Need help looking for the perfect $500 laptop ^^

imymeohmy

Estimable
Nov 25, 2014
3
0
4,510
0
Hi ^^

My Sony VGN-CS320J is finally dying on me after 5 long years. We had a lot of ups and downs (fan problems, CD/DVD problems, display problems, etc) and I had a lot of people (mainly my brother) making fun of me for picking a 'sucky' laptop and 'wasting' my money... And now it's time for me to buy a new one! I've tried googling best affordable laptops and I really did try studying everything, but I get so confused and all the terminology confuses me... So now I'm here asking someone to please, please give me some advice so that I can actually have a good laptop for once!

I mainly use my work laptop (macbook) and carry it around, but I need a laptop for me and my parents to use at home.

Price range: 500 or less-- if it's a really good laptop, then I'll go up to 550 or something....
Size: Medium-ish, my VAIO's screen size was around 14 and I'm okay with that size or bigger.
System: I'm most comfortable with Windows...
Use: We download and stream/watch a lot of shows-- so it'll be mainly for downloading, watching shows, and browsing the internet. I have my work laptop for Photoshop/games, but if this computer is able to handle it (cause my Vaio can't) then that would be awesome as well! I don't want to spend extra money to add that feature on though...


I just want the best laptop in that price range, and since it's 4th of July weekend I heard there's going to be a lot of sales! If someone can PLEASE make my weekend brighter then I will really, really appreciate it! Thank you so much :)
 

jman005

Estimable
Apr 19, 2015
2
0
4,520
1
This one is cheap and should fit your needs: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i5-6gb-memory-750gb-hard-drive-black-licorice/3787031.p?id=1219601636800&skuId=3787031
You may also want to consider replacing your work laptop with a desktop. Here's a nice one:http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-desktop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-black-red/8448199.p?id=1219334567161&

Because of the big price difference between macs and PCs you should be able to get enough money from selling the macbook.

-jman005
 

jman005

Estimable
Apr 19, 2015
2
0
4,520
1
This one is cheap and should fit your needs: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i5-6gb-memory-750gb-hard-drive-black-licorice/3787031.p?id=1219601636800&skuId=3787031
You may also want to consider replacing your work laptop with a desktop. Here's a nice one:http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-desktop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-black-red/8448199.p?id=1219334567161&

Because of the big price difference between macs and PCs you should be able to get enough money from selling the macbook.

-jman005
 

imymeohmy

Estimable
Nov 25, 2014
3
0
4,510
0
Would you recommend the HP

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00XDXGQ3Q/?tag=techforpennies2-20

or these (listed below) -- they're currently on sale!! (Which is how I stumbled upon them... but I'm no laptop expert...)

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/703198/Dell-Inspiron-15-3000-Series-Laptop/

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/703270/Dell-Inspiron-15-3000-Series-Laptop/#firstTab

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LWKKJ9E/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00LWKKJ9E&linkCode=as2&tag=gameaholicorg-20&linkId=CXSO3YI7RVSU3C5E

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/473914/Toshiba-Satellite-Laptop-Computer-With-173/

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834315016

Thank you again :)

 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Avoid the laptops with AMD APUs that you have selected. While inexpensive they are also not every power from a processing and graphics point of view.

The best laptops for playing games would be the Acer from Newegg. My only gripe about that is the 1366x768 resolution screen, but that is based on my personal preference for a 1080p screen which allows me to see more information on the screen at once.

I would consider the following 15.6" laptop with the Core i5-5200u, intel HD 5500, 1080p touchscreen and weighs 4.49lbs for $449. It does not have a DVD drive. It only has 4GB of RAM, but you can buy a stick of 4GB DDR3L (1.35v) 1600MHz RAM at Newegg for less than $30, I generally recommend Crucial.

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Toshiba-Satellite-S55t-B5152-Signature-Edition-Laptop/productID.314413400

The Intel HD 5500 graphics core is decent enough to play games with as long as the games are not graphically intensive, you use reasonable graphic settings and keep the resolution relatively low. A friend of mine wanted to play Skyrim recently, but he only had a laptop with the Intel HD 4400 graphics core (a bit weaker than the HD 5500). I have a laptop that is similar in specs to his laptop, but with a dedicated GPU. I installed Skyrim on my laptop and tweaked the graphic settings (SkyrimPref.ini file) to get it to run decently enough at 1600x900 resolution with no shadows; basically about 40 FPS average in cities and 30 FPS average outdoors. Lowering to 1366x768 added around 10 FPS I think. He was happy enough with 1600x900 performance so he bought the game and I gave him the Skyrim.ini file that I customized for him.
 
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