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Best new work/office Laptops in $300-$500 Price Range?


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#1 yorocco7

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 01:49 PM

I’m in the market for a $300-$500 new laptop. I'm looking to upgrade from a 2008-2009 Acer unit.  It’s mostly for work. It will be used to creating/ editing Doc & PDF’s. It will be running (all at the same time) many open browser tabs, several email accounts, SKYPE, Avast, Corel Video Studio & Quickbooks. When not being used for work I want it to play imbedded website video like from ESPN & Fox sports flawlessly. (currently Acer plays like I have dial-up speed) . It has to play video from streaming websites like Netflix, Amazon, Couchtunner.com & others very smoothly from the HDMI port.  I'd like it to be able to go from a total shutdown to loading all programs as fast as possible. I judge this by how long it takes the "function / processing" light to stop flashing rapidly during a restart. My current Acer can take 5-7 minutes after the password stage & I don't touch it. It needs to be a better laptop than this:

Acer Aspire 5738Z - circa '08-'09 – Inter Pent T4200 - 2.0 GHz-Dual Core- 220 HDD- 4RAM- Mobile Intel 4 series Express family (graphics card)
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Features I'd like it to have:
-11.6"-15.6" Screen (will be plugged into monitor 90% of the time) - hope to use Win 10 x64 - 1.90 -2.0+ GHz processor- Quad or Dual core- 4 or more DDR3L-1600 Ram(preferred) - 1 or more USB 3.0 - HDMI - BT / BT 4.0.

-Does anyone have experience with the laptops that fold down to tablets? (not the chromebooks or detachable types. They won't have the power of storage needed)

-Does anyone have experience with hybrid laptops with 6-8 GB SSD drive as well as 200+HDD?

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Any suggestions you can provide would be great!
 


Acer 5738Z - Pent.Dual Core T4200 2.0GHz - 4.00GB RAM - 64-Bit Vista Biz & Win7 Pro -Latest Moz.F.F. & T.B.- Avast!

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#2 YeahBleeping

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 02:24 PM

According to notebook check this month's winner is the HP pro book 450 G2 .  Just a tad outside your budget but well worth it



#3 SEANIA

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 03:01 PM

-Does anyone have experience with hybrid laptops with 6-8 GB SSD drive as well as 200+HDD?

 

I do.  I had a Acer M5-581T-6807 I got that was a refurb for 425$ USD (sticker price 650$ USD at the time). The SSD is just used for a cache in windows 8. To my knowledge, none of the actual vital parts of the OS were stored on it. It's a real cheap 15$ mPCIe SSD.  If you've ever used windows 8, then you know how snappy it is once it's booted. The SSD didn't do much for performance on it and since it was used as cache, just keeps you from having to empty out your cookies as often to maintain that snappiness. 

 

Reinstalled the laptop with windows 7 after a month as school was around the corner and needed to make a decision if I wanted wanted to keep using windows 8- said nope. Used it as a SSD for games on windows 7. Data got corrupted every other month and would reinstall the games I was using if that give you an idea on how bad it was. If you buy any laptop that's configured like that, don't get it thinking the SSD does anything. 

 

If you mean straight hybrid drives where the SSD is integrated, I know a lot of people who have used them. They make great OS drives, but use as anything else is terrible. As the SSD on them starts to fail they slowly ditch the broken sectors till it's gone and becomes a regular drive. Hybrid drives made all the things I've tried them on boot quicker (with windows 7), and made windows just run smoother in general.  Do well as the C: drive in consoles from what I hear to. 

 

 

Any suggestions you can provide would be great!

I'll let you know right now manufactures do not put real SSDs in sub 600$ laptops. Don't know why, would make the laptop much quicker, but I guess they just like the bigger storage over speed. 

 

I suggest this Lenovo G50-80 at 390$ USD.  

Has everything you want plus has on of Intels brand new 5th gen powerful and efficient CPUs. Claims to do up to 5 hours, but I'm sure it'd do more if you adjust it to. Very very good CPU and good integrated GPU as far as integrated goes that is 4k video capable.

Could go on, but to sum it up that laptop is a steal at that price. Lenovo also being a well respected workplace brand to use in a professional setting. 

If you're comfortable with it I'd use the left over 100$ to buy a 240GB SSD and install it over the 500GB HDD that's included. As it doesn't sound like you'd be using much space since you're streaming everything. 


Edited by SEANIA, 16 June 2015 - 03:04 PM.

99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#4 yorocco7

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 04:00 PM

Hi Seania, That's funny I had my eye on that very laptop. It does seem to have some of the best specs out there at a great price. I love the idea of the HDD swap out. My current Acer is 220HDD & i have space left after many many years of use. I have iDrive & a 500 Ext HDD so I'd gladly give up storage for speed & performance. I have a few options I'd like to run by you as well to get your feedback:

Lenovo G50 -AMD-Quad Core 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA6R42TS8088

-Basically same specs as the other G50-80 but AMD Quad-Core. Questions I guess is, whats better a Intel i5 2.2GHX dual core or AMD 2.0 GHz Quad Core?

 

I travel a lot & thought these 2 in 1 laptop/tablet designs were pretty interesting. It would make using the device much easier in crapped spaces like on long buss & train rides. Do you think they are more of a gimmick & sacrifice performance for the flip feature?

 

Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series Intel Quad-Core N3530 2.13GHz
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9085601&CatId=4935

 

ASUS Transformer Book Flip 2-In-One Notebook - Intel Core i3 4030U 1.9GHz
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=9509418

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Thanks!
 


Acer 5738Z - Pent.Dual Core T4200 2.0GHz - 4.00GB RAM - 64-Bit Vista Biz & Win7 Pro -Latest Moz.F.F. & T.B.- Avast!

#5 SEANIA

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 06:13 PM

Questions I guess is, whats better a Intel i5 2.2GHX dual core or AMD 2.0 GHz Quad Core?

It may seem weird, but the Intel i5 5200U is much more powerful.  You can see for your self here. Can see the single thread (90% of what you'll do) performance is almost twice as good, and the overall performance is 40% better. Despite having the same TDP, the i5 is more power efficient to. More cores doesn't necessarily equal more performance. Unless you need 4 physical separate cores for something or some AMD specific feature, the i5 is the way to go. 

 

The integrated GPU on the i5 is also much better. Intel really stepped up their iGPU game with their 5th gen. Approximately 25% better raw performance, but Intel put a lot of effort into optimizing it for the kind of daily things you described. 

 

 

I travel a lot & thought these 2 in 1 laptop/tablet designs were pretty interesting. It would make using the device much easier in crapped spaces like on long buss & train rides. Do you think they are more of a gimmick & sacrifice performance for the flip feature?

 

It is more of a gimmicky feature. In part being that anything you'd want to do on a tablet that doesn't require a keyboard/mouse, you can do on a standard smart phone.  It really is quite a big sacrifice in performance for a feature that's really isn't necessary.  Android has Libre Office and Windows phones have real Office. Making any important document reading unnecessary to have a transformer laptop for. Unless it'd be a necessary part of its operation for you to be able to use it, but you said it'd be hooked up to a external monitor most of the time so I'm not sure how much that feature would get used. 

 

If you do end up getting one of those instead, I'd go with the ASUS Transformer Book 100%. Intel has the CPU the other uses classed lower for mobile phones and tablets. More specifically is a slightly cut down Atom CPU. It sips power with a only 7.5w TDP, but the performance reflects that in a bad way. Here is it and the i3 the other flipbook has compared to the i5 the Lenovo has.


Edited by SEANIA, 16 June 2015 - 06:15 PM.

99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#6 yorocco7

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 11:39 AM

Wow thank you so much for all that info. I did not know all that info. I learned a lot from you. :-) It def sounds like the 1st-2nd-3rd thing to consider when getting a new laptop is... Intel i5! Intel i5! & Intel i5!!! Plus I could always get a tablet type device to watch movies & do light office work wean traveling. Or I could just get an iPhone 6+, its the size of a freaking Solar Panel! HAHA!!!


Acer 5738Z - Pent.Dual Core T4200 2.0GHz - 4.00GB RAM - 64-Bit Vista Biz & Win7 Pro -Latest Moz.F.F. & T.B.- Avast!

#7 yorocco7

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 12:14 PM

It seems the overwhelming consensus is that Intel makes better faster processors than AMD. With that in mind it seems like the Intel i5 is the way to go. In your opinion how would you rank these Intel options if you were getting a new laptop?
-------------------------
Intel Pentium N3530 Quad Core Processor 2.16GHz
Intel Pentium Pentium N3540 Quad Core Processor 2.16GHz
-I understand quad core is not that important. These 2 have the same 2.16GHz what do you think it means that one is a "Pentium" & the other is not? Which is better?
----------------
Intel Core i3-3110M Processor 2.4GHz
Intel Core i5-5200U Processor 2.2GHz
-Everyone likes the i5 the best but the i3 technically says its faster. Would you go with the i5 even though its .2 ghz slower?
-------
These i7 options might be barely out of my price range but how do you think the 1.8GHz option would compare to the i5 & i3 listed above? I can assume the 2 other i7 must be better than all the rest.
 
Intel Core i7-4500U Processor 1.8GHz
Intel Core i7-4510U Processor 2.0GHz
Intel Core i7-5500U Processor 2.4GHz

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Acer 5738Z - Pent.Dual Core T4200 2.0GHz - 4.00GB RAM - 64-Bit Vista Biz & Win7 Pro -Latest Moz.F.F. & T.B.- Avast!

#8 SEANIA

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 12:26 PM

It def sounds like the 1st-2nd-3rd thing to consider when getting a new laptop is... Intel i5! Intel i5! & Intel i5!!! 

It's not that it's an i5 so much, but that it's a 5th gen intel CPU. They made a nice jump in performance and efficiency from 4th to 5th gen. Despite 5th gen having been out since January a lot of manufactures and stores still are selling mainly 4th/3rd Gen stuff. 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 





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