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Old 2010-02-10, 04:14   Link #81
Alchemist007
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lol slaughtering. That's because anyone buying a laptop over $1000 is either getting a gaming laptop or a mac. Non-gaming laptops over $1000 is just stupid least you have some real special reason.
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Old 2010-02-11, 01:30   Link #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MukiEX View Post
... and of course they don't have any notebooks under $1000, but for notebooks in their price range, at least in the states, they are slaughtering.

At the moment, it seems that we'll be perpetually in the spot where Microsoft rules over the low end notebook sector and desktops while Apple continues to gain ground in the high end notebook sector.
This is true because the vast majority of consumers are either ignorant that they're paying a premium for weaker hardware, or they want/need OSX badly enough to pay that premium for weaker hardware, or they're knob-slobbing fanboys.

As someone else mentioned, Apple doesn't sell hardware. Apple doesn't sell software. Apple doesn't sell operating systems. Apple sells an image. Apple products are "lifestyle products," a form of marketing fluff used to great effect (obviously, since they're definitely not doing poorly financially).

I liked Apple better when they marketed heavily to the pro-graphics and pro-audio crowd, but there's better profits in selling to insolent, self-absorbed hipsters.

Disclaimer: I do realize that not everyone who uses an Apple product is an insolent, self-absorbed hipster, but come on, I live in Berkeley. All I need to do is walk into any coffee shop on Shattuck Ave. and I'll see a half-million snobby college kids sporting MBPs.

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lol slaughtering. That's because anyone buying a laptop over $1000 is either getting a gaming laptop or a mac. Non-gaming laptops over $1000 is just stupid least you have some real special reason.
This is absolute truth. When it comes to laptops above the $1000 price point, there are three types--business laptops (not all of which actually even cost over $1k), gaming laptops (which typically start at this price point) and Macbooks.
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Old 2010-02-11, 11:08   Link #83
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Cheaper laptops don't mean better. I am a former PC user and I have used PCs ever since 3rd/4th grade since that what they used. I have used various brands such as IBM, Dell and HP. The IBM doesn't have problems, but it got to slow (and lasted 6+ years). However, the Dells and HP hardly lasts even 2 years. Back then, laptops were expensive and my parents paid around $1000-1600 for these laptops, but something ends up breaking. The last few laptops such as the Dell XPS M1330 and the HP Pavilion DV 9500 barely lasts 2 years (and my old 2006 Macbook Pro is still working without any major issues). This is why I have a bitter image for all consumer laptops a like. Even though they are cheaper and higher speced than the Business Laptops (some/most have weaker graphics card, less RAM and smaller HDs compared to consumer laptops), but they hardly built to last because most PC companies don't know how to build a good quality laptop. Also, Business Class laptops often cost a bit more over a consumer laptop not to mention the crapware they install on the consumer laptops.

I am not one of those snobbish college kids who flashes around saying that all PCs suck or bash OSes in public. The main reason I use Macs because they are reliable and works for me, and believe me, I am not made out of money to buy a new machine every two years because they break on me, but yeah... If I have another choice besides Macs, I would probably get a Thinkpad and install Ubuntu Linux on it since they also have a good reputation of lasting a long time.
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Old 2010-02-11, 14:09   Link #84
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I have always recommended businesses stay away from Dell or HP because of their crap quality. Dell *does* have a marvelous warranty... but its like the American Car apocrypha --> great warranty but always in the shop. HP laptops are a 'special' terror. These remarks are both anecdotal AND statistical

I'm even waffling on Alienware since Dell bought it a few years ago.

Thinkpads are excellent and durable - even after Lenovo bought them. I have two that are long obsolete but just refuse to die. Most of the businesses and corporations I've roamed used them. They're also the most Linux-friendly on average.

I've always been fond of Toshiba, most of the complaints are around battery life.

Sony...meh. All Sony products are on my blacklist for political reasons as well as the precipitous drop in quality over the last five years.

The ASUS line looks interesting but no real experience with it yet.

Most of the problems I've run into with Macs over the years were either power supply related or the user was trying to use their Mac for things it was never intended to handle (obsolescence). Oh... the network used to be an utter pain in the ass with all of the "Apple-ific" BS protocols but I imagine that has mostly faded. The pricing on Apple wireless routers is hilarious though, like a Gucci handbag.
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Old 2010-02-11, 15:21   Link #85
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My dad work for the Canadian IT division of a Fortune 500. They do two kinds of computer orders: Thinkpads and trial batches of other companies' machines. That said, I do find myself wondering if the new SL series is as well built as their older stuff. I mean, a 14 inch, 2.1gthz Core 2 powered Thinkpad that goes for $650 US with the 9 cell battery? There's got to be some catch, right?

If those SL series Thinkpads are built to the usual standards though, even the $1K base Macbook is a bit of a gouge. Although they do provide a very nifty little package of features (13.3 inch and 4.7 pounds, nvidia graphics, seven hours of battery life despite not using a ULV CPU) for that $1K.

Mixed experience with Dells. My bottom of the line Inspiron 1501 purchased in 2006 has been in for service once, which turned out to be me being paranoid more than anything else. The only thing I've needed to replace was the battery, which is pretty normal. My brother's 2008 model Inspiron 1525, however, has already needed a replacement CPU fan.

If I were buying a laptop today I'd probably look at Asus first.
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Old 2010-02-11, 15:31   Link #86
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I've always been fond of Toshiba, most of the complaints are around battery life.
beware, they're not beer proof
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Old 2010-02-11, 16:58   Link #87
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Maybe you guys should take better care of your 'tops? I've had my $499 dell for 7 years now, works fine .
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Old 2010-02-11, 17:05   Link #88
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So how exactly does one take care of a laptop to prevent a CPU fan failure?
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Old 2010-02-11, 17:11   Link #89
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don't hit it?
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Old 2010-02-11, 17:11   Link #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
So how exactly does one take care of a laptop to prevent a CPU fan failure?
Well, cleaning the heat sinks... This always seems to be a problem with the Inspiron 9100 that used to work that is 11lbs and have a Pentium 4. Somehow, the computer gets slower because a layer of dust form on both of the heat sink vents... The only way to solve it is to clean the vents every 3 months, which becomes a very annoying process of unscrewing the fan and use a can of compressed air to remove the dust... No normal user should ever have to open up the computer just to clean out the fan, it's ludicrous.

Of course, the M1330 and HP DV9500 failures are motherboard failures, have nothing to do with dust, it comes by the PC companies producing shoddy motherboards for their consumer lines so the make the system cheaper...

If you intend in keeping your computer a long time, you need to go with business class laptops... period... not $500 machines.
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Old 2010-02-11, 17:13   Link #91
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I beg to differ.
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Old 2010-02-11, 17:49   Link #92
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Either way, I plan on going to whoever gets a nice sub-$400 ($399 is fine) tablet with ION or Tegra (or equivalent chipset).
I'm waiting to see if Asus can pull another rabbit out of the hat with the EeePad...

http://www.liliputing.com/2009/12/ne...tablet-pc.html

If they make it CULV with Ion and 6hr+ battery I'm sold (for a reasonable price).

I tried the 1201N and the 330 (dual core atom) just doesn't cut it for general use; web pages are so bloated nowadays, flash 10.1 beta + Ion makes a huge difference though.... That slight lag when jumping between apps is noticeable on Win7 or Linux

My baby 1810TZ is great, but the X4500MHD just sucks round hairy things! Did you see the pain the MPC-HC peeps went through to get DXVA support from Intel!

http://software.intel.com/en-us/foru...ad.php?t=60703

I'm just glad that Eric blokey turned up and helped sort things out. Hats off to the MPC-HC and Intel for sorting it... Now if they would do the same thing in Linux land I would be happy!
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Old 2010-02-11, 20:10   Link #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
Well, cleaning the heat sinks... This always seems to be a problem with the Inspiron 9100 that used to work that is 11lbs and have a Pentium 4. Somehow, the computer gets slower because a layer of dust form on both of the heat sink vents... The only way to solve it is to clean the vents every 3 months, which becomes a very annoying process of unscrewing the fan and use a can of compressed air to remove the dust... No normal user should ever have to open up the computer just to clean out the fan, it's ludicrous.
My brother's Inspiron 1525 had a similar issue before the CPU fan finally gave in. I never had to take it apart to clean it though... I found putting a narrow nozzle on my dad's shop vac and running a couple suck/blow cycles did the trick. No such issues on my Inspiron 1501 though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
Of course, the M1330 and HP DV9500 failures are motherboard failures, have nothing to do with dust, it comes by the PC companies producing shoddy motherboards for their consumer lines so the make the system cheaper...
One question... this wouldn't happen to have anything to do with the infamous Nvidia solder joint issue, would it? Because I seem to remember the M1330 is from that era, and if it's the case, that wasn't really a Dell specific issue.

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If you intend in keeping your computer a long time, you need to go with business class laptops... period... not $500 machines.
The base model Thinkpad SL sometimes goes on sale for $500 (Although it's an extra $150 for a Core 2 instead of a Celeron and a nine cell battery instead of a six). Which is why I keep wondering if all Thinkpads are business class or just the more expensive T, X, and W series models.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemist007
I beg to differ.
You don't need to have an expensive laptop to have it last... but it would appear to improve the odds.

My brother's Inspiron has kind of soiled my taste for Inspirons. I might still consider a Vostro since that's a business oriented model, but I think I'd be more inclined to go with an Asus or base model Thinkpad. Maybe even Toshiba.
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Old 2010-02-11, 20:18   Link #94
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Quote:
One question... this wouldn't happen to have anything to do with the infamous Nvidia solder joint issue, would it? Because I seem to remember the M1330 is from that era, and if it's the case, that wasn't really a Dell specific issue.
The model that I have doesn't have a nVidia card at all, only a Intel Integrated Graphics chip (X3100) and it does power on, but a few minutes later it freezes and when you try to turn it on, it won't power on.

DV9500, yes it has a nVidia problem, but it's out of warranty and HP doesn't have that model on the recall list, so it will cost $600 dollars just to replace the motherboard, where you can buy a new machine for that price. Just hope the other Dell my mom uses to telework (M1530) doesn't break down since my mom needs to run Windows XP to connect to work stuff.
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Old 2010-02-11, 21:24   Link #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
You don't need to have an expensive laptop to have it last... but it would appear to improve the odds.
Price doesn't matter, just remember to look up reviews from customers.
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Old 2010-02-12, 11:55   Link #96
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Originally Posted by Alchemist007 View Post
Maybe you guys should take better care of your 'tops? I've had my $499 dell for 7 years now, works fine .
Accidents are ... Well usually not even accidents youre involved in
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Old 2010-02-12, 13:39   Link #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I have always recommended businesses stay away from Dell or HP because of their crap quality. Dell *does* have a marvelous warranty... but its like the American Car apocrypha --> great warranty but always in the shop. HP laptops are a 'special' terror. These remarks are both anecdotal AND statistical
Dell is hit or miss. Some of their machines are great (like the Studio 14z; it's a wonderful thin-and-light with almost-CULV battery life but the power of a real Core 2 Duo) and some of them are jokes.

The Vostro line is really nice though, probably the best low-cost business notebooks I've ever seen.

HP... oh, HP. Their consumer notebooks, the Pavilion line, are complete junk. Their netbooks are not much better, though the Mini 311 is an anomaly for being one of the best ION netbooks on the market, and the Mini 5102 is one of the best new Pine Trail systems available.

HP's real strength is in their business line, specifically the Elitebook series of laptops. They're very well constructed, rivaling Thinkpads for durability, but have a hell of a lot more style. The Elitebook 8440w is an amazing piece of kit, but you'll pay a pretty penny for this 14" mobile workstation (starts at $1400).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
I'm even waffling on Alienware since Dell bought it a few years ago.
Again, it's hit or miss. The Alienware M15x and M11x are exceptional machines (though I still say Dell was stupid for using ULV Penryn in the M11x rather than ULV Arrandale), I just hate Alienware's aesthetics.

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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Thinkpads are excellent and durable - even after Lenovo bought them. I have two that are long obsolete but just refuse to die. Most of the businesses and corporations I've roamed used them. They're also the most Linux-friendly on average.
Thinkpads got better after Lenovo bought them, but recently they've been diluting the brand's strength with consumer-like "small business variants." The SL series is utter doodoo and the Edge keyboards, while some of the better chiclet style keyboards I've tried out, are nowhere near as good as the standard Thinkpad keyboard.

The new T410 is a huge improvement over the old T400, solving the bouncy keyboard issues, finally centering the LCD in the lid and also bringing Arrandale CPUs to the table. Plus you get a (slightly) nicer GPU than the old Mobility Radeon 3470.

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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Sony...meh. All Sony products are on my blacklist for political reasons as well as the precipitous drop in quality over the last five years.
Like Dell, Sony is hit or miss. They've always been blasted along with Apple for having a poor price-performance ratio, but currently they have great build quality. The Vaio CW, while a gigantic fingerprint magnet, is a very impressive piece of gear, especially after the Arrandale refresh. Best Buy is selling a nearly-maxed-out configuration of the CW with a Core i5-520M, nvidia GT 330M graphics, HD+ 1600x900 LED LCD and a Blu-ray drive for $950--which is a screaming good deal and gives Asus's X83Vp-A1 (the "most powerful" 14" laptop) a serious run for its money!

I'm really disappointed in the FW's successor, the Vaio F11. The FW was Sony's best machine from their last generation, but the F11, while adding some nice things like a Core i7-720QM and taking up the wasted deck space on the FW with a numeric keypad... it's just not very impressive. The design is much uglier than the FW and the graphics card is a step backwards--the FW carried a Mobility Radeon 4650 while the F11 gets an nvidia GT 330M.

At the very least, the F11 should have packed in a GTS 360M at least.

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The ASUS line looks interesting but no real experience with it yet.
Asus is great. Probably my favorite laptop brand, but their aesthetics leave something to be desired (too much glossy plastic). They have some of the best price-performance ratios, and they were one of the first companies to offer a CULV notebook with a discrete GPU.

The nice thing about Asus is that they've got one of the best price-performance ratios in the business, but they fail hard on battery life (except for their netbooks and CULV notebooks) and they're a bit gaudy-looking.

Their new 17" gaming monster, the G73Jh, bucks their glossy-plastic trend and stuffs a Core i7-720QM and ATI Mobility Radeon 5870 into a big, mean-looking chassis reminiscent of a Stealth bomber. And it's not terribly expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
My dad work for the Canadian IT division of a Fortune 500. They do two kinds of computer orders: Thinkpads and trial batches of other companies' machines. That said, I do find myself wondering if the new SL series is as well built as their older stuff. I mean, a 14 inch, 2.1gthz Core 2 powered Thinkpad that goes for $650 US with the 9 cell battery? There's got to be some catch, right?
The SL series doesn't deserve to be called Thinkpads. Honestly Lenovo should have put their small-business Thinkpad variants in the IdeaPad line, or created a new line for them. The build quality is nowhere near the level of the X200 or the T61.

Plus, they've got glossy displays! What the fuck kind of business lappy has a glossy screen?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
If those SL series Thinkpads are built to the usual standards though, even the $1K base Macbook is a bit of a gouge. Although they do provide a very nifty little package of features (13.3 inch and 4.7 pounds, nvidia graphics, seven hours of battery life despite not using a ULV CPU) for that $1K.
Apple gets their big battery life figures from heavy optimization of OSX (note that if you run Windows through Boot Camp, you lose ~2 hours of battery life) and the fact that they put high-mAh batteries in their systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chikorita157 View Post
If you intend in keeping your computer a long time, you need to go with business class laptops... period... not $500 machines.
Agreed totally.

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Originally Posted by grey_moon View Post
I'm waiting to see if Asus can pull another rabbit out of the hat with the EeePad...

http://www.liliputing.com/2009/12/ne...tablet-pc.html

If they make it CULV with Ion and 6hr+ battery I'm sold (for a reasonable price).
eee Pad is not x86 based. It's an ARM device, using nvidia's dual-core 1GHz Cortex A9-based Tegra 2 system-on-a-chip. Battery life should be well upward of 6 hours, but it won't be running Windows or even normal Linux. Probably Android.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
One question... this wouldn't happen to have anything to do with the infamous Nvidia solder joint issue, would it? Because I seem to remember the M1330 is from that era, and if it's the case, that wasn't really a Dell specific issue.
No, it was an issue with the 8xxx series mobile GPUs. There's tons of information on it from a few years back on gaming laptop forums; a lot of people with gaming lappies using 8800M GT, etc. had problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemist007 View Post
Price doesn't matter, just remember to look up reviews from customers.
This. There are inexpensive gems and overpriced pieces of crap out there. Now more than ever before, researching before you buy is very important.
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Old 2010-02-12, 16:59   Link #98
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Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The Vostro line is really nice though, probably the best low-cost business notebooks I've ever seen.
Probably better built than the Inspirons too, I'm guessing?

This may explain why my Inspiron 1501 has been so much better than my brother's 1525. The 1501 was also sold as the Vostro 1000, so they probably had to build it to a better standard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Again, it's hit or miss. The Alienware M15x and M11x are exceptional machines (though I still say Dell was stupid for using ULV Penryn in the M11x rather than ULV Arrandale), I just hate Alienware's aesthetics.
I don't think Vexx was disputing Alienware makes some nicely specced PCs, just that he's worried about their reliability now that they're owned by Dell.

Also, for some reason I actually dig Alienware's angular styling, which I couldn't say about the styling of most gamer brands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Their new 17" gaming monster, the G73Jh, bucks their glossy-plastic trend and stuffs a Core i7-720QM and ATI Mobility Radeon 5870 into a big, mean-looking chassis reminiscent of a Stealth bomber. And it's not terribly expensive.
Looked this one up... surprised to see it weighs in at like seven and a half pounds with that spec. I'm used to 17 inch gaming laptops weighing so much that I wonder why the buyer didn't just admit they'd never actually carry the thing around with them and just get a 20 inch screened "luggable" for the rare occassion they actually had to move the thing to another desk. Well, aside from the fact that the only modern "luggable" I can think of with a decent GPU was the 8800m gts version of the HP HDX Dragon, which was never updated to reflect newer GPUs and is no longer in production.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
The SL series doesn't deserve to be called Thinkpads. Honestly Lenovo should have put their small-business Thinkpad variants in the IdeaPad line, or created a new line for them. The build quality is nowhere near the level of the X200 or the T61.

Plus, they've got glossy displays! What the fuck kind of business lappy has a glossy screen?!
Ah... well, that actually makes the comparison with the Macbook a little fairer to Apple. $1000 Macbook with nVidia graphics vs. $880 for a similarly speced T400 with Intel graphics and an upgraded battery.

Of course, if you want a 15 or 17 inch Apple, then you're going to be paying through the nose due to Apple's notebook size/pricing scale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
Apple gets their big battery life figures from heavy optimization of OSX (note that if you run Windows through Boot Camp, you lose ~2 hours of battery life) and the fact that they put high-mAh batteries in their systems.
I actually knew this, but figured it was still fair to put it as an advantage for the Apple camp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
This. There are inexpensive gems and overpriced pieces of crap out there. Now more than ever before, researching before you buy is very important.
The question is, are there actually any $500 laptops you'd consider gems? $800 I could see it, but $500 seems a bit iffy.
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Old 2010-02-12, 17:03   Link #99
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Depends on what you plan on doing. I don't know about today's market anymore (remember I'm the 7 years ago guy), but I'm betting that tech has increased enough so that nearly anything you plan on doing short of hardcore gaming will be covered by the <$499 tag.
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Old 2010-02-13, 14:14   Link #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0utf0xZer0 View Post
The question is, are there actually any $500 laptops you'd consider gems? $800 I could see it, but $500 seems a bit iffy.
Mostly CULV notebooks for that price, though really there aren't many good $500 laptops. When I say "inexpensive" I mean in the $700-800 range, which is inexpensive for a good laptop.

Considering what's inside the Best Buy spec of the Sony Vaio CW (VPC-CW27FX), the asking price of $950 is definitely inexpensive and a screaming good deal, considering how the same configuration cannot even be bought from Sony Style, and other vendors selling that same configuration are selling it for $1200.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemist007 View Post
Depends on what you plan on doing. I don't know about today's market anymore (remember I'm the 7 years ago guy), but I'm betting that tech has increased enough so that nearly anything you plan on doing short of hardcore gaming will be covered by the <$499 tag.
Unless you need to do anything mathematically intensive, yes. But if you need lots of power... h.264 encoding, 3D modeling, doing any kind of serious work, you're going to pay a lot more than $500. Of course, gaming falls in this range as well.

Not to mention most sub-500 laptops (not netbooks or CULV) do not get good battery life.
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