Is anyone laptop shopping over the Memorial Day weekend?

I am busy working on a course over the holiday so I am consoling myself with a bit of retail therapy. I am in desparate need of a new laptop but never seem to find the time to look. I noticed a number of sales currently going on with the holiday and would love to purchase something and be done with it. I am looking for a laptop that will be somewhat portable so weight is a bit of an issue, though not a deal breaker. Otherwise, decent ram, graphics card, nice battery and a backlit keyboard would be nice. I am sure that it is the same specs as most of us around here.

Here are a couple that I have been looking at. Any thoughts or suggestions???  Laptop purchasing drives me insane. Way, way too many options. Thanks!

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1753822&SRCCODE=BIZRATE&cm_mmc_o=2mHCjCmtB5ObkkzCjCVqHCjCdwwp&cpncode=26-141749109-2 --- will need to upgrade RAM

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2359664&sku=H24-15271

I also have a couple of Dells bookmarked but am having a hard time getting the specs to copy in. They are a bit higher in price.

XPS 15z XPS 15z
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64-Bit, English
Processor 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-2450M processor (2.50 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.10 GHz)
Memory 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz
Keyboard Backlit Keyboard - English
LCD & Color Elemental Silver Aluminum 15.6" HD (720P) WLED Display with Webcam
Video Card NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 525M 1GB graphics with Optimus
Hard Drive 750GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
Integrated Network Adapter Integrated 10/100/1000 Network Card
Adobe Reader Adobe® Reader X
Optical Drive 8X Slot Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
Sound Waves Maxx Audio 3
Wireless Intel© Centrino© Advanced-N 6230 & Bluetooth 3.0
XPS 15z XPS 15z
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64-Bit, English
Processor 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-2450M processor (2.50 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.10 GHz)
Memory 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz
Keyboard Backlit Keyboard - English
LCD & Color Elemental Silver Aluminum 15.6" HD (720P) WLED Display with Webcam
Video Card NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 525M 1GB graphics with Optimus
Hard Drive 750GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
Integrated Network Adapter Integrated 10/100/1000 Network Card
Adobe Reader Adobe® Reader X
Optical Drive 8X Slot Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
Sound Waves Maxx Audio 3
Wireless Intel© Centrino© Advanced-N 6230 & Bluetooth 3.0
14 Replies
Wendy Garrison

Here is the other Dell -- both are $850 after coupons.

EDIT:: Grrr -- sorry for the duplicates - there are 2 different Dell laptops -- one in this message and one in the previous post. Thanks again.

XPS 15 XPS 15
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Processor 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM processor (2.20 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.10 GHz)
Memory 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz
Keyboard Standard Keyboard - English
LCD 15.6" HD (1366x768) Truelife WLED Display with Skype-Certified 2.0MP HD Webcam
Video Card NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 525M 1GB graphics with Optimus
Hard Drive 1TB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive
Color Elemental Silver Aluminum
Integrated Network Adapter Integrated 10/100/1000 Network Card
Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
CD ROM/DVD ROM 8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
Sound JBL 2.1 Speakers with Waves Maxx Audio 3
Wireless Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1000
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed) Microsoft® Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook
Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) McAfee® SecurityCenter, 30-Day Trial
Battery 9 Cell (90 WHr) Battery
Service 1 Year Premium Protection Package - America's Best Standard Protection
Protection DataSafe 2.0 Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
Mobile Broadband No Mobile Broad Band Selected
XPS 15 XPS 15
Operating System Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Processor 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM processor (2.20 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.10 GHz)
Memory 8GB Dual Channel DDR3 1333MHz
Keyboard Standard Keyboard - English
LCD 15.6" HD (1366x768) Truelife WLED Display with Skype-Certified 2.0MP HD Webcam
Video Card NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 525M 1GB graphics with Optimus
Hard Drive 1TB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive
Color Elemental Silver Aluminum
Integrated Network Adapter Integrated 10/100/1000 Network Card
Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
CD ROM/DVD ROM 8X Tray Load CD/DVD Burner (Dual Layer DVD+/-R Drive)
Sound JBL 2.1 Speakers with Waves Maxx Audio 3
Wireless Intel® Centrino® Wireless-N 1000
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed) Microsoft® Office Starter: reduced-functionality Word & Excel w/ ads. No PowerPoint or Outlook
Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) McAfee® SecurityCenter, 30-Day Trial
Battery 9 Cell (90 WHr) Battery
Service 1 Year Premium Protection Package - America's Best Standard Protection
Protection DataSafe 2.0 Online Backup 2GB for 1 year
Mobile Broadband No Mobile Broad Band Selected
Jordan Leach

Hello Wendy,

Generally with items like laptops and PC's, it comes down to a number of factors.

What will you be using it for? e.g Are you a hardcore gamer, everyday web surfer or graphic designer?

Do you have any preferences regarding brand and colour/design?

Operating system preference, such as MAC, Windows or LInux?

What are the minimum requirements needed for programs that you are going to be running on it

Etc. etc.

If you can give a general overview on these areas and anything else that you think may be useful then i will try to give my opinion on what i think would suit you best, but as with everything, peoples opinions differ due to life experiences and what people are used to. So this may not be as straight foward as you may hope :(

But again, i hope i can help!!!!! I'll try my best atleast!

Wendy Garrison

Awesome -- thanks Jordan --

>> What will you be using it for? e.g Are you a hardcore gamer, everyday web surfer or graphic designer?

Instructional designer / Graphic designer with a short attention span! In other words, I tend to run many things at the same time and open many many browser tabs along the way. I am not really a gamer though.

>> Do you have any preferences regarding brand and colour/design?

I have had decent luck with Dell in the past. I will go with an HP and have been looking at Asus lately, though I have never owned one. I try to avoid Acers.

As for color and such, I am not really picky. The one asethic type requirement I have is to have a full keyboard with numbers on the right and I would prefer a backlit keyboard. (I say the backlit though not having ever had one. I do tend to work a lot at night and find myself moving the screen to see the keyboard. My only issue is if this makes the machine hotter.)

 >>Operating system preference, such as MAC, Windows or LInux?  Windows

>>What are the minimum requirements needed for programs that you are going to be running on it

The most intense programs that I use are all work related- Adobe CS5 is probably the heaviest

Hopefully that helps -- thanks again for your offer to help - I really appreciate it.

Tom Kuhlmann

I've been looking at laptops. Always buy the best you can afford. But you don't need top of the line because that will be middle of the road soon enough. I have the Articulate products on a few older laptops and they all run fine, but of course the older ones are a bit slower. My 4 year old Dell XPS 15 handles the content fine.

Here are a few thoughts:

  • There's always a sale.
  • Almost any office/business laptop you get will suffice. I used to run Adobe Creative Suite on an older tablet PC.
  • Look for a SSD or hard drive that is 7200 RPM. The ASUS drive is only 5400 so will be a lot slower reading/writing.
  • Fast processor and ample RAM. The 32-bit apps can only go up to 2 GB anyways so no need to get 16 GB. Most systems seems to come with 4-8 GB now.
  • I've always enjoyed my Dell laptops. I was leaning towards the Dell 14 or 15z, but I don't like that I can't swap batteries. The Z's come with 2 year warranties but Dell only warranties 1 year on the battery. Considering that most Dells I've had have battery issues after a year, I'm reluctant to buy a system with a locked in battery. The HP Envy is a comparable laptop with a removable battery.
  • I have a Lenovo tablet and my wife has an IdeaPad. Both are very solid builds and good laptops. I recently ordered a Lenovo and they canceled the order (no parts) but never notified me. It was a pain working with their service department to get them to rectify the refund. It took a number of calls. What surprised me is that they never asked if I wanted a different laptop. I'd probably still get a laptop from them because I think the build quality is really solid, but I'm not so sure about their service.
Wendy Garrison

Hey Tom - thanks for the feedback. Good point about the hard drive RPM - no one has ever mentioned that. Guess I will keep looking.

Wait a minute - you mean to tell me that with all of your loyal followers, you don't have some intern doing this research for you?

I would be interested in hearing what you end up jumping for. I'd even buy you a beer the next time I see you. Thanks!

Tom Kuhlmann

The Lenovo u400 is a good deal and nice laptop. Although to get more than an i3 processor seems you need to go with the 5400 rpm drive.

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/catalog.workflow:item.detail?GroupID=457&Code=09932JU

Use this code on check out and it drops to $649 plus free shipping USPU42J0524 

Jordan Leach

I guess Tom beat me to it! Haha!

But I have to say I do like Dell from a personal view, as they have great technical support and a lot of customisation options to get the right machine for you.

The new range of Dell XPS 15’s is an option that you could look in to. They are excellent machines but considering the sealed battery issue that Tom mentioned (which is a serious fault on Dell’s part in the design) then maybe in the long run the Lenovo may be better... Especially as they are priced around the same and the specs aren’t too far apart.

Just thought I’d chuck my opinion in the mix!  Also referring to your comment about ASUS laptop’s, they are actually very good machines and cheaper than most competitors from what I have seen.

Laptop searching is a pain… this is why I stick to Desktop machines as I just make my own. It’s considerably cheaper that way. But life is forcing me to get a laptop, so Tom’s suggestion has actually helped me in my decision also. So thanks Tom!!

Jordan.

Alecia Teel

I'm in the market for a new laptop and stumbled across this post. I totally agree with the statement "Laptop purchasing drives me insane. Way, way too many options." The technology changes so quickly it is very difficult to keep up with what is current for processors, graphics cards, etc. and the options are overwhelming. My needs are very similar to what Wendy posted above. What did you end up purchasing?