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Need assistance in purchasing Laptop

miggs78

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Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
3,320
Location
Calgary, AB
Guys looking to purchase a laptop, mostly used for studying.

Manufacturer: I've not been much into laptops, so not sure which manufacturer's laptop to buy, Toshiba, Acer, Asus, Dell .. what really?

Processor: Well.. Intel or AMD, I wouldn't have a clue on mobile processor, what's a better one, Intel i3 or an AMD..

Specs needed: At least 4GB RAM, I run a virtual lab software we use for lab work at school/home, on my home computer (E8400+4GB RAM) the app normally eats up to 700mb-1gb ram.

500GB HDD will be appreciated, is it usually easy to upgrade a HDD?
Wi-Fi, DVD-RW drive, most PCs now do come with one anyway.

Used for studying, so GPU not all that important, but would appreciate if it has some kind of output to connect to TV (HDMI, S-video etc..)

Price range, well looking to settle for $500-700, not sure if I get the above listed for that much.
I'll be honest, I haven't done much research since I didn't what brand to buy..

Thanks.
 

Stix26

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Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
85
I'm curious to see what people suggest as I am in a similar situation.
 

Thund3rball

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Nov 5, 2007
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Location
Vancouver
You can get that for your budget. Definitely go for Intel i3, you can find them in this range. You likely won't get a discrete GPU only onboard graphics. Basically it'll come down to things like size, do you like chiclet keyboard, warranty... stuff like that. They should all have video out/wi fi etc...

Models to look at are:

Dell Inspiron
Not crazy about the Dell consumer line these days but it meets your needs, you can choose 14"-17" and plenty of other CTO options and Dell offers good warranty if you want to pay for it.
Laptops / Notebooks | Dell Canada

Asus K52
These are nice if you can find one under $700 otherwise you'll have to pay a bit more. Good reputation, 2 year warranty.
asus k52 - Price Comparison - Canada's Cheapest Prices

Sony Vaio E Series
Never owned a Sony but they are actually competitively priced nowadays. Seen some i3s on sale at FS for your price and I liked how they felt. And I know people who have good expereince with Sony stores so you might want to see if they'll price match and you'll get better service than FS.
Sony VAIO 15.5" Intel Core i3-330M 2.13GHz Laptop (VPCEB11FDT) - Brown - Future Shop

HP G62
Have had hit and miss relationship with HPs myself. Check it out at FS or BB and see what you think?
HP Pavilion 15.6" Intel Core i3-330M 2.13GHz Laptop (G62-134CA) - Future Shop
 

excalibur55

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Dec 26, 2008
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Location
Montmagny, Quebec

crazyhorsejohnny

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Oct 5, 2008
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Location
Ottawa
I have a Toshiba and no problems so far. One thing, do you really need one ? I thought I did and I don't use it as much as I thought I was going to.
 

tragd

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Joined
Jul 8, 2009
Messages
149
Location
Toronto
go for something LIGHT! i think that was the biggest reason i didn't bring my (wasn't even that heavy 5lb?) 15" laptop.
once i got a lighter/smaller 12" laptop, i brought to every class.
another thing you might want to consider is tablets. greatest investment in my university. formula writing/note taking in class was a breeze with onenote.
 

Thund3rball

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Nov 5, 2007
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Vancouver
go for something LIGHT! i think that was the biggest reason i didn't bring my (wasn't even that heavy 5lb?) 15" laptop.
once i got a lighter/smaller 12" laptop, i brought to every class.
another thing you might want to consider is tablets. greatest investment in my university. formula writing/note taking in class was a breeze with onenote.
Agreed, it's why I listed the Inspirons from Dell. You can get a 14" version with the i3 package. Some people don't seem to mind hauling around a big laptop though so it's really up to preference.
 

miggs78

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Joined
Feb 10, 2008
Messages
3,320
Location
Calgary, AB
Hey Thunderball, thanks.. How is Dell Support ?

In case something goes wrong with the hardware, the warranty and service has to be good right, to get the laptop back in good time too.. any idea.. ?

Also the Inspiron laptops are pretty good, i3 330, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD and a 15" screen for $630 isn't too bad. If only their warranty prices were cheaper.. $200+ for a 2 yr..
 

Thund3rball

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Nov 5, 2007
Messages
3,503
Location
Vancouver
Dell support can vary like anywhere. I can't say it's amazing that's for sure. But it isn't much different from any other laptop supplier imo. If you are thinking replacement part support then you'll want next biz day otherwise it's shipping the machine off to Dell. Which is what you'd get from anyone else. Telephone tech support is usually lame which is why like any other computer I would just troubleshoot a problem myself. The warranty prices can really add up that's for sure. But many like the full meal deal which is nice. If you get it you could run over your laptop and they'd give you a new one. :D
 
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