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-   -   Another laptop advice thread (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/mobile-computing/58757-another-laptop-advice-thread.html)

Kerry D December 27, 2012 12:01 PM

Another laptop advice thread
 
Hi, I'm looking at laptops in the $800 to $1100 range to replace my old HP. I'm currently looking at these three from Memory Express (one samsung ultra book, one asus ultrabook, one samsung home lappy and one asus lappy.)

Samsung NP530U4C-S02CA w/ Core i5-3317M, 6GB, 1TB, DVD+/-RW, 14in, Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit at Memory Express
Asus K55VD-DH71-CA w/ Core i7-3630M, 8GB, 750GB, DVD+/-RW, 15.6in HD, GeForce 610M, Win 8 64-bit at Memory Express
Samsung NP700Z5C-S04CA w/ Core i7-3630QM, 8GB, 750GB, DVD+/-RW, 15.6in HD+, GeForce GT 640M, Win 8 64-bit at Memory Express
Asus S56CM-DH51-CA w/ Core i5-3317U, 6GB, 1TB +24GB SSD, DVD+/-RW, 15.6in HD, GeForce GT 635M, Win 8 64-bit at Memory Express

The ultra books have lower specs, but I'm pretty sure it's so far ahead of this old HP (pavilion DV6700) that I wouldn't know the difference. The "home" laptops are almost the same spec as far as I can tell, but the samsung has a better monitor and graphics card.

This laptop will be used pretty much like my current, as a media centre/ultralight gaming/office toy.

Edited to add the Zenbook that I must have missed on my first pass through, then re-edited to make the rest of the post make sense.

Kerry D December 28, 2012 06:46 AM

...So I'm hoping I've dazzled you with my ability to post a topic for advice and not ask any questions and not my ability to ask a stunned question. The questions I have are:

1: Do either of the ultrabooks have user-replaceable batteries? (I don't think so and believe that they're out of the running for that reason)

2: Is there something I should be considering that I'm currently not?

3: Do you know of any significant differences in build quality between Asus and Samsung?

4: Which would you choose and why?

clone63 December 28, 2012 10:48 AM

Well, depends what you mean by gaming. If you play anything current or taxing, I'd only consider the NP70.
Maybe the S56..
The 620M and 610M although sound decent being "nvidia", they're just integrated chipsets. Not too fancy. Good enough for anything 3 years old, or basic.
Not sure on the batteries.
I like ASUS, my current machine, no issues, gets abused. Heard good things about Samsung, so brands no big deal, I'd say.

Kerry D December 28, 2012 04:23 PM

Hah, when I say ultra light gaming, I mean mostly retro light. Nothing newer than 2k4, mostly nostalgia gaming from the late 80's and early 90's as well as some newer indie stuff.

grinder December 30, 2012 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by clone63 (Post 680689)
Well, depends what you mean by gaming. If you play anything current or taxing, I'd only consider the NP70.
Maybe the S56..
The 620M and 610M although sound decent being "nvidia", they're just integrated chipsets. Not too fancy. Good enough for anything 3 years old, or basic.
Not sure on the batteries.
I like ASUS, my current machine, no issues, gets abused. Heard good things about Samsung, so brands no big deal, I'd say.

I would argue integrated Intel GPU's with a i5-i7 outperform the value ended discrete GPU's by nvidia/ATI. They all look like good laptops for the price. I urge you to get a 3 year IPR from MemX... i've seen too many laptops mysteriously die after 1 year of basic regular use.

dustin1706 December 30, 2012 12:11 PM

My current laptop has a 555M on a 1080p screen and I can play SC2 and BF3 on medium settings with decent fps and no issues. Older games should not be a real issue with any of these. I believe that both of the ASUS units have a removable battery, Neither Samsung does. Every company has some QC issues from time to time, but based on the products I own, both companies are very good.

If it was me, I would go NP700 for the nicer screen(higher res), i7, ssd cache and 640. If you really want the removable battery, and don't need the power of an i7 then I'd go S56 because of the 635 and the integrated ssd.

Kerry D December 30, 2012 03:39 PM

Hah, so the old 6744 went teats up (stopped taking charge, laptop receiver stopped making contact) so my wife looked at what I had been looking at and picked the np530. I'm happy enough with that, I was having a very hard time deciding between the choices that's why I asked here, she just made the decision for me :D. So the old girl is scrapped now and I'm wondering about making an adapter plate and turning it into a low power pc for the kids. Anyone know where I could find adapter plugs? eBay maybe?

dustin1706 December 30, 2012 05:30 PM

'grats on the new laptop!

Same thing happened to my old Toshiba. I couldn't find an exact sized replacement DC power jack, so I: took it apart, desoldered the power jack, soldered two short wires to where the power jack was and ran them out the side. On the other side of the wires I soldered on a DC jack from partsexpress. Then I used a little silicone adhesive where the wires were coming out of the old power jack holes so that if the "pigtail" wires got tugged, the adhesive would take the pressure instead of the solder/mobo. So the laptop had a 2" tail on it, but I got a few more years of use out of it for about $5 and an hour of my time.

Just be aware that there are different sized and types of DC power jacks. Make sure you get one that mates with your charger. If you take it apart and look at the old jack, you may get lucky and find an exact replacement for it. Would definitely be simpler and cleaner.

2.1mm Center Pin In-Line DC Jack 090-481

Kerry D December 31, 2012 08:31 AM

To be honest the case was reaching the end of its life. What I'm hoping to do is tape the mobo to a 20 gauge sheet of aluminum, drill pilot holes for offset screws and drill holes in the plate pop rivet it to a 14 gauge sheet to serve as a replacement mobo tray for a Lili case. It won't have any spare usb ports as the two that are there will be occupied by mouse and keyboard (I could use a blue tooth dongle and then have wireless kb&more though) and I don't yet know how the mobile will react to not having all the built in bits and pieces attached (kb, tp, speakers, monitor/webcam and wacky touch controls) but it'll be fun to try.

Edited because I re-thought out the plan and to change an auto correct mobile back into mobo.


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