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Help me choose a laptop !

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 19, 2011 8:42:02 AM

Hello there,

I'm currently using as a laptop the ASPIRE 7745G and I'm not so happy with it. Sure it's a good computer but it has some problems :

* I travel with it all the time. It weights too much and is too big to handle (17.3'' !)
* The hard disk is not very fast which is annoying sometimes
* I cannot play video games at best with it
* I cannot play high definition video on a 1920x1080 screen. I have for instance a .avi movie of 6giga on my hard disk. It plays fine on a 1680x1050 screen, but not on a 1920x1080 screen.


So my idea is the following :

Since I never play video games when I'm abroad, I'm gonna buy a desktop PC dedicated to video games with a SSD drive. I therefore need to buy a laptop that will have the following characteristics :

* less than 3kg. 2kg or less would be perfect.
* between 15'' and 13'' for the size.
* able to run any .avi on a 1920x1080 screen since I will use it to project high definition movies when I'm abroad.
* longest battery life possible.
* at least 250 SSD drive.
* since I will use it to make presentations and demonstrations, I would like it to have a nice design so that people will think "wow he has a cool laptop" rather than "what an ugly laptop".
* if possible, a slot for 3G connectivity would be really great !



Would some of you help me choose the laptop I need ? Many thanks to you if you want top help me :) 




Remark : price doesn't really matter (if it costs 3000 euros, it will cost 3000 euros)
Remark : I live in Belgium, Brussels so if the computer is from the USA, make sure they can send it to me x)

More about : choose laptop

a b D Laptop
June 19, 2011 9:13:45 AM

Nauyt said:
since I will use it to make presentations and demonstrations, I would like it to have a nice design so that people will think "wow he has a cool laptop" rather than "what an ugly laptop".


Looks like you need a mac book pro, since usually people think that their minimalist design is cool (although I disagree).

So perhaps you can provide some detail about what laptop appearance you think will impress people.
June 19, 2011 9:29:25 AM

Meh. I realise it's way too subjective. So let's just disregard that need I expressed. I will try to edit the post to delete it.

PS : Windows only plz x)
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a b D Laptop
June 19, 2011 9:33:42 AM

With 3000 euro budget you can almost get every type of laptop on market. Ok, do you need the professional/business look or the gamer/enthusiast look?
June 19, 2011 9:37:06 AM

the professional/business look seems better.
a b D Laptop
June 19, 2011 10:03:50 AM

Tricky. I usually pick a gaming laptop for the best performance on gaming, but you also ask for a professional looking laptop with high performance and all the one that I recommend looks like a sport car or a stealth bomber! Use this so I can make better decision:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/50797-35-read-buying-...
June 19, 2011 10:09:36 AM

Sony offers good looking laptops from the VAIO serie, but I'm unable to look at the spec and say "this one will have no problem reading my .avi and display it on a 1920x1080 device. Let's buyt it !" :( 

Take your time, I'm not in a hurry.
a b D Laptop
June 19, 2011 10:13:45 AM

Sorry, I edited my last post after you post response. On second though, I think it is better if you can answer the questions. On what game you want to play and at what setting. Your current laptop is already very good spec for a laptop, there should be no problem with 1080p movie and game should run good (if you paired with mobility 5850), Unless you want better and go xfire/sli.
June 19, 2011 10:26:14 AM

1. What is your budget? doesn't matter. It can be as high as 5000$.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? Between 15'' and 13''

3. What screen resolution do you want? doesn't matter, but what will matter is that the laptop should be able to work fine with an external screen 1920x1080.

5. How much battery life do you need? At least two hours. The best would be 4 hours.

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)? No I don't want to play games with it.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) I will use it to work mostly, and project stuff in 1920x1080 using a projector. For instance a 6Giga .avi movie of avatar.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? 256 SSD would be best. I can work with 128 SSD too but I'r rather go with 256.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? Two years sounds good.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Just something to read CD ROM and DVD. I don't even need to be able to burn anything.

13. What country do you live in? Belgium.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. I now it's quite new, but I would like to have a slot for 3G connectivity.
June 19, 2011 10:40:25 AM

Regarding my current laptop, the graohic card is 5650. All my high def movies are laggy on a 1920x1080 screen :( 
a b D Laptop
June 19, 2011 10:41:45 AM

Sorry, this thread is going in circle. You said "I cannot play video games at best with it" so I though you are not satisfy with your current laptop's gaming performance. Your current laptop model comes with mobility 5850 or 5650 graphics processor. The 5850 is good (not the best) for gaming, and 5650 is capable of gaming. Both should play 1080p just fine. I suggest looking at why the laptop is not working as it should before getting a new one, unless you made up your mind on getting a smaller laptop.
a b D Laptop
June 19, 2011 10:46:21 AM

Did you have the latest graphics driver installed properly? Is the avi on a usb, dvd, bluray, hdd? What player you use for playing the movie?
June 19, 2011 10:53:20 AM

Oh it's my fault, I didn't express all I had in mind from the beginning :

In an ideal world I would like to have a laptop that would be thin, light and that will allow me to play any game using the maximum settings each time (very high at 1920x1080)

However I made researches and I discovered the best graphic card for laptop available is something called 485 SLI or something. According to reviews, this is the best but some games such as crysis will not run smoothly with very high settings. Moreover, the few laptop equipped with that card are usually not light and have a very short battery life.


So I've made up my mind : I will stop wanting only one computer able to do everything : no matter how much money I'm willing to throw for it, it just doesn't exist. I will have a gaming computer to play at home and I will stop caring my laptop should be able to play video games.


However I still care the laptop should be able to play 1920x1080 movies and my current laptop cannot do it :(  I need help to find a laptop able to do this, since I fail to look at the spec of a graphic card and say "well, this one will be able to play a high def movie in 1920x1080 resolution on my projector".
June 19, 2011 10:58:34 AM

Latest graphical drivers are installed. The .avi is on my hard disk. I use VLC player to play it. It works fine with a resolution of 1680x1050 but no more.

I'm wondering if the problem isn't with the CPU. I have 8 cores and I believe that VLC player, as most programs, only uses one core at a time. In 720p, VLC uses at least 80% of the computing power of one of my cores. Maybe that in 1080p VLC uses 100% of the core computing power, thus the result is *** ? I never checked for that.

But in any cases this laptop is just too big to handle, I want a lighter one :) 
a b D Laptop
June 19, 2011 11:38:06 AM

Ok, that is going to be much easier. I don't think there are any new laptop on the market now that cannot handle playing 1080p video. Your current laptop should run 1080p with even 1 core so some software/setting is wrong with your laptop. You are open to a lot of option. IMO lenovo thinkpad x1 and x220 is a good and really portable laptop.
June 20, 2011 12:34:18 PM

I've looked at them, they seem quite good (battery life !)

However I find them rather ugly.

Since I was certain most laptops were unable to project a 1920x1080 video and now you convinced me I was wrong and it's actually my current laptop that acts oddly, I'm reconsidering some laptops :

http://www.samsung.com/us/computer/laptops/NP900X3A-A03...

It has Intel® HD Graphics 3000

Do you think it can handle any 1080p video ?


Another :

http://www.sony.be/lang/fr/product/vnp-z-series/vpcz13z...

It has NVIDIA® GeForce® 330M GT

Do you think it can handle any 1080p video ?
a b D Laptop
June 20, 2011 1:26:01 PM

The sony is better in the graphics department out of the two, also you can get ssd on it. It will make a lot of difference when using on the move since you can turn the computer on and off really fast. The only thing is that it is a older processor compared to samsung and has no usb 3.0 (which a lot of laptop has now).
a b D Laptop
June 20, 2011 1:46:11 PM

I think this model is the best because it has ssd, usb 3.0, discrete graphics and 2nd gen i7. It is also light, just over 2kg.
VGA and display port for connect external projector (they are in french by I think they are similar enough to english for me to know them). Also 3g broadband.

[Ordinateur portable HP EliteBook 8460p (LG746EA) € 1699]

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/be/fr/sm/WF25a/321957-32...

I think you go through that same page to buy online. The model I suggest is the base, you can add more to it like ram I think, but I cannot read french so I am not 100% sure. May by if you need help in fine tuning what components to get in the laptop, go to the french tom's hardware and ask for the users there to guide you through the component selection.
a b D Laptop
June 20, 2011 2:40:01 PM

Oh also, today I fixed a desktop 5650 user's problem on this forum. They cannot play HD content on desktop. It turns out they installed the driver but forgot to install the codec to offload HD video to graphics card. Once they do that, the are ok. So, if you are keen on fixing you existing laptop, I suggest download and install it:

http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/windows/Pages/rad...

download and install AMD Media Codec package
June 23, 2011 12:52:03 PM

I downloaded and installed AMD Media Codec.

It's still not perfect (some lag can occur) but it's much, much better. Thanks !!
a b D Laptop
June 24, 2011 6:34:20 AM

Use vlc or media player classic and enable hardware acceleration.
!