General Question

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Finally caving---need a new laptop---suggestions, please? (PC)

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11266points) June 18th, 2010

Some of you may have answered some of my other questions…while my laptop was on its last stretch. I realized that I now need a new one as I am working on a borrowed one right now and I have all my files on the old one…backed up, don’t worry.

I would like to get another PC…I am looking for portability (not heavy) as I travel with it, reliability (I use it a lot for my work), plenty of storage/memory (as I have scads and scads of photos/artwork), a laptop that would be good for graphic work and a good sound system. I am leaning toward a Toshiba Satellite or a Lenovo Thinkpad. Money is an object. So, it has to be mid-range. I don’t use a desktop, this is it for me…so that has to be a consideration as well. It’s got to be durable.

Please send your suggestions…and if not for a laptop, then the programs/specs that I should look for to get what I need in a new laptop. Remember…I am not so computer-literate.

Thanks for the help….!

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21 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Look at the choices from Asus and Toshiba.

reijinni's avatar

get either a mac or a Ubuntu laptop.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

You could either spend $900 on a MacBook and use it out of the box, or you could buy a PC laptop for $650 and spend $250 on software (or download freeware that sort of works). Mac is the platform made for creative work. Are you using CS4?

cbbg's avatar

I’m currently using an HP laptop and I’m ok with it. My boyfriend has a mac book and I gotta say, it’s lovely. It’s a bit more costly but I would say it’s a good price for the value. And it’s not a hard switch-over either.

dpworkin's avatar

How is it helpful to tell a person who wants a PC to get a Mac? That’s what I call hubris.

CMaz's avatar

“Mac is the platform made for creative work”
True, in the 90’s.
For $600 or less you can get a laptop that will do a great job. With all the necessary software included.

cbbg's avatar

But what about durability? How has your pc lasted under the duress of everyday abuse? Would you not consider a refurb jobber?

dpworkin's avatar

The new 15.6” Toshibas sound very nice: 4Gb RAM, 320Gb Hard Drive, full keyboard with number pad, 802.11n, HDMI out, reasonable prices, good looks.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Personally, I’ve gone to, and had them build me a PC to my specs. Now, this may require you knowing something about hardware, but the current desktop computer I’m on has run for me for 7 years with no trouble, and I didn’t universally get the most expensive options available to me at the time of purchase. I plan to upgrade as soon as I have a higher, steadier income (and I’ll probably get myself a Macbook Pro as well – it’s good to be “bi-lingual”).

HPs have problems with the DC jacks disconnecting from the mobo and their WiFi connections failing, and they are reluctant to address the problem. I don’t know about the other brands. One of my roomies has a Dell and he’s doing all right with it so far, but he’s had it for less than a year.

Seaofclouds's avatar

My husband just got an Asus from Best Buy for like $500 (with shipping). We had it shipped to me so I can download some stuff on it then I’m sending it to Iraq for him. We use Asus desktop computers for gaming and haven’t had any problems with them.

DeanV's avatar

@dpworkin It happens the other way around and nobody calls foul.

I’d look into Asus. I have a friend who has a W3J (laptop), and he loves it. Good for gaming (as far as laptops go), plus it’s light, which is definitely something to look at when getting a PC laptop.

hug_of_war's avatar

If someone clearly states a desire for a PC then It is pretty annoying to tell them a macbook would suit them better. I use apple but they aren’t the end all be all of computers and the wishes of @DarlingRhadamanthus should be respected

DeanV's avatar

@hug_of_war Agreed. I’m not suggesting they get a Mac, I’m just saying there seems to be a bit of hypocrisy on questions like this (not singling you out @dpworkin) when it comes to stuff like that.

missingbite's avatar

@hug_of_war and @dpworkin believe it or not some people are not even aware what a mac can do. Granted, I would think most people on would know, but some may not. My GF’s parents had no idea they could use an iMac for their business on the windows side and have the mac side for everything else. It doesn’t hurt to view all angles.

ragingloli's avatar

My laptop is from Aldi (a supermarket) and it still runs great after 4 years. I dropped it a few times too. No cracks.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Okay, okay, okay….everyone….wow…’s almost two in the morning here across the pond, just checked my Fluther…and I had no idea that my question would provoke such a heated partisan exchange! :)

First of all….why I am not asking for a Mac. My very first computer in the Paleolithic era was a Mac…a darling clickety-clack Mac (that I wish I had back). It was great——it had icons that allowed me to choose what I wanted to do. I liked clicking on the little pictures. I adored my first Mac. Then, I went to work at an office where they only had PCs and I was stumped but with a little practice, it was relatively easy to switch over. Things weren’t that sophisticated yet. Then, every other time I had a computer (work-related) I kept receiving PCs and the Macs faded into the background. I think of Macs as “Starbucks Coffee” and PCs as “Folgers”..they both wake you up in the morning, don’t they? And you look a heck of a lot more “cool” carting around a Starbuck’s cup than a plastic cup from home filled with Folger’s. Mac has created a very exclusive club. It’s rather like being in the “Fluther”. We recognize each other…we have secret handshakes…we know what “Davey Jone’s Revenge” is….we are all Musketeers! One for all and all for one!

Let me finish…before I get pounded. Two or three years ago, I was hired to do some P.R. work for a writer. I worked out of his home. He provided me with a brand new Apple Mac computer with every bell, whistle and gizmo imaginable. I sat there for three weeks with my eyes watering——I could not, not, not make sense of what was going on. “Oh,” I was told, “It’s just so intuitive and so sophisticated….that’s why.” That’s why I can’t figure it out?? Because it’s figuring out what I can’t figure out? If that’s true, then why can’t I figure out what it’s trying to figure out for me??? This isn’t a slam against Mac, okay? But I just could not figure out what to do. In desperation, I told the person I was working for that I needed to use my own personal computer. I was able to get back to business. Since that experience, I’ve stuck to what I know and that’s PC.

I am sure that Macs are fantastic…I know lots of people who swear by them. Nay, they worship their Macs with fervor. I was the cheerleader who kept a copy of Proust in her megaphone to read during halftime, okay? It’s not like I’m conventional. I wear pearls and cowboy boots to garden tea parties.(Stumps the ladies who lunch.) So, while Macs are made for those who “follow their own drum”....I’ll follow my own drum in other ways——but not with my computer. I am an unconventional woman with very conventional computer tastes. Yes, I am a computer bore.

I realize that a Jaguar is a hell of a lot sexier, stylish and better to drive….but sometimes it’s easier to just buy a Ford since it’s what you’ve gotten used to…and in the end, it still gets you to Altoona.

(After that long-winded response…I am sending Lurve to ALL of you…Macs and PC users…can’t we all just get along? LOL) Thank you, thank you thank you….for such great response to my question.

And I have to say @dpworkin….he’s saved my unconventional arse a few times by giving me some good advice with my boring computer probs. Actually I bored him with my 1,001 Scheherazade questions. He was always gracious. Eternally grateful. I’ll look into all possibilities. Well…PC possibilities anyway…but I’m not ruling out a Mac for the future. I never rule out anything.

jerv's avatar

Once again, I am going to advocate for the Toshiba T135–1305 (the one with the SU4100 CPU; the other CPU options are rather anemic).

It is about the size/weight of a Macbook (13” screen, about 4 pounds…), comes from a company that has a decent reputation for durability and reliability (Toshiba), has enough RAM to run the type of stuff that you are likely to run (insert technical stuff here), and the 320GB hard drive is rather generous unless you are into downloading full-length movies.

Now, if you want a laptop with a decent sound then you are not going to get that for cheap. The Toshiba M505 is the only one that I can think of that has speakers that are even moderately non-sucktacular for under $1000, but the models that have those Harman/Kardon speakers start at $800. I am afraid that you are stuck with average sound unless you open your wallet/purse a bit wider.

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Thanks jerv! I have already gone to look at some Toshibas….and I don’t need super duper speakers. The Toshiba I have borrowed, however, has only ONE speaker and it is awful for sound——so I need two speakers, at least.

Lurve comin’....:)

jerv's avatar

Well, the T135 does have two speakers. Come to think of it, my Acer netbook has two… things that turn electricity into sound, so I guess that they could be called speakers. And it that thing can do stereo sound, I have to wonder what sort of rig you are running on right now!

Oddly, the exact model I have seems to be gone; the 1305. You can still get it in red (1305RD) or white (1305WH), but not black like mine. I hope that that isn’t an issue, but if it is then the T135–1310 is the same thing with 4GB of RAM instead of 3GB. It costs about $50 more, but it is available in black :D

Oh, and you will lurve the battery life :)

dpworkin's avatar

Here is a nice Toshiba.

jerv's avatar

The L505 has a screen that is two inches larger, but the L505 is slightly less portable (10.2×15.1×1.6 inches ; 6 pounds) than my T135 at 8.8×12.7×1.4 inches ; 3.9 pounds (And I found it in black!)

The L505 is faster the Core i3 rocks!) and comes with a built-in optical drive, but the battery life is less than one-third as long as the T135.

Well, it depends on what you want/need out of a computer, and I can’t really help with that decision. Personally, I agree that the L505 is a nice computer and worth a look. However, I would not buy it myself solely because it doesn’t fit my own personal preferences as well as the T135.

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