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Advice on buying laptop

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December 1, 2011 12:31:20 AM

I'm an ignoramus looking for a laptop for low-level usage (email, web, photos, finance, documents). Any advice on this group of laptops? Good display important (crisp text, large viewing angle).
Aspire AS5755-6699
Vaio VPC-EH2LGX
Lenovo G570
Asus X53E-XR1
Toshiba Satellite L755-S5356

Thanks.

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a b D Laptop
December 10, 2011 6:29:26 AM

danqr said:
I'm an ignoramus looking for a laptop for low-level usage (email, web, photos, finance, documents). Any advice on this group of laptops? Good display important (crisp text, large viewing angle).
Aspire AS5755-6699
Vaio VPC-EH2LGX
Lenovo G570
Asus X53E-XR1
Toshiba Satellite L755-S5356

Thanks.
All are outstandng products... only limitations would be the price and monitor size and all seem to be 15 inchers.

Best Value Laptops (For The Money) - 2011

Best deal in my opinion; 6th in the Best Value Laptops (For The Money) - 2011 list
HP G72-250US 17.3-Inch Laptop

Laptop Configurator - Interactive selection of features you'd like and need in a Laptop
December 11, 2011 11:36:28 PM

Thanks, Chicano. I needed one sooner, and found the Asus U56E-RBL7 on sale at Office Depot for $650. So far looks pretty good, but then I'm a permanent novice.
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a b D Laptop
December 12, 2011 2:52:34 AM

Yeah… someone (me included) should have tackled your post sooner.. but you did well on your own… the specs look good; Intel i5, 8Gigs RAM, 750GBHD, 9.25hrs battery life. USB 3.0. Numeric pad, it's got all the works!, so.. well done for a novice.
December 12, 2011 3:03:06 AM

Forgot to mention, the USB3 port really appealed to me, though will have to wait for reasonably priced flash drives or docking stations. Meanwhile, I'd like to clone to a hard drive as backup, but prices recently have doubled or tripled due to the flooding in Thailand apparently. Don't know of a reliable cheaper source, or how long till prices drop again.
December 12, 2011 1:41:09 PM

You're right -- those machines look like better value. As I mentioned, it's moot now because I've bought, but I'm always eager to learn more. The Toshiba's SSD is intriguing, but I'd be afraid it's not big enough for photos, lectures and music files (maybe some video), and an external burner would be annoying. Does an SSD have a virtually infinite life? Also, my wife has trouble with cramped keyboards. But (in the interest of learning more), I have questions about the Acer: we're neither gamers (processor speed) nor road warriors (battery life), though we'd occasionally take the laptop with us. How would I evaluate the trade-off between RAM (4G vs 8G) and processors (i3, i5, i7)? I assume RAM lets us keep more windows running, and the processor would be more important for videos and gaming. And (in the future) where would I go for reliable results on actual battery life?
a b D Laptop
December 13, 2011 6:09:30 AM

SSD has limited amount of write cycle but they will last long enough before your upgrade. SSD is really meant to be for OS and program to be installed in and not storage file because of its high price. But the performance is amazing. Put an SSD in an average computer and for people who don't look at the computer specification and doing usually computing (web browsing, office program, watching video, etc. They will probably think it is a better spec machine than a gaming build).

Don't worry about the RAM so much. They can be easily upgrade. The GPU however is almost always impossible to upgrade and the CPU is difficult to upgrade as well. If 2 laptop is of the same price, always choose the one with better GPU and/or CPU, unless there is something really bad about the cheaper laptop, like reliability issue or size way too big or way to small to your liking, e.g. you like a portable 13-14 inch, but the laptop of the same price with better performance is 17 inch (2 size class bigger than 13-14 inch). If it is 15 inch (1 size calss bigger), then IMO, I think you should sacrifice some mobility. When sacrificing (price/size/battery) for performance, only do it if the performance is 1 tier higher (i5 to an i7, but not i5 to a faster i5). IMO, it is not worth it. Trade 1 level in a category for 1 or more level in another category until you get a balance.

Most laptop manufacturer's report on their laptop product life is exaggerated. They put in a larger extended battery in their test but only issue standard battery with the laptop and their test is conducted under ideal situation (no wifi, min screen brightness, cpu idle, etc). Search online on laptop review site for actual battery life. If there is non, it is difficult to estimate how well the battery performs. I think it is fair to say the actual life will be somewhere between 50-75% of what the manufacturer report.
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