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  1. #1
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    Calling all Computer experts! Buying Time!

    As you guys know or may remember, I sold my HP laptop after it started acting and weird and everything. Ever since I been using my mother's Toshiba.

    Now, the time has finally come! It's time for me to get another laptop that will last 2-4 years!

    I'm looking at an Asus 53something for around $400 and I have some questions:

    1. What are some other brands than Asus that are pretty good and reliable?
    2. Is $400 too much or too little for what seems to be a year old, brand new laptop?
    3. The laptop I am looking at has an LED screen. Is that better or worse than LCD?
    4. What are the best sites to buy laptops on other than newegg?
    5. One laptop I looked at uses 3.0 USB ports. Can that use 2.0 usbs?
    6. Just to make sure, is Asus a good brand for a college student to use?
    7. Is $400 for 2.10 processor speed a little high?

    Thank you if anyone tries to answer.

    Currently Playing: Lumines Electronic Symphony (Vita)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Wolf View Post
    As you guys know or may remember, I sold my HP laptop after it started acting and weird and everything. Ever since I been using my mother's Toshiba.

    Now, the time has finally come! It's time for me to get another laptop that will last 2-4 years!

    I'm looking at an Asus 53something for around $400 and I have some questions:

    1. What are some other brands than Asus that are pretty good and reliable?

    Asus is a very good brand, very good, industry acknowledged component supplier. Not sure how the service/support model works since I’ve never had to deal with, assuming you’d go through a B&M like BB and have some kind of “walk in” warranty (possibly even extended).

    2. Is $400 too much or too little for what seems to be a year old, brand new laptop?

    The more you pay, the more “future proof” it will be in terms of performance (which is really the main attribute that affects the price).

    3. The laptop I am looking at has an LED screen. Is that better or worse than LCD?

    LED displays are simply LCD displays that use LED lights vs. CFL lighting. LED can provide better, more uniform lighting, with lower power consumption.

    4. What are the best sites to buy laptops on other than new egg?

    I’d probably go direct manufacture if I was going to order online, just so I’d have a direct line to support services. That’s the problem with ASUS vs. for example, Dell, Sony or HP.

    5. One laptop I looked at uses 3.0 USB ports. Can that use 2.0 subs?

    Yes. Backward compatible.

    6. Just to make sure, is Asus a good brand for a college student to use?

    College/whatever doesn’t really have anything to do with it. You’re talking about a Windows computer with X specifications. They’re all kind of the same, if the specs are the same.

    The question you need to ask is “I’m going to be studying X in school and I’ll need Y type of applications (for Z usage model), how much machine do I need”? You might also consider things like battery life, weight, etc., which again, isn’t a factor of brand, but of the specifications.

    7. Is $400 for 2.10 processor speed a little high?

    Depends on all the other components, the build materials, etc. $400 is pretty inexpensive. I would definitely avoid “netbooks”, I think they’re very marginal for the tiny bit of extra portability.

    Thank you if anyone tries to answer.
    "Remember, you're young only once but you can be immature forever."

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    8. What factors determine how long a laptop/computer will hold up?
    9. What is the difference between a netbook and a laptop?
    10. DT, on your answer to question 4, what about sites like ebay? What do you mean by "direct line to support services"? Do you mean if something happens and you need customer support or something?

    Currently Playing: Lumines Electronic Symphony (Vita)

  5. #4
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    Can you provide a link to the laptop you want, and specify the use that it will be bought for?




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  7. #5
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    8. What factors determine how long a laptop/computer will hold up?
    I know the overall heat of the laptop and constant recharging can reduce the amount of charge the battery holds. Most manufacturers give a certain amount of chargers for a battery before it starts to lose it's ability to hold the charge, usually between 500 and 800 charges. I've heard numerous ways to solve this problem by only charging the laptop when it's turned off/in stand by mode, only recharging when it's below 50% power, taking out the battery and just use the adaptor run if off mains power, then use the battery when your on the move.

    I currently have an Acer 8930G laptop which 'boasted' a 2-3 hour battery life after a charge, which now only lasts about 20-30 mins because I didn't look after the battery. Because of this I have to have it plugged in nearly all the time which isn't really a pain because I only use it at home.

    9. What is the difference between a netbook and a laptop?
    I think netbooks are just use to browse the internet and that's pretty much it, most netbooks cannot hold a great deal of memory which means you'd have to purchase an external hard drive to store anything. Also many do not come with disc drives which is another accessory you would have to purchase. My brother purchased a netbook last year & now wishes he had a laptop instead now So yeh I wouldn't recommend buying a netbook at all really. Notebooks might be worth checking out, they tend to be lighter & smaller than laptops with decent battery life.

    10. DT, on your answer to question 4, what about sites like ebay? What do you mean by "direct line to support services"? Do you mean if something happens and you need customer support or something?

    He might be referring to the fact that you can deal with the company direct and get help from their technicians instead of using a company like PC World and their 'technicians' (who in my experience are useless).




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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Wolf View Post
    8. What factors determine how long a laptop/computer will hold up?

    I’ll answer both considerations:

    First, “holding up” as in the physical machine. Power connectors, hinges, etc., is all a factor of build quality and materials (generally reflected in the price). I don’t want to get on my Apple high horse, but one reason Macs are pricey are because of the materials/design. Same for Windows machines, a Dell “professional” grade or Sony Z series with magnesium and robust switches, hinges, etc., will just last longer. I’ve got a closet full of machines with broken trackpads, hinges, power connectors, keyboards.

    If by “hold up” you mean “handle the forward progress of technology”, that’s harder to predict. The more you pay, the faster/bigger/better you buy, the more the machine will accommodate future uses.

    However, with Windows machines, one thing that’s nice is you _can_ buy fairly cheap and upgrade more often. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect a <$400 machine to accommodate my needs for 3-4 years. Some of this also depends on what you’re using it for. A $400 machine, 3 years from now, can probably still surf the web and run a word processing app.

    9. What is the difference between a netbook and a laptop?

    They’re both laptops, netbook was just kind of a sub-type of laptop that was designed mainly for accessing web based services (so the local storage, CPU, etc., was very scaled back). They also tended to be smaller, with smaller displays, and have better battery life. At some point, “regular” laptop tech caught up with the common netbook tech, and you could get way better performance, with good battery and portability. I think anything still classified as a “netbook” is underpowered.

    10. DT, on your answer to question 4, what about sites like ebay? What do you mean by "direct line to support services"? Do you mean if something happens and you need customer support or something?

    Exactly. If you buy a laptop from NewEgg, and it goes pear shaped, who do you call? NewEgg? Maybe for 30 days, but then they’ll tell you to call the manufacturer. So you’re going to call Asus at their 800 number? Pay for phone support? Mail it to their facilities in California for how long?

    It’s likely you won’t have a problem, but what if you do. Again, not with the Apple love, but I have an Apple store ~40 minutes away, with full coverage on my machine for 3 years, because I cannot have my machine down for an extended period.

    At last with something like Dell, you can buy an extended warranty, with onsite repair, or if you’re OK without that, there’s at least a channel here in the US to contact them. That’s why I mentioned something like a BB, because that’s at least a store you can drive to and get help face-to-face.
    "Remember, you're young only once but you can be immature forever."

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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by F34R View Post
    Can you provide a link to the laptop you want, and specify the use that it will be bought for?
    Sure. Except there was only one and after looking around and getting information on it, I decided to buy it.

    Here is a link to info about it:
    http://www.frys.com/product/6827276


    Smart, Reliable & Efficient
    The X Series notebook offers an expressive combination of technology and style. It boasts battery savings feature ASUS Power4Gear and Palm-Proof technology that prevents accidental input. The highly durable premium aluminum textures retain their looks and quality even during extensive, prolonged use, allowing you to do more in complete confidence.

    Key Selling Points:

    IF Award-winning Ergonomic Chiclet Keyboard has extra-wide dust-repellent keys stay comfortable even during extended typing sessions for improved productivity and interaction.
    IceCool Technology makes use of superior component engineering combined with aluminum surface keeps palm rest and typing surfaces cool.
    ASUS Power4Gear optimizes system performance for increased performance and longer mobility.
    ASUS Palm-Proof Technology intelligently distinguishes between palm and finger contact to prevent inadvertent cursor movements during typing.

    Specifications:
    Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Processor: Intel Pentium B950 (2.1GHz)
    Graphics: Intel GMA graphics
    Memory: 4GB DDR3 SDRAM
    Display: 15.6” inch HD display
    Storage Drive: 320GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
    Optical Drive: SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Optical Drive
    Audio: Altec Lansing Stereo
    Camera: 0.3MP webcam
    Card Slots: 5 in 1 card reader supporting SD+MMC+MS+MS PRO SDHC
    Ports: 1 HDMI port, 1 VGA port, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Headphone out, 1 microphone in, 1 RJ45
    Communications: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)

    Warranty: 1 Year limited warranty
    What I am going to use it for is college work and entertainment purposes. I won't be gaming on it. I will be installing the latest Microsoft Word and Norton Antivirus. I'll probably watch some movies and listen to music some. Of course I'll be on the web and I need usb ports, and it has three which is sufficient. I guess you could say all I need is a versatile laptop.

    Currently Playing: Lumines Electronic Symphony (Vita)

  12. #8
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    Thank you and rep to everyone who helped me! Thank you!

    Currently Playing: Lumines Electronic Symphony (Vita)

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    Don't install Norton Anti-virus on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sainraja View Post
    Don't install Norton Anti-virus on it.
    Why not? Is Norton bad?

    Currently Playing: Lumines Electronic Symphony (Vita)

  16. #11
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    That machine should be fine for your use, an I agree, I’d go with MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials), it’s free, provides AV, malware, email protection, uses reasonably low resources, etc. Available right from MS.
    "Remember, you're young only once but you can be immature forever."

  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Black Wolf View Post
    Why not? Is Norton bad?
    Yeah the problems with things like Norton and McAfee is that you pay a subscription to use the software and you have to renew it anually. I'd go with [DT]'s suggestion




  18. #13
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    ....and they can slow down your computer. I am not sure how much they have improved their software by now but my experience with norton hasn't really been good.

    I use to use AVG and now I just use Microsoft Security Essentials.

  19. #14
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    All right, I'll install Microsoft Essentials Security. You guys just saved me 60 bucks!

    Currently Playing: Lumines Electronic Symphony (Vita)

  20. #15
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    Speaking of software, can anyone tell me about when Microsoft will release a newer version of Microsoft Office? And should I wait for the newer version or should I just buy Microsoft Office 2010?

    I know it's off topic, but I didn't want to make another thread!

    Currently Playing: Lumines Electronic Symphony (Vita)

  21. #16
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    60 bucks for Norton jeez I use Nod32 which is about 30.

    Jut get 2010 the version of office, before that was 2007 so maybe 1 out next year.

    There are free office suites but in my experience they suck they claim to be compatible with and open MS Office documents but they are rarely formatted correctly so have to spend ages formatting it again.
    Last edited by keefy; 02-20-2012 at 01:04.

  22. #17
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    Just get 2010, most people won’t use 10-15% of the capabilities anyway. I’m assuming you can score a .EDU version at a substantial discount!

    The free suites (mostly based on the Open Office core) will generate most of what most students need, but Keefy von Funkmaster is correct, the interoperability between real MS office is slightly sketchy.
    "Remember, you're young only once but you can be immature forever."

  23. #18
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    So my new laptop arrived today and so far so good. It looks better and feels more durable than my mother's Toshiba. By the way, I was wrong. It doesn't have 2.0 USBs . . . it has 3.0 USBs! I'm very happy about that. Pages load slower, but that could be because of 2.10 processor speed and Internet Explorer. Either way, that's not a big problem.

    It's a very nice computer. I'm looking forward to see what breaks down first and how long it lasts. On my HP, after a year I started having problems with my battery.

    Currently Playing: Lumines Electronic Symphony (Vita)

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