What laptop brands are good?

GrumpyPirate

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I work in the business for one of the brands and all brands are more or less equal. You generaly get what you pay for with the variation laying with individual models, intended use and the line of business. If you buy a cheapass computer your gonna get a cheapass computer. If you buy an expensive one youll get an expensive one but dont expect it to be more than it is. Biggest issue is consumers being entitled morons who have no idea what their doing with skyrocketed expectations, a laptop is a laptop and it will always be a laptop with its strenghts and limits. Dont expect a desktops performance in one and if you try using it that way expect it to wear out sooner much like if you put a small moped engine in a tracktor.

Forget about brands and focus on the individual models, read reviews, compare internal components and consider the warranty offered/purchased with it as this is what matters unless you desperately want a certain mark on it rather than another (HP/Dell/Asus/Lenovo etc).
 

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime

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First thing first, everyone suggesting Lenovo please stop, they've had numerous issues with being loaded with malware straight from the factory as part of their base software packages. You simply can't trust Lenovo.

Anyways OT: For off the shelf laptops higher end and higher price DELL/Alien Ware, Sony Viao, Toshiba, and HP laptops and notebooks are good choices. If you want an off the shelf gaming notebook then go with ASUS, MSi, Alien Ware, or potentially Razer. For customs Origin PC is probably hands down the best, Cyberpower is good for semi-customs, as is Alien Ware, along with Cybertron and Digital Storm.

Stay from Lenovo for the previously mentioned reason, Acer because their quality is absolute crap, and Apple Mac because for their hardware they're horrendously overpriced. Also avoid any laptop that's less than about $800 USD, because they're not very powerful and tend to start falling apart after six months to a year.
 

Xyebane

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Any laptop you are going to have heat issues and parts are going need to be replaced (if you use it for anything that is going to strain your processors anyways, such as gaming). So go with someone with good customer support.

I really like Sager (in the US, Clevo in the EU) but they are very pricey. Make sure you get a 3 year warranty. Dell's customer support sucks and they build their laptops very poorly as well. When I opened mine up they had not even attached the GPU to the heatsink, and trying to get a hold of them to fix their crappy computers is like trying to get money from an insurance company. MSI and Asus are good gaming laptops too, but at the end of the day, most of the components all come from the same place these days (China) and so they just aren't built to last. Keep that in mind when purchasing a Laptop, if you absolutely can't get a tower where you can repair it yourself as needed.
 

kurupt87

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I work in IT and buy laptops for businesses.

Dell's we have an awful history with. Any that come with 8/8.1 on just flat out break sooner rather than later. With 7 or upgrading to 10 they're fine.

HP's are good, though they stick a crapton of bloatware on, again a rebuild makes it much better.

Lenovo's are surprisingly good, haven't really had any issues.

Toshi's are good, though the cases seem a bit flimsy and tend to break pretty easy.
 

Soviet Heavy

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MSI is a good competitor for ASUS on the high end market. I got a low end of the high end gaming laptops and I've had no problems so far. I'm also the kind of guy that doesn't throw a tantrum if I get less than forty frames, so I saved a couple hundred bucks while I was at it.
 

iseko

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Buy what you need man. If you want to just work on it without gaming. Get yourself a laptop with a full hd screen, ssd (256 gig is adviced though for word/excell type stuff 128 can be sufficient), i3-i5 ultra low cloack. Intel chipset is fine. You can get a decent 14-15incher for a reasonable price in that category.

I don't like toshiba because the cases are rather flimsy. Dell... Screens are usually not that great and their keyboards/mousepads suck.

Asus makes pretty good laptops. I'm very happy with the latest 2 generations of acer laptops.

Not a clue about hp laptops.

If you want to also game on it. Seriously ask yourself if a desktop is an option. If not... 15inch-17inch full hd screen. 256gig ssd is highly recommended (msata preferably) and a second 1tb drive. I5 on higher cloak. Gt750x is lower budget. Might want to go for the 9series. These kind of laptops dont run on battery very long and are rather heavy... Plus cooling is a *****. Hence:desktop if it is an option.

Ps:most people think an i7 is better then an i5 which in select cases is true but in about 95% of the cases is not. For the general consumer there will be no difference in performance between an i5 and an i7 processor. So don't buy what you don't need. The component usually slowing down ure computer is your hdd. Analogy: slower then shit through a funnel. It is what is bottlenecking you. Invest in an ssd.

Edit: just saw you want it for 400?($?). Buy whatever you want. It is going to suck anyways. A decent (not good, decent) laptop will cost you at least 7-800.
 

sonicneedslovetoo

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If you get a Lenovo Thinkpad the laptop will be built like a brick, Thinkpads are sorta the Nokia phones of laptops that aren't for gaming.
however the biggest problem is you haven't really said what you wanted to use it for. If you just need it for non-gaming stuff and have a bit of money to throw around Lenovo thinkpad all the way. But if you want to do some gaming on it things get a lot more complicated because mobile graphics cards come at a premium these days.

Generally what we'd need to give you a proper recommendation would be a price point(you can literally spend up to $3500 on a gaming laptop these days, of course that's an extreme case with SLI) or you could pick up a chromebook like some of the other people said and wonder why you didn't spend slightly more and just buy an android tablet with a bluetooth keyboard.
 

The Enquirer

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Dirty Hipsters said:
Had a Lenovo Thinkpad and it was a piece of shit. The keyboard was great but it had a defective motherboard that died after a year (just outside of warranty). This was a known problem with lenovos at the time but they still refused to fix it.
I've been running the same Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 for about three and a half years and haven't had any issues with it actually. Granted I'm upgrading to a custom desktop now. Though I'll admit from what I saw when I was looking at laptops when I bought this thing, the ThinkPads didn't appear to be the greatest.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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The Enquirer said:
Dirty Hipsters said:
Had a Lenovo Thinkpad and it was a piece of shit. The keyboard was great but it had a defective motherboard that died after a year (just outside of warranty). This was a known problem with lenovos at the time but they still refused to fix it.
I've been running the same Lenovo IdeaPad Y580 for about three and a half years and haven't had any issues with it actually. Granted I'm upgrading to a custom desktop now. Though I'll admit from what I saw when I was looking at laptops when I bought this thing, the ThinkPads didn't appear to be the greatest.
Had my thinkpad back in 2008, it died in 2009 and cost me about $1100 if I remember correctly.

No idea if they've gotten better about their component quality since then, but I honestly wouldn't give them the time of day after the way I was treated by this awful customer service department.

There is a well known issue with the nVidia discrete graphic system used on T61 series ThinkPads. It was first discovered in 2007 that these GPU chips were experiencing a greater then anticipated rate of failure. Although the rate of failure is believed to be low, perhaps less then 1%, with millions of units produced this adds up to a significant number. nVidia began addressing the problem as early as February 2008, but neither nVidia nor Lenovo ever admitted publicly that the chips were defective. The issue was handled as one of quality control with no "official" revisions issued, and no recalls. Failure rates sharply declined after February 2008, but it wasn't until July 2008 that Lenovo removed the subject Planar Cards (motherboards) from production, replacing them with cards based on a new shipment of GPU chips.
https://t61.wikispaces.com/
 

Poetic Nova

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Have 2 laptops myself, one from Acer, the other one being Toshiba.

The Acer one worked fine, except for gaming, but the last year I used it overheating became a thing. Now, you might ask' "why not gett rid of the dust"? That's the thing, the overheating component sits right below the screen, but above the hinges. And the frame holding it in place is kinda busted.

The Toshiba one however. Own it for 2 years now, outside all the pre-installed garbage it came with (which is now gone, same for the recovery partition it shipped with) it works great.
 

Amir Kondori

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100% without doubt buy an HP business class notebook. That means Elitebook, Z-Book or Probook, although some Probooks are better than others.

Great build quality, great hardware, great support. I've worked IT support for ten years and been inside a lot of laptops, that is what I recommend bar none.
 

Arnoxthe1

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Amir Kondori said:
100% without doubt buy an HP business class notebook. That means Elitebook, Z-Book or Probook, although some Probooks are better than others.

Great build quality, great hardware, great support. I've worked IT support for ten years and been inside a lot of laptops, that is what I recommend bar none.
Yeah, I second this. A lot of people are on here bashing HPs but honestly...

I bought a refurbed ProBook. There was exactly ONE problem with it and it luckily manifested itself right when I got it. The 3.5mm audio output jack was bunged up completely. I sent it back in and waited some weeks for them to fix it up. (Honestly though, compared to a lot of company's support, that's pretty good.) But afterward. Not a single darn problem since. Ever. I think I accidentally dropped it a little a couple times too while it was running. Didn't do anything whatsoever to it.
 

SmugFrog

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Before I continue let me state my computer hardware experience:

I've owned and upgraded 4 desktop computers, one built for myself, and I've built a couple for other people.

So far I've owned 8 laptops.
Compaq
Sony Vaio
Dell XPS
Dell laptop (my wife's)
ASUS ROG
2 MacBook Pros
another ASUS ROG


My primary interest is in gaming, so I'm always looking for a computer that can perform well and in recent years I turned to laptops for a desktop replacement for when I travel. A few of the failures I've encountered have been due to the rough conditions of travel or work environments.

Here's my recommendation to you in case this is all TL;DR and you want the short version:

You didn't really state what you're wanting to use it for, so depending on that you'll want to do some research to see what is the best deal for the specifications you want. The only way to do that is to do a lot of reading! My current laptop is an ASUS ROG laptop to replace my previous one that is still going after 5 years. ASUS has my recommendation as Lenovo and MSI - I've not owned those 2 brands but for the price I've had friends that have enjoyed their laptops (one stepped on his screen and broke it, the other dropped his and broke it - so not sure about longevity outside of user-induced accidents). So really, what you should do is have a computer savvy friend shop around with you based on your price point and features you are looking for in a laptop. Set what you're willing to spend and see what you can get - but be aware you're going to get what you pay for ($600 for what you expect to be a good gaming laptop probably won't be).

My best advice to you is to do thorough research. Depending on what you will be using your laptop for, check what specifications you need, price shop and narrow down your choices, look at reviews, scour the forums dedicated to that brand/model, and do a Google search for that particular model number to see what people are saying! If there's a problem you see stated often, you might want to reconsider or look at an extended warranty. Nothing is worse than your laptop failing outside of warranty and the cost of repair is equal to the cost of a new laptop.

I hate it when a friend comes to me and says, "Is such-in-such a good laptop/hard drive/video card?" I don't know! I just use Google to do the research and find out the price value / reliability. This information is easy to find.

IceForce said:
There's no 'right' answer to this. Everyone will tell you something different.
There may not be a right answer but there's definitely a 'wrong' answer - if a friend came to me and told me he bought a Dell; I'd be disappointed with their decision and I would hope they don't have the same problems I did. That doesn't mean every Dell laptop breaks. The truth is any laptop can break, even the most endorsed. It's just the inevitability that some electronic components are going to fail - a certain percentage of them always will. It's just a matter of if you're one of the unlucky people. HOWEVER, some brands tend to use poorly manufactured components and those laptops WILL BE more prone to failures! Why put yourself at risk? There are clear numbers that show the number of failed returns and complaints for particular brands as well as ranking of their price value and reliability.

A user with a specific brand will tell you their brand is great as long as it isn't broken. Often reviews and complaints about a particular brand come about when there are problems - hence why it's easier to find bad reviews. Unfortunately, if you're looking at buying a newly released model type you're not going to have a lot to go on.

As for as the laptop's I've owned in the past:

The Compaq was a good laptop. I didn't put much research into it, and needed a laptop ASAP - but that was back in 1997 and I've heard so many complaints about them over the years and I think they've fallen to the bottom of the list on reliability (do a search for most reliable laptops).

I loved my Sony Vaio, but unfortunately after about a year it got knocked off a table and just wasn't right after that. It started having problems and died a slow sad death. I looked for another Sony Vaio a few years later when looking at laptops again, but it seems Sony backed out of the "gaming laptop" market.

My Dell XPS was a gaming powerhouse. This was right before Dell acquired Alienware (which, after that I knew Alienware was nothing to look up to anymore and I've since come to see overpriced laptops as simply that - overpriced based on brand name). Unfortunately my XPS started overheating and would shut down. The fans wouldn't even kick on and I downloaded some software that would force them to stay on at high speed. This allowed me to play games on it, but it eventually died while it was still within warranty (11 months). I went through a long process of tech support, returning it, getting it repaired and mailed back to me. I extended the warranty for another year, and it worked great until the year was up and then it started having the same type of overheating problems. Finally one day it just died and wouldn't turn on.

My wife's Dell started having problems a couple of months after we owned it. We had purchased it before my XPS started having problems and the specifications on hers were even better than my XPS, but my XPS had a better graphics card. The fingerprint reader started overheating and was hot to the touch (hot enough to cause a burn). I removed the top part of the case and disconnected the cable going to the reader. One of the kids ended up knocking it off of a coffee table and busting the hinges up where it wouldn't open or close correctly. I repaired the hinges best I could but she just refused to use it and it got placed in a drawer and forgotten about.

The ASUS ROG stealth design laptop was big shortly after that - a lot of my friends were picking them up and though a few were having various software related driver issues, the reviews (and price!) were favorable enough that I picked one up too. I've loved that thing - other people paying upwards of $2000 - $3000 for laptops to do the same mine was capable of. With careful maintenance it is now going on 5 years and my kids use it for gaming. The DVD drive stopped working around the 3rd year (likely due to impact damage) but other than that it has been great.

I picked up a MacBook Pro to do software development on, and I have to admit they're very user-friendly. My wife loved it so much she wanted one too, so we got a second one. We both had hard drive failures (probably due to kids for hers and rough work environments for mine), and she has a lot of slowdown on hers due to who knows what she has installed - but she is looking forward to getting another one. These are overpriced laptops, IMO, very particular to the type of stuff you're going to be doing on it. It can be a good laptop, but find a friend that has one you can play with and don't expect to be doing a lot of gaming on it.

My second ASUS ROG and current laptop failed the second day I had it. HOWEVER, I had purchased it as a refurbished laptop (which I won't do again). I got it through Newegg (which I've used for years), and they will readily take failed items back. I suspect it was the SSD that had failed (my first laptop with one), and after calling ASUS support they sent the information to Newegg who then sent a box for a return. Unfortunately, Newegg didn't have the same model in stock so it took over a month before they finally had a replacement I was happy with. We went with an open box (due to Newegg's return policy, I wasn't too worried about if it had problems - I once returned 2 motherboards to them and received replacements before I realized it was my father-in-law's video card that was frying them). My wife talked them into giving us another discount and overnight shipping too. I received this one around May of last year and I'm loving it.

sneakypenguin said:
"Any" laptop brand is good. If you buy the good laptop from that brand.
Sounds like you haven't owned many computers in your life. There's a remarkable difference between different brands and their reliability and longevity. With computers, often you get what you pay for - until you get up to some of the overpriced ones where you're buying based on name brand alone.

Hairless Mammoth said:
Dell isn't horrible. Personally, I avoid HP and Gateway. Everything HP makes finds a way to anger me, eventually. I've never heard praise for Gateway, and my family's old Gateway is the noted screw puker.
When you've had a couple of Dells break it kind of sours you on them. They've fallen off on reliability, if you do some research. HP I've always heard horrible things about, and back in the 90's Gateway was supposed to be good - but after the millennium I've heard nothing but bad of them.
 

IceForce

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Arnoxthe1 said:
Amir Kondori said:
100% without doubt buy an HP business class notebook. That means Elitebook, Z-Book or Probook, although some Probooks are better than others.

Great build quality, great hardware, great support. I've worked IT support for ten years and been inside a lot of laptops, that is what I recommend bar none.
Yeah, I second this. A lot of people are on here bashing HPs but honestly...
I have to quote these two people and agree.

The build quality on business class laptops usually far exceeds the build quality of domestic class. The reason for this is because companies mass-order them in huge numbers, and if there's some fatal fault with them, then the company will simply take their business elsewhere.
To put it another way: Pissing off a large company is a lot more dangerous than pissing off the odd consumer here or there. So the laptop manufacturers tend to put more care into the manufacture of their business class laptops.
 

Saulkar

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Xyebane said:
I really like Sager
Ditto. My Sager NP9150 is going to be three years old this March (256GB O.S. SSD, 500GB Data SSD, 32GB RAM, 680M, I7 3740QM, and Windows 7). It has served me well as a mobile workstation but I am thinking about upgrading its GPU. I am waiting till the next line of mobile Nvidia cards come out before I decide on getting that or going with an older 980M if it is incompatible or too expensive.
 

PureChaos

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Thanks for all the replies, wasn't expecting so many or to be so helpful!

Seems like Lenovo and Asus got the most recommendations but it's seeing how far the budget can stretch as the Asus ones I've seen have been at least ?900. Lenovo seems to come with a lot of crap ("bloatware" seems to be the coloquial term) but that could be fairly easily remidied. MSI got a lot of mentions as well. Not heard of them so will have a look into them.

To answer a few questions:

What I'll be using it for: possibly the most strenuous thing will be recording game footage/video/audio and editing it all for my YouTube channel (even then I use Windows Movie Maker becasue it's free and does what I need it to do so even that is fairly simple stuff). I'm on the internet a fair amount on random sites (here, failblog, facebook, a few game related sites, YouTube) but that's about it. I'll use Word, Excel and all that but not for anything complicated.

Someone mentioned a desktop: can't be done, I don't have anywhere to put it.

Business aimed laptop: WAAAAY too expensive.

Price: for some reason it put in a ? but it should be a ? (in case that comes up an another ? it should be a pound sign).
 

Jark212

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I'm rocking a Asus G74S gaming laptop which is on the more expensive side (just over $2000) but I've had it 3 years and it survived a 8 month Navy deployment with me, and is still going strong.
 

Hoplon

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PureChaos said:
Thanks for all the replies, wasn't expecting so many or to be so helpful!

Seems like Lenovo and Asus got the most recommendations but it's seeing how far the budget can stretch as the Asus ones I've seen have been at least ?900. Lenovo seems to come with a lot of crap ("bloatware" seems to be the coloquial term) but that could be fairly easily remidied. MSI got a lot of mentions as well. Not heard of them so will have a look into them.

To answer a few questions:

What I'll be using it for: possibly the most strenuous thing will be recording game footage/video/audio and editing it all for my YouTube channel (even then I use Windows Movie Maker becasue it's free and does what I need it to do so even that is fairly simple stuff). I'm on the internet a fair amount on random sites (here, failblog, facebook, a few game related sites, YouTube) but that's about it. I'll use Word, Excel and all that but not for anything complicated.

Someone mentioned a desktop: can't be done, I don't have anywhere to put it.

Business aimed laptop: WAAAAY too expensive.

Price: for some reason it put in a ? but it should be a ? (in case that comes up an another ? it should be a pound sign).
your keyboard is set to the US region. have to change it in regional settings. if you indeed want too.
 

PureChaos

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I have narrowed it down to 2 laptops:

An Asus: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01931E660?ref_=gbps_tit_s-3_3127_f5aaf2f5&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

And a Toshiba: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-Satellite-L50-B-1HX-15-6-inch-Notebook/dp/B00N5TP0QC/ref=sr_1_10?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1452900189&sr=1-10&keywords=toshiba+laptop

Leaning more towards the Asus at the mo...though it feels like I'm betraying Toshiba doing it!