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Helping a friend buy a laptop.

EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles.Portland, ORRegistered User regular
So a friend of mine is in need of a laptop. She doesn't want to spend more than $600, it'll be used to work from home and watch movies on, and she is NOT a gamer at all, so that's not a concern. 15" is the size she'll be wanting and I think she wants a DVD player so that she can watch movies. Nope. Doesn't need a DVD player. She wants speed, storage, and a nice screen.

Amazon would be best, but we could also pop out to Best Buy to look at things too. I know that Asus is a great brand, but I really didn't see much on Amazon. What are the other decent brands out there to look at?

How's this one?

http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-V5-572G-6679-15-6-inch-Laptop/dp/B00DKFFFXO/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1379437885&sr=8-10&keywords=acer+laptop

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    lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    A $600 dollar laptop will usually have a pretty bad screen. In particular I don't remember ever reading a good review of of any 768p screen. Also without needing to run games the only advantage of 768p is gone.

    Something like this Sony might be better.

    In the past you could get something that might fit what she needs by waiting for a nice coupon code that you could use on a configured HP laptop (always upgrade the screen), but I'm not sure if that is common any more.

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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    A $600 dollar laptop will usually have a pretty bad screen. In particular I don't remember ever reading a good review of of any 768p screen. Also without needing to run games the only advantage of 768p is gone.

    Something like this Sony might be better.

    In the past you could get something that might fit what she needs by waiting for a nice coupon code that you could use on a configured HP laptop (always upgrade the screen), but I'm not sure if that is common any more.

    Well, I don't think she needs 1080p. She's probably just gonna watch Hulu and some movies in bed with it. I guess, a decent screen for the price point is what I need. That Sony looks like you're paying a premium just to get 1080p and have Vaio stamped on it.

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    lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    It's not just the resolution, it's that 768p screens also have bad contrast, bad viewing angles, bad everything. That Sony was the only laptop on newegg that seem to have a decent screen and was less than $700 so I don't think you are paying more for the Sony name.

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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    It's not just the resolution, it's that 768p screens also have bad contrast, bad viewing angles, bad everything. That Sony was the only laptop on newegg that seem to have a decent screen and was less than $700 so I don't think you are paying more for the Sony name.

    It's for casual movie watching and taking work home with. Are they so bad that it's going to be an issue?

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    lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    Well, you said "nice screen" so I was advising against getting the worst possible screens. But yeah, they work.

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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Besides all of that, how do the specs on that Acer look? I'm not to familiar with the laptop CPUs.

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    lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Well Intel's naming scheme is pretty meaningless so confusion is understandable but

    i5 means midrange part

    3XXX means ivy bridge

    U means low voltage part, i.e. less computing power but less heat and more battery life.

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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Well Intel's naming scheme is pretty meaningless so confusion is understandable but

    i5 means midrange part

    3XXX means ivy bridge

    U means low voltage part, i.e. less computing power but less heat and more battery life.

    Yeah, I know the i5 part, the rest is what I was unsure of. Thanks!

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    hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    Does she really want a 15" screen? Because most folks cannot tell the difference between 14" and 15".

    I'd say, go with her into a Mico Center or Frys (if you have either one around you) or Best Buy (if you don't) and let her look at laptops. You'll be surprised at what she actually likes/wants when she has to make a decision based on budget.

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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    Does she really want a 15" screen? Because most folks cannot tell the difference between 14" and 15".

    I'd say, go with her into a Mico Center or Frys (if you have either one around you) or Best Buy (if you don't) and let her look at laptops. You'll be surprised at what she actually likes/wants when she has to make a decision based on budget.

    She doesn't really have the time to go shopping right now. That was my suggestion to her, but she just wants to order it online for convenience.

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    MugsleyMugsley DelawareRegistered User regular
    I'm partial to Lenovo, Asus, and Samsung for laptops. I haven't used an Acer, but I've discussed their build quality with others.

    For what she wants to do, an Intel HD 4000 chip may be sufficient. What specific features did you have questions about?

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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I'm partial to Lenovo, Asus, and Samsung for laptops. I haven't used an Acer, but I've discussed their build quality with others.

    For what she wants to do, an Intel HD 4000 chip may be sufficient. What specific features did you have questions about?

    Nothing really. I'm just looking for a solid and reliable Intel based laptop for her at that price point.

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    MugsleyMugsley DelawareRegistered User regular
    If you are willing to work with her down the line to upgrade the RAM and HDD, that is a pretty good selection. I wanted to steer you toward the G500s, but all you get is more RAM and a larger HDD; which I feel you can upgrade with better parts for the $100 price difference if you did it on your own.

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    hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Maybe I'm a jerk, but I would just sit my friend into my car, and drive her butt to Micro Center. To hell with all of this talking back and forth or trying to read her mind or her excuses. If she has enough time to talk, she has enough time to go to Micro Center.

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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    Maybe I'm a jerk, but I would just sit my friend into my car, and drive her butt to Micro Center. To hell with all of this talking back and forth or trying to read her mind or her excuses. If she has enough time to talk, she has enough time to go to Micro Center.

    No, she really doesn't unfortunately. She's constantly working on something.

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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    Mugsley wrote: »
    If you are willing to work with her down the line to upgrade the RAM and HDD, that is a pretty good selection. I wanted to steer you toward the G500s, but all you get is more RAM and a larger HDD; which I feel you can upgrade with better parts for the $100 price difference if you did it on your own.

    Yeah, I'm pretty comfortable doing that kind of stuff. I've done it for all my MacBook Pros.

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    DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Just a thought, but a reason to consider larger than 768 is the amount of screen workspace she is accustomed to. There are some things I do where I would need more real estate like large excel spreadsheets, document review, or anything where I want to have be able to view 2 or more windows simultaneously that have a fair amount of content in them. The work I do I would take more pixels at the expense of fewer hertz.

    You could ask her what resolution she has at work, and if it is significantly different from 768 have her change the res on her monitor to something closer and see if she is bothered by it.

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