Budget Laptop, Netbook, or Tablet?

Hello Friends - I've pretty much ruled out netbooks at this point unless someone can point me to one that will meet my needs below. I'm pretty sure i'm looking for a budget laptop, but I just don't know what's comparable these days? Windows tablets? Ipad? I've got an iphone (please don't hate me i'm stuck on AT&T and their droids are garbage).

1. Budget? Under $450

2. Size? Cheapest option

3. Screen resolution? Cheapest Option. HDMI preferable

4. Portable or desktop replacement laptop? Portable portable portable.

5. Battery? 4+ hours streaming movies on wifi

6. Games? Not necessary but can spend spend an extra $50 to play mainstream on low res.

7. Tasks? Watching netflix maybe, websurfing, word docs... etc. nothing demanding. My desktop can handle the rest.

8. Hard Drive capacity? Minimum possible, already have way too much lol. My last laptop had 60GB, so whatever is fine.

9. Specific sites to buy from? Where ever there's a deal. Spend a lot of time on newegg

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 5+ years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? None needed.

12. Brands? Need someone with good quality reputation for this to last 5+ years.

13. What country do you live in? USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I heard some pretty bad things about windows 7 starter pack, so i want to stay away from that.
Newegg came across with this deal for $399 and it looked pretty good, but I don't know enough to tell if it's worth it or not... TOSHIBA Satellite L655-S5156


My 7 year old laptop was very slugish near the end of it's reign, so I'd like something with some pep and a quick startup.

Can anyone point me to a mobile CPU chart? Do I want to hold out for a deal on an i3? I may be able to squeeze out a little more gpu $$ if it means my videos will look considerablly better or use as an HTPC with an HDMI.

Thanks in advance!
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  1. For under 450 to get over a few hour of usage on battery you need a netbook, but forget any HD video or games on that.

    Reliability, you need to spend for that and even then it's a hit or miss thing. To get a solid case will cost. Check out the HP models WalMart sells, they are pretty good deals. I always suggest to overbuy a bit for laptops as you can't upgrade them easily. $400 spent now on a marginal machine, means in a few years it will seem to slow for anything.
  2. Thanks for the tip hang-the-9.

    How much should I be looking to spend to get something with my requirements mentioned above?

    I would ideally like enough battery life to watch at least 1 movie on a single charge. I think I need an HDMI port and a core i3 if I'm going to be spending...? I can't find any CPU benchmark charts on the internets with the corei3,i5,i7s, to see how they compare against AMD's offerings.
  3. For price/quality/logevity/usability the sweet spot seems to be about $600 for a non-gaming system. This may help you select a brand, and then check for a model you like in your price range.

    The CPU will not matter too much once you get past the low end for what you will use it for. If you are not getting the laptop to play games one, any real CPU (non Atom or low voltage) will run anything.
  4. It's going to be tough to justify the extra $$ for such simple usage, I may just need to hold out for a sale somewhere. I've heard some pretty negative things about "integrated graphics", but I guess I have to ask what won't I be able to do with the integrate stuff.

    Found this ACER Aspire for $550. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834115985
  5. Forgot to link the reliability article in my last post http://smidgenpc.com/2010/05/07/laptop-reliability-ratings-which-laptop-is-really-most-reliable/

    IG graphics are fine for non-HD movies, and even then the new ones can handle those OK.
  6. Thanks again for the advice with this. Looked at the Dell website for kicks and found a base level Dell Insprion 14R for $399 with corei3-280(2.53) with 2GB ram and 250HDD. Or even the 15R (15" screen) for $450. Does that sound like a decent offering? Will it meet my needs above?
  7. http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/dell-inspiron-14r/4505-3121_7-34122518.html

    From the review has short battery life. You probably want to read a few reviews on these things, you won't get a true test of things from the vendor site.
  8. Cnet said they got 2h58m of video playback, which would meet my movie requirement unless I'm watching Braveheart, but they also had a 1GB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470, along with a different processor... The base model for the 14R had an ATI HD 3000, would that give me more battery life? Less GPU = More battery?

    ALSO, i just discovered there are two different Corei3 CPUs?? Am I missing out not spending and extra $100 on the i3-2310M processor 2.10 GHz or can I save money and get the i3280 @ 2.53?

    Thanks as always!
  9. There are several steps in each CPU model, for non-gaming and non-editing use (converting video to divx say), any modern CPU will be good (keeping in mind it's a real CPU and not one made for low wattage). A lower GPU would get better battery life. I just read the quick blurb for the system on their front page which put battery life as a negative.
  10. So regardless of brand, if I found a 15.6", core i3 - 380 (2.53Ghz), 3GB, 250GB HDD, ATI HD 3000, with around 3-4 hours battery life for $450 would that be a good deal?
  11. mountie said:
    So regardless of brand, if I found a 15.6", core i3 - 380 (2.53Ghz), 3GB, 250GB HDD, ATI HD 3000, with around 3-4 hours battery life for $450 would that be a good deal?

    Yep, check on the link I put in above though for reliability stats.
  12. That's a Dell 15R I mentioned above, seems like a pretty sweet deal with a HDMI port and separate num pad. I looked in another post and found that user WR2 posted a website I would like to share on this thread as well.


    I can't seem to find an ASUS in my price range, so I may look for a similar Toshiba before pulling the trigger.
  13. OK can anyone find anything wrong with this (old) Dell Inspiron 15R for $450? Corei3 @ 2.53 / 3GBmem / 320HDD / 15.3" screen. HDMI port included. Only thing I can see is a potentially short battery life and no gigabit ethernet, but not bad at mt $450 price point?

  14. If you like experience some different computing experience, I will recommend you to get a Tablet with external add-on keyboard with $450 you can get the Asus Eee Pad Transformer TF101.
    Else the deal on Dell Inspiron 15R is pretty good deal.
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