Help Buying New Laptop! ($800 budget, touch screen, 15.6")

chiefhorror

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Man, almost exactly two years ago I came here looking for help. I'm in need of another new laptop because the one I had is having some issues that require repairs and I feel it's better to upgrade than repair.

I've narrowed it down to two, quite possibly three, but I'd like a few more opinions before I go ahead and buy. I've only had Lenovo (a G575 and a U510) computers before and I like the brand, but have had overheating issues with the G575 that led to its ultimate demise and now hard drive issues with the U510.

1. What is your budget?

I'm going to cap my budget at $800.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Nothing smaller or bigger than 15"~.

3. What screen resolution do you want?

High?

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

A mixture of both, this will primarily stay at home but travel with me to school.

5. How much battery life do you need?

Wherever I am my laptop is usually plugged in so that's not too much of a concern. Four hours will do just fine!

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

I can tolerate medium settings, but given my budget I'd prefer high. I don't game too often, but the games I had on my old (current) laptop were L4D, Tomb Raider 2013, Sonic Generations and SEGA emulators.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

Lots of image editing and digital painting, I use Photoshop CS6 quite a bit, and hope to finally begin using SonyVegas Studio. I also use programs like PaintTool Sai, Illustrator and MyPaint. I've recently found I really like Ubuntu, so I'm looking for something that can dual-boot between Ubuntu and Windows!

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

I'd like a minimum of 750GB.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

I'm game for whatever, I've been primarily looking at Office Depot/OfficeMax and Best Buy, but online purchases are fine. I've taken a glimpse on NewEgg, but that's about it.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

I'd like to keep it for at least five to six years!

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

DVD ROM/Writer would be fine, although I can get by without.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

I'd like to steer clear of dell, and quite possibly Sony and HP, but if I get multiple recommendations for Sony and HP, I'm willing. My last two laptops have been Lenovo, and I'm not quite jaded yet even if my experience hasn't been the greatest. I've narrowed it down to Lenovo, ASUS or Toshiba.

13. What country do you live in?

USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Here are the laptops I'm considering, but I'm open to suggestions! Lenovo, ASUS, and Toshiba are always the three brands I'm stumped between. Out of all of them the Toshiba one is my favorite aesthetically (and I'm shallow), but everyone seems to preach that ASUS is the best. The Lenovo is my least favorite of the bunch, but the reviews seem to be good.



Lenovo - 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 8GB Memory - 500GB HDD + 8GB Solid State Drive

Asus - 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive

Toshiba - Radius 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 750GB Hard Drive
 

Construkt

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Your gaming can get along with integrated graphics, and since you're doing a lot of graphics work, you're going to want something with a high quality 1920x1080 IPS display. With that said, I think the best deal for you would be this ASUS Q501LA. It's a refurb, but at $579, you can't possibly beat it. i5-4200U, 8GB RAM, backlit keyboard, etc.
 

okcnaline

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That huge lie, Construkt... I wish I haven't gotten Intel Mobile HD 3000. It's the worst for gaming. Well, better than a G41 chipset, but still, it can't even, to this day, handle Assassin's Creed original without any lag AT ALL on Low everything, no AA, and 1366x768. And that's freaking 2007. 5 years of technology and no good performance?

Here's a few that is at least good.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA29P1RU3846
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314591
Any one of these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006740%204022%20600165139%20600516082%20600452559%20600338054&IsNodeId=1&name=AMD%20Radeon%20HD%207640G

 

Construkt

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Not a lie at all... and are you comparing Intel HD 3000 graphics to the current Intel HD 4400 graphics that come with the i5-4200U?

I wouldn't make suggestions if you don't understand how the hardware itself works. 4th gen processors, or Haswell as they are called, have a portion of the CPU dedicated to graphics processing, unlike previous generations.

The laptops you suggested would be awful for any sort of graphics work, and they are just really bad deals on top of it. TN panels don't make a good option, dedicated graphics or not.

If you WERE going to go for an Acer Aspire V3 with Nvidia GT 840M graphics, you would want to go for the i5-4210U version, which is more than $100 cheaper and barely has less performance, as there isn't much of a performance gap between the i5 and i7 in ULV processors.

Not to mention, those don't even have touch displays, which is even in the title of this thread.
 

chiefhorror

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This is one of the ones I've been really leaning towards, and given that price and the specs, it may very well be what I'm going to go with. (I'll be honest and say my only gripe is that I'm not too fond of how it looks but that can easily be fixed!). Thank you! I'm going to wait for a few more replies and see what the general consensus is.



While these are nice, I'm not too keen on Acer laptops, I've heard less than great things about them. Although HP is another brand I've been looking at, I'm not too sure about them either.

I do have a quick question, I've been moving back and forth between an i7 and i5 processor, my last laptop had an i5 and got by alright, I hear that's not that MUCH of a difference between them. I can honestly handle a little lag, but do you think it's worth to push for the extra money i7 would require or would i5 suffice?
 

Construkt

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Those other options listed have cheap TN panels with much worse viewing angles and color reproduction. If you are going to do graphics work on this laptop, I would advise against any of those and stick to options with IPS displays. Also, none of those even have touch displays, haha.
 

chiefhorror

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Alright, I guess I'm sold on ASUS, although I've been going back and forth between these two. One has an optical drive, which I said I didn't need, but I guess it could be convenient, it sadly doesn't come wth a backlit keyboard and I really like that feature. Between these two, do you think one outweighs the other?

http://www.amazon.com/Asus-Q550LF-BBI7T07-Core-4500U-8GB-1TB-HD-15-6-LED-NVIDIA-DVD-WIN/dp/B00GDHUZYK/ref=sr_1_4?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1413032454&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Vivobook-V500CA-DB71T-15-6-Inch-Touchscreen-Processor/dp/B00COQGIPY/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1413032454&sr=1-2#productDetails

I think the first option also has a better screen resolution? I'm still new to some of these aspects, ha-ha! I'd like to thank everyone again for their help, you've been a big one!

 

okcnaline

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I like the Asus Q550LF you posted, chiefofhorror. That one has at least a good GPU core.

And about the HD4400, have you actually bothered trying to use it to game? Some sh*tty performance guaranteed. Read the benchmarks. Worse than a low-level core that only Sony uses!!! (GT 820M) I personally have a laptop that has i3-2370M, which has a integrated HD Graphics 3000. It can't even handle AC original on Low, 1366x768, and no AA without even lag! I don't expect much from Intel's IGPU.

And I know how the APU/Intel CPUs with IGPU works.
Inside the processing unit, the wafer is divided into 3 parts: the CPU, the GPU on the sides, and the L2 cache up top. They are supposed to be able to work and be recognized as a separate GPU, and CPU.
 

Construkt

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And they do function as a separate GPU, except for the shared memory. Which is why it will perform like crap unless you have your memory in a dual channelc configuration. In which case it will easily play the games he listed.
 

okcnaline

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You serious? My computer has 6GB DDR3-1066/1333. It has 384MB VRAM and it has HD 3000. It has bad performance. And plus, the GT 840M almost doubled your HD 4400's performance. He would need more for Vegas.
 

okcnaline

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Look at the Best Answer. The 1st link (the one with the Q550LF) is the best choice out of all the posted one. Vegas requires a lot on the CPU or GPU, I forgot, so that was going to give your games a huge boost.
 

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