Need help in choosing notebooks


Oct 29, 2013
Dear all,

I'm newly registered here but i'm no stranger to this forum. I'm in the middle of decision making to purchase a laptop from one of the following: (notebooks are sold in Thailand)

****** History i had with few laptops: *******

What i need is DURABILITY & RELIABILITY only. For games, only games i would be playing is either Solitaire, Warcraft Dota, Left4Dead, Counter Strike, and some other 1999-2007 vintage games (5%). Laptop will be used mainly for download/streaming purposes (24/5 -- 75%). Watching movie via HDMI (5%). Powerpoint,words,excel (15%).

I had 3 laptops Acer (2002- 2008) with nvidia geforce/ati radeon but all three failed me on their "dedicated graphic cards" due to constant overheat issues (black-screen forever but all laptops are able to turn on until now), i could've simply replaced the VGA but i'd rather buy new model of laptop.

Had another 2 HPs (2007-2011), Pavilion series & Probook series with dedicated ati radeon but again both laptop failed me for the same problem, overheat (except this time is less than 2 years each). The last HP probook (i forgot the model but cost $850) was literally melted down on the components and leak out some strange fluid (i kept all laptops under normal room temperature, dry, and well taken care of)

Now i own Acer One Happy (2011-now, $150), a cheap netbook has been going seeding online for 24/5 , with no problem at all except cant be used for a bit heavy duties, no HDMI, and no DVD.


Here are what caught my attention:

Notice: All notebooks are only equipped with integrated graphic, HDD speed of 5400RPM is what 99.5% HDD are sold in Thailand/Asia, Best display for all notebook (under $1000) is 1366x768, HDMI & DVD-ROM are equipped.

1. Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E431-627735T ($651)

Intel i5-3230M (2.60Ghz - 3.20Ghz), Intel HD graphics 4000, 14 inch WXGA 1366x768, 4Gb DDR3, 1TB 5400rpm, 1x USB2.0, 3xUSB3.0, Intel Wireless N-2230, DOS.

Pros: good rumors about being the thoughest notebook, 4 usb ports, big hdd.
Cons: a bit more expensive, outdated intel, 14 inch display, constant bad reports on wireless n2230.

2. HP Pavilion 15-n023TU ($590) --i personally prefer this--

Intel i5-4200U (1.60Ghz - 2.60Ghz), Intel HD graphics 4400, 15.6 inch WXGA 1366x768, 4Gb DDR3, 500Gb 5400rpm, 1xUSB2.0, 2xUSB3.0, DOS

Pros: 4th gen intel, 15.6 inch display is what i just need.
Cons: bad past experinces, many rumors of being lousy notebook, conflicted drivers, lack of customer supports, wifi problems, etc
Question: how is HP notebook quality assurance on Pavilion 15 during 2012-2013? Are they significantly increase on quality build or still remain as lousy as ever?

3. Dell Inspiron N5521-W56072TH ($620) --second opt if HP is still a junk

Intel i7-3537U (2.00Ghz - 3.10Ghz), Intel HD graphics 4000, 15.6 inch WXGA 1366x768), 4Gb DDR3, 1TB 5400rpm, 1xUSB2.0, 2xUSB3.0, DOS

Pros: hi-end intel i7, 15.6 inch display, 1TB hdd
Cons: rumor of being another crap notebook seller alongside HP, never used this brand before.
Question: how are their quality & realibility assurance now?

4. Sony VAIO Fit SVF15215SHW ($750)

Intel i3-3227U (1.90Ghz), Intel HD graphic 4000, 15.6 inch WXGA 1366x768, 2Gb DDR3, 500Gb 5400rpm, 2xUSB2.0, 2xUSB3.0, Windows 8

Pros: rumor of having a durability & quality for VAIO series, 15.6 inch display, 4 usb ports.
Cons: low-end intel core, insane high price for minimum components, minimal ram & hdd.


All advices/reviews/thought/recent experiences/insights are greatly appreciated.


1. I hate dedicated graphic cards (nvidia, ati, amd) due to crazy overheat and causing constant shut down. Please correct me if i were wrong in prejudiced that VGA is #1 overheat causes.

2. I'm okay with assembly/disassemble parts of laptop at the beginner level to clean up the dust or apply thermal paste. Would be great if you could give insight on which laptop brands are easiest to take apart (from 4 above).

3. All these laptops are sold in Thailand, which i'd be travel there in couple weeks after this post to purchase them.

Thank you for every insights and answer given for this post


Nov 5, 2013
You have mentioned that Build quality and rigidness in the laptop is your priority.

IMO , if build qualiy was to be my top priority , Thinkpad would be my best bet.

As far as efficiency and workload performance is concerned , that should suffice , since most of your work involves moderate performance.


Nov 10, 2013
Definitely want to only look at enterprise machines when it comes to reliability and durability.
Lenovo Thinkpad but I would look into the T540p with 4th gen Haswell processors (get that out the way), take the i5 dual core you wont need more and it also has better graphics or resolution. Get a seperate SSD (32gb) for boot and of course reliability just in case your OS flips out. Bump your RAM up a little to 6gb (its dirt cheap). Best set up in my opinion.

Also, if you are worried about heat and noise what I would suggest is (if you can afford it) remove the HDD completely. Get MSATA for boot and SATA (SSD) for storage. THen just get external memory for your movies,music and so on and keep your laptop for just the programs. SSD has no moving parts, so no noise and hardly any heating which also results in longer battery life
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