Question On Buying A Computer From You Smart People

It’s been awhile since I’ve purchased a laptop. My Samsung lasted 6 years before the hard drive died. I’m still pretty tech savvy, but, thought I would ask you smart people what you think.

I’m looking at 3 laptops, but, the primary two are the HP Envy X360 at Best Buy and the HP Pavilion 15Z at CostCo. The first is $670 and the latter is $649.

The X360 has an AMD FX 9800, running at 2.7ghz. The 15z runs an AMD A9-9410 at 2.9ghz.

Graphics card slightly faster on the X360. Both have 1Tb memory. Both have 15.6″ screen. Both have lighted keyboards. Same screen resolution. Both touch screen. Both quad core. Same 2gb cache. Most things are pretty similar.

Here’s where they diverge. The X360 has 8gb of ram, no DVD player, no ethernet port, and has a 7200rpm hard drive, so that HD is fast. It is also a 2 in 1, so the screen folds all the way back. Nice, but does mean that the screen wobbles a little when you move it. Keys are soft.

The 15z has 16gb of ram, DVD burner (cannot find if it is dual layer), ethernet port, and the HD is 5400rpm.

Kinda leaning towards the X360, because, while less ram (and not upgradable), that hard drive blazes. I do have an external DVD burner which can be used for installing programs (have a couple that require this), and can always get both a dual layer dvd burner and an ethernet to USB adaptor, both cheap.

What are your thoughts? Of course, it also depends on whether Costco actually has it in stock.

BTW, I prefer HP’s over Dells and Lenovos, of which can get some pretty good ones from $500 to $700. I like where HP puts the US on the right side, high near screen, due to using a mouse so close to the laptop.  Sadly, Samsungs are expensive and hard to get. I will not purchase without touching and playing.

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9 Responses to “Question On Buying A Computer From You Smart People”

  1. Dana says:

    I hate laptops, I despise laptops, I abominate laptops!

  2. gitarcarver says:

    I would always go with more memory than the faster HD. The disk cacheing between the HD as compared to the memory will make the system seem slower on heavy memory applications.

    I would suspect that in the next year, you would change the drive out to an SSD or a hybrid, so the 7200 wouldn’t matter as much to me.

    The “Super Multi DVD,” according to people on Tom’s Hardware and other sites will support “dual layer” DVD’s I am not sure if that is read only or read and write.

    Other forums say it won’t support dual layer drives.

    All agree that if the drive supports dual layer, it will have “DL” on the drive or the box or something.

  3. samoore says:

    You’ll see more of a performance difference with the greater RAM than between the hard drives, especially with some applications.

    Unless the definition has changed, a Super-Multi DVD should read/write just about any media you give it.

    And, for me, an RJ-45 port is always a good thing.

    Have you priced a 15Z at Amazon?

  4. Armed and Larry says:

    Do a search for ‘Discount Electronics’, you can get a really nice laptop for an excellent price, they are refurbished but come with a one year warranty. I’ve bought from them for years and never had a problem.

    Disclaimer: I don’t work for them and have no financial or other connection with them except that I buy from them.

  5. captainfish says:

    Best option is SSD hard drive. that is faster than a 7200 rpm drive. Not much price increase. Then at least have 16gig ram.

    The AMD FX-9800P has 4 cores and is cooler running. The AMD A9-9410 only has 2 cores and is a bit warmer. Thus, the FX is 2x as fast as the A9.

  6. Good info, people, thank you. Gives me a bunch to think about.

  7. gitarcarver says:

    On the SSD front, NewEgg has SSD’s in the $250 range. They are faster than any platter based HD and less prone to damage. Also, these drives were about $$500 – $700 in March, so they are coming down.

  8. Jonathan Smith says:

    Hard to beat Costco, since they double the manufacturer’s warranty and provide concierge service. I have one off being repaired for a failed hard drive right now, and it was a year out of the manufacturer’s warranty. They will repair it for a reasonable fee if it was pilot error causing the problem.

  9. Casey says:

    Rule of thumb true since, well, forever: always buy the most ram you can afford.

    16Gb is superior to 8, and the lack of an upgrade would bother me tremendously. Best of all you can use some of that extra ram for a drive cache. On the other hand, I remember when 5400rpm was state of the art. If memory serves the old mfm/rll drives ran at 3300rpm.

    Lack of an ethernet port is also problematic. If the laptop has a USB port or esata port it’s not that hard to set up an external optical drive. For that matter, you can dump stuff to another system in your house or to a network drive, or even an sd card. USB card readers are cheap.

    An SSD upgrade later is a valid future path. Remember when all computers had floppies? These days a lot of new systems don’t even come with an optical drive. In a few years I expect the laptops at least will come standard with an SSD.

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