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What brand of laptops/notebooks do you recommend?

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Showing 1-25 of 39 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 13, 2008 12:11:48 PM PDT
Sea Champion says:
I would like something easy to carry, sleek, great quality, little money, lots of storage (100 GB is possible), and internet access. I would also like a brand that is reliable, and doesn't have products that crash. Can you help me?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2010 3:18:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 31, 2010 3:40:29 AM PDT
Fraydo7 says:
There's so many things to consider, and some most people don't think about them till after they buy. And it depends on your needs and wants. Also look at the history and reputation of the brand. Here are some things that I have been thinking about:

Matte screen provides far less eye strain than glossy; I don't care if glossy looks cool, I want a computer I can actually see and use.

I don't care for Wide screen, since I want to see as much of a page as possible when I'm working on it. Watching movies on it is lower on my list. I doubt you can find a non-wide screen though.

I would love to be able to physically rotate the screen. Tablets can, and I think there is much future use for tablets and touch screens.
Intel graphics processors lets you rotate the Image on the screen, so you can turn the laptop and use it to read a full book page, etc. Other graphics processors offer better quality though.

Lenovo has the lowest incidence of repair; Apple requires the highest incidence and more costly repairs, so says an article I read. HP and Dell were somewhere in the middle. Sony's can go drastically either way depending on model. Toshiba was pretty good.
My friend's Acer died after 6 months.

Lenovo tends to be lighter in weight. I'm looking for that. Toshiba's are probably next, although, some MSI's that I picked up were light.

"Doesn't crash." Well, they all have issues, at times, beginning with the operating system and up.

I have an older IBM/Lenovo, A31, which, if you install even a handful of its' drivers, becomes extremely slow. The most current soundmax driver for it is buggy, and hangs the computer. Toshiba's I have used have worked well with Windows. Some of them had cooling issues though.

Keyboard: Why is it, the older the laptop, the much better the keyboard? Toshiba Satellite PI, excellent keyboard; Toshiba Tecra 8000 PII, reasonably great keyboard. Now days, many are barely type-able unless you hit the key exactly in the middle. And the key caps are breaking off in the stores! And you can't just push them back on like the old laptops; you have to buy a whole new keyboard!
Does it have an actual Windows key? Can you stand the slim numeric keypad?

Does it have PS2 connectors, one for a mouse, and one for a keyboard; those I require? Do you still need parallel or serial connectors? Does it have HDMI or external monitor connectors?
How many USB's? Are the connectors all over the place so you have a rats nest of wires on your desk? Power connectors that break are really expensive to repair. What if your laptop is on your lap with the power cord in?

Call up a company's support line; how easy is it to get help? Does it run out after a while, or do they make you pay? Check how much parts are before you buy, like a replacement keyboard or screen, or battery.

I'm currently mad at Asus, because my P5GC-MX/1333 desktop bios can't be updated because it is not recognized by the bios update utility; and in their support forums they don't listen or understand or get it. So, no way I would buy another Asus product, though I own several.

Other things I'm thinking about:
12 volt power supply or lower: I'd like to plug it into the cigarette lighter jack in the car, and not have to use an inverter which uses up a lot of power. Lenovo is usually 16volts; too high.

Play a song on the thing before you buy it. Most of them have no volume. If you plug a pair of hi-impedance headphones in, you can't hear. And the speakers, even Altec-Lansing, are distorted. I like the speakers to be aimed toward the user so that others are not as easily disturbed. I also like speakers exposed even with the lid closed, so I can listen to it that way.

Some laptops can sustain being dropped without harm; others guarantee the LCD panel will break. Does it feel flimsy?
I wish they would put rubber rims on all edges and corners.

Speed: sometimes processor speed is more important than power.
A single processor like an old P4 that runs fast, will be faster than an expensive i7 quad core if it has a slow CPU speed, for things like word processing, using the internet, etc.

Black may look nice, but it bakes in the sun when you leave it in your car or near a window. Painted plastic scratches easily.

I guess I'm leaning toward Toshiba currently, but I'm not sure they offer the best price.

Hope these, my thoughts on the subject, will help you.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2010 4:59:06 PM PDT
Branon Young says:
"A single processor like an old P4 that runs fast, will be faster than an expensive i7 quad core if it has a slow CPU speed, for things like word processing, using the internet, etc."

Surely you are joking about this. I had several P4s (all 3+GHz Prescotts) and they don't even start to compare with the newer core2 based Celerons (2.0 GHz and below) I've used for menial tasks such as web surfing, Email, etc...
While I'm sure your argument MAY hold water with other single core processors, The P4s were definitely not the best example.

Posted on Oct 17, 2010 12:21:18 PM PDT
mint snow says:
i happen to LOVE my Acer AO532h-2588 10.1-Inch Onyx Blue Netbook - Up to 8 Hours of Battery Life. It is really small, but I love it for that reason. I have had mine over a year and I have a regular laptop that I rarely use because I love my Acer so much. It's not great for multi-tasking and I don't do alot of music, games or if you do alot of those you might not choose this particular one.

Posted on Oct 17, 2010 5:43:58 PM PDT
C. Scott says:
I sell laptops for a living. Asus and Toshiba are your best bets, along with Sony although most are overpriced. HP is very hit or miss, and I would never reccommend a Dell. Other brands I typically don't reccommend are Acer, Gateway, and Lenovo. Samsung is too new to judge just yet.

Posted on Oct 25, 2010 11:12:05 PM PDT
I agree with C. Pluemacher for the most part, though I would add a very strong caution about HP -- in one study from last year, they had the worst reliability in the industry, with Acer and Gateway not doing much better.

Right now, Asus seems hit some great price points. They have a number of choices in the $6-900 range that combine light weight and portability, solid performance and specs, and great battery life.

Sony models tend to be more expensive for what you get, but if "sleek" is really important to you, you might fall in love with a Sony. Sony loves to design great looking, highly portable systems like the Vaio X, Y, and Z series (though the Zs are quite expensive).

Posted on Oct 28, 2010 11:25:42 AM PDT
Panna Dipa says:
I do not recommend Toshiba T135-s1305 due to a horrible mouse pad! That is the worst ever I have experienced!

Posted on Oct 29, 2010 5:18:39 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 29, 2010 5:19:54 AM PDT
Masked Man says:
Fraydo is correct in saying it depends on what you are going to do with it. So the first question is: "what am I going to do most of the time with the machine"? Then ask, "okay, what machine can do this that will fit in my budget"?

For example if you were going to do Photoshop with 18 megapixel images, you'd buy a different machine than if you are going to just surf the web and do email or run Office on. You might buy something different still, if you were just going to play games most of the time.

And as to reliability... my Mac has been running without a re-boot for over 100 days now.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2010 12:38:56 PM PDT
A. baruchov says:
Question why not Acer

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2010 12:59:33 PM PST
D. Benoit says:
Out of the ASUS brand. Which would you recommend for running games. I would like to play games, watch movies. It should have a dvd/cd read write. Obviously, wireless card all of the other standard stuff. I am getting confused between the models offered. I don't want to spend too much. I hear the ASUS motherboard is tops. I am not sure about the graphics. Thanks Deb

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 25, 2010 11:55:17 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 25, 2010 12:01:10 PM PST
Mark Hyatt says:
A.baruchov-I own two Acer laps and I was unsure when I purchased the first one. I found it online w/AMD processor, 15.6 screen, refurbished for $299 about 2.5 years ago and it still runs as good as when it arrived and with less trouble than my $1800 DELL. I ordered the second Acer from Amazon (model AS7741-7870 ... (last month for $599 (with a promotion of $100 for use on amazon) = $499. It is far superior than my DELL and my HP HP G72-b60us 17.3-Inch Laptop PC - Up to 5 Hours of Battery Life (Biscotti) Acer is moving up and now owns Gateway and a couple of other brand name companies. Acer also makes highend models as well.

Posted on Jan 22, 2011 8:33:08 AM PST
I'm currently typing on a 3-year-old HP that I just upgraded to Windows 7 64-bit. It's fine, and it was cheap (around $500) when I got it. I don't know if HP quality control has gone down the drain since then or what, but aside from all the bloatware that comes on them (and there's a lot), I don't have any problem with HP.

On the other hand, my ASUS Eee PC, which I loved, is no longer usable. The onboard video card suddenly stopped working about 3 weeks after the warranty expired. So I dunno. My recommendation for anyone is to always buy an extended warranty that covers parts and labor for a while after the factory warranty is up. Even if your computer is from the most reliable brand in the industry, patting yourself on the back for that won't help when the warranty runs out.

Posted on Feb 11, 2011 9:48:31 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Feb 11, 2011 11:12:36 AM PST]

Posted on Feb 13, 2011 10:47:55 AM PST
MacQ says:
I've been going back and forth for over a month on laptop choices. My first brand picks (in order of preference) are ASUS, then ACER and Toshiba. I wanted some reasonable minimum specs to include 4GB Memory, 1 GB dedicated video card, 500GB HD (7200rpm), Bluetooth, 15-16 " screen (min 1366X720 resolution), bluray, backlit keyboard and a few other wishful stats. My primary use is internet, with some photo editing, video editing, music, occasional movie, some gaming, MS-Office apps, remote access to office PC, and just overall general use without any one major category of use. I preferred 2 plus hour's battery, but not at the expense of losing to many specs listed above. I wasn't looking for the $300-400 deal, although for basic functionality Acer has some great deals. My dollar range is between $900 - $1300. The top range (ASUS G53JW-XT1 $1299, although pegged as gaming had everything to be a great match), the middle unit was the ASUS N53JF-WE1 $979 only missing backlit kb, has bluray and 1920X1080 res and the one that popped up yesterday discounted to $799... the ASUS N61JV-X4. Although it lacked the backlit keys, bluetooth and bluray, I couldn't resist the value, very good specs and reviews. I can add bluetooth and an bd player later, although not the backlit keys. I know I missed some minor details but take a look at this unit ASUS N61JV-X4 16-Inch Versatile Entertainment Laptop - Dark Brown For $799, this is a great deal! I'll post another review after a few weeks of use. Good luck with your search

Posted on Mar 11, 2011 9:50:15 AM PST
Gary says:
My last two HP's had hinge failure. Terrible quality. Terrible service and support. You'll be talking to someone in India that can barely speak English. Toshiba, Asus, and Samsung, and to a lesser degree Sony, have the best reliability. All the bells and whistles do not do you much good when you're HP cracks in half.

Posted on Oct 2, 2011 3:24:39 PM PDT
I did tremendous research on laptops and got my son a toshiba at about $550. He has loved it since he got it 6 months ago, and his friends which have apple, hp, etc laptops are often borrowing his when they visit because they like it better... go figure!

Posted on Oct 3, 2011 2:38:14 AM PDT
Barredbard says:
You should probably keep in mind that your son's needs are probably modest, as opposed to someone like me who needed a business laptop. I settled for a Sony Vaio that cost $2,800; an absolutely ridiculous amount for a 13-inch laptop. But it was the only laptop that had all the features that I wanted, and it quite literally a beast. Blazing fast speeds, dedicated graphics card, ultra light weight, decent battery, solid state drive, etc.

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 4:50:22 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 30, 2011 4:51:13 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2012 7:24:52 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 31, 2012 7:25:48 AM PDT
Actually there was a free repair for the T135-S1305 mousepad problem. I had mine done and now it is fine. Overall a great laptop that has given me years of good service. I suggest you contact Toshiba if your has this problem.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 7:32:28 PM PST
D. Pike says:
what do you have against DELL?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 27, 2012 7:12:30 AM PST
Mark Hyatt says:
I do not have anything "against" Dell. I was comparing two very inexpensive Acer laptops with a higher end Dell.

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 6:28:32 PM PST

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 6:57:52 PM PST
I bought a Dell XPS 13" last October. It's only 3 lbs, lighter than a Macbook or many other brands in that size. Actually, most are 13.3". I paid a little more for the Intel Core i7 with 4GB. I have a 250GB external drive and a 64GB flash drive, so no issue with storage. Regardless of the price of laptops, the warranty is the killer, but how can you do without it? Right after I bought the laptop, I saw commercials of touchscreen laptop/tablet products on TV. Can't tell you my face impression...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 10:28:28 PM PST
I use my computer for videos, movies, email, facebook and twitter Will a tablet be sufficient? Does it have something like Word if I want to write letters etc.?

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 14, 2013 10:54:33 PM PST
Barredbard says:
Yes, a tablet can handle everything you named without breaking a sweat. You would have to buy the Word processing app, but only once. However, I truly don't believe that a tablet can replace a laptop. Typing with a touchpad is too inconvenient, and no tablet can rival a laptop in sheer power. If yo do purchase a tablet, I'd recommend either the iPad or one of the many Droids; they have established a formidable app ecosystem.
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Discussion in:  Laptops forum
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Initial post:  Aug 13, 2008
Latest post:  Apr 29, 2013

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