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Looking for a laptop for a friend under $400

Tags:
  • Processors
  • Laptops
Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
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June 3, 2012 10:10:02 PM

Hey community,

So I'm not exactly keen on mobile processors but I do know my computers very well, which is why my friend had asked me to give them advice. I'm looking around the BestBuy website and am coming upon a limited selection of AMD E-series processors and Intel Pentium chips. I know the Intel Pentium chips are decently well known for bang for the buck performance, yet AMD does have the discrete graphics advantage. The person will be using it for school, mainly school work and probably some Skyping or what not, social stuff that would require a webcam. A decent sized harddrive and a decent amount of RAM (3GB or more) would also be appreciated. The only requirements that were given is that it needed to be cheap and fast. Beyond $400 would most likely be a stretch. Preferred stores would be Fry's or BestBuy and in store pickup would be preferred unless a steal of a deal is found.

So I'm more or less wondering what is the potential of today's mobile processors. I know the desktop versions of the Pentium and Celeron are pretty good (I have a G530 with a GTX460). I'm not sure of the E-series or even the C-series, so any help there would be fantastic. Also I'm not sure of the reliability of brands I've heard good things about Asus and Dell, yet not about Gateway.

Here is what I have found so far:

http://www.frys.com/product/6888016?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...
-1GHz seems rather slow by today's standards. Then again, it is pretty thin and stylish.

http://www.frys.com/product/6778905?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...
-According to Passmark benchmarks the i3 is among the best

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+A6-3400M+AP...
-The A6 is also pretty quick and comes with the discrete graphics core as well as a large enough hard drive.

Any other suggestions would be awesome. The zip is 95831 for those of you searching.

Thanks again,
-Gunner

EDIT

Well you can see I didn't read this first like I should have:

1. What is your budget? $400

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

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

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? Its replacing an older Macbook.

5. How much battery life do you need? Probably around 3 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 gaming

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) School work and social (Skype and such) so a webcam would be great.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? 320-500GB

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Preferably in store for Fry's or Bestbuy-area code 95831

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? Quite some time, the client is only getting a new one because the HDD is filled and it is slow.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Standard DVD-R I am assuming

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. None, open to all.

13. What country do you live in? USA-California

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed. It is for a client that wants a laptop for school that is quick and fast, as well as cheap.

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