Recommendation wanted for $300 laptop

Discussion in 'Computer Help' started by coloradotrout, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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

    Just get the cheapest 4gb / 500gb one there is?
     
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  3. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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    any thoughts on best keyboard? or best diy serviceability?
     
  4. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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    brands to prefer? avoid?
     
  5. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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    brands/models to prefer? avoid?
     
  6. denis280

    denis280 Diamond Member

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    What do you need.be more specific.
     
  7. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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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.
     
  8. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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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.
     
  9. denis280

    denis280 Diamond Member

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  10. jidery

    jidery Member

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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.
     
  11. sm625

    sm625 Diamond Member

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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.
     
  12. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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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!
     
  13. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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  14. sm625

    sm625 Diamond Member

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    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.
     
  15. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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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?
     
  16. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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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.
     
  17. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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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.
     
  18. coloradotrout

    coloradotrout Junior Member

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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.
     
    #17 coloradotrout, Nov 14, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
  19. frozentundra123456

    frozentundra123456 Diamond Member

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    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.
     
  20. lakedude

    lakedude Golden Member

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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-Processors-Benchmarklist.2436.0.html
     
    #19 lakedude, Nov 15, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  21. lakedude

    lakedude Golden Member

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  22. lakedude

    lakedude Golden Member

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    Too slow, sold out. Dang!
     
  23. daveybrat

    daveybrat Diamond Member

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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.
     
  24. drka0tic

    drka0tic Junior Member

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  25. lakedude

    lakedude Golden Member

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  26. Smoove910

    Smoove910 Golden Member

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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...