Help me buy a new laptop!
January 17, 2011 3:17 PM   Subscribe

Help me buy a new laptop!

I've worked on an Acer Aspire 5310 for nearly four years, and in that time, as a student and sometimes low-end gamer it has served all my needs. It's getting a bit long in the tooth now, and I am thinking of upgrading. My computing needs are thus:

-multitasking between programs like Word, Photoshop, Internet browsing

- being able to play certain games, with the most powerful probably being the upcoming Diablo 3

- something that will allow me to slipstream WinXP if I don't find Windows 7 to my liking (likely not a deal breaker, more of a bonus)

- something with a relatively quiet fan would be great

posted by New England Cultist to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I like to recommend newegg. Choose your price range, then look for a laptop with a lot of positive reviews, then read some of the reviews to make sure it has what you're looking for.
posted by sninctown at 3:26 PM on January 17, 2011

My new HP G62 has a quiet fan and seems to handle what you're looking to handle. Don't know about XP, but Windows 7 shouldn't be a dealbreaker, in my opinion. Good deals lately around $500.
posted by troywestfield at 3:29 PM on January 17, 2011

Severely important note: This is one of those rare times where I actually would encourage people to wait on buying a laptop. Normally my opinion is "if you need it, just go buy it" due to the endless loop of always waiting for the latest and greatest thing. The reason you wait right now is for Sandy Bridge. Sandy Bridge is Intel's new crop of CPUs that are nothing but awesome. Currently, there are only a handful of laptops with Sandy Bridge processors in them, but over the next few weeks there should be lots more. Conversely, the prices on the older Core i3/i5/i7's should be dropping as retailers and manufacturers clear their stock.

Questions: How much are you looking to spend? If you do a lot of Photoshop work, it may be worth throwing down more money for the computing power, mainly in the graphics and RAM departments. Spending less than my suggestion below? Try to get a laptop with a better mobile graphics chipset, keep RAM at 4GB or higher.

Windows XP is dead. You aren't going to slipstream back to it as Microsoft isn't giving licenses out to consumers anymore. The only XP licenses are going to businesses who demonstrate a business need and only on pre-made ghost images. And anyhow, Windows 7 is pretty nice.

Random suggestion: This one from newegg. It's a Lenovo, so a decent brand. Has an i7-2630, which is a Sandy Bridge. Quad-core, 8 threads. $899. Has 500GB hard drive, but only a 5400RPM drive, which may run a bit slower. 4GB RAM and AMD 6570M Graphics, which should run decently for games and photoshop. 1366x768 resolution on 15.6" screen, pretty standard.

If you want to spend more money, put it towards RAM and maybe a SSD.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 3:37 PM on January 17, 2011

If you're willing to consider a Mac, the MacBook and MacBook Air start at $999.

On Amazon, you can get them for up to $150 cheaper.

And you can run Windows on it using Boot Camp to dual boot or run Windows at the same time using VMware Fusion or Parallels Desktop.
posted by antgly at 4:18 PM on January 17, 2011

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