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Seeking small, med-power laptop


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5 replies to this topic

#1 puppycola

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Posted 07 September 2017 - 10:42 PM

Hi guys! I am a New Adult in the market for my first self-purchased laptop!

 

My current laptop (which is on its last legs) is an old 15.6" (6lb) HP Pavilion w/Intel i5 @ 2.30GHz, 8gb ram, & integrated graphics, and it meets my needs. I'd like my next laptop to be smaller/more portable and not an HP.

 

My priorities are 1. size/portability, 2. light gaming capabilities, and 3. cost effectiveness, in that order. More details:

 

My budget for the new computer is: 

Not sure what a realistic budget is. I'd love to keep it around $500 if possible.

 

What are the primary uses for this computer (IE: mail, web browsing, programming, games, etc)? 

Everyday use (Internet, word processing, etc) + Photoshop + casual gaming.

 

Do you play games? If so, what type of games? 

Light/casual gaming, eg Stardew Valley, Grow Home, Sims, etc. I'm ok with lowest graphical settings. (Please note I'm not necessarily looking for a "Gaming Laptop," just a laptop that can manage [some] games.)

 

Do you store a lot of pictures or music on the computer?

I have an external HD so storage space is not a priority.

 

Will you be overclocking?

No.

 

Location for online shopping/shipment/prices?

Seattle area

 

Do you need peripherals? OS?

I don't need a built-in optical drive. Need 2 USB ports.

 

Specific product recommendations are appreciated, but more generally my questions are: What minimum specs should I look for? And what price is reasonable to expect for those specs?

 

Thx in advance!


Edited by puppycola, 07 September 2017 - 10:46 PM.


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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 03:42 PM

Why not an HP?

 

Would you be willing to get a refurbished machine?  Most refurbished machines are business machines that were leased.  That means that the technology is two to three years old, but you can get a better machine for less money.

 

Here are two possible options that should give decent performance.  Both are 8GB RAM machines with 256GB Solid State Drives (SSD).



#3 sunfree

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 07:51 AM

Consider it'll be your first computer,I suggest you choice Lenovo Ideapad 310 or ACER E5-774-50SY, the best-laptop-under-500-dollars.

Mod Edit: Links for Mentioned Acer Notebook - Hamluis.


Edited by hamluis, 10 September 2017 - 12:12 PM.


#4 puppycola

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:29 AM

Thanks for your responses!

I have a bias against HP that may or may not be warranted--It's my impression that the hardware construction is flimsy compared to other brands.

Out of the products you both linked, I really like the ASUS VivoBook. The best option I was able to find on my own was the ASUS ZenBook, which has similar specs except for the processor (Intel i5 vs the VivoBook's AMD A9) and is slightly smaller, but is out of budget even refurbished. I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to save up for the ZenBook or if the VivoBook will do.

My worry is whether the AMD A9 will be able to handle light gaming as well as the Intel i5, which both my current HP Pavilion and the ZenBook have--But processor comparisons get too technical for me to understand well. This article seems to conclude that the AMD A10 is roughly equivalent to the i3, so if I'm understanding it correctly, that doesn't make me feel great about the A9 in comparison to the i5. Am I correct? And if so, will I be working the processor hard enough to notice this difference in the first place?

Thx in advance for any continued help. Im trying to be a smart shopper, but computer stuff can be so overwhelming yanno?

#5 Kilroy

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:09 PM

Here's a performance chart for the A9.  Generally the way things work is you go AMD if you don't have the money and Intel if you do.  If you're just doing light gaming the AMD CPU may work just fine.  The easiest way would be to find the recommend PC specifications for the games you want to play and then see if the A9 will work for you.  Otherwise I'd suggest saving another $250 or so and go with a better machine, which also increases your options.



#6 puppycola

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:26 AM

Kilroy, that's exactly what I was looking for. I think I have all the info I need to choose now. Thank you for the help!






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