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June 2011 Laptop Buying Guide

Jun 13th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Article, Real News, Technology

Looking for a great deal on a new laptop? If you’re looking for a solid Windows 7 laptop, an Apple laptop, a netbook, or a chromebook, look no further.

Toshiba 15.6″ Windows 7 laptop (Under $500)

With an Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, and a 640 GB hard drive, the Toshiba Satellite L655-S5158 makes for a great bargain at $479.99. When you consider that the included i3-380m processor is almost identical in performance tests to the higher-level i5-430m.

This laptop is by really the best bargain to buy in June 2011. It’s powerful, incredibly priced, made by Toshiba, an excellent manufacturer, and would make an ideal computer for the standard computer user who would use it to browse the internet, skype with friends, research for college, or play some basic games.

It comes with an integrated Intel graphics card, so it is capable of running games like Half-Life and Team Fortress 2, but Battlefield Bad Company 2 and similar complex more modern games would be unplayable, making this a good computer, but not a computer for a serious gamer.


13.3″ Apple MacBook Pro (Under $1200)

Although the price is over twice that of the Toshiba L655-S5158, the technical specifications are very similar.  The 13.3″ Macbook Pro sports an i5-2415M processor that doesn’t do quite as well in benchmarks as the Toshiba’s i3-380M. The Macbook also has a smaller hard drive, the same amount of RAM, though slightly faster, and its screen size is 2.3″ smaller.

With all of this taken into consideration, for under $1200, this is still quite a nice buy. You aren’t buying the components in the case of an Apple, but instead buying OSX and a world of streamlined, user-friendly computing that is unsurpassed. That said, purchasing a Windows 7 laptop in the same price-range will give you something quite amazing in comparison:


Comparably-priced Windows 7 laptop (Under $1200)

If you’re financially-minded, you might look at the 13.3″ Macbook Pro and wonder what you could get if you stuck with Windows in that price range. For $1163.03 you can grab yourself an ASUS N73SV-XC1:

Product Features

  • Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad-Core Processor 2.0GHz with turbo boost up to 2.9GHz; Nvidia GT540M graphics with 1GB DDR3 VRAM
  • 8GB of DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM (2x4GB), 3 slots, 12GB Max; 1TB Hard Drive (500GB x 2, 7200 RPM); Wi-Fi 802.11 bgn
  • Super-Multi DVD Disk Drive; HDMI Port; 1x USB 3.0 port; 3x USB 2.0 Ports; Bluetooth; 2.0MP Webcam; eSATA; 5-in-1 card reader
  • 17.3-Inch HD+ (1600×900) LED Display

That i7-2630QM processor blows everything else we’ve yet seen out of the water in terms of performance. It has over 3 times the performance rating of the processor in the Macbook Pro for the same price.

The ASUS also offers 8GB of DDR3 RAM, 1TB HDD, and is a monster for gaming with a Nvidia GT540M dedicated graphics card and a 17.3″ LED screen.

It’s almost unfair to compare this deal to the Macbook Pro, but if you *really* want to get this type of power in a Macbook, you’re going to have to shell out $2278.95, and that still only comes with 4GB of RAM and 3/4 of the hard drive space. Of course, you could just stick with the ASUS N73SV-XC1.

But do you really need a $1000+ laptop, or are you looking for something simpler? Perhaps your life and work run through the internet and you don’t have the need for a system that can process complex programs like those used in Hollywood-quality film production. If that’s the case, then you need…



Our next installment on buying a netbook will be linked here when it comes out.


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