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Advice please! Which laptop should I buy?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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November 25, 2012 10:07:32 PM

Looking for laptop-buying advice!

Hello everyone,

My trusty Dell Latitude has been slowly dying since its 5th birthday a couple months ago. I'm looking to buy a new laptop and thought to ask for opinions on this site.

My main concern is longevity. I got so much use out of my Dell, I take good care of my computers, and I don't want to have to be upgrading or buying a new model two years from now. (For this reason, I'm disregarding Macs, as I don't know anyone who's had the same one for more than 3 years.)

Apart from the longevity factor, I'm looking for a laptop with..

long battery life
at least 2GB RAM
at least 50GB internal memory
multiple USB ports (as in more than 2)
an optical drive with DVD/CD burning capabilities
Windows OS (7 or 8--I'm still on Vista with the Dell so it don't care which)
ethernet port
portable--not too heavy, and with a screen size of 15"or less

bonus points for having the old circular jack that connects to a TV, a minimum two-year warranty, and/or a light-up keyboard


I'm leaning towards buying an HP as my former university recommends them if you're not getting a Mac. (I bought my Dell through the university in 2007 so trust their recommendations.) I've also read on other message boards that as long as you take good care of it, you can get 4 or 5 years out of an HP Pavilion.

Can anyone recommend a good laptop that fits my list of qualities? Also any insight on the difference between the HP Pavilion, Elitebook, ProBook, and Folio? Their website doesn't offer any kind of distinguishing information for these models.

Please share your advice and experiences! I need to buy a new computer soon!

More about : advice laptop buy

a b D Laptop
November 26, 2012 3:07:12 AM

Ok, so the two most important things are:
1. What's your budget?
2. Are you going to use it for gaming?

I guess not, because you didn't list a graphics card in your list of needs. Anyway, budget comes first, the rest follow. What's your price?
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November 26, 2012 10:16:39 PM

Under $1,000.

And nope, the only graphics I care about are playback of DVDs and TV online, the quality's not really a top priority.
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a b D Laptop
November 27, 2012 10:41:43 AM

Ok. Here you go. Check out the different laptops available on this Dell site. You can customize your search so that you get what you're looking for.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/laptops?~ck=anav#!55846~0~5930680&facets=226291~0~14720665&p=1

Dell is really good for performance and customer service, so you'll be fine at all times, with regard to issues with the laptop, if you ever have any. Dell don't really make computers for gaming, except their Alienware section, so their other apps and non-gaming functions are really good. I suggest getting a core i7 processor and a decent amount of RAM. Keep in mind you can change the drive after buying the laptop as well. The starting price of the Inspiron 15R is around $800-900.

If this doesn't suit your needs, let me know, I'll find you something else. :) 
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a c 457 D Laptop
November 27, 2012 11:23:13 AM

ThinkPads T series are pretty durable, at least when it was a division of IBM. My ThinkPad T40 from 2003 still works today. However, the single Pentium M 1.5GHz CPU is rather sluggish to say the least.

I would recommend the ThinkPad T430 (14"), T430s (same as T430, but compact, lighter, and more expensive) and T530 (15.6"). There's also the T430u ultrabook but I prefer the T430s over it which is marginally lighter.

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...

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November 28, 2012 6:32:07 PM

Thank you for the nice complement and providing an excellent recommendation!

Labrynthian said:
Ok. Here you go. Check out the different laptops available on this Dell site. You can customize your search so that you get what you're looking for.

http://www.dell.com/us/p/laptops?~ck=anav#!55846~0~5930680&facets=226291~0~14720665&p=1

Dell is really good for performance and customer service, so you'll be fine at all times, with regard to issues with the laptop, if you ever have any. Dell don't really make computers for gaming, except their Alienware section, so their other apps and non-gaming functions are really good. I suggest getting a core i7 processor and a decent amount of RAM. Keep in mind you can change the drive after buying the laptop as well. The starting price of the Inspiron 15R is around $800-900.

If this doesn't suit your needs, let me know, I'll find you something else. :) 

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