Looking for a Personal Laptop Under $600

jjlu926

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Jul 8, 2012
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**I DO NOT MIND BUY REFURBS OR USED**

1. What is your budget?
$600

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
13.3 to 15.6

3. What screen resolution do you want?
At least 1600x900

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
At least 4 or 5 hours

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)?
Yes but only light gaming. Games include Skyrim, Oblivion, and Minecraft. Low quality is fine

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
Light Gaming, School use and travel

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Not much

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Amazon, Ebay (Buy it now only from a top rated seller), Newegg and Tigerdirect

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

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
I don't NEED one

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.
Preferably Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and Samsung. Would not want Dell or HP

13. What country do you live in?
USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Thanks!
 

DRosencraft

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Aug 26, 2011
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Vizio is new to the market as far as PCs go, so it's not that surprising that their reviews are mixed. As for Sony, I've never owned a Vaio, but they have also had mixed reviews over the years so I can't exactly put a very strong recommendation behind them. I will say that of those I have known who have owned a Vaio, they didn't ever seem to have any problems that I know of.

I think that if you can wait a day or two more, see if you can get a little more feedback, that would be best. Right now, however, it seems that there aren't many options that fit your spec list at that budget. I don't know how important screen resolution is to you, but if it's not a deal breaker, I might suggest something more like THIS. A budget increase would mean getting closer to the $800 mark to meet 1600x900 or better resolution in a 15" or smaller laptop (obviously not an insignificant amount of money). On the other hand, if you go to a 17" laptop, which is natively 1600x900, you can open up your options that way too. It's all about what you're comfortable with.
 

DRosencraft

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First thing I will say is that at 15.6" your resolution options are almost certainly limited to 1366x768 unless you step up to 1920x1080. Of course, 1920x1080 will be at the top of your budget, if doable at all. A quick peek at Newegg shows that just narrowing by your screen size, budget, and 1600x900 resolution or better nets only four Sony Vaios under $600. This is probably the best of the bunch.

Furthermore these are all Intel Core i3s, with the embedded Intel graphics, so they might be able to play some games at the lowest resolution, but really don't expect too much. Minecraft would likely be perfectly fine, but Skyrim and Oblivion would likely be at the lowest settings. Someone with a little more knowledge about mobile gaming could possibly help more with that.

I'd say you will have to consider the lower resolution (1366x768) or a bigger budget, especially if you're avoiding Dell and HP.
 

jjlu926

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Jul 8, 2012
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I was also looking at the Vizio CT15-A4 and people have mixed reviews about it. Do you find the Sony Vaio to be a compelling buy? or should I increase the budget a bit more?
 

DRosencraft

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Aug 26, 2011
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Vizio is new to the market as far as PCs go, so it's not that surprising that their reviews are mixed. As for Sony, I've never owned a Vaio, but they have also had mixed reviews over the years so I can't exactly put a very strong recommendation behind them. I will say that of those I have known who have owned a Vaio, they didn't ever seem to have any problems that I know of.

I think that if you can wait a day or two more, see if you can get a little more feedback, that would be best. Right now, however, it seems that there aren't many options that fit your spec list at that budget. I don't know how important screen resolution is to you, but if it's not a deal breaker, I might suggest something more like THIS. A budget increase would mean getting closer to the $800 mark to meet 1600x900 or better resolution in a 15" or smaller laptop (obviously not an insignificant amount of money). On the other hand, if you go to a 17" laptop, which is natively 1600x900, you can open up your options that way too. It's all about what you're comfortable with.
 

jjlu926

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Jul 8, 2012
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DRosencraft

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This is probably your best bet then, given your budget range etc. 15.5", 1920x1080, Core i3 with Intel HD 4000 graphics. It's a relatively solid laptop. But, as I said, I'm not particularly familiar with the gaming abilities of laptops beyond knowing that until you get closer to the $750 range you will be running most things on low settings. I would suggest looking around the forums a bit to see if anyone can shed a little better light on that area if your worried about it.
 

jjlu926

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Jul 8, 2012
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Thanks for the help! The gaming I'm not too big, on playing at very low quality is all that I need. As you suggested I'll keep on poking around on the forums and see if this post can get more people's input. Again, Thanks!
 
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