Laptops forum


Laptop suggestion(s)?

by Proud_Noob / May 22, 2011 7:34 AM PDT

In a pretty competitive high school right now, going into sophomore year.
Looking for a laptop that has:

-relatively quick start-up
-more recent version of MS Word and Powerpoint
-something similar to MS Publisher
-good amount of RAM
-some gaming capacity
-under $1,100, preferably $1,000
-quiet working ability (both laptop and keyboard for work at night)

Battery life is not an issue. Mac is preferred, but PC is okay as well.

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All Answers

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Sorry but at that price plus the software we're going refurb
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 22, 2011 8:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Laptop suggestion(s)?
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Thanks, this really helped.

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No no no no...
by Phil411 / May 23, 2011 11:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

...Core 2 Duo? Geforce GT 335m graphics? A new sandybridge based i7 can be had for about $1100.$800-$1200/dv6tqe_series . Configured with a second generation i7 2630m you get four cores/8threads which runs circles around even the first generation of mobile i7s, imagine how much more powerful it is over that puny core 2 duo, 8 gb DDR3 1333 memory, Radeon HD 6770m 1gb GDDR5 graphics which is loads better than that GT 335m, 750gb 5400rpm hard drive (upgrade to a 7200rpm one costs an extra $20) costs around $1085.

Thats a far more capable machine, brand new, and under $1100.

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HP burned me bad.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 24, 2011 1:55 AM PDT
In reply to: No no no no...

I've held my tongue about HP but they never resolved a bug I found in some models. It appears there is no way for this to be resolved so for now until they clear out the current models HP is an avoid.

By burned I mean exactly that. My laptop went to repair, came back worse. Before it just had the firmware bug in the BIOS. On return it locked up in minutes. HP would not re-repair it but 6 months later (still a dead laptop to me) a HP rep is working the issue again.

Could average consumer live with this?

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by Phil411 / May 24, 2011 9:25 AM PDT
In reply to: HP burned me bad.

Thats true, this a new model and as far as I heard, its been great. In the past I've been iffy about HP computers but in my experience they do indeed make a solid machine (I'm on a 6 year old Compaq all original parts still work).

Moreover, my primary point being, a newer far more capable machine is well within the OPs $1100 or less budget.

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No sign HP has corrected either issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 24, 2011 9:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Interesting.

The 6 months to get attention as well as the bug is bothersome.

The response to the bug was "not many people have a smart phone."

There's more but the service was a disaster as well how they respond to a bug you found in their machine.

The bug was in the bios but it appears to be uncorrectable by HP because they buy that.

--> Again, this is not a good thing.

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No seeing it
by Phil411 / May 24, 2011 2:27 PM PDT

What exactly is the "bug"? I'm not seeing anything related to a BIOS issue.

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It's a simple bug.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 25, 2011 2:26 AM PDT
In reply to: No seeing it

The machine will not boot with a smart phone plugged in. You'll find that bug in a few machines.

This bug appears to cause a machine lockup but rather than try to hunt that down let's keep it simple to the machine doesn't boot with your iPhone plugged in.

And no bios settings will cure that. Sorry but as an embedded software author and writer, this one is well known to me. Simple to fix, if you had the source.

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by Phil411 / May 25, 2011 6:04 AM PDT
In reply to: It's a simple bug.


thats a issue many systems have.With XP and Vista my HP wouldnt boot with an iPod plugged in, works fine with Win7 tho.

Thats an issue most users will probably never run into. Yes its a simple issue, but hardly a reason not to purchase an HP computer, its also not an issue inherent of HP computers. My Dell hangs on the first boot and restarts with my Droid plugged in but boots fine the second time, my Toshiba used to have that issue when a Blackberry was plugged in.

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How HP handled it and destroyed the laptop is not enough?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 25, 2011 9:08 AM PDT
In reply to: ...

Sorry but I fear you have to look at how HP service handled the issue and broke the laptop then never repaired it.

After 6 months and posting this story, then and only then did I get an offer to get this corrected.

As to my Dell, flawless with the iphone and droids.
Same story for the other dozen HP machines. Works fine.

As to the flaws in your machines I take it that you accept bugs like that?

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by Phil411 / May 25, 2011 8:21 PM PDT

One bad customer service experience I find hardly a reason to turn away potential buyers.

Its a minor issue. Hardly can even call it an issue. It doesn't take away from the qualtiy of the machine, or how well it works. And only the Dell still has the "issue", Toshiba updated the BIOS and my HP doesn't have the issue under Windows 7.

Isn't the issue that the BIOS attempts to boot into the phones operating system? Thats what it seems to me, which can be fixed by simply changing the boot device priority, putting usb devices below the hdds.

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It's not one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2011 2:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Well

Sorry but I kept the story to just one.

The boot priority does not fix this but it should have.

As I wanted to use this machine to port our company apps to Android this boot and lock up issue became a real problem so I thought I'd report the bug and try to get it fixed.

The result was a dead laptop. You would have thought that this would have been resolved without a public display and intervention from other HP folk.

HP walked. I gave them months before I talked about it here.

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The fastest startup
by orlbuckeye / May 24, 2011 2:54 AM PDT
In reply to: Laptop suggestion(s)?

is getting a laptop with a SSD. My laptop boots in 30 seconds it would be 20 if I didn't have weather gadgets.

Also on most of the mass market laptops (Best Buy, Office Depot and Newegg) the laptops come with a trial version of Office which expires. You have to purchase the key from Microsoft separately. If you order from the laptop companies online that are configurable they almost allways have the option of adding Office for a cheaper price then purchased separately.

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by Phil411 / May 24, 2011 9:29 AM PDT
In reply to: The fastest startup

but, most mass produced computers will ship with sub par SSDs that are not worth the premium. Best to upgrade after purchase.

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I added one to mine.
by orlbuckeye / May 24, 2011 7:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes

It's a Kingston not the fastest but blows any hard drive away. My system boots in 25-30 seconds and I love that.

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by iPodTouchSmile / May 28, 2011 12:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Laptop suggestion(s)?

You're in luck! If you live near a Microcenter, I find their deals the best!

The Toshiba L675-S7052 laptop!


4 gb ram (not much, but I think you can upgrade to 8 gb)
500 gb hard drive
AMD Phenom? II N640 (2.9 ghz, light gaming)
17.3" Widescreen TruBrite Display
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Labelflash DVD SuperMulti Drive
Memory Card Reader
ATI Mobility Radeon? HD 4250 (Once again light gaming card. won't play heavy games)
No Bluetooth (Sorry)

If you want Microsoft office, I'm afraid it only comes with Office Start '10 which means you only get Word and Excel (with ads, no trial).
For work at night I purchased this and if you want it to brighten up, just press FN and f6 and f7 (I believe). No backlit keyboard, sorry.
The start-up is very fast for me, maybe not for you, but for me it doesn't take long! (It is faster than most videos actually say...)

This Dell looks nice too.


Intel i5 processor (2.93 ghz)
8 gb ram
Blue-ray drive
Intel HD Graphics
750 gb hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium
4 hrs battery life
and more

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This is odd. 4GB is not much RAM?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 28, 2011 1:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Toshiba!

Next thing we'll read is that smart phones need more than that.

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It really isnt
by Phil411 / May 28, 2011 3:00 PM PDT

My laptop shipped with 6gb, that was quickly upgraded to 2x4Gb chips when the price became reasonable. 8gigs is hardly enough. My laptop on average uses 3-4gigs with just FF, Live, Skype and KMPlayer running.

As a matter of fact, Blackberry's do need more memory and faster processors.

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I purchased the Toshiba
by iPodTouchSmile / May 28, 2011 10:58 PM PDT
In reply to: It really isnt

I purchased this Toshiba above because I didn't need a lot. 4 gb probably might be the biggest amount of RAM a computer has in this house, but I'm not stupid, I know 4gb isn't alot and I don't need more than 4 gb but what that guy is looking for he just might need more RAM.

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Let's say that's true.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 29, 2011 3:00 AM PDT
In reply to: It really isnt

Why are you considering 6GB laptops?

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Quite simple
by Phil411 / May 29, 2011 5:18 AM PDT
In reply to: Let's say that's true.

The more, the better. The age old marketing ploy is not just a means to sell pricey systems. Win7 recommends 1gb, for good measure i would say 2gigs. The average flashy game wants say 1-2gigs, for good measure we give it 3. Thats 4-5gigs. Then pile on security software running in the background, any other background services from programs the average user installs lets say another gig for those, not to mention that many newer games come with additional software to "enhance" the gaming experience, game server clients, punkbuster, dlc centers etc. 6-8gigs is what you would expect in the average gaming machine.

Lets consider, a system more aimed at productivity, Office, Acrobat, browsing, email, 4gigs of memory would probably be more than sufficient, 2gigs for the OS, a gig for background services, and a gig for everything else. You won't max out that memory, but its better having extra you never use than being stuck with a machine thats locking up cause you don't have it.

More specifically to your question. When I purchased my laptop, memory wasn't my primary concern, that came down to going with an i7 or a Core 2 Quad, as in instances that were important to me, the mobile Core 2 beat out the mobile i7. It was a decision between the HP HDX1 and a Qosmio x505. The model I got was the top model(full HD, dual hdds, (ssd+hdd), number two nvidia mobile gfx card) and it came with 6gigs of RAM. Wasn't much of a consideration, as much as it was what was offered.

My media pc, only has 512Mb running Win7 Ultimate. All the unnecessary
services are disabled, but its more than apt for running HD movies even
without discrete gfx. But, basing my comment on the what the OP is looking for this machine to do, they will be better off with more than 4gigs, especially with it being within their budget.

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So pick the tool for the job?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 29, 2011 8:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Quite simple

Just last week we pulled a HP/Compaq R3000 (AMD Athlon 64 single core, 512MB, XP) out of mothballs to update a factory app. It booted and ran fine.

No HD movies but maybe that's the point. Fit the tool to the job.

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by Phil411 / May 30, 2011 7:47 AM PDT

comes back to my point, 4gigs isn't gonna play to nicely for what OP wants. And considering the budget, 6-8gigs is possible. or upgrade later.

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