with 320 GB +, and if you need more you can easily upgrade or buy an external HDD.

    Wish I could tell you more about routers, but I know almost nothing about them. I have a Linksys at home, but it wasn't me who configured it so I am clueless about how it works.

    Check out Best Buy clearance and open box items for really good deals on notebooks. I remember buying my old Sony Vaio from them for $500 on sale and reselling it for over $800 on eBay. Also look out for Newegg daily deals and Egg Shockers. I would tell you to wait for Black Friday to buy a really good laptop for pennies, but you probably need one promptly.

    Hope this helps at least a bit.
     
  10. boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    #12
    A Lenovo Thinkpad is possibly the best laptop around. I wish I had known about them before I bought my HP.
     
  11. borisiii macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    #13
    In theory there is nothing wrong with AMD. I know many people rave about them, but I have owned two AMD computers and both have given me loads of trouble. That said, their GPUs are excellent.

    The first was a desktop running windows xp. Despite having a nearly top of the range CPU, it was unbearably slow. It wasn't noticeably faster than the aging pentium 4 it replaced, despite being dual core. I sent it back to Lenovo to make sure it wasn't a lemon - they confirmed it was working as expected and replaced it with an identical one as a gesture of good will, which was just as slow. A week after the one-year warranty expired the logic board fried itself. Lenovo offered to credit the price of that desktop towards a new one, so I bought another thinkcentre, this time with a core 2 duo. It was unbelievably fast by comparison, and almost five years on still runs windows 7 really well. This story also shows why I rate Lenovo so highly.

    The second was a toshiba laptop I was given to use by a company I interned at. Again, it was a reasonably high-end model but it just ran really slow, and couldn't handle video conferencing or any web video, and ran so hot that it couldn't sit on your lap; the fans would roar even when I was just using excel and email.

    Your mileage may vary, but based on those two experiences, I won't be buying a computer with an AMD processor any time soon.
     
  12. andalusia macrumors 68030

    andalusia

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #14
    Ah I see. I understand your concerns then.
     
  13. Firestar thread starter macrumors 68020

    Firestar

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    221B Baker Street.
    #15
    I think I'll lean towards Lenovo, as they seem to be a little bit cheaper than Sony especially with their weekly discounts.

    I've been trying to lean towards Intel, and I doubt I'll be doing very much gaming, if any at all.

    That's what I thought, the computer I'm using right now has 4GB, and it's running pretty decently.

    I wasn't exactly sure about HD's, I doubt I'll use more than 150GB, but from 320GB to 500GB was like a ten dollar upgrade, so it wasn't a big deal.

    That's fine.

    I've mainly been checking TigerDirect and BB, and Lenovo itself. I do plan to buy one around the months before Christmas, probably Black Friday. I actually need a few months to gain the money I need to buy a laptop, so I won't bet that prompt.

    It helped very much. Thanks.

    ThinkPads seemed to be a little bit more high-costing, but that might change around the time I am to buy.
    Very interesting story. Currently, I'm trying to stick to Lenovo.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  14. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #16
    all you need just stay clear of intel , not worth half the money as thats what manufacturers pay for intel chips only to eliminate potential competition

    ok i admit i hate intel with a passion just like nvidia


    i'd go for a MSI FX610
    AMD Phenom II Quad-Core P960(1.8GHz) 15.6" 6GB Memory 640GB HDD DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470
     
  15. Firestar thread starter macrumors 68020

    Firestar

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    221B Baker Street.
    #17
    So, I think I've decided on Lenovo. Does there seem to be a big difference between the Essential and ThinkPad line?
     
  16. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #18
    ASUS is also a brand you might want to check out. They make very decent laptops with good quality and competitive pricing. Toshiba is also a good choice, although not so popular.

    [​IMG]

    I know that study is limited but it must still have some merit.
     
  17. borisiii macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    #19
    Thinkpad > Ideapad > Essential.

    If you can, I would try and go for at least an Ideapad. The essential range, although nonetheless good, are their most basic laptops. The build of an essential may not necessarily be a lot better than a comparable Dell, HP or Toshiba.

    The Thinkpads are their top of the range computers. They are designed primarily for business use, hence the utilitarian design, and business features like up to 20-hour batteries and 'Windows Enhanced Experience' for faster booting, although they do have a cult prosumer following. They also have a well-deserved reputation for durability.

    (see:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CrpUU3cCPE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iw78gcU713g
    and my favourite:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wjBQE0_ejQ
    compare that to:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYvIxmXB5oU )

    The ideapads are a nice compromise in that they borrow high-end features from the thinkpads, but have a more consumer-oriented, i.e. interesting, design. Hope that helps.
     
  18. Firestar thread starter macrumors 68020

    Firestar

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    221B Baker Street.
    #20
    Thank you. The draining keyboard is definitely a plus, and I'll try and go for the ThinkPad.
     
  19. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #21
    Another vote for Thinkpads. Imho, only 2 brands are worth considering - Apple and Thinkpads. HP is a distant third. Netbooks aside everything else is junk. I would avoid Sony, Toshiba, Acer, etc.

    As for AMD processors - their new APUs are pretty good. As much as I love AMD I wouldn't get their regular laptop CPUs - they're not particularly great. Desktop CPUs are an excellent bang for the buck. I've been running an AMD CPU in my main desktop for last 9 years or so and refuse to go Intel because those are way overpriced. But for a laptop, stick with Intel.
     
  20. Synchromesh macrumors 6502a

    Synchromesh

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Location:
    SF
    #23
    If you want something good, I would go with either X or T-series. These are a bit more money but well worth it.
     
  21. Firestar thread starter macrumors 68020

    Firestar

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2010
    Location:
    221B Baker Street.
    #24
    T is too expensive for me, and the X's lowest is $400, but it has an AMD, and then past that is $900.
     

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