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Old 06-07-2010, 03:20 PM   #1
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Looking For a Good Laptop

Macs are out of my price range.

As for PCs, suggest away! I'll mostly be using it for surfing with wi-fi, working from home in Microsoft Office, and my Adobe Creative Suite hobby. Not a clue of what brands are good/bad. I just know Windows Vista sucks and I don't want to have to deal with it on a laptop. My desktop is bad enough.
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Old 06-07-2010, 06:48 PM   #2
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For lower end computers I just go with brands that are easiest to service, which are hands down Dells and HPs. It's very easy to get parts replaced, their websites give you instant access to all the manuals, drivers, firmware, warranty info, and they have online chat support so you don't have to wait on hold for hours and get a technician who speaks English as his 5th language and reads from a script (well, you probably do online too but it's less annoying and easier to multitask).
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Old 06-07-2010, 07:29 PM   #3
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I just ordered a Sony Vaio (4GB RAM, 500GB HD, 15.5", i3 core). I selected it somewhat based on look and feel, and thinness. It felt pretty solid. A lot of the other brands had cheap feeling keyboards or a single mouse button (I prefer two). For gaming and video editing, it's better to get a discrete graphics card such as ATI mobility versus the built-in Intel. I didn't really care about speaker quality.

Best Buy's top selling models are a Toshiba and an HP, which are more "desktop-replacement" laptops than the Sony.
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:03 PM   #4
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I've seen some Vaios I liked but the ones I have actually worked on were beasts. I guess it depends on whether someone would want to be able to do repairs on their own. The last one I worked on was worse than replacing parts on an iMac. It was a several hour job just to replace a hard drive and I nearly broke several other pieces in the process (takes me less than a minute to do the same thing on a Dell or HP). Now when Vaios end up on my desk I often send them back with a paper that lists other repair places, it's just not worth our time. Since you can pretty much get any brand with any specs you want, for me it's really about how easy the computer is to service and the form factor. Right now I use a 3.5 year old HP that was middle-of-the-line (lower end now) when I got it, it's been through three different operating systems and has never run better. The only issue its had that I could not repair myself happened within a year of purchase so it was serviced by HP (I have a now expired warranty but that would not have been necessary).
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:26 PM   #5
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How the keyboard and mouse pad feel is a big factor for me. I wasn't happy with most of the keyboards for most brands - they were either flimsy, or keys were too far apart or too close together. And mouse buttons required either too much or too little pressure. The Sony felt just right. I've had luck with my Acer lasting 5.5 years without a single problem and going strong - it's just time to upgrade it.
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:19 AM   #6
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Yeah the HP keyboards are kinda cheapo. I like the feel b/c that is what I'm used to, but they do wear down. Mine got a little "squeaky" sounding after a few years. You can change how much pressure the touchpad registers, how far the cursor moves, how quickly, etc. The buttons I don't have much experience with, don't really use them (I go nuts without tap to click!).
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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Yeah, tap to click is ok, but I mess up sometimes. Some mouse buttons felt awkward - don't think the pressure setting on those can be changed.

I canceled my Sony order - wanted to go with a separate graphics card. Might go with an Acer or Dell - better specs for the money so far.
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Old 06-09-2010, 09:29 PM   #8
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What kind of graphics card do you like? I might be looking for a laptop soon. I got my mom a Dell Zino which is basically laptop parts and I got an upgraded ATI card rather than whatever it came with. I usually like to upgrade the graphics and the RAM.
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
What kind of graphics card do you like?
ATI or nVidia on a laptop is fine for me - just wanted something faster than the Intel integrated graphics.
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Old 06-17-2010, 03:15 PM   #10
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Ordered the Dell - coupon code + 10% Bing cashback today= a good deal. I love Bing cashback - have earned over $700 back on it since last year.

Specs:
Studio 15 Laptop
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Processor NEW 2010 Intel® Core™ i3-350M 2.26GHz (3M cache)
Memory 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1066MHz
LCD Panel 15.6” High Definition (720p) LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera
Video Card ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 5470, 1GB
Hard Drive 500GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
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