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Posted: 1/1/2003 2:50:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 3:15:33 AM EDT
I have read many, many good reviews on Toshibas but have never had one. I have a Sony that has been excellent for me but many say that Sony's service sucks and blows bigtime. I do know that Sony makes it extremely difficult to talk to any humans.
The extended warranty price seems a little high.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 3:19:34 AM EDT
Both the Toshiba & Dell get high ratings from PC World magazine.

CPU wise, go with a Pentium 4 over the Celeron.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 3:46:42 AM EDT
My Toshiba was the biggest POS ever. And we won't even talk about how poor their service was when I tried to get it fixed (three times). I replaced it with a Dell and will NEVER  switch.

Buy Dell.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 4:01:56 AM EDT
I personally would recommend IBM. My old company tried to save a few bucks by buying Toshibas, but they had so many problems with  Toshibas, they switch back to IBM. The IBMs will cost a bit more(probably around 20% more), but if you're going to actually carry around to different places, it could be well worth.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 4:39:18 AM EDT
I bought one as a Christmas gift about two weeks ago.

After doing a little comparison shopping, I went with the Compac 1516US from Best Buy (and, of course, had to tell them I didn’t want the extended warranty about 20 times).

The regular price was $1299 (their website has it at $1399, which apparently is wrong).  At the time they had two rebates for it, one from Best Buy for $200 - which I think has ended - and one from Compac for $100.

Thus it cost me $999 plus tax, which was absolutely as much as I wanted to pay!

Salient features:

Pentium 4, 2.0 gigahertz processor
256 DDR SD-RAM memory
30 MB hard disk
14-inch screen (though I would’ve preferred a 15-inch one)

I tried it out and found that watching a DVD was a bit irritating since you had to pretty much keep your head in one position to see the screen well.  Otherwise the screen washed out.

OBTW - while I wouldn’t absolutely refuse to buy a Toshiba, I still hold a grudge against them for selling machinery to the U.S.S.R, which was used to make Soviet submarines quieter (long story).  
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 4:48:20 AM EDT
I work with guys that own Toshiba's and they are having alot of "issues" with them.

I own a Compaq and am [b]very[/b] happy with it. The model is Presario 2700. It's a year and a half old and I use it all the time. It is holding up great. (Hope I didn't just jinx myself) I would highly recommend it.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 4:57:36 AM EDT
I agree that IBM makes nice laptops and I really enjoy using their older ones like the model 600 and 770.

I am also not wild about Toshiba laptops.  We have them at work and all of them still work but we have had a few hard drive failures, which I believe happen because the Toshibas run really hot and have poor cooling.

We are now mostly buying Dell laptops and I like them.  They seem less sturdy than IBMs but time will tell.

Consider getting a refurb model at www.compgeeks.com or even a used one from Ebay.

Link Posted: 1/1/2003 5:07:21 AM EDT
I will never buy from a "mainstream" company again. They cut corners left and right to market a product to a meet certain price points. Don't fall for the "name brand" BS either. Few companies make their own laptops - the only real "name brands" are in the components.

The folks at www.pclaptops.com are the best - and pro-gun to boot. However, they are located in Utah - so if you want local service, you may want to stick to a local company. If you are willing to work through the mail (and get really fast turnaround in the unlikely event that you need warranty work done) - I recommend them.

Adam (a gushing fan)

edited to add: I can't seem to get their website to come up - should you experience the same problem, give 'em a call at 877-596-7283.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 5:26:57 AM EDT
I agree that IBM makes nice laptops and I really enjoy using their older ones like the model 600 and 770.

I am also not wild about Toshiba laptops.  We have them at work and all of them still work but we have had a few hard drive failures, which I believe happen because the Toshibas run really hot and have poor cooling.
View Quote

I agree about the older IBMS. I've "inherited" an IBM 755CD and 760. Very reliable machines. I spoke with a laptop tech once, and he says that the thing the most often fails on a laptop is the harddrive, because of the jostling.

BTW: I had a failure of the "track pointer," the mouse-equivalent on another 755CD, IBM serviced it and air-friegthed back within 5 days.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 6:15:45 AM EDT
If you buy Dell, you buy jobs in India - Dell has moved their customer service to India.  Another contribution to the econmic decline of the US.

Hell, maybe all the laptop manufacturers have move their customer service off shore; but I sure won't buy anything from a company that has.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 7:47:59 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 8:18:50 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 10:43:50 AM EDT
I got a Dell notebook PIV 1.6mhZ with a combo drive and 768mb of 2100 266mhZ DDR ram.  I think that major ram helps a lot!  So far so good.  Just takes a week to tweek xP the way YOU want it.

Link Posted: 1/1/2003 11:30:46 AM EDT
Before you settle on one, check the Alienware web site. One of the guys I work with is waiting for his to ship. They have some high speed gear on that web site.
good luck.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 11:36:56 AM EDT
I've had four Toshibas over the last 10 years.  I never had a problem with any of them.  I have used IBM and Dell for work and hate them both.  I'd recommend getting a Toshiba.  You also might want to look into SOTEC.  They're a Japanese company that sells through WAL MART.  They (WALMART) have a slim model in a Magnesium case for under a grand.  In fact, you can find it at SAM's CLUB for $898.  
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 11:43:20 AM EDT
As someone who has had to support laptops on a daily basis for 5 years, I have to recommend an IBM Thinkpad.  I've worked with multiple brands (Compaq, Toshiba, Sony, Dell, etc) and the IBM's are [b]by far[/b] the most reliable.  And on the rare occassion I have a hardware issue, their customer support is superb.  They will overnight you a shipping box with pre-paid overnight postage back to them.  Turn around is typically 3 business days from the time the shipping company picks the package up from you.

You should have no problem finding models in the $1200 area with all the options she wants.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 11:50:04 AM EDT
Regardless of how good their computers might be, keep in mind that Toshiba got pinched by the US Govt a while ago for selling stealthy technology to the Russians (from memory it was the machinery and technique to make their submarine propellers as quiet as those on US submarines).

The best kind of laptop you get in part depends on how much traveling will be done with it and the type of work one will do with it.  Dell and IBM both have a fairly wide range of models and have usually decent warranty service so they're not bad places to start. In my experience (IT-type guy dealing in part with laptop-equipped sales reps) IBM and Dell tend to stand up better to abuse than HP or Compaq, for example.

Since your g/f wants to watch DVDs she'll want at *least* a 14" screen which generally means a heavier (6-7 lbs) laptop.  With the newer laptops the battery will last +/- 2 hrs playing a DVD, so she'll probably want to get 1 or 2 spare batteries as well.

A few features:

- minimum 14" display
- 512 MB memory
- Either XP or Windows 2000 Pro
- spare battery/batteries
- combo DVD/CD-RW drive
- either integrated network adapter or a 32-bit PC card
- mini-PCI slot is nice to have in case a wireless adapter may be useful down the road

You can sometimes get used laptops at good deals as well.  To play DVDs any Pentium-4 processor or even a Pentium-III 650MHz or faster will be just fine in a laptop.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 11:51:29 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 11:53:40 AM EDT
Very happy [b]Sony VAIO[/b] owner here.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 12:07:10 PM EDT
I work in the PC biz, and have for years. My old laptop was a Toshiba. Worked fine, but was built cheaply. I didn't want a Compaq, because they are made by third parties and just branded as Compaq (at least that was true a few years ago when I worked for them). IBM Thinkpad is a top of the line machine, so I bought one. Zero issues with it. Check out the IBM website for more details. They also have great deals on used, off-lease machines at great prices. The ones I've seen can't be told from a new one.

Disclaimer: I don't currently work for any of the mentioned companies.
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 12:24:16 PM EDT
[size=3]So is everyone else including IBM. Compaq is the best that I've had so far. It is an Evo800. The difference being the metal case that helps the transfer of heat. Also, big LCD screens are a hassle if you need to work on airplanes but don't fly business/1st class.[/size=3]
Link Posted: 1/1/2003 12:32:21 PM EDT
Get a Dell. Dude.

Service is damn good.  Best bang for the buck.
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