Remember Me?
Home Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Off-topic/General Discussion Discussions not covered under the topics we currently have (a place to hang out).


Go Back   Connect2Edmonton > C2E Cafe > Off-topic/General Discussion
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 01-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #1
SE-Mark
First One is Always Free
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Default Help me choose a laptop please

I’m looking for a general purpose laptop, but I’m so far removed from them that I don’t know what I’m looking at. Basically, I want something for general use: surfing the web, Word/Excel (perhaps OpenOffice), movie playback, digital scrapbooking / image editing. 15” screen, full comfortable keyboard, windows 7, HDMI out. General around the house use, trying to find a more versatile solution than an iPad for about the same money.
Budget is about $500-$600.
I’m in no panic to get it, and am willing to buy online from reputable sellers.
What I’ve found is a Lenovo IdeaPad Z575 from memory express, reg. $650 currently on sale for $550.
http://www.memoryexpress.com/Products/MX38719


Is this a good buy? Can you recommend something better?
Thanks,
Mark
SE-Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 09:24 AM   #2
edmonton daily photo
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: May 2008
Default

Dell has some really good prices too!
__________________
"Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi
edmonton daily photo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 09:45 AM   #3
sundance
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: City of Champions
Default

Best Buy has a HP AMD quad core laptop for $499 on sale this week and a Toshiba Intel Core i3 for $499.
sundance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 10:19 AM   #4
mnugent
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: London, England
Default

I know you're on a budget but I've found that a laptop is something worth investing in. You pay a bit more once and it will last longer.
mnugent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #5
edmonton daily photo
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: May 2008
Default

Inspiron 15R specs
2nd generation Intel® Core™ i3-2350M processor (2.30GHz)
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64-Bit, English
6GB2 Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1333MHz
500GB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive

on sale for 499
__________________
"Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi
edmonton daily photo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 12:21 PM   #6
Rocket252
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Default

A lot have similiar specs so I look for two things - weight and battery life.

a 15 inch will be heavy and use a lot of juice
Rocket252 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 12:59 PM   #7
SE-Mark
First One is Always Free
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Default

I think I'm going to just go in to some stores and see what I like. It seems to come down to a weight / look / feel decision. Specs are all close, although I like that the AMDs tend to lend themselves towards video playback and a bit better at gaming. I won't use it as a hard core gaming machine, but I can see myself grabbing an old game from a bargain bin to play.
I think I'll use a Core i3 as a baseline, and an AMD A6 on the other side.
Options are almost endless.
SE-Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #8
JBear
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Back in E-Town!
Default

Maybe look for some features that can be overlooked easily such as USB 3.0, a decent video card and oodles of RAM.
JBear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2012, 04:35 PM   #9
Dialog
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Default

The keyboard and trackpad are important. Whichever model you want to buy, you should be able to try it 'loose' (not attached to the shelf via security cable) to see how both these cruical elements of your future computer work.
__________________
A small town is a vast hell. —Argentinean proverb
Dialog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 02:46 PM   #10
moahunter
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnugent View Post
I know you're on a budget but I've found that a laptop is something worth investing in. You pay a bit more once and it will last longer.
I agree a bit as for a little more can get something very cool now. A friend recently got an ultra book, a Dell XPS13, its quite amazing. Later this year when Ivy Bridge and Windows 8 arrive, ultra books are projected to drop in price (and maybe bridge the gap to tablets, on touch screen models). The solid state drive makes it a lot faster to boot up.

Last edited by moahunter; 02-05-2012 at 02:48 PM..
moahunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 03:31 PM   #11
Dialog
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Default

SSDs are fast, but also rugged. Friends of mine had their MacBook Pro's hard drive mysteriously crash—hard. They questioned their seven year old daughter, who steadfastly denied any involvement. A replacement drive later, they noticed her handling the lappy in a manner that would have certainly damaged the drive.

Going with the biggest (maybe not fastest) SSD you can afford should be a consideration for families and anyone who travels a lot, constantly moving the notebook around.
__________________
A small town is a vast hell. —Argentinean proverb
Dialog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #12
Cal76
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Edmonton
Default

VAIO or Dell would be my choice. I find Macs to be waaaayyyy overpriced and over-hyped.
Cal76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 10:19 PM   #13
Frank Wilson
Partially Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Default

VAIO running Ubuntu OS; blazingly fast.
Frank Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2012, 12:30 AM   #14
howyadoin'
Partially Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Edmonton
Default

I second that.. I got my 15 inch VAIO with all the required specs @ Sony Store for $600 approx...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal76 View Post
VAIO or Dell would be my choice. I find Macs to be waaaayyyy overpriced and over-hyped.
howyadoin' is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2012, 10:07 AM   #15
FlyFlyAway
Partially Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Edmonton
Default

VAIO seems like overkill for basic usage listed by OP...but if $600 all-in that's a pretty good deal IMHO. Good quality, multimedia-oriented. Worth a look at that price.
FlyFlyAway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012, 07:55 AM   #16
SE-Mark
First One is Always Free
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Default

Best buy has a Samsung NP305E5A-S04CA new and on sale this week. I'm planning to pick one up today.

AMD A6-3420M
2GB dedicated graphics card
6GB RAM
640GB HDD
15.6" matte screen

Includes office Home and Student.

$550
SE-Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012, 08:26 AM   #17
FlyFlyAway
Partially Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Edmonton
Default

^Congrats! Let us know what you think in a few weeks...especially battery life.

(Waiting impatiently for Ivy Bridge/Core 3xxx series.)
FlyFlyAway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #18
RichardS
C2E Junkie
*
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Edmonton
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal76 View Post
VAIO or Dell would be my choice. I find Macs to be waaaayyyy overpriced and over-hyped.

X2.

Toshiba's top line also is rugged.
__________________
Just stating facts...per ardua ad astra
RichardS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #19
SE-Mark
First One is Always Free
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Default

Update:
Loving the laptop. This is our first laptop so learning the limits of the battery is something new.
Battery life seems a little short, but with nothing to compare it against, it is probably just normal. It's probably about 2 to 3 hours of screen time. Usually by the evening we're plugging it in.
SE-Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2012, 09:37 AM   #20
moahunter
Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardS View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal76 View Post
VAIO or Dell would be my choice. I find Macs to be waaaayyyy overpriced and over-hyped.

X2.

Toshiba's top line also is rugged.
I had a bad experience one of their "cheaper" models (I think around $700), motherboard failed twice (at least warranty was good). Also, it had a weird, not quite full size keyboard, which was annoying (some keys compressed closer together).
moahunter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2012, 10:38 AM   #21
FlyFlyAway
Partially Addicted to C2E
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Edmonton
Default

2-3 hours of battery life, if you're not playing media/using the DVD drive, is very low for 2012. 3-4 hours is average; 4-5 hours is the benchmark (usually w/o a discreet graphics chip). If battery life is important (and it is to me) I'd return the unit. If you like everything else about the laptop, consider a second battery.

Unit is rated at 4 hours; so there might be a couple of things to check first. In the BIOS, your battery charge may be limited to extend the life of the battery. Unlock the setting to get another 20%??? of battery life, although you might have to replace the battery at some point in your laptop's life if you do so (depends on how often you use it on battery). Second, check your power settings and look at setting up a productivity profile (throttle CPU & GPU, shut down unused ports, reduce power to wifi, etc.) for when you're not gaming. Set the laptop to hibernate instead of sleep if you're leaving it unattended for a few hours, and don't mind the extra seconds to wake it up. The power settings will have a significant impact on battery life - lots of opportunity to improve off of 2+ hours.

Glad to hear you're enjoying the new rig!
FlyFlyAway is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2012, 10:48 AM   #22
SE-Mark
First One is Always Free
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Default

2-3 hours really is a gross estimate. It may be a lot more. The laptop is turned on at 8 am, looked at for 15 minutes, put to sleep for 30, turned back on for 10, put to sleep for an hour, turned back on for 30 minutes, etc. until at 9 pm it needs to be plugged in. I haven't used it in a single continuous stretch from full charge to get an accurate time.

It's a 4400 mAh battery. 15.6" LED backlit screen is going to eat power, even though it's LED.

I'm considering a second battery, but realistically plugging it in should not be a problem. Changing batteries and recharging the dead one would be more of an issue I think.
SE-Mark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-07-2012, 10:47 PM   #23
Paul1988
First One is Always Free
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default

VAIO or Dell would be my choice.VAIO running Ubuntu OS; blazingly fast.
Paul1988 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.