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Official Black Friday LAPTOP COMPUTER Discussion Thread


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#61 stephc  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 16, 2010 - 1:50 pm

I'm looking for computers for my kids -- age 13yr and 18yr. They want it to game on -- WoW and RoM type games. Plus the 18yr old will need one for college next year. Any ideas without breaking the bank ( I have 4 kids). I'm trying to figure out hard drive size and processor that won't cause the games to be to slow or lag. Thanks

#62 nirvana4all  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 16, 2010 - 5:01 pm

Hard drives on laptops now a days should be 250gb or larger, and except the 18yr old, 250Gb should be fine unless they are saving lots of music or movies to it.
A computer can only be as smart as the person running it. :crash:

#63 painnpanic  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2010 - 7:29 am

Surprisingly the $200 Emachine from last year plays WOW just as good as my other sons E8300 dual core processor does, and it cost me $1600. The biggest difference you will see is if he also wants to play computer games like COD 4 and Assassins creed among others. It’s not a graphics intense machine. The 17-inch dual core laptop should be your best bet for your son going to college. He will probably need the dual core processor later on for some of his classes. Some programs are now requiring it. You don’t want him to have to upgrade his computer while he is in school. The 14 yr old just depends. He probably will not be required to need a dual processor or better If he is just surfing the web and only playing WOW then the $200 dollar should work fine. I would recommend the lower price one for him and see how he does. You could always get him a better computer later when he gets older say 4yrs from now when he decides to go to college. All kids are different. My oldest (18) only plays WOW and searches youtube on his, while my 9yr old try’s to play every video game on the market that is including Facebook, Hulu (for cartoons) you name it. Who would have thought my 9yr old would blow my oldest out of the water when it comes to computer use and he he is the one that plays every sport the county offers. 18 year old just hangs around with nothing better to do. I just recommend to get the computer that fits his or her needs.

#64 alihirsch  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2010 - 7:45 am

Actually, EMachine was bought by Gateway. Compaq was bought by HP.

I personally think eMachines are the value products, they aren't as good as other but cost less. But one think to say, I have a Gateway Desktop and I had problems with it and support was really really horrible and cost me about 100$ for nothing

#65 painnpanic  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2010 - 8:36 am

If you are saying Emachines are a good values. I have to agree. For the money. They are probably the best buy for the buck. Funny how Emachines are owned by Gateway which are owned by Acer, and I think Acer makes some of the worst (reliability) laptops available. Go figure!

#66 swash_01  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2010 - 10:00 am

I haven't seen anything about dell.com for Black Friday. Do they usually have deals?

#67 gbeenie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2010 - 12:29 pm

If I were shopping for a laptop on BF, I'd probably go with the Sony at BB for $399.

#68 reportermomof3  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2010 - 5:27 pm

Would a high school student be able to do schoolwork on a netbook or do I need to try for the Wal-Mart BF e-Machines?

Edited by reportermomof3, Nov 17, 2010 - 6:02 pm.


#69 heather.elliott  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2010 - 5:33 pm

Just wanted to say thank you for all of your input. Just found out we need to get a notebook and i know nothing about them. I am trying to catch up by reading all the discussions and reviews, and watching local ads. This is helping me with me list. Please keep your opinions coming..........

#70 jdragr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2010 - 7:21 pm

Anything about Dell? Good or bad??? Never bought a laptop. Don't laugh! :)

#71 Jen8112  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 17, 2010 - 7:25 pm

I bought my first laptop last year. It's an HP and I love it! I have heard that eMachines are actually really good now too. :)

#72 gbeenie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 18, 2010 - 12:01 am

Would a high school student be able to do schoolwork on a netbook or do I need to try for the Wal-Mart BF e-Machines?



Netbooks, even the best of them, are pretty limited, and I think you might end up with buyer's remorse. Better to spend the extra up front. Also, I make it a policy to avoid eMachines like the plague. There are plenty of BF deals out there for better brands.

#73 otonoh  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 18, 2010 - 3:08 am

I have a dell and acer laptop and have been very happy with both. I too would like to find a good but cheap laptop for my 12 year old. his old desktop is breaking down and too big

#74 cassie24  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 18, 2010 - 3:45 am

I just got a flier from Dell. November 19-21 they have a Dell laptop for $449. This one is comparable to the specs on the walmart one but only has a 15.6" screen vs. the 17" HP at walmart. Walmart will have limited supplies though on Black Friday and the dell should be fairly easy to get.

If you go to dell.com and type in the code you will see the specs on it now with a price of $633. The E-Value code is 6M419-FNPVLY10

#75 DaFees  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 18, 2010 - 5:27 pm

question, I've done some searching and I am wondering: Is the Core i5 ACER Laptop from Office Max the BEST laptop available FOR $499.99. I mean I know BB has an HP for the same price but that is an i3. I also know Staples has an i3, but that has a smaller hard drive. I also know Office Depot has an i3 for the same price, but again smaller hard drive.

"Because if you get an awesome girlfriend, and someone else gets an awesome girlfriend, who wins? Everyone!"
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Black Thursday/Friday - 11/24/2015 to 11/25/2015 - Cannot Wait!, :)


#76 gbeenie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 19, 2010 - 2:25 am

The Acer part worries me, but damn is that a good price for a laptop with an i5 processor!

#77 JeniseM  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 19, 2010 - 7:37 am

I have an ACER I got through Tigerdirect over a year ago (to replace my HP) and it works great. I use it for college (more papers and projects than I can could right now), playing games, music, LOTS of photos, and even my kids use it occasionally. Jenise

#78 djcjn  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 19, 2010 - 9:51 am

I found a Dell Financial Services refurbished laptop for $219. It's 30 GB with 8 MB of RAM, and comes with Windows XP. Any thoughts on this? http://tinyurl.com/24l4xty

I know that it's an older model and refurbished, but if all my daughter needs is to surf the Internet and type some homework, I'm thinking this is a good deal and beats standing in line for the eMachine at Walmart. Anybody have experience with Dell's refurbished laptops? It's a D420 model, I wonder how old that is? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

#79 jgm8  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 19, 2010 - 12:14 pm

Netbooks, even the best of them, are pretty limited, and I think you might end up with buyer's remorse. Better to spend the extra up front.


DH begged for a netbook last year - He said since he just does basic surfing and online games, he didn't need anything more. Yeah right! The thing sits around getting in the way and collecting dust. Total buyer's remorse! Now he just has to have the HP Tablet. Of course, I missed the 200 off deal. Any chace of finding another deal? :no:

Jenna :eyepoppin
 


#80 gman863  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 20, 2010 - 4:22 pm

As a PC repair tech with over ten years experience, I urge everyone to consider the following before making an impulsive Black Friday purchase...

What will you be using the PC for? Low-end PCs are great for surfing the Internet and basic word processing. If doing spreadsheets or photo editing, it's best to buy a mid line (dual core) unit with a minimum of 3GB memory. If you plan on editing video from your camcorder (especially HD video) or extreme gaming, buy the best you can afford (at least an I5, preferably an I7 that can be upgraded to 8GB memory if needed) - HD video editing on anything less will be a total buzzkill; if the PC can handle it at all it will take up to an hour to process just a few minutes of 1080p/i video files.

Beware the limitations of netbooks, iPads and similar devices. Netbooks do not have a DVD drive (you'll have to purchase an external one separately if needed), limited processor power and a very small keyboard. They are designed for web surfing and basic office apps only; more powerful apps will slow them to a crawl. iPads (although the latest fad) do not have USB ports for attaching a DVD drive, flash drive or other external storage.

What is the store's Holiday return policy, especially if the item is "DOA" on Christmas morning? Be sure the retailer will accept the item for at least an exchange or store credit for a week or two after Christmas. There is nothing more frustrating than having to send a brand new item back to the manufacturer and wait weeks for service or a replacement. If possible, open and test the item before wrapping it and placing it under the tree to catch possible defects early.

Pass on the store's extended warranty option. On notebooks and netbooks I do recommend getting an extended warranty that includes accidental damage coverage. Square Trade is usually less expensive and they are the only warranty company to score "5 Stars" on most consumer review sites (www.squaretrade.com). Beginning on Black Friday, Square Trade is offering 20% off all warranties purchased from their website using the code "JINGLE". Square Trade warranties must be purchased within 30 days of buying the item.

If you want unbiased research on specific brands and models, a good source is www.zdnet.com or look at customer reviews on major sties such as amazon.com or newegg.com.

Good luck and happy shopping on your Holiday PC purchases. :)

#81 len_mullen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 20, 2010 - 5:41 pm

My first laptop was an IBM 600e. I had a few of these for many years and repaired and upgraded myself. We installed Margi mpeg accelerators and DVD players and got many wonderful years of service. We only moved on when flash and other modern technologies overwhelmed the little laptop that could. We have passed these laptops on and they are still in use.

My first modern laptop was an acer 5516 (specs). It cost me $240 a year and a half ago. I only got to use it for a couple weeks before my oldest borrowed it. My wife has been using it for a year and loves it. It takes a beating too as she is not gentle and has no respect for magic.

My oldest decided this was a pretty lame computer. It was too big and the batteries did not last very long (I think three hours is pretty good). We shopped for months before buying him an Acer as1410 (specs). I had some serious doubts about this laptop and paid full freight ($400) for it, but I have to admit that it is a compelling package. Six hours on a charge, flash and dvd playback, and enough cpu and disk to do school work in an 11.5" form is very useful. He has been using this laptop for nearly a year and still loves it.

I got his little brother an Acer AS5741-6073 (specs) for about the same price. This is an i5. It is amazing as both a portable computer and a desktop replacement. The i5 runs faster when plugged in. He uses this as a portable desktop and is very happy. The disk failed within two months and acer sent me a new one. A key came loose a few months later and I had to send it out for repair ($22 shipping). Despite this, I would HIGHLY recommend this computer. I could see me buying a service contract, however, going forward.

All of these computers are made by Acer (which owns eMachines and Gateway). Acer is hands down the value leader in computers at this time.

Looking at the BF ads, I see a few Acers...

OfficeMax Acer Aspire 15.6" Core i3 Laptop w/ 4GB, 320GB $529.99
OfficeMax Acer Aspire 15.6" Core i5 Laptop w/ 4GB, 500GB $499.99
Radio Shack Acer Aspire One 10.1'' Netbook w/ 1GB, 160GB $179.99
Walmart Acer Aspire 17.3" Dual-Core Laptop w/ 4GB, 320GB (Online) $498.00

I love the i5 at OfficeMax and I like the 17" Aspire at Walmart, but I wouldn't stand in line for either. If you have a Discover card, rewards are doubled until the end of the year (10% for Staples, Walmart, and Best Buy) and you will undoubtedly be able to match these prices before Christmas.

If you are planning on buying a laptop, I recommend you visit a Staples or a Best Buy to tickle the keyboards. Netbooks are better than you think. I watched netflix via wireless on all of the netbooks at Staples. There is a wide variety of keyboards, touchpads, screens, and software loads out there and you will likely find you have a preference for one or another. If you want to watch DVDs, bring one with you. If you want to run a particular program, bring it with you. Stores are pretty tolerant of players (they just reimage the machine after you leave).

If you use your Discover card a lot, you can take your cashback as gift cards. I like Staples ($25 card for $20 cashback means 20% off their best deals).

Happy shopping!

#82 nirvana4all  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 20, 2010 - 6:42 pm

As a PC repair tech with over ten years experience, I urge everyone to consider the following before making an impulsive Black Friday purchase...

What will you be using the PC for? Low-end PCs are great for surfing the Internet and basic word processing. If doing spreadsheets or photo editing, it's best to buy a mid line (dual core) unit with a minimum of 3GB memory. If you plan on editing video from your camcorder (especially HD video) or extreme gaming, buy the best you can afford (at least an I5 or #Phenom#, preferably an I7 that can be upgraded to 8GB memory if needed) - HD video editing on anything less will be a total buzzkill; if the PC can handle it at all it will take up to an hour to process just a few minutes of 1080p/i video files.

Beware the limitations of netbooks, iPads and similar devices. Netbooks do not have a DVD drive (you'll have to purchase an external one separately if needed), limited processor power and a very small keyboard. They are designed for web surfing and basic office apps only; more powerful apps will slow them to a crawl. iPads (although the latest fad) do not have USB ports for attaching a DVD drive, flash drive or other external storage.

What is the store's Holiday return policy, especially if the item is "DOA" on Christmas morning? Be sure the retailer will accept the item for at least an exchange or store credit for a week or two after Christmas. There is nothing more frustrating than having to send a brand new item back to the manufacturer and wait weeks for service or a replacement. If possible, open and test the item before wrapping it and placing it under the tree to catch possible defects early.

Pass on the store's extended warranty option. On notebooks and netbooks I do recommend getting an extended warranty that includes accidental damage coverage. Square Trade is usually less expensive and they are the only warranty company to score "5 Stars" on most consumer review sites (www.squaretrade.com). Beginning on Black Friday, Square Trade is offering 20% off all warranties purchased from their website using the code "JINGLE". Square Trade warranties must be purchased within 30 days of buying the item.

If you want unbiased research on specific brands and models, a good source is www.zdnet.com or look at customer reviews on major sties such as amazon.com or newegg.com.

Good luck and happy shopping on your Holiday PC purchases. :)



:gdiagree:
A computer can only be as smart as the person running it. :crash:

#83 enoreeman  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 20, 2010 - 8:20 pm

Please think really hard BEFORE you buy the $199 laptops, they are Celeron CPU's that is like a corvette with a lawn mower engine in it. Most kids do gaming and the bargain units are not going to do that very well. go for at least an Intel Core i3 at minimum, an i5 would be even more capable with its enhanced abilities over an i3. Also look at the graphics chip in the unit, if it is an Intel graphics chip it will have limitations also, the better units will have an ATI or Nvidia graphics GPU on board, cheap is always cheap, someone earlier said that their bargain Celeron perfomed just as good as their husbands E8300 dual core, maybe just surfing the web,BUT try some serious multi tasking or gaming and then compare. Also look at the track record of the brand you are buying, HP had a debacle several years back with their DV 2000. 6000. 9000 series with the graphics chip losing connection to the motherboard due to a design fllaw, I have lots of people bring me these to repair them, it can be fixed, but it should not have happened to begin with, just be a smart shopper and don't just jump on something because it is bargain basement priced, there might be a reason they want to dump these on the market really cheap. Caveat emptor !!!

#84 jdragr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 20, 2010 - 8:44 pm

I had already decided that I would stay away from a cheaper one but I've never bought a laptop. What about HP in general and Dell in general? Good or bad?

#85 len_mullen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 - 5:58 am

Please think really hard BEFORE you buy the $199 laptops, they are Celeron CPU's that is like a corvette with a lawn mower engine in it. Most kids do gaming and the bargain units are not going to do that very well.

Not true. Celeron is a marketing device not a measuring tool. More apt comparison is ford to mercury. Modern celerons are very capable. Research/compare the individual chips and computers. Vista/Win7 have a Windows Experience Index (WEI) that you can use to compare computers as you prowl the stores.

go for at least an Intel Core i3 at minimum, an i5 would be even more capable with its enhanced abilities over an i3.

Also misleading. i3, i5, and i7 are marking classifications comparable to good, better, best. Since we are already in the second generation of the i-era, this can get very confusing. If you want to know a little about all this, read this and this. The major distinction between i3 and i5 is called turboboost and what it does is dynamically manage the speed of the CPU. So you use less energy when you are surfing than when you are gaming which is good for battery life. Right now, core duos are considered last gen and you can get a leftover cadillac for cheap. Check the WEI.

Also look at the graphics chip in the unit, if it is an Intel graphics chip it will have limitations also, the better units will have an ATI or Nvidia graphics GPU on board, cheap is always cheap, someone earlier said that their bargain Celeron perfomed just as good as their husbands E8300 dual core, maybe just surfing the web,BUT try some serious multi tasking or gaming and then compare.

True on the GPU/chipset, but WEI simplifies the benchmark as desktop/gaming numbers. Best advice is to research the requirements of the games/programs that will be run.

Also look at the track record of the brand you are buying, HP had a debacle several years back with their DV 2000. 6000. 9000 series with the graphics chip losing connection to the motherboard due to a design fllaw, I have lots of people bring me these to repair them, it can be fixed, but it should not have happened to begin with, just be a smart shopper and don't just jump on something because it is bargain basement priced, there might be a reason they want to dump these on the market really cheap. Caveat emptor !!!

Of all the characteristics of a computer, brand reliability is the least useful. For instance, I have had my Acer AS5741-6073 repaired twice. The hard drive failed and a key on the keyboard failed. Assuming these were not isolated incidents, not all Acers use this particular disk drive and keyboard and many other laptops use the same disk and keyboard. Unless you are buying a Toshiba Toughbook, a laptop is kind of a frail device and should be carefully cared for. I stay away from units with loud fans or strong air coming out the vent because it's dusty in my house and when these things become obstructed, they overheat.

I DO like cheap laptops. When they fail or become obsolete, you are out less money. Avid gamers are better off with a desktop so they can upgrade the video card every couple years. Get as little laptop as you need. Every ounce of performance steals from portability. In my house, an i5, a celeron, and a single core athlon all power perfect (for their application) laptops.

Edited by len_mullen, Nov 21, 2010 - 6:00 am.
typos


#86 gman863  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 - 12:17 pm

Not true. Celeron is a marketing device not a measuring tool. More apt comparison is ford to mercury. Modern celerons are very capable. Research/compare the individual chips and computers. Vista/Win7 have a Windows Experience Index (WEI) that you can use to compare computers as you prowl the stores.


It depends on the specific Celeron chip. Although the dual-core Celerons (3200, 3300) are almost equal in power to Intel's 5300/5400 CPUs, there are still some single-core Celeron units left in retail channels. Single core units (AMD or Intel) are very slow compared to dual, triple or quad cores. My dad just made the mistake of purchasing two single-core Celeron eMachines desktops for his church. Even with 3GB memory and the "crapware" disabled in startup, they are sloooow compared to dual core Celerons!

The WEI (Windows Experience Index) can be a bit misleading, especially if you're not looking at all the measurements individually. The overall WEI rating is based on the lowest of the individual scores. If the lowest score is gaming or aero graphics, it's usually a non-issue unless you're doing gaming or video editing.

On graphics, even a score of 3 (out of a max 7.9) is adaquate for surfing the web, MS-Office or viewing standard quality videos on YouTube.

For the hard drive score, it appears any 7200RPM SATA hard drive scores a 5.9 (I've checked over 20 units in the past 6 months, all 5.9).

If you want to research specs, go back to my original post in this thread. You will not have time to do this at 6AM on Black Friday as people are fighting over the cheap models.

The actual performance of any PC will be affected by the type and number of programs that load at startup; the WEI score does not reflect this. Without boring readers to death, it's usually worth it to pay the neighborhood geek or the IT guy at work a few bucks to tweak a new PC if you're not familiar with the process. Do not have this done at Best Buy, Office Depot, etc. unless they're willing to do it CHEAP. Some stores charge up to $100 to do this; it takes me about 20 minutes and I charge $25-$40 depending on if I have to go to the person's house to do it.

I DO like cheap laptops. When they fail or become obsolete, you are out less money. Avid gamers are better off with a desktop so they can upgrade the video card every couple years. Get as little laptop as you need. Every ounce of performance steals from portability. In my house, an i5, a celeron, and a single core athlon all power perfect (for their application) laptops.


Again, it goes back to how the PC will be used. For e-mail, web surfing and word processing this is great advice. My concern is that many people (especially college students or those who own just one PC) do use a notebook PC for desktop-type apps such as gaming and video editing. As a PC tech, I've run into many people who want to edit video or play World Of Warcraft on an entry-level notebook. This is like trying to drive a Kia Rio in a NASCAR race: It just ain't gonna happen. :rolleyes:

Edited by gman863, Nov 21, 2010 - 12:23 pm.


#87 len_mullen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 - 1:33 pm

Right, it depends on the Celeron chip. I think our thinking is starting to converge ;-) For my baseline, I use a desktop that we bought for the kids to play Sims, Halo, Quake III,etc. Not the most demanding games, but still a good benchmark. These guys WEI'd at 5 and had no problems with the games. I matched the GPU (8600gt) to the rest of the system. Absent the GPU upgrade, the Pavillions WEI'd at 3 -- which was fine until we started playing games. My 5516 WEI'd at 3 -- mostly due to graphics -- and played Sims but struggled with the other games. It's a cheap laptop my wife takes to dialysis. Great for email, the internet, Office, and the card games she plays. It plays DVDs and other videos too and streams Netflix fine. I have edited and encoded video on this computer. It works fine. It's not fast, but there are no sync problems. The 1410 WEI'd at 3 as well due to graphics and CPU. But this kid has a desktop and uses the 1410 for Office, email, and web. The AS5741 WEI'd over 5 except for desktop graphics and is a very decent game machine. My little guy has surrendered his desktop because this laptop does everything at least as well. As I said, perfect for their applications. The reason I point people to the WEI is that it is a benchmark that is on all modern computers. You can look at it on computers in stores. The details are more helpful on a desktop you can upgrade than a laptop where you have to live with the bottleneck. I agree that people should touch the computers before BF. There are still a few days to touch all the computers, check their WEI, and decide whether 3 or 5 is sufficient. A close up visit will also help filter touchpad and screen options. I didn't want to threadcrap, but people get caught up in the marketing and end up disappointed. Purchasing a computer -- especially a laptop -- takes a little thought. If people want some help picking a winner, it's best to post a note describing what the computer will be used for, how big a screen is needed, what the financial constraints are, and how important battery life is. Post that much and I can help you buy a laptop you'll love.

#88 nirvana4all  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 - 3:49 pm

Love the "5400rpm for fast read/write times" ha ha ha
A computer can only be as smart as the person running it. :crash:

#89 len_mullen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 - 3:57 pm

right. to me, 5400 rpm says runs cooler.

#90 balla01  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 22, 2010 - 5:59 am

This is my first post on here but I am a gottadeal fanatic!!! I have been searching for a good laptop at a good price. I want an i5 to take advantage of the new technology. Office Depot has the hp dm4-1162 for $550 after $50 rebate. Office Max has an Acer for $499. They are both about the same, Acer has a larger screen and larger hd. Hp offers more tech stuff which I love. Which one do you suggest??? I am leaning toward the hp but I have read reviews and this new touchpad they use has gotten a lot of Mixed reviews. Has anyone used the new hp's with the touchpad?? What do you think?? Thanks guys!




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