Hey everyone,

I was hoping that you guys could weigh in on this topic and give me a bit of helpful perspective on the matter.

So, it's the start of my 3rd year of uni and I've decided the time has come to ditch the pad and pen a bit and finally get a laptop. I've got a budget of $1000 or so to play with.

 

I'm a gamer and have already got a desktop PC for that purpose, so I'm not trying to go over-board in the GPU department. In saying that, I would nonetheless like to be able to play some lower-requirements games on-the-go at an alright framerate, so I've settled around the performance of a GT 740M or thereabouts.

I want the laptop to run fast enough that I don't find it excruciating to use coming off of my 8GB, i5-2500k, HD 6850 CF gaming rig, but I realise it's not going to be that powerful a machine with my limited, student-sized budget. I will use it primarily for word processing and internet browsing, but also for heaps of HD video watching. Preferably it should be future-proof/upgradeable.

After (too many) hours of painstaking searching of laptop models and reviews thereof, I've boiled it down to the following two:

Either the HP Pavilion 15 n213tx - http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=419 I can get this for $949 through a student discount program.

Or else, the Lenovo Edge E531 - http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=NBKLEN62726 Available elsewhere for $899, although I'd chuck another 4GB of RAM in, so call it $960 or so in the end.

I can't make up my mind. 

I prefer the look of the HP overall, and I know that it has an alright pair of speakers, pretty solid touchpad and a decent display, all three of which are crucial to me.

But in terms of sheer firepower and the potential to upgrade, the Lenovo undeniably has a decent edge. The processor is substantially faster, the RAM is upgradeable to 16GB, it supports gigabit ethernet and the battery contains 6 rather than 4 cells. But I don't know what the display, touchpad and speakers running noise etc etc are like on it which is holding me back.

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I'm hoping that some of you wonderful people out there can give me some advice about all of this.


Firstly, does anyone know what the quality of the E531's display, speakers and touchpad is like compared to the HP's? I've struggled to find any clear reviews online talking about the E531.

Secondly, any advice in general about choosing between the two, in terms of brands, features, usability etc would be greatly appreciated. 

Finally, I was wondering if I wanted to put an SSD in one of these laptops a year down the track, is that an option? If I could, how difficult/risky would it probably be for each of them?


Thanks so much in advance!