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Help me buy a new laptop/notebook

1057 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  TheMatt
Hey guys, I'm hoping I can get some pointers/advice from some of the veteran notebook/laptop users on how I should spend my money. I have never owned a notebook before. I have done a fair amount of research, but I want some more direct advice from you guys. Anyways, here's the deal:

1) I'm willing to spend between $1300-1500CDN.
2) I want something that is fast, reliable and easy to maintain.
3) Although I'm not a hardcore gamer, I prefer something with dedicated graphics.
4) I want something that is portable in terms of size.
5) My main uses for the notebook will be surfing the net, watching videos/movies, downloading crap, some gaming etc. I'm not into any hardcore editing or anything like that.
6) Last but certainly not least, I want to the most bang for my buck

Here are some of the specs I'm considering. Of course, I'm open to suggestions. In terms of brand, I've looked into Dell, Acer, IBM (too expensive I think) and some others. I'm totally open in terms of brand.

Display: 15.4inch widescreen WXGA+
Memory: At least 1G of RAM
Hard drive: Between 80-100G
Processor: I'm open to suggestions here.
OS: Windows XP Professional or Media Centre
Battery: Open to suggestions here as well
GPU: Open to suggestions, something dedicated though.

Help me out guys!
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Hi Manveet,

Here are some good laptops I have found.

1. ABS MAYHEM Z2 R30 NoteBook Intel Core Duo T2500(2.00GHz) 15.4" Wide XGA 1GB DDR2 667 100GB 5400rpm DVD±R/RW ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 - $1400

2. ASUS F3Jm-AP012P NoteBook Intel Core Duo T2400(1.83GHz) 15.4" Wide XGA 1GB 100GB 5400rpm DVD±R/RW NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 - $1399

3. Acer TravelMate TM6460-6752 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T7200(2.00GHz) 15.4" Wide XGA 2GB DDR2 533 160GB DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon X1300 - $1550

4. ASUS F3JP-AK048P NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T7200(2.00GHz) 15.4" Wide SXGA+ 1GB DDR2 667 120GB 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon X1700 - $1499

5. ASUS A8JS-4S034P NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T7200(2.00GHz) 14" Wide XGA+ 1GB DDR2 667 120GB 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce Go 7700

My pick of the five I suggested would be the first, it is probably the best value and is very good quality. It will run new games very smoothly. at medium settings.
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Thanks Matt, I will definitely look into those. I believe Newegg is an American site though. I dont know if they ship to Canada.

What are people's thoughts on dell? Seems like most hate them, but their notebooks are quite cheap for what you pay for, not to mention the option of having extended warranty etc.
For example, here's what you can get from dell for $1300CDN before applicable taxes and discount coupons (if any are available)

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T5600 (2MBCache/1.83GHz/667MHz FSB)

OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005

LCD DISPLAY 15.4 inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen WXGA+ Display with TrueLife™

MEMORY FREE Upgrade from 512MB to 1GB DDR SDRAM - $50 Value

HARD DRIVE 120GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive

OPTICAL DRIVE 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability


BATTERY OPTIONS 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery

Of course, the graphics card isn't anything to write home about (hypermemory cards are not truly dedicated I assume), but the overall setup is still a nice deal.
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The golden rule of "You get what you pay for" applies greatly to computers. If you pay only $499 for a Dell laptop then you might wonder why it's so cheap! Surely Dell isn't taking a cut in their profits just to make people happy... If you break it down you'll see that it's just a lot of cutting corners. The CPU in there can account for at least 50% of the cost of that machine. LCD panels aren't cheap, so there's another good chunk of the overall cost. Then you have the motherboard, RAM, hard drive, video chipset, optical drives, battery, etc.

I won't spend less than $1,000 on a new laptop because I know the facts about parts and costs when it comes to laptop computers.
I found this laptop. It has an Athlon 64 4000+, 1 GB of RAM, Mobility Radeon X600, and Windows XP MCE. $1015 CAN.
This place ships to Canada. It is an open box, that is why it is so inexpensive.
Nice find Matt.

Here's one I'm thinking about getting:

Intel Core 2 Duo T5200
Memory: 2G
HDD: 120G(5400RPM)
GPU: GeForce Go 7300 with up to 256mb of Turbo Cache
Display: 15.4" WXGA

Price: $1,299 CDN

Seems like a steal, would do you think?
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I like that laptop. The single core of the CPU probably wouldn't be as powerful, but it would be way better at multitasking, and probably just as good at gaming because of the 2 GB of RAM. I say go for it.
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