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Best Laptop for the Non-Gamer with these features?.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
It's that time again...my sister needs a new laptop...any recommendation? See below for a list of features I am looking for.
___________________________________________________________________________________________

What is your maximum budget? $1,500, but would like to stay under $1,000 is possible

What country are you in? USA

What will be the uses of this laptop? Web/Photo/Office

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you? Nope, but I do like high-end Lenovo, Dell, and Sony.

What screen size do you require? 15.6"

What screen resolution do you require? 1080p!

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay? I'm ok with all of these, expect used laptops from non-retailers/vendors

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet) Will remain on desk 90%..so nothing special. At least 3 hours.

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings? NO games.

What operating system do you need? (if any) Windows 7

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.) Anything...but my sister might not like the old school basic Thinkpad style...girls...

How much hard drive space do you need? It needs to have an SSD..128gb would be nice.

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.) DVD drive might be nice...but not required. High build quality, a great screen, ssd harddrive, and a nice keyboard are really my main focus for her.

Is there anything else we need to know? I need a warranty...my sister can't fix a computer if her life depended on it. Also, see feature list below.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Laptop Feature List:

  • Overall build quality must be top notch..needs to be made of good sturdy material.
  • Leaning toward a bigger screen..so 15.6" 1080p sounds good
  • At least 1920x1080 would be ideal, screen quality is important!
  • At least somewhat Thin, but will remain on desk 90% of the time
  • At least somewhat Light, but will remain on desk 90% of the time
  • Powerful CPU
  • A decent warranty.
  • No gaming..so good GPU is not need.
  • I would love an SSD...128gb at least.
  • New or refurbished is fine.
  • Runs cool even on heavy load
  • Nice chiclet keyboard
  • Optical drive would be a plus, but not needed.
  • Battery of at least 3 hours?...but the more the better...will remained plugged most of the time.
  • Price: No more than around $1,500 (ideally around or under $1k)
_________________________________________________________

I would say a good 15.6" 1080p display, high build quality, decent warranty, ssd harddrive, good keyboard, great cpu power, and overall performance (don't care for gpu) is her focus. She doesn't want the laptop being super clucky...but doesn't need it to be ultrabook thin either.
Edited by malikq86 - 4/4/12 at 6:32pm
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post #2 of 10
For that price, you're probably looking at getting an $800 laptop and adding an M4 or something to it. Laptop manufacturers charge a major premium for the SSDs. You're also going to pay a lot for that screen.

HP Envy
Refurb: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834158386
Add your own SSD

Dell
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834200412

1080P and 128gb SSD is going to be hard to find together for under 1000.

And those are before adding any warranty. Maybe look at Asus laptops? Lenovos are great, but you're probably going to have difficulty finding 1080 unless you look at a 17"er.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
^ Thanks. What do you think about a refurbished Dell Latitude e6520? I've had my eye on it...not sure though. Envy and XPS 15 are also on my list.
Edited by malikq86 - 4/4/12 at 7:01pm
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post #4 of 10
Have you tried going to Dell's site and configuring your own?

You can get an XPS15 w/i5, 256GB SSD, 1920x1080, DVD burner, etc. for around $1410.

XPS15

The Latitude starts out a little cheaper, but you can add to it.

Latitude E5520

The only bad side is that to stay around your budget you wouldn't be able to add many upgrades past the 1080p and SSD, but they already have a DVD burner and graphics card (whether you want it or not).

I have 2 of the Inspirons, 1 latitude, and my main carry around is a Studio1458. For laptops, Dell is really the only brand I've needed.

Just my 2c worth...hope it helps,

Rich
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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah XPS 15 is looking very nice. I will take a deeper look into it.

BTW - do you know what the difference is between Latitude E5520 and Latitude E6520??
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by malikq86 View Post

Yeah XPS 15 is looking very nice. I will take a deeper look into it.
BTW - do you know what the difference is between Latitude E5520 and Latitude E6520??

They discuss that in this review:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Dell-Latitude-E5520-Notebook.60643.0.html
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post #7 of 10
Truth to tell, I have no idea how they go about naming/numbering their systems.

My Latitude is several years old, and it's an E5500. I'm not even going to try to guess at it. It might have to do with the chassis it's built on.

I've purchased 3 other Latitude models for others in my office and they are different model numbers, but as a whole are very similar. The Latitude is their "business" style line from what I can tell and they're made to fit into a business environment. They have clean lines and are well built. The Inspiron line offers more along the way of customizing the outward appearance with more colors and skins.

Since you said she'll be pretty much keeping it on her desk, you could also consider a 17". Or you could go the other direction, which I did with my current Studio1458. I wanted more portability so I went with a smaller (14.1") unit. However, I was able to configure it as I wanted with an i7, 6GB RAM (Should've gone 8), better graphics card, etc., so when I'm at my desk I connect it to an external monitor and don't even need to open it up. I do the same at home. In fact, I probably only open the lid about once a week at the most.

Anywho...I'm rambling on...as you can tell, I am a fan of Dell laptops and think you could probably put one together for her that will keep her happy for awhile.

Rich
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Intel 320 series Western Digital Caviar Black LG Super Multi Blu Ray Burner LG Super Multi DVD Burner 
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Scythe Kaze Master Pro Fan Controller 
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Intel 520 Series Western Digital Caviar Black LG Super Multi BluRay Burner LG Super Multi DVD Burner 
CoolingOSMonitorMonitor
Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 Windows 7 Pro 64-bit Dell U2410 Dell U2410 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2410 Logitech K800 Illuminated Wireless Corsair AX850 Corsair Obsidian 550D 
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.

Yeah e6520 looks to have better build quality...hmmm..im liking it.

I didn't consider a 17" laptop....do you think a 17" 1080p will still look good? I imagine a 15.4" 1080p...to have a better pixel pitch and sharper image...or is it not that noticeably different?

EDIT: Actually ill give her a ring and see what size she wants. 15.6" is a sweet spot of desk/mobile...17" would be better IF she really isn't planning on ever carrying it outside her apartment. I'll let her tell me. I'm sure 1080p on 17" will be fine...heck I'm using a 1080p on a 23" right now...lol.
Edited by malikq86 - 4/4/12 at 7:53pm
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Hawaiian View Post

However, I was able to configure it as I wanted with an i7, 6GB RAM (Should've gone 8), better graphics card, etc., so when I'm at my desk I connect it to an external monitor and don't even need to open it up. I do the same at home. In fact, I probably only open the lid about once a week at the most.

Oh yeah, this is a great idea. Pick up an Ideapad Y570 for ~800.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834246324
With a warranty, this will be about 1000-1100. Add in a SSD and an external and you should be at about 1400. If you grab a warranty that doesn't cover accidental, shave ~150 off that total.

Seriously, an external monitor and purchasing your own SSD should free you from the two requirements that are making this impossible.

EDIT: I just mean difficult. That sort of came out whiney.
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950
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post #10 of 10
From lenovo itself, I see this laptop at
$1215.40. They are having a sale. I recommend you take a look, especially if she really likes lenovo

Stuff you care about:
It's a thinkpad. Can take some punishment
Keyboard
i5
1600x900 14" Screen (should be sharp, although not true HD)
3yr warranty with 3yr thinkpad protection
Intel 160gb solid state
Shorten the warranty, drop to i3, could be really close to the original 1000

Description (my configuration)
ThinkPad T420 - 1 Yr Depot Topseller Warranty Edit
Processor: Intel Core i5-2450M Processor (3M Cache, 2.50GHz) Edit
Operating system: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) Edit
Operating system language: Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64 - English
Display type: 14.0" HD+ (1600 x 900) LED Backlit AntiGlare Display, Mobile Broadband Ready Edit
System graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000 processor graphics with dynamic frequency Edit
Total memory: 4 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz SODIMM Memory (1 DIMM) Edit
Keyboard: Keyboard - US English Edit
Pointing device: UltraNav (TrackPoint and TouchPad) without Fingerprint Reader Edit
Camera: 720p HD Camera with Microphone Edit
Hard drive: Intel 160GB Solid State Drive, Serial ATA Edit
Optical device: DVD Recordable Edit
System expansion slots: Express Card Slot, 4-in-1 Card Reader Edit
Battery: 6 Cell 2.6Ah Li-Ion Battery Edit
Power cord: 90W AC Adapter - North America, Latin America (2pin) Edit
Integrated WiFi wireless LAN adapters: ThinkPad 1x1 b/g/n Edit
Integrated mobile broadband: Mobile Broadband ready (no mobile broadband module) Edit
Language pack: Publication - US English

Accessories and options:
3YR Onsite + 3YR ThinkPad Protection Edit
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950
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