First Laptop......Need Help........?

VelcroBP

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1_Budget: $600-$800

2_Size: 12"-15"

3_Resolution: At least 720p

4_Portable/Living Room. Already have a desktop workstation.

5_Battery: Not crucial as will mostly be used in home near outlets.

6_No gaming really, aside from maybe internet flash games and the like. Maybe some old-school emulation from time to time.

7_The main purpose would be connecting to my 42" 720p HDTV preferrably via HDMI; Streaming videos/music from my home network; internet browsing; some web design and photo editing possibly.

8_Storage: Not crucial as I have several larger drives on the network for media files.

9_I have shopped at NewEgg.com and Amazon.com extensively in the past. Also looking at Apple.com for if I end up going with a refurbished MacBook.

10_Lifespan: 3-5 years, hopefully.


11_Optical Drive: Not crucial, but would prefer some kind of DVD combo drive. No need for Blu-Ray as I have a stand-alone player.

12_Brands: I've never had a laptop and always pieced together desktops, so I'm unfamiliar with the reputation/reliability of any brand. I am really interested in an Apple and have a iPhone 3gs, but am not sure if the extra price is worth it for my purposes.

13_Country: United States

14_This is my first time shopping for a laptop. I've always only had desktops so I really don't know what I'm looking for. I don't want to spend too much for the meager tasks, but would like a few premium features such as HDMI. I will mostly be using this laptop in my living room for web-browsing and general multi-media through my HDTV. Just another component to the entertainment center, really.
 

deadlockedworld

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Apple does make really great laptops--but not in the $600-800 range, and I wouldn't want to buy a used laptop. There are just too many things that could have damaged them...

My advice is to try to get one with a discrete graphics card--not a GMA4500 integrated option. This will give you a lot video power when connecting to the TV.

Search for sale codes:
http://www.techbargains.com/catsearch.cfm/0_3_0

Some ideas:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834146612
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220589&cm_re=asus-_-34-220-589-_-Product

In terms of laptop quality ive only seen one article published recently (on Toms if you search for it) which concluded this:


 

VelcroBP

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THanks for the tip, and especially that failure rate chart! What exactly does "discrete" graphics card mean? Is that just the laptop term for an aftermarket card?
 

deadlockedworld

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Most laptops today come with integrated intel graphics-- meaning that the graphics are part of the motherboard and share your computers ram. Higher performing laptops come with a graphics card made by ATI or Nvidia that has its own separate graphics ram--any of these options would offer better video and graphic performance.
 

VelcroBP

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Ok. I'm familiar with graphics cards for desktops, just had never heard them referred to as "discrete" before. Aren't refurbished Macs supposed to be returned to factory spec?
 

fgocards

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As far as factory spec goes, that can vary.. They return the computer to factory default settings, but minor things could be wrong that they missed, that could shorten the laptops lifespan, or make it fail. Such as, a slight drop/fall, a spill, a short circuit, etc. Things that the previous owner didn't mention so they could get their money back.

Any sort of electronics aren't really something you want to buy used, but epically computers.
 

VelcroBP

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Ok, I'm seriously looking at this HP DV6-2150us, $729 after
rebate from NewEgg. Any thougts on the new i3 line from HP?
I've heard mixxed reviews on HP quality.
 

deadlockedworld

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That seems good for the price as long as looks aren't too important. I would suggest you go look at it in the store before purchasing online if you can though.

Be aware that the 12-cell battery might result in a lump in the back/bottom of it.
 

deadlockedworld

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Competition: 14' i5 $649
http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/839754/HP-Pavilion-dv4-2160us-14-1/


15' i3 : $679
http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/839772/HP-Pavilion-dv6-2150us-15-6/

I do think a year of accidental damage warranty might be worth it on a laptop too. Up to you.
 

VelcroBP

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Those prices seem good too. However, my employer has a
account with OfficeMax and I think we can use it to make
personal purchases. I have to talk to the rep tomorrow
for the details.
 

VelcroBP

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Read a couple reviews on the battery. It appearently adds
about 11oz. to the weight and lifts the back 3/4". Never
having owned a laptop, I don't know if that would be
unbearable or not. Also, it will be spending at least 70%
of it's time in an entertainment center.
 

deadlockedworld

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Yea I think the only way you can shop for laptops is to look at them in person. then you at least have an idea what you are looking at online. It might not stick out, but if it does I would be pretty pissed off that it didnt show it in the picture.
 
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