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Looking to buy a new laptop... review my specs

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by LT1_MASTER, Jun 25, 2011.



    Oct 29, 2008
    Hey folks. Im looking at buying a new laptop in the near future. I have a 6+ year old Toshiba Satellite that is old and reliable, but is starting to get real tired. I am looking to buy a new Toshiba and wanted to review my specs here and get input from those in the know.

    Uses: I will use the computer for work, school, and fun. Youtube videos, word processing, simple spreadsheets, general internet usage, itunes/ipod. That stuff. Nothing too technical. No gaming, no fancy photoshop work, no video editing, nothing like that.

    I would very much like to stay with Toshiba as my current laptop is old and had been very solid. 6+ years out of a laptop and the original battery is quite impressive IMO.

    Battery life isnt a huge issue. Pretty much everywhere I go I'll plug it in anyway.

    I hate slow, but I know that as processors get toward the high end you pay a lot for minute increases in speed and performance. Something midrange here is what I'm looking for. Good speed that is still a good value. My old sattelite has a 1.86ghz single core and maybe 1gb of ram and its a dog anymore.

    Here is the laptop I've picked out. Look over the specs and let me know what you all think.

    I was originally going to get a similar machine with an Intel i5-480m processor, but upon doing homework it seems that this i5-2410m processor is significantly better and the price difference is only 20$ more than the 480m machine I spec'd.

    ETA: The laptop is a Toshiba Satellite M640

    Intel® Core™ i5 Processor
    Windows® 7 Home Premium
    6GB DDR3 memory
    Intel® Integrated Graphics
    DVD SuperMulti drive
    1366x768 native screen resolution
    HDMI output
    Realtek 802.11b/g/n wireless
    Integrated webcam
    harman/kardon® stereo speakers
    Fusion® X2 Finish
    Lithium-Ion Battery (6-cell, 48Wh)
    Office 2010 Starter
    1 year standard limited warranty
    500GB HDD (5400rpm, Serial ATA)
    Intel Core i5-2410M processor 2.3GHz, (2.90 GHz with Turbo Boost), 3MB Cache
    6GB DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM (4096MB+2048MB)
    Laptop Price as Configured:$799.00

    Thanks for your time and input.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2011
  2. JimBianchi

    JimBianchi Da Da CLM

    Feb 15, 2006
    Las Vegas
    Similar machines area at Costco for $100 less, but it's a Dell.

    Good specs, not a great price.

  3. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    I agree that you hit the specs right on... Processor is *right*, Ram is very good... it will be more capable than you might expect! :cool:

    My wife's Toshiba has been a great laptop, and she never uses her 'workstation'... I will be checking the Toshiba's when the bucks come up!

    Keep in mind that the 'Back to School' days are coming... not sure if they jack the prices up then. Now is definitely the buyer's market.

    Have you looked at Amazon, NewEgg, or TigerDirect??? They run some specials at times...

    Other than that... the i5 processor is the Intel sweet spot right now if you ask me!

    Nice presentation of the purpose and the tasks the notebook is expected to run... wish everyone made it that easy! :rofl:

    Have fun shopping!
  4. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    Check out the finds at

    They have some good laptops right now.
  5. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    Here is one at Fry's, i7 Sandybridge

    Frys has Lenovo Y560P Laptop for $680. Shipping is ~$10.

    Intel Core i7-2630QM 2.0GHz
    4GB DDR3
    500GB HDD
    15.6" 1366x768 LCD
    1GB Radeon HD 6570
    HDMI & eSATA
    WiFi N
    6-cell battery
    Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit


    Oct 29, 2008
    Thanks for all the info thus far.

    There's that "sandybridge" word again. From what I understand the i5-2410M I picked out is a sandybridge processor, not that I know what that means. It seems to be a trade name for the design of the processor, and seems to be well liked, so I suppose I like sandybridge.

    I've looked over some of the sites and links posted, I'm on my BB here at work because I'm blocked from GT and any shopping sites on the work internet, so browsing is slow. It seems to me that comparable laptops on amazon and tigerdirect are priced in the same neighborhood. I found a sony that was about 100$ cheaper with very similar specs, but don't know much about their laptops, though I assume they are good.

    I appreciate the feedback on the price, but I should have stated in my original post, I specd the machine through toshibadirect because they have a nice online customize page. I don't necessarily have to purchase there, just was easy to pick out what I wanted there.

    Also important to note is that I do like the hdmi output. I also intend to use the machine for netflix, so hdmi out is a nice feature for me. Streaming video is big for me as well, am I correct in assuming this is a fine setup for my purposes? Anything I'm missing that I should be looking at?

    Thanks again!
  7. MrSmoofy


    Jul 16, 2008
    Tallahassee, FL
    anything over 4gb of ram make sure you have you get x64 OS
  8. eracer

    eracer Where's my EBT?

    Apr 5, 2011
    Tampa, FL
    i5 is a dual-core CPU. i7 is quad-core. Shouldn't matter to you.

    The Toshiba looks good, and if you are happy with the company, I say go for it.

    You can always spend more or less, and get more or less. It doesn't matter, because tomorrow you will be able to get more for less.
  9. handyman


    Aug 3, 2008
    You might want to check got Picked up a sony one got a great deal.
  10. wrenrj1


    May 22, 2002
    Mac Book Pro. Enough said.
  11. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    I got a Dell Inspiron M5030 for just over $500 at Christmas. I am very satisfied with it.


    * AMD Athlon II Dual-Core Mobile Processor P340, 2.2GHz, 1M, 3.6GT/s

    Operating System

    * Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64-Bit


    * 4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR3 at 1333MHz


    * AMD M880G+SB820M

    Video Card

    * ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD4250


    o 15.6 inch display (1366x768)

    Audio and Speakers

    * Dell Audio - 2 spkrs @ 1W ea

    Hard Drive

    * Up to 500GB2 hard drive (7200RPM)

    Optical Drive

    * Tray Load DVD+/-RW with Dual Layer DVD+R write capability


    * 6-cell 48 WHr Li-Ion Battery


    * Integrated 0.3MP webcam with Microphone


    * Wi-Fi Options:
    Dell™ Wireless 1501 802.11b/g Half Mini Card (optional)

    Bluetooth Options:
    Dell Wireless 365 Bluetooth® Internal (2.1) mini-card

    Ports, Slots & Chassis

    * Externally Accessible

    (3) USB 2.0 compliant 4-pin ports

    15-pin VGA video connector

    Integrated network connector 10/100

    LAN (RJ45)

    AC adapter connector

    Audio jacks (1-line out, 1 Mic-in)

    3-in-1 Media Card Reader

    Secure Digital (SD) Memory Card

    Multi Media Card (MMC)

    Memory Stick (MS)

    Internal Card Slots

    1 Half Mini-Card

    Dimensions & Weight

    Height: 1.48" (37.7 mm) front / 1.58" (40.2 mm) back

    Width: 14.88" (378.0 mm)

    Depth: 9.64" (245.0 mm)

    Weight: Starting weight of 6.02 lbs. (2.733 kg) (15.6" HD display, 6 cell battery, DVD +/- RW, integrated graphics). Weights will vary depending on configurations and manufacturing variability.
  12. My recommendations are in red above.

    My Dell XPS laptop is as follows:

    Intel core i7
    8gb DDR3 Ram
    Radeon™ HD 6870 1 GB DDR5 PCIe 2.1 Graphics Card
    1TB HDD
    Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 card
    Dell 9cell battery with 6 cell back up battery
    True 1080p video screen resolution
    BD read/write drive capable to read/write to DVD and CD
    2 HDMI
    1 Firewire
    5n1 card reader
    mobile card slot
    4 USB 2.0
    2 USB 3.0
    Integrated 2mp video cam
    Fingerprint reader
  13. LT1_MASTER


    Oct 29, 2008
    What is the benefit of the ATI graphics card over the integrated one? Is that something I should consider?

    Also what's the benefit of the upgraded wireless card?
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2011
  14. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    I have a Core i3 with Intel graphics and it is blazing fast. The Advanced-N wifi cards can run dual ban, if you have a dual band router and a very high speed internet connection to benefit fom dual band wifi. This is good for watching streaming TV and movies from the internet. The AMD/ Nvidia graphics / video cards are mostly for 3d games and maybe some high tech 3d programs. The newer Intel ones do fine with standard 3d stuff like Google Earth. The AMD / Nvidia ones use more power and battery than the Intel ones. They also require the fans run faster / harder / louder. The regular N wifi cards run fast enough for most things and most of the newer ones can do dual band wifi too. I almost got a Core i5 but got a really good deal on the Core i3 and it's been super fast. I run Linux most of the time and the turbo booster feature in the Core i5 doesn't work in Linux, or least not when I bought the Core i3.
  15. Hef

    Hef Stop Obammunism

    Sep 12, 2004
    Hilton Head, SC
    I use my laptop (the abovementioned Dell Inspiron M5030) for email, internet, and architectural CAD work when I am away from the office. It works well for my needs. I couldn't do the design work with IG.
  16. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    Sandybridge is the second generation (better) of the Intel i processors. The easy way to tell is the sandybridge processors are 4 digits instead of the 3 for the first generation.
  17. dkt2k

    dkt2k 'sup?

    Jul 16, 2001
    FYI, i5 Sandy Bridge cpu's are quad-core, not dual core.
  18. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    My pre-Sandy Bridge Core i3 is dual core but runs with 2 additional virtual cores so it appears as a quad core. The speed difference in Sandy Bridge isn't a whole lot but Sandy Bridge might be easier on battery life.