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Choosing a Laptop

Hello, I am recently looking to buy a laptop (mostly for studies) - no graphics or CPU intensive tasks, except rarely. However I do need a reasonably powerful laptop with enough space to last for a while.

I have narrowed down my choices to a few (from Futureshop) - Canada.

This is my primary choice:
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/hewlett-packard-hp-15-6-amd-quad-core-a6-3420m-laptop-g6-1d44ca-grey-g6-1d44ca/10208019.aspx?path=f021d44e28a00aca90f54e01e9db9f4fen02

Secondary:
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/acer-acer-aspire-14-intel-pentium-b950-laptop-e1-431-4875-black-e1-431-4875/10206025.aspx?path=1e6f9564d84971ead750f512bf852de8en02

My choice depends on the following:
Both laptops look like good choices but some little assurance would be great ;)

the 2nd laptop has more RAM, and a faster CPU however I noticed that it doesn't have as much cores or as much CPU cache. Is there much performance difference between the two laptops and if so which is a better choice? Does the 1st laptop with its quad core and larger CPU cache mean a noticeable difference in performance between the two?

The 2nd choice has an Intel graphics solution, while the other has a Radeon 6520, I won't necessarily be looking for graphics performance here, but it would be a nice thing to have.

So overall should I stick with the 1st choice, the graphics and the extra HDD space is my current reason to favor it over the other but if it has no noticeable difference I am willing to look at the 2nd choice.

PS Also a slight concern, I have experience with Acer and IBM laptops but are HP laptops reliable in the long term? (2+ years)

Thanks!
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More about choosing laptop
  1. Best answer
    Acer, HP and Lenovo laptops are made in the very same factories by the same suppliers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_laptop_brands_and_manufacturers

    The vast majority of laptops on the market are manufactured by a small handful of Original Design Manufacturers (ODM). Major relationships include:[4]

    Quanta sells to (among others) HP, Lenovo, Apple, Acer, Toshiba, Dell, Sony, Fujitsu and NEC
    Compal sells to (among others) Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo and HP/Compaq
    Wistron (former manufacturing & design division of Acer) sells to Dell, Acer, Lenovo and HP
    Inventec sells to Toshiba, HP, Dell and Lenovo
    Pegatron sells to Asus, Toshiba, Apple, Dell and Acer
    Foxconn sells to Asus, Dell, HP and Apple
    Flextronics (former Arima Computer Corporation notebook division) sells to HP

    My big concern however is that with a $359ish price tag, $100 for the OS, some money for shipping, packaging, etc, just how much is left over for the actual hardware ? I look at $650 as the minimum investment for a useful laptop.

    http://www.lpc-digital.com/sager-np2252-features.html
  2. $650.00 is a bit over budget for me, and since its not necessarily going to be used for very intensive tasks (I squeeze all that out of my low end PC) that might be a bit too much.

    But yeah I see your point of Futureshop pulling a fast one with that price, Would it be a better deal if I look at Newegg or another retailer and try for a laptop without OS installed? I am on a tight schedule however (need the laptop in at least a week).

    Again this laptop is mostly going to be used for reading documents and browsing (However with a large no. of plugins etc...) and only occasionally will be called to use its max. I already own 2 low end pcs and a low end laptop, so this isn't a major investment. :pt1cable:

    So in the end, should I go for this laptop, or as you say would I be better off buying a no OS but meatier laptop, and if so is that really a option for laptops?
  3. I'm not even sure if u can get a laptop without an OS, but regardless it would defiantly be cheaper getting one with the OS already installed. If you plan on getting it shipped from future shop (rather than going to pick it up), then it would definitely be worth comparing these laptops with what new egg or tiger direct have to offer!

    As far as lasting 2+ yrs, I'm not sure any laptop in that price range will be that great imo (consider getting a warranty, or checking the manufacturer warranty).

    It may not make a difference with what ur doing but the processor speed on the HP is really slow. The speed of the processor in the other laptop would probably do you more good, then the quad core in the first laptop.

    Hope this helps,
    Cheers
  4. Did a little bit of looking closer at the laptops, also looked at two other likely candidates:
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3468612&CatId=4938

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834214607

    But ultimately, I think Ill go with the 2nd choice ( http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/acer-acer-aspire-14-intel-pentium-b950-laptop-e1-431-4875-black-e1-431-4875/10206025.aspx?path=1e6f9564d84971ead750f512bf852de8en02 )

    A closer look shows that although it does have integrated Intel Graphics, its even a little bit faster than the Nvidia Geforce 7100 (That I use on my PC) - with which I have managed to squeeze a lot out of. So ultimately I think graphics won't be much of a worry for me on this one, seeing that its slightly better than on the PCs.

    So I think ill probably go with it.

    However:
    Is there any possibility the laptop is locked? (Motherboard wise) or something? I want to be able to uninstall/reinstall windows without running into any snags later down the road. Also OCing isn't an option on a laptop, especially one like this right?

    Anything specific I should ask them before I purchase? They do have a 1 parts and labour warranty.
  5. Best answer selected by boarnoah.
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