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Dad needs a new laptop. Any suggestions?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Black Panther, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    --- Update --- Please skip to post #8.
    Thanks!



    He's had his Airis Pragma N840 (1.8Ghz Pentium M, 1GB RAM, integrated graphics) for 7+ years now and it's mutilated and half-broken through use - dvd drive broken, keyboard missing letters etc so he needs a new one :laugh:

    I found a quite good laptop questionnaire to help...


    1) What is your budget?

    Around €1000, give or take either way.


    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    He wants a 17" notebook. My dad is 60 and his present 15" is a tad difficult for his eyes.


    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.

    We have to buy it from Malta so as to avail himself of the VAT refund of 18%. So please there's no necessity to post links to online shops outside the country. Just a model number and brand would suffice. Or even just suggesting hardware is enough.


    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    Not really. A good brand-name would be preferable so that replacement parts can be easily found.


    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?

    No


    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

    Mainly office work and internet. Playing music, watching videos and some light gaming (no fps games). But he likes to multitask and doesn't want to be bothered with closing background tasks to get better performance. He 'insists' on a dedicated card for future-proofing. Doesn't want the pc to struggle with light gaming or with the operating system's aero eye candy.


    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?

    Both. Preferably he doesn't want anything much heavier than 3kg since he takes it with him when he goes abroad. But also he doesn't want a desktop.


    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?

    Nothing like Crysis lol... but he plays some occasional strategy games, flash games and breakout-style games and he wouldn't want the pc to be stalling or exhibiting jaggies with those.


    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?

    ~ 4 hours? The more the better.


    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?

    He prefers to buy locally and since my country is small, travelling to view it is no problem.


    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.

    Windows 7 x64


    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer?

    As long as the monitor is not smaller than 17" the resolution isn't that important.


    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?

    Not important.


    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?

    He would prefer something not very chunky, and preferably with not many fancy lights/colours. Though I'm pretty sure he'd take my advice and buy a pink notebook if I persuade him that the hardware inside is fantastic... :roll:
    Seriously something not very flimsy is advisable as my dad is clumsy. :ohwell:


    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    He wants to go buy it immediately :laugh:


    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?

    He's had his present notebook for 7+ years. He'd expect at least 5 years of comfortable use from this purchase.


    17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?

    A minimum of 500GB (or 2 x 230GB). And it must be a good drive which doesn't slow down the pc...
    He wants fast loading times for the OS @ startup and while loading applications. If a SSD is better pls suggest.
    Space... the more there is the better. Though most of his stuff can function fine off the external drives he already owns.


    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?

    Yes, preferably blu-ray.



    I was thinking of getting him to buy this Acer
    .
    But the screen is too small for his eyes:ohwell:. If only it were a 17" I'd probably have told him to buy it asap.

    Basically I'm looking for a good established-brand-name laptop so that replacements are easy to find if he breaks a keyboard key or anything... With a fast processor - I'm guessing an i5 would be sufficient? (It is better than my lappie's Q9450 isn't it?), DDR3 ram with expansion possibilities, and a mid-range dedicated graphics for future-proofing while being able to play the odd game here and there without lagging and giving good aero performance, good battery life, fast Hdd's (the larger the better), a 17" screen, and not being much heavier than 3kg...
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  2. entropy13

    entropy13

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    Can you buy an Asus N61JQ there? HD5730, Blu-Ray, 4GB DDR3, Intel Core i7-720QM. 500GB HDD. Only 16" though.

    17" laptops are usually expensive. You get either the Asus G73JH or one of the "Business" laptops from Fujitsu or Sony.
    Black Panther says thanks.
  3. Msap14 New Member

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    what i wouldn't buy

    I would suggest steering away from any HP dvXXXX models, a lot of them have been having problems lately, by this i mean i have had a lot of HP dvXXXX model laptops come in for repairs recently.
  4. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    How about some standard Dells? Or just get him one of those Clevo "laptops" :D Can't find any good ones now, will come back later if I find any.
  5. amd64skater

    amd64skater

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    hey i have a dv5-1004nr and it works fine runs a little hot on the bottom but other than that no problems with mine
  6. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    I had a dv2700, it can't even survive a stress test before it became an hero.
  7. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Something Asus maybe? Have 2 years warranty.
  8. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    -- Update --

    I found two laptops, both seem good for him. But I can't decide which is the better one.
    The price difference is minimal, so I'll be going for the better one.
    The laptops are very similar, so I put the differences in bold for easy viewing.

    At first glance I was sure that #1 is better than #2.
    But would an i7 @ only 1.6Ghz be better than an i5 @ 2.26 :confused:
    That's basically my only doubt which I need to clear up before deciding for him. (Keep in mind overclocking is not an option here!)


    #1
    Price: €987.71
    Model: HP Pavilion DV7-3160
    Processor Type: Intel® Core™ i7-720QM
    CPU Speed: 1.6 GHz

    Memory: 4 GB
    Memory Type: DDR 3
    Maximum Memory: 8 GB
    Hard Drive: 640 GB
    Disk Technology: SATA
    Screen Size: 17.3"
    Dedicated Graphics Memory: 1 GB
    Max Resolution: 1600 x 900
    Graphics Chipset: nVIDIA® GeForce® GT 230M
    Optical Drive: DVD Super-Multi Drive
    Card Reader: Yes
    Webcam: Yes
    Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes
    Bluetooth: Yes
    Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium
    Dimensions / Weight: 43 mm (H) x 413 mm (W) x 277 mm (D) / 3.52Kg
    Bag / Case Included: Yes



    #2
    Model: HP Pavilion DV7-3150
    Price: €865.68
    Processor Type: Intel® Core™ i5-430M
    CPU Speed: 2.26 GHz

    Memory: 4 GB
    Memory Type: DDR 3
    Maximum Memory: 8 GB
    Hard Drive: 500 GB
    Disk Technology: SATA
    Screen Size: 17.3"
    Dedicated Graphics Memory: 512 MB
    Max Resolution: Active Matrix TFT Color LCD 1600 x 900
    Graphics Chipset: nVidia® GeForce® GT 150M
    Optical Drive: DVD Super-Multi Drive
    Card Reader: Yes
    Webcam: Yes
    Biometric Fingerprint Reader: No
    Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes
    Bluetooth: Yes
    Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium
    Dimensions / Weight (W x H x D): 413 mm x 43 mm x 277 mm / 3.52 kg
    Bag / Case Included: Yes

    Oh, and does "active matrix" mean anything in #2?

    Thanks for the help guys.
  9. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  10. epicfail

    epicfail New Member

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    944.941 Euros
    Model
    Brand ASUS
    Model N71JQ-X1
    General
    Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    CPU Type Intel Core i7 720QM(1.6GHz)
    Screen 17.3"
    Memory Size 4GB DDR3
    Hard Disk 500GB
    Optical Drive DVD Super Multi
    Graphics Card ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730
    Video Memory 1GB DDR3 VRAM
    Communication Gigabit LAN and WLAN
    Card slot 1 x Express Card 34
    Dimensions 18.40" x 12.40" x 1.80"
    Weight 7.5 lbs.
    CPU
    CPU Type Intel Core i7
    CPU Speed 720QM(1.60GHz)
    CPU Support 6 MB L3 Cache
    Chipset
    Chipset Intel HM55
    Display
    Screen Size 17.3"
    Wide Screen Support Yes
    Resolution 1600 x 900
    LCD Features LED backlight
    Operating Systems
    Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Graphics
    GPU/VPU ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730
    Video Memory 1GB DDR3 VRAM
    Graphic Type Dedicated Card
    Hard Drive
    HDD 500GB
    HDD RPM 7200rpm
    Memory
    Memory 4GB
    Memory Speed DDR3 1066
    Memory Type 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM
    Memory Slot (Total) 2
    Max Memory Supported 8GB
    Optical Drive
    Optical Drive Type DVD Super Multi
    Optical Drive Interface Integrated
    Communications
    LAN 10/100/1000Mbps
    WLAN 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN
    Bluetooth Yes
    Ports
    Card Slot 1 x Express Card 34
    USB 4 x USB (USB 2.0 x 3; USB 3.0 x 1)
    Video Port 1 x VGA
    HDMI 1
    Other port 1 x eSATA
    Audio Ports Yes
    Audio
    Audio SRS Premium Sound
    Speaker 2.1ch Altec Lansing speakers
    Input Device
    Touchpad Yes
    Keyboard Standard
    Supplemental Drive
    Card Reader 8-in-1 card reader: MMC/ SD/ Mini-SD /XD/ Memory Stick/ MS Pro/ MS-Duo/ MS-Pro-Duo
    Webcam 2.0MP
    Power
    AC Adapter 120-watt AC adapter
    Battery 6-cell lithium ion
    Physical spec
    Dimensions 18.40" x 12.40" x 1.80"
    Weight 7.5 lbs.
    Manufacturer Warranty
    Accidental Damage Warranty 1 year ASUS Accidental Damage Warranty - Drops, Fire, Spill, Surge
    Parts 1 year limited
    Labor 1 year limited
  11. TeXBill

    TeXBill

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    This sounds nice, better video card than the other one, the i7 laptops do run "hot", most of your latops will run hot on the bottom. Thats where the cpu fan is and your harddrive. I had a HP DV9000 series for 3 years and never had a problem with it. Both of the models have good and bad reviews that I've read. Most of them complain how hot they do get on the bottom. Speed wise the i7 will run faster then the i5 will. My suggestion would be get #1 it has the most bang for your buck.
    Just my opinion on the ones you have on this forum. It's your choice "google" for both of them and read the reviews and make your decision on what you can find out about them.....:)
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
    More than 25k PPD
  12. mstenholm

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    Is he gonna use it for part time cruncher (4 treads for the i5/8 for the i7)? Will he benefit from a more powerful GPU? If not go for the lowest TPU i.e. the 35 W i5 32 nm. M2C
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  13. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    Tbh i would stay away from any HP lappys,unless they have signifcantly improved the cooling on the gpu's on them.

    Incidently,i did fix the HP dv2500se i got given.I have a thread on it.
  14. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    You need to re-think the 17" laptop thing. More accurately, you need to have your father check one out in person to see if solves his vision problem. Keep in mind that almost all new 17" laptops have a 1600x900 display now, which means that there are a lot more pixels than there are on a typical 15" laptop, which is usually 1366x768. The end result is that the dot pitch on a 17" laptop is usually actually smaller than it is on 15" laptop. That isn't going to solve the problem with it being a "tad difficult on his eyes" at all. You can spec them all you want, but I wouldn't buy anything until he has had a chance to look at the display of one in person.
  15. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    Well, dad won't be checking the temps. As long as the laptop runs fine he won't even notice let alone complain if it's hot or not since he won't be keeping it on his lap :laugh:
    I will be checking the cpu temps though. If he gets it I'll put it crunching at 75% (dad agrees with it) or perhaps less if it really does get hot.

    Even at 1.6 vs 2.26 it's faster? That was my main doubt for laptop #1...

    He will want to use it for crunching as long as it doesn't slow down anything else.

    He won't be playing any heavy games. Only sometimes when they're abroad he might let my brother play some light whatever games of his might work on it.

    He checked on the 17" laptop screen on my mom's lappie. He prefers it to his current 15" one. At least so he said. :)
  16. erixx

    erixx

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    Lenovo!
  17. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

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    i was think about DV7 too cuz i pick one for my friend, and it's have good performance and quality
  18. mlee49

    mlee49

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    I suggest a Dell Inspiron 17. Go for the i5 520M processor and a 5450 mobile Ati card. It has a 9 cell battery that should last 4 hours of surfing or movie playback.

    17" screens with a extended battery life are rare and pricey.
  19. entropy13

    entropy13

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  20. ToTTenTranz

    ToTTenTranz New Member

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    The N71 with the HD5730 is by far the best option (longevity-wise).
    The i7s are real monsters at multitasking, even the 720M clocked at 1.6GHz (8-threaded).

    However, it won't do 4 hours of battery time. You're lucky if it reaches 2.

    When only 2 cores are needed, the i7 720M disables the other 2 cores auto-overclocks to 2.4GHz.
    So the i7 will always be faster than the i5. Even at the same clock speed, it has twice the L3 cache.
    Last edited: May 20, 2010
  21. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    I would look at other makes, because I have lost confidence in HP Pavilion series after they cheated me on the 8400GS problem. Between the two I would go for the first one, it seems a better buy. If you want the laptop to last you should look at the slightly more expensive business models which are generally better built rather than a laptop aiming to be the cheapest and most powerful one in the market.
  22. Bravo2Zero

    Bravo2Zero New Member

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    stay away from alienware there to expensive for the specs they contain . maybe try a dell stay away from the xps you seem to pay for the lights on the front rather then the hardware contained in it .
  23. Black Haru

    Black Haru

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    please stay away from HP. from personal experience they wont last 5 years.

    Asus and Dell have reasonable reliability, especially Asus.

    you might try: n61 (16 inch, but otherwise good) or for a higher price the g73 (17.3 inch)
    g73 supposedly runs exceptionally cool, and the 5870m and 730qm would future proof pretty well.
  24. mdsx1950

    mdsx1950 New Member

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    According to Post 8. The 1st choice is the best :D
  25. Bravo2Zero

    Bravo2Zero New Member

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    Dell has an extended warranty you can keep buying that covers broken parts and general wear and tear of serviceable parts like screen disks cpu and memory etc .

    i had a freind buy one of these cheaper asus laptops with a 17 inch screen he seems impressed with it maybe you can have a look at that also .

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