I'm about to buy my first laptop and I need some advice. It will be used mostly for school work but I will also like to do some light gaming on the side ie. WoW, TF2, etc.
So far Ive narrowed it down to either
My budget is 600 -700 but the less expensive the better and if you know of any other laptops that would be better than the two I listed above please suggest them.
I would prefer a dedicated video card but an integrated one would be fine as long as it can run the games listed above.
I'm in the exact situation as you, and as far as I can tell, the acer aspire 6959 is a pure BEAST for that price, which is what I'm going with when I get my financial aid refund. The asus is good too, but for 100 dollars less you get an amd turion which is much worse than a core 2 duo rated at the same ghz, a video card that is worse, and only ddr2 instead of ddr3 on the acer. The acer is worth the extra $100 to me.
I have found no other laptop that compares in price and hardware quality to this acer. Some laptops $50 higher than it (on tiger direct and other sites) don't have a dedicated video card and single core processors at 1.3 ghz! I am left wondering if there is something fishy left under the hood that they aren't saying to get this acer laptop at this price. Oh well, it looks like an absolute steal atm.
That is another good choice, IF I wasn't already pushing my budget with $700. Besides what you mentioned, I'm sure HP has better customer support than acer (newegg said it was first class horrible).
BTW I just ordered one for my gf's anniversary/christmas present so I'll let you guys know how it goes, coming from a guy who games a lot, has built a few high end pc's, and a networking major.
Acer is junk. It always has been. Mine have never worked as indicated. Almost everything that can break in their (laptop) products will - much of these components will break several times. (Un)Luckily I had a 2 year plan that cost me a fortune to ship out to them each time major failures happened. I tried to bundle these together (bad pixels + network card stopped working + hard disk click/failure; keys on keyboard stop working + wireless networking stopped working + overheating + hard drive failed again; etc.).
And I spent > $1500 for mine!
I cannot imagine a lower end model would be better.
Ok so my gf has had this computer for a little over a week now and there have been absolutely no problems so far. The gpu is running every game on high except when I turn the lighting and shadows up. Everything works fine. The problem is that the computer is now 50 dollars more, bringing it to the same price as the awesome HP mentioned above, BUT THE HP IS CURRENTLY 650 FOR BLACK FRIDAY!! GO GET IT.
No major problems with the computer as stated, some cons are the monitors horrible viewing angle, no windows cd, finger prints, and um, that's it really. All laptops of this price have those same issues it seems, with less powerful hardware. For the price when I got it (700) it couldn't be beat. My hp dv6 for 650 is on its way now though.