Which laptop is the better buy?


Feb 15, 2013

I am currently searching for a new laptop that will mostly be used for school, watching movies, messing around in photoshop and some light gaming.

I recently purchased a Samsung NP550P5C-A02UB from Best Buy
Full description here: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Samsung+-+15.6%26%2334%3B+Laptop+-+4GB+Memory+-+750GB+Hard+Drive+-+Silver/6868255.p?id=1218809858318&skuId=6868255&st=GL_4DaySale_Computing_20130215&cp=2&lp=4

However, I was very displeased with the speed when doing even the most basic tasks like watching videos on Youtube and even opening documents via MS Word and Adobe Reader. The computer constantly lagged and froze repeatedly. I contacted Samsung customer support and they didn't seem very interested in helping me solve the problem. So after about 10 days of frustration I returned the laptop.

After scouring the internet for suitable laptops in my price range of $600 the past few days, I've come across two laptops that I'm interested in purchasing from my local Micro Center.

Laptop #1 HP Probook 4540s
Full description here: http://www.microcenter.com/product/403254/ProBook_4540s_156_Laptop_Computer_-_Brushed_Aluminum

Laptop #2 Samsung NP350E5C-A02US
Full description here: http://www.microcenter.com/product/403297/NP350E5C-A02US_156_Laptop_Computer_-_Black

My main concern is speedy operation that can handle light/moderate multitasking and also longevity of the components ie; motherboard, hard drive, cpu ect. Seeing as ill just be using it for light gaming with older games is the AMD Radeon HD 7650M graphics card necessary? Or should I ditch the graphics card and Dual-Core 3210M i5 and go with the Samsung's Quad-Core 3630QM i7 with integrated graphics?

How much faster/better will this particular i7 be over the i5? Would it be very noticeable? Which will I be more likely to get the most life out of seeing as technology is changing everyday?

Any opinions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


Jan 15, 2012

This computer has a 7730m with an i5, its $50 more than the two you posted but the 7730m will beat the 7650m by almost a factor of two in gaming performance (and the hd4000 by even more). Since you are not doing anything really cpu heavy the i5 should be fine.

Haha they just reduced the price to $599 when I refreshed the page.

If your computer is feeling slow it may be because it does not have a SSD (which will really speed things up but cost a lot). I would suggest if you figure this is the case to get the laptop and when budget permits get a 128 or 256 GB SSD and install it yourself (many tutorial videos on the internet).