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Need help purchasing a good laptop!

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Hey, I am not very knowledgeable in computer hardware, but I can use a computer very effectively for school and just other anjoyment (facebook, msn, e-mail). I want it to be very fast, size doesn't matter considering I only use about 5-10gbs of my own stuff. I am not planning on having a gaming laptop with many games, although the only game I want to be able to play is Age of Empire (always a classic for me and my friends). I do not know what brand is the best Sony? Dell? Toshiba? Asus? I've searched for any top 10 review websites and cannot find a solid one, anyone know of one?

I am buying at futureshop or bestbuy considering I have a big gift card for bestbuy (apparently you can use it at futureshop too). I have come to some choices and they are:

Toshiba Satellite 16" Laptop featuring Intel Core i3-330M (L500-00G) - Grey:

and 3 comparisons:


This next laptop, I cannot find any reviews on google, I am wondering if it is new????

Sony VAIO 15.5" Laptop featuring Intel Core i3 Processor 330M (VPCEB14FDBI) - Black: http://www.bestbuy.c...topfeaturing-en

ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE APPRECIATED!!! Thanks to anyone who contributes.

Edited by Jimbo3, 30 March 2010 - 06:39 PM.

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Welcome to G2G

In the UK, we have a very well known company called 'Which' who do independent reviews of all sorts of products. If you're interested, I've listed the laptops that they gave the highest ratings to:

1) Sony Vaio VPCF11M1E
2) Dell Studio XPS 16
3) Dell Studio 17
4) Acer Aspire 7740
5) Acer Aspire 5740

The laptops were rated on: everyday tasks, sound quality, screen quality, battery life, overall performance, construction, ease of use, power consumption, versatility

Bear in mind that they have not tested every laptop on the market, so this list is just the top 5 of the 22 they did test.

Personally, I would say that if speed is your most important criteria, then I would recommend you use XP, instead of Windows 7! Probably not a very popular opinion though, plus it's virtually impossible to buy a new laptop now with XP on it. So, if you're going to have Windows 7 & want it to be reasonably nippy, you want at least 4GB of RAM. Haven't seen any mainstream laptops yet with more than 4GB but it might be worth checking which are upgradeable beyond 4GB so you can add more memory at a later date if you need to.

As far as manufacturers are concerned, and these are just my own opinions, Sony should be OK (although they have produced the odd dodgy one recently), Acer are generally pretty solid, as are Toshiba & Dell. The Lenovo Thinkpad series is supposed to be very good (and would probably be my first choice) and I've gone right off HP stuff. I'm also not a massive fan of Advent or Packard Bell.

Hope this helps you a bit
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