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I want the best computer that is $800 and under

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 21, 2012 12:37:50 AM

Hello

Im an 8Th. grader that really wants an amazing laptop under $800, I had a Dell Latitude d400 (very old), It was amazing for like 5 years and then for the next 2 years is was a disaster, so I want one that I can use for a long time without disappointment.
Ive been looking at the dell Vostro 3450, dell xps 14z, sony vaio s serie, and he alien ware 14 inches (too expensive).

HELP

More about : computer 800

a c 433 D Laptop
June 21, 2012 3:15:19 AM

Since you really didn't provide much information I will assume you are looking for a laptop that is capable of playing some games.

At the maximum $800 budget is the Acer Aspire AS5750G-9821 which has a quad core Intel Core i7 2670QM and a nVidia GT 630m graphic card. If there was a version with only a dual core i5 CPU, then this laptop would be cheaper. A dual core CPU is generally enough for games since the vast majority of games only use two cores. The GT 630m is a capable graphics card, but you will be limited to medium quality graphics.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Normally I would tell you to "get a job you lazy bum", but since you're only an 8th grader I assume the $800 limit is being set by your parents who will be paying for the laptop. If you can convince them to spend just a little more you can get something a bit better. Do extra chores, help around the house (or apartment), walk the dog, change the kitty litter, you get the idea...

For $850 ($50 more) there's the Acer Aspire V3-571G-9435 which has the new Ivy Bridge quad core CPU which is slightly faster than the older Sandy Bridge generation CPU (like in the above laptop) and it has a slightly higher clock speed. More importantly it has the nVidia GT 640m graphic card. That is basically equivalent to the nvidia GT 550m graphic card which I have in my laptop. It is a pretty capable "mainstream performance" graphics card that can handle high graphics quality in some games, but remember this will cause a drop in frame rates.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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a b D Laptop
June 25, 2012 5:59:05 PM

The Acer Aspire AS575 and Acer Aspire V3-571 are not particularly good general case options, because they come with 15.6" 1366x768 displays. 1366x768 resolution in a 15.6" display makes things onscreen large, and 15.6" displays that have this resolution are usually cheaply manufactured LCD panels that have very poor image quality due to low contrast. You should avoid this type of display when it is reasonable within your budget to get a laptop that comes with a better display and still suits your needs.

These laptops' inclusion of Core i7 processors does not make them good options in the general case. This is a common misconception abused by manufacturers and sellers. There are other issues at stake, when comparing laptops, that are much more important to factor into your decision, such as the GPU (if gaming), and the display. The difference between options available for these two components will affect most users significantly more than the differences between Core i5-branded and Core i7-branded processors. In the majority of cases, the processor is one of the least important things to consider.

Such laptops should not be general case options at this price point, due to their overprioritization of processor and underprioritization of display.

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Assuming you plan on using these for some moderate gaming, these two are worth considering:

HP DV6-6C53NR (i5-2450M, AMD Radeon 7690M XT, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $799 + tax
- http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_US/pd/HP...
- You will need to go into the BIOS (press key during startup screen to enter), and change the switchable graphics setting from DYNAMIC to FIXED. DYNAMIC (automatic switching mode) suffers from issues that FIXED (manual switching mode) does not suffer from, where certain games (namely Minecraft and other OpenGL games) will be forced to run on the integrated GPU instead of the dedicated GPU.
- Includes a free Xbox for students

ASUS N53SM-AS51 (i5-2450M, NVIDIA GT 630M, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $799 no tax
- http://www.amazon.com/N53SM-AS51-15-6-Inch-Laptop-Silve...
- GPU is slower than the HP's GPU.
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a c 433 D Laptop
June 25, 2012 6:57:18 PM

edit1754 said:
The Acer Aspire AS575 and Acer Aspire V3-571 are not particularly good general case options, because they come with 15.6" 1366x768 displays. 1366x768 resolution in a 15.6" display makes things onscreen large, and 15.6" displays that have this resolution are usually cheaply manufactured LCD panels that have very poor image quality due to low contrast. You should avoid this type of display when it is reasonable within your budget to get a laptop that comes with a better display and still suits your needs.


That is an overly general statement and can also be used against 1920x1080 resolution screens as well. Generally speaking to get a 1920x1080 in a relatively inexpensive laptop also means the 1920x1080 needs to be inexpensive. A higher resolution screen costs more to manufacture than a low resolution screen because it has more pixels and means the amount of materials needed to manufacture is greater. Additionally, higher resolution screen also have a higher rejection rate in the manufacturing process. LCD screen are produced from large panes of "LCD glass" typcially 12' x 8' from the research I have at least for desktop monitors. I would assume a similar size laptop screens as well.

Due to the larger number of pixels there is a higher chance of dead pixels on a "LCD glass" that must be cut around to get good panels. This increases the cost per unit. Therefore, a 1920x1080 resolution screen generally cost more to manufacture than a 1366x768 resolution screen. Therefore, in order to make prices competitive, lower quality components are used to create 1920x1080 resolution screens for 15.6" laptops. Higher resolution does not automatically mean better contrast.

The only way to tell the quality of a laptop's screen is to test it using optical measuring instruments. Unfortunately, the vast majority of laptops are not professionally tested / reviewed.
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a c 433 D Laptop
June 25, 2012 7:02:21 PM

edit1754 said:
Assuming you plan on using these for some moderate gaming, these two are worth considering:

HP DV6-6C53NR (i5-2450M, AMD Radeon 7690M XT, 15.6" 1920x1080 matte display) - $799 + tax
- http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/en_US/pd/HP...
- You will need to go into the BIOS (press key during startup screen to enter), and change the switchable graphics setting from DYNAMIC to FIXED. DYNAMIC (automatic switching mode) suffers from issues that FIXED (manual switching mode) does not suffer from, where certain games (namely Minecraft and other OpenGL games) will be forced to run on the integrated GPU instead of the dedicated GPU.
- Includes a free Xbox for students



Note that the "free Xbox for students" only applies for students who are going for "higher education" as stated in Microsoft's fine print. That means attending college / university. Therefore as an 8th grader you are automatically disqualified.

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a b D Laptop
June 25, 2012 7:41:50 PM

jaguarskx said:
That is an overly general statement and can also be used against 1920x1080 resolution screens as well. Generally speaking to get a 1920x1080 in a relatively inexpensive laptop also means the 1920x1080 needs to be inexpensive. Higher resolution does not automatically mean better contrast.

The only 15.6" 1920x1080 display that I have ever known to be of poor quality was the AUO B156HW01 V.5 that was used in some of the older ASUS G-Series and N-Series computers before ASUS switched to matte 1920x1080 displays for these lines, and the only 15.6" 1366x768 display I have ever seen that had decent contrast was in a Lenovo laptop that I had in other cases seen including a very poor display of the same 1366x768 resolution.

These are two isolated cases. Every other 15.6" 1920x1080 display I have seen in person or have seen calibration data for had well-above average contrast, and every other 15.6" 1366x768 display I have seen in person or seen calibration data for had very poor contrast. Only in rare cases are you going to find a 15.6" 1920x1080 display that is poor in quality due to contrast, or are you going to find a 15.6" 1366x768 display that has considerably higher than average quality due to contrast.

Specific to the computers I recommended, I have personally seen multiple HP DV6-6000 series computers that have the 1920x1080 display. The displays in these computers were indeed much better in quality than 15.6" 1366x768 displays tend to be.

I do not know exactly why 15.6" 1920x1080 displays tend to be well above 15.6" 1366x768 displays in the majority of cases, I only know that they do based on experience, and make guesses about manufacturing processes that might explain why. You are making the assumption that there is no correlation between contrast and which resolution a 15.6" display has, and then you try to backup your assumption with a guess about manufacturing processes that you don't know is a significant factor or not. The difference is that I have a large amount of experience and that I have done a considerable amount of research on the issue.

I already explained this in further detail the last time (including calibration results from numerous displays) and I do not want to do it again unless I need to for the sake of the OP's proper understandment of the issue.

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But image quality aside, the resolution itself is an issue that will in most cases outweigh the differences between most available processors. The average user would be affected much more by being able to fit more onscreen at a time than he would be by upgrading from a processor that already has more than enough performance not to be a bottleneck for any tasks he will perform, to an even higher grade processor.

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Another way to think about it is: Essentially any CPU and dedicated GPU you select in a new laptop will be a quantum leap over what was available in most previous systems. But if you aren't careful to make sure that you get a decent display then you will most likely have a similar or worse display than what was available in many previous systems.

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