What do I look for in buying a laptop?

scobod22

Honorable
Nov 27, 2012
1
0
10,510
0
My current laptop is quite old. Acer Aspire 5552 dual core AMD cpu. I used to know a lot about what to look for but have been out of the game for years. I do know that I want to stay away from AMD and steer toward an i-3 or i-5. i think an i-7 is overkill for my purpose. (streaming movies, sports, some audio editing, possible light gaming)
Anyway I went into Best Buy and the guy was just reading the tags trying to tell me which is better when, clearly, he had limited info on computers. I do know that there are i-3's that can out perform an i-5, but he wasnt having that. Since I have been out of the game, as I have mentioned, I am looking for suggestions on replacement laptops. Lets set a max budget of 550. With black Friday and all the deals currently going on, I am certain I can find something that will fit my needs. I just dont know how powerful I need to go. My previous laptops have all been Acer, so if we can steer away from them, it would be appreciated.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
With a budget of only $550 laptops with Core i7 CPUs would be out of your budget so you are basically looking at dual core Core "u" model i3 and i5 CPUs. "U" model CPUs are ultra low voltage CPUs which are rated to consume a maximum of 15w of power and are generally powerful enough for most people. Also, you will basically be limited to integrated graphics with that budget, but playing some games on low settings would still be possible.

The difference between an i3 and i5 is the i5 have Turbo Boost which is like an automatic overclock to increase the clockspeed of the CPU. All mobile i3 and i5 CPUs have been dual core CPUs until recently when Intel launched the Skylake generation where a quad core i5 finally exists for laptops. You will not find a laptop with a quad core i5 within your budget.

If you want a laptop with an i5 CPU from Best Buy, then the following 15.6" Dell laptop seems to be the least expensive option with a Core i5-5200u (Haswell generation) for $450. It uses the integrated Intel HD 5500 graphics core and only has a 1366x768 resolution touchscreen with 4GB of RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), and it has a DVD drive which are starting to fade away in 14" and 15" laptops.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-15-6-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i5-4gb-memory-500gb-hard-drive-black/3510963.p?id=1219583808956&skuId=3510963


Here's a 15.6" HP laptop for $500 with basically the same specs, but it does not have a touchscreen and it does not have a DVD drive.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15-6-notebook-4-gb-memory-500-gb-hard-drive-black/1313235004.p?id=mp1313235004&skuId=1313235004


If you want a 17.3" laptop then there is the following HP for only $500. Again, it has a Core i5-5200u CPU, the Intel HD 5500 graphics core, and it has a DVD drive. It has a 1600x900 resolution screen (non-touch).

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-pavilion-17-3-laptop-intel-core-i5-6gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-natural-silver/4563806.p?id=1219768911230&skuId=4563806

 

BingoFishy

Estimable
Sep 24, 2015
8
0
4,520
1


I'd recommend this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834298169
No SSD, but fits your needs well. If you can stretch your budget, or go for an Acer, you could get an SSD and a dedicated GPU. This laptop also has 8GB of RAM, which I consider a necessity.
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
With a budget of only $550 laptops with Core i7 CPUs would be out of your budget so you are basically looking at dual core Core "u" model i3 and i5 CPUs. "U" model CPUs are ultra low voltage CPUs which are rated to consume a maximum of 15w of power and are generally powerful enough for most people. Also, you will basically be limited to integrated graphics with that budget, but playing some games on low settings would still be possible.

The difference between an i3 and i5 is the i5 have Turbo Boost which is like an automatic overclock to increase the clockspeed of the CPU. All mobile i3 and i5 CPUs have been dual core CPUs until recently when Intel launched the Skylake generation where a quad core i5 finally exists for laptops. You will not find a laptop with a quad core i5 within your budget.

If you want a laptop with an i5 CPU from Best Buy, then the following 15.6" Dell laptop seems to be the least expensive option with a Core i5-5200u (Haswell generation) for $450. It uses the integrated Intel HD 5500 graphics core and only has a 1366x768 resolution touchscreen with 4GB of RAM (upgradeable to 8GB), and it has a DVD drive which are starting to fade away in 14" and 15" laptops.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-15-6-touch-screen-laptop-intel-core-i5-4gb-memory-500gb-hard-drive-black/3510963.p?id=1219583808956&skuId=3510963


Here's a 15.6" HP laptop for $500 with basically the same specs, but it does not have a touchscreen and it does not have a DVD drive.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15-6-notebook-4-gb-memory-500-gb-hard-drive-black/1313235004.p?id=mp1313235004&skuId=1313235004


If you want a 17.3" laptop then there is the following HP for only $500. Again, it has a Core i5-5200u CPU, the Intel HD 5500 graphics core, and it has a DVD drive. It has a 1600x900 resolution screen (non-touch).

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-pavilion-17-3-laptop-intel-core-i5-6gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-natural-silver/4563806.p?id=1219768911230&skuId=4563806

 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
If you if can afford $620, then you can buy the following Asus laptop which has a 1920x1080 resolution and a dedicated nVidia 940m graphics chip that can handle games at lot better than the Intel HD 5500. But it is still considered weak to much more power dedicated graphics chips out there. You would be mostly limited to playing games at 1600x900 resolution with medium settings or lower for more demanding games.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834232793&cm_re=940m-_-34-232-793-_-Product


Acer has a laptop with similar specs for $490, but you stated you wanted to avoid Acer. There's a promo code for a $10 discount.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834315131&cm_re=940m-_-34-315-131-_-Product
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
H Laptop General Discussion 2
skullleeep Laptop General Discussion 3
A Laptop General Discussion 4
C Laptop General Discussion 2
S Laptop General Discussion 0
dsouza_alroy Laptop General Discussion 0
GameWinner31 Laptop General Discussion 0
alireza15613 Laptop General Discussion 1
pikabing Laptop General Discussion 1
MaxG2356 Laptop General Discussion 0
LarcDeWeasel Laptop General Discussion 1
J Laptop General Discussion 2
T Laptop General Discussion 1
S Laptop General Discussion 3
K Laptop General Discussion 2
V Laptop General Discussion 3
georget89 Laptop General Discussion 1
Hohen Laptop General Discussion 6
K Laptop General Discussion 1
fistinair Laptop General Discussion 0

ASK THE COMMUNITY