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vircotto

join:2002-06-04
searching...
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Out with the old. Help with new laptop

I love my reliable Toshiba laptop (Vista 64-bit, Core Duo, 4GB (shared video) memory), but it is going on 5 years old and is just not cutting it anymore. (Too slow, too hot, not enough memory.) As I look for a replacement, I realize that I haven't kept up with knowledge about current hardware technology.

I'm looking for help spec'ing an off-the-shelf (Windows) laptop. This will be my only computer. (Once I get it running, I'll be donating my current laptop to a friend who needs one, and I'd like to do that before Christmas.)

I'll use it on the road for work on average 2 days/week as well as all work (and non-work) at home, so reliability is very, very important to me. Like a lot of people I do some of a lot of things, though I have been doing more graphics work and video/audio editing lately. As a secondary requirement, I would like a laptop good enough to allow visiting nephews to play games for a bit. (Not necessarily at the high level settings--I can't afford anywhere near Alienware gaming rig prices, and this is primarily a work laptop.) I only watch DVDs occasionally, so that is not a priority.

These are my current thoughts:
Budget: I'm hoping I can stay in the $1000-$1200 area. (I can nudge a little higher. Please tell me if I'm smoking something. )
CPU: I was thinking I'd need an i7, but another topic here leads me to believe that i5 has 4 cores and that's the sweet spot. Also, there are so many versions of each, my head hurts trying to follow them.
Memory: min. 8 GB (expandable to at least 16 GB?)
HDD: at least 500 GB, 7200 rpm (I have external HDD for more storage.) I can't afford an SSD right now.
Optical drive: standard dvd/cd recorder/player (Blu-ray not important)
Video: separate card w/ separate memory (Not sure what is good/good enough. It seems that NVida 650/660/670 are popular.)
Resolution: I'd like 1920x1024 (Is that overreach? I see many don't go that high.)
Size: Prefer 17", but can work with 15". (I use 2nd monitor at home)
Weight: prefer less than 9 lbs, but this is not that important
OS: I think I'd prefer Win7 as my software/tools will run on that, and I don't know if they'd run on Win 8.

What is important that I missed? Sandy Bridge vs Ivy Bridge? Hyperthreading? Cooling?

Did I mention that reliability is important? I can't lose it for 4-6 weeks to get it fixed; I'd have to buy yet another one. (Which I know is a possibility no matter what I get.)

Recommendations for specific models that meet these are welcome.

Thanks!



Rifleman
Premium
join:2004-02-09
p1a

1 recommendation

I should be a rep for MSI-----lol.

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···34152293

»www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as···34152336



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to vircotto

Since you had such good luck with your present Toshiba, just go to their website and do your shopping. They've been having some very good sales recently. I certainly agree at about the i5 and the 8g. You should certainly be able to stay within your price range. The integrated graphics in some of the new chips is very good, you probably really don't need a separate video processor unless you're really into gaming.

Here's the website: »www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/home.to



Gavin5

join:2012-10-03
canada
reply to vircotto

You can get a new Asus G53SX-XR1.



Gordo74
Premium
join:2003-10-28
Monroeville, PA
reply to vircotto

I would personally go with this..

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···34214877

And you said you cant afford an SSD right now, but I would say with the extra $250, get a 480-512GB SSD and be done with it

That way, it is blazing fast as well. Trust me, there is NOTHING that you can do on a day to day basis that will make your computer faster than an SSD in a new rig. Windows boots in less than 10 seconds, things open before you're even done clicking. The speed different is IMMENSE.



kvn864

join:2001-12-18
Sun City, AZ
kudos:1

said by Gordo74:

things open before you're even done clicking.

Na, things open before you even thought to click that icon. SSD is still the best upgrade/addition to a PC/laptop one can make.


vircotto

join:2002-06-04
searching...
reply to Rifleman

Thanks, Rifleman. I looked at newegg (US site) but missed that one. How is the reliability of MSI? Is it on par with, say, ASUS?



vircotto

join:2002-06-04
searching...

1 edit
reply to Msradell

Thank you, Msradell and Gordo74. Toshiba doesn't seem to offer a resolution above 1600 x 900. I was wondering if 1920x1024 was overreaching for that price range.



vircotto

join:2002-06-04
searching...
reply to Gavin5

I hadn't seen that model. I'll look more closely at it. Thanks.



Rifleman
Premium
join:2004-02-09
p1a
reply to vircotto

I honestly can't say. I own one like in the first link and paid 1500 im March. No problems so far and is a beast. Some love them and some hate them. That model won awards for innovation though.



SSX4life
Hello World
Premium
join:2004-02-13
kudos:3

If you haven't looked into Sager / Clevo yet I highly suggest you do so. Best laptop I've ever owned, and the easiest to work on / upgrade (can you say upgradable graphics)? ^_^

There are many vendors out there, but look at xoticpc - www.xoticpc.com
--
Fog Project - Open source computer imaging and TFTP server project



Gordo74
Premium
join:2003-10-28
Monroeville, PA
reply to vircotto

said by vircotto:

Thank you, Msradell and Gordo74. Toshiba doesn't seem to offer a resolution above 1600 x 900. I was wondering if 1920x1024 was overreaching for that price range.

For your usage, I don't think that you would truly need 1920x1080 personally and would much rather have a faster laptop with an SSD that's just my observation, take it as you will.

For the other suggestions, they ar eway over-powered for your needs. You dont need a gaming work powerhouse (which a good number of these are), you just need something practical in terms of speed.


vircotto

join:2002-06-04
searching...
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Gordo74, a friend (who just bought an ASUS) basically told me the same thing today. The lack of vertical screen space will bother me when I'm on the road, but I'll live with that.

I really don't need the speed of the SSD (compared to more processing power), but I have a serious case of SSD lust.

Thanks!