Options for a 200-300 dollars laptop?

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by Opus131, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Opus131

    Opus131 n00bie

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    Or 200-300 Euros since i live in Italy, but either way, that price range.

    Only requirement would be a decent screen (preferably IPS. I hate TN screens and i hate them all the more on laptops). SSD is a must as well all though i could just get one separately.

    Use is just web surfing, video/movie watching, some light gaming (i grew up in the 80s/90s and i have huge backlog of games from that era i can play, so power is not an issue. I had a Lenovo x120 that had some problem with some of the heavier DosBox games, like Daggerfall. Anything better than that would be good enough).

    Getting a second hand laptop is tempting but i used to work at a computer repair shop and i don't know how it is in the states but here in Italy people aren't gentle with their hardware, to say the least.

    This may be too much to ask but would be nice if the computer would come with something better than those dreadful Realtek style sound cards, otherwise i'd have to buy an usb card. I just can't stand low quality sound. Speakers are not an issue, i'll just be using headphones.
     
  2. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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    Italy, you say? I lived in the Naples area for three years when dad was stationed at NES.
     
  3. spaceman

    spaceman [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I would suggest saving up a bit more money. Gaming laptops are expensive. Especially new ones and not tn panels. Acer or hp would probably be the least expensive. I will also add that creative is going to be selling a USB sound card that may be fantastic for headphones soon.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  4. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    Sound quality for cheap low-cost laptops isn't a big concern and these days all laptops sound effectively the same to be honest. My biggest gripe is how manufacturers are forcing that shitty "Dolby" crap on end users, or some other form of sound altering processing going on that you can't really disable - even if you do disable it what happens is the straight-through audio ends up being 200% quieter and even if you max out the volume mixers across the board you still get basically nothing. I just got a ThinkPad T440s and that's what happens when all the drivers are installed with Windows 7 - the shitty Dolby processing API is there whether I want it or not, and when I disable it of course the volume through the headphone out is effectively so weak it's almost unusable.

    If I install any modern Linux distro on it (was testing Linux Mint 19 earlier) I of course a) don't have the Dolby bullshit and b) the audio volume can be pushed significantly higher than Windows is ever capable of. I wish I was talented enough to hack the Windows drivers and remove the Dolby crap and also boost the overall volume but alas, that's not in my scope.

    As for the IPS panel, the only way you're going to find anything for $200-300 is something used, and in that respect it can be relatively easy if you're looking for a decent piece of hardware like something in the older ThinkPad line, the x220-x230 models, as those did actually offer IPS panels as an option. It's almost always possible to swap out a TN for an IPS later on but that just increases the cost overall, you're better off finding an older machine that already has the IPS panel in it from the factory, obviously.

    If old games are your passion, something like what I just suggested would be fine. The X120 model you mentioned was just weak to begin with, those models in the X12x line were meant for students, just powerful enough to get online and maybe watch some videos, that's about it and even with the older games those X12x models just couldn't cut it most of the time.

    If you're paying attention you could potentially happen upon something that might be perfect for you depending on precisely what you want but other than that it's tough to just toss out specific models to look for other than what I just mentioned. Consumer class laptops on the low price side hardly ever have IPS panels - IPS panels are almost exclusive to the upper mid-range and higher end models on the consumer side, and options on business class hardware like ThinkPads, Dell Latitudes, and HP Elitebooks.

    Since I don't buy, sell, or mess with consumer class "plastic shiny shit" I can't ever make recommendations for such craptastic hardware. :)
     
  5. Opus131

    Opus131 n00bie

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Yeah, i've been investigating the situation since i made this thread, and i came up with those alternatives as far as new laptops go, depending how much i want to spend:

    https://www.amazon.it/HP-Notebook-D...F8&qid=1533839590&sr=1-4&keywords=notebook+i3
    https://www.amazon.it/Acer-Notebook-SF314-52-31KB-Processore-i3-7130U/dp/B07926CWVN/

    The HP 250 G6 would almost be sufficient, but that screen. Hugh.

    I just checked ebay and there's loads of x220-230-240 laptops at good prices, but i'm a bit concerned considering how old they are. I don't want something that's liable to fail in one year because it has been used to death by someone for the past six years. I guess it depends on how lucky i get. Not that at the prices they go for is not worth the risk, but still.
     
  6. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    They're ThinkPads, not consumer class "plastic pretty shiny shit," there's a huge difference in terms of reliability and usefulness with business class hardware that consumer class stuff can't match. Besides, business class machines are meant for easier servicing than consumer class crap, it's not as if there's never a source of parts available, especially through eBay.

    I'm not saying ThinkPads aren't the only option, of course, as mentioned there's Dell Latitudes and HP Elitebooks, my point is to avoid consumer class stuff like the ones you just provided links to. They will more than likely be sufficient, sure, but I wouldn't trust 'em any further than I could personally toss 'em. :D