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Author Topic: Low-cost laptop in February 2010. Comments anyone?  (Read 3826 times)
cranioscopical
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« on: February 15, 2010, 07:31:50 PM »

I want to try some things with W7 on a machine that's well away from the rest of my systems.

Principally, I want to try out some legacy stuff that I have to run. My goal is to discover what, if any, problems I'll find if I switch more systems to W7.
I'm not interested in any O/S other than Windows for reasons that are too boring to explain here.

So, I'm going to buy a cheap laptop that I don't otherwise need.

When I say cheap, I'm not kidding and I don't expect great build quality.
I don't watch movies.
I might try non-extreme games (probably not).
I do need to view and edit some .mp4/.mov stuff.

This one's on offer locally for about $500CAD (roughly $475US). I want to buy locally. That way, if any problems occur, I can just walk in to the store and have the machine replaced on the spot.

Acer Aspire
15.6-in. CineCrystalâ„¢ HD LCD display, 1366 x 768 native res.
Athlon X2 L310 cpu
4  Gig RAM
250 Gig SATA HDD 5400 rpm
ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics
Win 7 Home Premium
The chip will handle virtualization, which is likely to be important.

Bearing in mind that the machine is very inexpensive and not destined to be used much beyond this experimental stage, I'd welcome any comments about it from those in the know.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 07:34:43 PM by cranioscopical » Logged

Chris
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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2010, 07:48:35 PM »

Well...erm...i think with thouse specs your gonna be able to do pretty much what you need to do lol, thats not a bad price at all, id pay that just for that much RAM and that gfx card in a laptop haha...the 250GB HDD and the cpu/screen are just a big bonus tongue

also, on a side note, when i upgraded from XP to Win7, It was pretty smooth, very few problems (just basic driver upgrades) required.
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2010, 08:14:02 PM »

sounds like a good plan and the acer's seem like fine machines.  and i've come to think that having a cheap laptop for testing and contingency use is something that is very useful.

the only thing i would recommend is the same thing i recommend before purchasing any pc -- look on newegg and amazon (and the web in general) for reviews of the machine you are planning to buy and make sure there are no show-stopping issues.

make sure you have a usb external hard drive to help you back up the system and move stuff back and forth, etc.

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JavaJones
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2010, 08:34:52 PM »

I don't know what stores you have available to you in Canada, so it's hard to give a specific model for buying advice as price will vary. Generally Acer's are good little budget systems. They're not always the cheapest though. This is one option I'm recommending to local US purchasers, but I imagine Best Buy is not available in Canada?
http://www.bestbuy.com/si...7800811&skuId=9755437

Also, on sale for President's Day (again not applicable to Canada  embarassed):
http://www.bestbuy.com/si...8633527&skuId=9716078

- Oshyan
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2010, 10:03:12 PM »

Thanks for the feedback, I'm taking it on board and am still listening  smiley

I should have said that local availability is a large part part of the reason for putting this model high on my list.

Most reviews I've seen seem okay, except for one issue that seems to be easily resolved with an  updated video driver.
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Chris
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 10:24:37 PM »

Just gave an Acer laptop as an Xmas present this past December. It was a 2.2 GHz Celeron, 15.6" screen, 160 GB HD, and 2 GB RAM that was bought for a low US$279 at an Xmas sale @ Best Buy.

It was well-built & performed very well. When I was working with it to get everything set up for its intended owner it exceeded every expectation I had of it.
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tomos
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« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 03:20:28 AM »


Acer have a *very* poor reputation (here at any rate) in terms of fixing machines when under warranty but if the local store deals with that it sounds like that probably wont be a problem for you.
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Tom
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« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 02:38:27 PM »

Personally, I have always liked Acer for the price.  Not great machines, but certainly good enough for general work.  I agree with Mouser about checking Newegg for reviews, but instead of Amazon, I always liked checking Tiger Direct.  Newegg and Tiger Direct seem to have more of a tech following which, to me, means more good information than "I didn't like it" or "This sucks, don't buy it!".  Still, the more places to look, the more it will show it's warts.  I think you are on to something with that deal.
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2010, 08:55:52 PM »

I've bought several computers (both laptop and desktop) from TigerDirect over the years, and have always been pleased with them.  Most recent one I bought is a Dell Inspiron 1545.  No complaints whatsoever.  I've never tried an Acer laptop, but my very first desktop was an Acer Aspire, so I've got a soft spot where Acer is concerned Wink
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2010, 10:12:26 PM »

Thanks for all the replies, everyone's input has been useful to me.
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Chris
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