Best laptop for student (linux, word processing, web browsing, online movies, no gaming)

Hi there,

Last three days I've been struggling with wikis, forum threads, vendor's technical sheets, performance charts and hierarchies, online shops...

My head is about to blow up. I think need your help.


1. Budget: under 500$, as low as possible.

2. Size: around 15.6''

3. Screen resolution: for 720p is enough, 1080p would be cool whole system is still relatively fast and under budget.

4. Portable or desktop replacement laptop?: desktop most of the time, but it will travel from time to time.

5. Battery life: battery autonomy is not importand (but handy), it's more important a long-term life (how many years before having to replace the battery).

6. Games: not really but, if anything, it won't be resource demanding.

7. Other tasks: common scenario nowadays is Ubuntu 12.04, a pair of OpenOffice windows (calc plus word), web browser with 10-15 tabs open (some rather resource-demanding), playing offline or online mp3 music, and some youtube in the breaks.

8. Hard Drive capacity: 250 GB would be enough, more won't harm (there will be two main partitions, one for Win7 and one for Ubuntu). A system with an smaller SSD (64 GB?) could be considered (to use with an external 2.5'' HD for data).

9. Sites to buy from: some online shops in Spain (euros), so don't bother to suggest any shop (thank you anyways).

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?:
- As much as possible! Five years would be nice.

11. Optical drive: no specific needs, but a CD/DVD reader would be handy.

12. Brands:
- ASUS has always treated me fine (desktop and laptop).
- Dell laptop has backstabbed me twice (never again).
- I'm sick of seeing Acer screen hinges failing in less than a year, if they are still that bad I will avoid them.
- HP and Packard Bell: no experience, some recommendations.
- Lenovo: I'm a bit wary of this kind of cheap producers.

13. My country: Spain.

14. Some additional information:
- Multitasking is important, but any single application won't be CPU demanding.
- Cooling is important. This is the hot part of Spain and air conditioned is not an option. Models with known cooling problems (like extra-thin laptops) are forbidden.
- Graphics are important only for smooth youtube and online movie playing (720p is enough, 1080p preferred if under budget).
- Intel chips with Intel GMA should be avoided since there are no drivers for Linux (so 3D and bad video playing).
- I've got the idea (wrong?) that a CPU+GPU on chip would be cheapear, cooler and less power demanding than its equivalent CPU (GPU-less) + mobo with integrated graphics, so I guess an AMD APU should be the processor of my future laptop, but I'm unsure.


Thank you very much in advance, for any advice, insight or recommendation.
1 answer Last reply
More about laptop student linux word processing web browsing online movies gaming
  1. Hi again,

    Here I have some candidates:

    * HP Pavilion 15-E022SS A4-5150M/4GB/1TB/HD8350/15.6":
    - AMD Dual-Core A4-5150M (2 cores, 2.7 GHz, 1 MB L2) with integrated AMD Radeon HD 8350G (it says "up to 2.1 GB", what's that?).
    - LED Screen 15.6'' (1366x768).
    - HD 1 TB 5400 rpm SATA.
    - Comes with Win8 64 (meh).
    - 2.35 kg (5.2 pounds).
    - DVD±R/RW.
    - Battery 6 cells.
    - Price: 431 € (around US 580 $)

    * HP Pavilion G6-2355SS A4-4300M/6GB/500GB/HD 7670M/15.6"
    - AMD Dual-Core A4-4300M (2 cores, 2.5 GHz, 1 MB L2) with integrated HD 7420G.
    - RAM 4+2 DDR3 SODIMM (I guess the "+2" are for the GPU).
    - LED Screen 15.6'' (1366x768).
    - HD 500 GB 5400 rpm SATA.
    - Comes with Win8 64 (meh).
    - 2.48 kg (5.45 pounds).
    - DVD±R/RW.
    - Battery 6 cells.
    - Price: 395 € (around US 535 $)

    Differences between first one and second one are in the HD (not important) and on the APU: first one seems to have faster CPU and GPU but first one seems to lack the 2 GB of dedicated DDR3 for the GPU. So, in the end, I don't know which one has better performance for my purposes.

    A third one, mostly a downgraded version of the first one:

    * HP Pavilion 15-E023SS AMD A4-5150M/4GB/500GB/HD8350/15.6"
    - AMD Dual-Core A4-5150M (2 cores, 2.7 GHz, 1 MB L2) with integrated AMD Radeon HD 8350G (it says "up to 2.1 GB", what's that?).
    - LED Screen 15.6'' (1366x768).
    - HD 500 GB 5400 rpm SATA.
    - Comes with Win8 64 (meh).
    - 2.35 kg (5.2 pounds).
    - DVD±R/RW.
    - Battery 6 cells.
    - Price: 388 € (around US 525 $)
    - It's red.


    Checking my needs, would you recommend me any of those models? Or any other else?


    Thank you.
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