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Old 08-07-2010, 11:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I am looking to buy a laptop

Hey guys, I am looking to buy a laptop for school and outside activities as well.

I was wondering what I should get exactly because my knowledge of laptops can be compared to that of a two year old.

I am looking for one with a decent graphics card (I have Oblivion and Fallout 3 on the Xbox, and I heard that playing them on the PC is even better with mods and what not) so that I could be able to play games on a decent setting (I also want to play Penumbra but this PC I have right here is garbage). I definitely do not need a high-end graphics card (and I am sure I could always get a new one later if and when I had the money, right?) because I will not be trying to max out settings on games, that is not a priority.

I also would like one with built-in WiFi as well, because I will be bringing it to the local library and such and could connect online there.

Preferably I would like it to have Windows 7 (I have heard good and bad, so if 7 is bad please tell me) so that I can have something current, the PC I am on right now is XP.

I read earlier that if I intend to play games at all on it that I should get something with a decent amount of space (250 GB I heard?) and RAM.

Please give me your suggestions, I can spend about $500-600 on it, maybe more if I can get a loan from my step-father.

~Joe

PS: Tax-free weekend in Massachusetts is coming next week, and I have coupons for BJs so I am specifically looking at them right now, but I do not know the best location to buy one.
Here is their website: BJ's Wholesale Club > Computers > Laptops & Netbooks

PPS: I can buy online, but I would prefer buying in-store.

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2010, 12:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: I am looking to buy a laptop

You 99% of the time cannot change out your graphic card on a laptop. If you can, it has to be the exact same one or a little higher. Your PSU can only take so much power.

100% of laptops in the last ~7 years have wireless built in.

7 comes on all new laptops, except for netbooks and low-biding laptops.

A 250GB HDD will be fine for you. Most laptops these days come with 4GB of DDR2/DDR3 RAM

A 500-600 laptop will not get you a powerfuul enough laptop to play intensive games.

You will not have to pay taxes online, unless their warehouse is in your state. You get more of a selection if you buy online. I have bought nearly all my computer goods from NewEgg. I have had excellent service.
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Old 08-07-2010, 01:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well then, do you have any suggestions in that price range that are the best for what I am looking for?

Sorry, but as I said I am very clueless when it comes to this kind of stuff and need a lot of help.

I won't be using it for intensive gaming (though that would be a good bonus), but I do want to play games like Fallout, Call of Duty, Penumbra, and maybe some others (at least on medium settings, you know?)

So any suggestions for the best deal I can get in my price range would be great.

Otherwise, I'll have to wait until I get more money, as the job I just had was a temporary one in a law firm so I am no longer employed.

Okay, hopefully to make things a bit easier I hopped onto NewEgg and went to the top rated laptops and chose a few that were within my price range (if not a bit out of it). If none of these are what I am looking for, and you know of something better, feel free to tell me. Thanks!

Newegg.com - TOSHIBA Satellite L675D-S7013 NoteBook AMD Athlon II Dual-Core P320(2.10GHz) 17.3" 4GB Memory 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250

Newegg.com - HP G60-630US NoteBook Intel Pentium dual-core T4400(2.20GHz) 15.6" 3GB Memory 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi Intel GMA 4500M

Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS5741-5763 NoteBook Intel Core i3 350M(2.26GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi Intel HD

Newegg.com - SONY VAIO E Series VPCEE23FX/BI NoteBook AMD Athlon II Dual-Core P320(2.10GHz) 15.5" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250

Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS7741G-5877 NoteBook Intel Core i3 350M(2.26GHz) 17.3" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650

Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS5741-3541 NoteBook Intel Core i5 450M(2.40GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 500GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi Intel HD

Newegg.com - Acer Aspire AS5551G-4280 NoteBook AMD Turion II Dual-Core P520(2.3GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5470

Newegg.com - lenovo G550(2958-9PU) NoteBook Intel Pentium dual-core T4500(2.30GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1066 250GB HDD 5400rpm DVD±R/RW Intel GMA 4500M

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
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I am looking to buy a laptop

I would get that Toshiba. It's not the newest, but the best for buck. I'm weary against Sony.

Big thing is, you don't want Intel graphics. They are not for gaming.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I am looking to buy a laptop

this one is also pretty decent for the price
Newegg.com - TOSHIBA Satellite L655D-S5067 NoteBook AMD Turion II Dual-Core P520(2.3GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5145
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I am looking to buy a laptop

This one looks good.

I checked out the graphics card topic and saw that the one with this is a "Class 2" and can run new games on lower settings and old games on high. It also has Windows 7 and the 64-bit processor or however you call it, as well as that dual-core processor I believe and 320GB of space and WLAN which I am guessing is built in wireless?

Anyway, this sounds perfect to me. Do you guys recommend it? It sounds great and does not exceed my spending limit, so this looks like a good one.

A bit more feed back on this one here just to be sure, please.

Sorry for asking for so much help, but thank you guys it is very useful!
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Old 08-07-2010, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I am looking to buy a laptop

We help all.

That has a Windows 7 64-bit OS. To use the full 4GB RAM and GPU RAM, you need x64.

WLan is built in, yes. No bulgy thing sticking out.

Both ASUS and Toshiba are my top two. You will be happy with the Toshiba.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: I am looking to buy a laptop

Okay, thanks a lot guys. In terms of software, any suggestions on what I may need? I will be completely busted after buying this as it stretches my budget for now to its limits (I cannot spend all of my money on a laptop, although I wish I could), so I am looking for mostly free stuff. I already have Word that I can use on it, but I don't know what I should get for anti-virus.

I do have maybe five or so I have tried already, but I cannot decide which is best.

In terms of a browser, I have always used Firefox but I heard Google Chrome is the best (and Opera as well).

Sorry for asking for so much, but I've screwed this PC I'm on right now so bad, I don't want to do it with a new laptop...
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: I am looking to buy a laptop

There are MANY free programs out there.

For office software, use OpenOffice.
IMO, I use Chrome on my desktop. I use Opera on my netbook, to keep it nice and light.
I use Comodo Internet Security (AntiVirus and Firewall) on all my systems.

BUT, software is a personal thing. There are so many out there that your jaw will drop to the floor. You have to decide for yourself, only we can give 1,000 suggestions. :P
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: I am looking to buy a laptop

Chromium nightly builds tend to be the fastest browser, Chrome not far behind, with Opera 10.6 being a bit behind chrome.
Firefox tends to get about half the speed Chrome and Opera get in the Peacekeeper benchmark.
Internet Explorer 8 is significantly slower than Firefox.

In terms of features, Firefox has the most and usually the best addons.
Chrome has a lot of add-ons; most of the time you can find an equivalent to a Firefox addon, though not always. And sometimes the Chrome addon isn't as good in terms of functionality, but usually they are adequate.
Opera is customisable, and has the ability to run custon style sheets (css) and javascripts (.js) out of the box, but is more difficult to work with than Firefox or Chrome addons. It is generally less customisable. But it is a good, fast browser with a relatively simple interface.
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