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First of all, I hope I came to the right StackExchange; I've seen some posts about laptop recommendations, so I think this is the right place to ask those questions.

I'm thinking of buying a new laptop. My current one is a Samsung Sens X170 with a dual core at 1.30GHz, 3GB RAM, and integrated graphics (OpenGL 2.xx support). My requirements are:

  1. $500 budget limit – I don't have a Windows serial, so about $600 including the serial
  2. Samsung – not because it's the best, but all the other AS systems are rather disappointing except Samsung in my country, and I'm a rather clumsy person...

I'm thinking of going to France next year, so I'm considering a laptop that is quite widely used in France (so that I can take AS easily?). In other words, I'll not limit my options to Samsung. ASUS seems to be doing OK here.

  1. 11-13 inch screen(I'll allow 15 inch but it shouldn't be too heavy), durable, low electricity consumption is preferable
  2. I play games a lot, yes, but I usually play old games. My old Sens X170 even had a hard time playing Diablo 2 and DOOM with user mod. I'd just be happy if I can play games pleasantly that came in around 2005-2006.
  3. I don't do much work related to graphics, but I often do some simple programming (R/LaTeX/Python) and I'm willing to learn more about it.
  4. I do have a 2TB HDD so much space is not strictly needed.

I haven't installed Windows by myself, but I think I can do it and it would be nice to learn how to do so. Actually, if installing Linux is not much of a hassle, I'm thinking of using that this time and pushing up the budget to $600. When old games refuse to be played on Linux, I can still use my old laptop instead, I'm thinking.

Any recommendations are welcomed.

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I've recommended it before but I'll recommend it again (and no, I swear I'm not an Acer employee): the Acer Aspire E1-572. It's a little over your specs in some ways, but it's a good laptop, especially for the price.

  • i3/i5 (in newer versions) quad core 1.7 GHz
  • 8 GB DDR3L RAM
  • 1 TB internal HDD
  • Removable/replaceable battery (handy for being away from power sockets)

Mine came with Windows 8 installed. Newer versions may come with Windows 10. Installing Linux is about as easy as it is on any > Win 8 machine - they don't like it, but it can be done.

On programming capability: I use mine for some heavy programming (small games in Java and C#, plus utility Python 2.7 and 3.4), so you're sorted there.

On gaming: again, I use mine for playing games that are more modern that what you'd be playing on it. I usually end up on mid-low graphics settings because of the lack of dedicated graphics card (it has integrated Intel graphics), but again, older games should be better for that.

I don't have an exact figure for price, but it's under $600 - I got it for around £300, which was about $470 last time I checked.

  • Thanks for your recommendation! But I think 15 inch/2kg is a bit too heavy for me since I move with it REALLY A LOT. That looks nice though. – Taxxi Oct 11 '15 at 11:31
  • @Taxxi It's actually one of the lightest laptops I've had. 2kg you won't even notice. I go around with mine in a backpack. – ArtOfCode Oct 11 '15 at 11:48
  • Hm... I'll consider about it more. I also use my backpack but it's usually something like water+some papers or books+laptop. Probably 2kg might be ok. – Taxxi Oct 11 '15 at 12:00
  • is there a way to add an ssd, possibly by removing the optical drive? – jiggunjer Nov 24 '15 at 1:52
  • @jiggunjer I haven't tried so I can't say for sure, but I doubt it. To be honest though, if you want an SSD use an external SSD - the internal drive is absolutely fine for most things. – ArtOfCode Nov 24 '15 at 7:48

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