So my laptop died. A 3 year old HP dv2.
The HP laptop was my first buy when I came to Singapore – even before liquid detergent and toothpaste. Small (12.1 inches), light (1.7kg) and quite sleek, it immediately caught my attention. At that time in my life, processor speeds and RAM-ROM s were Greek to me. Hell, I barely knew the words and reading laptops specs was as unknown to me as Latin.
Well, the laptop was working out pretty well. I loved the fact that I could carry it around and not end up with a backache at the end of the day. It was just the last few weeks that it started acting more like a furnace than a data-processing machine. And finally, it gave up.
Living laptop-less in NTU is difficult. And for me, everything depends on it – lecture notes, mail, favourite shows, games, music. Everything.
So began the urgent quest for a new laptop. The perfect laptop – performance, looks, price, reliability and good consumer service (being less than happy with HP’s ‘service’.). Now honestly, that seems like the Holy Grail of the Laptop World. Oh and before anyone says “Mac!”, I was hoping for a Windows laptop. (And well Macs tend to fail in the price criteria for me. Student life.)
A quick search told me I had previously ended up with the most unreliable laptop brand with so-so consumer service. Wow! That’s terrible HP! Will not repeat that mistake again!
I hunted down laptops that met my criteria by painstakingly reading through reviews on CNET and Engadget. The final elimination was driving me a bit crazy switching from page to page and scrolling up and down to match specifications. So I made this. A Laptop Decision Chart.
|Processor||i5-2450M||i5-2450M||i5-2467M||i7-2670QM||i7 – 720QM||i7 – 720QM||i7-2630QM||Dual core i5|
|Speed||2.5 / 3.1 GHz to 3.5 GHz||2.5 / 3.1 GHz||
|2 / 2.9 GHz||2.4 GHz|
|Memory||4GB 1333MHz||4GB 1333MHz||4 GB DDR3||8 GB 1333 MHz||Upto 8GB RAM||8GB DDR3 SDRAM||4GB DDR3 SDRAM||4 GB 1333 MHz|
|Hard Drive||750GB SATA hard drive (7200RPM)||750GB SATA hard drive (7200RPM)||128 GB Solid State Drive Flash Module||1 TB SATA||Upto 500GB||640GB HDD+32GB SSD||750GB SATA HDD||750GB 5400-rpm|
|Graphics||NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 520M 1GB||NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 525M 1GB||Intel HD Graphics 3000||Radeon HD 7690M (1 GB GDDR5)||nVidia® GeForce® GT 240M DDR3 1GG||ATI Radeon™ 5730 DDR3 1024M||nVidia® GeForce® 555M DDR5 1GB||Intel HD Graphics 3000|
|Audio||JBL||JBL||Beats Audio||Beats Audio||Dolby Home Theatre||Dolby Home Theatre||JBL||Stereo|
|Battery||5 hours||7 hours, 46 minutes||5 hours||4 hours||NA||NA||NA||7 hours|
|2.7 kg||2.7 kg||
|Looks||Not so sleek||Not so sleek||Amazing||Amazing||Mac.|
|Issues||Limited viewing angles||Trackpad, Limited viewing angles||Trackpad, slow to resume, expensive, battery, memory and SSD not user-replaceable,
It’s HP again
|Display||1366 x 768||1920 x 1080||1600 x 900||1366 x 768||1280 X 800|
|Last Remarks||“the XPS 14z is nonetheless a sensible choice, even if it’s not the fastest or prettiest”||“When Dell tells you that the XPS 15z has no compromises, that’s not quite the case — it’s a solid choice at this price point, but corners were cut to get here”||“Unless you’re a diehard display aficionado, the Envy 14 is a bit overpriced for what it is, even if it is a pleasure to use.”||“If you do go for the Envy 15, we hope you have a pretty stationary setup in mind: you’ll want an outlet close by and also, a mouse.”||Mac.|
Yeah, it took time but once the chart was made, the good and the bad of every laptop were right there in your face. Pure facts. The strike-through words are the deal-breakers for that laptop and the bold words are the deal-makers.
I am now buying a Dell XPS 14z. It has really good specs for a laptop of its price, is not too heavy, has amazing sound and yes, very good consumer support. And it looks pretty good!
I feel good. For a girl who 3 years ago didn’t know the GHz and GB language of laptops, I think I did a pretty good job! Though, I think I did drive a few of my friends mad by constantly confirming Rules of the Laptop World with them!
All excited about my new buy!