Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Looking for a new laptop for college (getting rid of desktop)

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
Share
May 27, 2011 12:16:50 PM

Hey guys. I'm moving to California for college this fall and since I currently live in Sweden, bringing my desktop with me won't really be an option. Because of this I'm planning on selling my desktop within the next few weeks and buying a laptop instead. Basically, I'm interested in buying a laptop that has at the minimum similar specs (if that even is reasonable considering my budget) to that of my now ancient desktop.

My Desktop Setup:
Processor: Amd 3.2ghz x2
Gfx: Nvidea 8800GT, overclocked quite considerably over stock (the exact figures escape me atm since I haven't fiddled with it in over a year)
Ram: random brand, 4gb ddr2 (I believe)

I suppose the other specs don't really matter when considering a notebook. Feel free to ask if I left something out. Now, onto the questions :D 

1. What is your budget?
$700 --> $1,000. The cheaper the better. $1,000 would be the absolute most I'd consider spending and would only do so if it no other option exists.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Don't care. Nothing too big, perhaps 15" or smaller? I will be having it connected to my LCD screen whenever I'm in my dorm and the only other time I plan on using it is in classes. Screen size really doesn't matter to me.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
As long as I can run 1920x1080p on my lcd screen I couldn't care.

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
The higher, the better since I'll be using it for classes a lot. Preferably 5-6h+ with only a word processor, a light browser and dimmed screen (if such a better life is possible).


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)?
I'm not necessarily going to, but I'd like to have the option to. Anything that would be on par with a 8800GT or better in a desktop computer. I should be able to run TF2 on high (it's the only game I really play).

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Aside from studying and the occasional gaming, I will be using my computer mainly for photo editing and movie screening. Once again, I'll be using an external screen so the screen specs don't matter at all for this. Last time I checked, even cheaper modern laptops seem to run the adobe CS5 package with little to no effort. As long as the laptop can run photoshop, indesign, aperture etc. without choking I'm happy.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Again, doesn't matter haha. I'll be using an external harddrive for practically everything but the OS.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Newegg has been good to me before, so why not. Not sure how good they are with laptops though. I'm not really picky, any site will do. It's a plus if they accept international credit cards though.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
4-5 years. I'm looking to keep it at least until I graduate with my BA (4yrs). This is one of the points that needs to be stressed the most as in my experience most laptops tend to have a very short lived career in comparison to their desktop counterparts.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Doesn't matter, preferably none. I rarely use CDs anymore, and if I find a need to I'll just buy an external drive.

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 have any preferences as so much has changed since I bought my desktop. If I had to choose (and based on what was the best about 4 years ago), I like AMD for processors, Nvidea for GFX and ASUS as a whole. Bought my current MB from ASUS and was amazed at how many peripherals were included in the purchase. I've also heard a lot of good things from relatives with ASUS notebooks.

13. What country do you live in?
Sweden, but I'll be purchasing my laptop in the US. because of the amazing rate of the USD in comparison to Swedish currency at the moment. Basically, I'm interested in purchasing the laptop from an american site that ships nationally.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I'm considering a macbook as well atm, but am a little weary of the price/specs ratio. I absolutely LOVE the design of them and they've always been good to me (my current laptop is a still functioning, 7 year old ibook used for word processing). I'm planning on running W7 as an OS either way though and I figured I could probably find a better PC deal by asking you guys. What do you think?


Thanks a lot beforehand, I'm sorry if this was a lot to read. I GREATLY appreciate any answers or suggestions I can get.
a b D Laptop
May 27, 2011 3:54:46 PM

if you can find a macbook for a suitable price I'd say that would give you the best battery life for the specs that you'll be getting, since you like the design.

Other things to consider are some machines in the 15.6" range, but I'm not sure on the battery life. Have a look at Dell XPS 15, maybe Asus G53 or similar and I don't know if you have it in sweden, but Sager NP5165 could also be an option.

Asus also has some 14" models and there's also comparable 13" models to the 15" I've listed above.
May 28, 2011 11:17:05 AM

AntiZig said:
if you can find a macbook for a suitable price I'd say that would give you the best battery life for the specs that you'll be getting, since you like the design.

Other things to consider are some machines in the 15.6" range, but I'm not sure on the battery life. Have a look at Dell XPS 15, maybe Asus G53 or similar and I don't know if you have it in sweden, but Sager NP5165 could also be an option.

Asus also has some 14" models and there's also comparable 13" models to the 15" I've listed above.


Hey

First off, thanks for your reply. When it comes to the macbook is it not true that I could get a better "bang for my buck" so to say with a PC? Especially considering that with apple a lot of what you pay for is the OS and software. If it is roughly the same, then I'd agree and definitely begin leaning towards a macbook instead.

When it comes to the PC's you mentioned, I see it like this: Dell was a great option I had forgotten about. Although I generally see Dell as an evil company that pushes overpriced products, when I think about it they would probably be perfect for my situation because of their great warranty options. Definitely gonna play around with some setups there, thanks! The Asus and Sager were rather uninteresting to me though, they both seemed really expensive for what you get and the Asus would require me to buy an SSD on the side which is yet another $150-200.

Thanks for your reply anyways.

I was looking at some laptops on Newegg yesterday and would love to hear what people think about these as options:

ASUS N53 Series N53SV-XE1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Spoiler
CPU: Intel Core i7 2630QM(2.00GHz)
RAM: 4GB Memory DDR3 1333
HDD: 500GB HDD 7200rpm
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M

Price: $889

Would eventually replace the HDD with a SSD and add another 4GB stick of ram in there.



SAMSUNG RF Series RF511-S02
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Spoiler
CPU: Intel Core i7 2630QM(2.00GHz)
RAM: 4GB Memory
HDD: 500GB HDD 5400rpm
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M w/ NVIDIA Optimus

Price: $899

This comp has a maximum memory of 8gb, is that fine? Since I'm partially investing for the future I'm looking for a computer that is as upgrade-friendly as possible. Is it silly to think that one might possibly need more than 8gb of memory in the next 4 years? I know I don't even max out 3.5gb on my 32bit setup right now. Anyways, same plan would be to eventually replace the HDD and add another 4GB stick.



Acer Aspire AS5552G-7641 Notebook
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Spoiler
CPU: AMD Phenom II Quad-Core N970(2.2GHz)
RAM: 4GB Memory DDR3 1066
HDD: 500GB HDD 5400rpm
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6650M

Price: $649

Wow. Seems like a steal to me, but perhaps I'm mistaken? Would be able to immediately upgrade to a decent SSD and add another 4gb ram stick. My only quirk is that I'd probably prefer a better GPU, but I'm not even sure how much worse it is than the Nvidea GT 540's.


So yeah. Those are the only three comps that have really stood out to me in my search. What do you guys think? Good/Bad options? Anything similar? Perhaps these gave you a better idea of the kind of comp that I'm looking for.
Related resources
May 30, 2011 4:42:31 PM

I'd go for the one with ati because of nvidia having faulty optimus drivers
May 30, 2011 6:56:27 PM

nevereon said:
Hey

First off, thanks for your reply. When it comes to the macbook is it not true that I could get a better "bang for my buck" so to say with a PC? Especially considering that with apple a lot of what you pay for is the OS and software. If it is roughly the same, then I'd agree and definitely begin leaning towards a macbook instead.

When it comes to the PC's you mentioned, I see it like this: Dell was a great option I had forgotten about. Although I generally see Dell as an evil company that pushes overpriced products, when I think about it they would probably be perfect for my situation because of their great warranty options. Definitely gonna play around with some setups there, thanks! The Asus and Sager were rather uninteresting to me though, they both seemed really expensive for what you get and the Asus would require me to buy an SSD on the side which is yet another $150-200.

Thanks for your reply anyways.

I was looking at some laptops on Newegg yesterday and would love to hear what people think about these as options:

ASUS N53 Series N53SV-XE1
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Spoiler
CPU: Intel Core i7 2630QM(2.00GHz)
RAM: 4GB Memory DDR3 1333
HDD: 500GB HDD 7200rpm
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M

Price: $889

Would eventually replace the HDD with a SSD and add another 4GB stick of ram in there.



SAMSUNG RF Series RF511-S02
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Spoiler
CPU: Intel Core i7 2630QM(2.00GHz)
RAM: 4GB Memory
HDD: 500GB HDD 5400rpm
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M w/ NVIDIA Optimus

Price: $899

This comp has a maximum memory of 8gb, is that fine? Since I'm partially investing for the future I'm looking for a computer that is as upgrade-friendly as possible. Is it silly to think that one might possibly need more than 8gb of memory in the next 4 years? I know I don't even max out 3.5gb on my 32bit setup right now. Anyways, same plan would be to eventually replace the HDD and add another 4GB stick.



Acer Aspire AS5552G-7641 Notebook
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Spoiler
CPU: AMD Phenom II Quad-Core N970(2.2GHz)
RAM: 4GB Memory DDR3 1066
HDD: 500GB HDD 5400rpm
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6650M

Price: $649

Wow. Seems like a steal to me, but perhaps I'm mistaken? Would be able to immediately upgrade to a decent SSD and add another 4gb ram stick. My only quirk is that I'd probably prefer a better GPU, but I'm not even sure how much worse it is than the Nvidea GT 540's.


So yeah. Those are the only three comps that have really stood out to me in my search. What do you guys think? Good/Bad options? Anything similar? Perhaps these gave you a better idea of the kind of comp that I'm looking for.


the samsung is a great laptop, it will only get abut 4 hours of battery life though but most i7 laptops will only get about that. also stay away from amd processors they are vary good at all.

reavers said:
I'd go for the one with ati because of nvidia having faulty optimus drivers

what are your talking about? do you have a laptop with optimus technology cause i do and it makes a huge difference. it works and the drivers are fine.
a b D Laptop
May 31, 2011 1:50:32 PM

RE: 3 laptops you are looking at

One thing to say 1st asus vs samsung. Those are identical specs, except for the HDD where asus has a faster HDD (7200rpm vs 5400 on samsung) also asus is cheaper by $10. So between those 2 the choice is clear - go with asus.

The acer, well, I'd tell you that performance wise the GPUs are very close 540 is very close to 6650, but 6650 gets slightly better fps all around. AMD quad core, I don't know if AMD has hyper threading alternative or automatic turbo where the processor automatically overclocks itself when it can (I know intel CPUs have those features, but I haven't had the experience with AMD chips). Another thing to consider, acer/gateway is generally considered to be worse than ASUS. I haven't had the personal experience with either company, so don't take my word for it, but on numerous review ratings, asus always comes in above acer.
May 31, 2011 2:53:34 PM

cbrunnem said:
the samsung is a great laptop, it will only get abut 4 hours of battery life though but most i7 laptops will only get about that. also stay away from amd processors they are vary good at all.


what are your talking about? do you have a laptop with optimus technology cause i do and it makes a huge difference. it works and the drivers are fine.


well i read that there are problems with alt+tab and some programs not changing to nvidia even when you tell the program to run with nvidia....or problems with heat....do you play games?
a c 571 D Laptop
June 1, 2011 1:17:36 PM

reavers said:
well i read that there are problems with alt+tab and some programs not changing to nvidia even when you tell the program to run with nvidia....or problems with heat....do you play games?
Got some links for those problems?
June 1, 2011 10:21:48 PM

reavers said:
well i read that there are problems with alt+tab and some programs not changing to nvidia even when you tell the program to run with nvidia....or problems with heat....do you play games?


i have the samsung and there is absolutely no problems with alt tab. just got here from alt tabing out of a game.
i have crysis 1 and 2, battlefield, nfs shift,rfactor,metro2033,gta4,f1 2010, mw2,black ops, mafia 2, and splinter cell conviction and all play on medium to high settings. never had i had a problem with the laptop trying to use integrated graphics in a game.
WR2 said:
Got some links for those problems?

those seem to be desktop gpu driver problems.
a b D Laptop
June 2, 2011 1:42:21 PM

well what I got out of that thread was:
1. people cannot update drivers because drivers not compatible with hardware (yet, few are saying that their old drivers arent' working)
2. people cannot configure their optimus properly and it's giving them hardship (again, due to users own ignorance rather than nvidia fault)
3. there are some hardware conflicts in some setups (I wonder if that's actually driver related or maybe motherboard related) so far presumed to be bad hardware failure and is replaced by vendor/manufacturer under warranty

so, out of those, none are a direct problem with optimus, just typical problems that can happen with any video card...
!