New laptop for friend

Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, and all other tech that you carry with you.

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New laptop for friend

Postposted on Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:54 am

I was recently asked by a friend, whose several year old XPS just bit the dust, to find a good laptop within a budget of ~$1,000. His preferences are a larger screen size (think 17.3"), keypad (pretty much standard with laptops of that size), and power over battery life. So, basically, he wants a more of a DTR than a mobile laptop. He doesn't play many games, but does run different programs which could benefit from a faster CPU and perhaps a bit more RAM (the programs do not make use of extra cores, though).

I started with NewEgg and noted several machines which fit his criteria, and then went on to see if I could find any other good deals on other computer websites. I eventually came across this one: http://www.xoticpc.com/sager-np7110-built-clevo-b7110m-p-2854.html?wconfigure=yes (which comes to ~$1032 when configured with a Core i5 560, GT 425m w/ Optimus, 4GB RAM, 500GB 7200rpm HD, and 17.3" 1920x1080 screen). As far as I can tell, it's actually a decent deal when compared to the specs of similarly priced machines elsewhere. However, I know nothing about the customer service quality of Sager or the quality of their machines.

So, I was wondering if any of you have had personal experience (or know of someone who has) with Sager laptops, and whether or not you would recommend them. I am also open to any other laptops and deals you would recommend.

Thanks!
DanZMan
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Re: New laptop for friend

Postposted on Tue Oct 19, 2010 3:50 am

Those laptops are built on Clevo platforms. We have several Clevos at my workplace and they're... OK. Ish.

The ones we have are W76Cs. They're Core i3 based laptops with 15" screens. The laptops themselves are reasonably built but have a bizzare keyboard layout which is quite hard to get used to. They perform as you'd expect a machine of that spec to perform. It has a fairly decent array of ports (DVI, HDMI, USB, eSATA, VGA, 1GBe).The screen is a bog standard 1366x768 panel which isn't the worst that I've seen (that dubious honour belongs to a Compal piece of crap I got lumbered with a couple of years back) but isn't anything to write home about either. Battery life is pretty poor (Three hours maybe) and it does get quite hot and noisy. They're built to a price and it shows. However they could be a lot worse. I can't comment on Sager themselves as they don't sell laptops here.
Norphy
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Re: New laptop for friend

Postposted on Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:10 am

I've reviewed my share of Clevo laptops and spoken to my editor about other ones. Clevo's machines do generally have a pretty terrible keyboard layout and the build quality has been, in my experience, pretty poor.
scpulp
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Re: New laptop for friend

Postposted on Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:34 pm

Thanks a lot for the info!

So, it looks like I won't be going with a Sager/Clevo laptop. Do you guys have any suggestions or know of any good deals? Again, the main things he is concerned with are screen size (no less than 16"), HD size, CPU speed, and amount of RAM. In other words, he would take a model with a faster CPU over one with a faster GPU but slower CPU. Are there any particular brands or models that you have had a great experience using?

Of the laptops on NewEgg, these two seem to fit the criteria best:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834114903
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834157441

Any good/bad experiences dealing with build quality, performance, etc. of either of those brands or models? I'm currently leaning toward the HP as it has slightly faster CPU, a larger (albeit slower) HD, but not quite as powerful a GPU (which, again, isn't really a problem as both are more than capable of playing the games he currently plays). However, there is the fact that they are both the same price and the CPU difference isn't going to be that noticeable, and it's always great to have a little extra power just in case (especially if battery life isn't an issue). Which would you recommend? At this point it's more of an issue of build quality, long-lastivity, and any other issues which might affect the experience of using the laptop (such as keyboard layout and quality). Any advice would be great!

Thanks!
DanZMan
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