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Need new laptop
Old 12-23-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
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Need new laptop

OK, am going to have to buy DW a new laptop... we had a Sony that lasted 4 years, but decided to go to laptop heaven yesterday... and from what the guy at the Geek Squad said, took the hard disk with it....


I have seen some posts where there are some good deals... so, anybody have some suggestions....

Major requirement is that it be a 16 or 17 inch.... she likes 17... not sure about much else... Win 7 or 8? 4, 6 or 8 GB memory? what processing chip? Or even what brand to get....


I only have a couple of weeks before she really starts to hound me as her next semester will be starting at University....
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
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I usually check on discount dealers like Newegg or Tiger Direct or Staples when I buy computers, but I saw these 2 on sale at Fry's when I was on Slickdeals web site earlier that appears to be pretty good deal for low maintenance user like me:
Lenovo G780 Laptop, Intel Core i5-3210M, 17.3", 6GB, 750GB Hard Drive, Windows 8 $498 w/in-store pickup @ Fry's.

Fujitsu Lifebook NH532, Intel Core i5-3210,17.3" Screen Display, Notebook 6GB RAM, 1TB HDD, Win 8 $498AR+SH @Frys

Good luck
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:55 AM   #3
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somewhat depends on what you plan to do with it. I think it is probably a waste of money to buy the top of line type. Unless you are doing intense video editing or gaming you probably don't need an i7 or even i5. Laptops tend to be disposable because they take more time and cost more to repair. Asus and Acer seem to be more reliable. I would just get what ever was on sale at Walmart, officemax etc. I also get some good buys on ebay for people and you can check the outlet sites like lenovo

http://outlet.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary...ort-criteria=1


New Acer Aspire 7741Z 4433 PDC 2 13GHz 4GB 320GB DVDRW 17 3 WIN7HP 099802092139 | eBay
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:25 AM   #4
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I don't have much for specific recommendations. We use Lenovo ThinkPad products and have been happy. They are pretty rugged. I think we have had 8 or so laptops over the years and IIRC only one has died and that one was only the screen but a repair would have cost more than a new laptop. The others just became obsolete.

DS had a Asus and had nothing but trouble with it, but he is very rough on laptops.

The one thing that I would highly recommend is that you get a laptop with a solid-state drive or SSD. It will cost a bit more but is hugely faster and in my experience provides a much faster performance in booting up, opening programs, etc.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:26 AM   #5
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Consider refurbished... Many choices available.
This one is not:
Toshiba Laptop PC, Refurbished 17.3" Satellite L775D-S7222 - Walmart.com

...But... gives an idea of the values available... often offering items that come off corporate lease at good prices, and carrying a warranty, (in this case Walmart).

Am also looking... for a desktop. Many choices. Have found some two year old refurbs, comparable to new $500 machines, that are selling for under $130. The quantities come and go quickly, as the sources process off lease machines.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:32 AM   #6
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I always used Thinkpads and was very pleased with them. Under Lenovo they are a bit more price competitive. My last laptop died during a trip and Lenovo couldn't deliver a new model, I was unwilling to wait the 3 weeks they needed, so I got an HP which I regret - but it's gonna have to last. DD had a Dell which she was happy to get rid of.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:48 AM   #7
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I would just get the cheapest that matches your display size desires. I've observed no quality difference by logo. They all work pretty well for a while and are generally unrepairable when they fail. I would stay away from Windows 8 for now - espcially on a laptop.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Win 7 or 8?
Many new PC's are shipped with Win 8 so you may not have a Win 7 option on some of them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
4, 6 or 8 GB memory?
More is almost always better but unless she's a gamer or does some high-powered spreadsheet stuff I think 4GB is sufficient.

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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
what processing chip?
I'd opt for at least an i3 but if you find a good price and i5 is better.

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Or even what brand to get....
I just looked it up and saw that Consumer Reports 2012 reliability survey showed no statistical difference in the reported reliability of any of the major brands. That is a bit of a surprise. We have a Dell and a Lenovo at the moment and have been happy with both. The Dell is a recent purchase to replace my seven year old Acer that served me well.

Not sure how much she will use it on the go but she might want to make a trip to Best Buy to check the weight of the 17 inch screens. Some of those big laptops are a chore to lug around.

Here's a good source to watch for laptop deals: http://dealnews.com/c49/Computers/Laptops/
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:14 AM   #9
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I second the opinion on Lenovos - they are good and took me through many trips for work where I would typically have to give talks at conferences. First, I had an IBM that seemed not to be able to find a wi-fi net to save its life, but then a Lenovo and it was smooth sailing there on out.

Personally, I am planning on getting a MacBook Pro next year that should last quite a while.
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Old 12-25-2012, 07:34 PM   #10
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TP, this Lenovo looks like a really nice deal, but it ends on the 26th so you better jump on it if you're interested.

Lenovo Ivy Bridge Core i5 Dual 2.5GHz 16" Laptop for $398 + $11 s&h - 59344054
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Old 12-25-2012, 09:00 PM   #11
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I just bought this laptop for me:

Sager NP9170 / Clevo P170EM - XOTIC PC - Sager Custom Gaming Laptop

I like the ability to customize it and I wanted a really good video card.


I just bought a Lenovo Y580 for my son:

Entertainment Laptops | IdeaPad Y Series PCs | Learn | Lenovo (US)

Some things to thing about:

If she plans to use it at university and will taking it to classes with her -- Is she absolutely sure she wants a 17"? Most 17" notebooks will weigh about 8 1/2 pounds without the AC adapter. Add that in and they will usually be over 10 pounds, not including the case. And, the battery life is really lose.

I personally bought a 17" for myself as it was mostly live in my bedroom as an alternative to my desktop. For my son, who is goes to school, we got a 15" as that is far more practical for someone who actually needs to carry it around.

What can of usage does she have? For me, I want to play some games so a video card with dedicated video memory was an absolute must. In fact, for anyone who is going to do more than casual web surfing and word processing I think dedicated video memory is important

For a processor an i5 is probably enough but typically it isn't much of a cost to upgrade to i7.

For Ram, 6 GB is enough for almost any use but you can get more if it is very cheap.

For a hard drive the size depends upon how much stuff she wants to put on there. That said, the biggest decision is whether to get a regular hard drive or an SSD drive. Getting an SSD drive is sort of like the first time you get a TV remote. You didn't know you wanted one until you get the first one, but after you've had one you don't want to ever be without one again.

Most of the computers you buy don't have an SSD drive. Dell has a lot of notebooks that don't keep all programs on the SSD drive instead they have a small cacheing SSD drive. It makes things faster although not as fast as a regular SSD drive.

In home service or not? In home service is really really nice. I know you can get it with Dell and with Lenovo. I don't have it on my new computer but I couldn't get everything.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:17 AM   #12
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Thanks for the info... we are looking at the recommendations...

Just to answer a few questions...

She is getting a Masters degree, so it is all online learning... she rarely goes to the University... and when she does, she takes her I Pad...

The laptop sits on her desk 95% of the time... the times she moves it is when she wants to watch a movie or Skype outside...

She does not do ANY gaming... almost all of the use besides the ones listed above is word processing and power point with web surfing... I think that an I3 is all we will need...
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:32 AM   #13
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Current IT guy; I buy Lenovo Think Pads T-520 series for the staff; industrial environment and they stand up great also a lot of traveling with them.

If you get one with Windows 8 you can modify the startup to give you a standard startup screen that looks like Windows 7, but has the newer options.

As for Geek Squad, I would double check the Hard Drive failure since most laptop failures do not include both the system board and Hard Drive. I have found that I can usually get my data back; may want to look into a backup systems locally to an external hard drive or an on line service.

I have tried many other laptops, but like I said the Lenovo seems to be the best of breed.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:11 AM   #14
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IMHO, A lot of the laptops sold today are so large and heavy that they defeat the purpose of having a laptop.

The next time I upgrade I'm thinking of buying an all-in-one PC to replace my desktop PC on my PC desk. Some of my old geezer friends have them and really like them.

For travelling we are sharing a netbook, which has been very satisfactory, but has obvious limitations. When travelling we have better things to do than stare at a 'puter screen.

So I'm thinking the all-one for the home and a small, full featured laptop for travelling. Probably will buy 2 laptops exactly the same so I can troubleshoot DW's. This has worked well with our cellphones.

All my financial programs are on my desktop, backed up by Carbonite. We don't access financial programs while travelling.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:05 PM   #15
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Stick with Lenovos if you can. If you feel you have to buy a Dell, then make sure it is one of their best, i.e., Alienware, not Inspiron or even XPS, both of which have been reduced in quality over the years (like pretty-much every brand). I think laptops are heading toward the same kind of thing we had with VCRs... with price competition driving every last bit of quality out of the devices, leaving a marketplace full of nothing but crap.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:19 PM   #16
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A year ago I switched from PC's to my first Mac. I got a 13" MacBook Air. Besides being light enough to carry around (< 4lbs) I can also use it as my desktop computer. When I close the lid it displays on my old Dell monitor. I have a wireless 2 TB modem/hard disk mounted under my desk and a wireless keyboard and mouse. I'm sure PC laptops can do the same thing. The point is, it is as convenient as an iPad and it looks and feels like my old PC while on my desktop.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:27 PM   #17
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A year ago I switched from PC's to my first Mac. I got a 13" MacBook Air. Besides being light enough to carry around (< 4lbs) I can also use it as my desktop computer. When I close the lid it displays on my old Dell monitor.
I also switched over to a 13" MacBook Air recently. I really like the Air with SSD, so quiet and light (just under 3 lbs). I am also using it as a desktop when at home (25" monitor with keyboard and trackpad). I was surprised that the switch to a Mac was fairly painless with no major issues at all. I have typically bought Dell laptops, usually replacing at 5 years or so.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:34 PM   #18
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I do like what the MacBook Air seems like. (My minister has one.) I'm just worried about all I would lose by making such a switch. I have a lot - a lot - invested in Microsoft Office applications (including Access and OneNote), Outlook email archives going back many years, etc.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:13 AM   #19
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I do like what the MacBook Air seems like. (My minister has one.) I'm just worried about all I would lose by making such a switch. I have a lot - a lot - invested in Microsoft Office applications (including Access and OneNote), Outlook email archives going back many years, etc.
Of course you would need to purchase new apps (maybe Microsoft provides for a conversion at a reduced cost), but can't your PC Office files be ported over to a Mac? I still have my old Dell desktop, but expect it will kick the bucket in the next year or two, its 7 yo. Been thinking of going to either an Apple laptop or all in one.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:24 AM   #20
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Of course you would need to purchase new apps (maybe Microsoft provides for a conversion at a reduced cost), but can't your PC Office files be ported over to a Mac? I still have my old Dell desktop, but expect it will kick the bucket in the next year or two, its 7 yo. Been thinking of going to either an Apple laptop or all in one.
Another reason I like open office, it supports linux mac and windows.
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