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Solved: Need buying advice

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by BP127, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. BP127

    BP127 Thread Starter

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    Hi Everyone!

    I'm trying to find a laptop to give to my girlfriend for her birthday in a couple weeks. Unfortunately my budget is a meager $400. The machine doesn't need to be a gaming rig and won't be tasked with anything intense. The main usage would be checking email/facebook, shopping online, watching Hulu/Netflix/Youtube, etc.

    I found the laptop below on sale at Ultimate Electronics for $300. I've tried to find reviews but there's nothing out there that gives any kind of good advice. The salesperson at UE said the laptop would be too slow for what I want to do, but I got the feeling she was really just trying to push me towards a $500 model she seemed pretty intent on selling. Please take a look at the advertised specs and let me know what you think. Any advice from the tech savvy masses is appreciated!

    The Laptop in Question:

    HP Compaq CQ-56 129-NR
    15.6" Display
    AMD 2.3GHz V-140 processor
    2GB of DDR3 RAM (supports up to 8) L2 cache
    320GB-5400RPM HDD
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250
    Windows 7 Home Premium
    8x DVD R/RW

    So! Is it worth the money? Will it do what I want? Can you suggest an alternative that would fit my price range? Thanks again!
     
  2. storage_man

    storage_man

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    In my opinion - for $300, that's a good deal. I have just finished helping a friend get a new laptop. The least expensive one I found was a Lenovo for $349 with about the same config & horsepower. Most of the least expensive ones run at least $500.
     
  3. BP127

    BP127 Thread Starter

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    Ok, so it's a good deal. I can definitely feel comfortable dropping $300 on it this afternoon. The problem is I don't want to end up returning it because its too darn slow.

    Does anyone have experience with this model of laptop or even the AMD v-140 that's included? If I could get some feedback on whether that processor can handle the tasks listed above I would greatly appreciate it. I know it's a single core processor but I can't imagine that facebook and hulu are really that intense...
     
  4. bigbear

    bigbear

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    That laptop should be more than adequate for what you posted.
    Sometimes one large core can be more beneficial than two smaller cores if you are not trying to multi-task
     
  5. BP127

    BP127 Thread Starter

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    Thanks so much for your opinion, the more input I get the more confident I will feel in making the purchase. I must say this is my first day being a member of these forums and already this community has been great. Thanks again and please keep it coming!
     
  6. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned

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  7. BP127

    BP127 Thread Starter

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    This is great info, thanks for the link!

    Would it be advisable to upgrade the RAM? I know the laptop handles up to 8. In your opinion, would doubling the RAM give a significant performance increase? Could I potential upgrade the RAM later in the laptops life if I decided it was running too slow?

    I'm very new to this whole process so if my questions seem obvious thanks for bearing with me.
     
  8. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned

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    If it were me I'd double the RAM-but 'too slow' is a very personal thing. You might want to try it with the 2GB first-upgrading it later shouldn't be a problem. The only difference I can think of is possible cost-if you can upgrade when you order then they'll often charge you only for the added amount (although they often charge it at inflated prices). If you upgrade it later you might need to pay for the full amount, e.g. if it has 2 slots & it comes with 1GB modules in each then you'd need to buy the full 4GB with no credit given for the 1GB modules you'll no longer need. It's your choice, but if you think it's likely that you'll add more later-and it's an option when ordering-then I'd do it then because it'll probably be cheaper. Probably-check out the options to be certain. (As far as that goes it might even come with a 2GB module & an empty slot in which case you're home sweet-all you'd need to buy is the extra 2GB. But I'm not sure how likely that is, I think I've only seen it work out that way once.)
     
  9. BP127

    BP127 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the insight! I think I'll go ahead and pull the trigger. In the end if it turns out to be too slow I suppose I can return it. I'll just be sure to ask about the return policy and see how long I have to try it out...
     
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