Seeking laptop recommendation - runs cool, excellent battery life, less than $1000

sandboxbuddy92

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Jan 31, 2011
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Hi all,

I'm looking for a recommendation for a laptop to purchase. My current one is fading slowly - it has been progressively more difficult to use for a while now. I'm hoping to make my next purchase an informed one, to get the best 'bang for my buck' and whatnot. Some details about what I'm looking for:

1. What is your budget?
Less than $1000

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
I'm very comfortable with 15.6''. I wouldn't consider anything smaller.

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Doesn't matter to me.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Doesn't matter to me.

5. How much battery life do you need?
Around 5:00

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)?
No

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
The most cpu-intensive task I do is use Ableton Live 8. To guess, this is probably just slightly less intensive than video editing.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Doesn't matter to me.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
http://www.laptopmag.com/reviews/laptops/acer-aspire-m5-583p.aspx
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/z-series/


10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Doesn't matter to me.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Doesn't matter to me.

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.
Doesn't matter to me.

13. What country do you live in?
U.S.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
It would be awesome to have a laptop that runs cool, and has excellent battery life. My current laptop lacks both - it overheats often, which has caused some permanent damage to the hardware. It's battery life is mediocre, it doesn't even last an hour when unplugged.

My preferred operating system is Windows 7 or Windows 8.

In summary, I would like a laptop that runs cool, has excellent battery life, and has at least average performance.


Thanks in advance for any and all responses.
 

jaguarskx

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Moderator


The biggest difference would be the screen resolution and the numeric keypad. The L530 has a 1600x900 resolution screen, but the L540 has a 1920x1080 resolution screen. The L540 has the numeric keypad while the L530 does not. Other minor differences would be the L530 only supports 8GB of RAM max while the L540 can support up to 16GB and the fact that you get Intel's newest CPU with a more powerful integrated graphics core. 8GB is usually enough for most users though and for business / non gaming purposes the more powerful Intel HD 4600 graphics core does not really offer any advantages over the older Intel HD 4000 graphics core.

Since screen resolution does not matter to you and it seems you prefer Win 7 vs. Win 8 (a $50 option on the L540), the older L530 is likely better suited for you. Especially since Lenovo is selling the L530 at a bargain price which I assume is to get rid of "old inventory".
 

mc962

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Jul 18, 2013
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^^Although some laptops are just plain bad when it comes to cooling.

I would look into the lenovo y410p/y510p laptops. (15" version is the y510p).

the 15" comes with:

i7 4700mq cpu
nvidia gt 755m
8 gb ram
and other standard laptop hardware you can look at yourself. Hard drive starts at a 1 tb 5400 rpm, although they offer sshd options as well.
The y510p also offers sli capabilities in the optical slot, although that makes heat and you said gaming isnt your thing.
I believe they offer both 7 or 8.
Battery life is pretty good for the y410p, I would assume the y510p is just under that (I can probably easily get 4 hours on my y410p depending on what Im doing, and it often gives 5 hour estimates depending on my power plans).
The keyboard is great, there is only 1 keyboard I like better and it was ridiculously overpriced.

As someone who happily owns a y410p, I would definitely recommend this laptop family. It has great stuff, especially when you consider the price it's going for.

**While I haven't tried, you can probably upgrade the ram and almost certainly upgrade the hard drive without much trouble
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator


Those are actually terrible choices. The OP is no looking to play games, therefore it is not necessary to recommend gaming laptops.

Additionally, when playing games those laptops runs hot. The CPU temps ranges between 90c to 94c.

 

sandboxbuddy92

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Fantastic, that's very useful. I would like to encourage anyone else who can comment on their current laptop experience to post as well - testimonial is really helpful. Its really the crux of the information that I'm looking for.
 

mc962

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They arent just built for games, it's a good all around laptop as well. Despite having a reasonably useful gpu it doesnt run particularly hot, and it has a good cpu as well, which if I remember right a useful cpu was requested. I recommended it because it's a good value for the hardware you get, and has fairly decent build quality as well. I got this (y410p) despite the fact that I already have a gaming desktop, and use this for when I want mobility (as well as if I want to do some games when I want to travel). If you wanted absolutely no "gaming" hardware with maximum battery life, I would recommend a thinkpad t series, but in my opinion that series would go a little over budget to get certain things to a desireable hardware level
 

jaguarskx

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Moderator


Not too crazy about Acer laptops.

The Lenovo Z510 is not a bad choice. However, I personally dislike glossy screen because the are extremely reflective and very difficult / annoying to using in bright environments like outdoors.

I would recommend the Lenovo ThinkPad L540 which comes standard with a 1920x1080 resolution anti-glare screen. Starting price is $739, but the base configuration only has a Core i3-4000m CPU. However, it can be configured with a quad core i7-4702MQ CPU for $205. Additionally, if you prefer Win 7, then that is a $50 option. If you want a camera, then that's a $30 option. Battery life rated is up to 11 hours with the standard 6 cell battery.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/l-series/l540/


Since this is a "budget" ThinkPad laptop it only comes with 4GB of RAM. You can add another 4GB for $80, but it is generally less expensive to buy the RAM from somewhere else and install it yourself.
 

sandboxbuddy92

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I looked at the L540, it seems reasonable. I couldn't help but notice that the L530 appears to be only a slight downgrade in performance, but is a significant price drop. It also appears to ship with Windows 7 by default, which is cool. What does the L540 gain over the L530?
 

arfandy

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If gaming isn't a big deal for you, and you're looking for less overheat problem, then try to choose laptop with integrated GPU (Intel HD Graphics).

Based on my personal 6-wasted-laptops, all 6 were damaged badly due to series of overheating caused by so-famous nVidia/ATI/AMD graphics. The longest last only 2.5 years top. Now i'm a proud owner of Acer Aspire One Happy (yeah... crappy netbook with intel atom and lousy intel GMA) which has been running no problem and nonstop for 24 hours 5 days a week since 2010. Therefore my conclusion, AVOID any dedicated-graphics if you are not crazy about gaming.

Intel HD Graphics still able to run many games smoothly (not hardcore graphic-eating games).

I've tried Acer (5 laptops, including current netbook i'm using to type this) and 2 HPs both Pavilion & ProBook. Doesn't really matter what brand you choose (except APPLE), at the end, it all depends on how well-taken care your notebook is.
 

arfandy

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Another thing, no crap nVidia/ATI/AMD RADEON means less power consumption. and try to look for Intel Core with denotation U instead of M (for instance Intel Centrino/Pentium/i3/i5/i7-3xxxU)
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator


The biggest difference would be the screen resolution and the numeric keypad. The L530 has a 1600x900 resolution screen, but the L540 has a 1920x1080 resolution screen. The L540 has the numeric keypad while the L530 does not. Other minor differences would be the L530 only supports 8GB of RAM max while the L540 can support up to 16GB and the fact that you get Intel's newest CPU with a more powerful integrated graphics core. 8GB is usually enough for most users though and for business / non gaming purposes the more powerful Intel HD 4600 graphics core does not really offer any advantages over the older Intel HD 4000 graphics core.

Since screen resolution does not matter to you and it seems you prefer Win 7 vs. Win 8 (a $50 option on the L540), the older L530 is likely better suited for you. Especially since Lenovo is selling the L530 at a bargain price which I assume is to get rid of "old inventory".
 
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