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Advice on buying a non-gaming laptop on Black Friday

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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November 28, 2008 2:18:51 PM

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
November 28, 2008 2:38:10 PM

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!
a b D Laptop
November 28, 2008 10:18:48 PM

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.
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November 29, 2008 4:27:14 PM

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
November 29, 2008 5:14:51 PM

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!
November 29, 2008 5:16:47 PM

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
!