View Full Version : Laptop Buying Advice Please

20-10-2011, 06:45 PM
Hi there,

I know there are a bunch of these threads and I have had a good browse through but I would appreciate a bit of feedback if possible. I'm heading away to work for summer and currently only have a desktop so am looking to find a good value multi-purpose laptop - doesn't need to do anything too fancy (apart from being able to handle maybe 40 chrome tabs at once). From what I've read, Asus, Sony and possibly Toshiba are recommended. I am wanting to spend around $1000 max probably $1400 and am open to second hand if it is worthwhile. Have had the Asus A53SV and N53SV (http://www.playtech.co.nz/afawcs0139235/CATID=/ID=16419/SID=912086790/productdetails.html) recommended but am having difficulty comparing the models. Also I am heading to Thailand/Malaysia before work so could possibly pick something up overseas but am not entirely comfortable with this! Would appreciate any recommendations for a decent notebook that is good value for money and will last.

Thanks in advance.

20-10-2011, 09:21 PM
Wouldn't trust second hand, you never know what sort of life /treatment they have had.And generally have little or no warranty.

That model linked, just sold last week the exact same one, they run nice, do all the basic's and have a bit of power (being i5) in reserve. Only had 4GB memory though.

Removed the crap Trial AV thats comes with it (mine had Trend Micro) put something good like Nod32, run all the windows updates to keep it current.

The brands that I sell the most of are Asus &Toshiba

21-10-2011, 02:46 PM
I have bought laptops used but don't recommended unless you want a corporate line and/or a more portable laptop (that is not a netbook).
But having said that more portable laptops have dropped from $4k down to as low as $2k these days.

First, yeah you don't know the condition of the laptop, the LCD might be scratched and the battery may not hold a good charge. A replacement OEM (original) battery can cost up to $200NZ.

But what are you gonna use it for?
If it is just internet tabs like you say etc ... and it is for holiday overseas and back home casually, I might just get a iPad or an Android Pad. Battery may last longer, lighter, thinner, on the plane or bus or train they are better because with the minimal leg room you might find that you cannot push the screen back enough.

Do you need a laptop for work related like MS Office? Then go with a laptop.
But having said, if you buy in NZ and take overseas, many models don't have international warranty, they need to be sent back to the NZ servicing agent.

21-10-2011, 07:16 PM
Thanks, really appreciate the feedback especially re buying second hand - replacement batteries are relatively costly which is a good reason to buy new. The Asus looks like a pretty good deal and has 8GB of RAM. Just to clarify, I am going to Thailand first, then coming back to work away from home in Auckland over summer. I won't be needing it overseas and like you say it will mainly be for web browsing, some document stuff and then probably just watching video etc. I had one of the first eee PCs and found it a little bit too fiddly in terms of size which is why I am leaning towards a full notebook over a netbook or tablet. Just prefer a decent sized physical keyboard and good screen. Feel free to offer any other advice or recommendations in terms of what to buy!

21-10-2011, 07:57 PM

Unless you're a *real* power user, 8GB of RAM is just pointless. 4GB of RAM will likely never fully be utilized for most users at this current stage of life.

Another alternative would be to check out the Asus Transformer, because as just a tablet, it's amazing. Add in a Keyboard, and you can suddenly create content very easily! The HDMI out is awesome too :D

21-10-2011, 08:14 PM
maybe get here, you won't save that much unless you get the really top models. plus you get a nz warranty and not need to send back to asus bangkok for service. i have bought Nikon from japan and yes have sent it back at my own cost both there and back when they invoiced me. 4gb plenty. my pc still have 2.5gb free still. Battery could even be upto $300 -350

21-10-2011, 08:54 PM
The transformer is awesome. One of my customers ordered one as soon as it became available through Ingram Micro & I got to have a bit of a play with it.

21-10-2011, 10:46 PM
Nice, thanks again for the advice. Hadn't really looked into HP laptops as had kind of bunched them with Compaq, but the linked one looks like a bargain. Starting to like the look of the Transformer - especially with the keyboard dock, and not a bad price either (http://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/laptops/laptops/asus/auction-415539666.htm). So instead of getting closer to a decision I now have 3 options: an Asus notebook, HP notebook or a stylish Transformer tablet...

In terms of the tablet functionality, it would be useful on a plane etc. but I don't see myself using it a lot elsewhere. Do those that already have one find that they use them more than they thought they would?

21-10-2011, 10:52 PM
Get them from PBTech.co.nz for $699+GST including the dock (16GB)

21-10-2011, 11:04 PM
Only another $35 more for 32GB though...

21-10-2011, 11:22 PM
Fair call, if you've got the money spare, why not ;)

21-10-2011, 11:27 PM
Unless you need a bigger screen or specialized windows only software, why not go with the transformer? It can do pretty much everything except print & play windows games.

22-10-2011, 12:23 AM
Yeah .. that is pretty cool.
If you print, or need software like MS Office and/or Adobe Photoshop (or Elements) if you are into photography / videography you might need a laptop but if not ...

22-10-2011, 08:47 AM
You can still edit documents and the likes quite happily on the Transformer, Nomad. Try one first, then offer advice about it ;)

22-10-2011, 10:05 AM
I may have a look at the toaster shops one day :)

For casual use it might be ok, even on a desktop PC I have tried Open Office, just prefer MS Office personally. Ditto with Adobe products vs the alternatives. They're industry standard.

22-10-2011, 09:52 PM
True, but if you REQUIRE that, then there's no way you could get away with anything *but* a Windows laptop. For the better part, most people don't take advantage of the advanced functionality and just need basic word processing.

IF you need more, that's fine, then a tablet isn't for you.
If you can get away with that, then super, give it a try!

27-11-2011, 11:24 PM
OK, I'm back from holiday and having moved up to Auckland, am back on the hunt for some computing goodness. Thanks for all the suggestions so far but I have gone of the idea of a tablet as I don't have a major portability requirement. I just want something for my desk for the 3 months that I'm up here without having to worry about transporting or selling a desktop PC. It will also be useful for my Masters course next year.

I would really appreciate any recommendations for a good value Asus, Toshiba or HP under $1200 so that I can hopefully pick one up this week and stop having to read email on the phone! Thanks in advance.

29-11-2011, 10:22 AM
This deal ends today and looks good to me but would appreciate if someone could have a look http://www.noelleeming.co.nz/shop/computers/notebook-computers/pc-notebook-computers/toshiba-l750-03c-15-6-notebook/prod111573.html?ref=pricespy

29-11-2011, 10:26 AM
You can get faster ones with more RAM from pbtech.co.nz, for less :)

29-11-2011, 10:42 AM
Thanks for the feedback. So would you recommend this model http://pbtech.co.nz/index.php?z=p&p=NBKTOS1676917B&name=TOSHIBA-SatPro-C665-Sandy-Bridge-i5-2410M-2.3GHz-8 over the Noel Leeming one?

29-11-2011, 10:44 AM
If you want Toshiba, sure :)

29-11-2011, 11:03 AM
It's an i5 and saves me a bit of cash, if there are better options in this price range let me know! At least it's not Acer...

29-11-2011, 11:10 AM
Mostly just boils down to personal preference. If I was buying a laptop again myself, I'd forgo CPU for 4GB of RAM (I have no personal need for anything more, even with my crazy browsing habits leaving 40-50 tabs open like yourself, though YMMV) and put in a SSD myself to replace the HDD. I wouldn't care HP vs Asus vs Toshiba, they're all pretty good brands, and you could land yourself a nice laptop for ~$900 easy :)

30-11-2011, 08:23 PM
Thanks for the feedback CS. Went into PBtech today for a look and am tossing up a couple of HP models. As you say I think 4GB is enough RAM. I don't really know the difference between a good and bad video card however. Anyway this is the one I'm looking at, plus another I found on trademe.


Will probably go pick up the pbtech one tomorrow if it looks OK.


30-11-2011, 10:10 PM
Yeah it's not bad, but get them to upgrade it to 4GB of RAM for you, shouldn't cost you much to do-so :)