Looking for a reliable laptop under $900 USD ($1200 CAD)

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Kavanaughty, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Kavanaughty

    Kavanaughty Notebook Enthusiast

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    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?
    $900 USD ($1200 CAD)

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
    e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen

    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    a. Like: ASUS, Samsung, Sony
    b. Dislike: none in particular
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
    No; new only

    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?
    Playing/streaming video and audio, light to moderate gaming and schoolwork

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
    Both, though it would spend 65% of its life as a desktop replacement and 35% being taken to school, visiting family and friends and travelling

    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
    Yes; at least being able to run the likes of CS:GO at a steady 60 FPS on high/very high settings is a good benchmark

    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    Not terribly important to have long battery life

    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?
    I already plan on purchasing it online and I'm fine with seeing pictures/videos of the notebook

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
    Windows 10

    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer?
    1080p is fine, I'm not interested in 4K

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?
    Prefer glossy but matte is okay

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    Not as important as build quality and durability

    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?
    A terabyte is fine; an SSD + HDD would be nice

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?
    Likely this month

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
    A long time; I'd hope to get at least five years out of it

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
    I could get by without it for a while

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?
    Shipping to the vendor for repair is fine

    Hi folks, I'm currently typing this on a decade-old Toshiba Satellite with a Intel Pentium T4400 processor, a screen with a blotch of dead pixels roughly an inch and a half in diameter in the upper right section and a dead battery which requires the laptop to be plugged in at all times. Despite all this, it still managed to outlive a $1500 ASUS gaming laptop which was purchased a few years after. Unfortunately Microsoft is cutting off support for Windows 7 in January so it's time for an admittedly long overdue upgrade.

    I've decided to give myself a budget of about $900 USD (roughly $1200 CAD, as I reside in Canada). Here's a general outline of what I'm after specifications-wise:

    • Screen: at least 15 inches; 1080p resolution would suffice (I have no need for 4K and playing games in 1080p is a little less demanding); preferably glossy but matte is okay• Operating system: Windows 10
    • CPU: preferably Intel
    • GPU: preferably Nvidia
    • RAM: at least 8 GB
    • Storage: an SSD + HDD combo is ideal but a 1 TB HDD would be acceptable
    • CD/DVD/Blu-ray drive: optional
    • Ports: Ethernet, HDMI, audio, microphone and at least one USB 3.0 port with additional 3.0 or 2.0 ports
    • Battery life: not a huge concern
    • Chassis material: I'm a sucker for metallic finishes but other materials are fine so long as they're durable
    • Brand: despite the issues I experienced with my last laptop, ASUS is still my preferred manufacturer, however I'm open to anything

    I mainly intend to use the laptop for media (online streaming, movies/TV, music, image editing), light to moderate gaming (at least being able to run the likes of CS:GO at a steady 60 FPS on high/very high settings is a good benchmark) and schoolwork. The laptop will likely spend 65% of its life as a desktop replacement and the other 35% being taken to and from classes, visiting friends/family and travelling. Reliability, durability and longevity are all qualities I value. Likewise, a good cooling system is important. I also tend to avoid features that are, in my own humble opinion, gimmicky and unnecessary such as fingerprint scanners (I even consider most internal webcams obsolete).

    Any and all recommendations are appreciated. I'm in the midst of educating myself on the latest PC technology but it's been years since I've stopped keeping up so I'm still a little lost.
  2. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Deity

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    I would say the zenbook 15 with the 8th gen i5 8gb ram and 512gb ssd with the mx150 would suit you best...


    if thats not fast enough you might want to take a look at the new acer nitros or something like the lenovo y520

    they have a 1050ti and a 1650 respectably but poor displays....but then again 50 percent adobe rgb will still look colorful and screens are alot better than they used to be 5 years ago

    heres another option probably a tie between the zenbook and this but all around for battery life ect the zenbook wins....for gaming this is way ahead

    msi is very reliable


    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019

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