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Laptop $600-900

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Jul 5, 2014
Hello everyone. what would be a good laptop for $600-900? I will be using it for studying. I want it to be able to handle photoshop really well. I want to be able to open 25-50 tabs in browser and not notice difference in performance. I would also like it to be able to handle multiple(5,6) programs at the same time and not notice difference in performance I would prefer it to be light. Thank you.
Given the information provided you most likely will want a quad-core processor with hyper-threading and you will want to have the option to add more RAM or have the laptop come with 16GB of RAM. Photoshop can be RAM hungry with large resolution, high layer count artwork. What about heat/noise concerns? The smaller the laptop the more heat and noise you will have.
It'll be somewhat difficult to find a 16GB laptop for less than $900 that will fit your description 100%. Most i7, 16GB laptops I have been looking at this last month are either just shy of 1k or slightly over. You might have better luck finding an 8GB laptop with a better processor and upgrading the memory yourself as Leegit suggested by having the option to add more RAM. Unfortunately having a high end i7 CPU, high RAM capacity, AND it being light are commodities you'll have to shell out some extra cash for unless you can find a good sale.

How light is light to you?

Believe it or not there is a highly noticeable difference in weight when it comes to just a few pounds. I used to lug around a 17" laptop that weighed a whopping 12 pounds. When I got my current work laptop at 5.5 pounds I felt like I could use it as a frisbee. Now that I've got tablets and other things to play with it makes my work laptop feel like a gold brick. So perspective is going to play a huge role here on what you'll deem is an acceptable weight.

How big of a screen are you looking for? I recommend looking at laptops in the 15" range... 17" will make it harder to find a suitable model within your price range that isn't too heavy.

If you could supply some more information on screen size, acceptable weight, and even somethings like hard drive size/speed would help. There are models that come standard with SSDs nowadays, but there might be a cheaper alternative where upgrading the stock HD and RAM yourself might save you a few bucks. Laptop RAM is super cheap from what I have been seeing lately and SSDs are extremely competitive right now so there are always sales.
You need to adjust your budget upward to about $1100-$1300 to get the performance you want. You do want an i-7 CPU and not just any i-7. In the laptop world, the designations of i-5 and i-7 don't mean the same thing they do in the desktop world, architecture wise, that is. Some mobile i-7 CPUs are not even quad core but dual core. Take a look at this: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-Processors-Benchmark-List.2436.0.html. So take some time to research and know what you are getting.

Get 16 gb of RAM at least.

I would strongly suggest getting a laptop with a large SSD and that is going to drive the price up. There are also laptops that have both a small SSD with a large conventional spinner hard drive which is probably how you want to go.


Probably won't be a light weight as far as toting.
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I can buy something close to 1k. Screen is not a big problem. For now I would focus on 15''. As for storage I think half a terabyte will be enough. I am not quite sure about the 500mb of the storage, though. What would be the most practical size of the storage at this point in time for a laptop?
You could also get a USB external hard drive if you need more storage. You could store your Photoshop waste on it.
I am not quite sure about the 500mb of the storage, though.

Huh? I don't understand what you mean by this.

What would be the most practical size of the storage at this point in time for a laptop?

It depends on how much space you think you'll use. Economically your best bet is half a terabyte and as you mentioned it would be enough so there isn't a reason not to get it.

If you really want to stay below $1k I'd recommend trying to find a laptop that comes with a cheap 500GB-1TB 5400 RPM drive installed then replace it with a Samsung 850 EVO. You could throw the spare into an enclosure for $10-20 bucks and have extra space that way as trents mentioned with an external USB drive.

You could achieve this with models like these: HP Pavilion 15.6" Flagship Laptop, 6th Gen Skylake Intel i7-6700HQ Quad-Core

You'd have to watch the market though - These are the remnants of DDR3 laptops - The memory might be a tad slower, but you should be able to find them on sale for $550-700. Then it should cost you no more than $200 for the SSD, 8GB of DDR3 to expand the memory to 16GB, and a cheap enclosure for the spare drive you'd have.

If you're going to do this make sure to look SPECIFICALLY for 6th Gen Skylake Intel i7-6700HQ Quad-Core and 8GB DDR3L 1600MHz SDRAM(1 DIMM). 1 DIMM being key here so you know you'll have a slot free to upgrade. When purchasing the extra stick make sure buy one that is compatible with what comes with the laptop. Some of these DDR3 laptops use "DDR3L" which runs at 1.35v instead of 1.5v - so if you buy the normal stuff it will give you an incompatibility warning if it only uses low voltage DDR3 memory.

The laptop trents listed is a fantastic deal considering it is a gaming laptop so you get the video processing power on top of everything else. Not to mention a 256GB SSD w/ 2TB addition - that thing is a steal. It's only 5.3 lbs which is more than manageable IMO. Plus everything else I've seen is roughly around 5 pounds anyways. I don't think you can get any lower than that without spending a considerable more amount of money.
Is it a good time to buy right now? I do not think I will be waiting for three months until Black Friday. And would they offer better deals at that time? It seams to me that there lesser discounts each year. I found a few more laptops, mostly from slickdeals and one from the front page of newegg. What do you think about these?
Lenovo IdealPad 700
Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 80NV00Q9US
That one you reference with the first link looks like a fantastic deal! Seems to have the same specs as the one at NewEgg but $160 bucks cheaper. No touch screen if that matters to you.
Those are both great deals. You're better at finding them than I am :)

Over the years I was never a fan of Lenovo's, but they have really stepped up their game in the last 2-3 years.

I'd get the one on Newegg if you're into the backlit keyboard and want the upgraded graphics, but for practicality there isn't much of a difference between the 950 and the 960M - so that choice will come down to how much you feel like spending.
Don't wait so long that the good deals you discovered are out of stock or the discount/rebates are expired.
I made a little more research and found that these laptops have GDDR3 instead of faster GDDR5. What would be the difference between GTX 960m GDDR 3 4gb and GTX 960 GDDR 5 2 GB?

I also found these laptop. It is $773. It has just 8gb and no SSD. Can anyone tell me if it is upgradeable for both SSD(I mean additional slot for storage) and RAM?

In specifications I found the following info:

8 GB
Memory Speed
DDR4 2133
Memory Slot (Total)
Max Memory Supported
32 GB

I did not quite understood what they meant about slots. I understand that the laptop has two slots in total, but they do not tell how many are used.

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GDDR5 is faster than GDDR3 - twice as much if I am not mistaken. The 2GB will perform better than the 4GB card.
How can I tell what video memory lenovo y700 has in the link above?
The GTX 960M does not offer a GDDR3 counterpart to my knowledge, so I'm not sure where you are seeing that.

What I will say, if you are interested in those Lenovos, is that I've had a Y50 since the beginning of last year and aside from the crappy TN screen it uses (fixed in later iterations with decent IPS panels), it's been fantastic overall for my own needs including business software, school, as well as light gaming. Just wish the touchpad was moved towards the right instead of being in the center.
I found a laptop with i7 4720 processor, ddr3l 16gb ram, 1tb 7200rpm, IPS 17.3 display, 8.4 lb, gtx 970m, Open Box. This laptop does not come with ssd but it has a spare bay inside for ssd and I believe it also has pci-e connection for ssd as well. Is it worth 1k for open box with such configuration? And is it better than lenovo y700. It is more than my budget, but looks very tempting.

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You'll have to add in the cost of a 256gb SSD in order to compare apples and and apples plus the risk of a much shorter warranty (probably 90 days). Who is the manufacturer? Those high end laptops tend to run hot and there seems to be a higher failure rate so warranty is important in this case in my book.
Assus is manufacturer.
Looks like the warranty is from manufacturer. It does not say 90 days. I understand about ssd. Were there any deals recently for good cheap ssd for 500gb?
2016-08-27 10_38_53-Open Box_ ASUS 17.3_ G751JT-WH71(WX) Intel Core i7 4720HQ (2.60 GHz) NVIDIA .png

I've been thinking that no hdd is better then one, because it cut's weight. What makes gaming laptop heavy? I've been watching at some models that look similar spec wise, but one was 8lb and another 9.6lb. What causes the difference? Is it cooling systems? I mean that 8lb would get hotter sooner cause it has smaller and lighter radiators?