Laptop Purchasing Advice

Discussion in Computers, Electronics & Gadgets started by DrRipley • Feb 24, 2015.

  1. DrRipley


    Mar 29, 2012
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    I'm in need of a new laptop within the next month and unfortunately I only have around $350 set aside for it. The problem is that most laptops being sold here for that price look a bit too basic and I'm afraid it won't be enough for my needs because I work as a graphic designer and have to work with multimedia so I'll be needing to install a few Adobe programs for graphic and video editing as well as a few more programs to produce and edit music.

    It will be used solely for those programs though and I'm not planning on keeping any other big files there than necessary so I'm hoping it would be sufficient.

    That said, right now I'm looking at maybe getting an Asus X453MA with the following specs:

    • Operating System: Windows 8.1
    • Screen Size: 14.0" Auto HD (1366x768)
    • Processor: Intel Bay Trail-M Dual Core Celeron N2830 2.16GHz
    • Memory: 2GB DDR3
    • Storage: 500GB HDD 5400 RPM
    • Connectivity: Integrated 802.11 b/g/n 10/100 Base T Bt 4.0 support
    • Camera: VGA Web Camera
    • Battery: 2Cells 30 Whrs
    It's priced exactly within my budget, but I'm hoping to get advice here before I make my decision.

    Do you think I should just look into other alternatives such as buying a used laptop with higher specs for roughly the same price or should I just save up more and just get a better brand new one? I really need one as soon as possible so the second option isn't too viable but if it's really the best way to go then I may just have to figure it out.
  2. Nikole


    Feb 19, 2015
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    I just bought a laptop last week. I saved a good deal of money by going the Ebay route (choosing a reputable seller) and purchased a new, but open-box, laptop. I spent $399 (I know this is a little over your budget, but I feel it was a good deal) and here are the stats:

    Dell Inspiron 15.6" screen
    8GB ram
    1TB HDD
    AMD A10 processor with Radeon R6 graphics
    3 cell battery
    Backlit keyboard (this was huge for me, finding a laptop in this price range with backlighting)
    It also comes with a 1 year warranty.

    Anyways, I know Intel is generally regarded as a better processor, but for the price I felt like I could live with an AMD A10. I bought the computer to with Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and I also am a gamer, so I needed something with a teeny bit of oomph. I spent about a month painstakingly (and it was painful) combing through Ebay until I found the stats I needed at a price I could afford. So, if you're willing to go that route, I think you could get a bigger HD and more ram at around the same price point. Ebay also offers a lot of manufacturer refurbished laptops. Just make sure you check the seller's feedback and look for a warranty. Also good to know, Ebay protects the heck out of the buyer, as does Paypal, so if you do get burned (of course I hope no one does, but it does happen - it has happened to me in the past) you have 2 layers of protection to get a refund. Good luck!
  3. TommyVercetti

    TommyVercettiActive Member

    Feb 18, 2015
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    READ THIS OP, because I'm going to give you the best advice in buying a laptop that will last you a fair number of years. You say you need it for graphic design but are strapped for cash? Boy oh boy it's your lucky day.

    Ok, the laptop you want is something called a business laptop. These are specific series' of the common laptop brands that are built a little differently than the normal, home-use kind. Compared to the ordinary models, these ones are built to be sturdy and most are put through military-grade testing (MIL-STD 810G tested) , and they are built to be versatile and almost as customizable as a desktop PC. These laptops most likely will have all the different ports, card readers, and the right hardware specs you need for your graphic design job.
    I'm going to list some common laptop brands and their respective business laptop series/models:
    • Lenovo/IBM - Thinkpad T6xx, T4xx series
    • HP - Elitebook / Probook (I have an Elitebook 8560p myself; it's pretty good.)
    • Dell - Latitude E6 Series
    • Toshiba Protege R830
    There are a few other models of these 4 brands that are also considered business laptops. These are off the top of my head. There are also other brands out there that have their own business laptop models. Google them all if you need more choices or want more information.

    Now, if you think that with all of these features these laptops must cost a fortune, you are absolutely right. Brand new ones of some of these models can typically cost upwards of up to $1200 to $1500. But here's the thing: these are all older models (2+ yrs) and the market is filled with second hand and refurbished units. Look for these units and if you're lucky you might find a discarded one in a dumpster somewhere. If not, buy one from a electronic shop or online.
    The next step is to make it perform like it's brand new. Because it's so easy to replace parts on these things it's entirely possible. The only thing you'll probably need to do is to replace the HDD with a SSD (solid-state drive) and you've got a laptop that can outperform brand new notebooks/ultrabooks today.

    Good luck and happy hunting from a guy who did EXACTLY this!
  4. orz

    orzActive Member

    Oct 22, 2013
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    As the poster above me said just try and get something which is second hand. I see a lot of ads at my local Uni from students who are graduating, apart from Craigslist/Gumtree/eBay I'd check that out as well, sounds stupid but you'd be surprised!
  5. akiii123

    akiii123Active Member

    Aug 16, 2014
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    it is best to buy second hand made sure of the quality of the laptop. Make sure that the computer sales of a good quality and the parts have a follow great value which will not give up in a matter of time. Also make sure that each of the parts have a guarantee card for them and are not really used by other people.
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