Help Choose a Laptop That Fits My Needs (Updated)

ktrainhurricane

Honorable
Aug 13, 2013
28
0
10,580
0
SPECIFICALLY LOOKING AT THE FOLLOWING MODELS:


Refurbisehd T430
i7-3520 (4M Cache, 2.9GHz w/ Turbo Boost to 3.60GHz)
1600x900 Resolution
720p HD Camera with Mic
UltraNav Keyboard (Backlit) w/ Fingerprint Reader
8 GB DDR3
500 GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm
Bluetooth
9-cell battery
Full 1-year Lenovo warranty (until Aug 2014)
for $800

IdeaPad Y410P
i7-4700MQ (2.4GHz 1600MHz 6MB)
1600x900 Resolution
720p HD Camera with Mic
Premium JBL speakers
AccuType Keyboard (Backlit)
8 GB DDR3L
1 TB Hard Disk Drive, 5400 + 24GB SSD
Bluetooth
6-cell battery
$850

E431
i7-3632QM (6M Cache, 2.20 GHz)
Windows 8
14W HD Antiglare Display (768 matte I believe, but not specified)
8 GB DDR3L – 1600MHz (2 DIMM)
Fingerprint Reader
720p HD Camera with Microphone
500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm
Micro Hard Drive: 24 GB NGFF SSD
6 cell Li-Ion Battery 62WH – 75+
$805.56

^And I can get the same configuration but with no SSD and 1 TB Hard Disk Drive @ 5400rpm instead for $847.56
*(HOW DO THEY COMPARE?)*


Edit: Found this, and figure it would be good for me to post it...

What is your budget?
$1000

What country will you be buying this in?
U.S.A

What size notebook do you prefer?
14-inch screen

What brands do you like or dislike?
Like: ASUS, Lenovo
Dislike: Acer, HP, Mac

Would you consider a refurbished laptop?
Yes

What are the primary tasks you need this notebook for?
Web Surfing; Office and Productivity Software; Listening to, downloading, and uploading music (often all at the same time); Movie Streaming, Downloading, Uploading and Viewing; Live streaming with friends via Skype, etc.; Storing all my entertainment files (songs, video, etc...not interested in external hard drive, but will keep only very important files on flash drive).

What games will you be playing?
Solitare

Where will you be using this laptop?
Primarily docked at home, but will also take to school often (4-5 times per week); occasionally on airplanes.

How many hours of battery life do you need?
Around 4 hours would make me happy

Will you be buying online or in store?
online or in store

Which OS do you prefer?
Windows 7, but open to Windows 8

List the screen resolutions that interest you:
High Resolution (1600 x 900)

Do you prefer a glossy or matte screen?
Glossy or Matte is fine

Is the laptops design important to you?
Yes

Approximately what date will you be buying this laptop?
Around 18 August 2013

How long do you want this laptop to last?
3-5 years

How much storage capacity do you need?
Absolute minimum 500 GB

Are you interested in SSD for storage?
No

Do you want a built-in optical drive, what type?
I don't even know what this is

I am in the market for a new laptop, and wanted some input on what will fit my needs. I go to school full time and will transport this to/from class in a backpack.

As far as performance, I often have several things running at once - multiple Youtube videos playing/loading, internet browsing, downloading movies/music via programs like Frostwire, loading those files into my Itunes, all while talking to someone on Skype and doing my homework in Powerpoint or Word.

Because of this, I have been looking around at products with i7, at least 8 GB of memory and at least 500 GB of hard drive space. I'm not sure if any of those specs are overkill or not, but that of course is why I am asking here!

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!!!
 

guanyu210379

Distinguished
Mar 30, 2007
649
0
19,260
81
I would pick the Thinkpad without hesitation.
Lenovo Thinkpads has excellent international customer support (warranty).

My T400 monitor was broken once after about 3 years of usage (about 2 weeks before warranty should end) in Indonesia and it was bought in Germany. The warranty process was fast, unbelieveable easy, and it cost no extra cent. I even received a free extra 1 year warranty after the repair.
That is what I called customer service!
My Thinkpad is now already almost 6 years old and is never broken again.

The downside of all Thinkpads is that they are more expensive compared to other laptops with the same specs.
 

guanyu210379

Distinguished
Mar 30, 2007
649
0
19,260
81
1. How much is your budget?
2. Do you need it desperately now or can you wait until the new Haswell laptops can be found easily on the market? about around Christmas.
3. Please decide if you want a gaming PC or a laptop and also will it be a gaming laptop or portable laptop.
PCs are definitely the way to got for pure performance but you can not carry it around. No laptop can beat a PC with the same price class and generation.

About the RAM, 8GB should be enough for daily uses :)

To choose a laptop, if you decide to got for laptop, you have to first think about:
1. Budget.
2. What are you planning to do with it. Games? Etc.
3. How big should the laptop be.
4. How light/heavy can the laptop be and how long should the battery last.
Note:
Weight, size and battery stamina has some collisions with performance. Plan well on what you want to do with it.
 

guanyu210379

Distinguished
Mar 30, 2007
649
0
19,260
81
Now to your 2 laptops. Both are nice laptops.

Toshiba S55 can be considered as all rounder. It has no integrated GPU and 15,6" screen.
S55 is a lot weaker in games and if you need a video/photo editing machine compared to ASUS G75.
S55 is however lighter, smaller, a bit cheaper and should have better battery stamina.
15.6" size and the weight are still not that uncomfortable to carry around.

G75 is in a gaming laptop.
G75 is a lot stronger in games and video/photo editing due to its dedicated graphic, a lot heavier, a lot bigger, more expensive and should have less battery stamina.
You will really FEEL the 17.3" screen size and the laptops weight if you carry it all around with you.
 

ktrainhurricane

Honorable
Aug 13, 2013
28
0
10,580
0


My budget is around $800 or so. The Toshiba I found was $700, and I found a few of the Asus either used or refurbished for $800, which I don't mind.

I need this immediately - I start school in less than two weeks and must have a laptop for class. I also work from Aug-March and need the computer for that as well.

Like I said in my original post - I don't "need" a gaming laptop specifically, but was told that they're "better" because they whole purpose is to run fast.

The computer MUST be a laptop though because I have to take it to school; however, I don't mind carrying around a 17" or whatever...as long as it fits in my backpack and can be durable, I'll be happy. Battery life isn't a huge deal because I only need it to handle 1 class at a time (2 hours maximum), which would entail typing up Word documents and browsing the internet.

My biggest concern like I mentioned before is when I really start to "use" the computer at home - internet browsing, loading/watching multiple live stream videos at a time, dowload music and videos, burning CDs and copying songs into my Itunes, etc.

P.S. - What does the Toshiba not having a GPU mean? Is that something specifically for gaming, or will it effect other operations as well?
 

guanyu210379

Distinguished
Mar 30, 2007
649
0
19,260
81
The S55 does not have a dedicated GPU and only has the integrated GPU.
The integrated GPU is weak, sh*t weak especially for games and editing. If you use it for office, movies, youtube, etc. it is already enough.
The integrated GPU sucks less power than the dedicated ones. Theoretically you will get longer battery stamina.

The G75 has a dedicated graphic which is stronger but consumes more power but the laptop will switch to the integrated GPU if it is unplugged from the electricity (automatically by default). You should be able change the switching behavior with the cost of battery stamina.

If the size, price, weight and battery stamina is not a problem to you. I would suggest the G75.
It is more powerful :)
 

ktrainhurricane

Honorable
Aug 13, 2013
28
0
10,580
0


Because you are a gamer yourself, or because you think that extra power is necessary for the multi-tasking that I plan on doing? (I am just sick of buffering and choppy videos, and waiting 27 minutes for Frostwire to shut down!)

P.S. - thanks for all the help thus far!
 

guanyu210379

Distinguished
Mar 30, 2007
649
0
19,260
81
Buffering and choppy videos? like from youtube? The problem is usually on your internet connection.
Nothing to do with good laptops nowadays.

The multitasking is already covered by the i7 processor and 8GB RAM.
The upgrade 12GB RAM will not give you much difference for normal usages unless you are doing something special.
Multiple youtube videos are considered normal.

The extra graphic power will come in handy in the future if you have games or video/photo editing or some CAD works, etc. The laptop can simply do more with a dedicated graphic.
 

ktrainhurricane

Honorable
Aug 13, 2013
28
0
10,580
0


...As well as programs such as Frostwire taking FOREVER to startup and shut down; CDs taking FOREVER to burn into Itunes; etc.
 

ktrainhurricane

Honorable
Aug 13, 2013
28
0
10,580
0


Not just during downloading through Frostwire, but actually loading the program and shutting it down. When I hit the "X" in the top-right corner of the screen, I get a Frostwire box that says "Please wait while Frostwire shuts down" and it stays there for several, several minutes. I didn't think this had to do with internet connection because it didn't involve doing anything with the internet (or so I thought...?)


Any other member suggestions on a laptop to look for?
 

guanyu210379

Distinguished
Mar 30, 2007
649
0
19,260
81
During shutdown, p2p up-/download programs are checking if you have anything active and if yes they will try to download the last several packages and go to a safe state.
The last few packages are depending on the internet speed.
Waiting for it to go into safe state depends on also to HDD speed and the speed of your antivirus to check the packages for viruses.
The speed of your laptop does not fully depend on the hardware, if you have stupid antiviral programs like Norton or McAffee, those will slow down your rig no matter how strong your rig is.
If your Windows installation is old and already more than 2 years...well..Windows is also a lot slower and will go slower along with time.
Moreover, I do not use Frostwire and use MicroTorrent instead, perhaps Frostwire has performance issue, who knows.

 

guanyu210379

Distinguished
Mar 30, 2007
649
0
19,260
81
G55 is also good. G55 and G75 have the same processor, same RAM, etc.
However,

The G55 monitor is smaller than G75. G55 is also lighter than G75)
Bigger monitor means more comfort during watching movies and playing games but less comfort during carrying around.
Here, it depends on how you would like the laptop bigger or smaller, G55 is more portable.

The GPU of G55 is also less powerful, but since you do not really play games, G55 is already OK.

The difference in HDD capacity, well, I tend to ignore it.
 

guanyu210379

Distinguished
Mar 30, 2007
649
0
19,260
81
The G55? Yup! It should come with pre-installed Windows8 :)

edit:
About the HDD, I usually do not really care if it is 500GB or 1TB. For laptops, HDD is not really important for me.
I do not have to carry all of my data in the laptop. I took only what I need from my NAS to the laptop, if I want to travel.
And, you can easily upgrade the HDD if you need more capacity.
 

ktrainhurricane

Honorable
Aug 13, 2013
28
0
10,580
0


To be honest, my whole plan here was to spend a decent amount of money now and buy a quality laptop, and not having to worry about it breaking.

The first laptop I had was an Acer with a screen that rotated 180* and folded down, and could then be written on like a notepad. I have seen these styles elsewhere, but this one I had was SEVERAL (10 or so) years ago, when I believe they first started coming out...which I assume means it wasn't build with as good of quality because they weren't really time-tested yet and couldn't be approved.

The second and most recent laptop that broke was a $300 HP that I got on a "back-to-school" deal running through Walmart. Nothing on this one physically broke; I opened the lid one day and the screen had the horizontal colored lines running through it. This lead me to believe it was a pinched/broken video cable, but the folks at ubreakifix said that didn't solve the problem...although I am not too sure of my satisfaction with them, nor the amount I trust what they told me.

I "baby" all my things - laptops included. I have a very expensive, sturdy laptop bag that I always use when carrying it around. I am super gentle and always take caution when using it. I believe my last two broke just because they were cheap...and I am trying to save myself from having to go through all of that again.
 

guanyu210379

Distinguished
Mar 30, 2007
649
0
19,260
81
Cheap laptops last usually not very long but there is no guarantee that the more expensive laptops can really last longer too.
If you are unlucky, you get a defective item.
This is where the customer support comes into play.
Here in Germany (where I live), ASUS is very reliable for such stuffs.
My best experience regarding customer support is however from Lenovo Thinkpad series, excellent international customer support including warranty.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Ruggero_A Laptop Tech Support 4
madhav_ Laptop Tech Support 1
J Laptop Tech Support 7
B Laptop Tech Support 2
M Laptop Tech Support 9
subhojitdp Laptop Tech Support 2
E Laptop Tech Support 3
L Laptop Tech Support 3
L Laptop Tech Support 10
D Laptop Tech Support 2
M Laptop Tech Support 1
L Laptop Tech Support 5
U Laptop Tech Support 3
A Laptop Tech Support 2
R Laptop Tech Support 2
S Laptop Tech Support 2
S Laptop Tech Support 2
D Laptop Tech Support 2
V Laptop Tech Support 1
L Laptop Tech Support 5

ASK THE COMMUNITY