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<$1000 Laptop Advice

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August 2, 2012 2:51:41 PM

So I have a relative who is looking for help with a sub $1000 15" laptop. I'm looking for advice as I've always had mac's on the mobile side. Reading reviews it seems like Lenovo and HP are getting some of the best ratings overall in this price range but I was hoping to get some more specific buying advice from you guys.

He's transitioning into retirement so this is his first 100% personal computer going forward. His needs are pretty basic but we're also hoping to future proof to a degree. He will be doing some home business computing as well as general internet/communications stuff. No gaming, no performance computing, but he's willing to spend up to $1000 to get something that will last him down the road.

I was hoping to get something with ivy bridge for power/performance ratio since he wont really be pushing this thing doing anything intensive but also wants something to potentially be his 'last computer'. I know that's not entirely realistic but for now at least something that gets him 6-7 years down the road without being too terrible.

Any and all suggestions and information, references to other articles, etc. would be much appreciated!

[EDIT] Also, I noticed in browsing a lot of shops that many consumer laptops out there have rather crappy looking screens. You can see the crosshatch which I'm assuming is from the antiglare coating? This relative is aging and so a bright crisp screen is something that I'd consider relatively important in the equation.

More about : 1000 laptop advice

a b D Laptop
August 2, 2012 5:07:05 PM

Lenovo, Toshiba and Sony are generally top tier vendors in non-gaming laptops.

If you want something with a bit more horsepower try the Clevo / Sager laptops (which is what I'm going to be replacing my Toshiba with in the near future) : http://www.sagernotebook.com/
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August 2, 2012 5:27:43 PM

Sony Vaio laptops are good, but don't have great sound. HP entertainment PCs have great sound and pretty good graphics. If he'll listen to music, go with an HP. Otherwise, probably the Sony.
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August 2, 2012 6:37:58 PM

i usually look for hp since all of them that i used have great build quality and good battery life

id look for a i5 processor (3rd gen), 4-8gb of ram, 500-750gb hard drive (although you should swap it out for a SSD anyways), and a good battery with 60+watt hrs
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August 2, 2012 8:02:00 PM

Thanks guys! Also, as far as the laptops go, is it really true that SSD's don't fair that well as all purpose drives to read/write to all the time, as far as having a single HD in the laptop? On my workstation build I just use the SSD for the os/progs but was advised against using one that's written to often. Does the same apply to laptops?

Also, a couple models we looked at have the SSD cache thing, like a small SSD cache that helps with boot times etc. Not really familiar with that technology. Are those like the regular harddrives that have a small SSD cache built in? Are they really effective?

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August 2, 2012 8:34:31 PM

For something he'll want to use for as long as possible, a cache drive would be better. It takes a long long long time to wear down an SSD due to writes (even under intentionally stressful conditions, such as constant writing); however getting him an HDD with built-in cache is a nice tradeoff for ease of use, cost and speed. I've heard they are quite fast, and for primarily business use, it will probably get the critical files pegged pretty easily (a 16GB SSD cache is more than enough, even 4 I've heard is really nice).

If you don't get a cache drive or SSD, be sure to get a 7200RPM hard drive.

These are some models I've looked at recently while shopping for my wife (they are all ivy bridge):
The Sony Vaio S (which I bought), these are nice 15" laptops. Getting an i5m, and 4 gigs of ram is likely plenty for business use for the foreseeable future and then some. It doesn't have a Cache drive though.
The Vaio T is an ultrabook, with the ultra-low power cpus an i7 would be recommended to have good performance, these do come with a cache drive, and are a little lighter, thinner, and cheaper than the S series.
Lenovo U410 is another ultrabook worth looking at, it doesn't have the 1080p screen, but I would think the lower resolution would be beneficial for aging eyes, as it will make text on screen naturally larger.

We were looking for something with a lot of portability. Initially we were planning to go for an ultrabook, however decided to go with the Sony S because it offered more CPU and GPU power, because she uses Labview and occasionally Autocad.
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August 2, 2012 8:42:59 PM

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+15.6%26%2334%3B+S... $749.99
Toshiba - 15.6" Satellite Laptop - 8GB Memory - 750GB Hard Drive - Champagne Silver

3rd Gen Intel® Core™ i7-3610QM processor
Features a 6MB L3 cache and 2.3GHz processor speed with Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz. Intel HD 4000 Graphics

15.6" LED-backlit TFT-LCD high-definition widescreen display
With TruBrite technology and 1366 x 768 resolution showcases movies and games in stunning clarity.

4 USB 3.0 ports
For fast digital video, audio and data transfer.

Intel® Wireless Display
Wirelessly transmits streamed or downloaded movies, TV shows, music, photos and more from your laptop, network or the Internet to your TV (NETGEAR Push2TV adapter required, not included).

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August 2, 2012 9:28:35 PM

id buy a laptop and then throw a nice 256gb SSD inside it. SSDs make a huge difference even compared to a hybrid hard drive
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August 3, 2012 6:38:17 PM

For a laptop, SSD is better because an HDD can be messed up if it is jolted.
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a b D Laptop
August 3, 2012 6:47:15 PM

evamvid said:
For a laptop, SSD is better because an HDD can be messed up if it is jolted.


Not necessarily - a lot of modern laptop HDs have built in shock absorbing measures to prevent that from happening.
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August 3, 2012 6:58:17 PM

Well Yes, but I still think that even though it cost more, an SSD is the safer way to go.
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August 13, 2012 12:03:58 AM

Best answer selected by dbit.
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August 13, 2012 12:28:21 AM

Never settle for an HP, nor any of the lower tier brands, sure they offer lower prices but in general they give *** support and product reliability. Stick to Asus/Toshiba/Sony or the Upper Tier Dell/Lenovo.
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