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Looking for my first Laptop

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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July 12, 2010 4:39:34 AM

1_What is your budget?
$800

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15 or 17

3_What screen resolution
do you want?
doesnt really matter, HD would be a +

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
portable

5_How much battery life do you need?
4 hours

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)?
yes, but just starcraft 2. no fps games or anything. I have my desktop for that

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Watching dvds, web surfing, and mostly just school work.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
bigger then 250gb

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+-+Laptop+with+Intel...

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as possible, 3+ years

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD-rom is good enough

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 don't really mind about the brand, but I tend to like HP, Acer, Samsung, or Sony. These brands seem a little more reliable, unless I'm wrong.

13_What country do you live in?
USA!!

I've been doing some research already, but I would like some peer expertise. The Samsung I found looks pretty promising, but I'm afraid the i5 core is a little slow? I'm not sure how much 2.2ghz for an i5 would compare to AMD Turion/C2D/i3. I was looking at some charts on this site but not all the CPUs are posted up.

More about : laptop

a c 244 D Laptop
July 12, 2010 10:12:15 AM

That ink doesn't work(its typical with bestbuy links), so please post its model and specs.
July 12, 2010 10:48:10 AM

Here's a rundown of the various notebook CPUs:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Notebook-Processors.129.0....
Benchmarks here:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmar...
Generally speaking, AMD is getting creamed by Intel in the mobile department.

As for the Samsung NP-R580-JSB1US, at $779.99, you could do much better spec-wise. I'd recommend this notebook:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It beats the Samsung at everything except for the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive.
Acer: i5 450M 2.40 GHz (2.66 GHz Turbo Boost) > Samsung: i5 430 2.26 GHz (2.53 GHz Turbo Boost)
Acer: GT 330M > Samsung: 310M
Benchmarks:
310M: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-310M.22439....
GT 330M: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-330M.224...

Comparison of Graphic Cards:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Graphic-Card...

Related resources
a b D Laptop
July 12, 2010 4:53:19 PM

vuskeedoo said:
1_What is your budget?
$800

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15 or 17

3_What screen resolution
do you want?
doesnt really matter, HD would be a +

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
portable

5_How much battery life do you need?
4 hours

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)?
yes, but just starcraft 2. no fps games or anything. I have my desktop for that

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Watching dvds, web surfing, and mostly just school work.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?
bigger then 250gb

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+-+Laptop+with+Intel...

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?
As long as possible, 3+ years

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD-rom is good enough

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 don't really mind about the brand, but I tend to like HP, Acer, Samsung, or Sony. These brands seem a little more reliable, unless I'm wrong.

13_What country do you live in?
USA!!

I've been doing some research already, but I would like some peer expertise. The Samsung I found looks pretty promising, but I'm afraid the i5 core is a little slow? I'm not sure how much 2.2ghz for an i5 would compare to AMD Turion/C2D/i3. I was looking at some charts on this site but not all the CPUs are posted up.


Hi there,

An i5 processor will be fine for the purposes that you described. You may also want to look into the Sony Vaio EB. It has a 2.13 GHz Intel Core i3-330M processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 500 GB of hard drive space. The Sony also has a 15.5" screen.

What do you think?

Cheers,
Isabella
MSFT Windows Outreach Team
July 12, 2010 8:43:37 PM

Maziar said:
That ink doesn't work(its typical with bestbuy links), so please post its model and specs.


Samsung NP-R580-JSB1US

gerand said:
Here's a rundown of the various notebook CPUs:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Notebook-Processors.129.0....
Benchmarks here:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmar...
Generally speaking, AMD is getting creamed by Intel in the mobile department.

As for the Samsung NP-R580-JSB1US, at $779.99, you could do much better spec-wise. I'd recommend this notebook:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It beats the Samsung at everything except for the inclusion of a Blu-ray drive.
Acer: i5 450M 2.40 GHz (2.66 GHz Turbo Boost) > Samsung: i5 430 2.26 GHz (2.53 GHz Turbo Boost)
Acer: GT 330M > Samsung: 310M
Benchmarks:
310M: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-310M.22439....
GT 330M: http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-330M.224...

Comparison of Graphic Cards:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Comparison-of-Graphic-Card...


Hmm, that Acer is pretty nice. But how reliable are Acer computers?
a c 244 D Laptop
July 12, 2010 8:52:19 PM

Aside from its GPU,its a good choice.With GT 310M you can play SC2 on low settings and on a low resolution fine
July 13, 2010 3:20:50 AM

If I do get the Acer or Samsung it's going to come out to around $850. Is it possible to bring down the price by getting a good C2D core instead? I'm actually thinking about trying to keep it at around $650-750 after taxes/shipping. Playing SC2 on low settings would make me sad. :[
July 13, 2010 7:00:02 AM

I only suggested the Acer Aspire AS5745G-3690 because it matched the price of the Samsung and had better specs, but since your primary concerns are schoolwork and SC2, a cheaper notebook with good graphics would be the better option.
I recommend this one:
http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...

The Radeon HD 5650 provides excellent mid-range graphics processing and should be enough to play SC2 on something other than low (pitiful) settings.

Acer notebooks are quite reliable and sturdy from my experience, although the lower-end models from $200-500 tend to be of cheaper quality, so generally speaking, the quality of the notebook is directly proportionate to the price you paid for it, but of course there are exceptions, both good and bad.
a c 244 D Laptop
July 13, 2010 7:15:25 AM

vuskeedoo said:
If I do get the Acer or Samsung it's going to come out to around $850. Is it possible to bring down the price by getting a good C2D core instead? I'm actually thinking about trying to keep it at around $650-750 after taxes/shipping. Playing SC2 on low settings would make me sad. :[

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Can handle SC2 fine on medium settings
July 13, 2010 9:20:05 PM

Maziar said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Can handle SC2 fine on medium settings


That's the same notebook the poster was referring to when he said, "If I do get the Acer or Samsung", and it's the same notebook I suggested earlier, but the poster wanted something slightly cheaper.
a c 244 D Laptop
July 14, 2010 8:42:27 AM

You are right,
sorry i didn't see your recommendations first

Best solution

a b D Laptop
July 14, 2010 3:35:42 PM
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(1) About six monthes ago there was a articale on Laptops, the Toshiba was the top for least number of problems.

(2) Most laptops ship with a 6 Cell Battery, a 9 cell (my Toshiba came with a 9 Cell) and Battery life is lower normally than manuf listing. Make sure you can get a 9 cell battery if Battery time is important - generaly 50 -$100 Bucks.

(3) Compare prices with/without Blu-ray rom/DVD writter. If Difference is >$150 then get the one with DVD writter and replace it with a Blu-ray drive. Cost is $100. But make sure the DVD drive is USER replaceable (would verify this anyways). I replaced both my toshiba A205 (PATA DVD drive) and my Tosibia A305 (SATA DVD drive). The SATA drives are way overpriced here in the states when compared to the same drive in PATA interface. Got mine from Tiawan (a Sony md) for $100 - they shipped it airmail and had within a week.

(3) If possible look for a model that supports two HDD's. Not the highest priority, but handy - See next comment.

(4) Do not buy one with an SSD Unless you verify SSD model, and they normally charge a premum for a 2nd rate SSD. An SSD is an excellent upgrade at a later date. Just look for "good" peformance with low Power consumption during write time (ie 3 Watts or less) Greatly improves overall perfornance and increases time on battery. With my A305 (128 Gig pateriot Torqx SSD)I can watch a blu-ray movie and have battery time left (5 Hr plane trip). I think an I3 w/SSD will provide better overall performance than a I5 W/HDD as long as either has dedicated GPU Since your interest in gaming.

I'm not a gamer, so I can not talk about if you need a dedicated GPU vs the intergrated Graphics of the I3/I5 Both are dual core/4 threads But the I5 supports turbo boost where the I3 does not. For gaming a laptop with dedicated GPU would be better - Link is just for comparison:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2955/5


While I've not recommended a specific model, I've pointed out somethings to consider.
August 18, 2010 5:35:10 AM

So I just found out I'm getting some cash flow in the new few weeks and can probably spend up to $1000 on a laptop. There is a deal right now $400 off a dv7t.

Here are the specs i made for it.

* Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
* Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-540M Dual Core processor (2.53GHz, 3MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 3.06GHz
* 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5650 switchable graphics [HDMI, VGA] - For Dual Core Processors
* 6GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
* 500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
* Microsoft(R) Office Starter 2010
* No additional security software
* 9 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (over-sized)
* 17.3" diagonal HD+ High-Definition HP LED BrightView Infinity Widescreen Display (1600 x 900)
* FREE Upgrade to Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD+/-R/RW Double Layer
* HP TrueVision Webcam and Fingerprint Reader [For BrightView Infinity Display]
* Intel Wireless-N Card
* Standard Keyboard
* HP Home & Home Office Store in-box envelope

My main concern now is if I should get a protection plan for my laptop since it can be a little more difficult to replace certain parts. Or if I should just spend around $800 on a lower end laptop that can still be good for me.

Thanks for all the help
September 6, 2010 7:32:35 AM

Best answer selected by vuskeedoo.
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