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Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

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fefrie
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Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#1 Post by fefrie » Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:26 pm

I looked at some basic HP laptops today. $400 for an AMD something, 4gb ram, 500GB hard drive.

Terrible. Laggy running windows 10.

I thought that it should be much better than a t60, but it's not.

For the same price, I'll get a t420 that's three years old.

What am I missing here? Shouldn't low end modern laptops be better than a t60?
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Dec 12, 2015 4:39 pm

You are missing that those craptops have those awful AMD CPUs.

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#3 Post by fefrie » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:18 pm

It did have an amd cpu. But surely 2015 amd should be a lot better than a core duo 2?
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#4 Post by hhhd1 » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:00 pm

fefrie wrote:It did have an amd cpu. But surely 2015 amd should be a lot better than a core duo 2?
not necessarily,
compare the amd cpu and the T60's cpu benchmark scores in here:
https://cpubenchmark.net/
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#5 Post by MikalE » Sat Dec 12, 2015 7:15 pm

The only reason I would buy anything newer than a T/W520 is if they changed the keyboard to what is on those laptops.

My main computer is a T520 i7 processor with most of the bells and whistles that could be ordered, and upgraded to a 500GB SSD while retaining the 500 GB 7200 spinner drive with Mint loaded, 16 GB of ram, and external DVD/Blue Ray burner, running Win7 Pro 64.

I wouldn't trade this machine for anything less than a P70.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#6 Post by brchan » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:01 pm

Also remember that consumer laptops often get loaded with much more junk/bloatware than business class laptops. Not to mention that the support, build quality and durability will be less. I have seen way too many (~1.5 year old or even newer) consumer laptops on my campus that have warped casings, dim/preassure marked screens, and broken hinges. Entry level HP laptops seem to be the worst in these fields, especially with snapping hinges. This is followed closely by Dell.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#7 Post by MrMaguire » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:16 pm

fefrie wrote:What am I missing here? Shouldn't low end modern laptops be better than a t60?
You're not missing anything. Those laptops are terrible because people want them that way. Hardly anyone is willing to pay $1000+ for a laptop anymore. And the ones that do get MacBooks.

It's pretty much a problem with everything. You can't even buy a decent toaster anymore.

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#8 Post by Saucey » Sun Dec 13, 2015 2:55 am

It probably has a brand name speaker system that adds $400 to its price and an illuminated keyboard.
Oh and $200 worth of software! :roll:
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#9 Post by n2ri » Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:03 am

compare original retail prices on the computers and see why Cheaper aint better, just cheaper.
my old IBM 701c butterfly keyboard was a better comparison of modern Laptops and when it sold in the late 1980s was over $3k. and the only thing better now is memory size and CPU speed. nothing sold today in laptops can beat the T6x through W701 series IBM/Lenovos laptops. even with newest CPUs. the old beasts will hold up years past when these new POS jobs are recycled. the new ones are made for people like My Bro inlaws that still use AOL and when it gets loaded down with virus's and malware they just trash them and buy another to start fresh on web whoring them. instead of practicing safe browsing since they are not IT wiz guys LMAO

a family friend thats 95 is in hospital and his son bought him a new laptop to use there then take it home at night but he still misses his old PC at home as its got all the stuff he uses on it. thats why I went to laptops like my T61 and W500 for complete portable PC use and business workspace even though retired disabled now.

for what new craptops sell for I would buy a real good W520 instead

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Dec 13, 2015 8:26 am

@n2ri:

If you are the last poster in a thread:
please use the edit button on the right bottom of your last post, to add new lines instead of adding new posts!

(I combined them for you in the above case).

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#11 Post by pianowizard » Sun Dec 13, 2015 11:41 am

fefrie wrote:I looked at some basic HP laptops today. $400 for an AMD something, 4gb ram, 500GB hard drive.
Sounds like you played with this laptop at a local store. So, I just went to bestbuy.com to find an HP laptop with 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, an AMD processor, and a list price slightly under $400US, and since you didn't say touchscreen, I assumed it's non-touch. This is the closest model that I could find: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-15-6-lap ... Id=4416035

The processor is E1-6015, whose benchmark score is 946 (https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cp ... PU&id=2552), which is comparable to low-end Core2 Duo. That, and the bloatware are the best explanations for the sluggishness.
brchan wrote:Entry level HP laptops seem to be the worst in these fields, especially with snapping hinges. This is followed closely by Dell.
Brand hardly matters when it comes to entry-level laptops because they really aren't designed by HP, Dell etc. but instead by the ODMs such as Quanta, Compal, Wistron and Foxconn. At your school, you come across broken HPs and Dells more often than other brands simply because most cheap laptops around you are HPs and Dells. All brands sell sub-$400 laptops, but consumers looking for such laptops tend to gravitate toward brands that they recognize, which usually means HP or Dell. They realize that these super cheap systems are all crap, but feel more comfortable if they have at least heard of the brand.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#12 Post by TTY » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:02 am

fefrie wrote:I looked at some basic HP laptops today. $400 for an AMD something, 4gb ram, 500GB hard drive.

Terrible. Laggy running windows 10.
Depends on what the computer was doing at the time. If it's installing monthly updates to the operating system, most computers will act sluggishly.
What am I missing here? Shouldn't low end modern laptops be better than a t60?
If we're talking Canadian dollars here, CAD 400 is approximately USD 293.

If a 15.6" model is OK with you and you would want to add an additional CAD 180, you could get a Lenovo G50-80 with an Intel Core i3 processor at 2.2 GHz. I set up a predecessor to that model (G500s, Core i3 @2.2 GHz) a year ago, and during the short time i had it, i found performance to be acceptable. These low cost models might have 5400 rpm hard drives instead of 7200 rpm ones, but that's probably the kind of trade-off one has to accept in this price range.

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... -_-Product
Last edited by TTY on Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:06 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#13 Post by Puppy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:23 am

E560 Core i5 with 15" FHD IPS (first ThinkPad laptop with such display :roll: after years) pricing is very good. E460 14" FHD IPS is a bit more expensive.
Last edited by Puppy on Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#14 Post by Ibthink » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:31 am

Puppy wrote:(first ThinkPad with such display :roll: after years)
Not true, last years ThinkPad Yoga 15 also had a FHD IPS screen.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#15 Post by Puppy » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:35 am

Ibthink wrote:Not true, last years ThinkPad Yoga 15 also had a FHD IPS screen.
Well, I mean a classic laptop without glossy touch screen and matte film making horrible screen door effect.

Also check Acer Aspire V13 (V3), the build quality is better than Lenovo IdeaPad series.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#16 Post by pianowizard » Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:53 pm

TTY wrote:If we're talking Canadian dollars here, CAD 400 is approximately USD 293.
Oops, I had no idea the Canadian dollar had dropped that much!

Best Buy Canada has this HP 14-incher with AMD CPU, 500GB HDD and 4GB RAM for $399.99 Canadian, which is likely what the OP was looking at: http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-ca/product/hew ... 1bd926en02

It uses the same AMD E1-6015 CPU that I previously looked up though, so the conclusion remains the same: it's comparable to a low-end Core2 Duo processor.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#17 Post by KentT » Wed Jan 20, 2016 5:00 pm

The consumer grade laptops of today, to put it nicely, are horribly built junk. Delicate, flimsy hinges, made of of low quality material. I'll take an old T 410/510 or T420/520 over any HP Envy or Pavilion, any Toshiba, any Dell Inspiron, Acer anything, or anything from Asus. My 5 year old T 510 and 6 year old Dell Latitude E 5510 are still stable and reliable machines (and I didn't get either new) and will be still running a few years or more down the road most likely when the modern craptops will be in landfills. You get what you pay for.

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#18 Post by Summilux » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:19 am

KentT wrote:The consumer grade laptops of today, to put it nicely, are horribly built junk. Delicate, flimsy hinges, made of of low quality material. I'll take an old T 410/510 or T420/520 over any HP Envy or Pavilion, any Toshiba, any Dell Inspiron, Acer anything, or anything from Asus. My 5 year old T 510 and 6 year old Dell Latitude E 5510 are still stable and reliable machines (and I didn't get either new) and will be still running a few years or more down the road most likely when the modern craptops will be in landfills. You get what you pay for.
I disagree. Got my mother one of those Mac-looking aluminium Asus a few years ago, and the feel & quality is quite nice from what I've seen. I would even say that the build quality is better than my X220's, with its easily cracking plastics.

The keyboard is a different story - but that's mainly because it isn't a Classic Thinkpad type.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#19 Post by Hans Gruber » Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:43 pm

I do not think the CPU today is nearly as important as having an SSD drive. Without an SSD, even modern laptops with an i7 processor suck. The speed or problems of being lethargic are due to slow hard drives. I loaned a friend one of my T61's with a spinner drive and he told me it was a piece of junk but worked. He has a T410 with an SSD. I asked him what he thought of the build quality of the machine. He said it was good, just slow as hell.

If you buy a new laptop, a clean install of windows is the first thing you should do.

Build quality of the chassis is as important as the CPU quality.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#20 Post by brchan » Thu Jan 21, 2016 7:11 pm

Asus build quality in general is actually decent. I remember even one of their $100 netbooks had satisfactory build quality and a nice rubber matte finish (though the case flexing was a different story).
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#21 Post by aptivaboy » Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:12 pm

As with all things, you get what you pay for. I have two reasonably fast HP Envys, and both have held up rather well. The older one has a brushed aluminum frame and has been through trips, a hospital stay, and other travails and has held up quite nicely, with only a small crack on the screen's frame. On the other hand, my sister's El Cheapo Toshiba is fairly mediocre in many ways.

I've found that while the SSD is important (my newest Envy has one, and its a blast!), the OS is likely more important. I despise Win 10, and Win 8 isn't much better. I don't mind waiting a few seconds for the hard drive to spool up since I mainly use my machines for solid modeling, some light rendering and typing. In other words, most of my work is RAM and VRAM intensive, not storage intensive.

Cheap laptops will be cheap in a great many other ways than price.

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#22 Post by KentT » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:23 pm

Asus also features for Americans, horrible bad tech support, depot service which is slow, often as not never repairs a machine correctly. And hard to get parts outside of warranty. The worst support and service for me in the PC industry. HP Envy and Pavilion suffers from weak screen hinges, which go loose easily. Many models suffer from delicate AC charger jacks. And AMD models often have motherboard issues. Plastic and flimsy. HP Pavilion/Envy models help keep the repair shops in business. MacBook Air is a machine which has Soldered RAM, non user replaceable battery, difficult to impossible to upgrade storage, and overheats under any kind of sustained workload too easily.

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#23 Post by bit_twiddler » Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:14 pm

There are (probably) some nice laptops coming out, but not for $400.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/10006/vai ... his-spring

Dell, Lenovo, and HP are coming out with new portable workstations, but none of them are
in the price range you mentioned.

The T420 makes a great machine with an IPS FHD upgrade, but I must be one of
the very few who has one that doesn't have the "glitch."

You could get a T420s and upgrade the screen, and that would probably be in your
price range, or you could go with a W520, if you are willing to carry something a little
heavier. A T520 sounds like a nice machine, if you can get one with a 1920x1080 screen.

If you can get a used Thinkpad in good condition, and either refurb it yourself or
have someone on this forum do it for you, you'll be miles ahead of anything that
you can buy new for less than $1200 or so. If you can live with a maximum of
8gb ram, an older machine may suffice.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#24 Post by thinkpadcollection » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:26 pm

After 1 year old mother's asus netbook died, father and I got her a G570. Worth the trouble was also on sale and still working. Also I maintain notebook for her by charge the battery once in a while, since she has had retired from school so notebook get rarely used and now about 3 years old now; battery is still fresh as ever. I just upgraded this thing (was 2GB, bumped to 4GB) now then to 8GB and swapped B960 to i5-2450M as CPU was on best deal from ebay.

Cheers, thinkpadcollection

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#25 Post by Utwig » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:59 am

Friend bought one of those 200€ specials (lenovo something with AMD CPU, 2GB RAM). I looked up the CPU and benchmarks and it was about on par with 1.3GHz Core2Duo which is very slow by today's standards. Small amount of RAM and spinning HDD do not help.

I think for decent laptop you still have to pay more than 500€. I recently paid ~600€ for T420s with i7, 8GB and SSD. On that machine OpenSuse boots to login screen in 8 seconds and it absolutely flies.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#26 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:18 am

thinkpadcollection wrote:1 year old mother
WOW. :lol:

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#27 Post by Dekks » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:14 am

dupe deleted
Last edited by Dekks on Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#28 Post by Dekks » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:15 am

KentT wrote:The consumer grade laptops of today, to put it nicely, are horribly built junk. Delicate, flimsy hinges, made of of low quality material.
I get friends to buy X61 machines from ebay and i add a SSD RAM etc and they will last kids through college & uni easily for writing papers etc. No need to buy the crap cheap machines unless they are doing a course that needs power like maths or CS. They have outlasted a few macbooks too in the durability stakes too.
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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#29 Post by TonyJZX » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:46 pm

The laptops here from $200 to $600-$700 new from the big electronics stores are largely rubbish.

You know the drill, Pentium 3540 if lucky, 4gb ram, 500gb hdd and a gloss 1,366 x 768 screen.

Even Lenovo are in the game, ie. sometimes a great cpu like an i7-6500, 8gb, 1tb, same glossy 1,366 x 768 screen for $799. Sounds like great value but you know its basically trash surrounding a great cpu.

90% of people out there buy this [censored]. I know its tough for you people to take this because you know why it doesnt work for 'professional Thinkpad enthusiasts'.

We have very particular tastes. I mean a fellow enthusiast showed me this:

https://system76.com/laptops/lemur

$800 or so for an i7 fhd ips unit - I could live with that granted its a compal or clevo whatever creaky plastic box but hey, what ya gonna do.

Right now I'm on a T400s I bought exlease and built mainly from offcut parts and its close to being perfect. The kbd is the best there ever was, the build is T quality, I cant say enough good things about it.

Another thing to note is that Intel is going on a power saving binge. They're not really chasing cpu performance any more. What is Windows 10 asking for as far as cpu goes? Not much.

So they're targeting power and cost. So you're going to get relatively slow cheap 9w cpus. Benchmarks show the Pentium class 9w cpus arent matching Core2Duos from 5yrs ago. And AMD... lol. Why would you buy AMD anything? Full disclosure I do like AMD GPUs have been a fan of Phenoms and Opterons and that sort in the past but now? Nah.

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Re: Are new cheap laptops really that bad?

#30 Post by rdxlord » Mon May 02, 2016 5:27 pm

The general problem with almost all the comments here - people think what doesn't work for him is junk. It's not.

The VAST MAJORITY of laptop users DON'T even need a PENTIUM for their computing needs, a modern CELERON is perfectly capable of running Windows 10 x64, playing youtube videos, browsing the web, and then some. Most people don't care much for an FHD display, you don't really need a very high pixel density for browsing the internet. Back in the '90s, people were perfectly comfortable with 800*600, it's silly to say 1366*768 is so fugly that it's completely unusable. Unless you're a videogame buff or you're in graphics designing, a 1366*768 is perfectly capable of serving your needs. And when you want to watch a real high-def blu ray quality movie, it's much better to watch it in a theater, or at least on a real TV instead of a laptop- however expensive.

The plastic case doesn't matter. Plastics are amazingly tough. A LOT of cell phones have plastic casing, and they need to endure much more physical abuse than a typical laptop. As long as you and your doggy don't play fetch with the laptop, or there's a design issue (looking at you, HP), a plastic case should be fine. Some HP's (including some very expensive Envy's) have a design flaw that causes the hinge to snap. They know about it, and they will fix the broken hinge for you, free of cost, even if the product is not covered under warranty any more. This doesn't mean ALL plastic laptops are junk. Doesn't mean ALL HP's are junk. Doesn't even mean all Envy's are junk. (There are lots of current/old plastic HPs with no snapped hinges, including Pavilions. And Envy's are metal, yet some of them have snapped hinges. It's a design issue, the stress is not uniformly distributed while pulling the lid open, and the screws don't hold)

Keyboards- if you need to type a lot, you will probably find the BEST thinkpad keyboard a bit annoying as well--you'd want a full sized full stroke external USB keyboard in this case.

To sum up, cheap laptops are not plain junk. When used properly, they will last a real long time and by the time they die, the user would have probably saved enough to purchase another new (cheap) laptop. Pair a cheap celeron laptop with 8GB (every current mobo/BIOS supports at least 8GB) of RAM and a decent SSD, you'd be amazed at what you see. Even with a spinning 5400 classic HDD and 4GB of RAM, it's not a complete waste, it's still very very usable for the vast majority of consumers.

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