[Budge: $600] HELP PLEASE!

<p>Hi guys. This is my first time purchasing a laptop and my first time purchasing a computer for a long time. I have been using my 5 years old Dell desktop with a 512mb RAM and I am extremely excited that I finally get a new computer since I am going to college. (GO BEARS! Hehehe) Well, anyway, back to the main topic. I really hope that you guys would give me some guidelines and suggestions as I go through this journey. I will keep coming back and checking the post so hopefully you guys won’t give up on me and my lack of computer knowledge. Thanks guys.</p>

<p>So, these are the qualities that I am looking for in a laptop. But I really don’t know how to translate in to specific components. I am going to be a psychology major so I don’t think I would need some crazy powerhouse computer for coding/designing/hardcore-gaming. I would probably mainly use it for chatting, websurving, normal-gaming (like flash game), watching movie, doing homework and listening to music.</p>

<p>[1] The Budget: Around $600 dollars. My family cannot afford any high end laptops right now. So no mac for me. A little bit over $600, like $625, is okay.</p>

<p>[2] Ram and Memory and Processor: Hopefully 4GB, 250 GB + (I am going to purchase one of those portable drive, so it won’t be a huge problem), and hopefully a processor with 2.2Ghz + (I am not sure if that is good enough though)</p>

<p>[3] Relatively large screen: 15.6” or + inches. I would really want one in 17 + inches but I don’t think that one exist within my budget.</p>

<p>[4] Good for watching video and movie and listening to music: I don’t really know what to look for. But I imagine a good sound card and graphic card and a good monitor and a good speaker (?)</p>

<p>[5] Webcam and good microphone: The main way I would be using my laptop, other than taking notes would probably be video chatting. It doesn’t have to be top-of-the-line, but I hope it has decent quality.</p>

<p>[6] Full numeric keypad: I know it may seem weird but I just can’t imagine me living without it. But I am willing to sacrifices it for something important like RAM or Memory. </p>

<p>[7] Durability: This is really important. I hope my computer would last through my entire college years. I will try to take care of my laptop but who knows what would happen. </p>

<p>[8] Brand: I heard Gateway, Acer and Dell (and even HP) is pretty bad? So maybe not those brand? I could be wrong though. Feel free to suggest them though. I kind of do like HP computers.</p>

<p>I already picked up some computers that hopefully match what I need. Please go over them if you have the time.</p>

<p>[1] Toshibadirect is having a sale. And I am thinking of getting this computer: Toshiba
Satellite L500-ST2543
Satellite</a> L500-ST2543 Laptops | Toshiba Direct
And these are the specs. The total cost is $564 dollars
 Intel® Pentium® processor T4400 (2.2 GHz, 1MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)<br>
 Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-bit<br>
 4GB DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM (2048MBx2)<br>
 320GB HDD (5400rpm, Serial-ATA)<br>
 Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M<br>
 DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive<br>
 Fusion Finish™ with Breeze Pattern in Graphite Gray<br>
 Lithium Ion battery (6-Cell, 4000mAh)<br>
 Realtek® 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN<br>
 No modem<br>
 Microsoft® Office Ready with Microsoft Office Professional 2007 60-day Trial Edition<br>
 3 Years Standard Limited Warranty </p>

<p>Full specs of <a href="http://cdgenp01.csd.toshiba.com/content/product/pdf_files/detailed_specs/satellite_L500-ST2543.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://cdgenp01.csd.toshiba.com/content/product/pdf_files/detailed_specs/satellite_L500-ST2543.pdf&lt;/a>
I really like the three years warrantly. But I am not sure about the remaining specs like the processor and the graphic card etc.</p>

<p>And other computer that I am looking at is also a Toshiba Satellite L655D-S5066. It’s 599.99 with only a year warranty. I am not sure about the differences in performance.</p>

<p>Toshiba</a> Satellite® L655D-S5066 Laptops
<a href="http://cdgenp01.csd.toshiba.com/content/product/pdf_files/detailed_specs/satellite_L655D-S5066.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://cdgenp01.csd.toshiba.com/content/product/pdf_files/detailed_specs/satellite_L655D-S5066.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>That will be all I guess for now. Thank you so much for reading my ramble. Keep in mind that I will constantly be checking for new computers and for opinions. Thanks a lot for you help!! Feel free to suggest me other laptops from different brands and telling me different deals & sales.</p>

<p>I suggested this on another thread with $600 budget; you might want to take a look through that too.</p>

<p>Dell Inspiron 15 with an i3 350M, Intel HD Graphics, 4GB DDR3, 500GB HDD, and 9-cell battery costs $568 with student discounts.</p>

<p>i3 is a much better processor than pentium. also the GMA 4500 is not really a good graphics card; the Intel HD is better (it can run most games on low and can easily render HD movies and stuff) although still not good for hardcore gaming, but you don't need that so...</p>

<p>There probably are 17" notebooks in your bugdet but do you really want a 17"? They are kind of big and unwieldy to carry around.</p>

<p>about the number pad thing the dell doesn't have it (you can find them on 17" but again 17" aren't good for carrying around)
but you can pick up a cheap external keyboard for $10 that has everything</p>

<p>At that budget, your choices are quite limited.</p>

<p>Dell Latitude and Lenovo Thinkpad R/T-series are the most durable lines, but they might run you a little over budget.</p>

<p>If you get an external portable drive, then 80GB and 250GB make little difference.</p>

<p>For the tasks of a psychology major, 2GB and 4GB of RAM make little difference as you'll have a hard time hitting 2GB. More RAM only makes your computer run (much) better if you don't have enough in the first place.</p>

<p>As for the processor, the Pentium dual-cores are junk. Clock rate isn't everything. I think you get the best value for your money with an i3-530 / i3-540. However, to be honest, even an Atom N450 will be sufficient.</p>

<p>Thanks for everyone. I am looking at two other computer, which are both $599.99</p>

<p>The first one is a HP G72t, which is $599.99 and I am willing to add $25 dollar for the webcam.
HP</a> G72 and G72t series | HP Official Store</p>

<p>The second one is Satellite L670D-BT2N22
Satellite</a> L670D-BT2N22</p>

<p>Both of them are 17.3'. Would you guys mind comparing the specs for me? I am not that good with those thing. THanks a bunch guys.</p>

<p>The HP G72 is a much better choice than the Toshiba. Much better processor, little more RAM (but in a likely more stable configuration).</p>

<p>yeah just from the specs, HP is better,
you should add the hdmi, card reader with the webcam since its the same price</p>

<p>Not to beat you up, but why do you want a 17"?</p>

<p>As a college student, it's pretty much guaranteed that you will be lugging your laptop around. 17" laptops are not featherweights.</p>

<p>My solution would be to budget a smaller screen, save yourself some pounds and money. Then, pick up an external monitor or a TV for your dorm room to watch movies and videos.</p>

<p>Good luck with your search!</p>

<p>Don't forget to use Bing cashback if you're buying from the HP online store. (10% cashback)</p>

<p>I agree with the posts above about portability. If this is going to be your laptop to travel with you to classes and elsewhere, i would really advise taking a step down to a 15" screen so it would be easier to carry and still a large screen. That being said, it is a large invest so get whatever you want and mostly whatever you feel comfortable with. 17" laptops are generally known as "Desktop Replacements" so if you're not going to have a desktop handy at your dorm, a large laptop is right up your alley. I'll agree with you on the numeric keypad bit though, there a great pickup if you can find a nice laptop with one on it.</p>