Author Topic: Laptop recommendations?  (Read 171 times)

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Offline Serana

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Laptop recommendations?
« on: December 23, 2016, 04:56:17 pm »
My laptop is old(bought it used) and slowly dying and the screen is now busted in two spots, the second which appeared recently is super inconvenient when it comes to art my main(and kinda only) source of income and enjoyment.

I've been slowly saving for a new one but I don't know anything about computers no matter how much stuff I look up.
I currently have $550 and waiting on about $200 from what my dad borrowed, so all together about $750(hopefully my laptop doesn't completely die before then)
My current laptop is a............ HP 2000 Notebook(thats what the thingy says XD) and I just need something better, I would love to play games on it but as long as I can have my art programs(as I'd like to have more than just SAI including animating software) I'm fine.
Has to be a laptop, I have no where to put a desktop in my room and I just like it being mobile.
And that's about all I can think of as no matter what I look up I'm just super confused of what exactly I need for the things I wanna do as lots of memory is not the only thing I need to look for. Like I don't wanna chance saving up and spend over $1000 on a laptop only for it to be a rip off or I find something I thought was good for a cheaper price and end up spending a nice chunk of money that'll take forever to save up again.
I know there's some tech savvy people on the forums so thought I could start here ^^''
Oh also its preferred if I can pick it up locally(like say a best buy or something) but its not required ^^
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Offline Vlad

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Re: Laptop recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2016, 03:25:39 pm »
Oh, the good old HP 2000... my friend had one of those for ages, he gave it to me when he upgraded. It's not fast at all, but wow did it take a beating.

If you've got about $7-800, and you want to be able to use art programs and maybe game some, I would definitely make sure whatever you get has a dedicated graphics processor. You're also going to want a quad-core or better processor, eight gigabytes of memory is just about right for your use case/price point (unless you like doing sixteen things at once, but you can always add more RAM later or pay someone to do it for you), and possibly even something with an SSD boot drive.

If none of that means anything to you that's fine, I'll give you an explanation/recommendation with a bit less technical jargon.

I'm not sure what's local to you other than Worst Buy, and they tend to have bad prices on almost everything in my experience, so my recommendation might not be available locally. I'll give you a link from Amazon, though if you do buy online I'd recommend looking around for deals- ebay often has the best prices on new computers, while NewEgg and MicroCenter are both good places to look as well.

You're at just about the right price point to be buying an entry-level gaming laptop- that'll get you the features you want without breaking the bank on super new stuff or being underpowered and overpriced. You want something with a graphics card- that is to say, a computer that has a separate chip to handle graphics and display. Gaming laptops tend to have these, in addition to usually having more memory and faster processors than other laptops. This is also why they're generally more expensive. Another thing gaming laptops often have are higher-quality displays with good color and HD resolutions, which would definitely help with your art.

At your price point, all things considered, I would be looking at laptops with a GTX 960M graphics card. It's a lower-power GPU from the last generation of graphics hardware from Nvidia, so the prices on it are great now and the performance of anything equipped with one will be quite good compared to most other sub-$1K laptops.

All this in mind, my number one recommendation to you would be the Dell Inspiron 15 7559. It's just a little bit over your stated price point- many places have it listed at about $800- but it's got just about everything you need and a very good build quality. Here's a good review of it on youtube, by Linus of LinusTechTips. It's directed towards gamers, so most of the cons he listed are comparisons to more expensive gaming laptops- against your HP 2000, there's little to nothing that isn't an improvement. Here's another review from PCMag if you'd rather read.

This laptop sounds great for you for a number of reasons- it's much less gaudy and bulky than other gaming laptops, for one, so you probably won't feel strange or look silly using it in public. It's got an IPS display with an anti-glare coating, which is great for color accuracy, range of producible colors, and consistent picture at wider viewing angles. The battery life is reportedly great, running somewhere between 7-10 hours depending on what you're doing with it. It's relatively thin for a gaming laptop, so it probably won't be much heavier or thicker than your old one. It's also got the backlit keyboard, which is very convenient for using your laptop in dark or dimly lit places.

Something to note is that multiple configurations of the 7559 are sold, with two or three different processors and storage setups- be cognisant of that when shopping. All of the processors offered with this model should be great for your purposes, but the models with a core i7 will be more expensive and faster. What you want to pay attention to is the storage solution- some of these are sold with a 1TB hard drive that has 8GB of solid state flash memory, and some are sold with a 256GB solid state drive that's entirely flash memory based. The 256GB option is going to be somewhat faster, but because it's the only storage on the system, you should only get it if you're comfortable having that small of a space for files and programs on the laptop (maybe using an external hard drive) or with upgrading the storage at a later time.

Here's the amazon link for the computer I'm referring to- you'll see the option to get the model with the i7 and the 1TB drive, at its usual price of $800, and the cheaper option with the i5 and SSD. I would go with the i7 option if you can afford it or find it for a better price. If you can't or don't want to wait to get another $50 together, the other option is still a solid choice. I don't know that Best Buy carries these laptops anymore, and I know the only Micro Center in the state is kind of far from you to drive out to. Micro Center has them in stock though, and you might be able to find it somewhere else locally or have someone pick it up for you at the Micro Center if you don't want to order one online.

If you can find another laptop that has a GTX 960M at a similar price to the Inspiron, I would definitely consider it (or post back and ask about it, I'd be happy to tell you what I think!). From what I've seen though, there's not much else out there for this low a price with specifications this good- the 7559 really is a sweet spot deal and I'd highly recommend you take a look at it.
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Offline Serana

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Re: Laptop recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2016, 05:14:08 pm »
I'm a bit late but thank you so much for responding and in such detail too! I'll definitely be looking into the laptop you recommended as I originally planned on saving about a thousand(forgot to mention that) but I kinda need something asap that isn't crap and this just sounds so much better than what I got now anyways XD
I have an idea how to make purchasing easier so I don't think ordering online will be very difficult now ^^
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Offline Vlad

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Re: Laptop recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2016, 06:21:43 pm »
I'm a bit late but thank you so much for responding and in such detail too! I'll definitely be looking into the laptop you recommended as I originally planned on saving about a thousand(forgot to mention that) but I kinda need something asap that isn't crap and this just sounds so much better than what I got now anyways XD
I have an idea how to make purchasing easier so I don't think ordering online will be very difficult now ^^

You're totally welcome! I'm a complete nerd, I just like looking at stats and specs and things, so I actually enjoy helping people shop for computers and parts.  :fox-:P:
I've had my eye on that model for almost a year now, and it seemed like it fit what you were looking for pretty well. It's okay if your budget had a bit more space in it, there's not a whole lot of features past this point that you really need unless you want to do high-performance gaming. Maybe this way you can afford get a nice case or laptop bag, or just hold on to the rest of the money. Glad I could help out though!
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