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3 Laptop Choices Up Today, 2 Fall Down, the Other Stays

DekabalDekabal Registered User
I'm trying to buy a new laptop and narrowed it down to these three:

1. Sony Vaio Z (2010 version) 13"
2. Sony Vaio SA 13"
3. HP DV6t Quad 15"

I've never personally bought from any of theses companys and this is really my first laptop that i'm buying for myself. I was wondering if I could get some of your opinions on these machines. As for the uses, its basically going to be a personal computer for college: some computer science stuff, game development, some multiplayer gaming (really, just counter strike, tf2, minecraft, possible one of the STALKER games b/c they're awesome :D ), watching videos (this is big for me b/c right now my desktop is basically my TV and i'd like my laptop to be able to do the same) and general school work. There is also the strong possibility of living on campus for me in about 6 months so I won't have access to my desktop. So, what do you guys/girls think of these laptops?

Dekabal on


  • floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    Either of the Sonys. Definitely. Those are truly well-made, mobile laptops.

    The HP might be a bit more powerful, but the battery life won't be nearly as good (based on the specs I looked up), and the build quality will definitely be lacking in comparison. HP consistently scores among the worst in terms of reliability. Hell, it looks like they might be quitting making consumer hardware entirely. I've encountered far too many people in my uni days who regretted buying their HP laptops, and usually just left them at home because the battery would stop holding a charge within a year, and various components would just break. Bloatware is also worth considering. HP is notoriously bad about cramming its systems full of it. A reformat is basically necessary to make the thing serviceable.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Left to find less-moderated fora Registered User regular
    I am not as down on HP as floobie, but until you know who is buying HP's hardware business I'd be leery of getting one.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Got a friend who loves his VAIO Z. And I checked out the VAIO SA for my sister, seems pretty solid eventhough it's plastic, and the battery sheet is a cool option.

  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    I just bought a new MacBook Pro, and based my decision on the fact that if I have an issue Apple has storefronts that I can walk right in to for assistance. Sony has storefronts too (albeit less of those) but who knows if HP will have any support at all in a few months.

    Whatever you buy is going to end up obsolete and riddled with issues somewhere down the road, and Laptops a bit more difficult to just switch out parts on yourself (a couple things are modular, sure, but not everything.) I recommend considering the support situation highly when making your decision. Based on that, Id go for one of the Sonys

  • DekabalDekabal Registered User
    edited August 2011
    THanks for the feedback. Just for some more info, I love the SA. Love the design, the power, the mobility. Except for the screen. If any of you have seen it, its terrible. Poor color reproduction, poor contrast, just dismal in general. I was thinking this would be a big problem as I watch a ton a videos online. I've also heard great things about the Z but i'm a little apprehensive about paying $1000+ for last years tech and they are hard to find for a price that isn't ridiculous (sony out has them for $1500). I'll ignore the HP laptop for now.

    I have been interested in a macbook pro 13 but compatability issues (computer science major), lack of good hardware for the games I play, and the general "locked down" feeling/design of OS X has kind of turned me away from despite my love of its design and portability.

    *Edit: I just read some comments on the notebook review forum about the Vaio Z laptops being prone to damage when travelling and people having to use heavy hard cases to protect them. I'm also looking for a laptop the is somewhat durable and reliable as I tend to keep laptops for a goof while (with proper care of course). My last laptop was a dell inspiron from 2003 which I used up until it dies in 2008.

    Dekabal on
  • minor incidentminor incident Helen Keller to the bullshit Registered User regular
    Just wanted to point out the obvious: even if you hate OS X, the MacBook is a beautiful, well designed machine with great battery life, a really nice screen and decent specs that you can run Windows on. Although, I think the 13 is the weakest link. It's not as light and sleek as their air, and it's not as powerful as the 15. It's a hard machine to recommend over either of those two. A real jack of all trades, master of none.

    I'd also avoid HP too until you know who's going to be taking care of their hardware long term.

    Steam: minor incident || PSN: inter-punct
    You may not find all that you're after. In the end I hope it doesn't matter.
  • DekabalDekabal Registered User
    Can anyone who has used a macbook for Computer science tell me how its worked out or how its worked out for light gaming? I've pretty much narrowed it down to the vaio sa or macbook pro 13.

  • floobiefloobie Registered User regular
    I haven't used mine for computer science, but I can comment on its gaming ability. My Macbook the original aluminum unibody version (2.0 ghz core 2 duo, 9400m, 4 gb RAM), so it isn't nearly as powerful as the current crop. I've played HL2, TF2, L4D 1 and 2, Starcraft II, and many other games on it. If mine can do it reasonably well, the newer ones should be able handle the likes of TF2 and CS, and certainly Minecraft quite gracefully. You can dual boot with Windows for optimal gaming results, or if you need any Windows only software.

    I'd say you've narrowed down to two really good choices. It's your call. My Macbook has been dead reliable in every way so far. I took it to school with me every day for about 2.5 years, and it still looks like new. The battery still holds the originally claimed 5 hours of charge. OS X requires like zero maintenance, and is very pleasant to use as well (do account for personal preference of course, though). I didn't have any compatibility issues, though I was majoring in geology, so I didn't really need any specialized applications anyway.

  • Big Red TieBig Red Tie beautiful clydesdale style feet too hot to trotRegistered User regular
    you should look up what specifically you will need for your course and see if it's compatible

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