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Tips to computer shopping? How to avoid laptops with crap WXGA TN screens online? Good computer companies?

I'm shopping around for some decent <$900 class mid-range laptop computers, and one thing I have noticed is the difficulty in determining the quality of the screens. Often I see nothing more than wank marketing terms (Dell truelife® display, Acer CineCrystal Technology®, etc) which are meaningless. I have had enough experience with 1366x768 to know that it a really poor resolution, and often indicates also the quality of the screen in general. Want is something with at least 1600x900, preferably 1080p, with a proper color display that is not 18,000K, with a viewing angle better than an old back projection TV.

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Also, what are some good computer companies? What experience do you have with HP, Compaq, Dell, ASUS, Toshiba, Acer, Alienware, Samsung, etc? My father is pretty HP oriented, and doesn't like Dell too much, mentioning all the problems they had with them at the place he used to work. I have not had the best experiences with HP (probably because of Vista though), but no experience with any other company other than samsung for phones and tablets. My old tried and faithful low-end Compaq computer (HP owned I believe) has held up very well over it's 7 years, and is still in use to this day, even though the WXGA screen has faded and yellowed over time. The HHD and RAM have been upgraded, and it has been running ubuntu for many years now, too.

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I found this deal at costco for $700, it seems really nice and I cannot find anything bad about it. It has a decent display (saw a very simalar model in costco), 5th gen core i7, 16GB DDR3 RAM, 1TB HHD, and some good peripherals build in.  http://www.costco.com/Dell-Inspiron-15-5000-Series-Touchscreen-Laptop-%7C-Intel-Core-i7-%7C-1080p-%7C-Backlit-Keyboard.product.100155985.html?catalogId=10701&keyword=978495&langId=-1&storeId=10301&refine=


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Vyger2 years ago

I have purchased all my notebooks (and a bunch for other people also) from these guys. If you have questions just call them. They answer the phone. All they do is notebooks. And I have never had a better warranty service from anyone that compares to them.

http://www.sagernotebook.com/home.php

-max- (author)  Vyger2 years ago

Well, after LOTS and LOTs, and LOTS of searching, I have finally decided to sacrifice the 5th gen processor w/ dedicated graphics, and get this instead, since it was selling for really cheap.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1106933-REG/...

15.6" 1080p IPS touchscreen,


Core i7 4510U,

Sleek build with "foldback" and "tent" mode,

8GB RAM
500GB HDD + 8GB SSD,

backlit keyboard,

and a DVD drive,

All for only $699 shipped!

-max- (author)  Vyger2 years ago
Darn though, they are $$$! I want to avoid spending over $1000 for a computer, Although I do have some pretty high expectations, being at
least a:

5th gen i7
w/ at least 8GB expandable to a min. of 12GB
1080p or better IPS display
backlit keyboard
"Tablet" mode or at least "stand" mode.

Gaming is not a priority, so I think intel graphics is good enough, though I do prefer something with at least GT 840M or better. I will need to do video rendering on it as well as maybe 3D software and matlab and stuff. IDK yet.
Vyger -max-2 years ago

There are only 3 main notebook manufacturers. They just put different brand names on them. Sager is made by Clevo. They buy the bare bones chassis and then customize everything from that point on. You can get the same models under a different brand but the cost is pretty close. Compare the actual specs of the model you want and you will find that they are price competitive. Sager just doesn't usually deal with low end machines. On the positive side even their cheap models are good performers. And sometimes they have sales. The one I have now I got a deal on because it was a line they were closing out. I have used it for years now with no problems and I have upgraded it several times. I changed to SSD and boosted the ram. It still performs better than some brand new ones even though it is several years old. I have used it for video editing with no trouble. I have also used it to output to HDMI large screen TV's with no trouble. Currently its only problem is it's battery is weak.

-max- (author)  Vyger2 years ago

What about warranty? Costco offers a 90 day refund period and a 2 yr limited warranty on every bit of tech bought there, and on select stuff, a one year "Drops & spills protection plan." However, costco only has one computer I am vaguely considering.

The ones that site have look all look pretty clunky and hefty, understandably so for the high end gaming rigs. I had a look at the lowest end model starting at $899 (and it looks so sad, with no monster thing coming out the screen), and it did not give me an option for a IPS display, so I do not see myself considering one of those. :( Only the really $$$ ones come with IPS panels. I think the reason is most "Gamers" prefer TN panels for the lower response times. Honestly I do not notice the difference between 2ms and 5ms, but definitely am annoyed by the godawful washed out displays on entry level (esp. HP) computers.

-max- (author)  -max-2 years ago

Here are some models I am looking at at the moment:

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-2-in-1-15-6-touch... Nearly perfect, really cool and sleek looking, but really pushing the top end of my budget.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/lenovo-edge-2-in-1-15-... Pretty good, but does not fold all the way back (not a big deal since everyone says 'tablet' mode is not useful) and it does not have a back-lit keyboard. It is $100 cheaper though.