Laptops forum

Question

BEST COLLEGE LAPTOP FOR ME?

by Johnm88 / December 13, 2012 12:28 PM PST

Hello,

I am new to this forum and i am currently in the market for a new laptop. I have done plenty of research and have visited best buy and spoken to their employees working in the laptop department many many times.

I am starting college next year and i need a powerful laptop that will last at least three years. I am putting extra care in this purchase because my first laptop (Dell inspiron 1546 with AMD vision premium) only lasted two years and is full of issues.

FEATURES I WOULD LIKE:
-Intel core i7 quad core (is i5 and/or dual core that big of a difference? the best buy guy told me i7 quad is best for my situation)
-14"-15.6" no more no less
-id prefer a full HD screen (1980 x 1080) but im finding it very hard to find, i usually see 1366 x 768
-a graphics card would be nice but not really a deal breaker.
-under 5.2 lbs
-high quality hardware
- 1 TB hard drive space (750GB at least)
- 6-8 GB RAM preferably 8 or more
-IM NOT SURE IF PROCESSOR SPEED IS THAT IMPORTANT (2.2GH, 2.3, 2.6, ETC) so idk about that aspect.
-backlit keyboard
-optical drive built in preferably (IF YOU WOULD RECOMMEND ME AN ULTRABOOK I WOULD NOT MIND, AND IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THEY WOULD SERVE ME BETTER ID LOVE TO HEAR)
-battery life of over 6 hours
-i want a premium level laptop, something well built and powerful. I want to avoid entry level entirely because this laptop has to last long
-IM ALSO CONSIDERING TOUCH SCREEN LAPTOPS. THE BEST BUY GUY ADVISED ME NOT TO GET ONE BECAUSE THEY DO NOT HAVE THE BEST PERFORMANCE AND BREAK EASILY, BUT I FIND EM TOO COOL TO BELIEVE HIM
BUDGET: 1200$

I KNOW THESE FEATURES ALL TOGETHER ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO HAVE IN ONE LAPTOP BUT IM LOOKING FOR THE MACHINE THAT HAS THE MOST OF THESE. I am going into medicine (sciences) but i will also need some video editing capabilities for elective courses. The laptop has to be super powerful and able to take on tons of multitasking for a good amount of time. Also it has to be light enough to carry every day. INTELS RAPID BOOT (RAPID START) TECHNOLOGY WOULD BE GREAT TOO (but i hear thats only in ultrabooks). Touchscreen would be super cool only if it doesnt bring any considerable cons and meets most of the requirements i stated above (intel core i7 quad is necessary but if anyone believes that i5 is fine too id love to hear)

I am not considering mac because they are very expensive but many many students (90%) have one at the school i am planning to go to. Are they better than a pc and are they worth it? because if they are i will save a bit more and make the better purchase.

Should i look into ultrabooks?

ALSO, should i buy a laptop now (in the next month or two) or wait for new releases in spring 2013. Any upcoming machines that are worth waiting for?

What laptop brands are the best? I hear asian brands such as asus and acer are excellent but i still have my doubts. I really like HP but i have heard mixed things about them. How about lenovo, sony, apple, dell, toshiba, samsung, etc??? Which is best recomended for quality?
THESE ARE THE TWO MAIN MACHINES I HAVE MY EYE ON SO FAR, HOW DO THEY STACK UP AGAINST EACH OTHER, OTHERS AND AGAINST THE MACBOOK PRO:

-HP PAVILION M6: (950$)
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/hewlett-packard-hp-pavilion-m6-15-6-laptop-silver-intel-core-i7-3632qm-1tb-hdd-8gb-ram-windows-8-m6-1158ca/10225638.aspx?path=a4ad61c27c421c9435b65fd482a1db96en02

-ASUS R500a: (730$)
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/asus-asus-r-series-r500a-15-6-laptop-mocha-intel-core-i7-3630qm-750gb-hdd-8gb-ram-windows-8-r500a-bh71-cb/10227302.aspx?path=c7a35163867642a3450bd69ca2964ca7en02

when i spoke to the employee at best buy, he strongly recomended the ASUS R series R500a over the HP, because he says i will virtually get the same performance for less and he also mentioned that HP are really overpriced and not that good. However I am not sure about the ASUS because:
A) they are an asian company (ive only owned american computers so idk)
B) it was mostly plastic and looked quite cheap while the HP looks wayyyy better.
C) doesnt have some bells and whistles that the HP has, such as brushed aluminum finish, backlit keyboard, fingerprint scan, graphics card, beats audio, also the HP has 1TB while it has 750 GB
D) Much less battery life than HP

BUT I HAVE HEARD GREAT REVIEWS ABOUT IT. IS IT BETTER THAN THE HP?
Also, if HP is bringing back its envy line (14,15, 17) anytime soon id wait because i hear they were phenomenal computers.

I MUST APOLOGIZE THIS IS VERY LONG AND I HAVE MANY QUESTIONS. I REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THE HELP. I NEED TO MAKE THE BEST PURCHASE POSSIBLE TO AVOID ANOTHER INCIDENT LIKE MY DELL. IF YOU KNOW ANY OTHER MODELS THAT YOU RECOMMEND ID GLADLY LOOK INTO THEM. ALSO IF YOU RECOMMEND MAC ID LOVE TO HEAR IT. EVEN IF YOU RECOMMEND WAITING FOR LATER ON IN 2013 I WOULD GLADLY ACCEPT YOUR REASONING. I AM SUPER GRATEFUL FOR ANY INFO, OPINION, RECOMENDATION I GET FROM YOU GUYS!

THANK YOU SO SO SO MUCH

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All Answers

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Answer
That 1080 screen
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 13, 2012 3:01 PM PST
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Answer
Like Bob says
by orlbuckeye / December 13, 2012 9:35 PM PST

with laptops under 17" the 1980 x 1080 are hard to find. Also most of the touch screens are less then 15" screens. I recently purchased an Acer because it was the biggest touchscreen I could find. I still check on what's available and I haven't seen anyone else with anything bigger then 14" with a touchscreen.

As far as Asus vrsus HP. I ordered 2 HP laptops in my life and when I got the tracking slip they were shipped from Shanghai. All laptops are manufactured in Asia or China. Asus does have a Asus USA division.

Asus and HP are different kinds of companies. Asus has been in the PC business and are real known for their motherboards. HP was know in the beginning for their printers. HP sells laptops in two ways. The first is they sell through Best Buy and other retail outlets a complete laptop that is not configureable. Best isn't allowed to modify the computer pre-sale. Now a customer may buy the computer and have Best Buy add a new hard drive or memory but the purchaser will pay for labor and parts. HP also sells basically the same laptop that are configurable online at the HP website. Often these are the same laptops that are at best buy and the model might be like HP 5710-6700 for configurable model and HP 5710-5700 for Best Buy model. Asus is similar except they don't sell their systems through their own website. They have in the last 3 or 4 years began selling the non-configurable units at Best Buy, Office Depot and the rest of the retail chains. Asus also sells barebone systems to small non national computer stores like XoticPC. Xotic will get the barbones and they offer the customer to select what configuration they want which also includes what OS you want.

Another thing is HP and Asus (OEM'S) use (ODM's) like Compal and Quanta to design and manufacture out in China and Asia their laptops. In fact Quanta is the largest laptop manufacturer in the world and Compal is a close second.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laptop (look under the section (major brands and manufacturers)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_laptop_brands_and_manufacturers- Foxconn actually makes laptops for HP and Asus so some models are actually made by the same company but are branded with Asus and HP names.

I myself have owned 1 HP and with not great results. The battery lasted only a year and wouldn't charge at all after a year. The fan was loud and it ran hot.

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And I have to share that HP failed to fix in warranty
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 14, 2012 12:43 AM PST
In reply to: Like Bob says

HP failed horribly with a 3 month old laptop. 6 months later I still had a dead laptop. This is in the USA and I was very surprised at how HP bungled it.

The only good news is the office swapped it out and this could be a disaster for the average Joe.

Yes some HP social rep checked my story but could not help for a few reasons. The reason that mattered to me is that HP could not correct the issue that had the laptop go to service in the first place.

Not a company I'd go near for a few years.
Bob

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