Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cheap, High-Quality Laptops for Students to Consider

When it comes to laptops, students have a harder time going about which ones to buy. On the one hand, they are at an age when video games and media content are among the priority considerations for a computer, necessitating sufficiently powerful laptop components. On the other hand, they are also at that point in their lives where they are more often than not financially severely limited.

If you count yourself among them, below are some under-$600 portable PCs with fairly brawny laptop parts to help you get started. 

1.       HP Pavilion dv6z Quad Edition

The 15-inch HP Pavilion dv6z Quad Edition is one hefty laptop indeed, and I’m not just talking about its size. The laptop is powered by an AMD Fusion APU which grants it more graphical power than the average chipset with an integrated GPU.

For added oomph, there’s also the optional Radeon HD 7690M dedicated video card which you can get for just an additional $75. Granted, it puts the total price of the unit at $25 beyond the desired $600 price point (the base price of the laptop is $549); but if you really think about it, that’s still a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than other laptops with comparable graphics capabilities.
2.       Dell Inspiron 14z

If you’re not that big a fan of video games, the Dell Inspiron 14z may be your ticket. It is powered by an Intel Core i3 processor which is more than enough to run most current programs without a hitch. Also, the laptop is still able to run some of the more recent games if you are so inclined, although you’ll have to make do with lowered graphical settings.

It’s 14 inch, 4 pound chassis makes the Inspiron 14z one of the lightest and thinnest laptops around. It’s available in both Fire Red and Mocha Black variants, and its battery can last you as much as six hours.

3.       Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420

Like the Dell Inspiron 14z, the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E420’s internal laptop parts include the Core i3 CPU, 4 GB of RAM, and a hard drive with 320 GB of storage space. Furthermore, it even costs just as much as Dell’s machine.

The laptop components and the $549 price tag are where the similarities end, though. Whereas the Inspiron 14z has greater battery life and a lighter weight, the Edge E420 seems to be a bit lacking in those departments.

Still, it makes up for those shortcomings with its excellent control inputs; hardly a surprise considering this is, after all, a Lenovo computer. The keyboard’s keys are very comfortable to use, the touchpad is highly responsive, and the trackpointer gives a great alternative to pointer movement controls.
4.       ASUS U31 

What’s great about this laptop is that, at $600, the laptop components installed in it make it sound like you’re getting a great deal (which you are). The Intel Core i3 CPU and the GeForce GT 520M graphics card should be able to run most current 3D games at mid to lower-high settings. Moreover, the battery can last up to eight hours of continued use.

Compared to the Pavilion dv6z, though, the screen is smaller, measuring only 13.3 inches. Still, if you can live with that in exchange for a price tag $25 cheaper, then the ASUS U31 is for you.


Benita Bolland said...

The Dell Inspiron 14z--- it’s the laptop that I bought for my nephew! I gave it to him as a birthday present. Whenever I visit them, I always make it a point to check-up on it. Well, of course, to see if he’s really using it. Haha! And, it’s really nice to see how he values it. ;)

Benita Bolland

Brandon Hudson said...

Very informative and well written post! Quite interesting and nice topic chosen for the post.

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