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mmmmmdonuts21
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Laptop for graduation gift

Sat May 14, 2011 1:23 pm

My sister is graduating high school this year and my brother and I were going to go in together and buy her a laptop for her to take to college. She graduates in a month and I would ideally like to have it there for her graduation. We are thinking $600 total budget but would ideally like to keep it under $500. She is not going to be an engineering/photoshop artsy student or anything where she will need it to do any heavy lifting. Mostly just Office, music, watching videos, skype, e-mail, etc. Ideally I would like a web cam built into to the laptop as well so she does not need a separate one. I am also thinking about a 15 inch screen. It does not have to be a high resolution screen like 1400x900, 1366x768 is fine.

With all that being said, I also would like it fairly durable if at all possible. My sister is the devil to electronics and don't seem to last more than a year or two in her possession. (she has gotten better though).

Any suggestions? Is it possible for a Sandy Bridge in this price range?
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Damage
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Sat May 14, 2011 2:14 pm

I'd go for an HP dm1:

http://techreport.com/articles.x/20512

You'll find them for $400-450 at various places. Build quality is good, but you're under budget a little. I'd spend a little more to get a really robust extended warranty, so you're covered if there's a problem. HP and various retailers offer those, as well as straight-up warranty outfits.
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ludi
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Mon May 16, 2011 1:04 pm

If your sister has a history of destroying electronics, I'd suggest a used/refurbished ThinkPad. Barring liquid attack, it's more likely than any other $500 notebook to keep ticking past that first "oops..."

Of course, a ThinkPad isn't going to win any stylepoints with a typical teenage girl, so there's that consideration.
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DancinJack
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Mon May 16, 2011 1:53 pm

ludi wrote:
Of course, a ThinkPad isn't going to win any stylepoints with a typical teenage girl, so there's that consideration.


She can have a nerdy boy over to troubleshoot it for her. It will keep the superfratts/pastelshirtsandloafers guys away.
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mmmmmdonuts21
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Mon May 16, 2011 2:03 pm

I thought about giving her my T410 thinkpad and I can get a new one or something. Its only a year old and she currently is using my old T43p which getting beat up and getting long in the tooth to meet her needs long term at college. (over six years old now)

I sort of want this to be a surprise but at the same time I kind of want to ask her what she wants rather than go and make an ill devised decision.

@Damage,

I like the ultra-portable but I am not sure how much she would really like the 11+ inch screen. I can see her wanting to watch a lot of movies on it and I think the 11+ inch maybe to small. I know its the same resolution but she takes the T43p in bed now and watches netflix all the time with it.

DancinJack:

Very true, although she has her brother only 2.5 hours away and I can troubleshoot it if need be. I need to keep the boys away from her in general...
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You know, boys, a nuclear reactor is a lot like a woman. You just have to read the manual and press the right buttons.
 
PixelArmy
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Mon May 16, 2011 2:50 pm

mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:
Any suggestions? Is it possible for a Sandy Bridge in this price range?


I did some earlier research last month. Under $600:
I went with Dell (actually a 17R and an i5). IIRC, out of these only the Inspirons have USB 3.0 if that matters.
 
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Mon May 16, 2011 3:58 pm

It's slightly more than you were looking to pay, but for $629, the 14" Thinkpad Edge E420 offers a heck of a lot of laptop for the money. Yes, you get a Sandy Bridge. Also available in 15.6" flavors for the same price.

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/products/lapt ... index.html

AMD versions starts at $479, but they're not as awesome.
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bimmerlovere39
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Mon May 16, 2011 6:21 pm

If you're interested, outlet.lenovo.com sells some interesting stuff, if you don't need Sandy Bridge. Probably a little budget stretching, but an interesting alternative to the new Edge laptops.
 
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Mon May 16, 2011 6:25 pm

PixelArmy wrote:
Lenovo E520 at TigerDirect for $530.

Thanks for that link. I need to replace my daughter's Asus K61 (POS has been RMA'd twice and still doesn't work right, and of course it's now out of warranty) and was headed toward HP until I saw your link. I've appreciated StinkPad durability for well over a decade at work. I'm sorta hoping that when it's time to replace my Federal-issue StinkPad T500, I'll be offered a purchase option. It'd make a great personal travel laptop.

Of course, StinkPad is an appellation of love.
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PixelArmy
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Mon May 16, 2011 10:10 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Thanks for that link.

Glad to help. That's actually spec'd way better than when I looked at it direct from Lenovo. With an Easter promo code it was $525 w/ only 2 GB RAM, 250 GB HD and Win 7 Home Premium... And a personal favorite, it has a matte screen!
 
cynan
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Wed May 18, 2011 4:04 pm

You can find the Acer TimelineX Notebooks without the discrete graphics (Intel HD only) for about $600 or not much more. They are pretty good bang for the buck, specs wise, have decent battery life and are generally thin and aesthetically pleasing enough. You can get them in 13" without DVD drives or 14" and 15" with DVD drives.

Here's a 15" version: Acer TimelineX.

Core i5-480, 4GB DDR3 and 500GB. Kind of hard to beat for this price IMO.

Are they as durable as the HP DM1, Thinkpads? Probably not. But if she will mainly be using this at home (not bringing to class everyday) or takes care of stuff like this, then I don't see a problem.
 
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Wed May 18, 2011 4:54 pm

cynan wrote:
Are they as durable as the HP DM1, Thinkpads? Probably not. But if she will mainly be using this at home (not bringing to class everyday) or takes care of stuff like this, then I don't see a problem.
mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:
With all that being said, I also would like it fairly durable if at all possible. My sister is the devil to electronics and don't seem to last more than a year or two in her possession. (she has gotten better though).
I see a problem. And while one way people (even teenage girls) learn to take better things is by having to live without them they've broken, I don't know that I'd want to scrape together my savings to buy something with the hope that this isn't the device that ultimately teaches that lesson (or gamble on something else teaching that lesson first).
 
cynan
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Thu May 19, 2011 1:46 pm

You're right. I missed somehow missed that. Panasonic Toughbook it is!
 
mmmmmdonuts21
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Sun May 29, 2011 1:59 pm

Just want to finish this thread with my choice. Ultimately I went with the Thinkpad Edge 15 inch that PixelArmy linked. I hope she will be very happy when I give her the laptop. Thanks for all the help.
To Start Press Any Key'. Where's the ANY key?
If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing
You know, boys, a nuclear reactor is a lot like a woman. You just have to read the manual and press the right buttons.
 
Captain Ned
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Sun May 29, 2011 2:03 pm

mmmmmdonuts21 wrote:
Just want to finish this thread with my choice. Ultimately I went with the Thinkpad Edge 15 inch that PixelArmy linked. I hope she will be very happy when I give her the laptop. Thanks for all the help.

My daughter is quite happy with hers.
And then of course I've got this terrible pain in all the diodes down my left hand side.
 
lonleyppl
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Re: Laptop for graduation gift

Sun May 29, 2011 4:20 pm

Yay for ThinkPads. I'm ecstatic about mine.
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