I need expert opinions on laptops


May 26, 2010
I know this question has been asked several times, but everyone's needs are different, and if anyone has suggestions I sure would appreciate them.

1_What is your budget?

$700 at the most. I'm a professional now and about to start grad school. I figure once I get back in the professional world I will get a new laptop, but I do see the point of spending thousands of dollars on a computer that will be out of date within a year or so.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Um, 15 inches? Full disclosure, I know very little about computers. Big enough to watch movies on.

3_What screen resolution do you want?

Again, good enough to watch movies on, not so much DVDs but netflix streaming.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Portability would be nice, but I'm a big strong girl, I can handle a desktop replacement :). Honestly, I would rather have a solid desktop replacement than a shitty (can you swear on these boards? I'm a newb) portable one.

5_How much battery life do you need?

Three or four hours. I can deal with less.

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'm not a gamer, so this is irrelevant.

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

Basic photo editting, but nothing at the Photoshop level. Work, work, work (papers, spreadsheets, presentations) but nothing with video. Streaming Netflix films, music and film storage.

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?

The more, the better.

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

I've done research on the Best Buy website (which is useless - people are giving five star reviews to things just because they look pretty) and cnet, but a friend told me that companies pay them for good reviews and that I should try here. Any recommendations on where to buy from would be great, but I would like things like Windows and Microsoft Office pre-installed.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

I've owned my current laptop for eight years, but I know such expectations these days are pretty unrealistic. So let's say ideally five, but at least three.

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

DVD ROM/Writer is fine so long as it can do CDs as well. Can fancy compooters do them things these days (if you can tell from the previous answer, I haven't been computer shopping in some time).

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.

Well, the laptop I have now is a Dell and I've only had a few problems with it. The problems I have were easily remedied. From what I can tell on some of these boards, it seems they've gone downhill in quality? Regardless, I'd be willing to buy from them again. I've also heard good things about Toshiba and the Gateway 7915 something or other. But I'm open to most other brands. The only one I'm leery of is Apple. I find their operating system counterintuitive and frankly, I don't need to spend a grand on a status symbol. It also seems like they have less memory than most other computers. But I can be convinced.

13_What country do you live in?

Midwest USA.

14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Keeping it under budget is my primary concern. Any and all advice is appreciated! Thanks!


Feb 24, 2010
Well if your interested in a Toshiba then this might be good:


Overall it looks like a great computer especially for the price and Toshiba always has great quality.

I am personally not a fan of Dell in any way so I think their systems are overpriced and not worth the time and money when they do break.

Well I'll have some more laptop suggestions later on.


Apr 27, 2010
Hi there,

Even though you are a little unsure about Dells, I recommend you check out the Dell Studio 15 because it would definitely suit your needs. It has a 15.6" screen, a fast processor, and 500 GB hard drive space. It is great for productivity and for watching DVDs on. Check it out here: http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/pc-scout/laptop-details.aspx?pcid=b2e10ded-37a9-de11-8aa2-02bf9d3bf32a.

What do you think?

MSFT Windows Outreach Team
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