TE Laptop Guide Dec 09

DarkAngel

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I have seen lots of queries in the laptop section regarding which laptop to buy. Mostly these are in the budget category and the light gaming category.

I have divided the laptops into 4 categories.

It is in this range that more than 80% of the sales happen.

  • Low budget laptop (<30k)
  • Budget laptop (30-35k)
  • Light Gaming Laptop (35-45k)
  • Mid range Gaming laptop (45-55k)

Considering the wide spread availability and service centers i have taken in consideration the following laptop manufacturers

  • HP and Compaq
  • Dell
  • Acer
  • Sony
  • Lenovo
  • Samsung

These six are the major players in the Laptop market and i have left out smaller laptop manufactures like MSI, HCL, Zenith etc...
[BREAK=Low Budget Laptop]
Model No. Dell INSPIRON 14 Compaq Presario Lenovo 29492KQ Samsung R418- Acer 4736z / 5738z
CQ40-601TU DA 0EIN
Processor T-4300(2.1GHz) T-4400(2.2GHz) T-4200(2.0GHz) T-4400(2.0GHz) T-4300(2.1GHz)
Chipset Intel GM45 Intel GL40 Intel GL40 Intel GM45 Intel GL40
RAM 2GB DDR2 3GB DDR2 2GB DDR3 2GB DDR2 3GB DDR2
HDD 250GB 320GB 250GB 320GB 320GB
Display 14" HD LED 14.1" WXGA 14.0" WXGA LED 14.0" HD LED 14"/15.6" HD
Graphics X4500 X4500 X4500 X4500 X4500
DVD R/W Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Webcam Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
BlueTooth Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wi-fi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Card Reader Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Finger Print Reader No No No No Yes
HDMI No Yes No No Yes
Battery 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell
OS DOS DOS DOS DOS DOS
Carry Case No Yes No No Yes
Price 29.5k 29k 28.5k 26.5k 27-28k

The sub 30k category has improved a lot in the past couple of years.
Most of the systems are equipped with a

  • 2GHz Processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 250GB HDD

This is more than enough for for a student or basic office laptops.

My pick in this list would be the Acer 4736z/ 5738z.
It has the most powerful H/W, decent build quality and at 27-28 it is a steal:eek:hyeah:

[BREAK=Budget Laptop]
Model No. Dell INSPIRON 14 Compaq Presario Lenovo 295894Q Samsung R418- Acer 4736 /5738
CQ40-616TU 0DIN
Processor T-6600(2.2GHz) T-6600(2.2GHz) T-6600(2.2GHz) T-6500(2.1GHz) T-6600(2.2GHz)
Chipset Intel GM45 Intel GM45 Intel GM45 Intel GM45 Intel GM45
RAM 3GB DDR2 4GB DDR2 2GB DDR3 3GB DDR2 3GB DDR2
HDD 320GB 320GB 250GB 320GB 320GB
Display 14" WXGA 14.1" WXGA 15" WXGA 14.0" HD LED 14"/15.6" HD
Graphics X4500 X4500 X4500 X4500 X4500
DVD R/W Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Webcam Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
BlueTooth Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wi-fi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Card Reader Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Finger Print Reader No No No No Yes
HDMI No Yes Yes No Yes
Battery 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell
OS DOS DOS DOS DOS DOS
Carry Case Yes(Back Pack) Yes No No Yes
Price 35-36k 34k 32k 30.5k 32-33k

The under 30-35k category is for those who need a bit more power but still have a tight budget.

Most of the systems are equipped with a

  • 2GHz Processor(Intel T6xxx series laptops)
  • 3GB RAM
  • 320GB HDD

This is for those who needs a little more power.
My pick in this segment is the Dell Inspiron 14.

Though it is the most expensive of the bunch at 35k it has H/W on par with the other makers and also comes with a backpack.

Dell's after sales service rocks(personal experience).
[BREAK=Light Gaming Laptop]

Model No. Dell Studio 15 Compaq Presario Samsung R470- Acer 5738G Sony
CQ40-604TX FS02IN VPCCW15FG
Processor T-6600(2.2GHz) T-6600(2.2GHz) T-6500(2.1GHz) T-6600(2.2GHz) T-6600
Chipset Intel PM45 Intel GM45 Intel PM45 Intel PM45 Intel PM45
RAM 3GB DDR2 4GB DDR2 3GB DDR2 4GB DDR2 3GB DDR3
HDD 320GB 320GB 320GB 320GB 320GB
Display 15.6†WXGA 14.1" WXGA 14.0" HD LED 14"/15.6" HD 14â€WXGA
Graphics ATI Raedon HD 4570(512MB) Nvida Geforce G103M(512MB) Nvida Geforce G105M(256MB) ATI Raedon HD 4570(512MB) Nvidia G210 M (256MB)
DVD R/W Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Webcam Yes(2.0MP) Yes Yes Yes Yes
BlueTooth Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wi-fi Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Card Reader Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Finger Print Reader Yes No No Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battery 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell
OS W7 Basic W7Basic DOS W7HP W7HP
Carry Case Yes(Back Pack) Yes No Yes No
Accessories Creative IEM
Price 43-44k 39k 38k 40-41k 45k

It is above 35k that you start to get discrete GPU's.

The HD 4570 is a decent GPU and allows you to play many games at decent frame rate.

There are two laptops competing for the no.1 slot. The Dell Studio 15 and the Acer 5738G.

Both have similar hardware specs. The Acer is 2k cheaper than the Dell and the Dell has a better after sales service(They come to your place. So no need to roam around searching for a service center).

So its money vs better after sales service(onsite). Choose according to which you need the most.
[BREAK=Mid Range Gaming Laptop]
Model No. Dell Studio 15 HP Pavilion DV6-1319TX Lenovo 418629Q Sony VPCCW16FG
Processor P-8600(2.4GHz) T-6500(2.1GHz) T-6500(2.1GHz) P-8700(2.53GHz)
Chipset Intel PM45 Intel PM45 Intel GM45 Intel PM45
RAM 4GB DDR2 4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3 4GB DDR3
HDD 500GB 500GB 320GB 320GB
Display 15.6†WXGA 15.6" WXGA 15" WXGA 14â€WXGA
Graphics ATI Raedon HD 4570(512MB) ATI Radeon HD 4650(1GB) Nvida Geforce G130M(512MB) Nvidia G230 M (512MB)
DVD R/W Yes Yes Yes Yes
Webcam Yes(2.0MP) Yes Yes Yes
BlueTooth Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wi-fi Yes Yes Yes Yes
Card Reader Yes Yes Yes Yes
Finger Print Reader Yes Yes Yes Yes
HDMI Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battery 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell 6 cell
OS W7 Basic W7HP W7Basic W7HP
Carry Case Yes(Back Pack) Yes Yes No
Accessories Creative IEM
Price 52-53k 52-53k 52-53k 55k

This segment contains pretty mean machines.

Most of the systems are equipped with a

  • Intel P-series 8xxx processors
  • 4GB RAM
  • 500GB HDD

These are very powerful machines and manges to run most games in acceptable frame rates.

Again there are 2 laptops for the top spot.

HP vs Sony

HP has the HD4650 card(55nm fab) which is slightly better than the G230M card(40nm).

But the Sony has a P-8700(2.53GHz) which is one of the best C2D mobile processors out there in the market.

So if the little GPU performance difference doesn't matter to you then the Sony wins hands down especially considering their looks and build quality :hap2:
[BREAK=Conclusion]

So the winners are,
  • Low budget laptop (<30k) - Acer 4736z/5738z
  • Budget laptop (30-35k) - Dell Inspiron 14
  • Light Gaming Laptop (35-45k) - Dell Studio 15/ Acer 5738G
  • Mid range Gaming laptop (45-55k) - Sony VPCCW16FG/ HP Pavilion DV6-1319TX

I hope this guide has covered a majority of the laptops segments where most of the buying happens.

Please do share your thoughts about this guide.
Let me know the pros and cons of it so that i can improve in the future :D

I will be more than happy to add these too
  • netbooks
  • ultra portable laptops
  • high end notebooks like the XPS, Mac and Alienware :eek:hyeah:
 
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Emperor

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Nice move Karthi007,

Presentation is very good (neat) & in detail, though I don't have much knowledge about laptops still your guide lure me to select 1 :D

Requesting you to go with LCD Monitor Guide too as lot of threads on TE & other forums floating with LCD monitor guide & suggestions.

Thanks :)
 

DarkAngel

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Apr 10, 2009
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Emperor said:
Nice move Karthi007,

Presentation is very good (neat) & in detail, though I don't have much knowledge about laptops still your guide lure me to select 1 :D

Requesting you to go with LCD Monitor Guide too as lot of threads on TE & other forums floating with LCD monitor guide & suggestions.

Thanks :)
Thanks emperor :D Will try to make one soon :)
 
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Dark Star

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May 7, 2006
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Awesome work :D Really great presentation and very lucid explanation ;)

Will put that on portal soon :)
 

DarkAngel

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^^Thanks :) It feels really great when mods and senior members appreciate your work :D
 

FaH33m

Analog Vibes
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Excellent and a much needed guide :). Your PC config guide is also very well suggested .
 

sunny27

Stig's Indian Cousin!!!
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Top Gear Test Track
good work!
but i would suggest adding asus to the other brands listed here.
asus k40ab is one solid laptop @ 30k with a 512mb ati 4570, the amd turion 2 ultra @ 2.2 ghz supports virtualization with 4gb of ram and a 320gb hdd with 2 hours and 45 mins(tested one that belongs to a friend) of battery life. it is one powerful laptop none of the laptops, upto the 45k range mentioned here have virtualization support(win 7 XP MODE)
this laptop has switchable graphics - you can use the hd3200 integrated graphics sub system when you don't need 3ds max /maya or gaming and can switch to the more powerful 4570 card when u need that extra bit of oomph! with the hd3200 you can play 1080p movies and get more juice out of the battery.
asus has excellent build quality and has 2 yrs of warranty which inlcudes physical damage(asked and found out)
also dell's vostro 1320 and vostro 1088 should be mentioned for their specs wrt to price and the vfm factor.
msi has some killer notebooks too in the sub 30k and sub 40k category.

sony vaio has some good 15.6/16 inchers for 37--45 k as desktop replacement models--dont know the model number will post it here after i come across the sony brochure.
you should've mentioned that hp & compaq have the worst possible after sales support and build quality.
 

street.soul

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A very clean and clear guide ! Removes all the doubts in your mind ! in short amazing guide ! :eek:hyeah:
 

nikrusty

Happy TE User
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good stuff mate...nice presentation. Though Pics aren't essential, would have been better though!
 

rohan30186

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Nice work man.!! I got my Dell studio last month....This guide would have eased my headache....Neways keep it up!!
 

DarkAngel

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sunny27 said:
good work!
but i would suggest adding asus to the other brands listed here.
asus k40ab is one solid laptop @ 30k with a 512mb ati 4570, the amd turion 2 ultra @ 2.2 ghz supports virtualization with 4gb of ram and a 320gb hdd with 2 hours and 45 mins(tested one that belongs to a friend) of battery life. it is one powerful laptop none of the laptops, upto the 45k range mentioned here have virtualization support(win 7 XP MODE)
this laptop has switchable graphics - you can use the hd3200 integrated graphics sub system when you don't need 3ds max /maya or gaming and can switch to the more powerful 4570 card when u need that extra bit of oomph! with the hd3200 you can play 1080p movies and get more juice out of the battery.
asus has excellent build quality and has 2 yrs of warranty which inlcudes physical damage(asked and found out)
also dell's vostro 1320 and vostro 1088 should be mentioned for their specs wrt to price and the vfm factor.
msi has some killer notebooks too in the sub 30k and sub 40k category.

sony vaio has some good 15.6/16 inchers for 37--45 k as desktop replacement models--dont know the model number will post it here after i come across the sony brochure.
you should've mentioned that hp & compaq have the worst possible after sales support and build quality.
I was not able to dig up substantial info about the prices of the asus and MSI laptop models. Unlike the dell, lenovo, samsung, sony etc their indian websites didnt have pricing in them. Do provide me with a link and few reviews and i will surely add them.

The Vostro 1320 is a 13.3" lappy. So i decided to consider it in the ultraportable section which i will be adding soon :D