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Help to deciding on new laptop

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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May 10, 2011 3:40:05 AM

1. What is your budget?
Up to $1550 (8000 DKK)

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
15,6"

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1920x1080

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
Not important, I have access to electric outlet both home and school

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, Starcraft 1&2, Mass Effect Series, Crysis, F.E.A.R. Series and the new Duke Nukem when he's out. Like to play from medium to high graphics

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
School, I'm learning to become an IT-Supporter and we are using programs like Visual Basic, Visual C++ and Visual Web Developer and doing some video editing. I will also use the laptop as an mediacenter for movies and music. And I use Virtualbox. I have alot of programs open at the same time.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
500+ but not so important, not so expensive to upgrade


9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
http://www.proshop.dk/

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
2-4 years


11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
DVD-Rom/Writer, Blu Ray would be nice feature

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 like Asus but open to suggestions

13. What country do you live in?
Denmark

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

I have 1 year old Packard Bell and I didn't know at the time I was going back to school. And I find the screen resolution is
just to small for me, only 1366x768, and I don't like it so I'm sell that one to my sister for fair amount.
Here is the specs:

CPU: Intel Core i5 430M
Screen: 15,6" 16:9 HD LED LCD
Graphics: ATI Mobile Radeon HD5470 512 MB
RAM: 2x2 GB PC3-8500F (533 MHz) (I got this information from Piriform Speccy)
Sound: Build in Realtek sound
HDD: 640 GB

And I'm thinking ether of these to Asus but can't decide:

Asus N53SV-SZ280V
CPU: Intel Core i5 2410M / 2.3 GHz
RAM: 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM - 1333 MHz
HDD: 640 GB - Serial ATA-300 - 5400 rpm
Screen: 15.6" TFT Full HD (1920x1080)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M 1 GB DDR3 SDRAM
Price: $1341 (6977 DKK)

ASUS N53SN-SZ174V
CPU: Intel Core i7 2630QM
RAM: 8 GB (2x4 GB) DDR3 SDRAM - 1333 MHz
HDD: 640 GB - Serial ATA-300 - 5400 rpm
Screen: 15.6" TFT Full HD (1920x1080)
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 550M 2 GB DDR3 SDRAM
Price: $1569 (8164 DKK)
and it got a bluray drive

So my question is witch one would do my needs in the longer run and is it worth extra money to go for the i7 one?

Thanks

More about : deciding laptop

a c 244 D Laptop
May 10, 2011 7:49:59 AM

I stronly recommend N53SN because it has the best specs(and worth the extra money)
It can handle the games you mentioned fine on medium(and some on high) on a resolution like 1366x768
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May 10, 2011 8:29:42 AM

Thanks for your response

I wasn't sure if it were worth the extra money because I'm stretching my budget little for the N53SN but I was also
scarred if I took the N53SV with the i5 I would hit a problem and had to upgrade again sooner then I want.

I don't want to face the same problem I have now with the Packard Bell and have to upgrade again after 1 or 1,5 year.

The Packard Bell was fine until I started in school after last xmas and we are using programs that demand bigger resolution.
I'm just tiered switching between programs on the screen because I know I can get a laptop that has more resolution
and I'm going to be in school for about 2 or 3 years so why not stretch a little and go for the faster one if its worth it.

I just want to be sure I'm stretching the budget for the right reasons or if it didn't matter witch one I took I was bound
change on the same time.

But I'm leaning to take the N53SV.
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a c 244 D Laptop
May 10, 2011 1:54:10 PM

With N53SN,you get a faster CPU,better GPU and more RAM for about $200 more which is definitely worth it.
But this still doesn't make N53SV a bad choice.
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a b D Laptop
May 10, 2011 2:12:17 PM

Excluding the CPU, the blu-ray would add at least $100 (USD) and uping the Memory from 4 -> 8 gigs (approx 50) to the cost of the first one. So I 2nd the second choice.

Verify that the external ports stisfy your needs. ie number of USB2 and 3 ports. Does it have, or do you need esata.

I'm also looking to upgrade to a better Laptop. One of my primary requirements is for a second HHD bay. This is for a couple of reasons. One is so that I can upgrade to an SSD which @ 120 gigs is a little small, so want to add a 2nd mechanical HDD for storage space, also to allow for a dual boot. Most do not need the daul boot, but I need 32 Bit on occassions and also have two programs that are not compatable with each other. I can add a 120 gig SSD for about $200. In checking with Dell - a 256 Gig SSD adds $600. I upgraded both my laptops to blu-ray and an SSD - NOT going back to a HDD for operating system/programs.

I prefer the 15.6 inch display also, but finding very few. To get the daul HD bay, Dell only offers it in the XPS-15 ( a 17" laptop) and for toshibia, only on their 18" laptop. Found a Asus at Best buy - again 17 Inch. Sofar only found a samsung 15.6" with daul bays. Samsung RF511-s02 ($900) and the RF711-S02 for $1050.
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May 10, 2011 5:42:10 PM

Thank you guys.

I have 1 week to decide because the N53SN won't be in stock until May 17 but I'm leaning towards that one.

The both have same amount of external ports and the fit my needs.

I know if I took the cheaper one I would be buying blu ray player soon so why not just pay little more and get the faster laptop in the way with that feature.
I know the cheaper one is good laptop but I don't want to be wondering I made the wrong choice and running out of power later on the road.
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a b D Laptop
May 10, 2011 8:21:03 PM

Just read a post from someone who had just got a 15.6" laptop with the 1080 resolution. He was complaining about how tiny the print was and @ a lower resolution the print was fuzzy. He also tried larger font, but that only worked in some cases.I would highly recommend that you take a look at a 15.6" screen with 1080 reolution before buying. You are alot younger than I, so "tiny" print may not be a problem - do not know what age was for the poster.
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May 10, 2011 8:43:19 PM

I will try to find a store that has one in stock but it ain't easy because I live in a small town here Denmark and the shops don't have the best selection of laptops here, the laptops here are more in the cheaper end in the stores but you never know.

But of course with the 1080 resolution we have a choice to lower it somewhere between 768 to 1080 and I think it is better then be stuck on 768 one.

But thanks for sharing this.
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a b D Laptop
May 10, 2011 11:28:25 PM

Could not find that other thread.
anyways He tried lower the resolution and the print became fuzzy. LCD panels do not alway work well in other than ther native resolution.

I find 1080 starts to become too small below a 19" monitor - But hey I'm and old gizzer and them old eyes ain't what they use to be. For games and movies the 1080 should be great, but for "work" may not be all that great.
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May 11, 2011 11:15:05 AM

I'm sorry I didn't see what you wrote in the post before about the resolution be coming fuzzy.

I went on the local stores web sides to check but the don't have any with 1080 in stock, the don't even sell Asus.
If the text will be too small I then have to hope Asus makes good screens. If not there is always some way to magnify in those programs I will be using.

The 1366x768 resolution is just driving me mad because I switch between programs every 1-10 seconds in school because I can't fit more on the screen, when I try fitting more than I can it just messes everything up. It's just frustrated specially when I know I can get laptop with higher resolution so I can fit more on the screen. It's the main reason why I'm buying a new one.

Had any luck with finding a laptop with 2 hdd bay's? If not I hope you do, I'm not into those SSD drives so much so 1 bay is enough for me.
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a b D Laptop
May 11, 2011 1:41:56 PM

I know what you are saying - 15.6" laptops have a small viewing area and the higher resolution will allow for viewing more pages at a Time. Not sure if it will increase number of "pages" opened to the degree that you need. Larger laptops, ie the 17" and the 18" (tosibia). would be great BUT add weight and size. witch reduces portability.

I lug mine to work everyday so while the size is not a problem, the weight is. Also since I take on a plane (to watch DVDs) the size becomes a problem when sitting in "Cattle" seats.
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May 11, 2011 5:55:58 PM

Well, the 17" size ain't a problem for me to take to school, only the weight. Would be different case if I had it only here at home on my desk or if I had a car to put it in and go to school but I ride the bus everyday, 5 days a week, and I have to walk a little bit distance to the bus stop so if I don't want to ruin my back at early age I have to take the weight in to mind.

I here you about the plain seats, I never tried to use my 15" laptop in an airplane but I can imagine how it is trying to pull up 17" laptop in those seats. :D 
I do self a lot of traveling because I'm not Danish and my family lives in another country and so does my girlfriend. I'm only in Denmark to study.
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a b D Laptop
May 11, 2011 6:52:27 PM

The diff between the Samsung RF711 and the RF511 is only about 0.7 #s ( 5.7#s vs 6.4 #s - Not 1080 res).
Would really hate to lug the Toshiba 18" arround at 10.1 #
I think the 17 " Asus was 6.9 # (But that was not for the 1080 res model).
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May 12, 2011 11:21:37 AM

Weight difference on the Samsung is so much. I checked the Asus site here in Denmark and the weight on the 17" is about 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg), correct me if I'm wrong.

I just ordered the cheaper Asus one with i5. There was a slight changes in my budget yesterday so I had to settle for that one. Shame I couldn't go for the i7 one, well, nothing I can to do about that.

I will get it tomorrow afternoon and will report back how the screen is on full resolution and if the screen gets fuzzy when I lower the it.

But all in all, thanks for the advices.
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a b D Laptop
May 12, 2011 12:55:12 PM

I think you will be very happy.
In terms of the performance diff between the I5, and the I7, I don't think you will notice an signifigant difference in day-to-tay performance. CPUs are rapaidly approacing the point of dimminition returns. Only major area would be heavy multitasking and/or programs that require High cpu utilization.

In my cas, the Disk drive, HDD vs a SSD, is the biggest bottlneck on computers. Of coarse for thoes into Heavy, tasking Games, the GPU is of major importants - But laptops normally do not lend themselves for High end gaming.

Take care, and ENJOY. Come back after you "Play" with your baby.
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May 25, 2011 10:26:07 AM

Hi again. Sorry I took so long playing with my new baby.
I just love the new Asus. The machine runs little faster then my old Packard Bell and there is a very, very big difference in cooling and noise, the Asus is alot cooler and quieter. The body looks solid, not cheap and plastic like my old one. The Packard Bell runs alot hotter and I could feel it on the body when I had my hands on the keybord and was typing, and when the fans went of there was just noise. The Asus just runs smoothly and I can baraly here when the fans start and I have to use temp program to check how hot the machine is running. The screen is great, just like I want and I agree it can be hard to read text some times and it took me little while to get used to. I tried lowering down the resolution and everything looks clear and good. In the "Screen Resolution" option I can go in to "Make text and other items larger or smaller" and choose 100%, 125% or 150%, by default it came on 125%, and everything inside the windows, icons and text, will appear larger or smaller, it works also good with IE9 but not with FF4 and Chrome, Chrome has zoom function build in but with FF4 I have to get an add-on.

It came with Oberon game pack, I think this pack is on almost every new laptop, and I had a problem with it because when I tried uninstall it automaticly with control panel, it tried to remove everything inside HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE within the registry, I found out when I tried to lunch or remove other programs. The best thing about this was I got to see if the recovery DVD's I made on first start worked, currently Asus has stopped selling computers with recovery disks, as almost every computer manufacture.

So all in all very good machine and no regrets.
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a b D Laptop
May 25, 2011 4:50:09 PM

Great - ENJOY
I'm still looking and have not pulled the plug yet - Sofar Samsung RF711 vs Asus G73.

PS I remember Packard Bell - also a car with the packard name.
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