My budget for the new labtop is: about $500-$800 but if you guys could find one that fits my need for less that will be very helpful.
What are the primary uses for this computer (IE: mail, web browsing, programming, games, etc)? I will use it for college which means mostly web browsing, mail, listening to music, maybe pictures, sometimes games.
What software do you intend on using on the computer? i dont really know. the regular software?
Do you play games? If so, what type of games? Ocassionaly i would like to play FPS games hopefully newer games. But if the buget is too low for a gaming labtop then it is fine.
Do you tend to have a lot of programs running at the same time, or do you close every program when you are done using it? about 5 or 6 programs at the same time. So a labtop with a fast processor and RAM
Do you store a lot of pictures or music on the computer? about 7gb combined
I am actually looking for a well rounded labtop that will fulfill my needs. One that will last for a long time. I live in California and i was thinking about buying the labtop on Black Friday after Thanksgiving. I was also wondering about having the new Windows 7 on my labtop. Is that actually reliable and will it be better than what i have right now which is Windows XP.
Any Advice is Appreciated
I work as a sales rep in a Staples store down here in FL and we get alot of customer's coming in with similar needs in mind.
The first and most important thing to remember is, that at between $500-$800 a "gaming" laptop is definitely out of the question. You could perhaps catch one on a sale, but you still would be buying on the vary low end of gaming machine, which honestly doesn't give you as much of a value for your purchase.
Secondly speaking, make sure you're prepared to deal with associated costs when it comes to purchasing a new pc. New computers, whether they be laptops, netbooks, or desktops all come with TRIAL software only. So unless you have a copy of Microsoft Office (hopefully 2007 at this point) to install, you will need to purchase it. You can typically find it for anywhere between $99-$150 depending on sales. Anti virus is also not included, and this is an important software that you'll need to have as early on as possible.
Without igniting a lengthy debate about which AV software is superior to the other, i'll lay it out for you to draw your own conclusions:
Antivirus 2010- Not at all worth the money you'll pay for it, there are many superior norton products for a slightly higher cost that will provide a much more comprehensive solution.
Internet Securities 2010- This is an excellent product, it is actually the one I use myself. It runs very light, averaging around 6mb of memory usage, compared to say McAfee's free version from comcast which runs around 52mb of memory. Not that you should even consider a McAfee product anyways. The protection is comprehensive, covering viruses, malware, spyware, identity theft, email protection, firewall, and more. Generally easy on the wallet and like all the paid products, the license is good for a year.
Norton 360- 360 is Internet Securities except it has a different interface with backup and pc tune up features. If you're looking for something perfect for the non tech savy person, this is the product for you.
Staples has the best prices on norton products due to our good relationship with them, so if you want to purchase one, come to Staples for the lowest price.
Anti virus/Internet Securities 2010- Kaspersky labs has been kicking out great antivirus solutions for a good while now, and the new versions are no different. They have excellent scanning and removal features and are consistently regarded as one of the top quality anti virus providers along with Norton, Nod32, and Bit Defender products. If you don't mind a slightly more customizable (but simultaneously more complex) interface with a powerful scanning engine, than a Kaspersky product would be great for you. Internet Securities would be the best value between the two. Best buy will have the lowest price when you purchase a new pc from them.
While every self proclaimed "tech specialist" under the sun will claim that AVG and Avast (and similar products) are the greatest and only necessary anti virus products, actual fact and testimony generally contradicts those claims. While AVG and Avast are free, they are a free version of a product offered by a corporation that wants to make money. Essentially, you pay for quality in software products, considering that the company does not receive money if you are perfectly content with the free solution. Virus removal services in stores generally range around $100 or more, so investing in a proper product would be a considerable time saver.
Now, there are alot of hardware options available for new pc's, but for the general consumer, most configurations can provide perfect solutions to meet their needs.
You would want to find something that ideally had an Intel Core 2 duo processor. This is the best and most stable dual core processor available on most laptops and will be able to handle all the tasks you throw at it. Clock speed is only somewhat important in dual core cpu's, but something over 2.00ghz would be excellent.
RAM wise, 4gb is quickly becoming a standard as more consumer interest leans towards 64 bit. 4gb will be more than enough with windows 7, and would be an ideal amount to provide you with some longevity for the machine.
Video: Considering your budget, you're more than likely going to be stuck with an integrated chip. Some of these can actually play games ok, but don't expect any top quality performance. An easy way to tell is to look at the Windows Experience Index (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-vista/What-is-the-Windows-Experience-Index
) and see what the score is for Gaming Graphics. If it is a 4 or higher, you should be able to manage a decent amount of games, but again, nothing serious. If you find a laptop that has a dedicated chip, spring for it, it'll be worth it.
Wifi- All laptops have wifi now of course and most are still using G. If you don't consider yourself and advanced user who would want to get the absolute highest networking performance, feel free to stick with G unless an N is available in your price range.
Edited by Akthalian, 02 November 2009 - 12:45 PM.