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Laptop Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Taure, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Thread for discussion of laptops. Unlike PCs, where it's very easy to build your own, most people tend to buy branded laptops. And it's often hard to tell how good a laptop is just from the specs, as they don't include the most important aspect: build quality.

    So here's a thread for everyone who wants to ask questions about laptops. I think that maybe it's better to have one thread than a load of individual threads, as I'm not sure "Hey, does anyone know if X model is any good?" is worth an entire thread to itself.

    So I'll start. Planning to get a new laptop in September. Am leaning towards this:

    Samsung NP550P5C-T01CL

    The specs are good (it has an Ivy Bridge processor, which I really wanted, as apparently they're quite heat efficient), the price is about as good as you can expect here in Chile (that is to say, extortionate). But I'm wondering: does anyone have it? If you do, how's it working out for you?
     
  2. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    You're in Chile?

    I don't know much about Samsung laptops beyond the fact that I know someone who has a Samsung Series 9 likes it pretty well.

    I'm personally a fan of Thinkpads, particularly the X, T, and W series. I've been debating whether to pick up a X230 or a T430 for my next laptop, though depending how finances look I might end up buying a cheaper X130 or Edge model instead.

    But Thinkpads ftw in my personal experience. The ones that I mentioned, X/T/W series, are generally of excellent build quality. The T61p I used for years never ran hot or gave me much trouble at all til the screen finally died (I could have replaced that but opted not to for various reasons).
     
  3. Starwind

    Starwind Headmaster

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    I have a Samsung, probably my favorite keyboard on a laptop to date, wether that's the company, or just the laptop I currently have. Dosen't seem to overheat, only time it got hot was when I accidently left it on for like 12 hours.

    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/samsung-rf511-15-6-laptop-11884749-pdt.html

    So far, the laptop seems to be the best I've had, comparing Dell/HP/Sony/Compaq, never had any other brand to comment on though.
     
  4. Hero of Stupidity

    Hero of Stupidity Villain of Sensibility ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Never use original Toshiba batteries. Never!
     
  5. Another Empty Frame

    Another Empty Frame Fake Flamingo DLP Supporter

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    I'll bite, why?

    also I'm looking for a good laptop in the 800-1200$ range, and in general I think it'd be nice to see price info for reccs people post.
     
  6. Hero of Stupidity

    Hero of Stupidity Villain of Sensibility ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    easy to overheat, short lifespan, prone to just die, things like these...
     
  7. Anarchy

    Anarchy Half-Blood Prince DLP Supporter

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    I've been using a dell precision since '07, and it's only in the past year like I've felt that the technology is starting to feel sluggish. The build quality is good. It feels like a high end laptop, with high end plastics, and a great screen. The customer service has always been excellent as well. I overheated the laptop once pretty severely due to a clogged heat sink, and they damn well replaced 75% of all the components and had a guy sent out in two days to replace them. The warranty was like $200, and i got over $800 in parts out of it, so it's good value. Battery is decent, can last 6 hours or so without running external hard rives and the like. It's not a gaming computer though, as it has a dedicated graphics card for rendering. That also makes replacing it a bitch, since it's integrated, and the last video driver update was in 2008. I wish upgrading it was possible, but I don't think it is, which is a pretty big downside.

    That being said, I would recommend the precision series if you plan on doing heavy graphical stuff with it. It can still operate the newest version of inventor, solidworks, pro-e flawlessly, and I've also had no qualms in the two precision towers I've used as well.

    That being said, it cost me nearly $2000 when I got it, and if all you are going to do is basic gaming, reading, browsing, etc, then you can get a adequate laptop for a fifth of that price. Coincidently, new old stock of my laptop is going for about 350-400 on ebay, which is pretty disappointing.
     
  8. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    My understanding is that business class laptops tend to be of high quality -- these include Thinkpad Series X, T, & W, Dell Precision & Latitude, HP Elitebook.

    Of those I've used all of the Thinkpads (though have not owned an example of each) and a Dell Latitude. All seemed pretty nice.

    But while they are capable of gaming with discrete GPUs none of them are made for gaming. They tend to have Nvidia Quadro, NVS, etc. graphics instead of GeForce for example. Personally it's been fine for my usage, as I gamed on a Nvidia Quadro FX for years with no issues, but people who want to max out their gaming experience may have trouble. ...but there were no games I bought that wouldn't run with decent fps at least on low with the business gpu I had (for the years I had it).
     
  9. Starwind

    Starwind Headmaster

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    Most of my laptops I end up killing them myself cus I leave them plugged into the mains too long. Anyone got a good suggestion for this? I was thinking maybe getting a spare one and switching them out when I need to.
     
  10. Oz

    Oz For Zombie. Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Time to clear up some battery myths.

    http://batterycare.net/en/guide.html

    http://lifehacker.com/5875162/how-often-should-i-charge-my-gadgets-battery-to-prolong-its-lifespan

    On topic: I'm super impressed with every Samsung product I've ever had. My N140 netbook was awesome. My R780 laptop is the shit. And I love my SIII.

    All the Acer laptops I've had my hands on have felt super flimsy and two fo them seemed prone to overheating. That said, they were all budget models.

    The few Dell Inspirons I've used were all fine (except for that shitty Dell function key firmware--you should not have to click alt+fn+f4 to close a window).

    Asus eee pcs are nice, but I preferred the N140's keyboard by miles.

    Overall the best build quality I've ever come across was my friend's Macbook pro. It'll probably be a long time before I get one myself (if ever) and I'd just install a linux distro over it.

    EDIT: Every Toshiba I've ever seen has been a flimsy overheating piece of shit. Even the nuclear reactors they make eventually meltdown.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  11. Deplore

    Deplore Seventh Year

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    Problem is, it's very difficult to find a laptop with good build quality that doesn't demand blood drawn from your anus.

    Most business class laptops fit your category -- Thinkpad, Latitude, Elitebooks, Sagers, Alienwares (there, I said it, but certain models), Macbook Pro... There are a couple more I'm forgetting, but these are the main one.

    Granted, I'm biased, seeing how I own a Elitebook and before that, used to own a T42... but I work in IT and I see almost every type of laptops cross my desk at one point or another.

    One trend I've seen is that I get far less requests to repair business class laptops (one could argue it's that way because business class laptops cost more, and therefore, most people spend extra for warranties for the peace of mind, and granted, they'd be right) and it's usually for minor things, like replacing trackpads, trackpad buttons, cpu fans, reapplying thermal paste... simple stuff... in contrast to the consumer level laptops, which always need major work done, like replacing keyboards/motherboard/inverter/LCD.

    Granted, I see far more consumer laptops than business class, but the trend is very similar.
     
  12. Zerg_Lurker

    Zerg_Lurker Death Eater DLP Supporter

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    Having used a Macbook Pro for two years, I'd say it's very shiny and very purdy, has an unmatched trackpad, but the keyboard was rather blah. The arrow keys were on the small side and there was only one ctrl key, on the left, which was super awkward since I had it bootcamped to Windows. The keys themselves were nice though, and they're the sort I want on a laptop. Also, the palm rest burned like a motherfucker if I ran any sort of game longer than 10 minutes.

    Quick question, ASUS, msi or lenovo? Also, should I bother giving other brands in the >$1k USD range another look, or was I right in assuming Acer and Sony Vaio are complete ass? Better yet, how much do brands matter?

    Long story short, after an inordinate amount of time browsing, I've narrowed it down to three choices: a 14" ASUS, a 15.6" ASUS, a 14" MSI or a 14" Lenovo.

    With a >$1000 USD budget I figured I'd go for something with an i5 since it seems like few programs actually get the most out of the i7.
    All have discrete graphics cards (Geforce 610/620/630M), >4GB RAM and similar benchmarks for their i5 processors, despite the varying clock speeds, according to notebookcheck.

    I'm leaning towards the $900 14" ASUS because it's available at my local electronics store and it's shiny and purdy like the Macbook Pro I had used previously.
    However, I might have knocked out Samsung models prematurely given this discussion. Halp?
     
  13. Deplore

    Deplore Seventh Year

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    I'd go with Lenovo.

    Do you want to buy new, or would you go for used?

    If you search on ebay for HP Elitebook that are off-contract/lease, you can secure some great deal. That's how I got my Elitebook, actually. Paid $950 for a Elitebook with Quadro, 1920x1200 screen, 8Gb ram, the whole works, with 3 years remaining warranty (on a laptop that costed $2500 retail).

    This was three years ago. I'm looking for another one with remaining warranty right now, actually.
     
  14. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    If you want a 14" Lenovo I'd go with the T430 or T430s instead of the one you linked. All Thinkpads are Lenovo, but not all Lenovo laptops are Thinkpads (hell, even some of the Thinkpads aren't considered "thinkpads" by hard core fans on various thinkpad forums).

    But that's just me :p

    Otherwise from what I've heard the ones you linked are more or less equal, but I haven't used any of them myself.
     
  15. chriar

    chriar Third Year

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    I bought a HP dv7t in October for exactly $999, which I use primarily for gaming and video editing. While the build quality isn't the highest and it has the worst trackpad I've ever had the misfortune of using, I run all my games on the highest setting, such as SWTOR, Skyrim with 2k texture packs, ME3, rift, Tera etc, without any issues what so ever. It also ironically has a great keyboard.
     
  16. Eidolonic

    Eidolonic Supreme Mugwump

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    I've had pretty reasonable experiences with Asus.

    I spend probably 80+ hours a week using mine between work and whatever, and it has held up since early 2007 with zero problems.

    Until a few weeks ago, at least.
     
  17. yak

    yak Moderator DLP Supporter Retired Staff

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    What are you smoking?
     
  18. Deplore

    Deplore Seventh Year

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    He didn't mention it, but I think he's talking about the laptop batteries.
     
  19. Oz

    Oz For Zombie. Moderator DLP Supporter

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    And he's mistaken. You can't 'overcharge' a laptop battery any more. Heat will fuck them up though, and doing too many fill discharge cycles will though.
     
  20. Speakers

    Speakers Backtraced

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    You forgot to mention what you're primarily going to be using the laptop for Taure?
     
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