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Need help looking for a decent 11"-13" laptop/netbook

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to buy a small laptop for myself.. I was originally looking at netbooks for the small size but if I can find a nice 12 or 13" notebook that is a little more powerful that would be great. I don't necessarily want this for gaming, I just want to be able to have something portable. If anything, I may play a steam game or two from my account, like L4D2 or torchlight or something.. but this is really no biggie.

I would like to keep it under $600 at the very most, brands aren't too much of a big deal to me, but I am a fan of IBM/Lenovo laptops so I have been looking at those first. I have my eye on the x120e, but am considering other options too. I have seen some 12-13" notebooks like the Asus UL20/UL30 series, but they are a tad out of my budget unless I go recertified.

Speaking of which, are recertified laptops a bad idea? Do they have a much higher fail/RMA/return rate? I'd be scared to get a laptop in the mail that feels anything but brand new.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I'm fairly new to laptops, but working on them so much makes me want one really bad!

Also, I would prefer something that doesn't have an Atom chip in it. biggrin.gif
Edited by Shooter116 - 4/1/11 at 5:30am
post #2 of 13
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834157656
All i could find =/ Graphics card sucks but should have no problem with 1080p and some really old games. Don't know how L4D2 would run, but torchlight shouldn't be an issue
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I was looking at the HP dm1z too, it's pretty similar to the Lenovo x120e I was looking at. If it comes down to just getting a netbook, it will definitely be one of those two. On the more powerful end, I found this guy on amazon; though I don't know if it's recertified or not. Specs seem to meet exactly what i'm looking for.. but idk if it's a good price or not.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/UL30VT-X1K-Light-13-3-Inch-Laptop-Kindle/dp/B003JZC43O/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1301661589&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: ASUS UL30VT-X1K Thin and Light 13.3-Inch Laptop with Kindle for PC (Black): Electronics[/ame]
post #4 of 13
At that price, there's the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/UL80Vt-14-Inch-Light-Laptop-Silver/dp/B0034H2YNM"]Asus UL80VT[/ame]. For MUCH lower, you can get the Lenovo X120e. For $440, you get one with the AMD E-350 Dual-Core, the Radeon HD 6310, a 320GB 7200RPM HDD, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, and 6-cell battery. It comes with a single 2GB DIMM, but you can buy another 2GB DIMM on Newegg with the same specs for $25. That puts you at just $465. By doing that, you avoid having to pay $80 instead to Lenovo. Since it's user-replaceable, it doesn't void the warranty, either. It's very easy to do since there's an access panel on the bottom of the laptop. Here's a video showing the procedure:

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X00j-qEaY98[/ame]

The Ul80vt may come with a 10% faster processor, but it's just not worth it for that alone IMO. The Radeon HD 6310 is faster than the GeForce G210M in the Asus and should handle gaming a bit better. The Lenovo obviously has better build quality. The Asus gets around 8 hours of real-world battery life while the Lenovo gets 6 hours, but it should be more than enough.

2GB DDR3 1333MHz DIMM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148316
Edited by LOL_Wut_Axel - 4/1/11 at 6:00am
    
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post #5 of 13
Also a very solid laptop, and I personally LOVE Asus smile.gif
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that informative post! I had no idea about the UL80 series being the same price. It is interesting that this Fusion chip performs so well! It's what drew me to it in the first place. The more I look at the x120e, the more I want to pull the trigger on it. I wonder how much bigger it is than the 10.1 inch netbooks side to side. I'll have to hunt down a pic somewhere.

I'm still open to suggestions, but as it stands now the x120e is still peaking my interest.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter116;12957653 
Thanks for that informative post! I had no idea about the UL80 series being the same price. It is interesting that this Fusion chip performs so well! It's what drew me to it in the first place. The more I look at the x120e, the more I want to pull the trigger on it. I wonder how much bigger it is than the 10.1 inch netbooks side to side. I'll have to hunt down a pic somewhere.

I'm still open to suggestions, but as it stands now the x120e is still peaking my interest.

Most of the difference comes from the fact it's wider and a bit taller. There's not much difference as far as the chassis dimensions goes, but the screen difference is definitely noticeable. My mom has one.
    
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter116;12957463 
I'm looking to buy a small laptop for myself.. I was originally looking at netbooks for the small size but if I can find a nice 12 or 13" notebook that is a little more powerful that would be great. I don't necessarily want this for gaming, I just want to be able to have something portable. If anything, I may play a steam game or two from my account, like L4D2 or torchlight or something.. but this is really no biggie.

I would like to keep it under $600 at the very most, brands aren't too much of a big deal to me, but I am a fan of IBM/Lenovo laptops so I have been looking at those first. I have my eye on the x120e, but am considering other options too. I have seen some 12-13" notebooks like the Asus UL20/UL30 series, but they are a tad out of my budget unless I go recertified.

Speaking of which, are recertified laptops a bad idea? Do they have a much higher fail/RMA/return rate? I'd be scared to get a laptop in the mail that feels anything but brand new.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. I'm fairly new to laptops, but working on them so much makes me want one really bad!

Also, I would prefer something that doesn't have an Atom chip in it. biggrin.gif

you can get the 13.3" UL30VT @ JR.com brand new for under $600 shipped
(worth getting the pricier silver version for a few more dollars, bigger battery, hides finger smudges).
I've bought 3 notebooks from them, and each time their customer service was excellent.
Intel core 2 duo + switchable nvidia 210M graphics, 6+ hours battery real use in a 3.7lb, 1-inch thick package.

$699 shipped would get u the [ame="http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-U31JG-XA1-13-3-Inch-Laptop-Black/dp/B004LRO7QQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1301669785&sr=8-1"]Asus U31JG @ Amazon[/ame]
intel i3
switchable nvidia 415m graphics
more matte finished surfaces
same form factor
~5 hours battery


the alternative is to get a Dell m11x, u can find them w/ C2D's for $549+tax on sale directly from Dell.


If the Lenovo x120e is still an option, here's one listed for sale in the forums smile.gif
Edited by cozmo5050 - 4/1/11 at 8:09am
    
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information! These asus notebooks are growing on me.. I may just save for that U31JG. The matte finish looks really good. It's either going to be that one or that UL30jt.

The lenovo is nice... but part of me just feels like that 11 inch screen is going to end up being a tad too small for my taste.
post #10 of 13
I would say just make sure you aren't paying for old tech, maybe there is an upgraded culv on another model. The 7300 does outscore the newer Atom and the E-350 fusion but maybe something else out there. I guess make sure the score improvement you see is worth the extra cost over netbook or the 120 or dmz1.

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=Intel+SU7300+%40+1.30GHz

And especially watch out for any newer low voltage procs coming out, they maybe refreshed along with these 2nd gen intels.
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