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Old 05-23-2011, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Looking for good basic laptop. Have 3 choices that are no more than $400

I am trying to get a laptop for my brother that he will use for just basic needs. He recently bought and Acer laptop which came with the new AMD E-350 processor for $400. I was not sure about that processor and read up on it and saw that it is a new processor from 2011. His laptop comes with the

acer aspire 5253-bz661
AMD e-350
500gb hard drive
15.6" led lcd
AMD Radeon HD 6310
4GB Ram
6-cell battery
Costco - Acer Aspire AS5253 15.6" Laptop

I looked online and came across a Lenovo Ideapad. This one is $380 and comes with

lenovo ideapad Z565
AMD Phenom N660
320GB hard drive
15.6 led lcd
AMD Radeon HD 4270
3gb RAM
6-cell battery
Lenovo - IdeaPad Laptop / AMD Phenom™ II Processor / 15.6" Display / 3GB Memory / 320GB Hard Drive - Black - Z565-43113LU

I also came across the Gateway for $400 which seems to be better than both of those

Gateway NV53A75u
AMD Phenom II X2 Triple Core N830 2.1GHz
15.6" TFT LCD Display
4GB RAM
500GB Hard Drive
ATI Radeon HD 4250
6-cell battery
Gateway - Laptop / AMD Phenom™ II X2 Processor / 15.6" Display / 4GB Memory / 500GB Hard Drive - Velvet Blue - NV53A75u

His is a "AMD Vision" while the Lenovo and Gateway are "AMD Vision Premium"

So he basically just needs it to browse the web, having a few tabs/windows open, watching movies, maybe simple gaming, using Office, that sort of things. Which one would be recommended the most? Is there a better laptop that I could find for no more than $400?
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for good basic laptop. Have 3 choices that are no more than $400

So you want to buy one for him? Why did you say he recently bought one?
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for good basic laptop. Have 3 choices that are no more than $400

He bought the Acer one but it can be returned if any of the other 2 is a better one
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for good basic laptop. Have 3 choices that are no more than $400

Well, it goes all over the charts here. According to benchmarks:

The CPU, N660 is best, followed by the N830, and the e-350 100 spots below that.

Now, with the Graphics, the 6310 is best, followed by the 4270 and 4250. These 3 are closer together.

I'd go with the Lenovo. While it only has 3GB RAM and 350GB HDD, you can always upgrade that later. But it has a much powerful CPU and an ample graphics card.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for good basic laptop. Have 3 choices that are no more than $400

Thank you for clearing that up. Accroding to PassMark, the N830 was a little faster than the N660
(higher is better) (lower is better)
AMD Phenom II N660 Dual-Core 1820 354
AMD Phenom II N830 Triple-Core 1939 329

So i thought the gateway was worth the extra $20 for more ram and a larger hard drive
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for good basic laptop. Have 3 choices that are no more than $400

According to here: Mobile Processors - Benchmarklist - Notebookcheck.net Tech

The n660 was #77, N830 #105, e-350 was #298
(lower number the better)
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Looking for good basic laptop. Have 3 choices that are no more than $400

Yeah I'd go with Mind on this one, even though it's a tri-core vs a dual-core, the N660 has a faster clock rate and more cache. The extra core won't help that much really, even these days not many programs utilise more than two cores (shameful really).
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