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Need help looking for a laptop under $500

Tags:
  • Laptops
  • Sony Vaio
  • Hewlett Packard
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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March 1, 2014 11:45:32 PM

Hello everyone. I have had a terrible time trying to figure out which laptop I should buy. Just to give you a little bit a of a background, I have had a terrible time with a god awful Sony Vaio laptop. Now I'm looking for a replacement for when my refund comes in. I would like a laptop for school primarily. Now if it can run a few low-end games like MMO's on low settings that is ok, BUT I am not looking for a machine based only on if it has gaming parts. I want a strong, durable machine. I know that laptops aren't damage resistant, to some extent, but I want one that could take a good beating.
I am unsure of which brands I should trust and what series I should buy.
I am willing to purchase from BestBuy, Amazon, Newegg, and Costco.
Here is the computers I have been interested in so far, but I am open to more suggestions.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/15-6-laptop-6gb-memory-500g...
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/17-3-laptop-6gb-memory-500g...
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/probook-15-6-laptop-4gb-mem...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=34-312-...

I like that the probook has an easy to remove back cover and allows you easy access to everything inside of it. I like Asus computers in general and their brand has received high marks for a great while. The Lenovo interests me, but like I said I want a machine that'll take a good beating.
I couldn't care less if I got a machine for the same price as the Lenovo and it only had an i3, if that machine was great.
Mostly I'll be using this machine to surf the web, type papers for school, watch tv, and maybe play some very basic games.
I really, really like the probook so far, but I'm concerned with how HP is doing as a company. My family has been buying Hp since the beginning of time. Right now we have 4 Hp computers in the house and only 1 doesn't work. Hell right now I am typing this on an Hp slimline desktop. My concern is if HP's fail rate is really bad or not. I don't want to buy the machine if it's company has a 56% fail rate like I read on another site.

I would also like to state that I do not care how heavy the computer is, as long as it runs well.
I would rather have a computer that is heavier than a stack of bricks, but works well, than a computer that is light as a feather and doesn't even turn on.

My idea for the probook if I were to purchase it was to remove the dvd drive and use the caddy to install a second hard drive or possibly a solid state drive if I have the money. Also to max out my ram. Having full access to everything under the hood of the laptop would be great because if a problem arises in the future I'll be able to deal with it much easier than a typical computer.

I would like as much feedback as possible and I thank you for taking the time to review this very long thread.

More about : laptop 500

a b D Laptop
March 2, 2014 12:13:44 AM

Laptops......I love talking about them all day long lol

First I would like to apologize if I have too much opinions, but I've seen too many people buying the wrong laptops and complain about them after 4 months of usage. Now let's get to the questions.

1. Do you plan on walking around with the laptop very often? One example would be college students.
2. Are they any specific brands that you don't want to touch?
3. What is the smallest screen size that you're willing to deal with?
4. Is touchscreen one of your priority?
5. Do you have a preference on Win 7 or 8?
6. Are you ok with using OS such as Linux or chrome OS?

Some answers to your questions and plan.

1. Intel HD Graphics will be able to handle most MMO games without a problem (at low-medium settings)
2. I think weight is a very huge concern unless you're planning on replacing your desktop with it
3. I personally don't suggest upgrading RAMs cuz usually it's enough for regular usage. (6-8 GB is very sufficient even for gamer)
4. I've never tried installing a SSD in that DVD drive bay, so I don't know about that. However it will must likely reduce the laptop's overall robustness if it doesn't fit 100%
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March 2, 2014 9:43:46 AM

IDontUnderstand said:
Laptops......I love talking about them all day long lol

First I would like to apologize if I have too much opinions, but I've seen too many people buying the wrong laptops and complain about them after 4 months of usage. Now let's get to the questions.

1. Do you plan on walking around with the laptop very often? One example would be college students.
2. Are they any specific brands that you don't want to touch?
3. What is the smallest screen size that you're willing to deal with?
4. Is touchscreen one of your priority?
5. Do you have a preference on Win 7 or 8?
6. Are you ok with using OS such as Linux or chrome OS?

Some answers to your questions and plan.

1. Intel HD Graphics will be able to handle most MMO games without a problem (at low-medium settings)
2. I think weight is a very huge concern unless you're planning on replacing your desktop with it
3. I personally don't suggest upgrading RAMs cuz usually it's enough for regular usage. (6-8 GB is very sufficient even for gamer)
4. I've never tried installing a SSD in that DVD drive bay, so I don't know about that. However it will must likely reduce the laptop's overall robustness if it doesn't fit 100%



1. Yes I am a college student and I plan on taking this computer all over the place with me.
2. I wouldn't like to touch Sony anything as long as I live. Also Acer and Toshiba just seem cheap and so I'd like to avoid them. Also Gateway. My favorite brands are Asus, Hp, Lenovo, Samsung, and Dell.
3. I wouldn't like a 14inch laptop unless you can find me something that is amazing. My crap sony is a 14inch and I hate not having a num pad plus the size difference isn't worth it in my opinon. I'm worried that 17 inch laptops may be too big to fit into my backpack if it's inside a sleeve. What do you think?
4. Touchscreen = NOPE if it has it ok, but i'd prefer not to, although I've read that some touchscreen models can be much cheaper. So if you find something that is an incredible computer and just happens to have a touchscreen then by all means please put it up. I would like to compare my choices and the more choices I have the better.
5. It's hard to find windows 7 BUT YES if it has 7 please get it but if the computer that you find is way better and has 8 then by all means throw it up. I don't care if you reply with like 10 machine I will look over each and everyone.
6. I don't want a Chrome book at all, also Linux i'd prefer to install myself i want a Windows based computer

Note on the weight: I've dealt with heavy computers for a long time. I don't mind carrying one if the computer is badass. Like if the computer is built to take damage and has good parts then I think the extra weight is worth it IF ITS ACTUALLY PROTECTED. If its heavy but its made of cheap plastic then no way for me. My Sony was quite heavy and it was made of cheap plastic that made cracking noises whenever you apply very little pressure to it.
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March 2, 2014 8:32:23 PM

IDontUnderstand said:
According to http://www.laptopmag.com/review/laptops/asus-vivo-book-...
5 hours and 44 minutes.


Do you think the keyboard will be ok for long typing sessions since I plan on using it for school? I ask this because while reading reviews online I have seen a few people mention a not so great keyboard or that it's not comfortable.
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a b D Laptop
March 2, 2014 9:28:38 PM

I imagine all people that complains about a keyboard are the people who has to switch between keyboards every week from desktop to laptop, etc. Or people who just like to complain about the keyboard before they even try to adapt to it. However, that's not to say that all keyboards are essentially good, I'm just trying to say that I think most people will do fine as long as they give it sometime to adjust.
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