Laptop advice - Acer or something else

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 1:50 PM GMT
    Given the deals coming soon for soon to be college students I'm thinking about replacing my Sony Vaio. It has been been trouble free but the i3 processor isn't up to snuff for playing large complex maps on Civilization V. With an expansion coming out I want a laptop that doesn't slow down. I'm aware a laptop is considered a poor choice due to size and cooling constraints but I still want the mobility.

    Two in particular:

    Acer Aspire V3-771G-6814 - 17.3-inch - $799.99 available now

    17.3" HD+ Widescreen CineCrystal™ LED-backlit Display (1600 x 900) resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio
    3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-3230M Processor 2.6GHzwith Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.2GHz
    Windows 8
    NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 730Mwith 4GB of dedicated DDR3 VRAM
    8GB DDR3 Memory
    750GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drivewith Dual Hard Drive Support
    8X DVD-Super Multi Double-Layer Drive
    Multi-in-1 Digital Media Card Reader
    802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™
    10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 port)
    Bluetooth® 4.0+HS
    1.3MP HD Webcam
    Optimized Dolby® Home Theater® v4 audio enhancement
    Two Built-in stereo speakers
    2- USB 2.0 Ports
    2- USB 3.0 Port
    1- HDMI™ Portwith HDCP Support
    6-cell Lithium-Ion Battery (4400mAh)
    Up to 4-hours battery life
    7.05 lbs. | 3.2kg


    Or


    Acer Aspire V5-573G-9491 - 15.6-inch - $819.34 pre-order

    15.6" HD Widescreen CineCrystal™ LED-backlit Display: (1366 x 768 resolution; 16:9 aspect ratio
    4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-4500U Processor 1.8GHzwith Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.0GHz
    Windows 8
    NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 720M with 2GB of dedicated DDR3 VRAM
    6GB DDR3 Dual-Channel Memory
    500GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
    Digital Media Card Reader - Secure Digital™ (SD) Card
    802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™
    Bluetooth® 4.0+HS
    HD Webcam(1280 x 720)
    Optimized Dolby® Home Theater® v4 audio enhancement
    Four integrated stereo speakers and integrated microphone
    2- USB 2.0 Ports
    1- USB 3.0 Port with power-off charging
    1- HDMI™ Portwith HDCP Support
    4-cell li-polymer battery (3560 mAh)
    Up to 6.5-hours battery life
    4.41lbs. | 2.0kg




    I've never had an Acer laptop but some of the reviews from CNET and other sources are very promising. Good value, great performance, just cheap plastics.

    I'm a bit confused... spec wise I can't tell which is better. The pre-order newer unit has the i7 processor but it doesn't look as powerful as the i5 unit?

    I like the size advantage of older one available now but don't want to sell myself short when a potentially better laptop is available for only a few bills more in the near future.

    Can anyone share anything you've experienced with Acer?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 4:22 PM GMT
    If the laptop has dedicated graphics, then 4th gen processor won't be that big of a boost aside from improved battery life. As for i5 vs i7, I don't know that it would make that much of a difference. The i7 might be more future proof, but it might be underutilized as well.

    I like the specs on the 17" laptop for gaming purposes, but the real thing to look into is the performance of the GPU. You could also likely put in a second HD (SSD) to really get a smoother machine. However, a laptop that big is a beast to lug around and the battery will be short-lived based on 3rd gen processors. If it will spend the majority of your time sitting on your desk, that's one thing. If you'll be carrying it to class and other places regularly, that's quite another. The resolution isn't that great on either one, but that could help boost gaming performance since you'll be pushing fewer pixels.

    My suggestion: check out tomshardware.com. They have very knowledgable people who are really into gaming and drilling into specs and performance comparisons.

    Good luck!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 4:23 PM GMT
    mac icon_idea.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 4:34 PM GMT
    Davidolce saidmac icon_idea.gif


    Ditto! Once you go Mac, you never go back!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 4:35 PM GMT
    MileHighYo saidMy suggestion: check out tomshardware.com. They have very knowledgable people who are really into gaming and drilling into specs and performance comparisons.

    +1 for tomshardware. Another one that's better than cnet is anandtech.com.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    Jul 17, 2013 4:39 PM GMT
    Acer is affordably inexpensive, but I have to wonder about the quality of their products. I bought an LCD monitor and it only lasted about a year before the light went out.
  • madsexy

    Posts: 4843

    Jul 17, 2013 5:00 PM GMT
    I have two friends from University who took the Acer plunge when we were in school and saved a bundle. (They were confirmed PC fans vs. Mac, so that wasn't an issue in this example.) They both still have Acer laptops to this day, each with current ones, and each have bought a couple since back then. They swear by them and the saved $$ fund their bar fun. icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 5:41 PM GMT
    ATC84 saidGiven the deals coming soon for soon to be college students I'm thinking about replacing my Sony Vaio. It has been been trouble free but the i3 processor isn't up to snuff for playing large complex maps on Civilization V. With an expansion coming out I want a laptop that doesn't slow down. I'm aware a laptop is considered a poor choice due to size and cooling constraints but I still want the mobility.


    Dawg,
    Brave New World Expansion right?

    I'd get the 15". I used to lug around a 17" laptop, but ever since the switch I can't believe I had a 17" laptop.

    I personally really like Asus. I deal with computers that need to multitask Adobe Suites and Autocad and I've multitasked with CIV 5 at the same time. For games you don't need an i7 (my understanding is that the features don't help that much bang for buck). I'd get a 15" or 13" (get an external monitor for home) with an i5 processor and a better graphics card.

    A 730M? That seems fine. A 720M definitely seems too weak but here are some benchmarks:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-720M.90247.0.html
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-730M.84681.0.html


    I'd look at gaming websites like xoticPC. HP and Dell have goo inexpensive ones.
    4th gen chip>3rd gen chip for battery life.

    But yeah, a mac will last for five years or something stupid and steam is now a lot friendlier on mac.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 8:13 PM GMT
    Erik101 said
    Davidolce saidmac icon_idea.gif


    Ditto! Once you go Mac, you never go back!


    Ditto! Ditto!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 10:55 PM GMT
    Mac. I have mac book pro i7. Dont get anything except a mac for laptop save up some extra cash its super worth it.
  • Breeman

    Posts: 339

    Jul 17, 2013 11:01 PM GMT
    I've been a mac user since 1991. I use PC at work. Spend a little more and get a mac.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 11:01 PM GMT
    Macbook..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 11:02 PM GMT
    hairyandym saidMacbook..


    +1000
  • BillandChuck

    Posts: 2024

    Jul 17, 2013 11:03 PM GMT
    This is an unexpected topic. In our family, among our kids, it's Mac v. PC. Never knew of an intra-PC brand war! icon_eek.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 11:08 PM GMT
    I had a Mac. The software that I needed or wanted wasn't available for it. It kept freezing and hanging on me. I finally got a Windows PC and haven't ever looked back.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 17, 2013 11:36 PM GMT
    PGroove said
    Dawg,
    Brave New World Expansion right?

    I'd get the 15". I used to lug around a 17" laptop, but ever since the switch I can't believe I had a 17" laptop.

    I personally really like Asus. I deal with computers that need to multitask Adobe Suites and Autocad and I've multitasked with CIV 5 at the same time. For games you don't need an i7 (my understanding is that the features don't help that much bang for buck). I'd get a 15" or 13" (get an external monitor for home) with an i5 processor and a better graphics card.

    A 730M? That seems fine. A 720M definitely seems too weak but here are some benchmarks:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-720M.90247.0.html
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GT-730M.84681.0.html


    I'd look at gaming websites like xoticPC. HP and Dell have goo inexpensive ones.
    4th gen chip>3rd gen chip for battery life.

    But yeah, a mac will last for five years or something stupid and steam is now a lot friendlier on mac.



    Brave New World expansion yes! Can't wait to try some of the new interesting civs like Venice!

    As for the whole Mac vs PC seriously a 15" Pro starts at $1799.99 that is pretty much an Acer plus a cruise or an Acer and lots of drinking money icon_confused.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 18, 2013 12:51 AM GMT
    Assuming you're going to be plugged into an HD monitor or HDTV when you're not on the go, I would stick to 15" or less. Don't get too bogged down with i3/i5/i7 - e.g. latest i3 is faster than the fastest i5 from 2 years ago - you should be fine with i5+premium graphics.

    I'm high on Lenovo, and as I was perusing their website to see what might be a good fit for you, I noticed that their pure gaming laptops don't come with a touchscreen display - if you're gonna buy a new laptop you might as well get a touchscreen - so I called to talk to sales rep to see what's up with that. I spoke with Brad at 919-294-5905, and he recommended the IdeaPad Z500 Touch. Model 59361820 has the premium GPU; the web price is $1,099, however, Brad was able to offer it at $804...which brings me to my last point which is in my experience (I'm 50 and a geek) you can often get a better price from a telesales person than ordering online (that's the case with Lenovo and Dell for sure).

    http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/ideapad/z-series/z500-touch/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 18, 2013 2:29 AM GMT
    I have an IBM Thinkpad (from before IBM sold their laptop division to Lenovo) and it's a really solid laptop. Slow as hell by today's standards but it makes a nice machine for dinking around with linux.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 18, 2013 2:44 AM GMT
    I've had bad luck with Acer. Once upon a time, they were actually a decent bargain brand. But things seemed to have gotten worse over the years.

    If you want a gaming laptop, something from Alienware should be included on your short list. Also, what's interesting is that Lenovo has gotten into gaming laptops recently. And some models have an expansion bay for a secondary GPU. Seriously that's some high power nerdgasm shit. icon_cool.gif

    http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/landing_pages/ideapad/gaming-pcs

    lenovo-laptop-ideapad-y510p-keyboard-clo
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 18, 2013 3:03 AM GMT
    macbook
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 18, 2013 3:22 AM GMT
    Love my MacBook Pro