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Toshiba Portege r705 vs. ASUS U33JC-A1 vs. Macbook pro...

Hello, looking to replace my super-dead 6 yr old Dell clunker with something fast, light, and portable, but still powerful. I'd like it for general use, light design work, watching movies, occasional gaming, etc.

I'd prefer:
Nvidia graphic card
optical drive
decent webcam
Under 5 lbs

I'm leaning towards the Portege, but I really wish it had the Nvidia graphics card. I love the looks of the Asus bamboo but am a little put off by what I've heard about their customer service. I've been a PC user my whole life but I also like using Macs at work; been waiting to hear whether the rumors of a new Macbook this month or next are true. I also want to spend less than $1000 if possible:(


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Just a thought.

In reply to: Toshiba Portege r705 vs. ASUS U33JC-A1 vs. Macbook pro...

My workhorse for the past few months has been the hp g62-149wm. Yes it was bought at walmart for 589 bucks and has some intel gma solution. It has hdmi and hulu is fine to superb on HDTV over the HDMI link.

It's fast at Visual Studio 2008 but no games as there is no gamer GPU. As I wrote, it's a work machine so the gamer aspect is not here. I've traveled with it across the world too.

You didn't write what games but if it's anything current you are right to dismiss integrated graphics.

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In reply to: Just a thought.

That seems like a great deal, though screen size might be a little bigger than what I'm looking for. HDMI link is also a necessity so that is good. I should have said that I'm not a hardcore gamer by any means... sometimes I play stuff like the Sims 3 or Spore for a few months at a time and then no games for a few months. I would just like to have the option, if possible.

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The G62 is now dead.

In reply to: Just a thought.

And HP has told me there is no fix for its issues. Definitely a change in what I expected from HP.

Please avoid the HP G6x series for now.

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Second look.

In reply to: Toshiba Portege r705 vs. ASUS U33JC-A1 vs. Macbook pro... confirms the thought that while this is a fine enough laptop, gaming would be limited. is a MUST READ. You must figure out fast if you must have WIDI or not when you order. But the better GPU means gaming is possible.

--> I'm unsure if losing the DVDRW drive is a good idea as most folk will skip the external and then complain bitterly when the OS is in need of a reload.
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No such thing as a perfect laptop...

In reply to: Second look.

Losing the DVD drive does scare me; I suppose getting an external would be easy enough, but another $50. Plus I don't know much about them. WiDI would be cool, though I would probably wait for another generation when that separate adapter might be bundled... so not really necessary.

If only the Asus were cheaper and the customer service had a better rep, or the Portege had better GPU... any thoughts on shelling out some extra cash for the Macbook pro? Thanks for the advice.

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Let's cover the Apple.

In reply to: No such thing as a perfect laptop...

While I have nothing but good things to write about Apple many forget that the entry costs can add up as we might have to buy a copy of Windows and maybe some VMWare Fusion or other apps. That Windows 7 alone could run 2 or 3 hundred alone.

I just got off the phone with a friend that picked up a very nice 17 inch Tosh for 650 with the i3, integrated graphics, 500GB HDD and the rest. No 3D chipset but for them they don't game and the HD playback is fine. Games are the usual card games. Next time I'll ask for the exact model.


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Your Choice

In reply to: Toshiba Portege r705 vs. ASUS U33JC-A1 vs. Macbook pro...

Just curious about your choice?
I'm in the same boat. I've been leaning heavily toward the Toshiba Portege R705 after seeing all the great reviews. I've never owned a Mac as I think they're over priced but EVERY person that I know who owns one has sworn they'll never go back and say it's worth the switch. I'm also worried about having to fork out the extra costs to get all the new Apple software.

So for me, it's down to the Toshiba Portege R705 and the Apple MacBook Pro (both 13").

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Still trying to decide!

In reply to: Your Choice

I'm actually still putting off making a decision (I can borrow laptops for free from my work, so I don't have an urgent need. I'm also a huge procastinator, and I'm afraid of buyer's remorse...). I've played with the Portege 705 at Best Buy and I love everything about it--except that it doesn't have the Nvidia GPU. This is dealbreaker for me, as there are other comparable laptops around that price with a better GPU (otherwise it's very sleek, very light and portable while still having an optical drive, etc.) I've also pretty much ruled out getting a Macbook simply on the high price, and what you get for the price--no HDMI port, no WiDi, no micro card reader.

Right now the only laptop I'm seriously considering is something in the Asus bamboo U43JC series, probably the X-1. A little bigger than the Portege, but I think you get a lot more for only a little more money. I played with a similar one at Best Buy and it's pretty slick-looking. Amazon recently dropped the price to $900 from $1000, too, for Core i5, Nvidia graphics, etc.

Let me know if you have any more thoughts.

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Wondering if you found any more info, or if you bought one

In reply to: Still trying to decide!

Hi. It's funny because I put in a search Toshiba Portege vs Asus Bamboo vs. MacBook, and lo and behold, up came this thread. I too was leaning heavily toward the Asus, and was actually ready to run down to Best Buy tomorrow to buy it (even though it makes me sick to buy anything from Best Buy they are so horrible, but I need my Laptop ASAP). Anyway, I was ready to buy tomorrow, but then BOOM! I ready the absolutely horrible reviews on ASUS Customer Service. Now I don't know what to do!

Do you, or does anyone else have any info on this exact question. I am not interested in hearing about other laptops, just these 2 please (the Macbook is out).

I guess I should start a thread asking if anyone has had any good experiences with ASUS customer service.

Thanks to anyone who can offer any answers.

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Asus Thread

OK. I see that someone already made the thread asking if anyone had any good ASUS customer service experiences, and it wasn't good. I am wondering... should I really not buy this PC because of this? Doesn't ASUS have a great record for making great PC's? From all the things I've seen, they always seem to come in the top 3 as far as having no problems.

I really want that ASUS U43JC-BBA6. Should I get it, or should I get the Toshiba Portege R705-P35 instead?

I would greatly appreciate the advice, because I need to buy something right away!

- L

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In reply to: Asus Thread

I think it depends on what you need. If you're looking for a very light, fast, portable, good-looking work/school laptop, then I'd just go with the Portege. But if you want a better video card for movies and games and stuff, I'd consider the Asus BBA6. Asus's warranty is really good--I haven't looked it over completely, but the free accident replacement for 1 year is awesome--you could drop it in a bathtub and they'd still replace it for free. I think customer service for tech companies in general is kind of sucky, so I wouldn't let that stop me, especially because Asus products have always had a great reputation. But that's just me.

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Thank you for the response. One more in the mix...

In reply to: asus

I have now ruled out the Protege, as it only has i3 processor. I have been told to defintely go with an i5. So....

Now I am trying to decide between these two:

- Asus U43JC-BBA6 (still)
- Samsung QX410-J01

Really cannot decide. Very similar. Anyone who has any experience with these brands? I would appreciate the opinions.

Thanks very much!!!

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Toshiba Portege can be had with an i5

In reply to: Thank you for the response. One more in the mix...

The model is Toshiba R700-S1322W.

With a little care, the Toshibas really last. I've got a Toshiba Portege 3440CT made in 2000 which is still working!

By the way - check out - you can set up an automated shopping search and alert bot for what you're looking for.

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another one

In reply to: Thank you for the response. One more in the mix...

I've completely changed gears and am now going to buy the Asus U36jc-b1. It's gorgeous, ultra portable, very very thin--thinnest laptop on the market with a standard voltage processor (i5). Plus optimus graphics, USB 3, HDMI. But admittedly the style aspect of it really got me. Looking at the u43 after this made it seem clunky and last-gen. The downside is no optical drive, which I had thought was essential--but a hand-me-down external drive will suffice, because really, the only time I use it is loading CDs on my computer (at home) or watching movies (at home, in bed).

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standard voltage processor

In reply to: another one

I'm concerned here. Why is "standard voltage processor" a requirement?

Wouldn't you want to get some Sandy Bridge unit now that they are rolling out?


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sandy bridge

In reply to: standard voltage processor

I meant that it has a more powerful processor than another similarly thin machine like the Mac Air. I believe that the B1 has the new Sandy Bridge unit--I think on CNET they reviewed the previous u36 A1. I haven't looked into it extensively, though, does that sound right?

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Your choice.

In reply to: sandy bridge

I was wondering about that "standard voltage" comment. The lesson from laptops not long ago with desktop CPUs may be lost on new buyers. Why repeat history?

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Asus Bamboo screen

In reply to: Wondering if you found any more info, or if you bought one

Regarding the Asus Bamboo- I was ready to buy one as well until I noticed the tremendous screen shake. It was as if the machine was going to shake apart- upon opening and when keying.. Otherwise it has the hardware; but I am afraid of the chassis.

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In reply to: Asus Bamboo screen

Tell more. All laptops I know of have a wiggly screen. Tell more.

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updated protege

In reply to: Toshiba Portege r705 vs. ASUS U33JC-A1 vs. Macbook pro...

Thinking about the R705 myself. Today, however, there is a very interesting article on cnet, about the upcoming and updated R 835.

Something else I'm considering when buying is the user forums. They can be invaluable. Some sellers, like Samsung dont' have them, if I'm not mistaken, others , like Asus forums, don't look very good.

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