Is your computer making that weird noise that sounds like it’s about to blow up mid-Facebook wall post? Does it totally burn your legs when you have it on your lap? Maybe it just totally sucks?
If so, it might be time to start a-lookin’ for another. And with school starting right around the corner, what better time to begin the search?
Here are a few affordable laptops that are out there on the market now and our breakdown of their perks and flaws to help you out in your search:
Sony VAIO 16.4″
The Sony VAIO is like a pretty boy with rock-hard abs: it’s nice to look at, but doesn’t bring much to the table. It weighs close to 7 lbs, which is a lot when you’re going from class to Starbucks to library to your bed for late night IMing. It also costs nearly $1,600!
The VAIO does have some cool new features, like a Blu-Ray drive and built in Wi-Fi, but the poor battery life and high price tag (nearly double many other computers on the market) might not make it the best choice.
The Gateway MC is definitely cheaper than the Vaio, only $950, but that might be its greatest feature. It weighs 7.5 pounds, has a slower processor, and a weak graphics card, which makes running multiple programs a bit dicey. It is also missing some of the fun stuff that many other laptops on the market boast: Blu-Ray drive, Bluetooth capabilities, and light-weight design.
With an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 and 4 GB of RAM, the F50SV-A2 is on average with laptops on the market. Weighing in at about 7 lbs, the Asus boasts good specs, but has many complaints of compatibility issues. From non-functional keys to preloaded software issues, the many probs with the Asus lead to its downfall.
Along with the many complaints, the Asus has a battery life of marginally over 1 hour, which is pretty craptastic when you need to churn out a paper at the libs and all the plugs are taken.
Toshiba Satellite A505-S6960
The Toshiba Satellite is priced pretty low, around $700, but the performance is also on the low end. Weighing in at over 7 lbs, The Satellite’s slower processor and weak graphics card makes running some programs slow and annoying. How annoying? How about that constant stuttering when you’re trying to listen to some music on iTunes (and not “Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol…”) while also writing a paper and IMing your friends. Yeah, I know.
The Toshiba also lacks Blu-ray and Bluetooth capabilities that many laptops come standard with. The Toshiba may be a good price, but performance and features are sub par.
HP Pavilion dv6
The dv6 is powered by a 2.0 Ghz Intel Centrino Processor Technology (Intel® Core2 Duo) with 4 GBs of memory. What does all that mumbo jumbo mean? It means that this computer lets you easily run multiple demanding applications or games at the same time. Downside is it is almost as heavy as the others (6lbs).
This puppy also lets you store over 90 hours of HD video on its 500 GB Hard Drive (and you know you’ve got plenty of video-worthy moments), and use the built-in HP Webcam with integrated digital microphone to chat it up with your friends or family across the country (or upstairs…lazy). The webcam has better resolution than the others, and the HD is much bigger than the others. Oh, and there is a Blu-Ray player and DVD/CD burner. The dv6 offers a full keyboard and numeric keypad, and has 6-Cell Lithium-Ion battery, which means you can use it at the library for about 2 hours and not worry about finding an outlet. Don’t plan on whipping this out on a plan or anything, because it takes up the whole pull-out table.
This is the best in the lot for the price and value.