wife needs inexpensive 14" laptops for work - suggestions?

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wife needs inexpensive 14" laptops for work - suggestions?

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:33 pm

Hey Experts,

My wife came home from work today and said she needs 2 laptops for work by Monday (fiscal year end stuff). They operate as a small group within a much larger corporation. Since these laptops would only be used for training sessions and the few times the go on the road, they do not want to 'buy in' to the available corporate laptop program (~$1500 per laptop and $1500 per yr licencing and IT service). Their budget is <$500 each. So, they could break both laptops every year and still be much cheaper than purchasing through the corporation. They will have to buy a Office 2010 licence for each laptop as well.

The major desired specs are:
- 14 inch screen (the smaller the better, but...
- needs to have CD/DVD drive
- hookups for projectors etc. (HDMI preferred, but VGA OK)

other than those items there are no real limits other than cost. Just looking for the best bang for the buck.
Here's a potential candidate which is $429: with 6GB RAM, 500 GB HD, a P6200 cpu @ 2.1 GHz, and intel graphics
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/acer-acer-aspire-14-0-intel-pentium-p6200-laptop-as4739z-4462-grey-as4739z-4462/10180973.aspx?path=7bf9030a93dacba1f627069a24a97feben02

There's a Toshiba for the same price with 'similar' specs. 4GB RAM, 500 GB HD, AMD E-350 @ 1.6 GHz, and Radeon HD 6310.
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/toshiba-toshiba-satellite-14-amd-e-series-e-350-laptop-c640d-008-genchaku-black-c640d-008/10171898.aspx?path=0995c517d4b79074e539ab4867319489en02

The Toshiba will have better graphics (with the Radeon), but I don't know much about those laptop cpus. What is a P6200 and how does it compare with an E-350? No idea... I'm an AMD fan, but in the past AMD meant less battery life for your laptop. Do you guys have any preferences? Other alternatives that are readily available in Canada?

Thanks. I'm looking forward to shopping with you. :D
Disco
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Re: wife needs inexpensive 14" laptops for work - suggestion

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:57 pm

I would buy a used Thinkpad instead. $400 machines in this size are generally crappy. I wouldn't buy neither Acer nor Toshiba. In my experience both are not well-built.
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Re: wife needs inexpensive 14" laptops for work - suggestion

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:07 pm

Laptop: HP Pavilion 17-e016dx. AMD A8-5550M, 4GB RAM, 750GB HDD, AMD Radeon HD 8550G integrated video, 17.3" display, 1600*900 (HD+) resolution, SD card reader, Windows 8.1 (DL Classic Shell)
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Re: wife needs inexpensive 14" laptops for work - suggestion

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:15 pm

While I agree that a used thinkpad such as this:
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/IBM-Lenovo-ThinkPad-T61-Core-2-Duo-2-2GHz-3GB-500GB-Windows-7-Pro-Laptop-/370555609054?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item5646d5dfde
would be great (definitely better screen res and build quality), my wife will need to buy something new, from a 'real' store that will provide a simple regular receipt that won't have people in the accounting dept thinking "What did they buy?".

other alternatives, or any preferences between the options listed above?

**and thanks for the lenovo link - but they are a bit too expensive**
Disco
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Re: wife needs inexpensive 14" laptops for work - suggestion

Postposted on Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:53 pm

I would wait for tomorrow to see the new deals for both Futureshop and Bestbuy. As for the two laptops you showed, the Acer would have better performance overall due to the faster processor and more ram. I believe the Toshiba will have better battery life due to the low power E-350; I'd guess about 5-6h without a problem.
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