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Old 11-16-2012, 10:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Buying a new laptop

Well, I figured I best be starting my own thread on this.

What I want to do is have a dedicated new computer to manage family files, photos, and possibly to be the next backup computer for use with the SAR team after I retire the current laptop (but having a SAR replacement is not as important)--and dedicate the current laptop to SAR stuff/training (I really dont want to carry a computer with personal files on it out in the field even though I can set up a user acct yadayada so that nobody can see it)

I am wanting to avoid win 8 so it looks like I will have to go up to one with a dedicated graphics card to get the OS (so that is fine, you really need a graphics card to do 3D mapping well)

Anyone have any experience with Asus or comment on this laptop? Build quality etc. I noticed the Acer I have is much more "solid" in build than the Toshiba I am returning due to numerous issues.

Right now I have a 3 year old Acer running Vista but it actually does pretty well. It seems the days of computers going down in price for what you get has finally ended--what I have here is pretty much spec'd out like what I am working on now only about $150 more than what I paid three years ago. Big difference is in HD capacity and OS. this one is 2GB more RAM so it is a little better.

I got to shopping when the old Acer got to being buggy but after upgrading to Kaspersky 2013, removing some old programs and doing general cleanup it is running like a charm again. I gather not bad for a three year old that is left on most of the time.

Newegg.com - ASUS F75VD-EB51 Notebook Intel Core i5 3210M(2.50GHz) 17.3" HD+ 6GB DDR3 Memory 750GB HDD 5400rpm DL DVD+/-RW / CD-RW NVIDIA GeForce GT 610M
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Asus is crap. Run for the hills.

I still like Dell although some don't, because for anywhere from 1-3yrs. you can buy the warranty that the tech comes to your home to replace parts.
On this machine, I've gotten a new computer one time (they didn't have a mother board for the one I was using) and that happened within a year of owning it - not a big deal, my plug in was loose on the mother board, and boom, I got a brand new machine. AND the warranty restarted since it was new!

I've had the keyboard replaced, the entire area that holds the keyboard replaced, and my son's computer had tea spilled on it and they rebuilt his entire laptop, no questions asked. I'm getting ready to call about my screen which seems to have dirt in behind the screen or else a few dead pixels. They'll send out a new screen I'm sure.

I love love love their warranty and the fact you can get online, message them and they'll send a tech out the very next day.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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PS. I bought an ASUS and hated every moment of owning it. I sold it after a year and almost immediately after that the people told me some pixels went dead. The machine was still under warranty and I told them to get ahold of the tech folks. You have to mail the computer back to them with ASUS, no in home tech support!
They called and apparently tech told them we'd "overclocked it" which, trust me on this, is not true, and so they refused to honor the warranty (from what I heard from them).
And maybe the new owner overclocked it, but I know we didn't
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I work on laptops all day (repairing them and such) but what people get is really personal preference.

I'm big into the form factor and actual construction - what is it MADE of? Where are the components placed? How easy is it for me to troubleshoot or upgrade? That sort of thing. I have an HP Envy 14 that is almost 3 years old. It looks like a slightly more rugged MacBookPro (it has a metal case, I don't do plastic anymore). Dedicated graphics is important to me as well. I have a quad core i7 processor. Right now I only have 4GB of RAM but will be upgrading to 16GB (I bought it with the lowest amount, far cheaper for me to upgrade myself). Initially I was choosing between a Dell XPS, HP Envy, and MacBook Pro. I didn't like the XPS case/form factor and the MBP was about twice the amount of money for much less juice and very little customization available. The HP offered the build I wanted for a decent price (I used the HP Academy discount) and automatically came with a 2 year warranty.

I've been using Windows 8 Pro for about a month. I use it just like Windows 7. For me it hasn't been any better or any worse. There are a few little tweaks that I like about it, and there are a few programs that aren't compatible yet.

Really with a laptop you get what you pay for. Nothing under $1200 ever meets my needs.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I actually really like my Asus laptop. My husband got it for me for Christmas last year after my Toshiba went out. Toshiba is crap and they break very easily. I used to have a Dell and hated it. I do really love my Asus though.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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From a support perspective, HP and Dell are by far and away the easiest for me to deal with. Very very easy to get drivers, firmware, check warranty status (of the actual computer, not just the base warranty given to that model), getting parts replaced under warranty even though it's not my computer, etc.

I just did an Acer hard drive replacement for my sister and it was annoying. I had to pay to ship the entire computer away and it was gone for weeks. With Dell or HP they would have sent me the new hard drive with a prepaid shipping label to return the bad one, the whole repair is done in about 3 days.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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jagg, do you have to send your computer out for repair or anything or do they come to your home?
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
From a support perspective, HP and Dell are by far and away the easiest for me to deal with. Very very easy to get drivers, firmware, check warranty status (of the actual computer, not just the base warranty given to that model), getting parts replaced under warranty even though it's not my computer, etc.

I just did an Acer hard drive replacement for my sister and it was annoying. I had to pay to ship the entire computer away and it was gone for weeks. With Dell or HP they would have sent me the new hard drive with a prepaid shipping label to return the bad one, the whole repair is done in about 3 days.
Exactly!
Things are going to wear out or break down. I get a lot of dog hair in my keyboard (imagine that!) and I just jaunt over to tech support which is online, and they send the guy out. SO simple and nice.

BTW, the new XPS's have aluminum cases, Lies. I'm almost ready to get a new laptop and I have my eye on that or the Inspiron "R" special edition.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't feel any difference between acer, dell, HP, quality wise. One brand that stands out is Lenova Thinkpad (they normally have better build quality)

I think Acer, Asus, Dell are all fine laptops.

With Thanksgiving next week, it's not too hard to find a decent laptop with good price.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msvette2u View Post
Exactly!
Things are going to wear out or break down. I get a lot of dog hair in my keyboard (imagine that!) and I just jaunt over to tech support which is online, and they send the guy out. SO simple and nice.

BTW, the new XPS's have aluminum cases, Lies. I'm almost ready to get a new laptop and I have my eye on that or the Inspiron "R" special edition.
The old ones had an aluminum case too, or were advertised that way but the part of the case around the keyboard and LCD were plastic. I'm very careful about checking the computer because often if part of it or a majority is made of something they advertise it that way. My entire case is metal alloy, even between the keys on the keyboard. My laptop has flown across and room and hit the wall - no damage - and a few times as been flung off the front seat of my van into the dashboard - no damage. The only mark on it in three years is one I made stupidly (I was doing something inside and when I screwed the pieces back together I put a long screw in the wrong spot and now there's a little "pimple" in the case to the left of the touchpad).

I think I know what computer you are talking about, I had an Inspiron in at work last week that looked really nice, I even commented on it because Inspiron is usually their cheap, low-end line.

Lenovos are built like tanks!
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