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Best laptop for under $500?

flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
Unnecessary back story: My apartment burned down! It really sucked! I lost all my stuff! Including my beloved computer!

But I have recently come into possession of 500 bucks to spend on a new computer. I thought about it, and I think I want to go with a laptop over a desktop this time. Especially since I don't really know yet what sort of living arrangement I'm going to be getting myself into in the near future, and ordering parts and building a new desktop and lugging it around sounds like a huge pain in the ass that I don't really need in my life right now.

I don't know anything about laptops! I've never owned one! I've always built my own computers, I don't really know what I'm getting into here. So I've got these 500 bucks, and I might be willing to stretch as high as 550, and I have no good idea what to spend it on.

For the most part, I really only need it for internet and listening to music and watching TV/movies. I want something with a nice screen, big and clear but not to the point that it becomes bulky and heavy and unwieldy. I don't really play that many games anymore, but it might be nice to get into something every now and then. I'm not expecting something that can play brand-new awesome-graphics games for 500 bucks, but maybe the ability to dick around in San Andreas every now and again might be nice (for example). Is it even possible to get a processor with 3 GHz or more for 500 bucks? Is that even necessary?

I dunno, guys. I just want a good laptop, reliable, fast, not too heavy or bulky, with a nice screen, and the best specs I can get for 500 bucks.

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flamebroiledchicken on

Posts

  • NackmatholnNackmatholn Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I highly suggest Toshiba Laptops. I had one of their 17" Sattilites through most of my College life, + another 2 years before selling it to one of my coworkers, who is still enjoying it today. 8 years on a laptop is quite unheard of! That being said, I just helped another coworker pick out this.

    Toshiba Satellite L655-S5096

    Pros:
    -15.6" screen at 1366x768
    -3 G of DDR3 Ram
    -320 G of Hd space
    -Intel Pentium @ 2.0 Ghz (Under the 3 that you were looking for, but still pretty good. Now this is one of the weird "Pentium" branded procs, not a Core, not a Celeron)

    Con:
    -Intel Integrated Video Card, really hit or miss on gaming. Able to easily pump out 720p content though.

    I highly suggest calling Toshiba if you do buy one of their laptops in order to pick up their accident protection plan. My laptop did suffer 2 incidents while I was in college, and Toshiba paid for shipping, repair, and return shipping both times!

    edit: I highly suggest that I use a thesaurus next time.

    Nackmatholn on
    camo_sig2.png PSN - Nackmatholn
  • Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    If you shop around at Best Buy you can get a ton of different laptops for under $500 with a core i3 (or Pentium dual core), 3-4 GB of ram, a decent sized HDD, and usually a discrete card.

    Brands to look out for:
    Toshiba
    Samsung
    Asus

    In terms of which specific model, it's hard to pin down without looking yourself. Specs are so close today that you can find like 15 different notebooks that are exactly the same except for cosmetic differences.

    Once you find one in person that you really like, check google shopper for the best place to order it from. This might require a bit of extra legwork to get into the store, but a decent machine is seriously so cheap right now that you'll have a huge selection to choose from, and it's going to come down to aesthetic appeal, feel of the keyboard, and different perks of where you buy it from.

    Mai-Kero on
  • ZeonZeon Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I have an Acer Aspire 5315, and i like it. Its a few years old now, so its probably under 500 bucks to get one new (probably closer to like 300 bucks).

    Its not the worlds greatest laptop ever, but it works well and runs windows 7 ok. Runs Ubuntu even better (after a bios update).

    Disclaimer: It was given to me for free for helping someone shut down their business (i found it in a corner still in the original box). I also dont use laptops much, so it basically gets used it to look stuff up while im watching tv or to try operating systems out (Ubuntu, Chrome, etc).

    Zeon on
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  • tachyontachyon Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Being this close to Black Friday, I would wait and see what deals bring from both online and offline sources. From there, it's just get the best specs for the least amount of money. Something in a brick and mortar shop is nice because you get to touch/feel in person, even if you end up buying that model online.

    tachyon on
  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Thanks guys! I've heard good stuff about Toshiba, both from sales reps at Best Buy and around the internet. I've also heard good things about the Lenovo Ideapad. Anyone know anything about that?

    flamebroiledchicken on
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  • tachyontachyon Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Thanks guys! I've heard good stuff about Toshiba, both from sales reps at Best Buy and around the internet. I've also heard good things about the Lenovo Ideapad. Anyone know anything about that?

    I know they have some new U series coming out for the Ideapads, that sometimes lowers the price on old models. Not sure that fits your sub $500 budget though.

    tachyon on
  • flamebroiledchickenflamebroiledchicken Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I heard a rumor that this laptop is going to be on sale for 500 bucks on Black Friday at Staples.

    HP G72-B66US

    17.3" screen
    Intel Core i3 2.4 GHz processor
    4 GB DD3 RAM
    500 GB HDD

    Seems like the best specs I'm going to find for this price...anyone know any reason not to get it?

    flamebroiledchicken on
    y59kydgzuja4.png
  • NackmatholnNackmatholn Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I heard a rumor that this laptop is going to be on sale for 500 bucks on Black Friday at Staples.

    HP G72-B66US

    17.3" screen
    Intel Core i3 2.4 GHz processor
    4 GB DD3 RAM
    500 GB HDD

    Seems like the best specs I'm going to find for this price...anyone know any reason not to get it?

    I used to never like HP computers, but I have a friend who picked up one of their 17" laptops 2 years back and has been very pleased with it. The only thing that ever happened is a key popped off on the number pad, but other than that, nothing. They also have a very nice finish on them now. My dislike of HP computers is likely rooted in their older PC's that used crappy proprietary parts in a tower so you had very little options for replacements if something failed. But that's the case with all laptops now, so I guess they were doing it longer, so go HP! lol

    Nackmatholn on
    camo_sig2.png PSN - Nackmatholn
  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I heard a rumor that this laptop is going to be on sale for 500 bucks on Black Friday at Staples.

    HP G72-B66US

    17.3" screen
    Intel Core i3 2.4 GHz processor
    4 GB DD3 RAM
    500 GB HDD

    Seems like the best specs I'm going to find for this price...anyone know any reason not to get it?

    I used to never like HP computers, but I have a friend who picked up one of their 17" laptops 2 years back and has been very pleased with it. The only thing that ever happened is a key popped off on the number pad, but other than that, nothing. They also have a very nice finish on them now. My dislike of HP computers is likely rooted in their older PC's that used crappy proprietary parts in a tower so you had very little options for replacements if something failed. But that's the case with all laptops now, so I guess they were doing it longer, so go HP! lol

    Huge screen, probably pretty heavy. I wouldn't want to do that again. Also, intel integrated graphics.

    My HP laptop had a ton of problems (wires coming loose inside the display breaking the webcam which caused it to constantly say 'new hardware found' and then disappear then say it again, buttons popped off, and the plastic casing cracked in a few places to the point where I was pretty sure it'd snap in half - I don't abuse my laptop, everytime it was moved it was inside one of those soft sleeves, and inside a laptop bag with nothing else in it.)

    Wezoin on
  • LavaKnightLavaKnight Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    LavaKnight on
  • ToastlyToastly Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    I was looking for a laptop in the same price range, maybe a bit more (between 500 and 650 was what I was looking at) and was fairly impressed with that office max Acer, but looking on newegg, I just came across this -

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834157466
    HP Pavilion dv6-3143us NoteBook:
    Intel Core i3 370M(2.40GHz)
    15.6"
    4GB of DDR3 Memory
    500GB HDD @ 5400rpm
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650

    $630

    I know it's out of the OP's price range, but not out of mine. Is there some glaring detail that is wrong with this or is it as good a deal as I think it is? That GFX card at that price seems pretty killer to me.

    Toastly on
  • bobmyknobbobmyknob 3DS Friend Code 4553-9974-2186 Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Toastly wrote: »
    I was looking for a laptop in the same price range, maybe a bit more (between 500 and 650 was what I was looking at) and was fairly impressed with that office max Acer, but looking on newegg, I just came across this -

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834157466
    HP Pavilion dv6-3143us NoteBook:
    Intel Core i3 370M(2.40GHz)
    15.6"
    4GB of DDR3 Memory
    500GB HDD @ 5400rpm
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650

    $630

    I know it's out of the OP's price range, but not out of mine. Is there some glaring detail that is wrong with this or is it as good a deal as I think it is? That GFX card at that price seems pretty killer to me.

    I bought it, I hope you did too since it's sold out now.

    bobmyknob on
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  • ToastlyToastly Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    bobmyknob wrote: »
    Toastly wrote: »
    I was looking for a laptop in the same price range, maybe a bit more (between 500 and 650 was what I was looking at) and was fairly impressed with that office max Acer, but looking on newegg, I just came across this -

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834157466
    HP Pavilion dv6-3143us NoteBook:
    Intel Core i3 370M(2.40GHz)
    15.6"
    4GB of DDR3 Memory
    500GB HDD @ 5400rpm
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650

    $630

    I know it's out of the OP's price range, but not out of mine. Is there some glaring detail that is wrong with this or is it as good a deal as I think it is? That GFX card at that price seems pretty killer to me.

    I bought it, I hope you did too since it's sold out now.

    Hell yes! high five dude who will have the same laptop as me in 3 to 4 standard business days!

    Toastly on
  • bobmyknobbobmyknob 3DS Friend Code 4553-9974-2186 Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    It's back in stock.

    bobmyknob on
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