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Best "budget" laptop

The Kid

TRIBE Member
Looking to TRIBE for a little assistance/recommendations, am looking for a decent laptop for general use, web browsing, streaming, office, no heavy gaming but would like something that can handle graphics reasonable... looking to spend around $400 - any suggestions other than BestBuy et al? I know asus, acer and lenovo seem to be the better brands... any suggestions greatly appreciated!

:)
 
Stop Bill C-10

cosmosuave

TRIBE Member
Lenovo S415 Touch... Just got this today for our son... My workplace always used IBM/Lenovo so I figured they are a good brand... As we got it today I can't really give feedback but the touchscreen seems cool and for $359 at Bestbuy it seemed like a goood deal...
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
That's a great laptop for the price for sure and that can keep you going for quite sometime. It's really too bad though, that these laptops put a huge bottleneck on the disks still (although some are using SSD for ram drives). SSD, makes a huge difference when it is the primary disk.

The windows 8.1 OS, I'm not that familiar with, but I'm sure it should be okay. What you want to do with it is not going to cause that much load. Great choice!

AB
 
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The Kid

TRIBE Member
Yeah about the OS, my girl's mom is a computer sciences prof, so she's going to install a clean previous version of windows (pre 8) and remove any bloatware crap for me, so should be running super smoothly, really not a fan of windows 8, ugh.
 

Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
I totally agree. I'm not really into any windows other than 7. If you could get a cheap SSD and slam it in there one day, you will increase the longevity of that bad boy for quite some time.

Great laptop either way!

Aaron
 

lobo

TRIBE Member
I still don't get the hate for Windows 8. With the latest upgrade to 8.1 it gives you the option to boot to desktop and all of the under-the-hood upgrades make it a nice upgrade from Windows 7.

Lobo
 

The Kid

TRIBE Member
Not sure if this deserves it's own thread, maybe you guys can help - just popped in to bestbuy on lunch, the windows geek said 8 runs better and uses less RAM/system resources than 7... any thoughts here?

Where's oddmyth when you need him, lol.

:)
 

alison87

TRIBE Member
There are other threads on this in this forum. Yes, Windows 8 uses less RAM, less disk space and runs faster than Windows 7. On top of that, all the latest drivers are optimized for Windows 8 and not Windows 7. There is no reason to run Windows 7 unless your company mandates it or you are the same sort of pedant who refused to update to XP from 95 or Vista from XP and then 5 years later changed their mind when the rest of the world was two releases ahead.

As far as budget laptops go, the world has changed in the last couple years. For under $500 pretty much any laptop will do anything you want, and it's so cheap it doesn't really matter if it only lasts a year. Though in that price range i would also recommend looking into Windows 8 tablets, unless you need a keyboard for absolutely everything you do. Then there is a price band i don't really understand the point of, because things don't get dramatically more awesome till about the $1200 range where the sexy SSD ultrabooks come out to play.
 
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Aaron Bradley

TRIBE Promoter
I hate to say it, but this is so not true:

<snip>
There is no reason to run Windows 7 unless your company mandates it or you are the same sort of pedant who refused to update to XP from 95 or Vista from XP and then 5 years later changed their mind when the rest of the world was two releases ahead.
</snip>

Just to let you know, when windows 98 came out (and for those who remember SP1 or SP2), it introduce thousands of bugs. It's not a lie and it is known. If you run windoze right off the hop, expect issues. Do you not remember your MILLENIUM and VISTA experience? I didn't run those, but I sure heard about it.

Yes, one day you have to go with what's new, but this early in the game is STILL very EARLY

... but let's not hijack this thread about getting advice on a laptop... it's a good option and go for it!

:)
 

alison87

TRIBE Member
<hijack>I have run every Windows from 95 onwards pretty much as soon it came out. Yes, there were bugs here and there, but nothing that ever caused me serious enough problems to consider downgrading. Of course, bugs are inevitable when people expect the OS to be endlessly backward compatible and support a near-infinite number of hardware configurations.</hijack>

But we are talking about the context of buying a brand new computer, and a laptop at that. In this scenario i would be very wary of deliberately installing an older operating system than the one that it shipped with out of the box.
 

lobo

TRIBE Member
Windows 8 has been out for over a year and 8.1 was released this past October. How much longer should you wait until you think it's mature? The only thing I haven't wanted to use it on is my HTPC because it's too finicky.

Lobo
 
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Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
I have windows 8.1 on everything. With the right controller for an HTPC, it's very useable.

Depending on size...I bought the asus transformer book t100 and it docks(to a kb with usb3.0 port) and runs like a top for most consumer end uses. Windows 8.1 with the touch option is even better. Ran me about 400 bucks.
 
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The Kid

TRIBE Member
Thanks Bern, I've hit a couple stores and played around with it a bit, I don't think it's as awkward as I originally thought.

Also, playing with laptops in person and checking out fit and finish is key, I think I'm going to go with an Acer instead, build quality seems to be much better than the Dell and it just looks nicer (aside from having slightly better specs and more ram, word)

:)
 

oddmyth

TRIBE Member
I think Allison nailed it and if your girls mom can get rid of the bloatware on a cheap lappy then go for it, at sub $400 you can buy 6 laptops over the next 18 years and still not spend as much as I did on a laptop in 2004 that lasted me less than 2 years.

Hit me up offline if you need any other help Geoff, been too long since I've seen you anyways :p.
 

The Kid

TRIBE Member
Todd! Thanks buddy much appreciated. BTW please PM me your number, not sure I still have it...

Cheers!

g
 
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Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Thoughts?

Lenovo Think Pad T530 Intel Core i5-3320M @ 2.5 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB hard disk, DVD-RW drive, 15.6" HD
LED, wireless 802.11 g/n, Win 8 Pro 64 licence, TouchPad,, finger reader, webcam (1 year)

985.00
 

WestsideWax

TRIBE Promoter
In the past 2 years, I've purchased two Lenovo T500s from this gent: Laptopcloseout.com Think I paid $369 for the first one, and $299 for the second.

It's a small place in a strip mall up in Markham. Some great deals to be had if you don't mind a 2-3 year old unit, and the newer models are reasonably priced, as well. (the same Lenovo sells there for $949, HiG)
 

Vise

TRIBE Member
Thoughts?

Lenovo Think Pad T530 Intel Core i5-3320M @ 2.5 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB hard disk, DVD-RW drive, 15.6" HD
LED, wireless 802.11 g/n, Win 8 Pro 64 licence, TouchPad,, finger reader, webcam (1 year)

985.00

Have no idea if that is a good price or not but you should check out the Lenovo IBM EPP site. Price is usually quite a bit better than retail...

https://shop.lenovo.com/ibmeppfriendca/ca/en/laptops/
Passcode: FNDEPP

A quick look shows they have a newer model (T540p) with similar specs for $935. You can thank me later.
 

The Kid

TRIBE Member
To follow up, ended up going with the Asus:

ASUS X551CA 15.6" Laptop - Black (Intel Pentium 2117U/ 750GB HDD/ 6GB RAM/ Windows) : Laptops - Best Buy Canada

Ram is slightly beefed up from previous version, as is hard drive space, specs overall respectable and all the reviews I read were good. Also build quality is noticeably better than the Dell I was looking at initially.

So far so good, installed classic windows toolbar so win 8 feeling just fine, heck of an improvement on what I had before.

BTW God, if that was in the budget, looks pretty damn sweet... had several Lenovo through work and never had an issue, built like tanks.
 
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