Laptop please
September 8, 2010 1:39 PM   Subscribe

One dead laptop, means time to go shopping. Help me askmetafilter.....again.

So I previously came to askme for advice on a new laptop see here.

Some good advice for sure but I still had time to think on it. Well my motherboard gave up the ghost a few days ago and I need a new laptop stat. I am just having a hard time wrapping my head around the specs of what I have seen so far and was hoping some of you out there could help me make sense of them.

Basically I don't want to buy something that won't do what I need. What I need is long battery life, 13-14inch, good graphics for lots and lots and lots of photo editing and the option of some video editing in the future. I am really really leaning towards ASUS. The battery life and reported stability appeal to me and it looks like the graphics would do pretty well.

I THINK I narrowed it down but want to get a few opinions from people that know what they are talking about.

Here is what I am looking at:

Would the i3 processor make any difference over the duo? Does the 1gb of video memory in the U35 actually help with something like video editing or am I just dreaming that I would be able to edit video on any of these laptops? Again not my priority but would like to know.

Any help is appreciated.
posted by WickedPissah to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
General rec, but what's stopping you from considering Lenovo? All of my geek friends tell me Lenovo's where it's at, and my dad has (as far as I can tell) enjoyed his new one quite a bit.
posted by Madamina at 2:06 PM on September 8, 2010

Response by poster: I've looked at Lenovo and don't feel like I am getting the same things I want at the price point. $800 and you get an entry level machine for the thinkpad t410's at least. I have heard that only the thinkpad line is really worth buying into.
posted by WickedPissah at 2:45 PM on September 8, 2010

I like Asus hardware. Lenovo is good too. Pick the laptop you like.

(I don't have a specific recommendation for you because I only use netbooks and desktops. A netbook is cheap, light, and disposable if anything bad should happen. For raw computing power, I have my home-built desktop.)

Also, the i3 series is a nice improvement over the older Core architecture. I have an "ancient" i7, and it is much, much, much, much faster than the Core 2 Duo it replaced. Worth every penny.
posted by jrockway at 2:47 PM on September 8, 2010

(Oh, should have previewed. But yeah, you pay a premium for the Thinkpad series. It's like buying a Mac -- you pay for the brand. But having owned several Thinkpads before I went on my netbook kick, I can say that they are well worth the extra money.)
posted by jrockway at 2:48 PM on September 8, 2010

i have the lenovo y550p - first experience with one and as far as i can tell it has held up quite well over the last almost year... it an i7 and really doesnt have much battery life to speak of (but if i need battery life i can use my ipad) -- i paid under $1,000, and you get get the replacement (y560p for about the same -- have seen it on newegg in the last few weeks for less than a grand)

my laptop sits on my desk 90% of the time now due to having an ipad (recently) and using a netbook - i use it with an external monitor

i really wouldn't marry yourself to one brand really, unless you need a laptop yesterday. just keep an eye on slickdeals or tech bargains and you should be able to find a good deal which a) meets your requirements and b) meets your price requirements.
posted by knockoutking at 3:49 PM on September 8, 2010

Best answer: Would the i3 processor make any difference over the duo? Does the 1gb of video memory in the U35 actually help with something like video editing or am I just dreaming that I would be able to edit video on any of these laptops? Again not my priority but would like to know.

The i3 in the U35 is much faster than the Core 2 Duo in the other two. For video editing, in particular, it will make a difference.

The video memory and discrete video card in the U35 may make some difference if you are using particular filters that can use the graphics card.

Everyone edited video with no problem on much slower computers than that one several years back. The U35 will be fine.

Consider the U35F, which is just the U35JC without a discrete video card. The integrated video card in the U35F is about half as powerful as the discrete card in the U35JC. It will still give you the option of editing video with no real problem (I'd be more worried about the size and resolution of the screen), and it would save you over $100. If you definitely wanted to do anything where the video card would matter much, I would recommend getting a more suitable laptop than any of those. Given what you've said, I think the U35F is your best choice.
posted by whatnotever at 4:15 PM on September 8, 2010

After looking at your other question:

The U35* models do not have an optical drive. If you want the same basic package with an optical drive, you could go for the U30JC.

And I've heard not-so-great things about the image quality (especially viewing angles) on the U35 models. Most inexpensive laptops these days (most laptops these days at all) have somewhat poor screens. If you care about color accuracy, that could be a problem. It will be expensive to get a laptop that you can be sure has a high-quality display, however, so you may just have to take your lumps.

I'd still say go with the U35F.
posted by whatnotever at 4:20 PM on September 8, 2010

Best answer: I just bought a U45JC. It's a 14-incher, and has the i3 processor and an optical drive. It also has the discrete video card. Just another option to consider. (You can get it cheaper somewhere other than Amazon.) I like it fine so far; I wish I could tell you more specifics, but I *just* got it and haven't properly put it through its paces yet.
posted by pemberkins at 5:02 PM on September 8, 2010

Best answer: at $800-900 there is also the refurbished macbook.

the i3 is roughly equivalent to the previous P-series of Core 2 Duos. the asus ul-series use the u-series of underclocked/volted? core2duos to obtain really great battery life at the expense of power: the su7300 is roughly half as fast as the P8400.
posted by at 5:21 PM on September 8, 2010

Response by poster: All very helpful. As you can tell I kind of have Asus on the brain but was just having a hard time figuring out the specs of them all.

I do realize I would be sacraficing a decent display for the long battery life and reasonable processing power, but I think it will suit my needs best. I didn't know about the U45JC and will check that out for sure. Hell anything is going to be a step up from my last computer. It was all pretty bare bones and actually worked quite well, so whatever I get will be a significant step up. I guess I just wanted to make sure I wasn't buying a laptop with borderline outdated technology, but it looks like both types of processors are pretty solid still.

Thanks everyone.
posted by WickedPissah at 7:39 PM on September 8, 2010

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