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    What to look for in a Laptop

    I am in the market for a laptop. Wondering what I should be looking for. I basically just need it for the internet and basic data processing. I like to stream alot of online video, since I don't have cable. Also some decent storage. I have alot of media files on an external hard drive.

    Thanks for any help.



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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by weisr2002 View Post
    I am in the market for a laptop. Wondering what I should be looking for. I basically just need it for the internet and basic data processing. I like to stream alot of online video, since I don't have cable. Also some decent storage. I have alot of media files on an external hard drive.

    Thanks for any help.
    Laptop PC Buyer's Guide



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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by weisr2002 View Post
    I am in the market for a laptop. Wondering what I should be looking for. I basically just need it for the internet and basic data processing. I like to stream alot of online video, since I don't have cable. Also some decent storage. I have alot of media files on an external hard drive.

    Thanks for any help.
    From what I've read and heard, stay away from Acer and Sony. ASUS, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, and MSI have good reps within the IT community. If you want to stream video, you'll want a laptop with separate VRAM (Video RAM, at least 256 Mb, 1 gig preferable), not one that shares video memory from its main RAM. Get 802.11n wireless networking, 4 Gig RAM on board minimum if running Windows 7 for good performance, and a at least a dual-core processor (quad-core is preferable). Get the largest hard drive you can afford; I suggest at least 320 gig, but 500 gig to 1 Terabyte is better. Video files take up very large chunks of space on the hard drive. Those suggestions should get the ball rolling for you. Unfortunately, a notebook with these features will cost you some bucks -- in the thousand dollar range. You get the performance you pay for.

    Edit: BTW, having an HDMI port built-in would be good to connect to an HD TV.


    Last edited by drednot57; 11-29-2010 at 09:54 AM.
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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by drednot57 View Post
    From what I've read and heard, stay away from Acer and Sony. ASUS, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba, and MSI have good reps within the IT community. If you want to stream video, you'll want a laptop with separate VRAM (Video RAM, at least 256 Mb, 1 gig preferable), not one that shares video memory from its main RAM. Get 802.11n wireless networking, 4 Gig RAM on board minimum if running Windows 7 for good performance, and a at least a dual-core processor (quad-core is preferable). Get the largest hard drive you can afford; I suggest at least 320 gig, but 500 gig to 1 Terabyte is better. Video files take up very large chunks of space on the hard drive. Those suggestions should get the ball rolling for you. Unfortunately, a notebook with these features will cost you some bucks -- in the thousand dollar range. You get the performance you pay for.
    Stay away from HP. All you need to do is wander over to their online support forums to figure out they don't give a **** about their customers, even if there's an industry-wide problem. I'm in the market for a new laptop myself and HP is one of the few that is completely off the table.

    The VRAM thing is extremely important if you want to do anything visual-intensive - as in play games, stream video, etc. You'll want a dedicated graphics processor (NVIDIA or ATI) - stay away from the Intel integrated chipset or the ATI 4100 or 4200 series - they're integrated chipsets that depend on the processor for a lot of its memory. Also, stay away from the Intel i3 processor - it is never paired with anything but an Intel chipset.

    One other thing to look into - if the laptop you're looking into has an NVIDIA GPU, check online to see if they have resolved their overheating issues. I fried the motherboard in my HP laptop over the course of 14 months because there was a flaw in the NVIDIA 8x00m GS (and possibly the 9x00m) series GPUs that caused them to run well over 100 degrees C (the reason why I got the shaft is because, instead of solving the problem with my laptop, both HP and NVIDIA were more interested in blaming each other for the problem instead of fixing my problem).

    Lastly - I'm not usually one to purchase extended warranties for products. However, I will never again buy another laptop without one. A laptop is not like a regular desktop where, say you fry the video card, you can go to the store and buy a brand card and, after about an hour or two of work you're up and running again. Just about everything that goes into a laptop (save the hard drive and RAM sticks) is highly customized. GPUs are usually mounted right onto the motherboard, so if you burn one of those out you're looking at buying a brand new motherboard, which is nearly half the cost of the laptop. Most of the time extended warranties are a waste of money. However, when it comes to laptops, they tend to be worth every cent you pay for them.


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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop


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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    Lastly - I'm not usually one to purchase extended warranties for products. However, I will never again buy another laptop without one. A laptop is not like a regular desktop where, say you fry the video card, you can go to the store and buy a brand card and, after about an hour or two of work you're up and running again. Just about everything that goes into a laptop (save the hard drive and RAM sticks) is highly customized. GPUs are usually mounted right onto the motherboard, so if you burn one of those out you're looking at buying a brand new motherboard, which is nearly half the cost of the laptop. Most of the time extended warranties are a waste of money. However, when it comes to laptops, they tend to be worth every cent you pay for them.
    I'm down with this suggestion, it's wise advice. Since notebooks are portable, more accidents happen to them than the standard desktop.


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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    MacBook Pro

    Stay away from normal PCs for what you are doing. You'll be happy with the stability and functionality.



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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by weisr2002 View Post
    I am in the market for a laptop. Wondering what I should be looking for. I basically just need it for the internet and basic data processing. I like to stream alot of online video, since I don't have cable. Also some decent storage. I have alot of media files on an external hard drive.

    Thanks for any help.
    Unless you have money to burn, it sounds like you don't need a top of the line laptop. The most important thing is probably memory - 3gb minimum. If you are interested in connecting the laptop to your tv, make sure it has an HDMI port. One more important thing - does the weight or screen size matter to you? 14", 15", 17", etc......



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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    MacBook Pro <br> <br>
    Stay away from normal PCs for what you are doing. You'll be happy with the stability and functionality.
    Yep, watch the thread get hijacked by Apple fanbois yet again...

    Funny - the purty Apple sticker didn't save their laptops from the NVIDIA GPU burnouts. But whatever..



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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    i just bought a Lenova(IBM) and am very happy with it. i don't know what any of the tech stuff means, but it has an i3 processer and it seems to handle everything i've thrown at it so far.

    1 thing i did look for was battery life. not sure why, but most only had about a 3 hr life span, the lenova has 8 i believe.



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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by jdoggivjc View Post
    Yep, watch the thread get hijacked by Apple fanbois yet again...

    Funny - the purty Apple sticker didn't save their laptops from the NVIDIA GPU burnouts. But whatever..
    Is every Apple user a fan boy or do you just like to ridicule anyone that has anything positive to say about an Apple computer?



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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    Here's another guide from TechRepublic on tips on buying a laptop:
    I hope this isn't info overload for you.


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    Re: What to look for in a Laptop

    One thing I wish I had was better speakers. My computer is pretty quiet and that sucks for trying to listen to anythign on the internet.

    I'd also looks for something pretty durable because I am pretty hard on my laptop.

    I have a cheap (probably around $800) Dell. I like it other than the crap speakers.



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