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Help finding 15inch or less laptop - Budget of $700

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
August 9, 2011 4:54:15 AM

Hey guys, going to college in the fall, and need a good laptop. I already have a gaming desktop I made about a year and a half ago.. When I have time later I'll actually post the specs because it's a good rig, but if there's any easy/quick/affordable customizations or upgrades I can do, I may.

Anyways, this thread is for a laptop. I originally wanted a netbook, but it's not very cost effective. So I'm in the market for a laptop. 15 inches should be good, but I have ONE concern.

My friend recently configured one for $1800 on mailibal (total waste of money, but it has a really good GPU). Anyway, his was 15 inches, but 7 pounds I believe. It looks AND feels VERY HEAVY.. Are all 15 inch laptops like that, or is it just that the GPU and 7 pounds very uncommon? I don't know laptops very well, but it looked like a 17 inch, but he said its 15. The reason I mention this is because I probably don't even need 15 inches.

However, the problem with a smaller screen is that the same specs for a 13 inch vs a 15 inch would favor the 15 inch in terms of PRICE.. And I'm on a budget of about $700.

Please help me find the following! Thanks a lot!

Laptop with 13-15 inch screen. 1080p/good resolution would be good. The one on today (8/9/11) had a couple of complaints because of a poor resolution, but if you think that's good, recommend it!

- Preferably brand new

> My main tasks are browsing/surfing (LOTS OF TABS, lol), documents, downloading stuff, watching/listening to stuff.
> My friend got the i7 2630, and it eats up everything. I haven't looked up processors much, but is this doable? I could do i5 too, but what's the best (MOST COST EFFECTIVE BUT STILL FAST!) processor? If the i7 is the most cost effective, recommend it. If there's an i5 that's PERFECT for my needs but cheap, please let me know. I'd need this computer for about 3 years so it needs to last that long without me complaining about speed.

- 8GB RAM, DDR3.
> I could do 6GB RAM, but ONLY IF I have to and you think it works with my needs. I'd really prefer 8GB though.

> I wanna be able to watch HD videos without huge lag and whatnot. But I don't need to play games, I'm in college and I have a desktop for that!
> HOWEVER, the research that I have done shows that for $700, a decent GPU can be obtained. I'd accept INTEGRATED ONLY IF all my other parameters are met.

- 500GB, 7200RPM HDD

- THIN AND LIGHT as possible.
> Like I said above, I'm going to college and portability is important to me. My friend's 7 pound laptop was heavy to me.. not sure if because of 15 inch screen or GPU.

- Good battery life (tempted to say 3-5 hours)
> Reason to say I'm tempted to say 3-5 hours is because laptops are really sketchy on battery.. When I had one 4 years ago (granted it's a long time, but still, the processors got STRONGER and batteries are the same), the most I ever got was like 2 hours.. Not sure how the laptop technology is nowadays, but 3-5 hours would be great without compromising too much performance.

- CD/DVD drive. Pretty standard.

- Don't need SD/microSD. but it actually would be pretty nice because I fool around with my phone a lot. NOT NECESSARY.

- Good WiFi capabilities
> On sagernotebook &, there's always options for upgrades in the WiFi in the laptop.. Does that even do anything? (Example: Bigfoot Networks Killer™ Wireless-N 1103)

- Webcam in the front would be nice. Doesn't need to be killer RES but having one would be nice.

- Should have speakers.. pretty standard, right?

> Not sure how good laptop manufacturers are on their warranties, but I'd like at least 1 year, hopefully 2 years to send it in if a problem not in my control occurred. I doubt me dropping it from a building is covered, and that's fine.

> I'll be in college for 6 years (PharmD).. I suppose it'd be nice if my laptop could last at least 3 of those years without me worrying? Like I said, I also have a good desktop.

Misc but IMPORTANT info:
- MAIN Things I DEF need: Speed, Decent Screen, Portability
- Located in New Jersey
- Budget of about $700.

- Processor.. As I said before, could I do with a i5 processor? Which one is fast and good?
- RAM.. Is 4GB enough?
- HDD. Is 5400RPM enough? I see very few 7200RPM for this price..

I would like to let you know that I did do a lot of research on my own but had trouble finding one with the specs I am looking for. I think the MAIN PROBLEM was with my processor. I kept looking for i7 2630, but maybe you can recommend my perfect laptop with an i5 processor that WORKS JUST AS WELL! Or maybe, you can find the i7.

Please let me know your recommendations, and I think A LOT of people are interested in the same thing. If my parameters were unrealistic (like I said, I don't think they are too much, let me know)

Sorry to be annoying, but money is kinda tight, so also let me know the BEST option for $599. If I lose TOO MUCH performance, then I'll convince my parents to shell out the $700.



Just did some more research but finally clicking Sumbit.

I suppose this laptop is okay? Let me know if you can do my parameters. I could accept Recertified or Referbished IF the manufacturers OFFERS SOME SORT OF WARRANTY.
a c 572 D Laptop
August 9, 2011 10:57:30 AM

Your link to is showing a SOG FastHawk 3-Piece Camping Set

i5 CPU is more than enough. i5-2410M Sandy Bridge is a good one. A bonus is it has the better Intel HD 3000 Graphics as it's IGP.
4GB of RAM is plenty.
5400rpm HDD is adequate. 7200rpm HDD is better and a first order upgrade option I'd recommended.

15" laptops are going to run right around ~6lbs. Thin and light models cost extra and probably aren't in your budget.
Related resources
a c 572 D Laptop
August 9, 2011 11:12:54 AM

You can get good deals for right around $600.

HP Pavilion dv6 Select Edition Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" Laptop w/Free 6GB RAM & Blu-ray Core i5 $564
Core i5 2410 CPU, 6GB RAM, 640GB 5400rpm HDD, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ Intel HD 3000 graphics
A 7200rpm HDD is a +$10 option. 1920x1080 LCD is a $150 option. WiFi is standard but Bluetooth is a $25 option.
HP Pavilion dv6t Review

Dell XPS 15 15.6-inch "Sandy Bridge" Laptop Core i5 $644
Core i5-2410M, 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HDD, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ Nvidia GT 525m graphics
Bluetooth is a $20 option

August 9, 2011 6:49:06 PM

I guess updated haha.

I hear you with the malibal computer.. but I configured a friend's laptop with the EXACT SAME specs MINUS GPU for $1000.. So $700 for a GPU is a waste in my opinion.


Just got a new phone so I'm gonna play around with my Optimus 2X. I will look at your recommendations after I'm done.

Meanwhile, if anyone else has any more input, let me know!!!
August 12, 2011 1:07:59 AM

Never thought this day would come.. but I'm leading towards this Dell:

It's i5, 7200RPM (yay!), and only $600!

Good thing is DDR3 RAM, but only 4GB. My friend recommends 6 or 8. I can get 6 if I customize it via Dell, but it costs $60. The $60 isn't much, but it takes them 10 more days for them to ship it, which is not good because I am leaving for college soon and need it as soon as possible.

For $600, is this the best option? My research says yes, but you may have something else

Anyone know if I can upgrade the RAM?

Is this the way to do it on my own? It's $30 cheaper than Dell doing it, with 2GB MORE RAM, and I can get it quickly.



I am considering getting the following now:

For $100 more, I get i7 2630. However, I lose the 1333 DDR3 RAM for 1066. I also lose the 7200RPM. It's also heavier. However, I get the better processor and better resolution..

Is it worth the $100 or am I losing too many features?

To be honest, if the Dell had like 6 hours or something (what I expectED of a 14inch laptop), I'd get it in a heartbeat to save the $100. HOWEVER, for some reason some reviewers on say only like 2-3 hours.. while Newegg optimistically says 4.5 hours for the Acer.

What should I do?

August 12, 2011 1:40:23 AM

Actually I want the smaller screen and better battery.. Forget the i7 lol..

I guess it's the Dell.. wanna see how good the battery is though