Laptop recommendations

Archived From: Deal Discussion
  • Page :
  • 1
  • Text Only
rated:
Hello-
I've searched the forums and definitely know that I can get a laptop with my specs and price range, but wanted to get recommendations.

Looking for
- i5 processor
- 8gb ram
- 1TB or SSD 
- Windows 10
- Under $600

Any good recommendations?
 

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Ended up getting this - Lenovo

Not sure if it's a good deal, but it suited my needs.

helloat (Jun. 27, 2016 @ 6:02p) |

Thanks for responding,
too bad that CoreM3 isn't as good as the I5 but everything else fits your requirements.

forbin4040 (Jun. 27, 2016 @ 7:03p) |

You should check out Dell's Inspiron 15 5000 series! Has all your specs you require and they are doing 50off499 and they... (more)

priscillamalona (Jun. 28, 2016 @ 5:29p) |

Staff Summary
Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

Anything that isn't named Toshiba or Acer .

forbin4040 said:   Anything that isn't named Toshiba or Acer  .
  I actually agree. I'm not a fan of either brand.

Dell has a 15.6" i5-6200 2.3ghz with 8gb and 1tb for $499 at Microcenter

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.aspx?sku=85914...

forbin4040 said:   Anything that isn't named Toshiba or Acer  .
  
I concur on Toshiba.  I had a keyboard problem with a laptop under warranty.  They wanted me to pay for phone troubleshooting before shipping it back for repairs.  The CSR said that I would be charged for the repair if paid support could have fixed it over the phone.

I'm OK with Acer .  I had one Acer laptop which had a disk and keyboard fail under warranty.  They sent me a new disk and a package to return the failed one.  I did have to pay for shipping on the keyboard repair, but the laptop was otherwise fine and inexpensive enough that it was still a bargain even with the additional cost.

Right now, I like Dell.  They have done a lot to improve build quality.  I'm OK with HP too.  I like Lenovo build quality, but support is terrible and there is the whole thing with malware.

If you can spend another $100, this looks nice...

http://weeklyad.staples.com/StaplesSD/WeeklyAd?storeid=2279030#!...

The thin, lightweight Inspiron 15 5000 delivers productivity along with superior performance for a rich entertainment experience.
Item: 2056916
Model: I5999-7080SLV

Screen Size 15.6 inches
1920x1080 pixels resolution
2.5 GHz Intel 6th Generation Core i7 6500U Processor
8 GB DDR3L SDRAM Memory
1 TB SATA
802.11 A/C
1 USB 3.0 Ports
7 hour battery life
Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
5.4 pounds
10.3 x 14.9 x 1 inches

Although you mentioned your not a fan of Toshiba, I am providing this for comparison.
I purchased a brand new (open box) Toshiba Satellite 17.3" Laptop 1.8GHz 8GB 1TB Windows 10 from BLINQ for $260 and there is a 3% ebates.
They have many other options available, good place to start.

1. Make sure 6th generation
2. Check memory config - make sure dual channel - e.g. 8MB should be split at 4MBx2  [gives you twice the memory bandwidth]
3. Check the graphics - e.g. link below. Graphics in 6500U processor is OK. But if you can hump to HD Graphics 6000, that would be a big step up.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-520.149940.0.html

forbin4040 said:   Dell has a 15.6" i5-6200 2.3ghz with 8gb and 1tb for $499 at Microcenter

http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.aspx?sku=85914...

  It was $449 a few days ago here:
https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Dell-Inspir...
I'm waiting on that deal again.

PrincipalMember said:   1. Make sure 6th generation
2. Check memory config - make sure dual channel - e.g. 8MB should be split at 4MBx2  [gives you twice the memory bandwidth]
3. Check the graphics - e.g. link below. Graphics in 6500U processor is OK. But if you can hump to HD Graphics 6000, that would be a big step up.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-520.149940.0.html

  
And if you can get an SSD, that is a HUGE deal for performance. Models with SSD cost a lot more - so review some videos of the particular model to see how easy it is to replace the hard drive on your own. I had a laptop with 7200rpm hard drive and I replaced it with an SSD and it was a night and day difference. The RAM is never enough - so the system is always paging data in/out and that is where the SSD comes in. When the data is being paged in/out, your speediest processor is sitting out there twiddling its thumb for the data to get ready. In my case, I got rid of a 500GB conventional drive and replaced with 128GB SSD and decided to prune down all local data. But SSD's have gotten much cheaper - so if you can manage with 256GB, that might be a sweet spot for buying the SSD later and installing it.

There is a Inspiron 5000 with all your requirements! It is 636, but there is a 50 coupon code you can enter. It is also a touch screen.
http://www.dell.com/us/eep/p/inspiron-15-5559-laptop/pd?oc=fndov...


PrincipalMember said:   1. Make sure 6th generation
2. Check memory config - make sure dual channel - e.g. 8MB should be split at 4MBx2  [gives you twice the memory bandwidth]
3. Check the graphics - e.g. link below. Graphics in 6500U processor is OK. But if you can hump to HD Graphics 6000, that would be a big step up.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-520.149940.0.html
 

Adding to my list:

1. Make sure 6th generation
2. Check memory config - make sure dual channel - e.g. 8MB should be split at 4MBx2  [gives you twice the memory bandwidth]
3. Check the graphics - e.g. link below. Graphics in 6500U processor is OK. But if you can hump to HD Graphics 6000, that would be a big step up.
4. SSD pre-installed or later is really good
5. Look for higher resolution. Do NOT accept 1366x768 - that is crap - at least 1920x1080 if you can swing it.

#4/$5: will cost you more but it will last you longer and you will enjoy it more during the lifetime. The inspiron did mentioned above did not inspire me due to its resolution. The Acer machine looks really interesting - nice faster graphics (hopefully) with the Nvidia card, SSD and high resolution. Nvidia was doing hybrid discrete Nvidia+Intel integrated which personally didn't work that well on battery life - but other than that possible issue, the Acer looks like a good machine.
 

Dual channel is really not a big deal. Maybe it once was. But recently, when upgrading a laptop's RAM, I found some tests of recent laptops showing speed improvement with dual channel RAM was almost negligible. I wouldn't make that a criteria for buying a new laptop myself.

Upgrading to an SSD may not be very hard. I've done a bunch of laptop SSD upgrades, so maybe it just seems easy to me. Some people don't want to fuss with it, I guess.

1366x768 is fine for a budget laptop, but if the OP wants to spend $600, I too would go for higher resolution.

I've had great luck with Acer stuff myself, especially from their "recertified" store. But that stuff tends to be a year or two old, and the OP has the budget for a newer machine.

My one recent experience with Toshiba in setting up one of their laptops was that the user's manual was an EXE file that could ONLY be run on the laptop itself! In other words, you couldn't help someone else with their laptop (like I was trying to do) by bringing up a PDF file. Not a major thing but it really pissed me off.

I don't buy Lenovo or HP laptops because they whitelist their wireless cards, so it's almost impossible to upgrade them (have upgraded the wireless cards in a few dozens laptops by now). If you get a good 802.11ac wireless card in a Lenovo or HP, though, maybe you'll never need to upgrade. I'll be sticking to Dell and Acer myself.

ahallfatwallett said:   Dual channel is really not a big deal. Maybe it once was. But recently, when upgrading a laptop's RAM, I found some tests of recent laptops showing speed improvement with dual channel RAM was almost negligible. I wouldn't make that a criteria for buying a new laptop myself.


 

 
You are obviously defying laws of physics. Dual channel gives you twice the memory bandwidth and depends upon what test you are running and what else is going on in your system. Couple a dual channel memory system with traditional disk drive, you are limited by page faults etc. - so sure memory won't show the advantage. But couple it with SSD, then the memory bandwidth matters. It also depends upon whether you have integrated graphics or discrete graphics. With integrated graphics, your graphics will tend to choke because the system just does not have enough memory bandwidth. [Did performance tuning of graphics stuff in a previous life ].

But at the end of the day, everything boils down to the tasks that you are using the computer for. If you sitting there typing one page of "ms-word" memo, nothing probably matters - you can get a celeron with single channel and slow disk drive and you will be fine.

Here is another interesting configuration for $529.

https://www.amazon.com/F556UA-AS54-15-6-inch-Full-HD-Laptop-Wind...

Similar specs - but no discrete graphics. I am not a battery guy so maybe somebody can compare the batteries on the Acer and the Asus sytems.

BTW - Discover card 5% category for Amazon coming in 6-days - so that would shave off another $20-$25ish from the price - though I tend to use Amex for anything where I want good credit card warranty coverage.

PrincipalMember said:   
ahallfatwallett said:   Dual channel is really not a big deal. Maybe it once was. But recently, when upgrading a laptop's RAM, I found some tests of recent laptops showing speed improvement with dual channel RAM was almost negligible. I wouldn't make that a criteria for buying a new laptop myself.


 

 
You are obviously defying laws of physics. .

  No, I am saying that in terms of real-world performance, the performance benefit is negligible.  Here's a guy who did a whole bunch of testing:

http://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/1349-ram-how-dual-channel-work...

"Despite all that I thought I knew leading up to our MSI meeting last July, dual-channel just isn't necessary for the vast majority of the consumer market. Anyone doing serious simulation (CFD, parametric analysis) will heavily benefit from dual-channel configurations (~17.7% advantage). Users who push a lot of copy tasks through memory will also theoretically see benefits, depending on what software is controlling the tasking. Video editors and professionals will see noteworthy advantages in stream (RAM) previews and will see marginal advantages in render time. It is probably worth having in this instance -- in the very least, I'd always go dual-channel for editing / encoding if only for future advancements.

Gamers, mainstream users, and office users shouldn't care. Actually, at the end of the day, the same rule applies to everyone, simulation pro or not: It's density and frequency that matters, not channeling. Quad- and better channels theoretically have a more profound impact, but this is in-step with the increased density of kits that are targeted for quad-channel platforms. If you want to push speed, density and frequency should be at the top of your list. Generally, when you're spending that kind of money, you're going with a multi-channel kit of two or more anyway, but the point still stands."

If you value thin and light UltraBooks and would consider refurb, check this out:
cLick Me

If you don't want refurb, you should be able to find a new one and stay inside your $600 budget.

As I'm considering my options, I am leaning towards a 2-in-1 , either 11, 12, or 13 inch screen.

ahallfatwallett said:   
PrincipalMember said:   
ahallfatwallett said:   Dual channel is really not a big deal. Maybe it once was. But recently, when upgrading a laptop's RAM, I found some tests of recent laptops showing speed improvement with dual channel RAM was almost negligible. I wouldn't make that a criteria for buying a new laptop myself.


 

 
You are obviously defying laws of physics. .

  No, I am saying that in terms of real-world performance, the performance benefit is negligible.  Here's a guy who did a whole bunch of testing:

http://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/1349-ram-how-dual-channel-work... 

"Despite all that I thought I knew leading up to our MSI meeting last July, dual-channel just isn't necessary for the vast majority of the consumer market. Anyone doing serious simulation (CFD, parametric analysis) will heavily benefit from dual-channel configurations (~17.7% advantage). Users who push a lot of copy tasks through memory will also theoretically see benefits, depending on what software is controlling the tasking. Video editors and professionals will see noteworthy advantages in stream (RAM) previews and will see marginal advantages in render time. It is probably worth having in this instance -- in the very least, I'd always go dual-channel for editing / encoding if only for future advancements.

Gamers, mainstream users, and office users shouldn't care. Actually, at the end of the day, the same rule applies to everyone, simulation pro or not: It's density and frequency that matters, not channeling. Quad- and better channels theoretically have a more profound impact, but this is in-step with the increased density of kits that are targeted for quad-channel platforms. If you want to push speed, density and frequency should be at the top of your list. Generally, when you're spending that kind of money, you're going with a multi-channel kit of two or more anyway, but the point still stands."

 

  
As I said, it also depends upon whether you have discrete GPU or integrated GPU. With discrete GPU, the CPU tends to be idle - so having less bandwidth is less critical since the GPU is isolated from the CPU side bandwidth. But if you have integrated GPU, you could literally shave your performance in half.

Please read carefully in the article:

"Please note that all tests were conducted with a discrete GPU and will not use the IGP present in IvyBridge".

Laptops tend to have integrated graphics and this particular is not testing that - it is testing discrete graphics performance effect with dual channel.
 

Every now and then Fatwallet has a 40-50% off coupon from the Dell Refurbished site. I bought one for my wife a few months a go. Got a great deal on one with only a few minor surface scratches. So if you keep looking you will find a great deal.

Ended up getting this - Lenovo

Not sure if it's a good deal, but it suited my needs.

Thanks for responding,
too bad that CoreM3 isn't as good as the I5 but everything else fits your requirements.

You should check out Dell's Inspiron 15 5000 series! Has all your specs you require and they are doing 50off499 and they are also doing a 4th of July Sale. If your not military I know how you can get a 15% coupon. Just message me.

http://www.dell.com/us/eep/p/inspiron-15-5559-laptop/pd?oc=fndov...



Disclaimer: By providing links to other sites, FatWallet.com does not guarantee, approve or endorse the information or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site to FatWallet.com.

Thanks for visiting FatWallet.com. Join for free to remove this ad.

While FatWallet makes every effort to post correct information, offers are subject to change without notice.
Some exclusions may apply based upon merchant policies.
© 1999-2017