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Should I Buy This Laptop?

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June 18, 2011 8:19:50 PM

Basically I need to get a laptop for college this fall, and I was at a Micro Center today and came extremely close to buying a laptop. I thought it looked like a pretty good deal, not like unbelievable but better than I've seen anywhere else. Here is the link to the laptop - http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml...
I've heard most laptop brands are pretty much the same inside and that Asus is good, so I'm not worried about the brand. Here is a link to my other thread where I filled out the form with questions (http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/forum2.php?config=tom...) I do, however, have a few concerns/questions.

a) Does this laptop have Optimus technology? I was kind of under the impression that all laptops with 500 series cards below the 550 had this. I asked the sale man there and he wasn't really sure, but he checked what GPU it was using by right clicking on the desktop, etc., and it did say intel HD, so I'm guessing that's a yes on the Optimus?

b) What kind of battery life can I expect? I also asked the sales man about this and he said 3 hrs of standard use (web browsing/typing). I do not care how short it is when gaming, doing performance tasks, I just need it to be good enough for school. Can anyone here tell me if 3 hrs is enough for one day of classes? I'm assuming so, but since this is my first year I really don't know.

c) Should I get this or wait for AMD's Llano laptops to hit market at the end of the month. I've read the reviews, and it sounds like they will offer less cpu performance but higher gpu performance and better battery while maintaining a lower cost. I know this laptop will be powerful enough for 2 years of college, but If I can save some money and get a better battery life I would consider AMD.

d) The screen is 15.6", but only has a resolution of 1366x768. I myself am really not picky at all when it comes to resolution. However, I have heard from some that you need a higher resolution, especially in college, or you wont be able to fit enough things on the screen. But I've heard from others that it's all personal preference. Opinions? Experiences?

e) What would you guys do? $800 for a laptop with a 2nd-Gen i7, 6GB Ram, and a 540 seems like a great deal to me, but I really need other opinions before I make a decision.

Wow! That's a lot of information/questions! Anybody who's still reading thank you! And thanks ahead of time for any replies I get!

More about : buy laptop

June 18, 2011 8:43:32 PM

ASUSG53SW-XN1

Extra 400$, but you get GTX 460m, which outperforms GT540 by at least 50%, upgradeable to 16Gb of RAM, fully HD 1080p, ASUS standard 2year warranty, with 1 year spill, etc. warranty that is not offered by any other manufacturer. Asus also is the best quality, bang for buck.

400$ is not much, just a day or two of work, much better future proof.

I do not know, for me, I better spend an extra 400$ for way better future, you can add at least 5 years to it being great to play games at high to max spec.

For me, if you are already spending 800$ on something, you might as well shell out a bit more and get something that will last you for many years to come and will have a decent re-sale value.

The laptop you found seems like OK but not great deal, kinda not future proof if you ask me.
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June 18, 2011 8:53:07 PM

Well, I don't need to play games at max settings. I have a desktop for that. As long as it handles class work for two years, which I think it should, that's fine. I'd rather save the money to upgrade my desktop. And I've heard that 6GB Ram is plenty, even 4 is enough. About the warranty, do all Asus laptops come with a two year? The sales man was trying to talk me into the stores 2-year extended, and it sounded good.
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June 19, 2011 2:42:04 PM

Can anyone tell me if all ASUS laptops come with a 2-year warranty? And how good are they at fixing it? I don't want to be stuck w/o a laptop for weeks during school.
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a c 572 D Laptop
June 19, 2011 3:00:27 PM

Not all Asus laptops come with a 2yr warranty. However the K53SV models does according the Asus K53SV website.
Never buy a 'store' extended warranty. Especially if you have a 2yr factory warranty. There are always better deals out there for an extended warranty. (you can buy additional coverage through Asus for example).
You can get a much better deal buying an accident/theft protection policy that will also cover some of your other personal property. http://www.nssi.com/

The length of time a repair will take depends on the reason it needs to be worked on. Some OEMs (Dell, HP, Lenovo) have on-site options that can handle most repairs. Check and see if your school has a 'lending program'.
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June 19, 2011 3:10:11 PM

I can get a 2 yr store extended warranty for $160. The sales man said this starts when the manufacturer warranty ends after 1 yr. He said it can take weeks sending it to ASUS and waiting for a new one, and their store will do it in 7-10 days max. Being protected for 3 years for $160 seemed like a pretty good deal to me, but if the ASUS already comes with a 2 yr warranty maybe I don't need to get the one from the store. Do all ASUS come with a 1-yr accidental warranty?
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a c 572 D Laptop
June 19, 2011 3:15:30 PM

A slightly better deal.
ASUS K53SV-A1 $775 & free shipping from Amazon.com (and might avoid sales tax, depending on where you live).

Quote:
d)The screen is 15.6", but only has a resolution of 1366x768. I myself am really not picky at all when it comes to resolution. However, I have heard from some that you need a higher resolution, especially in college, or you wont be able to fit enough things on the screen. But I've heard from others that it's all personal preference. Opinions? Experiences?
You can get everything onto a 1366x768 that you can on a 1920x1080 screen - just not all at once. And that is the major advantage for a 1920x1080 - less scrolling or mouse moving around to see all the 'whole picture'. But there isn't any work you can do on the 1920x1080 that you can't also do on the 1366x768 screen, keeping in mind you have to do a bit more mouse work. Learn the beauty & power of the Scroll Lock key.
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a c 572 D Laptop
June 19, 2011 3:16:43 PM

Not all Asus come with the 1-yr accident protection coverage.
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June 19, 2011 5:01:07 PM

Alright. The laptop you linked has a dual core i5, and the one I am looking at has the i7. For the extra $25, I think the i7 is worth it, although I'm sure this means less battery life. I'll have to ask the store or research on if this model includes certain warranty's. Thank you for your help. Btw, does 3 hrs sound like a realistic amount for the laptop I'm looking at, while just doing basic things like taking notes or writing a paper?
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June 28, 2011 4:56:55 PM

Best answer selected by trogdor796.
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