New Laptop Suggestion

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

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New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:59 am

I was thinking of getting a new laptop, probably a good one (1000-1300 cnd) and I wanted some opinions on the best value ones out there.
I was looking for something similar to this:
http://www.msi.com/product/nb/GE60-0ND. ... cification
As long as it has a decent GPU and a 1920X1080 display i would be happy with it.
Any tips or suggestions?
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:49 pm

Is this a gaming laptop? If so, here is a useful table to determine what level of GPU you might need. Also, "gaming" laptops will usually be pretty chunky so take that into consideration. If you're not huge into gaming, please provide typical usage. You may be able to get a thinner laptop with slightly less GPU muscle and use some of the money saved to purchase an SSD that will make the system much more responsive.

I see that MSI you listed has a 15.6" display. Is that the screen size you prefer?

I like ASUS and Lenovo brand laptops. Here's a Lenovo Y580 to check out. Also, if you can wait until later this summer, laptop vendors will have more Ivy Bridge options available for back-to-school sales.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:55 pm

The baseline Clevo P170EM (I have one) works pretty well, and is fully upgradable, but it's heavy like any DTR. Xotic-PC is one of the better customizers/resellers. If I can recommend any upgrade, it'd be to the matte screen, and I'd recommend sticking to Nvidia for Optimus.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:14 am

I was looking for a 15.6" display so that i get a mix of good size and not too bulky. I will be casual gaming (steam arcade games, low GPU demand, GTX660 is a good card) and outputting through HDMI at 1920x1080. I really would like that resolution on the screen.

I like the price of that Lenovo quite a bit, but the MSI G series is much more visually pleasing. I was also looking at a low end alienware, but ive heard reports of their lack of performance since dell aquired them.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 2:44 pm

Have you thought about the Vizio notebook and ultrabook? Or the Dell XPS 15?
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:08 pm

I would say, buy the cheapest $200ish laptop you can find, without Intel Extremely Awful Graphics, and put a brand new SSD in.

Laptop is not a gaming machine, and even crappy laptop is more than good enough for everything else. There really is no reason to go overboard.

I used to have IBM laptop for 5 years, but it still got old after zero years because of Intel Graphics and after one year otherwise, yet I paid a lot for it. It's better to buy cheap laptop every year, the battery will be strong, the CPU will always be good enough, and it will always look fresh. After two years, battery for your ultra-book will cost more than new, stronger laptop.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:18 pm

Madman wrote:I would say, buy the cheapest $200ish laptop you can find, without Intel Extremely Awful Graphics, and put a brand new SSD in.

Laptop is not a gaming machine, and even crappy laptop is more than good enough for everything else. There really is no reason to go overboard.

That's an interesting perspective. But for office/general use the screen, keyboard, weight, and build quality will matter.

Madman wrote:After two years, battery for your ultra-book will cost more than new, stronger laptop.

False. Really false.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:28 pm

grantmeaname wrote:
Madman wrote:I would say, buy the cheapest $200ish laptop you can find, without Intel Extremely Awful Graphics, and put a brand new SSD in.

Laptop is not a gaming machine, and even crappy laptop is more than good enough for everything else. There really is no reason to go overboard.

That's an interesting perspective. But for office/general use the screen, keyboard, weight, and build quality will matter.

Not really, when I compare the keyboard/touchpad on the old IBM vs new super cheap ASUS, I feel no difference. Even the sturdy IBM cracked over the 5+ years of use, and it actually caught fire. The insulation on the charger wire came loose near the screen, and the body of the laptop started burning after a few sparks, I was really lucky that I was nearby to extinguish it. Not to mention that after 2 years of use I could feel that IBM was just so old and slow, it was painful to use. The display on the cheap laptop is better as well. Cheap laptop - a good upgrade, maybe you can even resell the old one.

grantmeaname wrote:
Madman wrote:After two years, battery for your ultra-book will cost more than new, stronger laptop.

False. Really false.

So, catch-a-fire aftermarket replacement costs half of a new laptop? Not really cheap or economically viable, given that you get the CPU/GPU/RAM/HDD and screen updates within those other 100$.

And, by the way, if the initial budget is around 1200USD, then you're set with a new laptop every year, for 6 years straight. I really doubt that the 1200USD laptop of today is stronger and more energy efficient than 200USD laptop that will be produced after 2 years.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:43 pm

Madman wrote:Laptop is not a gaming machine, and even crappy laptop is more than good enough for everything else. There really is no reason to go overboard.

Depends on what games you're talking about...as OP mentioned:
tpaulsen wrote:I will be casual gaming (steam arcade games, low GPU demand, GTX660 is a good card) and outputting through HDMI at 1920x1080. I really would like that resolution on the screen.

And if you've been following TR reviews, there are some ivy machines that can play even modern games at low settings. For the games I'm guessing that tpaulsen is looking at, there are some options.

And as a side note, you've obviously never had to take power with you. Yeah, laptops are generally weaker, but when you need to move your workstation several times a day, anything other than a laptop is out of the question.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:54 pm

Madman wrote:Not really, when I compare the keyboard/touchpad on the old IBM vs new super cheap ASUS, I feel no difference. Even the sturdy IBM cracked over the 5+ years of use, and it actually caught fire. The insulation on the charger wire came loose near the screen, and the body of the laptop started burning after a few sparks, I was really lucky that I was nearby to extinguish it. Not to mention that after 2 years of use I could feel that IBM was just so old and slow, it was painful to use. The display on the cheap laptop is better as well. Cheap laptop - a good upgrade, maybe you can even resell the old one.

So you're saying that any 5 year old laptop will catch on fire? I don't think that's a fair assessment.
Also, I don't know where you're getting this notion of $200 laptops from. The only laptops on newegg remotely close to that price are refurbished and years old.


Madman wrote:So, catch-a-fire aftermarket replacement costs half of a new laptop? Not really cheap or economically viable, given that you get the CPU/GPU/RAM/HDD and screen updates within those other 100$.

And, by the way, if the initial budget is around 1200USD, then you're set with a new laptop every year, for 6 years straight. I really doubt that the 1200USD laptop of today is stronger and more energy efficient than 200USD laptop that will be produced after 2 years.

Again, there aren't $200 laptops. Even if there were, what you said was that it's cheaper to get a new laptop than replace the battery. I demonstrated that it's not. Way to move the goalposts. Also, you're totally obsessed with pyrotechnic laptops today, have you noticed that?

Finally, the budget is $200CAD, not $200USD.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:03 pm

grantmeaname wrote:
Madman wrote:Not really, when I compare the keyboard/touchpad on the old IBM vs new super cheap ASUS, I feel no difference. Even the sturdy IBM cracked over the 5+ years of use, and it actually caught fire. The insulation on the charger wire came loose near the screen, and the body of the laptop started burning after a few sparks, I was really lucky that I was nearby to extinguish it. Not to mention that after 2 years of use I could feel that IBM was just so old and slow, it was painful to use. The display on the cheap laptop is better as well. Cheap laptop - a good upgrade, maybe you can even resell the old one.

So you're saying that any 5 year old laptop will catch on fire? I don't think that's a fair assessment.
Also, I don't know where you're getting this notion of $200 laptops from. The only laptops on newegg remotely close to that price are refurbished and years old.
From personal experience, 5 out of 5 laptops older than 2 years had their power cords worn out, with insulator failures. Mine caught fire, another fried the charging circuits. Remaining 3 still see regular soldering and have taped connectors.


I brought mine for ~200LVL, but everything costs ~2x more here than in US/CAN. So I assume 200USD should be the price there. Black-friday, deals, etc.

grantmeaname wrote:
Madman wrote:So, catch-a-fire aftermarket replacement costs half of a new laptop? Not really cheap or economically viable, given that you get the CPU/GPU/RAM/HDD and screen updates within those other 100$.

And, by the way, if the initial budget is around 1200USD, then you're set with a new laptop every year, for 6 years straight. I really doubt that the 1200USD laptop of today is stronger and more energy efficient than 200USD laptop that will be produced after 2 years.

Again, there aren't $200 laptops. Even if there were, what you said was that it's cheaper to get a new laptop than replace the battery. I demonstrated that it's not. Way to move the goalposts. Also, you're totally obsessed with pyrotechnic laptops today, have you noticed that?

Finally, the budget is $200CAD, not $200USD.

It's only by a chance that my flat is still standing, so, yeah, I'm obsessed :roll:

Google says: 1 Canadian dollar = 0.978953 U.S. dollars
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:07 pm

Nope, $325US is the price floor here for the really **** Toshibas and Acers with AMD chips, and $400 is usually around where the intel solutions start (like the lowest-end dell inspirons and things).

As for Canada, things always cost a little more in $CAD than $USD, no matter where the exchange rate as been.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:08 pm

tpaulsen wrote:I was looking for a 15.6" display so that i get a mix of good size and not too bulky. I will be casual gaming (steam arcade games, low GPU demand, GTX660 is a good card) and outputting through HDMI at 1920x1080. I really would like that resolution on the screen.

I like the price of that Lenovo quite a bit, but the MSI G series is much more visually pleasing. I was also looking at a low end alienware, but ive heard reports of their lack of performance since dell aquired them.


There's a P151EM from Clevo as well, and it comes with an mSATA slot for a boot SSD. 1920x1080, Ivy quads, and the mid-range Nvidia cards, along with any other option you can think of.

Check this thing out.
$1284 shipped, when configured with:
Stock matte screen
i7-3610QM Ivy quad
GTX670m (a lower end version of the desktop GTX560)
8GB DDR3-1600 in two slots, with two additional free slots
750GB 7200RPM HDD
DVD drive, Blu-ray for +$80
PCIe SD/etc reader
Intel 6300 450Mbps dual-band wireless (+$35 inc. above)
Windows 7 HP installed, Pro is +$60 above that
Add your own mSATA drive, theirs are too expensive- Newegg has a couple in the $140-$150 range for ~120GB

While I think MSI/ASUS make decent stuff, I really like Clevo's business-only look, and I despise Alienware's 'spaceship' look; and they're also over-priced if you need to upgrade anything.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:13 pm

Incredible specs for a good price. Have you seen the side view, though? It's a freaking monster! That's 1.7" thick!
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:17 pm

grantmeaname wrote:Nope, $325US is the price floor here for the really **** Toshibas and Acers with AMD chips, and $400 is usually around where the intel solutions start (like the lowest-end dell inspirons and things).


I'm on all AMD offering right now, really nothing to complain about. Not the fastest CPU/GPU, but I can't imagine playing Crysis 2 or something like that on a laptop anyway with all the heat issues, and clumsy keyboards. An it's multiple times faster than almost 1500+USD IBM I had. Not to mention 32GB HDD vs 320GB.

And concerning Intel, the thing what's pissed me the most about them, is that they always looked great in numbers, but as soon as some advanced feature comes into play, there is no support. OpenGL is still 2.0 or something. I don't think they have PureVideo or something like that as Nvidia and AMD, control panels are awful. So I have zero trust in Intel GPU. I have been using one for 5 years, I know what they are like.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:21 pm

This MSI is a little less shipped with the 660m and only two memory slots, but they'll sell you the 128GB Crucial mSATA drive for $159, which you can't find in retail, and is otherwise very similar to the Clevo above. Well, except for the 'eye-catching' race-car trim. I don't want my laptop to be 'eye-catching'. I want people to think that it's just some other POS, and go after the Apple users :).
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:24 pm

grantmeaname wrote:Incredible specs for a good price. Have you seen the side view, though? It's a freaking monster! That's 1.7" thick!


Oh they're big and they're heavy for sure, but they are DTRs. You can play BF3 on these things if you like, they literally have the best of everything.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:27 pm

Madman wrote:
grantmeaname wrote:Nope, $325US is the price floor here for the really **** Toshibas and Acers with AMD chips, and $400 is usually around where the intel solutions start (like the lowest-end dell inspirons and things).


I'm on all AMD offering right now, really nothing to complain about. Not the fastest CPU/GPU, but I can't imagine playing Crysis 2 or something like that on a laptop anyway with all the heat issues, and clumsy keyboards. An it's multiple times faster than almost 1500+USD IBM I had. Not to mention 32GB HDD vs 320GB.

And concerning Intel, the thing what's pissed me the most about them, is that they always looked great in numbers, but as soon as some advanced feature comes into play, there is no support. OpenGL is still 2.0 or something. I don't think they have PureVideo or something like that as Nvidia and AMD, control panels are awful. So I have zero trust in Intel GPU. I have been using one for 5 years, I know what they are like.


If you're using a five year old Intel GPU, I know what you mean. Have you used HD2000+? They're a dream for integrated graphics, considering what you get for free and the performance of the CPUs attached. My HD3000 laptop does Source games, MMOs and RTSs (even Starcraft II above minimum settings!) at 1366x768, and I'd expect HD4000 to do that at 1920x1080- and if not, you can always drop the resolution a little.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:34 pm

Airmantharp wrote:If you're using a five year old Intel GPU, I know what you mean. Have you used HD2000+? They're a dream for integrated graphics, considering what you get for free and the performance of the CPUs attached. My HD3000 laptop does Source games, MMOs and RTSs (even Starcraft II above minimum settings!) at 1366x768, and I'd expect HD4000 to do that at 1920x1080- and if not, you can always drop the resolution a little.

Then you switch to some OpenGL app, and it stops working, because the support level is that of a year 2004, or before... This is what's wrong with Intel!
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Madman wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:If you're using a five year old Intel GPU, I know what you mean. Have you used HD2000+? They're a dream for integrated graphics, considering what you get for free and the performance of the CPUs attached. My HD3000 laptop does Source games, MMOs and RTSs (even Starcraft II above minimum settings!) at 1366x768, and I'd expect HD4000 to do that at 1920x1080- and if not, you can always drop the resolution a little.

Then you switch to some OpenGL app, and it stops working, because the support level is that of a year 2004, or before... This is what's wrong with Intel!


I couldn't corroborate OpenGL functionality if I wanted to- except wait, isn't Minecraft OpenGL? I know that runs great on HD2000+.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:01 pm

Airmantharp wrote:This MSI is a little less shipped with the 660m and only two memory slots, but they'll sell you the 128GB Crucial mSATA drive for $159, which you can't find in retail, and is otherwise very similar to the Clevo above. Well, except for the 'eye-catching' race-car trim. I don't want my laptop to be 'eye-catching'. I want people to think that it's just some other POS, and go after the Apple users :).


I like the look of that MSI one quite a bit. Ive never shopped from xoticpc before (or even heard of them) do they service canada?

Airmantharp wrote:Check this thing out.
$1284 shipped, when configured with:
Stock matte screen
i7-3610QM Ivy quad
GTX670m (a lower end version of the desktop GTX560)
8GB DDR3-1600 in two slots, with two additional free slots
750GB 7200RPM HDD
DVD drive, Blu-ray for +$80
PCIe SD/etc reader
Intel 6300 450Mbps dual-band wireless (+$35 inc. above)
Windows 7 HP installed, Pro is +$60 above that
Add your own mSATA drive, theirs are too expensive- Newegg has a couple in the $140-$150 range for ~120GB

While I think MSI/ASUS make decent stuff, I really like Clevo's business-only look, and I despise Alienware's 'spaceship' look; and they're also over-priced if you need to upgrade anything.


I also haven't heard much about Clevo, I must living under a rock these days. Any comments on Clevo vs MSI in terms of support, quailty, general opinion?
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:40 pm

Clevo is an ODM/OEM notebook manufacturer. A lot of their high-performance designs are bought and rebadged by Sager, Alienware, Falcon Northwest, etc.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:05 pm

ludi wrote:Clevo is an ODM/OEM notebook manufacturer. A lot of their high-performance designs are bought and rebadged by Sager, Alienware, Falcon Northwest, etc.


Yup, you can't buy one directly. Your support would actually come from the re-seller, but Xotic-PC is among the better ones. They back all of their laptops the same way, MSi, Clevo, Asus, whatever. I'd suggest checking reviews for a hands-on, and then digging through dedicated forums. I'm just sharing some of the stuff I learned when getting my P170EM :).
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Sat Jul 14, 2012 8:57 am

Picked this one up for the wifey, she was tired of a desk top, it plays Diablo 3 flawlessly, she also plays Skyrim at 1920 x 1080 at high settings and no issues at all.

Seeing as you are in Canada as I am, we picked this up at Canada Computers and got them to drop $100 bucks off, so $1199.

Definitively well built as well.


http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=710_577_371&item_id=044131
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:43 am

New York Times says small and cheap. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/12/technology/personaltech/an-updated-guide-to-laptop-shopping.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general

Me. I like my new $300 Inspiron i101m. Good for all but gaming.
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:09 pm

I'm using an Asus Zenbook UX32VD at the moment. 8)
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:23 pm

credible wrote:Picked this one up for the wifey, she was tired of a desk top, it plays Diablo 3 flawlessly, she also plays Skyrim at 1920 x 1080 at high settings and no issues at all.

Seeing as you are in Canada as I am, we picked this up at Canada Computers and got them to drop $100 bucks off, so $1199.

Definitively well built as well.


http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=710_577_371&item_id=044131


Good specs, but a little dated for the price (Sandy, GTX570). You should be able to get more for less, MSI or otherwise.
Canon 6D|24-105/4L IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|24/2.8 IS USM|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
Airmantharp
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:24 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:I'm using an Asus Zenbook UX32VD at the moment. 8)


Hmm that ultrabook loooks nice, how is the heat dispersion and battery life on it?
tpaulsen
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Mon Jul 16, 2012 8:35 am

Heres a review of the Zenbook UX32VD, keep in mind, thats a 13.3 inch display.
i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-m, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB G-Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
DPete27
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Re: New Laptop Suggestion

Postposted on Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:25 pm

Airmantharp wrote:
credible wrote:Picked this one up for the wifey, she was tired of a desk top, it plays Diablo 3 flawlessly, she also plays Skyrim at 1920 x 1080 at high settings and no issues at all.

Seeing as you are in Canada as I am, we picked this up at Canada Computers and got them to drop $100 bucks off, so $1199.

Definitively well built as well.


http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=710_577_371&item_id=044131


Good specs, but a little dated for the price (Sandy, GTX570). You should be able to get more for less, MSI or otherwise.


I would and do mostly agree with you, had been looking at a few of the online places, not the dells of the world but the others like the clevo place.

They were all over 1100 after shipping and whatnot, while I also agree with you on the video card, its all she will ever need, plus I did not mention but we got a nice carrying case and an mx anywhere wireless mouse included.

The main reason I decided on this one, we were going away for a week and she wanted to bring her "new" laptop,lol, so now you know the rest of the story:)
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