New laptop for mainstream use

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

Moderators: mac_h8r1, Nelliesboo, David

New laptop for mainstream use

Postposted on Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:03 am

I got too used to the convenience of a laptop this year, and while I don't want to give up my desktop, I've started looking for good deals on laptops. Ultrabooks are nice, but they're way too expensive. My price range is more the $400 one, and I'm ok with a laptop that's bulky and heavy.

The laptop would be primarily for mainstream use: surfing the 'net, Word/Excel, watching movies, maybe the occasional game (like audiosurf, or equally casual ones; powerful graphics are nice, but I'm not willing to spend more for it). I'd also want to hook up the laptop to an external TV or monitor. I figure any current laptop can handle these tasks, but I'm concerned with the nominal screen resolution and the touchpad/keyboard.

So far the laptops I've seen in this price range have 15" screens with resolutions equitable to my old netbooks. In order to be productive I think 15" is a happy medium, as 13" starts feeling cramped, and anything larger is luxury on a laptop, but the resolutions I'm seeing are pretty sparse. Is this it, or is there a diamond in the rough that has a denser screen? For input, I know that I'm not a fan of Sony's weird textured touchpads (Apple's touchpads are the best, but not for 3x the price), and I much prefer scalloped keys to flat ones.

Am I chasing something that doesn't exist in the $400 price range, or can I get reasonably close?
Sheep Rustlers in the sky! <S> Slapt | <S> FUI | Air Warrior II/III
FireGryphon
Darth Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 7360
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 7:53 pm
Location: the abyss into which you gaze

Re: New laptop for mainstream use

Postposted on Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:13 am

I scored a refurb Lenovo Edge 420 laptop on Newegg a couple of months back for $400. i5 CPU Sandy Bridge, 4gb of RAM, 500gb hard drive. Well built, battery life is great. You can definitely get a nice powerful refurb laptop for $400.
cjcerny
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 146
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:58 pm

Re: New laptop for mainstream use

Postposted on Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:05 am

The Dell Outlet has some nice choices too. You'll have to look hard for anything but 1366*768, but Dell is one of the brands that's consistently offered it in at least one model.
Krogoth wrote:Care to enlightenment me?
grantmeaname
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1693
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:49 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: New laptop for mainstream use

Postposted on Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:25 pm

I like ASUS myself. From my experience they offer better build quality than the OEMS like Dell and HP for a better price given the same components list. I think to hit $400 with something that's not completely obsolete or underpowered, you're going to have to look at refurbished laptops.

Here's a new ASUS $490 (a little over your price range)
Or a refurb ASUS for $380 with USB3.0 (37% off)
Or a refurb Samsung for $425 (60% off)
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Samsung SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Hand-Built Wood Case
DPete27
Gerbil Jedi
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1732
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Re: New laptop for mainstream use

Postposted on Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:43 pm

All three of those are 1366*768.
Krogoth wrote:Care to enlightenment me?
grantmeaname
Gerbil Jedi
 
Posts: 1693
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:49 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: New laptop for mainstream use

Postposted on Fri Jul 20, 2012 3:15 pm

grantmeaname wrote:All three of those are 1366*768


Like you said, you'll be hard pressed to find a laptop with 1080 resolution in this price range. Let's face it, the majority of laptops today are unfortunately still 1366x768. You can combat this by getting a 14" screen which obviously increases pixel density without making the laptop noticeably smaller, but your selection of laptops becomes smaller as 15.6" is the most common size. You pay a premium to step up to 1080 resolution whether you like it or not, so the $400 budget is going to have to loosen up if that's what you're looking for.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Samsung SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Hand-Built Wood Case
DPete27
Gerbil Jedi
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1732
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:50 pm
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Re: New laptop for mainstream use

Postposted on Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:03 pm

Newegg has eighteen listings for sub-$500 6-lb notebooks with 17.3" 1600x900 displays. Eleven of those are under $450. Six refurbished models are under $400, including an HP Pavilion g7-1316dx for $390, delivered.
i7-4770K, H70, Gryphon Z87, 16 GiB, R9-290, SSD, 2 HD, Blu-ray, SB ZX, TJ08-E, SS-660XP², 3007WFP+2001FP, RK-9000BR, MX518
JustAnEngineer
Gerbil God
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 15589
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Heart of Dixie


Return to Mobile Tech

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests