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Old 04-22-2012, 10:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Budget Laptop

How are you all doing? I was hoping this community would help me sift through all the products out there on the market. I did research myself but I had a meltdown with too many laptops and their unique configurations. Well, I am going to start college this fall so I am in need of a laptop. I was hoping to purchase or if need be, build, one by August. Feel free to change whatever you want too. I am hoping to get a budget laptop that I can do some gaming on but if thats impossible then I'll just have to deal with it. I am perfectly fine with purchasing last year's models as well even refurbished if need be. Thanks.

Budget: $400 but some leg room at $500 tops.
Usage: Internet, movies every once in a while, gaming (RTS and turn based; CIV IV-V, Anno Series, Age of Empires III), Microsoft Office
OS: Windows 7, Im sick of XP hahaha
Graphics Card: It seems that integrated will probably be better with this budget
Screen: Whatever I can get
RAM: 4 GB+
Hard Drive: 250 GB+
Processor: No preference but I heard that Intel is better
Website/Store: No preference, I've been looking at ebay to catch any deals but usually I shop at newegg for electronics.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget Laptop

You can't build a laptop. Even if you wanted to, it would cost a lot more than buying one from a retailer.

What are you going into college for?

Intel isn't better, it's just different from AMD.

I don't think you'll be gaming hardcore on it, but you should be able to play less graphic intensive games fine.

Lenovo is known for its long battery life and solid builds.

Newegg.com - ThinkPad Edge E520 (1143ADU) Notebook Intel Core i3 2350M(2.30GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 320GB HDD 7200rpm DVDR/RW Intel HD Graphics 3000
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget Laptop

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Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
You can't build a laptop. Even if you wanted to, it would cost a lot more than buying one from a retailer.

What are you going into college for?

Intel isn't better, it's just different from AMD.

I don't think you'll be gaming hardcore on it, but you should be able to play less graphic intensive games fine.

Lenovo is known for its long battery life and solid builds.

Newegg.com - ThinkPad Edge E520 (1143ADU) Notebook Intel Core i3 2350M(2.30GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 320GB HDD 7200rpm DVDR/RW Intel HD Graphics 3000
1. I believe there were some kits out there a few year ago, some company was pushing DIY laptops. Never really took off, IIRC.

2. Depends on the application. If you're on a tight budget, AMD is "better". So in this case, the OP should probably look at AMD based laptops, as the bang for your buck factor would be better. If you're building/buying a high end rig with a bigger budget, I'd say to go with Intel.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget Laptop

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Originally Posted by tj_extreme View Post
1. I believe there were some kits out there a few year ago, some company was pushing DIY laptops. Never really took off, IIRC.

2. Depends on the application. If you're on a tight budget, AMD is "better". So in this case, the OP should probably look at AMD based laptops, as the bang for your buck factor would be better. If you're building/buying a high end rig with a bigger budget, I'd say to go with Intel.
1. Yes, they have barebones out there. But after you buy the CPU, HDD RAM, DVD-RW, Windows, you are paying well over what you would for a premade laptop. There are also some sites that can build it for you, cyberpower, ibuypower, to your specifications. But, again, it costs a lot more. It will not fit his budget. That's why I said "you can't build your own". Truly, you can, but it is too much trouble to say so.

2. Only problem is that AMD fails at the mobile level. Look on Newegg, under laptops. Look at how many Intel chips there are VS AMD. You can find a nice i3 for ~$400-500.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget Laptop

Oh okay. Yeah, I'll scratch off the DIY laptop idea. I guess I will go with Intel unless I can get a sweet deal with AMD. I was thinking that 14-15.6'' would be the most comfortable screen size. Is lenovo good? I thought they were known for building very flimsy laptops.... Are these manufacturers any good; Asus, HP, Acer, and Dell? Would I be okay with an integrated gfx card if I can supplement it with 4 GB of RAM and a 2.2+ GHz processor? I mean its just going to be strategy games and they're more about crunching numbers. Would I still be able to get some of the eye candy? And one more thing, would it be better to get a system without an OS and perhaps install Linux?
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget Laptop

Their customer class are so-so. Their ThinkPads, their business class, are excellent little beasts. They are known for their very good battery life and can pretty much handle anything you throw at it.

ASUS, ACER, and Lenovo are my top 3. With Dell and Toshiba on the side. HP is out of the question. That's my take.

If you are fine with integrated, at least get a second gen i3. It has Intel HD 3000 graphics. Which kicks all other integrated video in the rear end.

They still have to process the video. With the graphics I explained above, you should have no problems.

Actually 90% of them come with Windows 7 HP/Professional preinstalled. But you can always wipe it clean, which is what I usually do, to get rid of the bloatware.
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget Laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
You can't build a laptop. Even if you wanted to, it would cost a lot more than buying one from a retailer.

What are you going into college for?

Intel isn't better, it's just different from AMD.

I don't think you'll be gaming hardcore on it, but you should be able to play less graphic intensive games fine.

Lenovo is known for its long battery life and solid builds.

Newegg.com - ThinkPad Edge E520 (1143ADU) Notebook Intel Core i3 2350M(2.30GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 320GB HDD 7200rpm DVDR/RW Intel HD Graphics 3000
+1 for the E520. You won't do much better than that spec wise on your budget and the ThinkPad Edge models have much better keyboards and build quality than the average budget laptop.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget Laptop

Thanks, Puddle. I couldn't find a better setup in his budget. Then I see this. Whoa...
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Old 04-24-2012, 03:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Budget Laptop

True, they did REALLY fail with LLano..
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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True, they did REALLY fail with LLano..
Had to look that up :P
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