Advice on buying a non-gaming laptop on Black Friday

Hi everyone-

I am looking to buy a mid-range laptop that can be used primarily for home use but also some travel. I have settled on a 15.4" size and have found three models under $700 that appear to do what I would want. I am looking for web surfing, some photo editing, blogging and running Microsoft Office.

The models that I am looking at are:

1. Dell 1525
Intel Core 2 Duo 5800
4 GB DDR2 Memory
250 GB HD
Basic CD/DVD drive
Basic Webcam
Vista Home Premium 64-bit OS
1280x800 screen (possible upgrade to 1440x900 for $50)
Intel Next Gen Wireless-N (possible Bluetooth inclusion for $20)
6-Cell Lithium Battery (possible upgrade to 9-Cell battery for $70)
$674

2. HP DV5T
Intel Core 2 Duo 5800
4 GB DDR2 Memory
250 GB HD
LightScribe CD/DVD drive
Basic Webcam
Vista Home Premium 64-bit OS
1280x800 screen (possible upgrade to 1680x1050 for $75)
Intel Next Gen Wireless-N (possible Bluetooth inclusion for $25)
6-Cell Lithium Battery (possible upgrade to 6-Cell High Capacity battery for $29)
$660

3. HP DV5Z
AMD Turion X2 RM-70 (possible upgrade to RM-72 for $25)
4 GB DDR2 Memory
250 GB HD
LightScribe CD/DVD drive
Basic Webcam plus Fingerprint Reader
Vista Home Premium 64-bit OS
1280x800 screen (possible upgrade to 1440x900 for $50)
Intel Next Gen Wireless-N (possible Bluetooth inclusion for $20)
6-Cell Lithium Battery (possible upgrade to 9-Cell battery for $70)
$620

I would appreciate any advice and feedback. My biggest concerns are:
- Is the AMD RM72 worth the $25 upgrade over the RM70?
- Are the RM70 or RM72 comparable to the Core 2 Duo 5800?
- Do either the Intel or AMDprocessors have better battery-saving features?
- Is there a big difference on a 15.4" screen between 1280x800 vs. 1440x900 vs. 1680x1050 when I am just doing basic computing -- not watching movies, playing games, etc.?
-How important is Bluetooth? Do I need it for anything other than a Bluetooth mouse?
- I've heard negative things about the HP DV5 touchpad -- glossy can stick if your finger is not completely dry.

Again, this is my first time on this site and I have seen some great postings and would love any feedback. Thank you in advance for any thoughts and opinions that you have.

Jay
5 answers Last reply
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  1. As an update, I have also been looking at an HP DV6936 -- very similar to the DV5T, except that it has an Intel T5750 (2.0 GHz) processor, rather than the Intel 5800 processor. I don't know how much better/worse the T5750 is as I have been unable to find much info on it.

    The other downside would be that it is already configured, so I could not opt for the resolution upgrade, battery upgrade or Bluetooth addition.

    The upside is that it has a nVida GeForce 8400M GS graphics card. I don't know if that matters at all, considering that I won't be gaming or doing heavy graphics-related processes.

    The price is only $20 more than the DV5T, so that is not a big issue (although the original retail price is quite a bit higher for some reason).

    Thanks!
  2. For basic needs, any of the above would fit the bill. Intel's tend to have better performance and battery life, but there isn't so much a difference that you would really notice. IMO, it just depends on brand preference for your needs. I have owned several Dell laptops and desktops (by I, I mean my family) and haven't had issues with any of them. The HP's would be a fine alternative however.
  3. Thanks for the advice -- I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. Of course, if anyone else has any thoughts, I would appreciate them as well. I haven't made my decision yet, but hopefully will later today -- still undecided.

    Jay
  4. some say: dell is good for desktops, HP for notebooks.
    and i own an HP notebook. and when i compare my turionx2 vs my sisters 2centrino (hp) the onliest thing i can say is: BATTERYlife! 30min vs 2.5 hours is a huge diffrence! she can watch dvd on train, i can boot up, and get it in sleep :p if you know what i mean.

    go for that dv5 intel one! the specs seem good!
  5. oja, and if i compare my brother in law's new dell. you should definitely pick HP.

    dell has: crackling soundspeakers, bad mousepad (not responding good), bad vingerprint, here where i live only 32xbit os, big housing
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