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Narrowing down 13" laptops

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 30, 2010 2:09:31 PM

I have a pretty good idea of what I want (Toshiba 13"), but within that group there are several options with quite a bit of cost difference. The differences that I've found are mostly in processor. I know that the i3 is the latest & greatest, but I don't know if it's really going to be worth the extra money for me. I figure I'll just submit this form and see what you folks say..

1_What is your budget?
$400-$800

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13.3"

3_What screen resolution do you want?
Not a major consideration

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable. 14" widescreen is a touch too wide.
Weight isn't all that important.

5_How much battery life do you need?
Don't *need* 7 or 8 hours, thought it would be great to have.
I'd be very happy with 5 hours, and I'm ok turning down screen brightness & killing WiFi to get that
Anything less than 2.5 hours would be a negative

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)?
Maybe, but nothing major. If I did play, it might be strategy games like Civilization.
Only other thing might be a sports type game (Hockey, Football, etc..)
I'm perfectly fine with cranking graphics settings down to play if I happen to want to.
I haven't installed a single game in the 5 years I've owned my old laptop

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Occasional DVD movies and video/photo work.
It's so rare for me to edit video/photos that I'm ok with less-than-stellar performance

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
Most of the models I'm considering are 320-500GB. That's plenty.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Would like to go through Best Buy because of no interest financing.
If it looks like one of the $400-$500 models will work though, I'll buy from whoever

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
At least 3 years. Hopefully more..

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD burner. Internal is preferred, but I don't use mine all that often so external would be acceptable if it means saving substantial $$.

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 tend to lean towards Toshiba because they have the most selection in the 13" screen size that I want and I've had one going strong for almost 5 years now.
I'm willing to consider other brands though, but will need to hear some good reviews about reliability.

13_What country do you live in?
United States

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I also do a little bit of programming (web & DB development) so decent performance with VB, SQL server, Access and such is pretty important.

Also, I'm curious as to whether I should put any importance on whether or not to get a 64 bit or 32 bit version of Windows.

More about : narrowing laptops

a b D Laptop
June 30, 2010 6:52:04 PM

What are the specs of the Toshiba? That would help so we have something comparable to look for. In regard to the Windows, question, you might as well go with the 64 bit version of Windows if it doesn't pose a compatibility issue with your main programs.
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a b D Laptop
June 30, 2010 8:21:18 PM

ShinerDraft said:
I have a pretty good idea of what I want (Toshiba 13"), but within that group there are several options with quite a bit of cost difference. The differences that I've found are mostly in processor. I know that the i3 is the latest & greatest, but I don't know if it's really going to be worth the extra money for me. I figure I'll just submit this form and see what you folks say..

1_What is your budget?
$400-$800

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13.3"

3_What screen resolution do you want?
Not a major consideration

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable. 14" widescreen is a touch too wide.
Weight isn't all that important.

5_How much battery life do you need?
Don't *need* 7 or 8 hours, thought it would be great to have.
I'd be very happy with 5 hours, and I'm ok turning down screen brightness & killing WiFi to get that
Anything less than 2.5 hours would be a negative

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)?
Maybe, but nothing major. If I did play, it might be strategy games like Civilization.
Only other thing might be a sports type game (Hockey, Football, etc..)
I'm perfectly fine with cranking graphics settings down to play if I happen to want to.
I haven't installed a single game in the 5 years I've owned my old laptop

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Occasional DVD movies and video/photo work.
It's so rare for me to edit video/photos that I'm ok with less-than-stellar performance

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
Most of the models I'm considering are 320-500GB. That's plenty.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Would like to go through Best Buy because of no interest financing.
If it looks like one of the $400-$500 models will work though, I'll buy from whoever

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
At least 3 years. Hopefully more..

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD burner. Internal is preferred, but I don't use mine all that often so external would be acceptable if it means saving substantial $$.

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 tend to lean towards Toshiba because they have the most selection in the 13" screen size that I want and I've had one going strong for almost 5 years now.
I'm willing to consider other brands though, but will need to hear some good reviews about reliability.

13_What country do you live in?
United States

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I also do a little bit of programming (web & DB development) so decent performance with VB, SQL server, Access and such is pretty important.

Also, I'm curious as to whether I should put any importance on whether or not to get a 64 bit or 32 bit version of Windows.


Hi there,

You should check out the Toshiba Satellite M505-ST5408. It has a 14" screen rather than a 13.3" screen but it has a faster processor than many 13" computers (2.13 GHz Intel® Core™ i3-330M). It is also light-weight at 5.2 lbs and has 320 GB of hard drive space. Check it out here: http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/pc-scout/laptop-detail....

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
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June 30, 2010 8:55:05 PM

The ones I'm looking at are the:
U505 with the Core i3-330M
U505 with the Core2Duo P7450
T135's with the SU4100
and
T135D with the Turion Neo X2 L625

I also found a Dell Studio XPS 13, but there are apparently serious design problems that cause heat issues and those models have been discontinued.

I'm ok weighing the cost/value of all the other specs & features, but mostly I'm just not sure if I should spring for the i3 due to the extra horsepower.

Right now, I'm kinda leaning towards the lower end models just to see if they're good enough. Whatever I get will be substantially better than my 5 year old machine.
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June 30, 2010 8:59:53 PM

IsabellaWinTeam said:
Hi there,

You should check out the Toshiba Satellite M505-ST5408. It has a 14" screen rather than a 13.3" screen but it has a faster processor than many 13" computers (2.13 GHz Intel® Core™ i3-330M). It is also light-weight at 5.2 lbs and has 320 GB of hard drive space. Check it out here: http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/pc-scout/laptop-detail....

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team

Thanks for the recommendation, but the 13.3" screen size is really the most important thing to me. I have a 14" right now, and it's just a touch too wide for use on a plane and in the car.
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a b D Laptop
June 30, 2010 10:29:14 PM

ShinerDraft said:
Thanks for the recommendation, but the 13.3" screen size is really the most important thing to me. I have a 14" right now, and it's just a touch too wide for use on a plane and in the car.


Hi there,

What about the Sony Vaio Y series? It has a 13.3" screen and up to six hours of battery life. It also has up to 500 GB of storage space.

What do you think?

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
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July 1, 2010 10:08:42 AM

Spend abit more money and buy a macbook seriously ITS the best laptop u eva use in ur life and u wont regret it or abit more for the PRO which is even better
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July 8, 2010 3:39:16 PM

IsabellaWinTeam said:
Hi there,

What about the Sony Vaio Y series? It has a 13.3" screen and up to six hours of battery life. It also has up to 500 GB of storage space.

What do you think?

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team

It's an option, but it's pretty high in my price range. I ended up finding a very good deal (40% off!) on the Toshiba T135D with the Turion Neo X2 L625 through the Microsoft store. For the price, I'm willing to try it for a while. If it's underpowered, I will probably consider the Sony you mention above.

Thanks!
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July 8, 2010 3:41:00 PM

zhemin said:
Spend abit more money and buy a macbook seriously ITS the best laptop u eva use in ur life and u wont regret it or abit more for the PRO which is even better

I want a computer, not an overpriced toy that treats me like a 5 year old.
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a b D Laptop
July 8, 2010 3:51:21 PM

ShinerDraft said:
It's an option, but it's pretty high in my price range. I ended up finding a very good deal (40% off!) on the Toshiba T135D with the Turion Neo X2 L625 through the Microsoft store. For the price, I'm willing to try it for a while. If it's underpowered, I will probably consider the Sony you mention above.

Thanks!


Hi there,

I'm glad I was able to help! Since it doesn't sound like you will be doing much gaming, the Toshiba sounds like a great value. I hope it works out for you.

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
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!