Help choose a laptop


I'm looking at replacing my laptop and thinking of buying the ASUS U53JC-C1 "BAMBOO" notebook, because I like the look, the price and seems to get consistently good reviews. Plus, environmental sustainability is a major selling point on this notebook for me.

I hesitate a bit because it’s i5 instead of i7, and because I find the screen a bit on the small side (using a 17.3in at the moment and I like the size).

BUT, I looooove to work outdoors in the summer, and most screens become unreadable under the sun. Think beach, cafés, parks, etc. I may have to consider adding some type of anti-glare shield, although I would prefer not to.

I keep trying to find the best ntebook to fit my needs, and it’s not easy, so I could certainly use your help, since you guys are pros.

But I'm pretty impressed with the BAMBOO!!

Thank you!

1. What is your budget?
--> $1000-1500

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
--> 15.6 and > (I like a good quality screen and resolution)

3. What screen resolution do you want?
--> The higher, the better

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
--> Both

5. How much battery life do you need?
--> 4-6 hours

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop?
--> No

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
--> MS Office, Internet, Adobe PRO (eventually PhotoShop as well), Dreamweaver MX, watch movies, photo editing

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
--> Not important

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
--> About 3 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
--> Not important

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.
--> LIKE: ASUS U53JC-C1 Bamboo, ASUS G51J, ASUS G73JW,
--> DISLIKE: Gateway > bad experience with hardware, conflicts, etc.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
--> I really like to work outdoors in the summer (beach, cafés, parcs, etc.), so I think I want a really bright LED backlight...?
--> I plan on using this laptop for 40-50 hours per week for work
--> Looking for a Windows 64-bit (I usually run many applications simultaneously)
--> Looking to buy between today and next week

THANK YOU in advance for all your help!!!!! :)
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about help choose laptop
  1. It works - but you might not want to get caught using it.
    If you can manage to work in the shade you have a better chance of staying productive.
    Turning up the screen brightness to max is also some you'll need to do.
    Choose one of the high contrast desktop themes in Windows 7 like high contrast black.

    ASUS U53JC-C1 @ XoticPC will let you chose different options like a more powerful CPU. Unfortunately a higher resolution or matte screen aren't options.
    I don't know of a comparable custom shop in Canada but you can ask around.

    Going outside the U series is going to give your battery life a major hit.

    HP Envy 14 has an extra bright screen. And they have configuration options. But they no longer offer the higher resolution screens.
    Dell XPS 15 has the new more powerful Sandy Bridge CPUs, a 1920x1080 resolution option and one of the better, brighter screens.

    For style, overall quality, warranty (2yr+1yr accident coverage) and battery life. Plus style points.
    ASUS Bamboo U53JC A1

    For power, sound system and full HD screen
    Dell XPS 15
  2. I'd recommend the Sandy Bridge Optimus laptops manufactured by Clevo and sold under various brand names. Optimis extends battery life by using low power graphics for regular usage and switching to the 540M only when you undertake demanding applications or games.

    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.

    Many of these boutique vendors in US actually don't have assembly facilities and have their units built by Pro-Star but they also sell direct to customers. Customize these and build what works for you.

  3. Thanks guys!

    I just checked boh the Dell XPS 15 and prostar's W150HNQ, and configured them both with i7-2720QM, the best available screen, same NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M card... free shipping on both.

    Prostar looks like a much better deal. I've read great things about Clevo too.

    I may swerve away from ASUS Bamboo (and I would be sad to lose the bamboo exterior) and head into the Clevo direction... If I do though, I will need help with hard drive + optical drive selection (12 and 14 choices!!!).

    Right now, looking at:

    - 15.6" 1920 x 1080 Full HD (16:9) LED Backlit Glare Type Display, Super-Wide Viewing Angles
    - Intel Core i7-2720QM Processor, 2.2 GHz, 6MB Smart Cache
    - Free! Prostar OEM Thermal Compound CPU+GPU
    - nVidia GeForce GT 540M 1GB GDDR3 with Optimus Technology / Intel GMA HD

    But hey, Dell does throw in Adobe Reader :-P
  4. mutoka said:

    - 15.6" 1920 x 1080 Full HD (16:9) LED Backlit Glare Type Display, Super-Wide Viewing Angles

    What is "glare type display"? I cannot find anything about that... It sound like added glare, but that would make no sense.
  5. Glare=glossy screen; a standard laptop screen. The standard for consumer laptops.
    Matte would be the non-glare, non-glossy version. Most often found on business class laptops.

    Check out also.
    They have student & military discounts and do price matching.
  6. yeah... maybe that setup is overkill for me. I need a decent battery life (6 hours).

    Maybe a Core i5 or an AMD (integrated, not switchable) graphics would be better for longer battery life??? I don't do gaming.

    But I soooooo don't know what I'm talking about... I want a super bright screen to work outdoors all summer, a fast machine, able to handle multiple apps at once. No. Gaming. Mostly business.

    My actual notebook is quickly falling apart more and more by the day. The hinges have started to break today, which is lifting the keyboard frame. Really hoping to replace it sooner than later...

    Thank yOU!
  7. Core i7-2630QM, 15.6" 1920 x 1080 GT 540M is going to be a really popular choice this year.
    I don't think the upgrade from 2630QM -> 2720QM gets you good value for the amount spent.

    The 500GB 7200rpm HDD option would be good and the basic DVD writer.
  8. Best answer
    There are couple of issues you are looking at for your computer - the biggest one being the ability to use it outdoors in sunlight. The two major solutions for this are buying a computer with a Matte screen (non-glossy) or adding an after-market Matte screen guard to your screen as below:

    You could add a Matte protector to the Bamboo, and you would get the performance and battery life you were looking for:

    If you want something that is going to load things very quickly, then make sure to include an SSD hard drive in your set-up - it will boost your load times of all applications that you run from it greatly - for a non-gaming system that has to be the single greatest upgrade you can do for your system (gaming systems need a better Graphics unit before an SSD).

    As for long battery life, you are correct that integrated graphics will last longer - although with the new nVidia mobile chips, you get Optimus technology which basically does the same thing, by turning off the 3D card when you aren't using applications that need it.
  9. I want to thank you guys for helping me. All your answers were indeed very helpful, every single one. I seriously considered the Clevo/Sager and the Dell SPX15 options.

    In the end, I decided to purchase the ASUS bamboo (from Amazon) for both battery life and 2-year warranty... plus style. I may come to regret it once the snow melts and I take it outside. Who knows... I'm now looking for an SSD to add to the lot.

    Thank you :-)
  10. Best answer selected by mutoka.
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