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Old 11-12-2012, 09:51 AM   #1
coloradotrout
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Default Recommendation wanted for $300 laptop

-- web browsing
-- email
-- tax prep
-- sketchup
-- excel
-- word
-- photo browsing

Just get the cheapest 4gb / 500gb one there is?
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:20 AM   #2
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any thoughts on best keyboard? or best diy serviceability?
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:59 AM   #3
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brands to prefer? avoid?
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:03 AM   #4
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brands/models to prefer? avoid?
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:08 AM   #5
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What do you need.be more specific.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:33 AM   #6
coloradotrout
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Hi, sorry to be unclear, but I'm just looking for a general recommendation on a $300 laptop. I see several for 329 on newegg and elsewhere. My son has an Acer, my daughter a Lenovo. A bit of milk on the Lenovo fried the MB, so she needs a replacement, and I'm looking for myself also. Why don't they put down a water resistant membrane under the keyboard? Anyway -- for $300 I don't expect much, but I'd want 4 GB RAM and 300+ GB HDD. I listed the primary uses in my original post. To that I'd add the occasional movie watching. I figure it's mostly a throw away item. My son's screen did break and the Acer replacement was cheap and easy, so that's a plus IMO. Readily available online parts at low cost might be a plus also. If the part is over 200, it's not worth it -- toss it and replace.

Other than those -- I'd prefer the most durable, with a better keyboard. The lenovo kb imo was better than the acer.

So I guess in rough order:
-- best cpu in that 275-350 range
-- 4gb ram
-- durable
-- better keyboard
-- low cost parts pretty easy to get online (screens, keyboards, stuff under 200)

With all that -- all my app requirements will be met. So maybe listing the apps was not the way to go.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:35 AM   #7
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Hoping maybe I keep an eye out for holiday specials and get something in the upper 200s. But I'd like to know what to look for -- maybe have 3 or 4 in mind and then keep watch.
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:35 PM   #8
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i like asus@#@#http://www@#@#newegg@#@#ca/Product/P...rder=BESTMATCH
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:18 PM   #9
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AVOID ACER AT ALL COSTS.

Now that that is out of the way, here are the brands I recommend at that price range:

-ASUS
-LENOVO

At that price range, I would really recommend looking for a computer with an AMD E series chip. That will offer the best performance for what you want to do. Try to avoid Celeron and AMD C series chips.

Check out woot.com, they seem to frequently have good laptop deals in your price range.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:25 PM   #10
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Avoid intel Atom. Avoid AMD C series, E300 series, E200 series, E-anything actually. Avoid AMD A4 series. Pentium B950/B960/B970/B980 is a great all around chip. Even better is the pentium 2020m if it ever becomes available! Also look out for pentium 2117u. That little thing is gonna be a budget monster, again if it ever becomes available in a product.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:48 AM   #11
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This was our milk-spilled one:

Lenovo G570 (43347UU) Intel Pentium B950(2.10GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD Intel HD Graphics Notebook

Other than it did not do well with the liquid spill, we did like it.

jidery, you suggested AMD E-series
sm625 - you seemed to suggest I avoid E-anything

I will definitely look for a Pentium B9x, but is there an AMD that would be equivalent?

This is exactly the sort of info I was looking for. Years ago, I was "into" the current chipsets, etc -- but no longer. Too hard to keep up. Thank you!
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:55 AM   #12
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Any thoughts on Toshiba or Dell?

Or this refurbished Asus?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...6834230772#top
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradotrout View Post
I will definitely look for a Pentium B9x, but is there an AMD that would be equivalent?
An AMD A6-4455M is the closest in terms of performance. But there are so few of them around that you'll never find a decent notebook for a decent price. The pentium B9X is in everything, with discounts abound.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:30 AM   #14
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So I'll focus on Pentium B9x -- plenty as you say. Also 4GB of RAM (and nice to have ability to get to 6 or 8).

So next up for me would be durability and a good keyboard.

Still Lenovo or Asus?
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:02 PM   #15
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I got an Asus X401A from BestBuy with the B970 in it. It throttles on battery down to 800Mhz, stock max speed is 2.3Ghz, which it does reach when AC power is plugged in.

Downsides are: have to remove keyboard to get at HD, have to remove motherboard too, to get at RAM slot.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:15 PM   #16
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I don't expect I''l need to get at the hd nor mb often, so not an issue. I do have my dead Lenovo that I'd like to be able to use it's harddrive either in the new laptop or as external.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:21 PM   #17
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Asus X401 has no internal CD/DVD. Is there a cheap external that would be recommended? I think I'd want the internal one however.

Last edited by coloradotrout; 11-14-2012 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sm625 View Post
Avoid intel Atom. Avoid AMD C series, E300 series, E200 series, E-anything actually. Avoid AMD A4 series. Pentium B950/B960/B970/B980 is a great all around chip. Even better is the pentium 2020m if it ever becomes available! Also look out for pentium 2117u. That little thing is gonna be a budget monster, again if it ever becomes available in a product.
I would second this post in contrast to the previous one. In a full size laptop, I feel any E series processer is out of place. It is more of a netbook processor. You should be able to get an Intel pentium as this poster said. If you would be willing to go closer to 400 dollars you will have a lot of nicer options, such as an AMD A-6 Llano (Trinity is still expensive), or maybe an i3. I am not a fan on AMD APUs in desktops, but for low end laptops they are an attractive alternative if the price is right.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:17 AM   #19
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Newegg's prices just changed as I was searching!

At $300 you just are not going to get much unless you happen upon a great Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale.

For closer to $400 you can get an i3 which is just pure awesomeness in a cheap laptop.

Got 3 Acer laptops, all have been fine but no one has spilled milk on them. If you had some real money to spend you could do better but in this price range nothing is going to be built like a tank.

I think Intel is greatly improving their Atoms but they are still to be avoided.

At $300 a Celeron wouldn't be your worst choice (depending the exact model). Some Cels are pretty nice, some not so much...

Avoid AMD C or E.

AMD A series is decent (even the crappy A4 is better than a C, E or Atom).

Finally don't take my word for it, check out the benchmarks here:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-...st.2436.0.html

Last edited by lakedude; 11-15-2012 at 04:20 AM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:41 PM   #20
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i3 laptop for $350, might get one myself...Christmas is right around the corner...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834215389
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:01 PM   #21
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Too slow, sold out. Dang!
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:23 PM   #22
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Best Bang-for-the-buck right now on Newegg is this model from Toshiba:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834214863

TOSHIBA Satellite C855-S5231 Notebook Intel Pentium B970(2.3GHz) 15.6" 4GB Memory DDR3 1333 320GB HDD 5400rpm DVD Super Multi Intel HD Graphics

For $329 w/free shipping it's about the best you'll fine for a quality unit with a good processor, ram, decent hard drive, HDMI, USB 3.0, and 6-Cell Battery.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:48 AM   #23
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Best Buy will have an Asus w/ a B980 for $249.99 on BF.
https://blackfriday.bestbuy.com/door...ve++matte+pink

Looks like a great deal to me. What do you guys think?

Edit: Crap...Noticed it doesn't have a DVD drive :-(
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:27 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coloradotrout View Post
A bit of milk on the Lenovo fried the MB, so she needs a replacement, and I'm looking for myself also. Why don't they put down a water resistant membrane under the keyboard?
Weird, I thought Lenovo was the one company who had spill resistant keyboards...

Maybe that is only on some models?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7mc59EEoP0

in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq6HULZnDgc
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:31 AM   #25
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I bought a Gateway NV77U at the beginning of the schoolyear from Amazon for less than $400. It has an Intel I5 2450m, 6gb ram and 750gb hd. 17inch HD screen is awesome. The biggest thing I like about it is it has dual harddrive bays, so I was able to clone the OS onto a 120gb SSD and use the 750gb for programs. I have almost 1tb of hd space on a laptop! I also upgraded to 8gb of ram and bought a 9-cell battery for it so I have about 8 hours of battery life. Needless to say, I now use the laptop more than my 6-core desktop. Good luck finding one, since a quick search revealed slim pickins...
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