Help needed with laptop purchase

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Help needed with laptop purchase

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Postby Xard » Sun Oct 06, 2013 6:24 pm

So, my previous laptop has finally become useless paperweight and in process made sure I'll never get HP product ever again if I can help it. Unfortunately I still have limited need for a laptop so I've been looking for a new one.

Main function for this laptop is to be hooked to my television screen via HDMI-cable so I can watch my animu and films straight from the hard drive. So obviously I don't need top range machine with killer gaming or video editing and encoding power. However I do need a machine strong enough to deal with variety of modern video encodes and at times massive file sizes (biggest 1080p rips I've had to play have delightful sizes ranging from 10 to 20 gigs).

My previous laptop has:

AMD Phenom(tm) II P960 Quad-Core Processor 1.80 Ghz

6.00 Gt RAM

700 gig hard drive

AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250
AMD Radeon HD 6550M


amidst variety of other more insignicant details (laptop was supposedly specialized in watching and listening to music after all). It cost about 1000 euros new in 2011 and I certainly never had any playback problems with it. It has the firepower to deal with the files that go around the net today.

Now given how little use I'll have for laptop (my tabletop is the primary PC) I'd like to spend as little money as possible on itwithout compromising playback abilities. My friend's cheaper laptop of about same age struggled with some of the more demanding files so I know I can't confidently lower the bar *too* low, unfortunately.

As for brands Asus seems to be the most trustworthy whereas I will only get non-high end HP product if forced. My comfortable price cap is at 800 euros (about 1100 us dollars) but if it's possible I'd prefer something noticeably cheaper.

So: good, affordable laptops for animu watching in 200-800 euros (approx. 250-1100 dollars) price range? What sort of hardware I should look for at minimum eg. quad-core processor?
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
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And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
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Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby riffraff11235 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:09 pm

Asus laptops tend to be on the pricier side. The Acer Aspire V3-772G-9829 that I'm looking at right now seems to be among the better laptops in this price range. You probably won't find a better deal for less than $1000.
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Postby Monk Ed » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:23 pm

Off-topic non-productive post graveyarded because this isn't 4chan, IO.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:21 pm

Lenovo laptops are a good choice, IMO. I think you get your money's worth. (Mine is a G560.)
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Postby Chuckman » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:51 pm

Any laptop with a Haswell CPU should be more than adequate if you're just going to play videos over HDMI with it.

This seems to be a weird usage case for a laptop, though. If you're not going to be using it as an actual laptop you'd get more bang for your buck buying or building a small rig with an SSD and some expansion options for secondary storage.
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Postby Agentomega » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:14 am

View Original PostSailor Star Dust wrote:Lenovo laptops are a good choice, IMO. I think you get your money's worth. (Mine is a G560.)


Seconded. I've had two Lenovos and they've held up quite well. I've had a T61p and am currently using a T430. Both were about $1200 (approx 885 euros) when I bought them (5 and 1 years respectively) IIRC. I'll do a bit of hunting about their site in the morning, see if there are any models at your cap or lower that I'd recommend specifically for your purposes.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:52 am

I second Chuckman's comment about this not being a laptop that you want, but really a small box media server. You'd have to get all the bits and self assemble, but there are eminently portable chassis units to be found -- about 15cm cubes, just about big enough to fit a standard 3" drive.
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Postby BiQ » Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:03 am

[s:26vuutta]I'm going to take a gamble and assume that Xard left a bit of relevant info out: He's a student in Finland, possibly living in a student housing apartment. This means there's relevantly high odds that he does not have any kind of TV (or even space for one) in his current living space.[/s:26vuutta] Nevermind, I could also read the original message... Yes. The small media server box is more in line what you need, Xard. If you don't need a laptop, you don't need to shell out cash for one.

However, it happens that I've come across a company that sells refurbished "professional" laptops that have been decommissioned from companies: http://www.cimos.fi. I got myself a thinkpad x61 with dock station for 200e (without battery, cause I wanted to get a brand new myself).
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Postby soul.assassin » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:30 am

No MSIs or Acers. Tried them and were iffy. Lenovos felt solid and fast, and yeah you'll need more recent mobile GPUs that's better than Intel's duh integrated graphics.

BiQ's right: for a fraction of a brand-new laptop good for high-def, you get from the refurb company a pretty solid laptop originally intended for professionals. And you get to add the icing on the cake.

Like a Ranka wallpaper.

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Postby Ornette » Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:39 am

I've been using Thinkpads since the 360EL and think it's the best that there is, though the overall build quality has been lower than the days they were building tanks that you can run a car over. Problem is, the customizability varies from country to country, so the utility may be out of the price range that you're buying into.

Additionally, one of the big plusses with Thinkpads is their service, but I'm only familiar with that in the U.S. I don't know if they do same-day box shipment, and overnight the laptop back to you completely fixed by the next business day service in the EU like they do here. Additionally, since they've dropped IBM's service infrastructure a few years ago, the awesome service has also taken a bit of a downturn.

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Postby Xard » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:03 pm

Thank you for the feedback. Re: media server boxes and the like they unfortunately aren't option because I do have other needs for laptop - mostly when I'm travelling, for example visiting parents for longer periods of time etc.

I stressed the main use because mobility, size and screen aren't all that important concern in large scale of things. I'm not taking it to uni for lectures notes, for example. So despite the costs I think I'm sticking to laptop because it gets the main job done as well as boxes while having additional uses such box doesn't.

View Original Postriffraff11235 wrote:Asus laptops tend to be on the pricier side. The Acer Aspire V3-772G-9829 that I'm looking at right now seems to be among the better laptops in this price range. You probably won't find a better deal for less than $1000.


Asus isn't a must the way HP is no way in hell option but I am looking for realibility. The largest study on laptop reliabilities I'm aware of has Asus as clear winner and newer studies from last years I know of haven't changed Asus's general position among the most trustworthy if not the most trustworthy brand.

View Original PostBiQ wrote:However, it happens that I've come across a company that sells refurbished "professional" laptops that have been decommissioned from companies: http://www.cimos.fi. I got myself a thinkpad x61 with dock station for 200e (without battery, cause I wanted to get a brand new myself).


This seems like very nice service but I must admit I'm feeling very iffy about buying used laptop. This is mainly due to laptop's general reliability questions and use ages that aren't exactly mind blowing. I don't want to pay 200e and find the thing bust right after the 6 month warrant guaranteed by the firm. Then again these ain't consumer models. :chinscratch:


Right now it annoys me how little I actually know about demands such seemingly minor thing as playing videos have on hardware. Last time I had trouble playing files was 6-7 years ago when my even-then-starting-to-age PC struggled with 1080p files. But given how much time has passed inbetween it didn't really occur to me lack of such struggle wasn't certainty now. Of course given how software, encoding etc. marches on onwards all the time that was probably naive of me, assuming "heavy" files of 7 years ago are pretty much the same they're now.
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby arkiel » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:15 pm

I spent 300USD on a crap HP laptop. It has an HDMI port. I had to switch out the hard drive once, and the shell gets scratched all to shit by stuff in my bookbag, but its a 300USD laptop that can do everything you mentioned. Stuff in that price-range is gonna be all the same garbage anyway.

Also, its lasted about three years.

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Postby ath » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:47 pm

View Original PostAgentomega wrote:Seconded. I've had two Lenovos and they've held up quite well. I've had a T61p and am currently using a T430. Both were about $1200 (approx 885 euros) when I bought them (5 and 1 years respectively) IIRC.

T430s here. I call it "The Last Thinkpad", since Lenovo started butchering the pointing devices and soldering down internal components in the next generation, in the name of selling black Macbook lookalikes. Not perfect by any means (hate the cracking palmrest and the borderline crap LCD) but good enough, especially if you're going to use a non-Windows OS.
You just can't live without a docking station once you get used to it, especially if you have a 24" FHD VA monitor and a decent audio system to watch anime with...

View Original PostOrnette wrote:Additionally, one of the big plusses with Thinkpads is their service, but I'm only familiar with that in the U.S.

Here in the EU I got a 3-year next-business-day warranty, but fortunately I had no need to call support yet. Their local support website is a mess though - I honestly have no idea how to call them if I ever need to. My last notebook was a Dell with a ProSupport subscription, their phone and onsite service was excellent. I heard they've outsourced sales assistance and phone support to some crap country since then, though.

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Postby Xard » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:04 pm

Would this do the job?

ASUS 15.6inch HD Glare i3-3217U Intel HD 4000 4GB (4GB x 1) onboard 500GB 5400rpm SATA no ODD 2cell W8-64B

CPU: Intel Core i3 (3rd gen) 3217U
Dual Core
64bit
Chipset: Mobile Intel HM76 Express

RAM: 4 GT DDR3 SDRAM

500 GT HDD/5400rpm)

GPU: Intel HD Graphics 4000


The GPU makes me go :| in suspicion...

I've also been bitterly biting my lip and upping the money I'm willing to pay a little. This seems like ok deal for 600 eurodollars and should be more than enough. But again, I really don't want to pay unless I have to. :hahaha:

Well, at least my decision for laptop over mediabox has become solid as I'm travelling this weekend and I just realized what a pain in the ass I will have doing uni stuff back at parents without my own laptop to use. :|

Of course whatever I get won't make it for THIS weekend but maybe next time.
ran1: Oh gosh this sentence gave me an internet boner. You're so tsundere.
Mugwump: Goddamn it, Xard! Take me in your arms, you magnificent sex god bastard!
And don't forget to wear the Ran mask.
Eva Yojimbo: You really are the Otaku equivalent of a Catholic and Jew rolled up into one giant dakimakura of guilt.
Gob Hobblin: Sanctimonious, subtly racist, vaguely misogynist, somehow says something while at the same time saying...nothing, really, at all....

Nice, Xard. That's nice.

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Postby riffraff11235 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:52 am

So I'm still in the process of choosing a laptop for college. I've narrowed it down to a few choices:

Lenovo Ideapad Y510p
Acer Aspire V3-772G-9829
Samsung Series 5 NP550P7C-T01US
ASUS X750JB-DB71

I'm looking for something in the $800-$1000 range with specs similar to these models. Any suggestions?
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Postby Catamari » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:37 am

View Original Postriffraff11235 wrote:Any suggestions?
That depends largely on what you plan to do with your machine. I like the Asus personally. It looks good and is fairly powerful. If I were in your shoes, I would go with that one. You know what you're looking for better than I do, though.
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Postby riffraff11235 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:40 am

I guess I should have mentioned that in my original post. :facepalm:

I'm looking for a laptop that I can use for school, but I'd also like one that can handle most modern games. That's why I'm looking at entertainment/multimedia laptops, i.e. models with relatively powerful GPUs and substantial amounts of RAM. My budget's capped at $1,000, but my dad said I can use the money leftover to buy accessories, primarily an external HDD.
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Postby soul.assassin » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:49 am

For installations and for now, I stick mostly to Win7.

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Postby riffraff11235 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:38 am

View Original Postsoul.assassin wrote:For installations and for now, I stick mostly to Win7.

One of my goals was finding a laptop with Windows 7 on it, but unfortunately most new models come with some form of Windows 8 nowadays....
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Postby Catamari » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:12 am

View Original Postriffraff11235 wrote:One of my goals was finding a laptop with Windows 7 on it, but unfortunately most new models come with some form of Windows 8 nowadays....
Acquire a copy of Windows 7 with your laptop.

You can get an OEM copy of Home Premium for less than $100.
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