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Posted: 12/20/2005 5:48:56 PM EDT
I'm looking to get a laptop soon and have little idea what to look for. I would use it mostly for Music, Internet and downloading. I also would also like a more compact one compared to some of the huge notebooks I've seen out there. Long Battery Life would be a plus, too. Anyone reccomend any brands? What should I be looking for?


Thanks
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 6:30:56 PM EDT
You just described an apple powerbook. Good power, great for multimedia and internet, and runs the best operating system commercial available. Great battery life also.

If it must be a PC, dont compromise and get a sager
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 9:03:43 PM EDT
I recently bought an Acer travel mate 2300. It has an intel celeron processor and I beefed it up with a gig of RAM (put the OEM ram on the EE). It was 600 bucks at newegg and I have been very happy. Has built in wireless LAN and its very lightweight for hauling around. Keyboard is big enough that I don't stumble.

Battery life is a tad lacking only a couple hours with it on maximum battery life mode. It compares well to my sister's dell and I would take it hands down over the ibook I have spent time with.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 9:39:29 PM EDT
* Not the large screen...go with a 15" screen...or even the really small 12" screens
* Internet/downloading...any new one will do...just be sure it has built in 802.11B/G "WiFi"
* Music...listening to music? Any will do...Celeron, etc. Editing/sampling music? Go for a little power in the CPU such as a 3GHz Pentium 4, AMD 64-bit, or even a Pentium M. If you plan on storing a lot of music...take a peek at the hard drive size. Most laptops are 40-60GB these days which is plenty, but maybe for a few bucks, 80GB is a possible upgrade.
* Battery...Pentium M is the way to go. The AMD has a new laptop chip out that does well too...Turion I think. Also check on the battery options, sometimes for $80 up front, you can upgrade to a much better battery.
* Memory...512MB minimum for Windows XP no matter what your doing, otherwise you'll be choking your performance. 1GB is better. RAM is often cheaper to just install after you buy the laptop. Easy too.
* You didn't mention gaming, which would be a whole different animal. I mention it because most laptops today with embedded graphics with shared graphics memory won't play today's games. They're fine for everything else though.

Link Posted: 12/21/2005 7:48:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/21/2005 7:48:59 AM EDT by Wipeout]
Alright, I've been searching newegg for some notebooks, and the manufacturer that seems to have the most of the recomended things above(asside from sony. I won't buy a sony) are acer, and one from ABS. I've been reading the reviews and the major gripe that people see to have is that it is a FAT32 system. What is that? They say it can be fixed, but how?

Some of the ones I've found that seem to have things I might need -

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115313
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115319
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834224038
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115196
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115307

and the one that I really cant afford, but looks really cool
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115194


Anyone comment on any of theses system?


Thanks again.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 10:50:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wipeout:
Alright, I've been searching newegg for some notebooks, and the manufacturer that seems to have the most of the recomended things above(asside from sony. I won't buy a sony) are acer, and one from ABS. I've been reading the reviews and the major gripe that people see to have is that it is a FAT32 system. What is that? They say it can be fixed, but how?

Some of the ones I've found that seem to have things I might need -

www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115313
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115319
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834224038
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115196
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115307

and the one that I really cant afford, but looks really cool
www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115194


Anyone comment on any of theses system?


Thanks again.



FAT32 is a file system used back in the win9x days. Windows XP and 2000 support FAT32, but have a differnet, superior file system called NTFS.

as far as the laptops you listed, definatey go with either of the Pentium M laptops. It a superior chip to the Turon, and far superior to the celeron.

Not that Turons are going to be bad, but the Pentium M is just exellent.

Stay away from the Celeron though. All they are is a down-syndromed inbred cousin to the full pentium chips. avoid like the plague.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 8:36:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:

Stay away from the Celeron though. All they are is a down-syndromed inbred cousin to the full pentium chips. avoid like the plague.




Are they really THAT bad? This machine has one, it seems fine for general BS computing, internet, word processing, email etc...
I prefer AMD procesors in general, but the price was right for this rig and its been very reliable.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 12:09:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By anomad:

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:

Stay away from the Celeron though. All they are is a down-syndromed inbred cousin to the full pentium chips. avoid like the plague.




Are they really THAT bad? This machine has one, it seems fine for general BS computing, internet, word processing, email etc...
I prefer AMD procesors in general, but the price was right for this rig and its been very reliable.



Compared to their full pentium counterparts - pretty much. Not saying that they are complete garbage, but they are definately the still-born of the CPU family. They dont even come close to comparing to the full on Pentium-M chips.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 7:26:41 PM EDT
Try to avoid a Pent.4 chip in a laptop.

If running multimedias (like games) the bat life is out in less than 30 minutes
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 12:48:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Badaim:
Try to avoid a Pent.4 chip in a laptop.

If running multimedias (like games) the bat life is out in less than 30 minutes



Yes, make sure to get the Pentium M. They are listed by model number, like BMW's. The higher hte number (say the 760) the faster it is. Don't look at the actual clock speeds though, they really aren't that important. A Pentium M at 1.8gHz will be faster than a regular P4 at 3gHz, and have a much longer battery life.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 1:09:42 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/24/2005 1:11:45 PM EDT by jor-el]
The cache on Centrino M chips is 2M, while P4 chips in the 500 series is only 1M. To match a centrino 1.8g you would need a 3.6g. Even at that, while my figures are probably off the same centrino would be drawing 40 watts and the P4 would be close to 80 watts. Imagine a light bulb inside your laptop with the same wattages as just described. The power requirements alone should tell you to go with the centrino chip when possible. If the cooling fan is blocked or fails, the heat from the p4 is much more likely to fry the motherboard.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 1:20:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jor-el:
The cache on Centrino M chips is 2M, while P4 chips in the 500 series is only 1M. To match a centrino 1.8g you would need a 3.6g. Even at that, while my figures are probably off the same centrino would be drawing 40 watts and the P4 would be close to 80 watts. Imagine a light bulb inside your laptop with the same wattages as just described. The power requirements alone should tell you to go with the centrino chip when possible. If the cooling fan is blocked or fails, the heat from the p4 is much more likely to fry the motherboard.



If you want decent processing power and Great Batt life Centrino is definately the best choice.

As for the Celeron in a laptop - current Celerons are pretty kick ass and will handle your needs just fine. Are they as good as the full blown P4, no, but with power management and heat issues if you really need that kind of power Then the job shouldn't be done on a laptop! Case in point would be Video editing and encoding.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 1:33:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By adair_usmc:
You just described an apple powerbook. Good power, great for multimedia and internet, and runs the best operating system commercial available. Great battery life also.



Assuming your battery actually works. I just got a Powerbook G4 15" for work, and the battery was stone cold dead (won't even take a charge). Not an impressive start if they don't even verify that the thing turns on before shipping it.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 2:34:39 PM EDT
The Pentium M's are nice...very good fit for a laptop, they're quite efficient chips, so even a 1.6GHz chip will give you some pretty good power while conserving the battery.

On the FAT32, WinXP will convert it over to NTFS for you, it's easy. But it is annoying that they went with FAT32 in the first place. I've installed a few prebuilt systems in a small business...they came wiht FAT32 on WinXP Pro...so we just converted them over.
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 2:39:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 7:46:42 PM EDT
I have the Sony VAIO PCG-K33 with the Pent. 4 3.0

Couldn't be happier.

If just listening to music and all, my batt life lasts around two hours or so

If running games, I just plug in and enjoy

What I hate the most is the integrated graphics.

Can't play BF2, COD II, etc.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 6:52:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jor-el:
The cache on Centrino M chips is 2M, while P4 chips in the 500 series is only 1M. To match a centrino 1.8g you would need a 3.6g. Even at that, while my figures are probably off the same centrino would be drawing 40 watts and the P4 would be close to 80 watts. Imagine a light bulb inside your laptop with the same wattages as just described. The power requirements alone should tell you to go with the centrino chip when possible. If the cooling fan is blocked or fails, the heat from the p4 is much more likely to fry the motherboard.



My buddy's parents sent him a Dell Inspiron. The top model at the time. A 3.2 P4. His machine gets about 1.5 hours on battery, and uses 115 watts. The newer one, with the 17" screen, uses the M processor, is faster overall, and well to be honest the battery life isn't much better, nor is power consumption, but instead of the CPU sucking it all up, the nice big screen is taking more, as is the better video card.
For a more basic machine, less the lower power draw of the CPU can be used to increase battery life.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 11:26:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Badaim:
I have the Sony VAIO PCG-K33 with the Pent. 4 3.0

Couldn't be happier.

If just listening to music and all, my batt life lasts around two hours or so

If running games, I just plug in and enjoy

What I hate the most is the integrated graphics.

Can't play BF2, COD II, etc.



Bummer. Thats one of the reasons i grabbed na Alienware MJ12 m7700. Battery life is crap though. Has PCI x16, 2 hd's, 1GB of RAM, and a hell of video card. I chose this model because i am a GIS major in school and need the portable power to do school work. Works wonderful though.
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