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Laptop Consideration for School (University)

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August 4, 2011 4:06:17 PM

First off, I'd like to thank all of you that posted in this thread. But after a long night of consideration, I'm thinking of scrapping the idea of a "light gaming" laptop since I already have a desktop that handles everything fairly well (w/ a GTS 250).

If anyone has suggestions for my new preference, your input will be greatly appreciated.

1) What is your budget?
$500 CAD/USA

2) What size notebook would you prefer?
d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen (Smaller is okay)

3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
I can buy it online or in store, as long as it ships to Canada

4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

a. Like: ASUS (Mainly for their 1 year accidental warranty)

5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
No

6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
general

7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
Both

8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
Yes, lower end

9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
4+

15) When are you buying this laptop?
Before September

16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
2+ Years

17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
No SSD, prefer 300GB and up

18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?
DVD only

Thanks for your input.ted.
August 4, 2011 6:03:47 PM

Seems like a good laptop, but I'm not too fond of acer (just based on my impression of acer through online reviews). Also, microceter doesn't ship to Canada.
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August 10, 2011 3:22:44 PM

Any more suggestions on the above laptops or ones that haven't been posted here yet?
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a b D Laptop
August 10, 2011 4:10:14 PM

Looks like you did your homework and have 3 good systems.

Do any come with a second drive bay? My thinkpad now has an SSD in the primary bay and a spinning HDD in the second (usually cdrom) bay. Any laptop you buy now will eventually get an SSD -- they are too good to not have one.

Have you tried the keyboards? Some stink, some are great.

Aside: I personally would use a slower CPU with a faster disk vs. a faster cpu and slower disk. (although disk is really cheap + easy to upgrade later and CPU is not).

Aside 2: I'd check the support sites for the laptops and see which one you like better if you need a tiebreaker.
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a c 571 D Laptop
August 11, 2011 7:54:21 PM

The Radeon HD 6490M is quite a drop in GPU power from the GT 540M.

I like the Asus among all mentioned so far.
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August 11, 2011 10:52:56 PM

WR2 said:
The Radeon HD 6490M is quite a drop in GPU power from the GT 540M.

I like the Asus among all mentioned so far.



Thanks, but any asus in particular?


And for the graphics, thanks for that comparison too. I was just doing benchmark comparisons myself. Guess I should stick with the 540.
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a c 571 D Laptop
August 11, 2011 10:57:00 PM

It was the least expensive Asus you mentioned.
I think I prefer the dual core CPU and fast 7200rpm HDD over the quad core and 5400rpm HDD.
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a c 571 D Laptop
August 11, 2011 10:58:09 PM

Then again -
it's easy and inexpensive to replace and upgrade the HDD.
And the quad core CPU does have Tubro Turbo mode.
Think I like the TD Asus option.
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August 11, 2011 11:03:19 PM

WR2 said:
Then again -
it's easy and inexpensive to replace and upgrade the HDD.
And the quad core CPU does have Tubro Turbo mode.
Think I like the TD Asus option.


If I do decide to upgrade the HDD (or add more RAM for example) would that void Asus' warranty (especially the 1-year accidental one)
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August 13, 2011 12:56:52 PM

Actually, scratch that. It voids the warranty and I'd have to install windows (which I do not want to buy nor "download")
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August 17, 2011 1:18:17 AM

First off, I'd like to thank all of you that posted in this thread. But after a long night of consideration, I'm thinking of scrapping the idea of a "light gaming" laptop since I already have a desktop that handles everything fairly well (w/ a GTS 250).

So a quick question, do you think I should still go for a laptop that has the GPU GTS 540M even though my desktop is equipped with a GTS 250? Because if I did get something with the 540M, would that defeat the purpose of my desktop?
(So I'm thinking gaming on desktop, and school-work on laptop)

If anyone has suggestions for my new preference, your input will be greatly appreciated.
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a c 571 D Laptop
August 17, 2011 1:26:30 AM

That GT 540M is pretty much equivalent to a desktop GT 430 graphics card.
Your GTS 250 desktop card is quite a bit better.

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August 17, 2011 1:28:36 AM

So pretty much, I should keep the desktop as the gaming and just get a laptop with lesser specs right?
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a c 571 D Laptop
August 17, 2011 1:47:26 AM

It's certainly a good option.

Toshiba Satellite 13.3" Intel Core i3-2310M Laptop $600

TOSHIBA Satellite L740-01T 14" Notebook $528
Pentium B940(2.00GHz) is actually an entry level Sandy Bridge CPU

With the power of your desktop PC available to you - you could even go with a sub-portable notebook that's easy to schlep around with.
HP Pavilion DM1-3245CA 11.6" notebook $480
Not a multi-tasking powerhouse - but @ 3.46 lbs and a nearly all day battery it has a lot going for it.
HP Pavilion dm1 Review
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August 17, 2011 1:11:37 PM

Perhaps this is also okay:
Toshiba Satellite C650-001 PSC2EC-001001 Notebook PC
http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item...
Price: $499.99
CPU: Intel Core i3 2310M(2.10GHz)
RAM: 4GB 1333 (2gb + 2gb)
GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000
HDD: 500 GB (5400 RPM)
Screen: 15.6"
Res: 1366x768
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a c 571 D Laptop
August 17, 2011 2:20:57 PM

Sure, that's in the same performance range as 13.3" and 14" models listed above.
Just a bit bigger and a bit less expensive.
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August 25, 2011 7:47:46 PM

Any more suggestions?
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August 30, 2011 10:26:12 PM

How's this.
http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?webid=343...
* 2.3GHz AMD Quad-Core A6-3400 processor; 4MB L2 Cache
* 4GB system memory; Expandable to 8GB
* 500GB hard disk drive
* 15.6" LCD display
* Windows 7 Home Premium
* 1GB AMD Radeon HD 6650 Graphics
* Built-in Altec Lansing speakers
* Connectivity options include Gigabit Ethernet LAN and Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n
* Ports include 2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0 and 1 x HDMI
* Mocha finish
* Dimensions: 1.4"(H) x 15.12"(W) x 10.12"(D)
* Weight: 5.72 lbs
* 1-Year limited warranty
For $550.

Or

http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/cat_sku.asp?webid=330...
* 2.93GHz Intel Core i5-480M processor
* 4GB system memory
* 640GB SATA hard disk drive
* 15.6" HD Acer CineCrystal LED-backlit TFT LCD
* Windows 7 Home Premium
* 8X DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive
* Intel HD Graphics
* Built-in Mono Speaker
* Acer Crystal Eye high-definition webcam with built in microphone
* Connectivity options include Gigabit Ethernet LAN and Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n
* Ports include 3 x USB 2.0 and HDMI
* Bilingual Keyboard with Multi-gesture touchpad pointing device
* Black finish
* Up to 3.5 hours battery life
* Dimensions: 0.9" /1.33"(H) x 15.0"(W) x 9.9"(D)
* Weight: 5.7 lb.
* 1-Year limited warranty
For $400
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