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Old 09-12-2010, 10:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Comparing Three Laptops, What do you think?

I'm a college student with a budget at around 800 bucks. I have three laptop builds in mind, I don't know much about laptops so I was seeing if any of you guys would like to help me.

I'm a mechanical engineering student that needs a laptop to handle software such as MATLAB and I'm not sure what else yet since I'm a freshmen. I will be joining a robotics club also that requires a laptop since it is off of the main campus. I also like to do casual gaming with starcraft 2. I'm trying to get a powerful laptop for a decent price. I'm concerned with performance for around my budget. Looks and weight don't matter to me. Also, I am looking for a laptop to last me 4 years until grad school.

Anyways, Here are the builds that I'm looking at:

Dell Stuido 15 ($849.99)

OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
PROCESSORS NEW 2010 Intel® Core™ i5-450M 2.4GHz (2.66GHz Turbo Mode, 3M Cache)
MEMORY 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1066MHz
HARD DRIVE 500GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
BATTERY OPTIONS 85 Whr Lithium Ion Battery (9 cell)
VIDEO CARD Intel® HD Graphics
WIRELESS CARDS Intel© Centrino© Advanced-N 6200
HD DISPLAY 15.6” High Definition (720p) LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera
OPTICAL DRIVE 8X Slot Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
SOUND OPTIONS High Definition Audio 2.2
KEYBOARD Back-lit Keyboard
WARRANTY AND SERVICE 1 Year Basic Service Plan

Cons: No possible upgrade for graphics
Pro: I hear the display is quite better than the HP series laptop listed below.
I also have the option to upgrade my CPU to "NEW 2010 Intel® Core™ i5-520M 2.40GHz (2.93Ghz Turbo Mode, 3M cache)" for 70 bucks extra. Not sure if it's worth it though.

Dell Inspiron 15R ($729.99)

SYSTEM COLOR Mars Black edit
MEMORY 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 edit
HARD DRIVE 500GB 5400rpm edit
VIDEO CARD ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD5470, 64-Bit, 1GB, DDR3 128Mx16x4pcs
WARRANTY AND SERVICE 1 Year Basic Service Plan
OFFICE SOFTWARE Microsoft® Office Starter 2010
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit
PROCESSOR New 2010 Intel® Core™ i3-350M 2.26Gh (4 Threads, 3M Cache)
BATTERY OPTIONS Lithium Ion Battery (6-Cell) – Up to 4 hours, 2 minutes of battery life*
SYSTEM Inspiron 15R
DISPLAY 15.6" High Definition (720p) LED Display with TrueLife™
SOUND OPTIONS HD Audio 2.2 Support SRS™ Premium Sound
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE 8X CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive) - w/ Roxio Burn 1.0
WIRELESS CARDS Dell Wireless DW1501, 802.11 g/n 1x1 Half Mini Card
INTEGRATED WEBCAM Integrated 1.3M Pixel Webcam
Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card
Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0
ACCIDENT AND THEFT PROTECTION 1 year LoJack for Laptops Standard Theft Protection
DATASAFE ONLINE BACKUP Dell Online Backup 2GB for 1 year

Pros: Price is lower than others.
$75 upgraded graphics card from the studio 15
Cons: 500 GB harddrive runs at 5400 RPM rather than 7200 like the others.
No other alternative CPU's to choose from
4GB memory, but it doesn't show the bus speed(Studio shows 1033MHz)

HP dv6zse series ($829.99)

Operating system Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit edit
Processor AMD Phenom(TM) II Quad-Core Mobile Processor N930 (2.0GHz, 2MB L2 Cache) edit
Graphics card 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) HD 5470 switchable graphics [HDMI, VGA] edit
Memory FREE Upgrade to 6GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm) edit
Hard drive FREE Upgrade to 640GB 5400RPM(or 500GB 7200 RPM) Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection edit
Office software Microsoft(R) Office Starter 2010 edit
Security software No additional security software edit
Primary battery 9 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (over-sized) edit
Display 15.6" diagonal High Definition LED HP Brightview Display (1366x768) edit
Touchscreen No TouchScreen (includes HP TrueVision Webcam) edit
Primary optical drive SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support edit
Networking Wireless 802.11b/g/n Card edit
Keyboard Backlit Keyboard with Fingerprint Reader

Pros:6GB Memory (But this one also doesn't display the bus speed)
Backlit Keyboard with Fingerprint Reader
9 Cell Battery
Upgraded GPU from the Studio 15
Cons: I hear the display is not as good the other two systems.
(Possible) con, AMD processor. (I'm not sure, but people always tell me to go intel.)

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Alex N.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Comparing Three Laptops, What do you think?

First off, DO NOT get the HP Dv6, those are known to be bad.

I would much more recommend you a Lenovo. They are better built. Several of my friends used it through Engineering.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Comparing Three Laptops, What do you think?

What do you think about Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS7551G-5821 NoteBook AMD Phenom II Quad-Core N930(2.0GHz) 17.3" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 and also Newegg.com - Gateway NV59C57U NoteBook Intel Core i5 450M(2.40GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470. I was going for a 15 inch, but for 50 bucks more it has a better video card and a larger display.
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Old 09-13-2010, 09:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Comparing Three Laptops, What do you think?

I would rather go the Acer myself.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Comparing Three Laptops, What do you think?

Alright, I just placed an order for the Acer on Newegg. Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Comparing Three Laptops, What do you think?

Musketman007 - have you received this laptop yet? what do you think?
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