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Old 04-15-2011, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

Need a new laptop. Criteria:

- Rugged: Our last one was a Dell Dimension. My wife picked it up by the display one too many times, and since the casing is so flimsy, the display cracked. Now, 20% of it has gone dark. Also she dropped it a few times, so it's pretty much falling apart.

- Decent battery life: The batteries tend to go before anything else in a laptop. I want something that will still hold a charge after 2 years.

- HDMI input: One of the primary purposes is to watch Hulu on my TV.

I'm sick of cheap laptops breaking on me. Dell Latitudes are nice and rugged, but no HDMI and they're super heavy and bulky. I really don't care all that much about processors, RAM, etc. I want something to check facebook and watch TV on, neither my wife nor I are gamers..unless you count Pogo (my wife, not me).

I'm an IT guy, and have several high power machines at work, so if I need to get anything serious done, I do it there. I'm not a hardware junkie, so I don't know where to look to find what I want for home use. Here I just want something for casual use that's not gonna fall apart on me.
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

What's your budget?
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

All batteries die overtime. You can't stop it.

HDMI are on most recent notebooks.

Then stop buying cheap ones? I've even seen rugged Panasonic ones break. Just be more careful around them.

Why not get a desktop that runs off your TV? Like this: Newegg.com - ASUS Eee Box EB1007-B0410 Intel Atom D410(1.66GHz) 1GB DDR2 250GB HDD Capacity Intel GMA 3150 Linux

Why do you need a laptop if you're just using it at home. Didn't mention that you needed to take it on the road.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

Budget: Don't wanna go the $400 bargain bin Dell route again. Don't really wanna spend more than a grand.

HDMI: From what I can tell, Dell Latitudes do not have an HDMI on em. My work one doesn't, and I can't see anywhere where they do.

Reason for laptop: Like I mentioned, I wanna plug the HDMI into my TV when I want to watch Hulu or whatever. There's no room in my livingroom to set up a desk. Also, in the summer months, wanna be able to take the comp out in the backyard and surf while sipping iced tea. And take it on trips.

Battery: I know they all crap out eventually...I'd like something that's not a useless POS in under 2 years if possible.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

Latitudes are not exactly considered "new". And I frown upon Dell.

Ever consider a netbook? It'd be 11" max, but you would get a great product, not a cheapo laptop.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles91380 View Post
Budget: Don't wanna go the $400 bargain bin Dell route again.
Good choice. You're unlikely to need to spend anywhere near a grand, though.

Quote:
Reason for laptop: Like I mentioned, I wanna plug the HDMI into my TV when I want to watch Hulu or whatever. There's no room in my livingroom to set up a desk. Also, in the summer months, wanna be able to take the comp out in the backyard and surf while sipping iced tea. And take it on trips.
If you went the desktop route, you wouldn't actually need a desk, it would go in the same place where DVD/BD-R/VCR boxes would go. You'd be using the TV as a monitor, and you can use a wireless keyboard with a touchpad built in (or a smartphone) so you can control it from the sofa. That information is moot since you also want to use it outside, but I thought it would be worth mentioning.

Quote:
Battery: I know they all crap out eventually...I'd like something that's not a useless POS in under 2 years if possible.
As long as you smartly manage the battery, and make sure to get a laptop that can function solely on plug rather than battery (i.e. not have the battery plugged in), you can get batteries to last 5+ years easily. Besides, modern lithium-ion and lithium-positron ones don't suffer from the memory effect, so you can leave them charging when at full without much in the way of negative effects. And having (usually) a decent battery is another benefit of spending more than $400 on a cheapo laptop.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:54 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

Good input so far.

The laptop/desktop thing is a non-negotiable. We actually don't have a DVD player or anything. I have a wall-mounted flatscreen that's connected through our wall to an external antenna (we dont have cable). We plug the laptop into the TV whenever we wanna watch a DVD or TV show via Hulu. And again, a desktop doesn't allow us to take the computer to the backyard, kitchen (i like to cook so I use the laptop to pull up recipes), toilet , or on trips. It has to be a laptop.

I guess at the end of the day, I'm asking, what's a good make & model that has a durable casing and components that don't fall apart easily (we had a laptop once that was working fine until the power jack came loose...was several hundred dollars to fix, so we had to buy a new comp)...but one where I'm not overpaying for stuff I don't need like tons of storage, top of the line processor, etc.

At the end of the day, I want the most basic laptop possible that I can hopefully rely on surviving more than a couple years.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

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Latitudes are not exactly considered "new". And I frown upon Dell.

Ever consider a netbook? It'd be 11" max, but you would get a great product, not a cheapo laptop.
Yeah, I kinda frown upon Dell too. It's just that whenever I tell people I want something durable, they all say Latitude.

Considering the netbook route...I know little about them though.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles91380 View Post
Considering the netbook route...I know little about them though.
Netbooks are pretty much just smaller, lighter laptops, usually with weaker (but not 'bad') specs. Usually they're categorised as any laptop with a screen that's 12" or smaller.

I would be looking at laptops for you btw, but I'm in the UK and someone from the US would have a better time navigating the US websites, and thus have better luck at finding a good deal (especially since I won't have quite as good intuition about how much a laptop that costs, say, $500, is really worth).
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't seem to find the perfect laptop

Well basically with laptops you get what you pay for. Laptops with the same components will be priced around the same. So basically the more you pay the better the components. Looking at your newer laptops the i3's are typically around 500 and the i5's maybe 100 more. Now you can get deals and rebates.

Battery life is also longer on less powerfull laptops. Say you get a gaming laptop the battery life can be as short as 1.5 hours because the power needed to run game like graphics. Laptops with integrated graphics cards will get better battery life because the use less power. Also laptops come with 6,8,9 and even 12 cell batteries. The more cells the longer the battery life.

Also with laptops each brand has better models so it's hard to say what is the best brand. So in order to compare laptops to get a true comparison you should look at the components and research that information to evaluate what laptop is the best for you. Thats another thing what laptop is best for my needs may not be the best for your needs.

I look for an entertainment type laptop so i like a good graphics card but doesn't need to be the best because I don't game. I love the biggest screen that I can get (as I still own an Acer with a 20" screen the Aspire 9810).
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