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Please, I'm having a heck of a time searching for a laptop. Would appreciate help!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
What is your maximum budget?
I really would like not to spend more than $700, if possible. Cheaper is better, of course, but not if I have to sacrifice something important....

What country are you in?
US

What will be the uses of this laptop?
I need to be able to do school things on it, a big part of which is reading a lot of pdfs. My current laptop, a 2007 Gateway T-1616 running Vista, has a hard time opening and reading pdfs. Note-taking in some classes with lightning-fast powerpoints would be nice too, so a decent battery life is a plus.
The usual internet hoopla is needed too (i.e. youtube or other sites with videos).
Additionally, I'd like to be able to play some games. There's no way my current lappy can play even Team Fortress 2, and I'm looking to try things such as Dead Space and all that, so I'd like some gaming capabilities. They don't have to be ultra super duper fancy, I don't play a ton of games. As it stands now, something as basic as the Binding of Isaac is a chore for my computer to run.

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you?
Hey, as long as it doesn't suck or fall apart as soon as I touch it.

What screen size do you require?

I definitely don't need nor want a massive screen, nor do I want a teeny one. Just a regular, normal-sized screen.

What screen resolution do you require?
I don't really care. Too large kind of bugs me out, though.

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay?

Recycled is fine.

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet)
A few hours! If I could sit through a 3-hour class without getting a low battery, that would be super awesome.

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings?
Looks like I kind of jumped the gun on these questions. See above. As for settings, well, high would be nice of course, but I'd be willing to settle for Medium.

What operating system do you need? (if any)
Don't care. Windows is fine.

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.)
Don't care either. As long as it can handle being in my backpack.

How much hard drive space do you need?

Not too much! I have an extra hard drive and not very much stuff (I am subsisting somewhat well on.... whatever this laptop came with. Which is not very much at all).

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.)

I would like a webcam on it, and if I can play regular DVDs, then yippee (I actually really want to be able to play DVDs). I feel that HDMI comes pretty standard now, but in case it doesn't, then that would be a nice thing to have (but it is not needed; merely as a just-in-case luxury).

Is there anything else we need to know?
I've been looking around for a while now, and I see a lot of computer jargon everywhere. There are numbers floating around that I have no idea of their significance, and people throw around these crazy terms that I've never even dreamt of before. All I've been hearing is that I want Radeon or AMD or whatever the heck is a good graphics card.
Also, a quiet fan would be nice. I'm sick of hearing WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Any help is GREATLY appreciated, and I hope I provided enough information! smile.gif
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirpip View Post

What is your maximum budget?
I really would like not to spend more than $700, if possible. Cheaper is better, of course, but not if I have to sacrifice something important....

What country are you in?
US

What will be the uses of this laptop?
I need to be able to do school things on it, a big part of which is reading a lot of pdfs. My current laptop, a 2007 Gateway T-1616 running Vista, has a hard time opening and reading pdfs. Note-taking in some classes with lightning-fast powerpoints would be nice too, so a decent battery life is a plus.
The usual internet hoopla is needed too (i.e. youtube or other sites with videos).
Additionally, I'd like to be able to play some games. There's no way my current lappy can play even Team Fortress 2, and I'm looking to try things such as Dead Space and all that, so I'd like some gaming capabilities. They don't have to be ultra super duper fancy, I don't play a ton of games. As it stands now, something as basic as the Binding of Isaac is a chore for my computer to run.

Do you have brand loyalty or care which brands we select for you?
Hey, as long as it doesn't suck or fall apart as soon as I touch it.

What screen size do you require?

I definitely don't need nor want a massive screen, nor do I want a teeny one. Just a regular, normal-sized screen.

What screen resolution do you require?
I don't really care. Too large kind of bugs me out, though.

Are you looking to buy NEW or would refurbished/recertified/used be okay?

Recycled is fine.

How long should the battery last? (Under optimal conditions, no movies/games/heavy internet)
A few hours! If I could sit through a 3-hour class without getting a low battery, that would be super awesome.

What games would you like to play with your laptop? And on what settings?
Looks like I kind of jumped the gun on these questions. See above. As for settings, well, high would be nice of course, but I'd be willing to settle for Medium.

What operating system do you need? (if any)
Don't care. Windows is fine.

Is there a certain style of laptop you want? (aluminum, black, gaming, etc.)
Don't care either. As long as it can handle being in my backpack.

How much hard drive space do you need?

Not too much! I have an extra hard drive and not very much stuff (I am subsisting somewhat well on.... whatever this laptop came with. Which is not very much at all).

Do you need any special hardware? (blue ray, webcam, specialty ports, etc.)

I would like a webcam on it, and if I can play regular DVDs, then yippee (I actually really want to be able to play DVDs). I feel that HDMI comes pretty standard now, but in case it doesn't, then that would be a nice thing to have (but it is not needed; merely as a just-in-case luxury).

Is there anything else we need to know?
I've been looking around for a while now, and I see a lot of computer jargon everywhere. There are numbers floating around that I have no idea of their significance, and people throw around these crazy terms that I've never even dreamt of before. All I've been hearing is that I want Radeon or AMD or whatever the heck is a good graphics card.
Also, a quiet fan would be nice. I'm sick of hearing WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Any help is GREATLY appreciated, and I hope I provided enough information! smile.gif

Yep, AMD might fit in your budget.
AMD A8/A10 + APU Crossfire with ATI Radeon HD 7670m will make a decent "budget" gaming PC.

Okay, customize this AMD HP Laptop.

http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/B5Y73AV?HP-ENVY-dv6z-7200-Notebook-PC

Click "Customize & Buy" button.

Mark the Processor to "AMD Quad-Core A10-4600m
Scroll Down
Mark the Graphics Card to "1GB AMD Radeon HD 7670m"

Then you are all set unless you want to pay extra money for bigger battery life, backlit-keyboard, more RAMS, hard drive space, different optical drive and/or higher-resolution.
Honestly, 1366x768 is a decent resolution for what you are doing.

If you ignore all the extra stuff then you got yourself a decent budget gaming laptop for 649.99 without including tax and shipping.

Here is another HP's laptop, but it is from Intel.

http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-Pavilion/A4G32AV?HP-Pavilion-g6t-2000-Notebook-PC

Click "Customize & Buy" button.

Mark the Processor "Intel Core i5-3210M"
Scroll Down
Mark the Graphics Card to "1GB AMD Radeon HD 7670m"

Then you are all set again if you want to pay extra stuff. (Might recommend you upgrade your RAM to 6GB if you want to. 4GB is decent, but it is your choice.)

Well, you got yourself a nice 574.99 laptop without including tax and shipping.

There is this laptop from Acer.

http://store.acer.com/store/acerna/en_US/pd/productID.267354500/parentCategoryID.60084600/

http://store.acer.com/store/acerna/en_US/pd/productID.272117600/parentCategoryID.60084600/

The second link on Acer's laptop is a lot better than the one on HP's Intel laptop because Acer's GPU is more powerful than a single GPU from AMD Radeon HD 7670m.
However, those two are weak compare to AMD A10 + 7670m APU Crossfire.

Personally, I recommend you grab AMD A10 + 7670m APU Crossfire laptop because it is certainly a killer for a budget gaming laptop.
It'll play any games at med or high settings and even max out depending on the games that you are playing.
You said, TF2 and maybe Dead Space. It'll probably run it.

You can turn off the actual video card off to save some battery life which is recommended. You'll gain yourself an extra hour or two depend on how you use it.

Now going back to HP's AMD Laptop. (The first link that I show you).
I recommend you upgrade the battery cell to either 9 cell, one 6 and one 9 cell or maybe two 9 cell battery.
You'll gain TON of battery life that is what I think.
Regular 6 cell battery is probably 2-4 hours depending on your usage. Having a 9 cell or one 6 and 9 cell will make it significant if you want to use it for a long time.
     
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wow, this helps so much, so right off the back, thanks a bunch!

It seems to me that the Aspire V3-551G-X419 one (I think it's the second Acer you linked me to) has all the same bells and whistles as the first HP one you showed me, but for about $20 cheaper! Would you recommend the HP over the Aspire? Because I feel like that Aspire is probably the best value, given what you've told me.

I highly appreciate the help, and so quickly, too! smile.gif
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirpip View Post

Wow, this helps so much, so right off the back, thanks a bunch!

It seems to me that the Aspire V3-551G-X419 one (I think it's the second Acer you linked me to) has all the same bells and whistles as the first HP one you showed me, but for about $20 cheaper! Would you recommend the HP over the Aspire? Because I feel like that Aspire is probably the best value, given what you've told me.

I highly appreciate the help, and so quickly, too! smile.gif

Well, it all depend.
I never own HP nor Acer however I do hear some negative things about those two, but I won't worry it since it is probably in the past.
If you know how to take GOOD care of your laptop.

Let see, I would say grab HP's AMD First Look and customize the processor to AMD A10-4600m. Graphics Card to ATI Radeon HD 7670m 1GB. Battery to 9 cell, one 6 and 9 or two 9 cells.
If you would prefer to spend extra more of the stuff to make it a lot cooler but slightly more expensive. You can throw in a back-lit keyboard for 20 dollar (I think) and maybe upgrade the resolution to 1920x1080 (extra 150 dollar) if you want. It might be over your budget, well it is your preferences.

Now, for me, when it comes to a budget laptop, I wouldn't recommend grabbing an Intel laptop because they lacked a powerful video card compare to AMD where they are superior.
Budget Gaming Laptop = AMD will WIN.
Higher Gaming Laptop = Intel will WIN.
Your budget is like in the middle of AMD and Intel however most Intel's laptop doesn't have a good video card in 700 dollar range compare to AMD unless you can manage to find it somewhere cheap.

If you are still insist to want an Intel's laptop then get Acer's 2nd link Intel laptop.
If you aren't any fans to Intel or AMD as long it is reliable, play any games that I throw at it and etc, then AMD is a good bet for you just my opinion for a budget gaming laptop.
Other OC people might disagreed with me.

Now, if I were to compare AMD A10 + 7670m APU Crossfire (which is two APU video cards combine to make it more powerful) to Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge with GT 730m.
AMD will beat it by over 11%.

Okay, for my conclusion, I would say grab AMD laptop.
If you disable the video card itself to save battery life, it WILL still run any games at low, med or high settings because AMD integrated video card is quite powerful compare to Intel HD 4000 which is nothing to AMD.

The choice is your.
     
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oops, it was the first Acer you linked me to.... It had the AMD and not the intel. But either way, it looks like the verdict is pretty much the same. Thanks for your help! smile.gif
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirpip View Post

Oops, it was the first Acer you linked me to.... It had the AMD and not the intel. But either way, it looks like the verdict is pretty much the same. Thanks for your help! smile.gif


That's true.
Both of them have a similar specs however, HP have slightly better advantage than Acer.
HP, you can customize the battery life, resolution and throw in a back-lit keyboard for extra money however Acer does not. It is pre-built, so you have a choice.
Either get HP where you can customize few things that you wanted or Acer where you just want the pre-built one.
Either way, both of them will do anything you want.
     
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post #7 of 12
What software do you use to read pdf files?
post #8 of 12
I never ever recommend an A10 laptop unless the budget is about $500. The short truth is that while A10 laptops have good graphic capabilities(kind of an understatement) they aren't really fit for gaming for the simple reason that the CPU is kinda crap. Even just 2 years down the road the CPU will be challenged just to keep up with latest and greatest and you'll just end up on this forum looking for a replacement.

The laptop I have listed in my sig has the same problem, I can always lower graphic settings if I need but games like (Civilization V or Starcraft 2, Battlefield 3, PlanetSide 2 etc) require a faster CPU and there's no way around a CPU bottleneck in a laptop since overclocking is rarely an option.

1) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834131392

2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314016

3) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834256813
    
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by division9 View Post

I never ever recommend an A10 laptop unless the budget is about $500. The short truth is that while A10 laptops have good graphic capabilities(kind of an understatement) they aren't really fit for gaming for the simple reason that the CPU is kinda crap. Even just 2 years down the road the CPU will be challenged just to keep up with latest and greatest and you'll just end up on this forum looking for a replacement.

The laptop I have listed in my sig has the same problem, I can always lower graphic settings if I need but games like (Civilization V or Starcraft 2, Battlefield 3, PlanetSide 2 etc) require a faster CPU and there's no way around a CPU bottleneck in a laptop since overclocking is rarely an option.

1) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834131392

2) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834314016

3) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834256813

I do agree with you that the AMD CPU suck in term speed however it is quite decent for what he is doing.
He isn't going to play BF3, Crysis 3, Planetside 2 and etc.
He mostly play TF2 and maybe Dead Space 2.

To me, AMD A10-4600m + 7670m 1GB APU Crossfire is decent for what he is doing.
If some certain games doesn't allow crossfire, he can disable the video card and use the integrated GPU which is still decent for playing any games at low, med or maybe high settings depending on a game.
Now, I am not saying you are wrong or anything just that I feel like AMD is more appropriate for him.
Sure, Intel CPU is fast however at that price range, it doesn't come close to defeat AMD APU Crossfire. Not to mention the GPU too.

No offense, I have an Intel laptop however it is more of 800 dollar price range which is where most Intel's laptop start to shine.

Well, like I said, he has a choice to pick.
He can choose Intel if he wanted to or AMD and it is ALL up to him.

I mean, I know for a fact if you use AMD A10-4600m + 7670m APU Crossfire and compare it to those Intel's laptop it might defeat it in term of "performance" for a similar budget.
Not the CPU speed.
Edited by Ryou-kun - 3/23/13 at 11:20am
     
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryou-kun View Post

I do agree with you that the AMD CPU suck in term speed however it is quite decent for what he is doing.
He isn't going to play BF3, Crysis 3, Planetside 2 and etc.
He mostly play TF2 and maybe Dead Space 2.

To me, AMD A10-4600m + 7670m 1GB APU Crossfire is decent for what he is doing.
If some certain games doesn't allow crossfire, he can disable the video card and use the integrated GPU which is still decent for playing any games at low, med or maybe high settings depending on a game.
Now, I am not saying you are wrong or anything just that I feel like AMD is more appropriate for him.
Sure, Intel CPU is fast however at that price range, it doesn't come close to defeat AMD APU Crossfire. Not to mention the GPU too.

No offense, I have an Intel laptop however it is more of 800 dollar price range which is where most Intel's laptop start to shine.

Well, like I said, he has a choice to pick.
He can choose Intel if he wanted to or AMD and it is ALL up to him.

I mean, I know for a fact if you use AMD A10-4600m + 7670m APU Crossfire and compare it to those Intel's laptop it might defeat it in term of "performance" for a similar budget.
Not the CPU speed.

I'd agree it's decent, but decent now is mediocre in 2 years. Having good graphic capabilities is important but if it was me I'd make an attempt at longevity for the simple reason the exact nightmarish situation I described(CPU becoming too slow to play anything) is what's happening to me now and another friend of mine(He has a C2D T9300 and HD 4670m). The OP does say he mostly plays TF2 and Dead space 2, but 2 years later he might get interested in a game that just won't run on his laptop(CPU wise).

Anyways if the APU + HD 7670m is better then I hope that's what the OP gets. Also if the OP goes with an APU + Graphic card combo I'd suggest he sit around for the A10-5750m which should be arriving pretty soon.

EDIT: Since everybody loves facts and statistics, this is what I've found off notebookcheck.net.

In the games F1 2011, Battlefield 3, COD MW3, Skyrim, Anno 2070 and Risen 2: Dark waters. The HD7730m + 3612qm has a better average FPS than the A10 + HD 7670m combo in all games at all settings with the exception of BF3 @ high settings and maybe Anno 2070 @ high.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-7730M.72678.0.html

http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Radeon-HD-7660G-HD-7670M-Dual-Graphics.81173.0.html
Edited by division9 - 3/23/13 at 2:03pm
    
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