School Laptop ($500-700)

Discussion in 'Computers & Gadgets' started by EventHorizonVII, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. EventHorizonVII

    EventHorizonVII n00b

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    Finishing out the last two years of my bachelor's for business admin and for business law but the laptop I've got is done for. Done for as in my three (almost four) year old jumped from the couch to the floor where he put it while I was cooking dinner.

    Double footed hulk smash.


    Long story short the drive is not good, the screen isn't good and it's 5 years old.

    I'd like something that will be good for typical student things such as word processing, browsing, watching media.
    Something that has a backlit keyboard and relatively new processor, I'm okay with an older gen but would prefer skylake since I'll keep the laptop a few years, hand it down to my current 6 yr old to play with if it survives.

    I am in the USA and if I need to add more information please let me know. First post here and all.
     
  2. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I would Grab a quad core Dell E6420, E6430, E6440, or Precision M4600 off of eBay.

    If you look around a bit, you might even be able to get an M4800.

    Any of those should be great for quite a few years for what you are wanting to use it for.

    Even an older e6410 or e6510 would do what you want to do just fine.
     
  3. EventHorizonVII

    EventHorizonVII n00b

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    Would this be a bad buy? Saw it on the Egg for their Techessorize or whatever sale...$619

    Acer 15.6" Full HD V5-591G-56AS 6th Generation Intel Core i5 6300HQ (2.30 GHz) NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M 8 GB Memory 1 TB HDD 128 GB SSD Windows 10 Home Laptop
     
  4. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah, that would be fine.

    It only comes with a single stick of RAM though so it will be running in single channel instead of dual channel.

    I would add another 8GB stick to it.

    If it has a bunch of OEM bloatware, I would use the Microsoft Media Creation tool, create a USB stick installer, and then do a clean install of Windows 10
     
  5. EventHorizonVII

    EventHorizonVII n00b

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    Will definitely get rid of the bloatware. I think I've come down to either of these;

    Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6 Full HD, Intel Core i5, NVIDIA 940MX, 8GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, Windows 10, E5-575G-53VG
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DT4A2R4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    Or

    Acer - Aspire R 15 2-in-1 15.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i5 - 8GB Memory - 1TB Hard Drive - Steel gray R5-571T-59DC
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/acer-as...&skuId=5209401&productCategoryId=abcat0502000
    They seem very similar the only difference I can see is the R15 is a 2in1

    Prices are close, Best Buy has $150 off for students on that machine
     
  6. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Definitely get one with an SSD or add an SSD to the one you get. It makes a night/day difference.
     
  7. EventHorizonVII

    EventHorizonVII n00b

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    Sure did, it was delivered today. Probably will drop an extra 8 gig stick in it and 500 GB SSD are cheap anymore so a good secondary drive.

    Thank you so much for helping!
     
  8. EventHorizonVII

    EventHorizonVII n00b

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    It's been about a month. I've went through two different laptops now and returned them.

    The Aspire E5 - Returned because the Trackpad was mushy and ineffective to me.

    The Lenovo Flex 4 14" - Super slow HDD, I bought an SSD and have it to go in something if I buy and it has a platter drive. I bought a 16GB RAM stick for this but never used it. I also worried about the Pentium processor choking up in multi-task. I have a lot of windows open when I am researching school topics especially for International Business and Law.

    Getting by with my Chromebook for wordprocessing but the plugins they use for media on BlackBoard are flash and they do not work. So I listen to the videos in a minimized browser at work.

    My Fiancee has the PerksatWork benefits so we get discounts from Lenovo, Dell, Microsoft Store and HP.

    I salivate over the Carbon X1 haha, it's tempting when the base model is $850 with her discount.

    So, any new suggestion? I'll buy someone a beer.
     
  9. Kwaz

    Kwaz Whine & Cheezy

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    I vote for an metal cased Lenovo (IBM at the time) ThinkPad. A friend literally just gave me one as I mentioned one of our laptops were down that we use for study / work. They're not going for much these days.

    We have higher performance laptops, but for the size with the camelback battery hump and tough as nails frame I think it might become my daily driver. I think it'll be perfect once I throw an SSD in it that's coming back from RMA.
     
  10. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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  11. tungt88

    tungt88 [H]ard|Gawd

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    One really good way to get a laptop with some gaming ability is to go to Dell Outlet's website, and use the text chat to ask for the cheapest laptop they have with a GTX 960m. You can get some really good i5/i7 models this way, some of them with all the bells and whistles, and almost all well within the OP's range of $500-$700 USD.

    Using that method, I was able to get a i5-6300HQ (quad core) w/8GB RAM, 1TB 5400rpm Hybrid Hard Drive, Win 10 Home, 15.6" size, and 1080p IPS screen for $600 and cents earlier this month. Depending on what day you chat, you may get better deals -- I know of one guy who was able to score an i7-6700 CPU with 4K IPS screen, 128GB SSD + 1TB 5400rpm Hard Drive, Win 10 Home, 15.6" size, and 16GB RAM for slightly over $700. Others have gotten my exact same laptop config for only $500. Always ask to see if discounts are being applied, and if any further discounts can be applied. This method works best when Dell Outlet has laptop sales (Inspiron 15 7559 sales in my case; I got in on the Labor Day sale, but missed the even better 35% off one just a day before, which is how I missed out on the better deals mentioned above).

    Laptop condition: when I got mine, it was practically new, with the tiniest of dents (think about half a millimeter) on one corner. Panel was perfect with no dead pixels.

    Hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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  12. a3venom

    a3venom Gawd

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    I'd say get the ASUS UX305 @ 699.
    It is the only good looking , slim and light one at that price point.

    I don't imagine why would you want to get a fatter plastic laptop with an i7 for basic school purpose unless you're 40+.

    I also think fanless is a big plus. But you will not be able to do any type of gaming on that thing.
     
  13. EventHorizonVII

    EventHorizonVII n00b

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    Ended up getting a Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 from someone on LetGo for $500 has i5-5200U CPU. Decided I could do without the gaming factor, seems nice. May be a keeper, everything I saw these start at 1k and go up.
     
  14. elavanis

    elavanis n00b

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    If the Lenovo doesn't work out I echo what people said about the dells. We use the precision's at work. The dell outlet does have good deals on them when you can find them in stock. I'm not sure how you feel about the size though as they are desktop replacements so they are on the bigger size. That said I did replace my desktop with my old one from work when I got an upgrade and couldn't be happier.
     
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