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New laptop needed

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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
January 12, 2011 2:34:11 AM

fried the motherboard on my 3+ year old toshiba running some sort of AMD athlon 64, and school is about to start again. my budget is $600-$700, I'm always plugged into a wall socket and its gotta fit in a backpack, dimensions more of a concern than weight (as I'd still like to be able to fit books in, being such a good student). Even though my toshiba couldn't really do much, although it did play WoW sort of, I'd like to play some games, Starcraft 2 probably being the most intense. I've been looking at:

Is excaliber a good retailer? Is a refurbished asus a bad idea?

Also, I would've already bought the refurb asus if it hadn't been for the cpu. Is the 330um really that much of a bottleneck, considering what I'm coming from? and out of curiosity, can it be upgraded?

finally, I need this to last, i've read good things about toshiba and asus, had good experience with toshiba, but not so sure I like the design of their new budget laptops, which is why the two I'm looking at so far are asus.

More about : laptop needed

a c 571 D Laptop
January 12, 2011 5:36:02 AM

The G310M (and it's ATI counterpart HD 5470) aren't known as gaming GPUs. So you should know what your paying for.
The 330um low voltage (CULV) will be a gaming bottleneck, especially for sim type games like SC2 and CPU hungry games like WoW.
It's OK for everything else and you'd get better battery life in some cases.

Here is a $620 option. Lenovo Z565 AMD Turion II Dual-Core P540(2.4GHz) and HD 5470 graphics.
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January 12, 2011 5:03:04 PM

also, how much would that number pad cramp down on my typing?

Best solution

a c 571 D Laptop
January 12, 2011 7:30:26 PM

Most reviews have said the keyboard is a good one. Z560 review @ PC Pro Z565 review @ Notebookcheck

It's not easy to tell what differences there are between the Z565 3EU and 3FU even when you look at them side-by-side @ NewEgg.
One gets a 3 egg rating from customers, the other gets 5 eggs. Z560 (Intel) and Z565 (AMD)

Just recently arrived are the Z560 Intel models.
With the more powerful i3-380 2.53GHz CPU it seems a fair value for the extra CPU power that SC2 and WoW would like.
Passmark CPU scores:
AMD Turion II P540 2.4Ghz = 1499
Intel Core i3 380M @ 2.53GHz = 2198

January 13, 2011 7:52:02 PM

can't afford the intel z560, so I'll go for the u30 for the extra processing. will be doing a lot more of that than gaming anyway

January 14, 2011 1:40:49 PM

Best answer selected by pdubbs.