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vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:14 PM
My 9 year old needs is own laptop. This year he can do his homework on the pc if he wants so I'm teaching him to type. He plays minecraft, wolfquest, and Y8 games. He's just a kid, I'm not going to invest in some expensive thing but want to get him something decent. I found this one; do you see anything that is a red flag?

Dell Inspiron 17R N7110 17.3" Laptop (Intel Core i7-2630QM Quad-Core Processor, 8 GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit)

Product Features

Intel Core i7 Processor
750GB Hard Drive
17.3-Inch Screen
Windows 7 Home Premium

Processor, Memory, and Motherboard

Hardware Platform: PC
Processor: Intel Core i7
RAM: 8 GB

Special Features

Gaming Series: Yes
Processor: Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 2.0GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz)
Battery Type: 6-cell lithium-ion
Display Type: High-definition WLED with TrueLife technology (900p)
Screen Size (Measured Diagonally): 17.3"
Cache Memory: 3MB
System Memory (RAM): 8GB
Type of Memory (RAM): DDR3
Hard Drive Type: SATA (5400 rpm)
Computer Hard Drive Size: 750GB
Optical Drive: Double-layer DVD±RW/CD-RW
Direct-Disc Labeling: No
Digital Media Reader or Slots: Yes, digital media card reader
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 3000
Built-in Webcam: Yes
Networking: Built-in 100/1000 Ethernet LAN
Wireless Networking: Wireless-B+G+N
Bluetooth-Enabled: Yes
PCMCIA Slots: 1 half mini card
USB 2.0 Ports: 3
Battery Life: Up to 5 hours 32 minutes
HDMI Output: Yes
Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Wireless Capability: 4G WiMAX

Hard Drive

Size: 750 GB

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:15 PM
Far more than enough for a 9 year old. A College student would be more than happy with that.

Is this a serious question, or are you trolling us?

kepp
07-24-2012, 04:18 PM
Yeah, I would think that's way more than a 9 year old needs. I got my 8 year old daughter a refurb with a 14.1" screen for $200 or so.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:20 PM
Far more than enough for a 9 year old. A College student would be more than happy with that.

Is this a serious question, or are you trolling us?

I don't troll like that. I'm an end user, I come in here from time to time to get input from the uber tech savvy posters like LAZ,Face, LAZ,Otter, LAZ etc.

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:23 PM
Yeah, I would think that's way more than a 9 year old needs. I got my 8 year old daughter a refurb with a 14.1" screen for $200 or so.

Seriously.

Something decent for a 9 year old would be like a 15" with an i3 and 4 gigs of Ram. That'd be a nice machine that'll be more than capable of doing anything he needs it to do.

Unless he's going to be playing Black Ops II on it with high graphics settings or doing video editing, an i3 is more than capable.

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:24 PM
I don't troll like that. I'm an end user, I come in here from time to time to get input from the uber tech savvy posters like Face, Otter, etc.

Yeah, it's not really needed. It's a bit overkill, though there is nothing wrong with getting him something real spiffy if that's what you wanna do.

Count Alex's Losses
07-24-2012, 04:25 PM
It's a fucking i7. That thing's a beast.

Just get him an i3.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:26 PM
It's a ****ing i7. That thing's a beast.

Just get him an i3.

I want the 17" screen and the newest processor so it will go a month or two before it becomes obsolete.
Do you know if the Intel HD Graphics 3000 card is any good?

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:27 PM
It's a ****ing i7. That thing's a beast.

Just get him an i3.

Yeah.

It goes like this:

i3 = Entry level. But it's a freaking sweet entry level processor. Really fast, just not built for intense gaming is all.

i5 = Mid level.

i7 = The cream of the crop. The bee's knees.

Fish
07-24-2012, 04:27 PM
Overkill.

I probably wouldn't purchase a 17" computer for a kid. They don't need or generally care about screen size. And the weight and size would be cumbersome and easy to drop for little hands.

Looks to be a great computer. I just question giving it to somebody under 10. But you know your kid.....

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:29 PM
I want the 17" scren and the newest processor so it will go a month or two before it becomes obsolete.
Do you know if the Intel HD Graphics 3000 card is any good?

I've heard it's garbage. But if you're looking for a discreet graphics card, the cost of the machine will go up by a few hundred at least.

However, Acer makes a sweet $700 Laptop with a i5 and Discreet graphics. I think Pestilence bought one.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:30 PM
Overkill.

I probably wouldn't purchase a 17" computer for a kid. They don't need or generally care about screen size. And the weight and size would be cumbersome.

Looks to be a great computer. I just question giving it to somebody under 10. But you know your kid.....

Thanks Fish. I'm getting this at a good price so I'm not dumping $ on the kid.
I'm not worried about it being too much; I'm interested to know if you see anything in the specs that you would stay away from?

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:31 PM
Also, if you want a nice laptop with a decent GPU, you could also look at the AMD processors with the A6 or A8 chips.

The A8 would be more equivelant to an i5, but with better integrated graphics.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:31 PM
I've heard it's garbage. But if you're looking for a discreet graphics card, the cost of the machine will go up by a few hundred at least.

However, Acer makes a sweet $700 Laptop with a i5 and Discreet graphics. I think Pestilence bought one.

Thanks D.
I don't know what discreet graphics means. When you say "garbage" what do you mean? Is this from the perspective of a serious internet gamer or just every day regular user?

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:35 PM
Thanks D.
I don't know what discreet graphics means. When you say "garbage" what do you mean? Is this from the perspective of a serious internet gamer or just every day regular user?

Garbage would from a serious gamers perspective. As in, you wont get the most out of the latest games, but they can still be played reasonably well.

Discreet graphics just means it has its own graphics card, like a PC.

I wouldnt worry about the Intel 3000 being an issue.

Count Alex's Losses
07-24-2012, 04:36 PM
Seconding the 17" is too big.

Kids are careless and clumsy. Be easy for them to drop a 17" laptop.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:37 PM
Garbage would from a serious gamers perspective. As in, you wont get the most out of the latest games, but they can still be played reasonably well.

Discreet graphics just means it has its own graphics card, like a PC.

I wouldnt worry about the Intel 3000 being an issue.

Thanks D.

Dicky McElephant
07-24-2012, 04:38 PM
This is what I got.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1798038&CatId=4938

It was around $100 less when I got it....but this thing does everything I need it to do and more.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:39 PM
Seconding the 17" is too big.

Kids are careless and clumsy. Be easy for them to drop a 17" laptop.

Thanks GC. Other than that do you see anything that would make you say " don't buy this"?

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:39 PM
Also vail, know that the Intel HD 3000 isn't actually a seperate graphics card, like what you're use to seeing in a PC. It's more of an integrated Graphics accelerator.

But for a 9 year old, it should be just fine. If he's not trying to play MW3 on its highest settings, it should be fine.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:39 PM
This is what I got.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1798038&CatId=4938

It was around $100 less when I got it....but this thing does everything I need it to do and more.

Thanks Pest, that looks like a nice unit. Are you happy with it?

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:41 PM
Also vail, know that the Intel HD 3000 isn't actually a seperate graphics card, like what you're use to seeing in a PC. It's more of an integrated Graphics accelerator.

But for a 9 year old, it should be just fine. If he's not trying to play MW3 on its highest settings, it should be fine.

Looks like I have some learning to do. Is this like the battery in my wife's new Evo that is built in and I cant change it for a new one even if I want to?

Dicky McElephant
07-24-2012, 04:41 PM
Thanks Pest, that looks like a nice unit. Are you happy with it?

I'm more than happy with it. It runs great with only 4GB RAM right now. I'm planning on upping it to 8GB in the next month or two.

I can play Diablo 3 on the highest settings....and I've got no lag when working with Photoshop or Illustrator.

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:41 PM
This is what I got.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1798038&CatId=4938

It was around $100 less when I got it....but this thing does everything I need it to do and more.

Yeah, this is the one i was talking about. The thing about this machine is that it has a dedicated graphics card and is NOT using the Integrated intel graphics chip.

Even though it has a lesser proccessor, it would likely out "Game" your i7.

Dicky McElephant
07-24-2012, 04:42 PM
If you know how much you want to spend.....spend some time looking around here.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Overstock/overstock_slc.asp?page=10&CatId=17&category=Laptops

It's all of their clearance deals. It's where I found my laptop at. Just pay attention and scan past the refurbished models (unless you don't care about buying refurbished).

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:42 PM
Looks like I have some learning to do. Is this like the battery in my wife's new Evo that is built in and I cant change it for a new one even if I want to?

Uhmmm....I dont know if you can have a graphics card added to it or not.....good question....

Dicky McElephant
07-24-2012, 04:43 PM
Looks like I have some learning to do. Is this like the battery in my wife's new Evo that is built in and I cant change it for a new one even if I want to?

It would be costly to swap out video cards in a laptop.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:43 PM
I'm more than happy with it. It runs great with only 4GB RAM right now. I'm planning on upping it to 8GB in the next month or two.

I can play Diablo 3 on the highest settings....and I've got no lag when working with Photoshop or Illustrator.

Yeah, this is the one i was talking about. The thing about this machine is that it has a dedicated graphics card and is NOT using the Integrated intel graphics chip.

Even though it has a lesser proccessor, it would likely out "Game" your i7.

Thanks guys.

Count Alex's Losses
07-24-2012, 04:44 PM
Thanks GC. Other than that do you see anything that would make you say " don't buy this"?

Nothing. An i7, on the positive side, would probably please him because it'd be so fast.

Also, if he likes movies, and you allow him to downlodad them onto his laptop, the HDMI would be nice to output to a big screen TV. Use the laptop just like a bluray player, basically.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:45 PM
It would be costly to swap out video cards in a laptop.

Good to know. This one can last for 2 or 3 years and we'll go from there.

Fish
07-24-2012, 04:45 PM
Thanks Fish. I'm getting this at a good price so I'm not dumping $ on the kid.
I'm not worried about it being too much; I'm interested to know if you see anything in the specs that you would stay away from?

Well... the video card is the only thing I'd question. The Intel HD 3000 is OK, but not great. It's an onboard card, meaning it shares memory with the system. That's not a problem unless you anticipate running high graphics games on high video settings. It will likely do OK for most games if you turn the settings down, but you won't be running new games at max settings by any means. Depends on how important that aspect is to you.

Intel i7 chip is bad ass.
8GB RAM is more than enough.
HD is only 5400rpm, but not a huge deal.
Battery should last a long time.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:46 PM
Nothing. An i7, on the positive side, would probably please him because it'd be so fast.

That is key. He takes videos and pictures; one of the things I want him to be able to do is play them back/edit them on the machine. One of the reasons for wanting the bigger screen.

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:49 PM
The only thing i would be concerned about is heat. Those Mofo's can get real hot.

Laptops in general have cooling issues.

HP's are notorious for heat related failures.

As a 9 year old, you wanna make sure that he's not setting the thing on his bed or actually using it on his lap and blocking the ONE vent that is usually on those damn things.

I dont know if the size of the machine makes a difference in how much heat it generates or not, but my two 17" laptops generate a helluva lot more heat than my 14".

That could also just be because they have better hardware in them too i suppose.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:50 PM
Well... the video card is the only thing I'd question. The Intel HD 3000 is OK, but not great. It's an onboard card, meaning it shares memory with the system. That's not a problem unless you anticipate running high graphics games on high video settings. It will likely do OK for most games if you turn the settings down, but you won't be running new games at max settings by any means. Depends on how important that aspect is to you.

Intel i7 chip is bad ass.
8GB RAM is more than enough.
HD is only 5400rpm, but not a huge deal.
Battery should last a long time.

Looks like I'll need to learn how to adjust games so they aren't on max settings if/when it comes to that. The only games my boys play on the computer is minecraft, wolf quest and Y8 games.
Appreciate the detailed input.
I'm getting a solid deal on this but wanted to hear there was more good than bad about the machine.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:51 PM
The only thing i would be concerned about is heat. Those Mofo's can get real hot.

Laptops in general have cooling issues.

HP's are notorious for heat related failures.

As a 9 year old, you wanna make sure that he's not setting the thing on his bed or actually using it on his lap and blocking the ONE vent that is usually on those damn things.

I dont know if the size of the machine makes a difference in how much heat it generates or not, but my two 17" laptops generate a helluva lot more heat than my 14".

That could also just be because they have better hardware in them too i suppose.

Glad you said that. I have mine on one of those stands with the two little fans underneath it. Think I'll surf on over to Amazon and order one for the new one.

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 04:52 PM
Looks like I'll need to learn how to adjust games so they aren't on max settings if/when it comes to that. The only games my boys play on the computer is minecraft, wolf quest and Y8 games.
Appreciate the detailed input.
I'm getting a solid deal on this but wanted to hear there was more good than bad about the machine.

It's a sweet machine. I'd just watch that he's not blocking the vents, especially during gaming or video editing.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 04:56 PM
It's a sweet machine. I'd just watch that he's not blocking the vents, especially during gaming or video editing.

I'll be sure and speak with him about it. Him and his little brother both. He'll be wanting to play that damned Club Penguin thing on the new lapper I'm sure. Thanks again.

vailpass
07-24-2012, 05:16 PM
Well... the video card is the only thing I'd question. The Intel HD 3000 is OK, but not great. It's an onboard card, meaning it shares memory with the system. That's not a problem unless you anticipate running high graphics games on high video settings. It will likely do OK for most games if you turn the settings down, but you won't be running new games at max settings by any means. Depends on how important that aspect is to you.

Intel i7 chip is bad ass.
8GB RAM is more than enough.
HD is only 5400rpm, but not a huge deal.
Battery should last a long time.

Told my guy what you guys said about the video card, he said he can get me one with an HD 4000 graphics unit.
Sound any better or pretty much the same thing?

Detoxing
07-24-2012, 05:20 PM
Told my guy what you guys said about the video card, he said he can get me one with an HD 4000 graphics unit.
Sound any better or pretty much the same thing?

I havent read much about it, but what i did read said that the HD 4000 Doubled in Frames per Second vs the HD 3000

vailpass
07-24-2012, 05:21 PM
I havent read much about it, but what i did read said that the HD 4000 Doubled in Frames per Second vs the HD 3000

Good enough for me, even if I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. :)

Fish
07-24-2012, 05:45 PM
Told my guy what you guys said about the video card, he said he can get me one with an HD 4000 graphics unit.
Sound any better or pretty much the same thing?

Now you're talking..... That coupled with the i7 will be very nice.

Do it...

http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/1511/ivybridgebenchmark.jpg

vailpass
07-24-2012, 05:51 PM
Now you're talking..... That coupled with the i7 will be very nice.

Do it...

http://img528.imageshack.us/img528/1511/ivybridgebenchmark.jpg

Thanks Fish; appreciate the expertise you , Detox, Pest and Gochiefs shared.

Mr. Laz
07-24-2012, 06:30 PM
I don't troll like that. I'm an end user, I come in here from time to time to get input from the uber tech savvy posters like Face, Otter, etc.
well since i'm not named face or otter, i'll just back away.

:harumph:

vailpass
07-24-2012, 06:54 PM
well since i'm not named face or otter, i'll just back away.

:harumph:

Huh? Perhaps you should go back and re-read that. Your eyesight is going out old man.

DaFace
07-24-2012, 07:46 PM
I don't have much to add that hasn't already been mentioned. I'll throw another vote in the "don't get a 17-inch" pile. Those things are monstrous and are kind of a pain unless you're using them as a glorified all-in-one desktop.

KC Jones
07-25-2012, 08:49 AM
If you want to look at graphics capabilities of laptop cards this is a good place to do it:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-3000.37948.0.html

You'll see frame rates for loads of games on various settings. Truth is, that Intel HD 3000 isn't going to cut it for modern games. May not be an issue now, but in 2-3 years when he's wanting to play things more graphically intensive he'll be bugging you to upgrade.

What I've noticed with kids that age range is they want to play the game but don't care that much if they are playing it in a lower graphics mode. Definitely get the HD 4000 over the 3000, but be aware that a few games won't play at all on an integrated GPU like that. The 4000 offers a lot better DirectX 11 implementation so it should be better on that front.

Oh, and on a parenting note - fully expect this thing to be for 99% gaming in the years to come. Resistance is futile. I use openDNS to prevent porn (not that mine are at that age just yet, but I know it's coming) and a monitor so I can see how much time is spent in games vs. other activity. Our rule is 30 minutes gratis of gaming after chores and schoolwork, then 1:1 gaming time to reading time.

Fish
07-25-2012, 09:22 AM
Dr. Jones brings up a good point. You might consider some sort of Nanny software on there to try and keep the porn out. Boys will be boys....

vailpass
07-25-2012, 11:48 AM
Dr. Jones brings up a good point. You might consider some sort of Nanny software on there to try and keep the porn out. Boys will be boys....

Oh yes. I have Net Nanny on the home PCs and on their phones.

vailpass
07-25-2012, 11:50 AM
If you want to look at graphics capabilities of laptop cards this is a good place to do it:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-HD-Graphics-3000.37948.0.html

You'll see frame rates for loads of games on various settings. Truth is, that Intel HD 3000 isn't going to cut it for modern games. May not be an issue now, but in 2-3 years when he's wanting to play things more graphically intensive he'll be bugging you to upgrade.

What I've noticed with kids that age range is they want to play the game but don't care that much if they are playing it in a lower graphics mode. Definitely get the HD 4000 over the 3000, but be aware that a few games won't play at all on an integrated GPU like that. The 4000 offers a lot better DirectX 11 implementation so it should be better on that front.

Oh, and on a parenting note - fully expect this thing to be for 99% gaming in the years to come. Resistance is futile. I use openDNS to prevent porn (not that mine are at that age just yet, but I know it's coming) and a monitor so I can see how much time is spent in games vs. other activity. Our rule is 30 minutes gratis of gaming after chores and schoolwork, then 1:1 gaming time to reading time.

Cool, thanks for the insight. I use NetNanny, Haven't seen openDNS. How do you like it?

KC Jones
07-25-2012, 09:21 PM
Cool, thanks for the insight. I use NetNanny, Haven't seen openDNS. How do you like it?

I love it. It's free and I have it configured at my router so I don't even have to worry about other kids bringing their laptops over and getting on my network. It's fairly course grained to be sure, and I just have it set to block:

Drugs
Sexuality
Tasteless
Pornography
Nudity
Web Spam
Adware

One would think tastless might block CP, but it's for rotten.com and those types of sites.

vailpass
08-05-2012, 11:51 AM
I love it. It's free and I have it configured at my router so I don't even have to worry about other kids bringing their laptops over and getting on my network. It's fairly course grained to be sure, and I just have it set to block:

Drugs
Sexuality
Tasteless
Pornography
Nudity
Web Spam
Adware

One would think tastless might block CP, but it's for rotten.com and those types of sites.

KCJ: thanks much for the OpenDNS tip. I wasn't aware this was the protection method of choice for so many schools and corporations. I am using it on this PC only as a test before going network wide, have it set on moderate. I can't fine-tune it as much as Net Nanny, at least not yet, but it is very effective. The big thing is being able to block at the router level which is where I'm headed I think.

Thanks again.

CoMoChief
08-05-2012, 01:16 PM
In response to the OP, that's a helluva laptop for a 9yr old.