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Need a new laptop for under $500

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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February 3, 2012 12:53:56 PM

I am looking to get a new laptop and I would prefer it to be between $300 and $500, willing to go to $550 if absolutely necessary.
I would like a 15.6" screen and something with the 10 key. I would like something that has a metal casing, not the cheap plastic feel to the keyboard and casing.
I need it to run the sims 3, other than that it will be used just for general web browsing. Would like something with at least 320gb.
I will be buying from Frys, or another trusted electronic store but NOT best buy.
I don't want an HP. I am interested in an Asus if it fits my needs. I would like a brand with excellent customer service.
I currently have a Lenovo Ideapad Z575 1299. I paid $450 for it new and just purchased it last week, but I am second guessing this laptop. I would like to see if there is anything better in that price range. The sales guy at fry's was a little pushy, and insisted that it was the best laptop in that price range. And as I don't know much about computers I just took what he said was best.

CPU is A4-3300M, someone asked to post specs, im not sure what that is so here is the link for the one I have
http://www.frys.com/product/6793725?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...

Also, if frys is not a good place to buy from, where would you recommend. Someone told me never to buy from best buy, why i dont know.

More about : laptop 500

a b D Laptop
February 3, 2012 1:06:29 PM

well you won't get a metal casting for this price range

($380)ASUS A53U-ES21 Notebook AMD Dual-Core Processor E-450(1.65GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD±R/RW AMD Radeon HD 6320
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

($430) lenovo IdeaPad Z575 (129929U) Notebook AMD A-Series A6-3400M(1.4GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD±R/RW AMD Radeon HD 6520G
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

February 3, 2012 1:17:20 PM

Fry's is not the best place to buy. Unless they have something really cheap I do not go there anymore. And never, ever get an extended warranty from them. It is a scam.

Lenovo makes good stuff as does Toshiba. However, that seems a bit overpriced for what you got. I have seen that same config at times for about $399.

It is going to be hard to get a metal casing in your price range. Generally they start at about $1000. What I would look for as far as specs go, is something like an Intel i3 processor with Intel HD 3000 graphics. It will be plenty to play Sims and do the other stuff.
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a b D Laptop
February 3, 2012 1:40:52 PM

Might as well get a Dedicated GPU for games, not inte's pos HD 3000 series.
February 3, 2012 1:59:11 PM

alvine said:
Might as well get a Dedicated GPU for games, not inte's pos HD 3000 series.


For the game mentioned, the Intel video will be more than adequate. Not everyone is a hardcore gamer.
February 3, 2012 2:06:41 PM

Although I usually go for Intel, if you want gaming at your budget an A series APU seems like the best idea by far.

This is the best I could see at that price range
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The Radeon HD 6620G that's on the A8 should be more than capable of running the Sims 3 at good settings. It has 4Gb of memory which should be more than enough for your use, as well as 750 Gb hard drive. I can't see you getting a better deal for $500.
February 3, 2012 2:17:14 PM

Since two of the posts have suggested variants of the Z575 1299, which you already have, perhaps you need to post the specs.

Its quite possible the guy was right and it was the best for the money.
a c 572 D Laptop
February 3, 2012 2:27:17 PM

cgreen88 said:
The sales guy at fry's was a little pushy, and insisted that it was the best laptop in that price range. And as I don't know much about computers I just took what he said was best.
From among the options available at Fry's he did give you accurate information.
And it's not a bad value - the same model is going for $470 on sale at the Lenovo website right now.

Personally, I think the A4-3300 dual core APU @ 1.9Ghz is underpowered compared to some other options out there now.

Big List of Mobile Processors (CPU Benchmarks) has the A4-3300 ranked #242.
For comparison the quad core A6-3400M is ranked #153, A8-3500M is #146
February 3, 2012 2:33:03 PM

WR2 said:
From among the options available at Fry's he did give you accurate information.
And it's not a bad value - the same model is going for $470 on sale at the Lenovo website right now.

Personally, I think the A4-3300 dual core APU @ 1.9Ghz is underpowered compared to some other options out there now.

Big List of Mobile Processors (CPU Benchmarks) has the A4-3300 ranked #242.
For comparison the quad core A6-3400M is ranked #153, A8-3500M is #146


Perhaps a dumb question, but how do you know which 1299 he has?

a c 572 D Laptop
February 3, 2012 2:42:51 PM

I looked on the Fry's website.
February 3, 2012 2:50:12 PM

cgreen88 said:
I am looking to get a new laptop and I would prefer it to be between $300 and $500, willing to go to $550 if absolutely necessary.
I would like a 15.6" screen and something with the 10 key. I would like something that has a metal casing, not the cheap plastic feel to the keyboard and casing.
I need it to run the sims 3, other than that it will be used just for general web browsing. Would like something with at least 320gb.
I will be buying from Frys, or another trusted electronic store but NOT best buy.
I don't want an HP. I am interested in an Asus if it fits my needs. I would like a brand with excellent customer service.
I currently have a Lenovo Ideapad Z575 1299. I paid $450 for it new and just purchased it last week, but I am second guessing this laptop. I would like to see if there is anything better in that price range. The sales guy at fry's was a little pushy, and insisted that it was the best laptop in that price range. And as I don't know much about computers I just took what he said was best.


Are you going to return the ideapad, if you find another option? It may cost you restocking fee, and of course if you have worked some private data on the computer, you may be exposed to security risk.

I'm not sure if Intel HD graphics have the same performance in both desktop and laptop CPU, but on my i5 2400 desktop with HD 2000, I even played Modern Warfare 2 with mid-setting just for test, and it was not bad.
a c 572 D Laptop
February 3, 2012 3:10:52 PM

To get a metal case and an upgrade over the A4-3300M APU performance in your price range:
HP ProBook 4530s $500
Core i3 2310M (2.10GHz) CPU, 4GB RAM, 320GB 7200rpm HDD, 15.6" 1366x768 anti-glare LCD w/ HD 3000 graphics.

HP ProBook 4530s Review

I know you're not a HP fan but your other requirements and budget made this business class notebook something you should probably look over as an option.
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