$600 college laptop, budget is 100% firm

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by ZRock, Sep 7, 2011.

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  1. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    600 FIRM, AFTER TAXES AND SHIPPING
    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    b. Ultraportable; 11" - 12” screen - MAYBE 12", not 11...
    c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    3) Where will you buying this notebook? You can select the flag of your country as an indicator.
    USA
    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    Anything works

    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    Absolutely, used too if I'm getting a really good deal
    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    College use, internet, email, office tasks, maybe a little online poker
    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Its going everywhere
    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? If so, please state which games or types of games?
    Not really, if I do it would be something integrated graphics could suffer through
    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    As much as possible?
    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
    On-line is fine if a few trustworthy forum members vouch for it
    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista or Windows 7), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Any
    Screen Specifics

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolution(s) would you prefer? Keep in mind screen size in conjunction with resolution will play a large role in overall viewing comfort level. Everyone is different. Some like really small text, while others like their text big and easy to read. Click here for Screen resolution information.
    I'd prefer a 1600x900, understand it may not be possible with the budget
    13) Do you want a Glossy/reflective screen or a Matte/non-glossy screen?
    Either or is fine
    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Looks are not, BUILD QUALITY is. I would like something with a good/great keyboard, metal chasis are a plus, I don't want some really plasticy acer aspire.
    15) When are you buying this laptop?
    ASAP
    16) How long do you want this laptop to last?
    A couple years?
    Notebook Components

    17) How much hard drive space do you need; 80GB to 640GB? Do you want a SSD drive?
    I don't even really need a HDD, I have about 12 laptop drives laying around, so size doesn't matter.
    18) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a CDRW/DVD-ROM, DVD Burner or Blu-Ray drive?
    No need

    So, the TL:DR is
    Good battery life
    Good build
    Portable
    KEPT UNDER BUDGET
     
  2. mmmangoes

    mmmangoes Notebook Deity

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    -Hp Probook 4430s
    -thinkpad edge e420
    -Dell Vostro V131 (8-9 hour battery life)
    -Dell Vostro 3350 (via dell outlet- 8 hr battery life)
    -Dell Vostro 3450 (via dell outlet)
    -Dell latitude e5420 (via dell outlet)

    If you can wait for a coupon, a dell latitude e6420 w/ 1600x900 from the dell outlet may fall into your budget. dell outlet coupons can be found here: dell outlet twitter
     
  3. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    Is there any easy way to look specifically for the 900p screen latitudes?
    *Edit* Figured that part out, kind of awkward but it works. Can anyone provide more insight into WHY they would choose a specific model?

    Latitudes and Vostros seem to be many people's choice around here. Just looking for a why to go with the recommendation! :D

    Thanks for your help everyone.
     
  4. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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  5. pianowizard

    pianowizard Notebook Evangelist

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    In general, when a potential buyer indicates s/he needs to carry the laptop often and wants it to be durable, the veterans on this forum recommend Dell's Latitudes, Vostros and Precisions, HP's EliteBooks and ProBooks, Lenovo's Thinkpads, and Panasonic's ToughBooks. And when the buyer has a limited budget, we recommend getting a refurbished Latitude or Precision from the Dell Business Outlet, which come with 3 years of limited warranty.

    If you don't mind eBay, these Elitebooks look good:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-ELITEBOO...71738189?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item1e66ae9c4d

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-WJ683AW-...33306829?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item336ab0d8cd
     
  6. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    Latitudes come with 3 year warranties as refurbs?

    Elitebook looks really good too!

    Toshiba wouldn't be bad, nice price, but only 720p screen...
     
  7. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    Anyone have preferences between latitudes/vostros/elitebooks?

    And is the SB Proc worth going with the cheaper looking lat's over elitebooks?
     
  8. pianowizard

    pianowizard Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes, on the Dell Outlet, both the Latitudes and the Precisions carry 3-year basic limited warranty, although the Vostros carry only 1-year.

    Right now, the Dell Business Outlet offers a 20% off coupon code: XR9STN9PCDS7CH

    Learn about reliability of the various brands in this thread:

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/wha...03453-laptop-brand-highest-build-quality.html

    Ignore the poll, but read all the posts. There are lots of insights there.
     
  9. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    That thread is interesting, however I am grappling between what many say is the superior build quality of an elitebook with the new SB processors and better warranty in the latitudes.

    *edit* Sorry for the silly questions, but for the 6420's, there are a few with discrete graphics. Would this hurt my battery life much? Seems I could get one with the 20% off, making it 599... It has the 900p screen and the dedicated video card. If it would hurt my battery though, I would probably just stick with integrated.

    If integrated is the better option, what benefit is there in the 14" over the 13" ones?
     
  10. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    So, with a semi shameless bump and reiteration of my question.

    New SB Proc & better warranty through dell outlet? Or older I5 but nicer build with the elitebook?

    If I go with the latitude, discrete graphics or not? It would be the NVS4200... If it wouldn't hurt my battery life much/at all, I would probably go this route. Can anyone lend insight?
     
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