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Laptop Discussion Thread

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

  1. Euro

    Euro Sixth Year DLP Supporter

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    That Samsung laptop looks really great. I'm on an Asus which I bought in 2008 and I can't complain about anything so far.

    The only thing I can think of is if you're planning on installing a dual-boot system and you only have the original OEM windows recovery disc that you get with the laptop you're going to have a bad time. They usually have a prefixed HDD partitioning size. Then getting windows to cooperate and shrinking that partition can be a hassle even with PerfectDisk10.
     
  2. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    So I bought the Samsung NP550P5C.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty pleased so far. Especially that it's in English. But I get a Spanish keyboard for ease of "ñ" and accents. Hurrah for no ascii.

    Keyboard is pretty nice. Minimal flex, and the key setting means it's easy to clean. No biscuit crumbs disappearing between the keys here.

    Had to re-calibrate the screen to get it looking right. Out of the box, all the colours were pretty washed out.

    Performance once it gets going is nice. It has a disappointing start-up time though. Takes forever - longer than my previous 4 year old laptop. That's Windows for you, I guess (previous laptop was Ubuntu).

    Nvidia Optimus is awesome. Battery life is astounding, and all the energy saving features are really nice. The battery life on this bad boy is over 4 hours. On balanced mode.

    The biggest annoyance is the touchpad. The sensitivity and size are good, but it does this new Apple copycat thing where, when you drag something, it only lets go if you click to drop. I'm used to just letting go for the drop part of drag and drop, so I keep chucking windows all over the place. Still, I suppose I'll get used to it.

    Accidentally deleted the software which controls many of the Fn keys while I was getting rid of the bloatware. Oops. Volume still works, but brightness is non-functional, and I have no idea what the key with the picture of a fan does. There's nothing to indicate if it's done anything or not. So I'm leaving it alone.

    The sound is pretty powerful. There's even a little subwoofer on the bottom.

    Haven't run anything heavy yet (just Crusader Kings 2) but it has stayed pretty cool so far. Main cooling is a side port on the left, and if I hold my hand over it I can feel hot air coming out, so I guess that means the cooling works pretty well.

    Webcam is nice resolution. Haven't tried the mic yet so don't know how sensitive it is.

    Haven't tried the Blu Ray drive yet either, so not sure how noisy that'l be. So far the laptop is completely silent.

    Edit: tried the mic, it's very good. I can speak softly in a normal sitting position and it picks up everything. Also, I got the brightness Fn keys working again by re-downloading some bloat.

    Also, I've noticed this isn't a laptop for carrying around much. I think there are some potential portability issues. The hinges, while solid, are very small, as you can see in the pic. Could break easily, I think. Also there's no catch for the lid, so any kind of force could push the lid open.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
  3. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Thanks for the detailed review Taure! Whenever I manage to get a new laptop I'll try and do the same. I could give a detailed analysis of my old one, but since I got it in mid-2007 I doubt anyone much cares.
     
  4. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Speaking of -- The newest Intel Integrated graphics (HD 4000) that comes with the Ivy Bridge CPUs is supposed to be decent for gaming.

    Example on an x230 -- a 12.5" Thinkpad

    So it appears that you can do some basic gaming with integrated graphics now. Since I have a nice desktop that can play anything I want I'd be happy just being able to play something like Skyrim on Low while on the road, and that's possible...

    But has anyone here actually done it and used it and whatnot? I'm curious about whether or not laptops tend to overheat a lot while gaming (I know that will depend on the specific model, but still) or if using the integrated graphics heavily like that has any bad effects.

    I guess I want to hear something firsthand instead of just trusting what random people say on the internet about the feasibility of gaming on "integrated" of all things.
     
  5. Speakers

    Speakers Backtraced

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    Quick note Taure, that mouse clickety thing is entirely software and configurable. If there isn't some touchpad configuration bloatware in there (or you deleted it), I'm sure you can get it from somewhere...can't be arsed finding it.
     
  6. coleam

    coleam Death Eater

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    Yeah. That (plus the Fn key controller software you deleted) is most likely on the Samsung website somewhere. Every laptop I've ever bought has most, if not all, of the software it came with loaded on its manufacturer's support site.
     
  7. Menace

    Menace Minister of Magic

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    Hm. Are there any decent laptops in the 300-400 dollar range, or just a good place to look? Don't really have any preferences aside from a keyboard like in Taure's post and a relatively large screen.
     
  8. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    If you want to get something in this price range I suggest you check out Outlets for refurbished Dell Latitudes or Thinkpads. Those tend to be of reasonably high quality and some would no doubt fall into your price range:

    Dell Outlet
    Dell DFS DirectSales
    Lenovo Outlet

    But really for $400 you're not going to find a whole lot of quality. If possible I'd say your best bang-for-buck would be to find something with an AMD A8 if possible, an A6 if not.

    Not sure of the quality on this particular notebook (I mostly recommend Thinkpads from the X, T, or W-series), but it's a Samsung with an A6 from Newegg.

    If you want to buy new then again, I suggest looking for an AMD A-series in this price range. If you are willing to bump up the price some then going for 3rd generation iCore might be better.

    I personally suggest 14" laptops for most people who don't know what size they want, but since you wanted a "relatively large" screen then 15.6" might be what you're after.
     
  9. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    An Acer for $399 -- I haven't read any reviews on this, at all, so I've no idea of the quality... but the specs look decent for the price, and it's the size you wanted.
     
  10. Menace

    Menace Minister of Magic

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    Oh wow, that's perfect. Many thanks!
     
  11. Bill Door

    Bill Door The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    I'm getting a new laptop next weeek, and I'm trying to decide between these two:

    HP Pavilion DV6-7050 15.6"

    TOSHIBA Satellite P850-138 15.6"

    Does anyone have any suggestions on which one is better? From the reviews I've found the Toshiba seems to have a slightly worse build quality and battery life, but it also looks to have better specs.

    Or does anyone have a different recommendation for around the same price.
     
  12. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Of those two the HP is likely to be the higher quality machine. However the Toshiba has twice the RAM, and 8 GB might actually be noticable these days when compared to 4 GB, especially if the 4gb isn't being run dual channel.

    What are you going to be using the computer for? School? Gaming? Both? Travel? Any intensive stuff like CAD or serious Photoshop? Do you have a Desktop or will this be your primary computer?

    If I had a budget of approximately £500 and wanted a 14-16" laptop...

    I'd check out the Thinkpad Edge E530, or E535 if I wanted something new in your price range. I checked the UK site and they seem to offer them. The 535 is the AMD version and the 530 is the Intel version. Depending what you want to use it for one may be better than the other, though too many upgrades might push it above your price range.

    If you have a desktop already that you'll be using I'd personally suggest you stick to a 14" or smaller laptop, but many people still prefer the larger 15.6" instead.

    The 3rd Generation Intel Core CPUs have decent integrated graphics, enough for basic gaming. The new AMD A-series have better graphics but are weaker on the CPU side (which can put it behind overall). Both are good choices if you don't need graphics. The Sandy Bridge integrated graphics were not that great though, in comparison.

    ...and ... halfway done with this post and I have to go like this instant.
     
  13. yak

    yak Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    In general terms, and obviously every model of laptop is different, Toshiba might have one of the best reputations for build quality.

    At least, that's what I was told when I visited a notebook repair shop 4-5 years ago. I was bringing my machine in for a warranty repair job and got to talking with the techies who were doing the work. I asked them which machines had the fewest returns and the least problems. They said that Toshiba's were easily the best, Asus was pretty good, but Acer was amongst the worst. I don't recall where other brands placed. Those were the three who stuck out to me. I know it's anecdotal, but it was the considered opinion of a group of people who should know.

    It's perfectly possible that the specific Toshiba model you're looking at isn't a good one. I'm only speaking about the overall brand quality.
     
  14. Bill Door

    Bill Door The Chosen One DLP Supporter

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    It will be my main computer. I'm going off to uni in a few weeks, so it will be mostly used for school. Although, I would like to be able to run some games on it. I shouldn't need it for any major design work.


    Thanks. I'll check these out.
     
  15. CheddarTrek

    CheddarTrek Set Phasers to Melt Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Might also try asking here -- http://forum.notebookreview.com/what-notebook-should-i-buy/ -- Supposedly they offer good suggestions.

    You might also consider looking for really high quality machines that are available in outlets. Some of them might be refurbs but many times you'll find new ones there that were just returned without being used for whatever reason. Can usually get a nicer machine for cheaper that way.
     
  16. coleam

    coleam Death Eater

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    Just FYI, neither of these is going to be stellar at games - you'll be able to run most stuff from about 2010 and before on high-ish settings, but more recent games are going to have to be medium/low. Just wanted to make that clear.

    Took a look at the UK Lenovo site, and I have to agree with Cheddar. Using their website (so you might even be able to find it cheaper somewhere else), I can put together a computer with better specs than either one of the ones you linked for less. The only thing is memory - Lenovo seems to be charging out the ass for it (asking an additional £136 for 8GB), so get the smallest amount and buy an 8 GB kit elsewhere (PCWorld has one for £50). The graphics card will be slightly better (2GB VRAM vs 1GB for the ones you linked), and you can make sure you get a 7200 rpm hard drive, which makes a noticeable difference over the 5400 rpm drives that most manufacturers use.
     
  17. Starwind

    Starwind Headmaster

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    Getting a new laptop - and debating between these 3:

    http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/1063943.htm

    http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/1078866.htm

    http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5089844.htm

    I've heard good things about lenovo, but never had an intel pentium so I'm unsure about that. Had a samsung once and it was pretty awesome, and the specs seem average-ish, but good enough for what I'll need - skype, spotify, netflix, torrenting, office stuff, etc - the ASUS specs seemed pretty good, and the i3 seemed good enough for average use, the touch screen I'll probably never use though.

    If anyone has a better suggestion Id be grateful, price range is about £500ish.
     
  18. Oz

    Oz Heir to Hogwarts Moderator DLP Supporter

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    Don't buy a laptop from Argos.
     
  19. saintfrenzy

    saintfrenzy Muggle

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    I need some suggestion for buying a laptop

    I hope it's not late for me to find this forum...
    My hp laptop that I have bought 5years ago, can hardly work now, it will become over heat after 5 minutes boostering and will kick out when playing games even playing DOTA.
    So I want to buy a new one mainly for file works and games.
    I have search much information through the internet and finally hesitate between machine: Acer Aspire V3-571-6698 and ASUS Ultrabook S500CA-DS51T.
    They both have enough hardware and configurations for gaming and good budget. I have search many reviews such as
    Gaming Laptops Under 600
    I still don't have a clear idea...Which should be the right one?
     
  20. yak

    yak Moderator Moderator DLP Supporter

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    First of all Asus > Acer, as a general rule for laptops. Asus have better build quality whereas Acer are a bit shonkier and have higher return rates. I can't say if that general rule holds true for the two specific models you're looking at though.

    That said, have you looked at buying a refurbished Asus G series laptop? They're not cheap brand new, which is why buying a refurbished one from a reputable outlet can be a great deal. That's how I afforded my gaming laptop.

    About the only downside with a G series is that they pack serious hardware which means they're big and heavy.
     
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