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New Laptop.... Quality company & Intel core i5 vs i7

by Dj Mikey G / February 16, 2010 5:46 AM PST

Hello my name is Mike. I am starting college this year (August) and I am in the looks for a new laptop. I know my share of information when it comes to tech stuff, but there?s a few things I need help with. The first thing I want to know is which laptop company ranks supreme? Yes I now Mac has this and hp has that and Acer does this! But which company has the best name and best over all quality, best bang for the buck! If my laptop were to brake, what company will really help me and which companies will just have waiting on the phone all day Which company has the best reviews for there products in general? And one more thing Intel i5 or Intel i7?. Is it really worth $250 bucks more to upgrade to i7 or should I just save my money and stick to i7.

Looking for a laptop company that knows there stuff (Laptops) and is top notch when it comes to there products, reviews, customer support, quality, and are new and modern up to date with whats going on.

And please feel free to includes any specs you think i should have on my new laptop (going into college)

Thank you all so much for your time and care. i look forward from hearing your responses.

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It's Ford and Chevy.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2010 7:20 AM PST

Almost all the makes in the consumer lines are just like your Ford and Chevy choices. You will find the disgruntled slam the names you listed so here's the UGLY truth. Almost all the names use 300 cycle batteries and 5 year designs. So from year 1 to 5 is where most laptops fail so the lessons are painfully clear.

1. Don't overbuy.
2. Don't use the battery except when you have to.

And by overbuy, I mean those GAMER LAPTOPS. A xbox or ps3 is better suited for that (or a desktop.)

And don't laugh as I write I will be doing a demo on a 228 buck netbook next month to show off my apps in Visual Studio 2008. It's a demo about many things.

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whats in mind?
by Dj Mikey G / February 16, 2010 7:52 AM PST
In reply to: It's Ford and Chevy.

So do you think my august there will be new better laptops out there? something more affordable with much more power and great features?

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Moving target.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2010 8:45 AM PST
In reply to: whats in mind?

At what I'm guessing your price point I have to write no. Today's offerings with i3, i5 and i7 is very nice. What should gain more traction are the technologies like WIDI. But that's not much use to most and there is no sign that gaming laptops will suddenly drop the heat and the cost and extend the expected shorter life spans.

Sorry but I can see that doesn't help much. But it's the awful truth we are not looking at devices built to last in consumer land.

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2010 laptops! recommendations?!?! intel i5?
by Dj Mikey G / February 16, 2010 8:54 AM PST
In reply to: Moving target.

so theirs no recommendations on anything?! any brands to look for? any brands that stick out? And what about specs? what specs are always good to look for while buying a laptop!?

i think i might go for intel i5

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If we dismiss the quest for 5 year laptops.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2010 9:42 AM PST

Take a run at and put in their laptop picker with the i5 cpu. You get a short list of machines. Post a few here and see what people comment about them.

Nods to more than 1 year factory warranty from names.

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in conclusion laptops 2010!!! what do i need for college
by Dj Mikey G / February 16, 2010 11:32 AM PST

thanks everyone! one more thing! does anyone think the the ipad or anything like that is appropriate for school? and does anyone have any good seductions for school laptops...? for anyone who goes to college does anyone know what i will be needing? what i definitely need and what i can use without? thanks again everyone!

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If we dismiss gamer laptops.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2010 11:43 AM PST

There are hundreds of choices. All are under 1K too. The problem is the expectation these will make it the full 4 years.

HOWEVER there are some schools with a school plan where you pay a little more and in the deal you get a 4 year warranty with at school repairs and loaners. Quite the deal if you want a 4 year deal.

Ipad? Nah.

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by Dj Mikey G / February 16, 2010 11:47 AM PST

yea i read about that but idk its really crazy and complicated to many contracts and stuff. But what were you telling me about that netbook? hows that? any good?

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We use them
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2010 11:55 AM PST
In reply to: 2010
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by Dj Mikey G / February 16, 2010 12:25 PM PST
In reply to: We use them

ok so which brand is at the top of the chain when it comes to laptops? performance, name, technology, battery life, price, warranty, style, price. statistically there has to be a brand that overlaps the others! one that is doing better then the others! one that has more success than other. i just cant find it!

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If you look around.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2010 9:28 PM PST
In reply to: brand

Apple. It has 1000 cycle batteries, a power connector that saves you from destroying the machine and the list goes on and on. In the Windows camp we have the Panasonic Toughbook which most of them you can drop from the tailgate and they keep working.

Once you move into consumer laptops, there are few that stand out. One that does is Sony's carbon fiber skinned laptop line.

In spite of all this the consumer laptops are just your Ford and Chevy pickings.

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The Ipad will be better for education if
by orlbuckeye / February 16, 2010 11:24 PM PST

Adobe gets Flash working for it.

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2010 Laptop Buing Advice
by MAT_Taylor Intel staff / February 18, 2010 3:42 AM PST

Hey DJMikeyG,

There are a lot of good suggestions here. I work for Intel and would like to offer you a perspective that may help in identifying the best bang for your buck. Intel works closely with CNET and with another PC review site to conduct a full PC line-up review. This includes both Intel and competitor cpu based PC?s. The CNET reviews for the spring sales cycle (the sales cycle we are currently in) will be available in a few weeks.

If you can wait for a couple of more weeks to purchase you stand a better chance of being very informed. However, if you are more like me and want to purchase sooner-rather-than later I would suggest the following buying tips.

1. Start with the processor. The majority of the system performance will be derived by the processor. Yes, adding memory and upgrading graphics will have a positive impact ? but not nearly as much as the processor Purchasing the right processor .
2. Then decide what is really important to you. Gaming, high end graphics based software like AutoCAD or do you prefer something thinner and lighter that you can carry wherever you go? That will help you better understand what screen size & battery life you should select.
3. I would steer you toward the new Intel 2010 Family of CPUs ? Why? Because you stand to gain benefit from unique performance enhancing technologies.

a. Turbo Boost
b. Hyper-Threading
c. Core I5 Overview

As for making specific recommendations ? I rely on the reviews I mentioned earlier as the source for calling out any one or two particular SKUs. One thing I would recommend in lieu of calling out a specific system is look at the editors and consumers rating of systems you are considering. For instance CNET editors Editor?s Choice and on many of the PC manufacturing web sites you can see how consumers rank their purchases.

Stay tuned once the CNET reviews are out I will post a follow-up to this forum.

Michael Taylor works for Intel. He firmly believes CPUs have the most impact on overall system performance ? enjoy your new PC and ask for one with the new Intel Core CPU.

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thanks! one more thing!
by Dj Mikey G / February 22, 2010 11:51 AM PST

thanks that really helped me out! will Intel i5 be pared with Samsung SSD hard drives? is that key to the absolute longest battery life? ive been reading that the matching of Intel core i5 + Samsung SSD hard drive with windows 7 is by far the newest and fastest in technology! true or false?
does Intel really work better with ssd?

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Battery life or time per charge?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 22, 2010 7:13 PM PST

Battery life can be your average 300 cycles. Battery time depends on many factor YOU are in control of.

The problem that many have a hard time grasping is given today's battery tech most of us should use the battery only we there is no other choice.

If you use the battery daily, budget a new battery every 1 to 2 years.

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by jrap30 / February 24, 2010 8:15 AM PST

DJ Mikey; Everything said here is good and thanks for the Intel guy...but more important you are buying this for school and NOT forget performance and forget Solid state drives......they will cost 50% of the if you can not afford a Panasonic toughbook...which is guranteed to take a hit or Alienware for gaming and Apple because of the MAC OS, stay with the big 3 name companies..Toshiba, Sony, and Dell. Still too much $$... then you can look at Acer and HP and Asus. John is correct...consumer laptops are almost all the same. If you buy a Dell Business get a 3 year warranty including guarntee replacement if you spend more money.

The key wait until the very last second because all dealers lower prices and 1st week of school drwa near. I know I brought my son's laptop in June for his gard present and by the last week in July everyone retailer lowered prices.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 16, 2010 11:09 PM PST

Did you try this suggestion? What model did you like?

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I see alot of topics out there
by orlbuckeye / February 25, 2010 2:19 AM PST
In reply to: whats in mind?

that say i want the most powerfull laptop i can get for say 600. Basically you pay for what you get and all 600 laptops are going to be pretty much the same component wise. Like Bob says it's like comparing chevy's against Ford's.You look in one magazine it has lenova as the best then another magazine has Dell. You talk to John Doe's that has had 3 Hp's and loves them and Jane Doe had 1 HP that was a lemon and switched brands the next laptop. For every brand their are success and failure cases. My advice find one that does what you need and you like the design and buy it and spend time comparing brands it will confuse you more.

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From what I've been reading...
by mrblackhp / February 16, 2010 10:32 PM PST

Was up Mike. Ive had my HP laptop for about 5+ years. I actually bought it while in architecture school. And while its still "works" the battery is entirely dead and as you probably know the tech inside it has been outdated for awhile. So Im in the market for a new laptop, one that can run big programs like AutoCAD and Revit Photoshop and other 3d Rendering programs for work. After doing a bunch of searching reading, talking, Ive come to the general conclusion on certain brands. Brands like Toshiba and Asus are more reliable than Gateway and HP brands. Now this is in general, mind you and if you want srouces one that I can give you is this:

Which is why I have narrowed my search to either a toshiba or Asus which I will probably go with an Asus that I have found for 999 on Amazon:

But check out newegg for dependable reviews they are pretty good at answering ?s and giving good actual, in hand, reviews. I hope this helps

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thanks! got a lots of info!
by Dj Mikey G / February 17, 2010 11:48 AM PST

thanks man! yea so Toshiba and asus sounds good! i really appreciate the help! so what specs should i look for 1gb/160gb? intel core i5? anything that makes the education experience that much better and easy that i should know about?

any programs i should get that will help me out with school?

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thanks for the info!
by Dj Mikey G / February 17, 2010 11:51 AM PST

thanks everybody! mrblackhp.... those sound like really good brands! is there anything i should look out for as far as specs? anything that will make the education process with my new laptops easier and helpful?

what about programs? anything i should get that could help me in school?

and lastly i know we talked about this before but should i go for the intel core i7 or save my money and go for the i7?

thanks again everyone!

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what about this?
by Dj Mikey G / February 17, 2010 1:29 PM PST
In reply to: thanks for the info!

i found this....

do you think that's worth it? i mean i still have plenty of time to buy before school.... does anyone think i should wait.... just in case there are any major and or minor updates? you never now right? 3-4 months better stuff can be out....

does anyone have any news about future upcoming laptops or any new features coming to laptops?

AM i on the right track with this choice?

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This is
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 17, 2010 8:23 PM PST
In reply to: what about this?

Your run of the mill good laptop. It's not for the gamer but someone that needs value and good performance.

Be sure to try the track pad BEFORE you buy. Some are put off by the texture they put on that.

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I totally agree
by mrblackhp / February 18, 2010 1:00 AM PST
In reply to: what about this?

just make a quick run to bestbuy and try out a few laptops. make sure u talk to someone who knows what they are talking about if you ask questions. I went to best buy once looking for a Home theater and asked a sales rep a question. He told me to buy pionneer because thats the speakers he had in his car and "they rock".I knew to take his suggestions with a grain of salt.

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It really depends on what your going to school for
by mrblackhp / February 18, 2010 12:54 AM PST
In reply to: thanks for the info!

If your like me and went to school for architecture or some engineering or graphical editing study you going to want a laptop with a better processor and graphic card. On the other hand if your major is still undecided or English your not going to have to worry about those things too much. Do you know what your major will be yet? You can also ask a current student, who has the same major as you, what programs they use and what specs they have on their computers. I think in general you going to want MS Office which has word, powerpoint, excel (programs that every student will eventually use in college). Most new computers have the power and space to handle any general task or even multi-task, its when you have specific needs that you can tailor your computer to them. hope this helps.

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Do yourself a favor: check out the deals through your school
by TrackSmart / February 19, 2010 12:22 PM PST

Some words of advice from someone who is into technology, but extremely practical about what he spends his money on:

First figure out your required form factor!
** Budget Ultra portable**: $400 - $700 systems running Intel CULV processors that weigh 3 - 3.5 lbs, have 11-13" screens, and run about 8 hours on a charge. This is the laptop that you can take to class and has just enough muscle to handle all everyday tasks with ease, but not enough for gaming or other intensive tasks.
** Desktop replacement **: High performance for a low price. However it will be a heavier model that will mostly stay in your dorm room. It will also likely have 2-3 hrs battery life.
** Compromise system **: Something with a 13 - 15" screen and decent battery life. So it will be reasonably portable but also faster than a CULV model or an ultraportable.
** Netbook combined with Desktop PC: Use the netbook for taking notes in class, use a powerful desktop with a big screen for entertainment, games, and doing real work. That's the best choice for a gamer.

Next BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR SCHOOL'S DEALS. Usually they don't have the "best price" for hardware, but they often offer great 3-4 year warranties that will guarantee your system will make it through college. We're talking about "I dropped my laptop out my 3rd floor window and they replaced it for free" type of warranties. If your folks are only going to pony up the cash ONCE then you'd be wise to think about this option to make sure it lasts.

Good luck! I personally like to be portable. I'd check out the Intel CULV laptops for something really portable and fairly inexpensive for taking to class. Asus and Acer have a bunch of these. A 13" Macbook would also fit the bill. It will have good battery life and performance, but it will be a little heavier than the CULV models. It will also be more expensive than equivalent PC options. You can install Windows on it if you don't like the Mac OS. If you need raw power and don't intend to take your laptop to class, look at desktop replacement models for value + performance. Good luck!

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By the way...
by TrackSmart / February 19, 2010 12:27 PM PST

By the way, laptops from all brands have pretty high failure rates over a 4 year period, hence the value of the school warranty. Apple and Lenovo are know to have better than average customer support, but their products are pricier. Dell, Sony, HP, and Toshiba about average for support. Acer, Gateway, Asus and others have mediocre to poor support but they often have unbeatable system prices and features.

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Another thought
by Zouch / February 19, 2010 1:12 PM PST

pretty comprehensive advice from Bob and Michael. Brand is a personal choice, when IBM made Thinkpads, I'd have said got with them if you can afford it but now I think the gap between Lenovv and Sony or HP isn't so wide. A Core i5 CPU is probably the most cost effective for a college machine but obviously not the cheapest - it's a case of what you want to do with it.

I'd agree with Bob that a netbook would be pretty tiresome as your main machine but one alternative I've seen is to get two machines! A netbook as a cheap and cheerful and very portable note taker to take to college and a desktop to handle the heavy load when you get back to your dorm or whatever (always assuming you can secure it). This combination can work out cheaper than a performance notebook.

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sorry for the delay! thanks... bluetooth
by Dj Mikey G / February 21, 2010 3:47 AM PST
In reply to: Another thought

whats the newest bluetooth for computers... whats the newest running bluetooth running on laptops?! also... 512 gb ssd.... intel i5, and windows 7? does that really make up the perfect laptop? i just saw it on the news? or is that bulls%#@? does it cost a lot for 512 gb ssd and intel i5 and windows 7? is that the perfect match? or is that just pricey stuff?

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I was SHOCKED when
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 21, 2010 4:24 AM PST

I tried to use A2DP on Windows 7 on a new laptop that came equipped with bluetooth. Research that to find something that was forgotten.

Makes you go huh.

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