Trying to find budget laptop for projects. Help.

childof86

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Jan 3, 2015
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4,510
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I just had a baby and we have one income so I can't afford much more than $350 so I need the best bang for the buck. This laptop will be for some graphic work and novel writing.

A few things I must have though are:
1.) Minimum 15 inch display (decent display for graphics).
2.) Decent graphics card (I won't be gaming but my hubby says it'll be important for graphic work).
3.) Ability to run multiple programs. I switch between Gimp 2 (free version of Photoshop), Illustrator and Firefox.
4.) CD/DVD drive so I can entertain my daughter when out of town. I understand I can save up for an external drive later on so this isn't a deal breaker. But if I go with an external drive than having at least one USB 3.0 would be nice.
5.) Office software would be ideal as I will be doing work for an office that uses Powerpoint, Word and Excel. I can always fall back on Open Office if I must. So it's not a deal breaker either.
6.) HDMI port
7.) Wifi

I was wondering it there was anything out there that would fit my budget or if I should save up a few more months.
 

z_4

Distinguished
Apr 21, 2011
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18,520
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$350 is very tight budget for your needs. The laptops possible are generally those which are refurbished.
But if you are looking for something new, maybe if you can stretch to $400. You can get a decent laptop :
You can go the Intel way or AMD in terms of CPU . The main difference boils down to the GPU use,as AMD based have better GPU performance. (Mind you not for serious gaming, just occasional graphics work).
Here are possible laptops for you :
$400 - Acer 15.6" (AMD A6 APU,6GB RAM,1TB HDD) - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314684
$400- HP Regal - (AMD A8 APU,4GB,750GB) -http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-Regal-Purple-15.6-15-g173wm-Laptop-PC-with-AMD-Quad-Core-A8-6410-APU-Processor-4GB-Memory-750GB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-8.1/39500064
$400 -HP Touchscreen - http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-Black-15.6-15-F014WM-Laptop-PC-with-AMD-Quad-Core-A8-Processor-4GB-Memory-Touchscreen-750GB-Hard-Drive-Windows-8.1-Bundle-w-Wireless-Mouse-U/38192989
$400 - Dell 15.6" - (Intel i3 ) - http://www.walmart.com/ip/Dell-Black-15.6-Inspiron-15-Laptop-PC-with-Intel-Core-i3-4030U-Processor-4GB-Memory-1TB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-8.1/36976916

So if you can extend your budget thesewould be a good choice.
Hope this helps.
 

childof86

Estimable
Jan 3, 2015
2
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4,510
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I need something to last awhile and not crap out in a year or two. I'm extending my budget to a laptop around the $500 range. so I can get a laptop with a great display. I read in some reviews for the cheaper 300-350 range that the display wasn't the greatest. My daily use will be a lot of multitasking on the laptop so the cheaper ones wouldn't work as well. Any recommendations if I'm bumping the budget up some more from my original?
 

z_4

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Apr 21, 2011
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For $500 taking into account multitasking , i5 will be suffice. However when screen quality comes into consideration FullHD screen is recommended but not possible for this budget :
Here are your possible options:
$500 - Acer i5,8GB,1TB HDD - http://www.walmart.com/ip/Acer-Midnight-Black-15.6-Aspire-E-15-E5-571-563B-Laptop-PC-with-Intel-Core-i5-4210U-Processor-6GB-Memory-1TB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-8.1/36998829
Bumping up the budget you can get a decent discrete GPU from Nvidia (GT 840M), more RAM as well
$550- Acer V3 572G - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314535

For Laptop with FullHD Screen budget will need to be further bumped up.
 
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