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Topic # 180649 16-Sep-2015 14:28
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Hi guys.

I currently have another thread up and running titled "Is my Laptop dead?" it is going to be sent away for repair via the Insurance company but regardless of whether it can be fixed or not I think I will sell it. It is nearly 3 years old now, so probably time for an upgrade.

My budget is $1500, but could stretch to $1600 if there was a feature that was worth the extra $100. Also, I would like to buy from a "Main retailer" such as NL, HN etc as I think it will be easier to deal with them rather than places like PBTech. Just my own personal opinion.

My must have features are..

15.6" Screen - I wouldn't mind bigger, but definitely nothing smaller.
19020x1080 screen resolution - Not budging on this.

Whatever I buy, it will be my daily driver, so would be on for quite a bit of the day + Night. I would use it for watching videos/media such as Youtube/Fanpass/Movies, music, general browsing, video editing. So some good speakers would be cool, but I know you aren't going to get anything amazing inside a laptop.

I don't really use my laptop for gaming, I have a PS4, so I don't think I would need a great graphics card?

I am having a bit of trouble cutting down on my choices. I think I am heading towards the first one listed below, seems like a great price for what you can get (Can actually get it for $100 less because TWS has it for $1500). However I have always liked the look of Toshiba laptops, they always look solid + sturdy IMO.

https://www.noelleeming.co.nz/shop/computers/computers/laptops/pc-notebook-computers/hp-15-ae004tx-15-6-envy-silver-touchscreen-notebook/prod138856.html

Or

https://www.noelleeming.co.nz/shop/computers/computers/laptops/pc-notebook-computers/hp-15-ab108tx-15-6-pavilion-white-full-hd-notebook/prod139254.html

And finally..

https://www.mightyape.co.nz/product/156-Toshiba-Satellite-Intel-i7-4510U-Laptop/23059795

However that 256GB is a worry to me.

There is a couple of Toshibas that JB Hifi has for $1500-$1600, both with Quad Core Processors also.

Thanks for the help...



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  Reply # 1388560 16-Sep-2015 15:02
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The Tosh has a 256GB SSD. The worry to me would be buying a laptop that did not have an SSD. 



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  Reply # 1388563 16-Sep-2015 15:12
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lxsw20: The Tosh has a 256GB SSD. The worry to me would be buying a laptop that did not have an SSD. 


Thanks for the reply.

Computer noob question time... Why is a 256GB SSD better than a 1TB HDD?

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1388567 16-Sep-2015 15:15
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Because an 5400rpm hdd is incredibly slow compared to an ssd. The speed difference in general day to day computing is extremely noticeable. Think 20 second start up times rather than over a minute

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  Reply # 1388581 16-Sep-2015 15:44
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lxsw20: Because an 5400rpm hdd is incredibly slow compared to an ssd. The speed difference in general day to day computing is extremely noticeable. Think 20 second start up times rather than over a minute


That and the robustness of SSD, I'd rather have solid state memory in a machine I'm moving around all the time (and risking dropping) than a spinning disk.

mdf

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  Reply # 1388605 16-Sep-2015 16:00
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Incredible price on the Surface at JbHifi, today only. Doesn't meet your 15 inch requirement, but they're amazing pieces of kit and that's an awesome price.

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  Reply # 1388608 16-Sep-2015 16:05
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If you can wait a month or 2 you will get the Windows 10 round of hardware - Skylake processors, Windows Hello webcams etc...

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  Reply # 1388619 16-Sep-2015 16:34
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As you say the HP is $100 cheaper at Warehouse Stationery but I would still prefer the Toshiba although I usually prefer HP:
+ SSD (+1 for lxsw20 and SSDs). But there are other options if you stick with a HDD instead of an SSD. Some laptops allow for a small caching SSD, i.e. a flash card. Alternatively, if you don't use your optical drive then you can replace it with a caddy and a small SSD - that can cost less than $100.
+ touchscreen
+ more RAM (12GB)
+ flipping (useful) IPS (better viewing angles) screen
- older dual-core CPU. The lower CPU base frequency is relevant because it also impacts the integrated HD graphics but if you don't do more than watching videos the difference is irrelevant.
- no dedicated graphics not that you said you are likely to need it.

The question is why is 256GB not enough SSD space?

It is also worth reading reviews of the systems you are looking at. That will alert you to significant weaknesses.

Also consider whether you want a matte or glossy screen surface. Matte is better for reducing the impact of ambient light by reducing reflections, glossy is better for more vivid colours.






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  Reply # 1388646 16-Sep-2015 17:34
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Agree that 256GB SSD is better than a 1TB spinning drive.  Much better everyday performance, and can always stick movie collection on a portable hdd or networked storage (a NAS) at home.

The GTX950M graphics on one of those links is a very good graphics card for a laptop at that price, overkill for your current usage but nice to have if you want to do a bit of gaming.



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  Reply # 1388706 16-Sep-2015 20:49
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Cheers folks for all the replies. Really means a lot.

I did have my eyes on a 1TB HD, as that seems to be the norm these days, however you guys have definitely talked me into the 256GB SSD (I'm guessing there is nothing bigger at a reasonable price?)

Does anybody know of any laptops that weren't mentioned above/have something to recommend?

Definitely don't want to budge on the 1920x1080 screen and 15.6" monitor though.

Thanks!

Edit: I am heading towards the 256GB SSD instead of the 1TB because I plan on backing all my data up now (Again, lesson learnt), so that should be fine.

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  Reply # 1388807 17-Sep-2015 08:16
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If your requirements were demanding then that it would be easier to determine which would be best for you as in the following scenarios. But your requirements are more prosaic so the decision is more about best bang for your buck i.e. price-performance/features. That points to the Toshiba.

 

  • Gaming would require a CPU and GPU fast enough to play the games you want with enough RAM.
  • Data analysis with large data files that have to be entirely memory resident would require a system with heaps of RAM.
  • Use as tablet and laptop would require a flippable/detachable touch screen.
Edit: PS I did look at other specials, e.g. on Lenovo, but couldn't find a better deal with similar features.

There's good reviews for the Toshiba on Amazon



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  Reply # 1388810 17-Sep-2015 08:24
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Well guys, I am having trouble finding anything in my price range with a 256GB SSD.

For me it is either the HP (1st one I listed) or the Toshiba from MightyApe.

I am going to be buying an external Drive regardless to back everything up. So that will add an extra $100 or so on to the total cost anyway.

Just not sure which one to buy...

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  Reply # 1388811 17-Sep-2015 08:24
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256GB SSD is plenty for most people, and I wouldn't have a machine without an SSD these days. They make things super super fast. Maybe you won't be able to keep every song / movie / photo you have on it, but that's not the point of a laptop - you have to make compromises for mobility. Use an external disk at home, and make sure it's backed up offsite or to a cloud service.

I have a work Toshiba laptop, I'm told they're around $2K, ultrabooks. It's a great little machine. I hate all laptop keyboards and touch sensitive pads though, every brand.




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  Reply # 1388828 17-Sep-2015 09:12
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why not buy a cheaper one and put in a SSD? and install the OS on that? you get the best of both worlds, big storage and the performance of an SSD

some laptops have a M2 port that supports HDD's



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  Reply # 1388877 17-Sep-2015 10:06
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Jase2985: why not buy a cheaper one and put in a SSD? and install the OS on that? you get the best of both worlds, big storage and the performance of an SSD

some laptops have a M2 port that supports HDD's


I don't know how to do any of that, but willing to do it if its easy enough.

I think that would work out to be more expensive? The cheapest 15.6" monitor which has Full HD screen is $1300-$1400 from memory. Time you buy another SSD, add on another $150-$200?

Not exactly sure on prices, but wouldn't really like to go down this route, but would if it was significantly cheaper :)

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  Reply # 1388978 17-Sep-2015 12:16
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Yeah, there are not many consumer laptops with SSD, this Toshiba is $2000.  It was $1600 at JB HiFi for a week last month..  http://pricespy.co.nz/product.php?pu=3239780

Is fairly simple task to switch hdds, cloning the existing drive system contents onto a new drive.  You've done half the job already with your broken laptop :).  Could get the cheaper $1500 Toshiba one without an SSD now, then is an easy upgrade in the future if needed.

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