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Laptop under $800

Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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May 6, 2012 11:20:20 PM

1. What is your budget? $800 and under

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 15.6"

3. What screen resolution do you want? Doesn't Matter

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Doesn't Matter

5. How much battery life do you need? At least four 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)? Yes. I play simulation games. I would like to play them on medium to high

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) Photo/Video editing

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? At least 500 GB

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? At least five years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? DVD Writer

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. Doesn't matter

13. What country do you live in? US

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. None

More about : laptop 800

a c 572 D Laptop
May 6, 2012 11:47:26 PM

How soon do you need the new notebook?
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May 7, 2012 12:17:20 AM

Not very soon just looking around.
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a b D Laptop
May 7, 2012 2:18:58 AM

Go to the Best Buy website. You can filter by price and other options.

Your requirements are very generic except the video editing which are CPU and MEMORY intensive.

My advice is then this:
- quality brand (Asus, HP, Toshiba)
- 8GB approximate of RAM
- Intel CPU (the AMD APU's are great for most people but will be much slower for video editing)

Based on these parameters, I found the following two choices:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+X53SD-RS51+15.6%22+L...

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+15.6%22+Satellite...

I'm partial to Asus in general but the Toshiba seems to have a more powerful CPU.

*The Toshiba CPU is a quad-core and the Asus is only dual-core so there would be a big difference in video editing speeds.
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May 7, 2012 2:23:10 AM

Do not get an HP you will regret it I promise...
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a b D Laptop
May 7, 2012 10:32:59 AM

cyxryan said:
Do not get an HP you will regret it I promise...


You bad-mouthed HP which usually scores quite high and recommended an ACER which breakdown more than any other laptop.

http://computersight.com/hardware/the-best-laptops-bran...

I believe ASUS is #1 in terms of actual quality (least repairs required). ACER is close to last. HP is usually great.

Anyway, if you're going to make statements like these you should be prepared to back them up. Again, a big report was written recently about the huge number of issues with their laptops.

Here's a better review from 2010 so you can see the trend:
http://smidgenpc.com/2010/04/23/the-best-laptop-brands-...
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a b D Laptop
May 7, 2012 11:16:55 AM



This has a high-end GPU meant mainly for gamers, however Adobe is increasingly adding GPU support for their products and others are as well. This GPU appears to use NVidia's Optimus so the 630M would be disabled when not needed which is a plus for noise and heat.

Now this is actually a GREAT LAPTOP based on the price. If you are willing to take the chance on it having reliability issues then yes, it's go amazing features for the price.

*Both laptops which I recommended are estimated to have higher reliability overall but the graphics aren't nearly as good for gaming.

**The 630M is actually a rebadged 5xxM chip (FERMI) whereas the 640M is actually the new Kepler architecture. The 640M runs far cooler and would be my recommended chip if you wish to take the time to look for one but I would also expect it to be at least $1000.

Interesting read: http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Mobile/Nvidia-GeForce-GT-6...

CONCLUSION:
- light gaming can often get by fine with an HD3000 Intel GPU but you need to look up benchmarks to be certain if this is adequate for your usage.
- if gaming is an issue look into a dedicated GPU but be prepared to pay more for a similar quality laptop
- the CPU is still the most important part for video conversion and editing and I recommend the modern Intel 4-core CPU's.
- System RAM is important for video editing (but not straight converting) and 8GB is my recommend without knowing your exact use
- modern NVidia mobile GPU's use Optimus which basically disables the dedicated GPU when not needed and uses the Intel version
- GPU acceleration is starting to be used more in software. Oddly, NVENC and other decoding/encoding dedicated chips added alongside the main GPU can be faster than using the CPU or GPU for specific encoding task. Adobe's CS6 has added a significant number of GPU-accelerated features though in practice you may not actually use them.
- if Video Editing was light and not very often I'd probably be recommending a 4-core AMD APU processor which are better at gaming than similar Intel based laptops due to the better GPU but the CPU portion is weaker. Most light or non-gamers are best seved with this APU because it's virtually silent and low-cost.
(take note that the new KEPLER architecture, i.e. the 640M has an NVENC feature. It's a dedicated encoding chip that can speed up video conversions. An example is ripping, then converting a BluRay or DVD disc for mobile use. You could use the dedicated DECODER chip and this ENCODER.)

- as always in computers you need to balance FEATURES, QUALITY and PRICE.
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a c 464 D Laptop
May 7, 2012 1:06:43 PM

If you don't need a laptop soon, then you might as well wait until late June or early July when many laptops based on Ivy Bridge CPUs should be coming out.

AMD's Trinity APU is going to be released on May 15th so laptops using that family of APUs should also be available around the same time period.
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a b D Laptop
May 7, 2012 6:09:36 PM

The AMD Trinity APU, 4-core model would make an excellent balance of CPU, graphics and noise/heat.

Provided the value is there of course compared to the current generation of APU's. Again, similarly priced Intel-based laptops tend to have higher CPU usage but lower graphics quality making them better for non-gamers who need more CPU power.

There are many 2-core APU laptops that are severely underpowered.
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June 10, 2012 6:34:46 PM

I am now able to raise my budget to $1000. I am looking at the one below from HP. If you know of anything better tell me.

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
3rd generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM Processor (2.3 GHz, 6MB L3 Cache)
NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) GT 630M Graphics with 1GB GDDR3 memory [HDMI, VGA]
FREE Upgrade to 8GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
750GB 7200 rpm Hybrid Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
NO mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
Microsoft(R) Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word/Excel(R) only, No PowerPoint(R)/Outlook(R)
No additional security software
30% off 9 cell Lithium Ion Battery
15.6-inch diagonal Full HD Anti-glare LED-backlit Display (1920 x 1080)
FREE Upgrade to Blu-ray player & SuperMulti DVD burner
HP TrueVision HD Webcam
Intel 802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth(R)
Backlit Keyboard
HP Home & Home Office Store in-box envelope
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