Purchasing a Laptop, Need Help *Low Budget*

Morgy-Chan

Estimable
Jul 17, 2014
3
0
4,510
0
Ok so, I'm a student in highschool, who, with a summer job and hard work, is planning on purchasing a new laptop for the big school year. I will be taking graphic design college classes on the side. (I will be running things like Corel, Paint Tool Sai, PhotoShop, Gimp, Manga Studio, etc) Also, for my regular classes, I will need stuff like all of the Microsoft Office Programs to do reports and presentations. It needs to have good storage for my artwork, as well as programs. Also, it needs to have the capability to run more than one program at a time.

But, what good is life if its all work and no play?

In my free time I frequently play multiple MMORPGs, browse Tumblr, play Minecraft, and other games like Sims 3, Left 4 Dead, etc, etc. Also, I am kind of an anime freak, so a laptop that won't overheat or glitch out while I'm on an anime marathon would be great.
Sooooo, it needs to have a fairly good gaming capability. But, I'm trying to get the most for my money, and I'd rather have what I really need.

As for price, considering I'm a highschool student with a summer job, I don't want to pay more than 600$. And I don't want to buy it from any weird foreign website. If anything I'd like to stick to the basics and trustable places such as Amazon, MicroCenter, Office Depot, Best Buy, Frys, etc.

Thank you for your time and help.

I really appreciate it!

-Morgy-Chan
 

Felipe259

Estimable
Jul 17, 2014
69
0
4,610
16
Try to go with Asus, HP, Dell or Lenovo. I've had the worst experience with Acer, specially because it burned out by my gaming attempts (nothing heavy).

Most laptops come with the integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics, whatever recent game you can play on it will be on low! If it's playable at all. The Lenovo comes with a better i5 CPU and features the HD 4600 which will improve things a bit.

http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IdeaPad-15-6-Inch-Touchscreen-59406579/dp/B00IO69GVQ/ref=zg_bs_565108_9

http://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-14-n019nr-14-Inch-Touchscreen/dp/B00GH6TZHU/ref=sr_1_13?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1405644589&sr=1-13

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-15-5547-laptop/pd?oc=fncwm2611b&model_id=inspiron-15-5547-laptop
 

cub_fanatic

Honorable
Nov 21, 2012
31
0
10,610
6
This Acer 15.6 inch with the i5 Haswell (dual core, 4 threads) is a perfect base to start with @ $450: http://www.amazon.com/Acer-E1-572-6870-Processor-Windows-Clarinet/dp/B00DDFESKC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1405647440&sr=8-1&keywords=haswell+i5+laptop You can then add 4 more GB of RAM which should run you around $40 to $50 and a 250/256 GB SSD which are now only around $100 to $120 and you should still be within budget. It does use an integrated GPU not a fancy Nvidia but for the applications and games you are going to use on it, it should run them very well in 720p or 1366x768 but if you want to hook it up to an external display it will do 1080p.

4GB DDR3 laptop RAM: http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-1600MHz-PC3-12800-Notebook-KVR16S11S8/dp/B008CP5R8K/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1405647704&sr=8-4&keywords=laptop+ddr3
256 GB SSD: http://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Ultra-2-5-Inch-Height-SDSSDHP-256G-FFP/dp/B00APEG8NO/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1405647769&sr=8-4&keywords=250+gb+ssd

Basically, you will have the specs of a 2014 base Macbook Pro without the ultra high resolution Retina display.
 

Morgy-Chan

Estimable
Jul 17, 2014
3
0
4,510
0
I'm not necessarily looking to have to add on it. I'd like it to be as I want it when I buy it. I dont want to buy extra pieces for it. I want a one time buy.
 

Felipe259

Estimable
Jul 17, 2014
69
0
4,610
16
Try to go with Asus, HP, Dell or Lenovo. I've had the worst experience with Acer, specially because it burned out by my gaming attempts (nothing heavy).

Most laptops come with the integrated Intel HD 4400 graphics, whatever recent game you can play on it will be on low! If it's playable at all. The Lenovo comes with a better i5 CPU and features the HD 4600 which will improve things a bit.

http://www.amazon.com/Lenovo-IdeaPad-15-6-Inch-Touchscreen-59406579/dp/B00IO69GVQ/ref=zg_bs_565108_9

http://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-14-n019nr-14-Inch-Touchscreen/dp/B00GH6TZHU/ref=sr_1_13?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1405644589&sr=1-13

http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-15-5547-laptop/pd?oc=fncwm2611b&model_id=inspiron-15-5547-laptop
 

Felipe259

Estimable
Jul 17, 2014
69
0
4,610
16


Add a cooling pad later and you got a pretty decent gaming laptop, not to mention a great one for photoshop
 

cub_fanatic

Honorable
Nov 21, 2012
31
0
10,610
6

Not really, an i5 with a 720p or 1366x768 display is about the maximum you can get for that kind of money and they will all pretty much be about the same in terms of features, look and feel (basically cheap, plastic shells, no backlit keyboard, no bluetooth, no SSD, no touchscreen, etc.) regardless of brand. The only differences will be hard drive size and RAM size usually around 500 to 750 GB regular HDDs and 4 or 6 GB of RAM. Usually if you are getting more, though, you are sacrificing performance. For example the ones with 750 GB HDDs will usually be 5400 RPM (although for a laptop this is good for battery life) and the ones with 6 GB RAM will usually be 1333 MT/s vs 1600 MT/s. Upgrading to 8 GB and an SSD on laptops like these is about as easy as it gets in the customization world. If you want to keep it stock, that is understandable, but those upgrades won't void your warranty. About the most difficult thing would be installing Windows which on newer laptops usually doesn't come on an installation disc, you have to create a set of install discs. Anyway, the Acer, that HP and the others that we linked you to are pretty much typical of what you will find in the $600 range, although once you add the GTX GPU on the HP it is $60 over your budget (before taxes and shipping). Other brands to look at are Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba but you aren't going to find anything with any better performance than that HP with an Nvidia GPU and they will all have 1366x768 screens. In fact, the fact that it even has a discrete GPU at all is surprising in this price range since 99% of sub-$600 laptops only come with the integrated GPU. If you just get the Acer or one of the other ones that Felipe259 linked to, without upgrading them, they will all be good enough for what you need them for. You aren't going to be maxing out Watch Dogs on any of them (not even the HP with that Nvidia card) but you will get pretty decent performance out of them. Since you are using it for graphic design, that HP with the Nvidia is probably the bare minimum you should even consider. For applications like that you would be much better off with an i7 quad core CPU and a mobile GTX series GPU. Also, a minimum of a 1080p display would be needed. The problem is that you can't find a new laptop like that anywhere for under $1000. But, seeing that you are a poor high school kid, an i5 with a 720p+ screen should be fine for now.
 

chubbygamer1983

Honorable
Jun 14, 2013
34
0
10,590
2


This Guy sums it up perfectly. If you want something for graphics design your going to need a fast computer with a lot of resources. Basically you need a desktop. I did consider this before but I thought I'd stick to the brief.

As for a Laptop I honestly think your best getting a Chromebook. You might only be able to use it for writing essays/assignments but when you consider a Chromebook has a 10 hour battery life it becomes a valid option. Think of it as having a MacBook Air but without the huge price tag.

If I was off to College/University I would take this approach.
Also if your Chromebook gets stolen your not going to lose a huge deal of money plus your only computer.
Chromebook's are cheap to insure.

And as for all your programs? I would just take off Chrome OS and put Linux on it. Hell you could even put MAC OS onto it and go I only paid $200 for my macbook air how much did yours cost? $1000?
 
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