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Windows 7: Another 'best budget laptop' thread

22 Nov 2013   #1
DustSailor

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 
Another 'best budget laptop' thread

Hey everyone!

Been looking to buy a specific laptop, and thought I'd see what you all had to say about it.

Uses:
  • Need for speed - the faster programs load and execute, the better
  • Editing - will use graphically intense programs at times like photo editing, but not necessarily top notch. Simple, but still need the power to handle it
  • OS & office environment - May need to connect to a domain at times, so Windows 8.1 pro is preferable (8 pro should come with an auto-upgrade to 8.1). I have an office 2013 license to use for this machine already, but not the OS.
  • Touchscreen - may not be necessary, but it could be fun to have.
Requirements:
  • SSD, preferably with more than 160GB space. An additional HDD to the side is good for extra space I suppose.
  • 6GB Ram or more
  • Win 8 pro
  • Adequate Nvidia GPU. I can't stand AMD
  • Intel CPU
  • HDMI out
  • at least 1 USB port
  • 15.6" screen
  • under $1000 USD
Let me know guys, I'd greatly appreciate suggestions. Meanwhile, I'll be keeping an eye out for deals. Thanks!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Nov 2013   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

There are plenty of those out there. I would check on Black Friday at Neweeg and TigerDirect (then you don't have to leave the house in the middle of the night).

But I would not look for one with a SSD ex factory. Those are usually unneccessarily expensive. Exchanging the HDD for an SSD later is a lot cheaper and with a USB enclosure you can use the HDD you recovered as an external disk plus you can use it to transfer the OS from the HDD to the SSD. A 256GB SSD can be had for around $150.

Regarding ports you should definitely have at least 1 USB3 port plus a couple of USB2 ports. An eSata port is nice too but then you need a different enclosure than for USN2/3.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2013   #3
DustSailor

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
There are plenty of those out there. I would check on Black Friday at Neweeg and TigerDirect (then you don't have to leave the house in the middle of the night).
Or Cyber Monday, right? Yea, I already got a few good deals on computer tablets so far for my business. A great idea.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
But I would not look for one with a SSD ex factory. Those are usually unneccessarily expensive. Exchanging the HDD for an SSD later is a lot cheaper and with a USB enclosure you can use the HDD you recovered as an external disk plus you can use it to transfer the OS from the HDD to the SSD. A 256GB SSD can be had for around $150.
Another great idea. A little more work, but worth it if I'm saving big money.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Regarding ports you should definitely have at least 1 USB3 port plus a couple of USB2 ports. An eSata port is nice too but then you need a different enclosure than for [USB2/3].
I don't need too much extra space. I'm using less than 100GB on my current laptop (that I'm trying to replace). While I'll want to use perhaps double that, I shouldn't need any more. You never know, though. I can store any superfluous items somewhere else, like the network we have. USB3 is really nice, tried it out and the speeds are worth it with a USB3 device. Just bought one 8GB for 10$ off Amazon. Anyway, thanks for the tips!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

22 Nov 2013   #4
DustSailor

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Something like this laptop popped in my head: Amazon.com: Acer Aspire V3-571G-9683 15.6-Inch Laptop (Midnight Black): Computers & Accessories

But it may not be a bad idea to slightly lower the CPU while increasing the GPU a bit. Still looking around to see if I can spot a 'perfect fit'.

That particular model has a raised price on amazon, however, so it isn't any kind of deal.

That brand is Acer. I am not picky on brands, but I will say I haven't had a particularly lovely experience with Dells, but things change so I can too. My current laptop is Dell o.0

Really liked this one, but out of stock/discontinued at the moment: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834310660
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2013   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Don't go overboard. For the type of applications you have specified, you do not need a seperat PSU. The on-board chip of an i7 or i5 will do.

I would actually prefer an i5 - produces less heat. My Toshiba with an i5, 6GB of RAM and an OCZ SSD runs beautifully. The I7 is only an advantage if you do a LOT of work that needs CPU muscle - e.g. video editing.

I have seen nice laptops from reputable makes with an i5 that ran around $500. Add to that $100 for a 128GB SSD (looks like you don't need more) and you'll have a super laptop for $600.

PS: the Amazon Acer you linked is too expensive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2013   #6
DustSailor

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Yea, I was hoping to stay in the $700 range or so, and that Acer is way overpriced. Another site said it went for $850 I think

I do a bit of photo editing, and I might play a few games when I'm out of office. It would be nice to raise the settings from lowest to medium or so. Mid range Graphics Card perhaps?
I'm frustrated with my current laptop slowing me down miserably.

An i5 sounds good, might take your advice there. For the SSD, I have an idea for this one 180GB $150: Newegg.com - Intel 530 Series SSDSC2BW180A401 2.5" 180GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - Internal SSDs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Nov 2013   #7
DustSailor

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
 
 

Dell 1080p. Discounted, yet still feels overpriced to me: Amazon.com: Dell XPS 15 XPS15-1053sLV 15.6-Inch Laptop (Silver Anodized Aluminum): Computers & Accessories

Ooo, just found this one which looks promising at a glance: Newegg.com - Lenovo IdeaPad Y510p (59390909) Intel Core i5 4200M(2.5GHz) 6GB Memory 1TB + 8GB SSHD Hybrid Drive 15.6" Notebook Windows 8

^might have just fallen in love with that last one... Don't see anything wrong with it, do you?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2013   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The Intel SSD is too expensive. Intels always are. We'll find you a better deal.

The Lenovo looks nice but a SSHD is not a SSDS - by far not especially for the OS.

What's important to watch for in the graphics chips is that the i5 or i7 has a 4000 chip (or newer). The 3000 or 2500 chips have a lower performance.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-4000-Benchmarked.73567.0.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2013   #9
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Here is another performance measurement - this time for the 4600 graphics chip

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-...0.93188.0.html


And these are the 4th Generation i5 CPUs with the 4600 chip. You can also download the 'mobile product brief' - see the buutons above the specifications.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...processor.html
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2013   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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