Thursday, August 2, 2012

Buying a new Laptop at Rs 45,000/-

My beloved HP Pavillion Tm2 died on me last week. The earlier tx1000 and this tm2 has been through extreme torture by me and I cannot blame it for having given up. I, as my usual ritual goes, opened up the tm2 to it's very internals to try and locate the problem, which though I'm not certain, but most probably seems like a burnout of the NVIDIA display chip or the AMD processor. (both are very heat-prone anyways)

So, that meant buying a new notebook on an urgent basis and that too on a limited budget of Rs. 45,000/-
The basic web searches narrowed down the results to some HP G6 series devices, the Dell Inspiron 15R series and the Lenovo ideapad z5x0 series.

The HP got discarded first, because the unavailability of discrete graphics and also a little higher price than the ceiling I'd set for myself.
Between the 15R and the ideapad, there was not much to choose. They were both coming at 45k, they both had almost the same hardware configuration. (the ONLY difference was that the 15R comes with ATI Radeon graphics while ideapad comes with an NVIDIA).
The problem with Dell is that you need to pre-book your laptop and they'll deliver it to you within 5 days. But since I needed it ASAP I stuck with the Lenovo.

The specs of Lenovo Z580am are as follows (the 'am' part denotes the level of user-customization)
Intel Core i5 Ivy-Bridge 3210M
15.6" LCD
Dolby Digital Home Theatre
Windows 7 Home Basic (upgradable to Win8Pro @ Rs. 699 /- )

The generic Z580 comes with 4GB Ram, 1GB Graphics memory and 500GB HDD though.

Also Lenovo gives users some things to be happy about. There was a goodie bag containing a mouse, usb light, headphones, a NatGeo DVD, LCD cleaning kit, Mousepad, Keyboard protector film, USB card reader and some other things I don't remember.
Also a Philips 'Soundbar' worth Rs 2499 /- came with it too. And I must say it really makes good sound.

Now coming to the general user experience.

Obviously coming from a model more than 2 years old, this one is a huge hardware jump. But ofcourse I'm missing a few things. The touchscreen and pivot-jointed screen which could be folded back reverse to turn the notebook into a slate was the biggest turn-on for me to get the tx1000 and later the tm2. Sadly that's out of fashion now. As my good friend dakshmay says, it's better to get a 45k laptop and a 20k tablet rather than a 65k hybrid.

Also the screen it a little too big for my comfort. Now don't get me wrong, I cannot stand anything below 20" on a home PC but having used 12 inchers for last 4 years. 15.6" is difficult to manage and quite heavy too.

The thermals are awesome. Though I'm not your usual hardcore gamer, but I do stress the CPU a lot running Android OS compilations and 3D simulations. And I MUST say, the heat generation is not high at all. Ofcourse that's not surprising given that I doled out about 5k more for a 3rd Gen Ivy-Bridge instead of a 2nd Gen Sandy-Bridge just to see if 3rd Gen really reduces heat.

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