Spacefem.com

Buying a new Laptop

Math, science, physics, computers, engineering, and everything else that turns us on.

Moderators: rowan, Sonic#

Buying a new Laptop

Postby lizpoona » Thu Feb 11, 9:27 2010

Sooo, I want to buy a new laptop really soon. The one I have now is pretty slow, has sucky battery life, is small so it's hard to work on for long periods of time (such as periods of time for doing lots of research), has the worst speakers I have ever experienced, and is one of those tablet PC types with a monitor section that can turn and flip around, so the whole thing is generally just really flimsy.

I wants a new one.


I'm looking for one with a bigger screen (14-16" maybe?), with lots of memory and space and processing speed or whatever, and MUCH longer battery life (the life on this one is about 10 minutes and dies. yech) My price range is $500-700, but if there's any way in hell I could find one with a good graphics/video card on it for under $1000 I would totally wait for my tax return and go for that one.


My basic question, really, is if anyone here knows what brands are better, or are better quality for lower price. I've heard Lenovo is better than Fujitsu which is better than Toshiba, but then I was told that Toshiba and HP are what I should stick to and that Fujitsu isn't necessarily that much better. Does anyone KNOW, or does anyone have suggestions for where to go look for comparisons, or could you tell me how you picked the computer you have?


I'm going to Best Buy on Friday, and I want to go in with some idea of what to look for... I went to Fry's yesterday while having absolutely no clue, just to have a tangible feel for what was out there, and I did realize a few things I liked and didn't like, but I didn't feel like I was able to ask the right questions. hopefully some poking around on the net will help me decide...
Resident almost-but-not-admittedly Trekkie

MFS: Darwinism is failing

:cross: = my life
User avatar
lizpoona
Who wants to lick the spoon?
Who wants to lick the spoon?
 
Posts: 4715
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 18:47 2002
Location: In the vastness of my head

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby rowan » Thu Feb 11, 9:41 2010

I'd check reviews on CNET and other places that review computery things. Once you narrow down to a couple of brands within your price range (for me, several several several years ago, it was Toshiba & Sony), when you go to Best Buy, check them out and see what feels best to you. I liked the Sony VAIO better in terms of feel, and then waited until it went on sale.

If it were *just* battery life and slow-ness, I'd have recommendations on how to fix your current one. But it sounds like you just don't like it and it has other issues too, so...

CNET: http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/
PCWorld: http://www.pcworld.com/products/computers/laptops.html

[eta: fixed the pcworld link; also sony vaio i'm happy to see is still up there. ;) btw I've had this laptop for 5 years at this point]
Global warming is intricately tied to the decline in the pirate population. As the pirate population goes down, the average global temperature goes up. Ergo, pirates are cool, and we need more pirates. :pirate: ARRR!
User avatar
rowan
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
 
Posts: 6949
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 11:01 2004

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby Barkey » Thu Feb 11, 18:06 2010

All of my laptops have been HP, and so far they last a really long time. The battery life going down is always going to be an eventuality unfortunately, as long as you leave it plugged in and turned on constantly like I do, drains the zero point.

My roomate had a Vaio, the only thing I really didn't like is that it came with a MASSIVE suite of stupid free programs and offers that took me an hour to uninstall when I just wanted something barebones. Even then it was kind of slow with games as a result of all the junk I kept having to clean, worked uber fast on the web though.
“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”
User avatar
Barkey
Brave Sayer
Brave Sayer
 
Posts: 616
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 22:56 2009
Location: Foxhole in SoCal.

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby monk » Fri Feb 12, 0:57 2010

scary as this may be you may want two machines. I know someone who hates running out of battery and so now they have a laptop for around the house and an small 10" screen travel laptop that has a 10 hour battery. As for laptops that have a bigger screen and battery life I couldn't find one for under $1500.00
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage? - Pink Floyd.
User avatar
monk
try to ignore it if I offend you.
try to ignore it if I offend you.
 
Posts: 7403
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 23:46 2003

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby katrinioso » Fri Feb 12, 16:16 2010

I have a 17" Dell Studio and I looooove it. Battery lasts about 6 hours, 500 GB hard drive, 64-bit, 4 GB RAM, nice graphics, I think I paid about $800 for it but the price has probably gone down some since I bought it last August. The 15" is probably the same deal but cheaper, I think you can go up to 320 GB on that. The only downside about mine is that it's heavy and doesn't fit in any of my bags except my backpack :/

I'd be all loyal and stuff and say that Dells are the way to go but it really depends on the model, features, etc. PCs in general are like that. My friend has a 17" Inspiron and its pretty and shiny on the outside but the screen quality sucks shit and its super slow. (Then again she probably doesn't take care of hers as well as I do.. plus I have a ridiculous slew of anti-virus shit on mine, school requires it)

Oh wait you've been on my computer. Durkadur. Anyway, I'm happy with it :) I got it at Best Buy, too.
User avatar
katrinioso
established
established
 
Posts: 688
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 21:10 2006
Location: mancrappinen, ks

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby A.K.A. Z » Sat Feb 20, 18:54 2010

Personally I'd say comparison shop vs. just going to Best Buy. Their salesmen don't know shit and work really hard at pretending they do. Of course that's not always true, there might be one that genuinely is knowledgeable but it's not a given. Best Buy's prices aren't all that terrible, and their selection is pretty good, I'll give them that. I got mine at Micro Center and it was dirt cheap, 300 bucks for a 160g hd, 2gig ram, but the processor is definitely not top-notch. Plus they have refurbished ones that are pretty nice for pretty damn cheap. Fry's is not a bad place to go either because their selection is pretty nice. Call or text me and I can tell you right where they're at, Fry's is right there in Plano and Micro-Center's in Richardson, so neither one's a big trip.
"The strategic adversary is fascism... the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us." Foucault
A.K.A. Z
Adopted Multiple Times
Adopted Multiple Times
 
Posts: 5413
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 15:28 2002
Location: Snatch city

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby dwarp » Sat Feb 20, 20:18 2010

monk wrote:scary as this may be you may want two machines. I know someone who hates running out of battery and so now they have a laptop for around the house and an small 10" screen travel laptop that has a 10 hour battery. As for laptops that have a bigger screen and battery life I couldn't find one for under $1500.00


I did this. I bought a 10" Dell Inspiron mini, initially because when I lived in Africa I wanted something easily concealable and my Sony Vaio just really was not going to cut it in that department. I ended up keeping all of my music on my Vaio (lovingly referred to as "giant top") and do basically everything else on my mini (aka "tiny top"). It works well for me because the Vaio has a battery life of about..ten seconds, but has a nice screen for gaming, and the mini is perfect to take to class and surf the web.
I don't roll on Shabbos
User avatar
dwarp
Little Greek Hellion
Little Greek Hellion
 
Posts: 2161
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 19:17 2003
Location: Anywhere I can go

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby Pyro Chick » Sun Feb 21, 19:46 2010

Best Buy keeps having promotions where you can get a notebook and a netbook for a package deal. It's a pretty smart decision, especially if you're a student or take your computer with you a lot. Once I move in with Jason and have access to his desktop, I'm going to sell my notebook and get a netbook instead.


Also, just thought I'd throw it out there- I hate Dells and I would not allow anyone I care about to buy them. I've had HP's for four years and I really like them, but I know people hate them sometimes. Asus is a solid brand. They're pretty new and generally unknown, so they're really affordable right now. My fiance just bought a Vaio for a great price at Best Buy and he loves it.
:fire: :pineapple:
User avatar
Pyro Chick
Super Spammer
Super Spammer
 
Posts: 2744
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 17:08 2003
Location: East Coast... holler

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby lillerina » Mon Feb 22, 6:01 2010

I've been very happy with my Dell and so has my SO. Sony and HP are pretty solid brands, too, I've found.
If I bang my head against a brick wall five times and get five lumps, why am I surprised when I bang it a sixth time and get a sixth lump?

"Isn't it funny that the only time your race or gender is questioned is when you're not a white man?" - Wanda Sykes
User avatar
lillerina
We are the internet. We are one.
We are the internet. We are one.
 
Posts: 6882
Joined: Mon Jan 9, 8:32 2006
Location: Meppi's Cedar Closet / Narnia

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby Pyro Chick » Mon Feb 22, 23:22 2010

kelsa wrote:Be careful at Best Buy...there was recently a consumerist report about how they don't like women and like to charge extra for "optimization," which doesn't do much/if anything. Other than that, I got my macbook on sale for 700 dollars and like it pretty much.


Every electronics store has bullshit optimization services. They're for old people and suckers. I also have a hard time believing that all of Best Buy can be against women. That seems like an odd statement and I don't see how someone would prove it.
:fire: :pineapple:
User avatar
Pyro Chick
Super Spammer
Super Spammer
 
Posts: 2744
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 17:08 2003
Location: East Coast... holler

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby rowan » Tue Feb 23, 21:19 2010

Yeah I never had a problem. But then again, I can talk circles around their salespeople.
Global warming is intricately tied to the decline in the pirate population. As the pirate population goes down, the average global temperature goes up. Ergo, pirates are cool, and we need more pirates. :pirate: ARRR!
User avatar
rowan
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
 
Posts: 6949
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 11:01 2004

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby Aum » Wed Feb 24, 2:37 2010

Toshibas last forever. Don't trust North American brands. They are built under the principles of planned obsolescence. I've tried several brands, HP is the worst. Their units always overheat, damaging the internal hardware. Dell's processors slow down over time, like all processors do, but it happens more quickly with them... and I find their computers have more resource issues.

I'm using an HP now and hate it. My next laptop will be a Toshiba.
The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote to the emptiness of existence. -W.A.
User avatar
Aum
Into The Unknown
Into The Unknown
 
Posts: 2719
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 23:35 2007
Location: Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby SakuraSong » Tue Mar 2, 0:34 2010

I use a Sony Vaio, but it might not be what you're looking for as it's 11 inches and cost me $1600. But, it does come with 10 hours of battery life! That's the good thing about Vaios, they have giant extended batteries if you don't mind holding a weird shape around. I keep mine in a bag, so the battery jutting out doesn't bother me much.

Also, if possible, you might want to insert two hard drives in there. That's what I have, the one that comes with has Windows 7 barebones installed (thank god for having computer nerd friends and computer nerd coworkers) and runs the OS, and the one they installed in for me that holds all of my porn work. It's basically an external hard drive...only internal. Dead useful if you want the space, and it runs fast too.

If not, stick with Asus, it's the best for your price range that I've found so far. If it seems a bit sketchy to you, go with Lenovo, they're pretty decent.
"Truth is a garrulous, quarrelsome bitch."
User avatar
SakuraSong
Unroyal Courtesan!
Unroyal Courtesan!
 
Posts: 4842
Joined: Tue Feb 8, 16:54 2005
Location: Writing love poems by the red-light district.

Re: Buying a new Laptop

Postby Pyro Chick » Tue Mar 2, 17:07 2010

Kelsa, I'm aware that optimization is stupid and a waste of money. I agree with you. All I'm saying is that's not a legit reason to avoid Best Buy. All major electronic chains offer it, and as long as you're smart enough (or the good people of Spacefem have warned you) to tell them "No, I don't want that," then it's not hurting you.
:fire: :pineapple:
User avatar
Pyro Chick
Super Spammer
Super Spammer
 
Posts: 2744
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 17:08 2003
Location: East Coast... holler


Return to Science & Technology

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests