Quality all around $600-$700 laptop

Just want to preface by saying I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about computers and hardware, but laptops not so much. I got great advice here when looking into a build of my own last year which I'm glad to say thanks to all your attention I now have a fierce long lasting desktop. But now I find myself looking around for a reliable laptop for my girlfriend which she will use mostly for school but on occasion I may need to take to work myself. I don't want to spend over $700, and maybe I could get away with spending closer to $500. I know there are plenty of resources around the internet I could use but between work and family I don't have the luxury of time to be able to zero in on a fitting laptop between all the features and reviews that are out there.

What I'm looking for is a run down of the pros and cons of each laptop make these days, and if anyone here is inclined more toward one make than all the others then maybe you could break down each model (example if Toshiba then Satellite vs Ultrabook)

Most important things are I'd prefer core i5, at least 6 GB RAM, HDMI and bluetooth. Exterior features I'm looking for is a numeric keypad, above average speakers, backlit keyboard would be nice but with a more traditional style keyboard. I notice lots of brands these days are experimenting with different construction in their keyboards - some have the keys spaced apart, some have them so close together it's tough to feel out where one ends and the next begins, and I know some are reviewed to have their keys wear out and lose their "click" much more quickly than others.

Not sure if I need Windows 8 or the touch screen, if any of you think it's the next greatest thing then I will keep an open mind as I know nothing about it at this point, but if not I'm sure 7 would do the trick.
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More about quality laptop
  1. Lenovo and HP generally give you the most for your money. Just spend 5 minutes going over their selections and I am sure you will be fine.
  2. Isn't a forum a place for discussion, intended for thorough and informative dialog?? Every time I come on here I expect to get something along those lines, but each time I am proved wrong. I am perfectly capable of doing a search for articles and my 2 year old is probably capable of searching cnet.com for laptops within a $100 price range. I'm not looking for a general list of qualifying laptops based on 1 parameter (price), I was kind of expecting that someone would pass on some of their own advice based on their own experience and knowledge of a particular brand or two, hence the reason why I put that statement in bold. If it sounds like I'm ranting it's because I'd rather read no post than to see a link to another website, I'm just looking for some solid one on one discussion...
  3. Again, sorry to sound like a grump, but seriously after looking through some of the links posted it made me even more baffled as to how I could come to a site such as this and get such elementary feedback. Even after 100 reads no one has anything productive to add?? I don't need links to another site telling me that this laptop is fast or that laptop has lots of storage or this laptop is portable, it's a LAPTOP isn't that the definition of PORTABLE?! Obviously I can read, what good is a review if it is just regurgitating the specs?? I know some brands are praised more than others and some are better than others in different price ranges.. For example if buying a car for $20,000 you might want to get a Toyota whereas if you're spending $50,000 you would probably be better off going for an Audi. I want quality, longevity and a bit more durability as it may be getting banged around slightly if I need to bring it to work with me. So what do you think??
  4. I could understand that.Well to be honest most don't use laptops on this site so you'll be hard pressed to get what your looking for here but good luck!
  5. Also the squidoo site has completely broken English in almost every sentence, and people reviewing the laptops are praising them for displaying movies and storing documents and pictures. Wow, a laptop that plays movies, AND stores my files?? I think we found a winner!!
  6. Yeah i think your best looking else where.I already mentioned most of us do not use laptops.I can understand your disappointment but your attitude is not welcomed here.
  7. lougilman said:
    Also the squidoo site has completely broken English in almost every sentence, and people reviewing the laptops are praising them for displaying movies and storing documents and pictures. Wow, a laptop that plays movies, AND stores my files?? I think we found a winner!!

    Pretty much any major brand is fine. All makers use the same parts so there is not much difference



    8GB ram
    Solid i5
    1 TB HDD

    For general use you will have NO problems.
  8. Thanks rolltide looks like an incredible deal. My boss has a Lenovo as his primary laptop, haven't heard any complaints really from him. This one seems to be spec'd to the max for a laptop under $600, is there a catch? Can I expect a Lenovo to last through the years?
  9. Lenovo is known for their reliability. I have personally owned 2 and never had any issues. Tech support is great to, The sales department can be kind of annoying though. As I said before Lenovo and HP give you more for your money than any other brand. I really do not see much need to stray from them unless you absolutely need a certain feature or for gaming. I would recommend SAGER for gaming.
  10. Is an AMD cpu a deal breaker? For 554.99 (plus tax) you can get this from HP with a backlit keyboard

    Windows 8 64
    AMD Quad-Core A8-4500M (3.0GHz/2.1GHz, 4MB L2 Cache)
    AMD Radeon(TM) HD 7600 Series Discrete-Class
    6GB 1600MHz DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    750GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
    No Additional Office Software
    No additional security software
    6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
    15.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit Display (1366x768)
    SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support
    HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated dual array digital microphone
    802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth(R)
    Backlit Keyboard


    Upgrade the processor, hard drive and select bluetooth this will get you over 599$ then use this coupon code


    found here


    AMD CPU benchmark
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=AMD+A8-4500M+APU 2651

    Intel CPU benchmark
    http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-3210M+%40+2.50GHz 3887

    The Lenovo is more powerful but with the set I gave you the HP will be just as fast (if not faster) since the AMD is a quad and has a 7200 RPM HDD. Also the HP comes with a decent GPU for lightweight gaming. But if you upgraded the Lenovo's HDD yourself to a 7200 RPM HDD it would be the better overall PC. Either way I think you would be fine. I will lay out the pros and cons of both

    HP (by barely)

    Lenovo (Moderate amount)

    HP (Moderate amount)

    HP (By alot)

    Build quality (judging from past experience)


    HP (Backlit)

    They both have bluetooth and the same display

    This is alot more than 2 lines LOL
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