Attention: The forums will be placed on read only mode this Saturday (Oct. 20, 2018)

During this outage (6:30 AM to 8 PM PDT) the forums will be placed on read only mode. We apologize for this inconvenience. Click here to read details

Laptops forum


Help find a laptop--collegebound

by spectre47 / May 26, 2015 2:32 AM PDT

Okay so Im starting college this fall, and for that I need a new laptop that I would be buying in a while
Now I've been a pc guy all my life, though I do use my siblings laptop frequently, I do not know much about specs etc.
SO finding a laptop is kind of hard for me.
My budget is $800. Here are some requirements I managed to figure out:
I have an inclination towards a convertible ultrabook, but in this price range there are hardly any good ones available. I could maybe expand my budget and go for the hp spectre x360, is it worth it?
-Windows 8.1 upgradable to windows 10 when it is launched.
-atleast 256GB memory.
-screen size 13-15inches.
-weight less than 5lbs.
- must have atleast 7 hours of juice.
-great display, 1920x1080 atleast.
Idk much about the core and the graphic cards but they should be on the good side. (core i5 atleast)

I basically need a device which I can use for assignments, reading stuff online, movies, and light gaming.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Help find a laptop--collegebound
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Help find a laptop--collegebound
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
My last HP was my last HP.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2015 2:39 AM PDT

HP lost me over warranty issues. I found what appears to be a BIOS bug so at 3 months I set aside a day to call it in. At 8+ hours on the phone HP's support gave up and had me send the laptop in. On return it would lock up in 5 minutes. I thought no problem, right? Nope. 6 months of calls and web surveys and it was a clear sign HP wanted to walk. Why they did was never told but I can share my story and hope folk will steer clear.

Imagine anyone else that had this happen.

For 800 bucks you can find many other Dells and more.

As to Windows 10, the same story as last time. Stick it out with 8 until the laptop dies.

Collapse -
7 hours of juice means 14 hours. Why?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2015 2:47 AM PDT

Almost all laptops have 300 cycle rated batteries. So if someone was to charge daily and use it on battery then in just a year you would use it's 300 cycle rated life. Life would go on but considering how a battery would be "good" if 50% of the rated charge at 300 cycles is considered good you need to start at 14 hours new.

Then we have the use cases. There's about a 6 to 1 or so drop in hours depending on use. So if you did analyzes or gaming on battery then we need 40+ hour rated battery time to get that 7 hours of gaming use on battery. Sadly there is no such machine today.

I'd count on plugging it in most of the time.

Other problems. 256GB memory looks wrong. No laptop today holds that much "memory." Memory is usually regarded as RAM. I've seen 16 to 32GB RAM but my bet is this is disk space.

What machine came close in your search?

Collapse -
I got the juice to hours thing wrong I suppose, IT'S 7 HOURS
by spectre47 / May 26, 2015 4:14 AM PDT

College, I cant always rely on finding a power source in classes so I'ld want atleast 7hours of battery in it. Other than that I would want to get 3-4 movies out of a single battery while travelling. so 7hours while watching hd movies.

256GB SSD, Ram 4GB+

so since you dont recommend hp, the following:
Dell xps 13.. (have its trackpad issues been resolved?)
-dell inspirion 7000 15" the $899 version. (Is it good?)
-dell inspirion 7000 13" 2-in-1. (It seems nice,tho bulky, any thoughts)
-Toshiba Satellite Radius P55W-B5224 (does it still have all the connectivity issues etc?)

Collapse -
Let's see what happens when movies are played.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2015 4:22 AM PDT
Collapse -
About trackpads.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2015 4:23 AM PDT

No one seems happy with any of them. Dangling thumbs and such.

Collapse -
XPS 13 is good and I like it.. But
by spectre47 / May 26, 2015 6:23 AM PDT
Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2015 6:42 AM PDT
Collapse -
That's what I thought, 4K?
by Oldartq / May 26, 2015 12:04 PM PDT
In reply to: 4K?

You see any gimmick? 4k on a 15" for $800? I wonder if it's possible to built that.

Collapse -
Yes it is.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 26, 2015 12:07 PM PDT

However the horsepower to drive that many pixels is astounding.

Collapse -
no, the $800 variant doesnt have 4k
by spectre47 / May 26, 2015 7:36 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes it is.

but then, its reviews are not reassuring either..
and the touch one has a big ghost-touches issue, any idea about that?

anything else around the range that you might have in mind?

Why did xps have to have just 128GB SSD =/

Collapse -
All trackpads get that complaint.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2015 12:08 AM PDT

I use a mouse to augment and avoid that. I also know about the post it note trick as well as TouchFreeze.

Sorry if I was unclear. For some, trackpads just don't work so you will always get negative comments about pads.

Collapse -
by spectre47 / May 27, 2015 2:28 AM PDT

I realise that, but that dell model has issues with touchscreen. What would be the point of buying such a touchscreen laptop.

Anything that you would recommend besides the xps 13?

Collapse -
I'm getting a lot of negatives on touchscreens too.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 27, 2015 5:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Yeap

A lot of folk thought you could draw with touchscreens. They are a little upset. It's more like finger painting resolution.

Collapse -
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 1, 2015 12:55 AM PDT

I've yet to encounter any touch pad that folk don't report the ghost issue. Dangling thumbs are part of most humans.

Collapse -
by cnoel09 / May 31, 2015 1:59 PM PDT

Have you seen the inspiron 13 2 in 1? Here is the link for it

I have one myself and I love it, I use it for all the things you listed above and more. You'll get a free upgrade to windows 10 when its available as well. And you can use this coupon code for an additional 10%. The coupon doesn't expire until 7/31 so you have plenty of time. Super portable and light weight. I think it would be a great choice.

Code-- FV?PP%V4LN9?MF

Collapse -
That is one in my shortlist
by spectre47 / June 1, 2015 12:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Dell

Thank you soo much for the link and recommendation
I'll definitely take a look at it again.

Btw.. There are numerous complaints abt its ghost touch issues on the screen and TouchPad, whats your experience?
Secondly, hows the battery life?!

Collapse -
They love Dell.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 1, 2015 1:55 AM PDT
Collapse -
No issues
by cnoel09 / June 1, 2015 3:35 AM PDT

Ive had it for about six months and I havent had any issues with the on screen or touch pad but depending on what your doing you'll get about 8 hours of battery life!

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!