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Old 03-03-2011, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

Hey everyone!

I am currently helping my father pick out a laptop. He is an extremely light user so he does not need anything powerful at all. He will not be gaming or downloading tons of multimedia to his machine. He will primarily be using it for e-mail, surfing the internet, and using programs like Word, Excel, etc. So I am looking for something that will basically just give him his best bang for his buck under $400. I've been looking around Newegg and I've seen a couple that don't look too bad however I figured I'd see if anyone here had any suggestions for me. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

Does screen size matter to him? You could get a netbook for under $400. The biggest screen size for netbooks is 11", though.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

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Does screen size matter to him? You could get a netbook for under $400. The biggest screen size for netbooks is 11", though.
Screen size isn't a big issue but he doesn't want a netbook. I'd say around 15" would work just fine.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

Fair enough.

Can he go a little above $400? I'd suggest this one:

Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS5253-BZ602 Notebook AMD Dual-Core Processor E-350(1.6GHz) 15.6" 2GB Memory 250GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi AMD Radeon HD 6310

What ones were you particularly looking at?
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

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Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
I basically was just looking at all the models Newegg had to offer in the $300-$400 range. I'm sure he'd be willing to spend the extra $15 and it looks like that model is much nicer than the ones I was looking at. I am hoping that they send out one of their sale newsletter with a deal on a laptop in the near future.

If anyone else has any other suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks all.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

Well a couple of deals came through via the Newegg e-mail newsletter. Let me go ahead and link those and let me know what you think of them compared to the one you suggested. Also if anyone else has any other suggestions please feel free to add them. It is definitely appreciated. Thanks!

Here are the ones that are in his price range currently on sale at Newegg...

Newegg.com - DELL Inspiron M5030 (iM5030-2800B3D) Notebook AMD Athlon II Dual-Core P360(2.30GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD±R/RW ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250

Newegg.com - Recertified: HP Pavilion dv5-2035dx NoteBook AMD Turion II Dual-Core P520(2.3GHz) 14.5" 4GB Memory 320GB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250

I've got a feeling most will still say the Acer is the way to go. I haven't been a fan of Dell in quite a while and I've never had much love for HP outside of their printers. LOL.

Thanks again everyone!
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

Don't get the HP. Dell isn't my top pick. Their customer service sucks. I'd go a ASUS if you can manage, but there aren't any in the $400 range, except netbooks.

I'd go with the Acer.
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Old 03-07-2011, 12:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

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Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
Don't get the HP. Dell isn't my top pick. Their customer service sucks. I'd go a ASUS if you can manage, but there aren't any in the $400 range, except netbooks.

I'd go with the Acer.
Well if we were able to go up to say $500 would there be any ASUS models within that range that would be head and shoulders above the Acer model you linked above? I think I could convince him to spend the extra little bit if the option/options were much better by spending the extra cash (ie. more bang for your buck). I took a look at some of the ASUS models within the $400-$500 range and nearly all of them were Recertified and/or Open Box. Would you caution against that or would that be okay?

Thanks again for all the help MoM its been extremely appreciated.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

I recently, only a week ago, bought a recertified ASUS UL80JT. It was $500 when I bought it. Free shipping, too.

Newegg.com - Recertified: ASUS UL80 Series UL80J-BBK5 NoteBook Intel Core i3 330UM(1.20GHz) 14" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce 310M

I love it, a nice rustic look to to it. Included the laptop, power brick and power cord. No pretty retail box, no driver CD (get it online if needed). Nice specs too. I like the GFX inside it. It can switch between a GeForce 310M and Intel integrated when not needed. The i3 330UM in it can OC on the run. No configurations. Also, I like the HDMI. Battery life is excellent. I got 5 hours of battery life the first day. (After I charged it )

I always liked ASUS. Recertified isn't bad. It was company refurbished. Open box, you never be sure.

No problem for the help. That's why I'm here. :P

(I had to reinstall 7, but that was my and Ubuntu's fault. )
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice/Suggestions Low Priced Laptop/Notebook

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Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
I recently, only a week ago, bought a recertified ASUS UL80JT. It was $500 when I bought it. Free shipping, too.

Newegg.com - Recertified: ASUS UL80 Series UL80J-BBK5 NoteBook Intel Core i3 330UM(1.20GHz) 14" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi NVIDIA GeForce 310M

I love it, a nice rustic look to to it. Included the laptop, power brick and power cord. No pretty retail box, no driver CD (get it online if needed). Nice specs too. I like the GFX inside it. It can switch between a GeForce 310M and Intel integrated when not needed. The i3 330UM in it can OC on the run. No configurations. Also, I like the HDMI. Battery life is excellent. I got 5 hours of battery life the first day. (After I charged it )

I always liked ASUS. Recertified isn't bad. It was company refurbished. Open box, you never be sure.

No problem for the help. That's why I'm here. :P

(I had to reinstall 7, but that was my and Ubuntu's fault. )
Well I went ahead and talked my Dad into getting the Recertified ASUS and unfortunately I ended up with one of the poor ones. I've spent about 3 hours now searching and searching for the proper drivers for the WLAN but no matter what I've tried it does not show up in the network adapters area in the control panel where you would find LAN and what not. The WiFi key also seems to have been an issue for many others after reading the reviews on Newegg. It was mainly that the WiFi would drop out on them randomly and they would be forced to restart. However in my case I cannot even get the WLAN to show up. I hope I'm not completely missing something and not seeing a switch on the laptop itself but I've only seen the function WiFi key. I've gone to ASUS website and tried installing all the wireless drivers associated with this model. Nothing has worked.

I think I will just have to RMA this unless someone has a suggestion on how I can get this working. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and ask for a replacement but I think if I can't find a solution to this problem I am just going to ask for a refund and go with a different option.

Kind of sad. My first experience with an ASUS computer (I have other products like mobos which have been great) but its been a bad one thus far. However I guess that is what you get yourself into when you buy a re-certified notebook.

Anyways MoM if you have any suggestions it'd be greatly appreciated or anyone else that might of had this laptop or an ASUS laptop with a similar problem. It sucks my dad was pretty excited for this. LOL. He is pretty computer illiterate and has only had one laptop before this so I feel bad. Oh well at least if I can't find a solution I know Newegg has a relatively painless RMA process.

EDIT: Also I did try going to ATHEROS website to look for drivers as I believe they are the wireless card that is installed in this laptop but I've had no luck with that either. My problem though is I cannot figure out what model is actually in this notebook. It isn't stated on Newegg and I can't seem to find it anywhere. Could someone maybe point me in the right direction in regards to that?

EDIT (2): I was able to figure out which model of ATHEROS I had downloaded the drivers and tried installing them still nothing. When I try to install the one from ASUS website I get the... Error Azurewave Wireless Lan Driver. That is all it says. So I guess it just can't find it. I've installed the Wireless Control Center and everything else I can think of. I don't know hopefully someone has an idea but I think its best I just RMA this thing. I don't know whether I should get a refund or replacement though.

EDIT (3): LOL. Well check that I can't even return this for a refund only a replacement. Oh well I hope I didn't end up throwing away $500 of my fathers money. The next one will hopefully be alright.
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