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Need a Laptop Under $500

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Old
10-04-2011, 07:50 PM
  #1
silverfish
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Need a Laptop Under $500

Hey everyone...my Dell Inspiron 1525 that I got three years ago is dying a slow and painful death. I am a poor college student looking for a new machine priced under $500 to support me through this school year and beyond until I can afford a machine that will do what I need it to do (aka, when I get a career )

I purchased a Dell Inspiron 15R but they sent me a broken machine and that has turned me off Dell.

It's unfortunate that my budget is so small, but like I said I'm a poor college kid, just looking for a machine that will get me through the school year and for however long into actual life I need it to.

I know I'm not gonna strike a machine of gold for under $500 but I need it to be useable.

I'm looking at Toshiba, Lenovo, Sony, and Acer.

Thanks for any help!

EDIT - Can't find a review anywhere, thoughts on this model?
http://us.toshiba.com/computers/lapt...40/L745D-S4350


Last edited by silverfish: 10-04-2011 at 08:07 PM.
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Old
10-04-2011, 09:03 PM
  #2
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Get the Toshiba Sony or Lenovo over the Acer I will say that.

Personal preference would be Toshiba out of those brands especially for a lower end one around 500$

If it's just for school the one you link should do but I feel I should warn you I was looking up laptops for a co-worker and Toshiba has one for around 560$ish at Bestbuy which is a much better laptop in general.

I know you may not be able to afford it though given your circumstance but just figured you should know. It's only about 60$+tax above your budget.

EDIT: Just a quick browse but found this one in your price range. Some other folks might want to comment I didn't do a full check but looks better than the one you linked:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+...&skuId=1974715

As far as I can tell it's the same comp with an intel i3 processor instead and 429.99$ USD instead of 479.99$ and tons of reviews give it a 4/5 on average. Not bad for a 429.99$ Too bad it's in the US By co-worker could likely use a deal like this. Also it's a bigger screen and a full keyboard I believe.

EDIT: Bahhhh... reading the reviews a lot of people are happy with it but a ton of people claim to have had faulty screens. I don't know whether it's people making excuses for being negligent but it seems pretty common among the comments. Still they had other laptops for pretty fair prices, better than the Tosh website. When I was looking for Toshiba's last time I saw their site was overpriced compared with retail places.


Last edited by neofury*: 10-04-2011 at 09:22 PM.
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10-04-2011, 10:24 PM
  #3
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Avoid Acer

I bought a Toshiba Satellite 2 years ago.

Solid.
I think I paid between 450 and 500$ (canadian)

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10-04-2011, 10:50 PM
  #4
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I also recommend Toshiba.

I've mine for over 4 years and it runs like a champ.

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10-04-2011, 10:53 PM
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http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834214401

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10-05-2011, 08:48 AM
  #6
silverfish
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@neofury

That has no HDMI output, which is huge for me I should have mentioned that because I watch a ton of things from my computer on my TV

I was leaning towards Toshiba so thanks for the positive reinforcement everyone.

@towers

That looks good and the review for it is great, but the processor sounds weak. I've always bought intel processors so I don't know much about AMD, can anyone help me out there?

Aside from a few reviews that said the computer basically kicked the bucket after about 30 days, completely ruining Best Buy's 15 day return policy, this one seems to be well liked...

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+...ustomerreviews


Last edited by silverfish: 10-05-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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10-05-2011, 09:31 AM
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverfish View Post
@neofury

That has no HDMI output, which is huge for me I should have mentioned that because I watch a ton of things from my computer on my TV

I was leaning towards Toshiba so thanks for the positive reinforcement everyone.

@towers

That looks good and the review for it is great, but the processor sounds weak. I've always bought intel processors so I don't know much about AMD, can anyone help me out there?
My Tosh has an AMD CPU, at the time Intel was still 32-bit, and the 64-bit has paid off in the long run...good for nearly everything but not quite the same level as Intel, but cheaper, so that's the trade off. I used primarily AMD in my desktops until I bought an Intel CPU last year, but I like both, but I also realize the Intel cost more, but there is also a cost/performance trade off.

I was going to say that AMD is a quad-core, don't worry so much about the clock speed, but looking at some benches, the Intel Core i3 2310M (also in that price range) beats it, although on the other hand, Intel graphics are poor for games.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-C...r.45318.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-A-S...r.55753.0.html

@$500, you don't have a lot of options, with Intel you're probably going to get a better CPU if you stick with the Core 2011 series, but AMD will give you a better GPU. In real world applications, for what they are, I don't know if you could see much of a difference between them.

While I'm no fan of HP, this one actually gets a better rating than that Toshiba posted above:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834157822

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10-05-2011, 09:42 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post
While I'm no fan of HP, this one actually gets a better rating than that Toshiba posted above:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834157822
Yeah, I saw that one and was like "OOOOOOOOOOH" but then I saw the "HP" and I said "**** THAT NOISE SON".

ROLL OUT!

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10-05-2011, 09:47 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guinness View Post
My Tosh has an AMD CPU, at the time Intel was still 32-bit, and the 64-bit has paid off in the long run...good for nearly everything but not quite the same level as Intel, but cheaper, so that's the trade off. I used primarily AMD in my desktops until I bought an Intel CPU last year, but I like both, but I also realize the Intel cost more, but there is also a cost/performance trade off.

I was going to say that AMD is a quad-core, don't worry so much about the clock speed, but looking at some benches, the Intel Core i3 2310M (also in that price range) beats it, although on the other hand, Intel graphics are poor for games.

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-C...r.45318.0.html
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-A-S...r.55753.0.html

@$500, you don't have a lot of options, with Intel you're probably going to get a better CPU if you stick with the Core 2011 series, but AMD will give you a better GPU. In real world applications, for what they are, I don't know if you could see much of a difference between them.

While I'm no fan of HP, this one actually gets a better rating than that Toshiba posted above:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834157822
The GPU is bordering on useless when you're talking about 500$ laptops though. I agree the intel ones are **** but when we're comparing the lower end AMD to Intel it's barely even worth noting. (Neither will play games properly imo)

That said, I'd take an intel i3 over an AMD equivalent any day of the week personally but I've always been an intel fan.

That said for 500$ you really can't go wrong with a Toshiba backed by an i3. Also forgot to mention to the OP in January my Toshiba will be 2 years old. My girlfriend uses it mostly and she's horrible with computers. It hasn't had a single problem though I did install eset, spybot s&d and malwarebytes to keep her in check.

I realize the one I linked you may have not had an HDMI (as I said, I took a brief glance) but there are several others in the same price range that are still better than the one you linked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Towers View Post
Yeah, I saw that one and was like "OOOOOOOOOOH" but then I saw the "HP" and I said "**** THAT NOISE SON".

ROLL OUT!
I despise HP but I have to admit when I was looking for a laptop for me recently I strongly considered the higher end ones. (High compared to the one linked, not high end in general lol) My price range was ~999.99$ Long story short very few comps around 999.99$ not only have a good dedicated graphics but have good specs in other areas too.

It came down to waiting an extra 1.5 weeks for the new Dell XPS 15 and then waiting for it to ship, or getting a Samsung with the same GPU and similar specs for the same price right away. The Samsung actually had a 17" screen and I knew I'd be gaming on it so I took it. My advice to the OP is go to the actual store and look around, bring your smart phone to google reviews. When I got there they had a laptop which wasn't on sale yet but was going on sale in a week. 1299.99 --> 999.99, I bought it went back in a week and price matched it down to 999.99

Love this lappy the only thing that sucks about it is the screen resolution but if I really wanted to I could hook it up to a legit TV or monitor anyways. It was more of a desktop replacement that I could also use on the go. One thing I personally recommend also is the full keyboard. I prefer it and noticed Toshiba in a lot of cases does give the full keyboard and for me personally it's a godsend. Cannot stand not having a num pad.


Last edited by neofury*: 10-05-2011 at 09:52 AM.
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10-05-2011, 09:47 AM
  #10
Francesa
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Why, I just found a laptop under $500 on www.newegg.com the other day

Check it out

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10-05-2011, 11:28 AM
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silverfish
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Thanks for all the help so far guys, I'm running around a lot today but will have time to get some dedicated research in later.

Keep the suggestions coming!

Found some more...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...g=prodrevis-20

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...g=prodrevis-20


Last edited by silverfish: 10-05-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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10-05-2011, 12:52 PM
  #12
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I remember the days when it was impossible to buy any laptop under 500

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10-05-2011, 01:25 PM
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I have a Sony Vaio TT for sale, not really ever used. 11", Vista (you can upgrade it to 7 if you want) Nearly $1200 new. $300.

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10-05-2011, 03:07 PM
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based on price and reviews I think
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...y=REVIEWS#tabs

4.6/5 stars with 74 reviews.

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10-05-2011, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafs88 View Post
I remember the days when it was impossible to buy any laptop under 500
That was what 2-3 years ago?

I remember the days you couldn't get a good laptop for under 500$, now you actually can. (Except for the playing games bit)

Still you can find laptops that work for gaming albeit not the most high end for 700-1000$ in Canada now. In the US the deals are much better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trigun View Post
I have a Sony Vaio TT for sale, not really ever used. 11", Vista (you can upgrade it to 7 if you want) Nearly $1200 new. $300.
An 11" lappy that costs 1200$ new that isn't the Alienware m11x? Sounds like a scam.

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10-05-2011, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neofury View Post
That was what 2-3 years ago?

I remember the days you couldn't get a good laptop for under 500$, now you actually can. (Except for the playing games bit)

Still you can find laptops that work for gaming albeit not the most high end for 700-1000$ in Canada now. In the US the deals are much better.



An 11" lappy that costs 1200$ new that isn't the Alienware m11x? Sounds like a scam.
if you don't want high def and max settings you can still get a solid laptop under 500 that runs any game at medium settings.

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10-05-2011, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karnige View Post
if you don't want high def and max settings you can still get a solid laptop under 500 that runs any game at medium settings.
Really? Have yet to see a laptop under 500 that can run any game even at low settings. Then again it's different in the US price wise.

EDIT: Sorry should have specified ANY game


Last edited by neofury*: 10-06-2011 at 07:51 AM.
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10-05-2011, 03:47 PM
  #18
silverfish
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Right now I have this as the buy:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...g=prodrevis-20

$499 on Amazon
$569 on Toshiba's website

I'm not really into PC gaming so that's no big thing as I still use my xbox for most of my gaming needs.

Love the HDMI, love the Core i3 over an AMD...biased to Intel as I've never had AMD.

3 USB ports is good

640 GB hard drive and 4GB of ram

Full keyboard which I hated when I ordered the Dell Inspiron 15R that was dead out of the box but grew to enjoy having.

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10-05-2011, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverfish View Post
Right now I have this as the buy:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...g=prodrevis-20

$499 on Amazon
$569 on Toshiba's website

I'm not really into PC gaming so that's no big thing as I still use my xbox for most of my gaming needs.

Love the HDMI, love the Core i3 over an AMD...biased to Intel as I've never had AMD.

3 USB ports is good

640 GB hard drive and 4GB of ram

Full keyboard which I hated when I ordered the Dell Inspiron 15R that was dead out of the box but grew to enjoy having.
Looks good to me.

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10-05-2011, 04:07 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neofury View Post
That was what 2-3 years ago?

I remember the days you couldn't get a good laptop for under 500$, now you actually can. (Except for the playing games bit)

Still you can find laptops that work for gaming albeit not the most high end for 700-1000$ in Canada now. In the US the deals are much better.



An 11" lappy that costs 1200$ new that isn't the Alienware m11x? Sounds like a scam.
Its a Vaio, enough said. Mine's one of the more basic ones at that. You could have spec'd it to $4344...

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10-05-2011, 04:31 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverfish View Post
Don't buy that if you want to do any gaming on it (beyond solitaire, minesweeper, online flash games and such). Those Intel graphics chips are horrible for games. If I were you (and assuming you want to game), I'd go with the other Toshiba (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...g=prodrevis-20), which has the AMD Radeon HD 6520G graphics chip.

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10-05-2011, 05:08 PM
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silverfish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
Don't buy that if you want to do any gaming on it (beyond solitaire, minesweeper, online flash games and such). Those Intel graphics chips are horrible for games. If I were you (and assuming you want to game), I'd go with the other Toshiba (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...g=prodrevis-20), which has the AMD Radeon HD 6520G graphics chip.
Like I said, PC gaming isn't really what I'm into right now as I stick to console gaming. However, in the future, when I buy the machine that I want rather than the one I need to have, I'm going to make that thing a BEAST.

However, that model will save me $50 but with half the hard drive space versus the $499 one I'd need to buy an external hard drive.

I would also be sacrificing the i3 processor for an AMD.

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10-05-2011, 05:50 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osprey View Post
Don't buy that if you want to do any gaming on it (beyond solitaire, minesweeper, online flash games and such). Those Intel graphics chips are horrible for games. If I were you (and assuming you want to game), I'd go with the other Toshiba (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...g=prodrevis-20), which has the AMD Radeon HD 6520G graphics chip.
http://www.notebookcheck.net/AMD-Rad...G.55734.0.html

That card is garbage anyway.

No one buys a $500 laptop with extensive gaming in mind.

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10-05-2011, 05:50 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverfish View Post
Like I said, PC gaming isn't really what I'm into right now...
My mistake. I missed where you said that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Towers View Post
That card is garbage anyway.
The point was that it's better than the other option.

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10-05-2011, 05:58 PM
  #25
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I suppose this isn't bad if you want a 13"...I think this Asus one is quite sleek.

Quote:
ASUS U33Jc-A1 13.3" Notebook Computer (Bamboo) i3-370M, 4GB for $499.95 after MIR + Free Shipping
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/pro...puter.html

Reg. Price: $799.00
Discount: -$149.05
Discount price: $649.95
Limited supply at this price

Mail In Rebate -$150.00
offer ends OCT 31 '11
Price after Rebate: $499.95

2.4GHz Intel Core i3-370M Dual-Core
4GB (2x2GB) RAM
500GB 5400rpm Hard Drive
nVIDIA/Intel Hybrid Graphics
13.3" LED Backlit Widescreen Display
Integrated Webcam and Microphone
Bluetooth
802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
4.5 lb

Link to rebate: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/Frame...-10517.pdf

The next cheapest price on Google shopping results is $625
Report Post
Also:

Quote:
Toshiba - Satellite C655-S5212 Laptop, Intel® Core™ i3-2310M, 15.6" Display, 3GB Memory, 320GB Hard Drive for $380.00 free in-store pickup
Toshiba - Satellite C655-S5212 Laptop, Intel® Core™ i3-2310M, 15.6" Display, 3GB Memory, 320GB Hard Drive [bestbuy.com]


Warranty Terms - Parts 1 year limited
Warranty Terms - Labor 1 year limited
Product Height 1.6"
Product Width 15"
Product Weight 5.3 lbs.
Product Depth 9.8"
Processor Brand Intel®
Processor Intel® Core™ i3
Processor Speed 2.1GHz
Battery Type 6-cell lithium-ion
Display Type High-definition widescreen TFT-LCD with TruBrite technology (1366 x 768)
Screen Size 15.6"
Cache Memory 3MB
System Memory (RAM) 3GB
Expandable To 8GB
Type of Memory (RAM) DDR3
Hard Drive Type SATA (5400 rpm)
Hard Drive Size 320GB
Optical Drive Double-layer DVD±RW/CD-RW
Optical Drive Speeds 6x DVD+R DL; 6x DVD-R DL; 8x8x8 DVD+RW; 8x6x8 DVD-RW; 5x DVD-RAM; 24x24x24 CD-RW
Direct-Disc Labeling No
Digital Media Reader digital media card reader
Graphics Mobile Intel® HD
Video Memory 64-1317MB shared
TV Tuner No
MPEG Yes
Built-in Webcam Yes
Modem None
Networking Built-in 10/100 Ethernet LAN
Wireless Networking Wireless-B+G+N
Bluetooth-Enabled No
S-Video Outputs None
Speakers Internal
PCMCIA Slots None
USB 2.0 Ports 2
IEEE 1394 FireWire None
Parallel Ports None
Game Ports None
Laptop Weight Ultraportable (5.5 lbs. or less)
Battery Life Up to 6 hours and 45 minutes
Pointing Device Touchpad with multitouch control
HDMI Output No
Blu-ray Player No
Operating System Windows
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium
System Version 64-bit
Included Software Adobe Acrobat Reader and more
ENERGY STAR Qualified Yes
Best Buy PC App No
Graphics Chip Intel
Wireless Capability Wi-Fi
Drive Capacity 320GB
Graphics Card Mobile Intel® HD
UPC 883974828098
Quote:
Beach Camera via Ebay has Toshiba Satellite P755-S5270 Laptop for $599 with free shipping.

Specs

Intel Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz
6GB DDR3
750GB Hard Drive
15.6" 1366x768 LED Backlit
NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M
DVD SuperMulti Drive
6-cell Battery
WiFi N
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit


Last edited by Hizaki: 10-05-2011 at 06:52 PM.
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