What Laptop Should I Buy [Small, mod. perfm, cheap]


May 5, 2009
Hello. I am new to laptops (experienced with desktops) and all of the customized hardware and trying to make heads and tails of it all. After doing a bunch of research I think I have a decent idea of what I want but don't have the resources or time to scoure every single manufacturer's site to click and compares stats and then find reviews, etc. I hope you all can provide your expert opinions. :)

1_What is your budget?

Up to $600 give or take a little.

2_What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

Anywhere from 9in to 13in.

3_What screen resolution do you want?

1366x768 or higher. 720p Video playback a must.

4_Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

Portable, definitely not a desktop replacement.

5_How much battery life do you need?

As much as possible, preferably 4hr+ min.

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)?

To a degree, yes. Games on par with SC1, D2, MapleStory and any and all flash or java games. Pretty much just older or lower end games that will get me through long car rides, hotel stays, plane trips, boring TV with inlaws, etc. Playing the newest games is not necessary, I have a desktop for that.

7_What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

Quick surfing, multitasking, music, HD video (from streaming web and local playback).

8_How much storage (H.D.D Capacity) do you need?

Around 100GB+ for a disk, or 40-50GB+ for a SSD is price isn't extreme. 100GB isn't much these days so its not really an issue.

9_If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

None. I have done business with Newegg, Amazon, and Dell.com before. Preferably not any independent sellers from amazon or other.

10_How long do you want to keep your laptop?

At LEAST 1 yr, 2-3 or longer realistically.

11_What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

None for this. On the larger sizes I would expect one, but for 9-12in, I doubt Ill find it.

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.

No to Gateway or Toshiba: Quality of design is generally crap on Tosh, and Gateway service is horrible. Sony is generally too expensive, but not thrown out if a cheap model can be found.
I have no other preferences.

13_What country do you live in?


14_Please tell us any additional information if needed.

From my research it seems like the Inspiron 11z would be ideal. My concerns over this model is its touchpad issues and low battery life for such a small laptop. I am trying to see if there is a better option than this model.

If I had extra money, the Alienware M11x seems perfect. But the extra $500+ it will cost to get that may be a bit much and I'm not sure what its integrated battery life is like.

Thank you. :)



May 5, 2009
That seems to be decent. Seems to be the exact same computer as the 11z I was looking at previously, just 2 in larger frame and possibly a longer battery. My main hesitation is that it is a Toshiba. I worked as a computer tech for 2 years and I saw more toshibas with critical hardware problems than any other brand. They were by far my least favorite brand to work with (HP right after that). So unless I find a Toshiba with a killer deal (bigger 11z for $150 more isn't quite I'm afraid), I'll probably pass them up. Thank you, though. :)
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