$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. pianowizard

    pianowizard Notebook Evangelist

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    It's entirely up to you whether 1366x768 is sufficient. If you accept this rock-bottom res, then it becomes much easier to find something that's new, small and light, and under $600. By contrast, I am unwilling to compromise on this and so I would rather get old laptops with high resolutions. For what I do, Core Duo is plenty fast anyway.

    While the E6420 is quite big, if you take out the optical drive then it becomes fairly light, at about 4.6 lb.
     
  2. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    So for SHOPPING's sake, because I'm not already driving my self nuts about this, if I were to accept a 720p res, what would any of you feel my best option would be? Quintessentially keeping in mind portability+battery life with at least an i3
     
  3. Robisan

    Robisan Notebook Consultant

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    Question re 720p: In HDTV world the rule of thumb is on smaller the screen size units (say 30" or less) the difference between 720p and 1080p is virtually indistinguishable to the human eye. Shouldn't that be the case for any notebook screen?
     
  4. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    It is not, because while each individual pixel may not be distinguishable, one letter of text is made up of MANY Pixels. While you can't see them, having the much more dense pixel array makes it so that the text appears far sharper as a whole!

    *EDIT* So any thoughts on 13" guys? I could get a portege 835-p55x for $575...?
     
  5. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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  6. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    I would prefer to avoid 14" 768 res, knowing there is a 900p res out there within my budget makes me uneasy. If I get a 13" though, I could feel justified in knowing I bought the best screen within my budget, but still get teh portability.
     
  7. pianowizard

    pianowizard Notebook Evangelist

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    How about a Dell Latitude E4200? 12.1" 1280x800 (less vertical scrolling than 1366x768), 2.2 lb. The Dell Outlet should still have a few. Another possibility is to go to eBay and look for a Thinkpad X200s (2.4 lb) with 12.1" 1440x900, which may go for less tan $600 if you are lucky. Both are older than the Core i3/5/7 era, but should still be adequate.
     
  8. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    You don't believe battery life will take a substantial hit with the older procs?

    And are 12.1" keyboards still full size?
     
  9. pianowizard

    pianowizard Notebook Evangelist

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    Both of my current laptops' batteries (standard-sized, not extended) last for over 3 hours, despite their old processors and old batteries. If you need 4 or more hours, then look for a unit with an extended battery.

    Right now my only internet connection is my smartphone and so it would be difficult to look up specs for you. Just Google up E4200 and X200s specs to check their keyboard sizes and battery durations. I suspect that their keyboards are very slightly smaller than full size and would be easy to adapt to.
     
  10. ZRock

    ZRock Notebook Consultant

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    I got to play with a 12" keyboard today at work, not impressed at all, I noticed a large difference between them and a standard size.
     
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