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What laptop should I buy (recommendations)

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 3, 2009 6:45:13 PM

1_What is your budget?

up to $1500, preferably $1000.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

14-16"

3_What screen resolution do you want?

on the road I will use this as my primary computer - 1366 x 768

at home I will use it to drive (2) 1280 x 1020 samsung monitors - I have looked at matrox graphic expansion module. The GPU would need to be compatabile with that but I would think most newer cards would be.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Ideally I want one computer to do both.

5_How much battery life do you need?

not important

6_Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

I have never played games but that doesn't mean I wouldn't want to some day. Low

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

I do work in photoshop, flash, dreamweaver and MS office. Some video. Many apps open at same time.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?

I would like 500 MB 7200 rpm but I can compromise here (5400) and replace HDD later.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post the links to them.

don't care

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

2 years


11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

DVD ROM/Writer

12_Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

I like toshiba for reliability, sony for fun and looks. have used HP for many years. Lately my husband has had problems with quality.

13_What country do you live in?

USA
14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I am looking for one computer that I can take on the road and plug into a docking station at home. I have 2 samsung monitors (1280x1024). I am addicted to 2 monitors.

I am struggling with tradeoffs between monitor size and weight for the on the road. I sorta like Sony CW series but sonystyle doesn't seem to want to make one using the faster processor. My husband keeps directing me towards Toshiba.

Bottom line, needs to be fast.

I would like hdmi output. and windows 7

current laptop is HP Pavilion dv2700
T8100 Intel Core 2 Duo
3GB Ram
1280 x800
Vista Home Premium
220 GB HDD

thanks for your help. It was helpful to me to write it all out like this.

Best solution

December 4, 2009 1:59:31 PM

Since you are doing video/graphics editing, you will need a fast cpu like Intel Core i7-720QM ( or Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000+), a fast GPU, at least 4GB memory and 7200 rpm Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit.

Toshiba generally makes solid laptops; I bought four laptops in the last 2 years and so far no breakdown. Recently they came top in reliability survey along with Asus. The only Laptops they do with Intel Core i7-720QM is Qismio gaming laptops, with 18.4” screen.

Toshiba Tecra is their high performance series; if you buy it from Toshiba Direct you can customise it to suit your needs. The fastest cpu on this series is T9600, which considerably slower than i7-720QM. Check it out here http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/laptop-family.jsp?f...

Asus laptop with Core™ i7-720QM processor is Asus G51J, again this is gaming laptop. Check it out if you wish http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/g51j-core-i7,2471.h...

ASUS N61Vn-A1 got good spec (Core 2 Quad Q9000) and comes with 2 years warranty, first year accidental cover. $1,199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

We give Acer/MSI/HP a miss.

That leaves us with Apple, Sony, Samsung and Dell. We give Apple a miss too, because is way expensive :pfff:  . Sony Vaio, good laptops, good looks, pricy though. Not sure about Samsung.

Maziar recommendation is also good, Dell Studio with Intel® Core™ i7-720QM, upgrade the warranty to2 years. Which comes to total of $1169. Not bad for a Dell i7 laptop.

Other option Lenovo IdeaPad Y550, Intel Core i7 720QM, 15.6" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M $1,099
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The more you look the more you wil get confused :na:  .

...............................................................................................................
Comparison of Mobile Processors

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmar...

(select Show only notebook CPU's, then click restrict)


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December 4, 2009 8:45:15 PM

Yes I am confused and tired. thanks for the help both of you.

I am looking at ASUS N61Vn-A1
ASUS N81Vp-D2 (only 14 inch, T9600)
I found ASUS M60J-A1 - this one has a Core i7
the Quismio is good but bigger than I want.

As for Dell, I spent many years working for HP. I would feel like a traitor. :) 
I went and looked at the link you gave me Maziar and it looked good.



ibnsina said:
Since you are doing video/graphics editing, you will need a fast cpu like Intel Core i7-720QM ( or Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000+), a fast GPU, at least 4GB memory and 7200 rpm Hard drive, Windows 7 64-bit.

Toshiba generally makes solid laptops; I bought four laptops in the last 2 years and so far no breakdown. Recently they came top in reliability survey along with Asus. The only Laptops they do with Intel Core i7-720QM is Qismio gaming laptops, with 18.4” screen.

Toshiba Tecra is their high performance series; if you buy it from Toshiba Direct you can customise it to suit your needs. The fastest cpu on this series is T9600, which considerably slower than i7-720QM. Check it out here http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/laptop-family.jsp?f...

Asus laptop with Core™ i7-720QM processor is Asus G51J, again this is gaming laptop. Check it out if you wish http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/g51j-core-i7,2471.h...

ASUS N61Vn-A1 got good spec (Core 2 Quad Q9000) and comes with 2 years warranty, first year accidental cover. $1,199
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

We give Acer/MSI/HP a miss.

That leaves us with Apple, Sony, Samsung and Dell. We give Apple a miss too, because is way expensive :pfff:  . Sony Vaio, good laptops, good looks, pricy though. Not sure about Samsung.

Maziar recommendation is also good, Dell Studio with Intel® Core™ i7-720QM, upgrade the warranty to2 years. Which comes to total of $1169. Not bad for a Dell i7 laptop.

Other option Lenovo IdeaPad Y550, Intel Core i7 720QM, 15.6" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M $1,099
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The more you look the more you wil get confused :na:  .

...............................................................................................................
Comparison of Mobile Processors

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmar...

(select Show only notebook CPU's, then click restrict)



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December 5, 2009 9:30:56 AM

ASUS M60J-A1 is got spec, Core i7 720QM, 4GB DDR3, 500GB 5400rpm, GeForce GT 240M, BD Combo. Fingerprint reader. Resolution 1366 x 768. $1,549.99

ASUS N61Vn-A1, Core 2 Quad Q9000, 4GB DDR3, 320GB 7200rpm, GeForce GT 240M, DVD Super Multi. Resolution 1366 x 768. $1,199.

So for $350 you will get i7 processor, bigger but slower hard dive, Blu-Ray Drive, Fingerprint reader.

If you’re happy with the screen resolution, then they are both good deals. You get 2 years warranty too.


i7 720QM versus Quad Q9000

SuperPI 1M............i7 720QM 37.5% slower
SuperPI 2M........................36.84% slower
SuperPI 32M......................48.36% faster
3dMark06CPU....................7.36% faster
Dhrystone..........................7.33% faster
Whetstone........................10.89% faster
Cinebench Single...............26.7% faster
Cinebench Multi................10.61% faster
wPrime 32.........................35.48% faster
wPrime 1024.....................38.53% faster

source : http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmar...

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December 5, 2009 2:04:48 PM

Ok,new entry in the sweepstakes.

Asus G51-A1
The reviews are all very good. Some say it will disppoint heavy gamers but that's not me. It is probably overkill for what I need, but good build quality is also important to me and from the descriptions, the G51 is that kind of computer.

It has i7 with 7200rpm hdd. I don't know if I can get one with blueray but oh well.

video card is nvidia gtx 260m - I need to make sure this will work with the Maxtrox dual head 2 go extender and can I get dual 1280x1024 monitors to play. Do you have any advice on that? I went to the Nvidia site to research and it made my head spin. :pt1cable: 

It says on Matrox site that dualhead2go is compatible with NVIDIA GeForce 100 / 200 Series. Probably a dumb question but can I assume the GTX260m is in that category?

Also, good place to buy? any comments?

thanks so much!!!!








ibnsina said:
ASUS M60J-A1 is got spec, Core i7 720QM, 4GB DDR3, 500GB 5400rpm, GeForce GT 240M, BD Combo. Fingerprint reader. Resolution 1366 x 768. $1,549.99

ASUS N61Vn-A1, Core 2 Quad Q9000, 4GB DDR3, 320GB 7200rpm, GeForce GT 240M, DVD Super Multi. Resolution 1366 x 768. $1,199.

So for $350 you will get i7 processor, bigger but slower hard dive, Blu-Ray Drive, Fingerprint reader.

If you’re happy with the screen resolution, then they are both good deals. You get 2 years warranty too.


i7 720QM versus Quad Q9000

SuperPI 1M............i7 720QM 37.5% slower
SuperPI 2M........................36.84% slower
SuperPI 32M......................48.36% faster
3dMark06CPU....................7.36% faster
Dhrystone..........................7.33% faster
Whetstone........................10.89% faster
Cinebench Single...............26.7% faster
Cinebench Multi................10.61% faster
wPrime 32.........................35.48% faster
wPrime 1024.....................38.53% faster

source : http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmar...

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a b D Laptop
December 5, 2009 2:14:38 PM

First off, recognize that the brands you have heard of don't actually build laptops, they market them.

* Quanta sells to (among others) HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu, Acer, NEC, Gateway and Lenovo/IBM - note that Quanta is currently (as of August, 2007) the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world.
* Compal sells to Toshiba, HP/Compaq, Acer, and Dell.
* Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to HP/Compaq, Dell, IBM, NEC, Acer, and Lenovo/IBM.
* Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP/Compaq, NEC, and Dell.
* ECS sells to IBM, Fujitsu, and Dell.
* Asus sells to Apple (iBook), Sony, and Samsung.
* Inventec sells to HP/Compaq, Toshiba, and BenQ.
* Uniwill sells to Lenovo/IBM and Fujitsu.

The one I am leaving out above is probably of most interest to you for the reasons noted here:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=91510

"CLEVO is a large Taiwanese computer company specializing in laptops. While the Clevo brand name is perhaps not widely known, their products are re-branded and sold by known boutique brand OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)… notably Sager, VoodooPC, Falcon Northwest, Eurocom, etc. They are also considered (by whoever knows about notebooks) to design and manufacturer the best of the best notebooks in terms of superior build quality and innovative designs."

They way that I found out about Clevo was I was searching for an extreme hi end note book for field CAD usage. The ones I looked at from Dell, Voodoo, WidowPC, Sager, Alienware, etc all looked exactly alike other than paint / logos and were well above my $3,750 budget limit. When I was on a business trip and one of those vendors seemed very nervous about my visiting their production facility while I was in town, I got suspicious. A little research put me in touch with a US Clevo distributor who was building almost all of the brands I was looking at. The $4,400 - 4,700 laptop "everywhere else" cost me $3143

I have since bought 8 laptops from them in the past 5 years and have 2 more builds I am putting together at the moment. The link above lists a bunch of Clevo distributors frpom all parts of the globe, I have been getting mine here:

http://www.pro-star.com/

Here's one with a gorgeous 1920 x 1200 screen, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz, 1066MHz FSB , 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M w/1GB DDR3 , 500/7200rpm (SATA II 3GB/s) with G-Force (drop) Protection, 8X DVD±R/RW Burner/4X Max. +DL Super-Mulit Drive, Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit, ntel Wi-Fi Link 5300AGN 802.11a/g/n, Internal Bluetooth V2.0 + EDR Module that comes to $1,463. Unlike the mass market brands, you can customize the build any way you want using the configurator. Unfortunately, at this point in time, a laptop configured as above would be in the $1800 - $1900 range with the newer Intel Core i7-720QM Processor, 1.6 GHz processor. I have seen laptops with it at the $1500 price point but you had to give up few things to reach it. I expect when Intel releases their new CPU's and does their customary winter price cut, we'll see these processors drop to more mainstream price points.

http://www.pro-star.com/index.cfm?mainpage=productdetai...

Asus and MSI are worth looking at as they build their own and combine the financial clout of the big boys while maintaining some level of customization.


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December 5, 2009 7:59:27 PM

.
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December 5, 2009 8:08:06 PM

Yes Asus G51J-A1 is got spec. i7 720QM, 15.6" 1920 x 1080, GeForce GTX 260M, 640GB HDD 7200rpm (2 x 320GB), 4GB Memory, DVD, weight 7.26 lbs (6.5lbs at xoticpc?). Xoticpc are advertising for $1405.53, not sure if it includes tax or not. $1,499.99 @ newegg.com


Another option is Asus G72Gx, Core 2 Quad, 6GB DDR2, 640GB (320GB x 2; 7200 rpm), GTX 260M, 17.3" LED hd 1600 x 900 . It says it comes with 1 year warranty, I wonder if bestbuy.com giving wrong information’s, so that they can sell their own cover. $1,299.99 @ bestbuy.com I think this a good deal. But remember it weighs 8.8 lbs.

Xoticpc seems to have good range of asus laptop, reasonable prices too (Xoticpc reseller ratings http://www.resellerratings.com/store/Xotic_PC ) . If Newegg have the model you want, then it’s good place to buy it too. Also bestbuy.com good place to buy. Don’t buy it from smaller company just because they might be selling it slightly cheaper. They might sell you used item and returning it could give you nightmares.
___________________________________________________________________________________

Matrox DualHead2Go will work with the gpu’s mentioned, you can also run their GXM System Compatibility Tool, before you buy it. http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/support/drivers/downl...
What connections does your monitors have? these laptops comes with HDMI and VGA connections, I wonder if you can connect your 2 monitors without the matrox dualhead.
___________________________________________________________________________________
I configured Cleavo with Core 2 Quad Q9000, 4GB DDR3, GTX 260M, 320GB 7200rpm, DVD, 15.4" 1920 x 1200, Windows 7 Home, 2 Year Warranty. Total US $1,743.00

If you compare it to ASUS G51J-A1 ($1405) That’s around $300 more. Asus warranty is much better, first year is accidental cover.[/quotemsg]

I dont think even Quanta or Compal make their own laptop, they are largely just assembling parts together. :lol: 
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December 5, 2009 8:37:46 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
First off, recognize that the brands you have heard of don't actually build laptops, they market them.

* Quanta sells to (among others) HP/Compaq, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Fujitsu, Acer, NEC, Gateway and Lenovo/IBM - note that Quanta is currently (as of August, 2007) the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world.
* Compal sells to Toshiba, HP/Compaq, Acer, and Dell.
* Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to HP/Compaq, Dell, IBM, NEC, Acer, and Lenovo/IBM.
* Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP/Compaq, NEC, and Dell.
* ECS sells to IBM, Fujitsu, and Dell.
* Asus sells to Apple (iBook), Sony, and Samsung.
* Inventec sells to HP/Compaq, Toshiba, and BenQ.
* Uniwill sells to Lenovo/IBM and Fujitsu.

The one I am leaving out above is probably of most interest to you for the reasons noted here:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=91510

"CLEVO is a large Taiwanese computer company specializing in laptops. While the Clevo brand name is perhaps not widely known, their products are re-branded and sold by known boutique brand OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)… notably Sager, VoodooPC, Falcon Northwest, Eurocom, etc. They are also considered (by whoever knows about notebooks) to design and manufacturer the best of the best notebooks in terms of superior build quality and innovative designs."

They way that I found out about Clevo was I was searching for an extreme hi end note book for field CAD usage. The ones I looked at from Dell, Voodoo, WidowPC, Sager, Alienware, etc all looked exactly alike other than paint / logos and were well above my $3,750 budget limit. When I was on a business trip and one of those vendors seemed very nervous about my visiting their production facility while I was in town, I got suspicious. A little research put me in touch with a US Clevo distributor who was building almost all of the brands I was looking at. The $4,400 - 4,700 laptop "everywhere else" cost me $3143

I have since bought 8 laptops from them in the past 5 years and have 2 more builds I am putting together at the moment. The link above lists a bunch of Clevo distributors frpom all parts of the globe, I have been getting mine here:

http://www.pro-star.com/

Here's one with a gorgeous 1920 x 1200 screen, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53GHz, 1066MHz FSB , 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M w/1GB DDR3 , 500/7200rpm (SATA II 3GB/s) with G-Force (drop) Protection, 8X DVD±R/RW Burner/4X Max. +DL Super-Mulit Drive, Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit, ntel Wi-Fi Link 5300AGN 802.11a/g/n, Internal Bluetooth V2.0 + EDR Module that comes to $1,463. Unlike the mass market brands, you can customize the build any way you want using the configurator. Unfortunately, at this point in time, a laptop configured as above would be in the $1800 - $1900 range with the newer Intel Core i7-720QM Processor, 1.6 GHz processor. I have seen laptops with it at the $1500 price point but you had to give up few things to reach it. I expect when Intel releases their new CPU's and does their customary winter price cut, we'll see these processors drop to more mainstream price points.

http://www.pro-star.com/index.cfm?mainpage=productdetai...

Asus and MSI are worth looking at as they build their own and combine the financial clout of the big boys while maintaining some level of customization.


Thanks for the links and information.

Legends
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a b D Laptop
December 11, 2009 2:42:05 AM

yur welcome
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January 10, 2010 8:12:04 PM

Take a look at these...
any of them would suit your needs.


I do all that you've described, and more besides, and I manage pretty well with a reasonably-specified machine. At the moment I'm using an IBM ThinkPad or a Toshiba widescreen machine when I travel, and both of them cope perfectly well.
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a b D Laptop
January 10, 2010 8:24:02 PM

gailey, why do you keep posting in threads that have been marked as solved or already resolved?
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January 11, 2010 8:53:53 AM

His on a commi$$ion

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!