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Need advice in choosing a laptop

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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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December 12, 2009 11:21:36 AM

Hello, I'm meaning to buy a laptop and so far I've come across 3 that caught my eye. I'll mention the price I could buy these from local/national retailers.

http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.com/innovation/produ...

This would be around 1170 US$ with a 2 year warranty included. This is the only one of the 3 which has DDR3 ram which is nice also.

http://eu.computers.toshiba-europe.com/innovation/produ...

1190 $... also 2 year warranty. Roughly the same except for DDR2 ram and has 16 inch monitor compared to 15.6 of the previous. Processors are also slightly different.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

This obviously has the weaker processor of the 3 which is the biggest downside.
The price is roughly 1060$ with just 1 year warranty.

I have my mind set on 1 of the 2 toshibas. The ati 4650 HD is pretty much the best video card I've seen within my budget range (a main reason for choosing these 3 laptops)
Please offer some feedback and advice:)  perhaps other laptops which might be more worth it.

Below are the thread questions:

1_What is your budget? 1000-1100$ but can stretch it to 1200-1300$ for something extremely worthwhile.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? As big as 17 inches, however willing to go down to 16-15.6, in order to stay withing the budget as specifications and performance are more important.

3_What screen resolution do you want? Not important.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? More of a desktop replacement.

5_How much battery life do you need? Would be plugged in most of the time. A good battery is a bonus ofc.

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)? Things with similar requirements to dragon age or mass effect for instance, preferably on medium towards high.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Daily regular stuff, nothing a decent laptop couldn't handle.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need? Would prefer a 7200 rpm, but if the general system is good 5400 would suffice (in order to stay in budget again - video card is more important). Same things goes for capacity, anything over 250-300 will do (will probably end up buying an external hdd anyway)

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

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
at least 3 years hopefully

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD ROM/writer, anything else is a bonus.
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.
Only know rumors heard from others. This would be my first laptop.
13_What country do you live in?
Romania.

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.

More about : advice choosing laptop

December 12, 2009 1:36:05 PM

the x300 series start from around 1000 euro upward as i've seen, 1500 $ roughly. I've seen P500s with GT230 M video cards which is inferior to the 4650 HD according to the benchmarks i've looked at.

I've searched many asus/acer laptops at my budget price range, but their video cards were weaker ati.... 4300s 4500s HD or geforce 220M GT all under the 4650 HD.
I think i've been quite thorough across the market, but if any of you thinks the laptops I found are not that great price/quality wise please say so :D .

Thanks in advance:) 
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December 12, 2009 2:47:22 PM

Shame the x300 still very expensive, prices should have gone down by now, because the new model is out. The x300 got GeForce® 9800M GTS and higher clocked processor, which makes it reasonably fast laptop.

Because we don’t live downthere and don’t speak the language is difficult for us to look for a good deal for you. :??: 

So the choice is between the following two.

Toshiba Satellite L505-111, is got faster cpu as you mentioned, bigger hard drive.1mm thinner. 40 grams lighter. Faster ddr3.windows 7.

Satellite A500-138 got better Harman Kardon® stereo speakers and bigger screen. HDMI-CEC, this will allow you to control your laptop from the Toshiba REGZA tv remote control (supporting 1080p). Useful feature if you are going to be connecting your laptop to your Toshiba tv, watching HD clips/movies from the internet or DVD.Windows vista with free windows 7 upgrade.

I would go with A500-138, because I know those Harman Kardon® stereo speakers sound really good(they comes with my Toshiba laptop). To make up for slightly slower cpu, you get slightly bigger Screen. HDMI-CEC.

Your turn to decide :D 








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December 12, 2009 3:08:25 PM

Apparently they don't even got the L505-111 in stock till next week. Basically the L is a better proc and better ram (DDR3) at a lower price slightly :) . Will give it some thought, i'm convinced though either of the 2 will suit my needs just fine.
Thanks a lot for your feedback :D  cheers.
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December 12, 2009 3:28:03 PM

No problem and have fun with it. Try few of the latest games on it and come back with a review. If you don’t have a USB wired or wireless mouse, then get a good gaming mouse too (Logitech).
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December 12, 2009 3:29:12 PM

Sry m8 one more thing i just saw you write.
"Windows vista with free windows 7 upgrade. " ? does every vista come with that? can you upgrade to a 64 bit win 7 regardless if you have the 32 vista?. Sry if they are nub questions, i've had xp since ever and was never really interested in vista when it came out. Erm... Win7 ultimate X64 or w/e version is the best no idea.
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December 12, 2009 3:46:02 PM

Well tha laptop will come with Windows Vista® Home Premium. But you are entitled to free windows 7 upgrade. They should give you Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit. Double check with company that you buy it from.

Dont worry about this, doing a Clean windows 7 installation will speed up your laptop, because laptop manufactures usually fill up the hard drive with junk software, demo games, utility tools.

http://aps2.toshiba-tro.de/kb0/TSB9902P50000R01.htm

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Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit should suit your needs. Win7 ultimate comes with encryption, xp mode and some other extras which you will probably never use. If you ever wanted to use some program which didnt run on Windows 7, just use VMlite xpmode http://www.vmlite.com.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7_editions
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