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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 7/31/2005 11:45:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/31/2005 11:48:44 PM EDT by whitelight]
I'm in the market for a new laptop. My budget is around $1500. I know that limits me somewhat, but I don't play those advanced games. I do need to run Photoshop and Illustrator, surf the internet, play DVDs, and having one of the new widescreen displays would be nice. Oh, and I don't really need the DVD burner as well, but having one would be nice. Thanks.


I want to add there are so many choices out there, I am kind of lost on CPUs and such. Pentium Centrinos, Athlon Semprons, Athlon 64, etc. Could someone rank them in terms of performance/speed?
Link Posted: 7/31/2005 11:49:20 PM EDT
Dell's constantly having deals on their laptops..... I can't vouch for their quality (since I don't own one), but they're almost like half off.... a $1500 laptop going for 800 bucks shipped. check bensbargains.net for heads up on the coupons and deals.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:07:13 AM EDT
If you get one, get a laptop with good speakers and one with a good screen display. Many of them aren't loud enough and sound distorted. Also, Make sure the video card has dedicated RAM and doesnt share from the motherboard. Get one with a BrightView widescreen display.

I had a Toshiba Satellite, and wasn't happy with the sound quality or screen when I played movies. The DVD Rom/CDRW drive also crapped out.

I bought an HP Pavilion zv6000 a month and half ago. No complaints thus far.

Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:09:40 AM EDT
seems the dell 9300 is popular today, though get the $600 to 40% coupon off Hardforum
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:10:04 AM EDT
Think IBM ThinkPad. It's an industry standard.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:24:24 AM EDT
Dell, nodoubt! plenty of deals. just make sure you get good(512) memory and decent hard drive (30 or 40 gig). and a processor at least 1.3 i prefer a 2.0 or above. i picked up a Dell a Dell 2.2 processor, 40 gig HD and 512 memory from Dell for 750 bucks. great laptop.

good luck!
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:24:46 AM EDT
Dell.......
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:39:43 AM EDT
Dell all the way.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:40:57 AM EDT
By the way, I HATE Dell. Just because.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:50:26 AM EDT
They can have issues like everyone else, but they really are one of the best for the price.....



Originally Posted By whitelight:
By the way, I HATE Dell. Just because.

Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:51:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2005 12:58:29 AM EDT by Xer0]
Determine your needs first. Are you looking for power/speed, portability, battery life, etc.

Just some general info with no specifics in mind:

The DTR's (desktop replacements with big screens) ooze portable power, but they come at a cost of weight, heat, and battery life. If you will always be near a power source and don't carry it around too much, then they're ok. A good example of when "not" to get one is my buddy in the Army in Iraq. He bought a DTR because the screen is huge, can play the games his desktop did, has great speakers, etc. Only problem is that electric power where he is stationed is sporadic. His DTR won't even get through a normal DVD movie before the battery is dead. Yes he has a spare batt, but it's a pain to stop the movie, shut down, replace the battery and then finish watching the last 20 minutes of a movie. Plus the constant battery replacement produces unusual wear. He would have been better served by a normal business oriented laptop. The weight will really get to you too if you have to carry it around all day going through airports and such.

The ultra portables (like the tiny Sony's) are cool because they are so light and handy, but the price you pay there is a much smaller screen, and at the high resolutions they are making them, the print is TINY, and hard to see when you have to do real work. Although you'd think tiny means better battery life, you'd be wrong. The tiny ones tend to have an even worse battery life because they also shrink the batteries, and batteries do worse when smaller than other components. They are also very proprietary in components (even more so than usual laptops) and often are missing things you'd expect in a normal laptop (not always, but some).

The screen uses more battery power than any other component in a laptop, so having the highest resolution huge screen is not always ideal on a laptop. The 16/9 (I think) aspect ratio screens are cool in that you don't get big black borders with widescreen DVD's is cool, but realize that if you watch DVD's on a laptop, it will probably be within 3 feet of your face regardless of the screen size or aspect ratio and having the black bars with a normal screen is not that big of a deal with the screen so close. NOONE who watches shows on their "laptop" sits further away unless they trying to watch with other people around and most laptops screens have a CRAPPY off-center viewing angle anyway. You always tend to sit with a laptop where your hands are capable of reaching the keyboard and since the screen is connected to the same box, it will always be pretty close to your face.

Best current battery life processor are the Intel Centrino's Pentium M's. The cost savings of the Celeron's are not worth it unless you are very specific in your needs. I.E. my laptop is an old mobile Pentium 3 900 mhz, but within my specific requirements, it does just fine.

Don't think you have to buy the top-of-the-line mhz speed-wise either. If you aren't playing any fancy games, you will "NOT" notice any difference in how business apps (like MS office), DVD watching, and Internet browsing perform between the top 3 speed processors perform and can save considerable money by getting the 2nd or 3rd fastest CPU option as opposed to the fastest. Even with fancy games, the graphics chipset makes MUCH more of a difference in how games play over the processor speed difference when comparing the fastest vs the 3rd fastest.

Again related to the fastest processor not always best theme, a laptop hard drive is more of a bottleneck than the processor. Like the games playing analogy of the better graphics chipset being more important than pure processor speed, a faster 7200 rpm harddrive will make "all" normal operations (like booting) and software applications usage feel snappier than the fastest CPU and a 4200 or 5400 rpm hard drive.

More memory is always better than less!!!!! Can't stress this enough!!

No matter which one you buy, it will probably come with all sorts CRAP software pre-loaded that sucks your memory and wastes CPU power. Run it for a week and figure out which of the preloaded stuff is useful, then purge all that you have not used. If you haven't used it in a week, you will not use it in 6 months either, even though you think you might in the back of your mind. Trust me, if it's not immediately useful, it will NEVER be useful!!!!Even if you decide you need it 6 months later, chances are they will have upgraded it anyway and you can "then" download the newer version of whaterver it is.


Added: The AMD processors, are just as powerful in a user usage perspective as the Intel lines, HOWEVER, manufacturers, tend to cheap out the rest of the parts and optimization techniques, and when taken as a whole, the AMD laptops do not tend to perform as well or as power efficiently as an Intel based laptop. This is not the fault of the AMD processor, but manufactures. They could make the AMD's work just as fast and as long, but as AMD's processor based laptops tend to be on the lower end price-wise, there is no incentive to make them as good as they can.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:53:10 AM EDT
After getting ripped-off one time after another by Dell (shipped wrong model, wrong amounts of RAM, ones that wouldn't boot, shipped without a Windows XP key, etc.), and never being able to get Dell to fix the problems or credit us for the different between what they shipped and what they billed for, last October I finally talked the owner of the company to let me try an Apple laptop. We bought a $1000 12" iBook then a 17" PowerBook and seven more since then. Every Apple worked out of the box, there's no hassle with XP losing its activation, Apple shipped the laptop in the correct configuration, and Apple charged us the correct amount every time. We haven't had any problems with any of the Apples. Our guys are rough on laptops, and we were getting about four months out of the Dells. The iBook I bought last October is now with the employee that is roughest on laptops, and it's lasted through 9 months of his abuse. I will never buy another Dell even if they fix their shipping, customer service, and quality problems. The Apples have proven themselves.

We haven't had to use the 3-year AppleCare we bought, so I don't know how good it is personally, but I know several people that have gotten Apple to fix problems. If you're going to keep the laptop for more than two years, I'd recommend buying AppleCare for it. This is completely different from Dell's worthless warranty or worthless service contracts. Time before last for the last set of desktops we bought, we paid Dell extra for next day service for three years. Three of the 25 wouldn't power-up out of the box. It took us 18 months of constant calling to get Dell to finally replace them. There is no excuse for jerking a customer around for eighteen months when they paid for next day service. I couldn't imagine a company with worse service than Dell.

The PowerBooks are nice if you need a thinner laptop. The iBooks will stand-up to a lot of abuse.z
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:54:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Xer0:
Determine your needs first. Are you looking for power/speed, portability, battery life, etc.

Just some general info with no specifics in mind:

The DTR's (desktop replacements with big screens) ooze portable power, but they come at a cost of weight, heat, and battery life. If you will always be near a power source and don't carry it around too much, then they're ok. A good example of when "not" to get one is my buddy in the Army in Iraq. He bought a DTR because the screen is huge, can play the games his desktop did, has great speakers, etc. Only problem is that electric power where he is stationed is sporadic. His DTR won't even get through a normal DVD movie before the battery is dead. Yes he has a spare batt, but it's a pain to stop the movie, shut down, replace the battery and then finish watching the last 20 minutes of a movie. Plus the constant battery replacement produces unusual wear. He would have been better served by a normal business oriented laptop. The weight will really get to you too if you have to carry it around all day going through airports and such.

The ultra portables (like the tiny Sony's) are cool because they are so light and handy, but the price you pay there is a much smaller screen, and at the high resolutions they are making them, the print is TINY, and hard to see when you have to do real work. Although you'd think tiny means better battery life, you'd be wrong. The tiny ones tend to have an even worse battery life because they also shrink the batteries, and batteries do worse when smaller than other components. They are also very proprietary in components (even more so than usual laptops) and often are missing things you'd expect in a normal laptop (not always, but some).

The screen uses more battery power than any other component in a laptop, so having the highest resolution huge screen is not always ideal on a laptop. The 16/9 (I think) aspect ratio screens are cool in that you don't get big black borders with widescreen DVD's is cool, but realize that if you watch DVD's on a laptop, it will probably be within 3 feet of your face regardless of the screen size or aspect ratio and having the black bars with a normal screen is not that big of a deal with the screen so close. NOONE who watches shows on their "laptop" sits further away unless they trying to watch with other people around and most laptops screens have a CRAPPY off-center viewing angle anyway. You always tend to sit with a laptop where your hands are capable of reaching the keyboard and since the screen is connected to the same box, it will always be pretty close to your face.

Best current battery life processor are the Intel Centrino's Pentium M's. The cost savings of the Celeron's are not worth it unless you are very specific in your needs. I.E. my laptop is an old mobile Pentium 3 900 mhz, but within my specific requirements, it does just fine.

Don't think you have to buy the top-of-the-line mhz speed-wise either. If you aren't playing any fancy games, you will "NOT" notice any difference in how business apps (like MS office), DVD watching, and Internet browsing perform between the top 3 speed processors perform and can save considerable money by getting the 2nd or 3rd fastest CPU option as opposed to the fastest. Even with fancy games, the graphics chipset makes MUCH more of a difference in how games play over the processor speed difference when comparing the fastest vs the 3rd fastest.

Again related to the fastest processor not always best theme, a laptop hard drive is more of a bottleneck than the processor. Like the games playing analogy of the better graphics chipset being more important than pure processor speed, a faster 7200 rpm harddrive will make "all" normal operations (like booting) and software applications usage feel snappier than the fastest CPU and a 4200 or 5400 rpm hard drive.

More memory is always better than less!!!!! Can't stress this enough!!

No matter which one you buy, it will probably come with all sorts CRAP software pre-loaded that sucks your memory and wastes CPU power. Run it for a week and figure out which of the preloaded stuff is useful, then purge all that you have not used. If you haven't used it in a week, you will not use it in 6 months either, even though you think you might in the back of your mind. Trust me, if it's not immediately useful, it will NEVER be useful!!!!Even if you decide you need it 6 months later, chances are they will have upgraded it anyway and you can "then" download the newer version of whaterver it is.




Wow. Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed post. Appreciate it.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 1:02:43 AM EDT

You always tend to sit with a laptop where your hands are capable of reaching the keyboard and since the screen is connected to the same box, it will always be pretty close to your face.

Good point. That's why I wouldn't worry about finding a laptop with good speakers. No matter what you're not going to get acceptable bass performance from speakers that small. That's why I recommend just using headphones. The headphone jack on the PowerBooks (never used the iBook, so it might be as good too) is spectacular, and it is powerful enough to drive two headphones with a splitter. I swapped laptops with a guy just because it sounded so much better than the one on my Dell.

Best current battery life processor are the Intel Centrino's Pentium M's

True, but the iBooks aren't bad. We get about 4.5 hours out of the 12" iBooks. That's not bad for $1k.

a faster 7200 rpm harddrive

Agreed. Pay the extra for the faster drive. It will reduce battery life, but it will make the system much more usable.

No matter which one you buy, it will probably come with all sorts CRAP software pre-loaded that sucks your memory and wastes CPU power.

Agreed. A customer bought two Sony Vaios for us a couple of years ago. The systems were so slow they were unusable until we uninstalled all of the extra crap.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 1:06:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2005 1:07:18 AM EDT by Xer0]
As Apple is going to go with Intel chips soon, it will be an interesting combo of the Apple OS and Intel speed. I always like the Apple OS's, but since I have been business IT for so long, it's always been Intel and Windows on the desktop.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 1:13:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sysop:
Think IBM ThinkPad. It's an industry standard.



Except the ThinkPads are not being made by IBM any more.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 5:09:31 AM EDT
Pleae don't get an Alienware, their customer service and especially support, sucks!
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 5:19:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Iram:

Originally Posted By sysop:
Think IBM ThinkPad. It's an industry standard.



Except the ThinkPads are not being made by IBM any more.



Yup, they now come with a fortune cookie.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 7:25:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2005 7:26:22 AM EDT by Airwolf]

No matter which one you buy, it will probably come with all sorts CRAP software pre-loaded that sucks your memory and wastes CPU power. Run it for a week and figure out which of the preloaded stuff is useful, then purge all that you have not used. If you haven't used it in a week, you will not use it in 6 months either, even though you think you might in the back of your mind. Trust me, if it's not immediately useful, it will NEVER be useful!!!!Even if you decide you need it 6 months later, chances are they will have upgraded it anyway and you can "then" download the newer version of whatever it is.


This one is worth repeating, noting and burning into your brain about ANY "brand name" machine you get (notebook or desktop).

The amount of pure SHIT that is pre-loaded, pre-configured on PC's is simply staggering. I frankly do an FDISK and a clean install of Windows just to make sure it's MY machine and actually WORKS PROPERLY. Of course many companies won't support a "clean" configuration, only one that is "as shipped".

I've been a ThinkPad snob for years. Not cheap but totally supported by Windows and totally stable as well. Reliable, good feature set and rugged like a tank.

However I've decided to make the jump into Apple. I'm planning to spend several months on the road and there will be a LOT of video and stills. I don't want to deal with XP "quirks" when in the middle of Bumfuck, USA. Just haven't made up my mind to go iBook or PowerBook (rugged vs. more powerful/+better features).
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 7:29:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PBIR:

Originally Posted By Iram:

Originally Posted By sysop:
Think IBM ThinkPad. It's an industry standard.



Except the ThinkPads are not being made by IBM any more.



Yup, they now come with a fortune cookie.



Nope. you are not correct. They have just sold the name. Plus all service is run out of GA.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 7:33:13 AM EDT
As one who is also purchasing a laptop this week, you're timing is impeccable.

I've been on the road for the past 20 years in the IT profession. As such, I've been through many different laptop vendors. Two things I can tell you for certain.

1) Toshiba makes a rugged laptop. I've had 3 different models and they ALWAYS stand up to road wear and have never had an issue with them.

2) Dell uses the cheapest parts they can get their hands on and their systems do NOT stand up to road wear. My current gig gave me a DELL and within 6 months I've already replaced the hard drive. Dell's service is handled by 7-11 counter personnel during the off hours, if you're luck enough to get to a real person.

Your best choices are: Toshiba and HP.

Stay away from: Dell, IBM (new/China), Gateway, eMachines, and Compaq.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 7:36:30 AM EDT
Watch slickdeals.net for the next $750 off $1499 coupon from Dell.

You may hate dell, but that is your problem.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 7:49:46 AM EDT
My upcoming opinion is (like everyone else's when this question comes up) anecdotal, and therefore mostly meaningless. I own a Dell Inspiron 2600, and an IBM Thinkpad R51. Both are fine. Between the two, I prefer the IBM, but this is really like comparing apples to oranges.

Basically, nobody that offers opinions on laptop brands has any idea of what they're talking about. Everybody is full of shit. If I emphatically told you to buy an IBM Thinkpad, and cussed anything else (despite my glowing praise for my baby), I too would be full of shit. Brand 'A' vs Brand 'B' discussions are heaping piles of steaming bovine excrement. IT proffessionals like myself chiming in are full of shit, regular consumers are full of shit, consumer driven review sites are full of shit, magazine reviews are full of shit, your neighbor is full of shit, your coworkers are full of shit...

...you're swimming in a river of shit. My advice? Buy a common brand of recent manufacture and don't pay too much. Oh, and I really like Thinkpads. And Dells.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 7:57:11 AM EDT
Subnet is basically right. But I'll plug dell anyways, a guy I worked with bought one (Dell Latitude D600) and he loved it, then he put it on the back of his gf's car and forgot it there and it took a tumble off at 60mph on the highway. Somone actually saw it fall off, and stopped and picked it up, and was actually able to get ahold of him and was able to return it. (yes there are still honest people in the world) Get this, the thing still worked fine, except for some minor bumps on the case, and some shreading of the carrying case it worked fine, but dell replaced it anyways as they put it "just to be on the safe side". I would suggest paying the extra money for the premier support, it's worth it in the long run.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 8:05:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2005 8:09:37 AM EDT by PBIR]

Originally Posted By FredM:

Originally Posted By PBIR:

Originally Posted By Iram:

Originally Posted By sysop:
Think IBM ThinkPad. It's an industry standard.



Except the ThinkPads are not being made by IBM any more.



Yup, they now come with a fortune cookie.



Nope. you are not correct. They have just sold the name. Plus all service is run out of GA.



You sure about that? Not what I heard on the Kim Komando show the other day.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4077579.stm


Chinese firm buys IBM PC business

IBM, a pioneer of the personal computer business, is selling its PC hardware division to China's number one computer maker Lenovo.

After days of rumours, the announcement heralds a $1.75bn (£900m) deal which will make the combined operation the third biggest PC vendor in the world.

Lenovo, formerly known as Legend, has been pushing hard to spread its brand on the international stage.

IBM, meanwhile, will be free to focus on its other more lucrative businesses.

Relocation

The sale gives IBM $650m in cash, along with an 18.9% stake in Lenovo worth $600m.

This acquisition will allow Chinese industry to make significant inroads on its path to globalisation
Liu Chuanzhi, Lenovo chairman
The Chinese firm will also take on about $500m in debt.

Its PC business HQ will relocate from Beijing to upstate New York, where IBM is based, as a result of the deal.

About 10,000 IBM staff will move to the new enterprise - about 2,300 in design, marketing and sales in the US and the rest in manufacturing in China.

Among them is IBM senior vice president Stephen Ward, who will become the firm's chief executive.

The merged firm will have sales of about $12bn a year, as well as a five-year licence for IBM's PC brands.

"This acquisition will allow Chinese industry to make significant inroads on its path to globalisation," said Liu Chuanzhi, Lenovo's chairman.

One Lenovo official told the BBC the deal was a dream come true and a matter of national pride.

But the company's position is that it will not be satisfied with its number three position globally.

End of an era?

Tuesday's announcement means IBM is backing out of direct involvement in a business that it turned into a mass market.


Back in 1981 the IBM PC hit the market: the first "personal computer" aimed squarely at businesses which - till then - had seen computers as massive central machines to be tapped into where necessary.

The PC, in contrast, was designed to put processing power on the desktop.

But copycat vendors moved in to sell their own "IBM-compatible" PCs, and the real money in the industry moved to software vendors - and in particular to Microsoft, the upstart company which had persuaded IBM to use its product to control the PC.

IBM, in terms of market power the Microsoft of its day, failed to spot that hardware would become simply a commodity - a problem which has also hit other once-dominant vendors such as Hewlett-Packard.

That shift has helped put Dell, which mastered the art of making PCs on wafer-thin margins, into the driving seat of the PC hardware business.

It also made chipmaker Intel - whose semiconductors were for years the only irreplaceable piece of hardware in a PC - into a multi-billion dollar powerhouse.

Spreading the risk

IBM today is much more focused on business services, chipmaking and selling high-powered servers and storage systems.

In a way, the company has returned to its roots, selling the "big iron" which powers corporate networks.

It has also learnt from its experience of repeatedly getting burnt by Microsoft.

A significant proportion of its efforts now go into systems running Linux, the main open-source competitor to Microsoft's Windows.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/business/4077579.stm

Published: 2004/12/08 16:35:49 GMT

© BBC MMV

Link Posted: 8/1/2005 8:16:55 AM EDT
Dell.



Oh, and they hate you too, for the same reasons.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 8:23:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sysop:
Think IBM ThinkPad. It's an industry standard.



I have owned two. Both have been dropped 2 or more times, and function without problems. Both have titanium cases, and are solid as a rock. They are the best, of the eight or nine laptops I have owned in the past eight years.

Second best were some of the Dells. Dell makes some "cheapo" crap like the earlier Latitudes, and some of their laptops are decent.

Toshiba - too heavy, some had a number of problems.

Compaq/HP - avoid altogether
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 8:37:04 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 8:48:00 AM EDT
I don't know if they make them new, but until January I had a 2 year old IBM Thinkpad.

It did everything I wanted it to do,(internet, word processing). Couldn't do games, but I'm not into that much anyway.

The HS I went to had Dell laptops. They were OK at best.

I've heard you should stay away from Gateway.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 9:02:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/2/2005 4:58:18 PM EDT by A_Free_Man]
1) Toshiba makes a rugged laptop. I've had 3 different models and they ALWAYS stand up to road wear and have never had an issue with them

+1

My son used company issued Toshibas for on the road use, and they held up well. Based on that, some years back I bought a used Toshiba that has seen some hard use, traveled a lot. I gave it to my younger daughter who is using it now.

I purchased for my other son, now about to go off to college, a Toshiba Satellite A75-S209 from Circuit City for right about $1k. He wanted to be able to play games, and this does it. Has a Pent 4 @ 3.06 Ghz, came with 512 mb ram which he bumped up to 1.5 gb, 60 gig hard drive, a Radeon ATI 9000 vid card, which borrows 128 mb ram from the main ram. All the games he has run smoothly. Warning, this laptop has two fans which must not be blocked, they exhaust a lot of heat this hot cpu generates. He has had no trouble with it. I do understand that some, laying it on a bed or whatever, blocking the fans on bottom, have had them cut off, as they are designed to do if overheated. On a hard surface it is high enough.

It has a wide screen and dvd player controls along the left edge. I don't know if his will burn dvd's, you can look it up.

To replace the old Toshiba I gave my daughter, I purchased a Toshiba Satellite M35-S163. It is in a nearly identical looking case as my son's S209, but for the color of the top. It, too, has the wide screen and dvd controls. It is equipped with a Celeron M 1.4 ghz, 512 mb ram (which for my use seems adequate), 60 gb hard drive. It runs about 1.5-2x longer on batteries than my son's Pent 4 and far cooler. It has only one fan that just kicks on intermittently, just a few seconds at at time every few minutes. BTW, the Pentium M and Celeron M are chip sets designed for low current draw ("mobility"), and the 1.4 clockspeed should be multiplied x 1.5-2x to compare to a regular Pentium or Celeron. So, this is more like a 2.4-2.8 ghz regular Celeron. I don't play games, and don't know how they work here, but everything else I do is smooth. This one was also appx $1k.

These Toshibas have 3 usb ports, firewire, and built in 802.11g wireless. Also some speech recognition and command software, but I have not used it.

My son has had his Toshiba for about 3 months now, and I have had mine for a month, and no complaints.

----

ETA: Pentium M vs Celeron M... I have a company owned work laptop that has a Pentium M 1.4 ghz, and a personal laptop with a Celeron M 1.4 ghz. (I don't do personal stuff on THEIR computer, and I don't do company stuff on mine) I really cannot tell a difference in performance between the Pentium and Celeron in the business type applications, Excell, Word, and other programs I am running. As above, I am not a gamer. I am not kicking myself for not buying a Pentium. If I want to bump up performance, I'll buy more ram.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 9:26:39 AM EDT
I think MrClean4Hire used to service Laptops. Might ask him
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 9:58:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
My upcoming opinion is (like everyone else's when this question comes up) anecdotal, and therefore mostly meaningless. I own a Dell Inspiron 2600, and an IBM Thinkpad R51. Both are fine. Between the two, I prefer the IBM, but this is really like comparing apples to oranges.

Basically, nobody that offers opinions on laptop brands has any idea of what they're talking about. Everybody is full of shit. If I emphatically told you to buy an IBM Thinkpad, and cussed anything else (despite my glowing praise for my baby), I too would be full of shit. Brand 'A' vs Brand 'B' discussions are heaping piles of steaming bovine excrement. IT proffessionals like myself chiming in are full of shit, regular consumers are full of shit, consumer driven review sites are full of shit, magazine reviews are full of shit, your neighbor is full of shit, your coworkers are full of shit...

...you're swimming in a river of shit. My advice? Buy a common brand of recent manufacture and don't pay too much. Oh, and I really like Thinkpads. And Dells.



Best comment Ive read in a long time.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 10:11:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sysop:
Think IBM ThinkPad. It's an industry standard.



It used to be. Dell is now the standard.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 10:50:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/1/2005 10:50:48 AM EDT by whitelight]
Thanks for all the replies.

I think I'll be going with this as I don't want to spend too much.

reviews-zdnet.com.com/Toshiba_Satellite_A75_S209/4507-3121_16-31138038.html?tag=tab
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 10:52:29 AM EDT
I would say Sager, but it looks like you have allready made up your mind on what you are going to get.

Toshibas are not bad though.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 10:56:06 AM EDT
I can't believe this...

"What do you recommend for a laptop..."

Come on, am I the only one?

GEEKS!! ALL GEEKS!!!


For my laptop recommend a redhead, preferably under 120 pounds with huge knockers and nostrils the size of Kennedy half dollars.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 11:05:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Lennster:

Originally Posted By sysop:
Think IBM ThinkPad. It's an industry standard.



It used to be. Dell is now the standard.



Having owned a number of each -- I must say that you are wrong. Dell's STILL are not made as well as the Thinkpad T-Series.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 11:11:41 AM EDT
I use a Dell D600 at work and we work the living life out of our PCs and laptops in my worklace and I have never had a problem... I liked teh laptop at work so much that I bought a "used" one off EBAY...

Well, the DOD called and took my Dell D600:

ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=371206

So I find myself looking for a new laptop....

I am seriously looking at the Dell Inspiron 6000.

www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/inspn_6000?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

I plan to get the upgraded display (WSXGA+) as I like the higher resolution..
This laptop has two DIMM slots so I will go with 1 512MB Dim (So I can add a second later for 1GB memory)
And I am getting the 80M hard drive

As configured I am looking at about $1200 for the laptop but I will need to look at some of the deals posted above before I buy... I just want a new laptop this time from a place where i know I will not be getting a call that my laptop was stollen this time...

Now, if anybody has a really bad oppinion about the Inspiron line from Dell I am all ears but I like my work Latitude and the one that I just had collected by the DOD...

Link Posted: 8/1/2005 11:21:30 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 11:42:19 AM EDT
I agree that recommending brands is not very helpful. That is why I did not recommend any in my post and only noted general things to be aware of when purchasing. Brand recommendation doesn't work because every brand has different "model" lineups. Each brand generally has their junky lines and their quaility lines. You have to compare differnt models within the same categories/prices and even then it's a pain in the ass.

Here are some more notes:

For a truly "rugged" laptop, get a laptop that is "built" for rugged use. Panasonic Toughbooks models (there are others) come to mind. Someone might have had luck with the Dell, IBM, etc, but if you are actually gonna beat on it/drop it, then you should pay for hardened case/components upfront and not "hope" that you are one of the lucky ones with a standard laptop. Of course, weight will increase the more rugged it is.

For service/support, in general, get and pay the extra for a laptop that has the BEST, or save a lot and get one that has next to none. At least you will have piece of mind "thinking" you have the best or being satisfied you have next to none!! All factory service and support generally sucks these days.

I'd often just as soon buy a cheapo Walmart whitebox/E-machines/linspire laptop as Walmart doesn't give you any crap about it bringing it back (within reason) if it doesn't work. You wont get any support, but they aren't charging you for any either and the prices are significantly cheaper. You also don't have to deal with some guy in India you can't understand, just walk back in and throw it on the counter and say it doesn't work. I hear that Costco has a good replacement policy too (haven't tried though). Face to face instant replacement or refund beats the holy hell out of arguing with tech support in India.

Most brands have "business premier" type support that you can pay for. If you expect to use support, then it's sometimes worth the money (especially if it gets you an American on the line). Mid-range and below support plans ensure lengthy bouts of frustration in talking to some Indian guy while he goes through his repair "scripts".

Big box stores like Best Buy, CompUSA, etc, all SUCK!!!!! Go there to play and look at models, then buy elsewhere!!

Once you actually get a laptop, find internet user forums based around your brand/model and bookmark them. You will often get better help and tips there than from official channels.


Some general hardware tips to look for when actually finger-fucking the models at the store:

Examine and play with the keyboard layout and action!! I'd suggest actually typing an entire "formatted" page right in the store. If the key placement and/or action bother you a little in the store, it will REALLY bug the shit outta of you in a few months! The smaller the laptop, the more compromises with the keyboard layout will be made. For example, I don't like Toshiba's current keyboard layout (mostly insert/delete/pg up/dn placement) Unfortunately, many other brands also have the same layout (ad probably same manufacture).

Press and try to flex the case on back of the screen and see if you get corresponding video warping effects. If it's really easy, you have a good chance of later damaging the screen when in a bag with other items. All will flex somewhat, it's the degree that counts. Move screen open and close to see if it flexes in this manner too.

Close the lid and make sure no parts of the screen contact "anything". Even if it barely presses down on a keyboard key, it will get pressure damage over time at that spot (a nice lighter spot on the screen.

Finally, check out the power adaptor. Some are REAL bricks and remember that you have to lug that thing around too. Nicer ones even have provisions to wrap the extra cord (I.E. Dell). Either way, smaller is better, then take into consideration, cord management built in.

The rest of the options, (USB port placement, dvd position, front mount DVD controls, card readers, etc) are all personal in nature and their usefulness is dependent on you. Just make sure whatever you look at has the stuff your looking for.


Link Posted: 8/1/2005 1:37:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jkstexas2001:

Originally Posted By Lennster:

Originally Posted By sysop:
Think IBM ThinkPad. It's an industry standard.



It used to be. Dell is now the standard.



Having owned a number of each -- I must say that you are wrong. Dell's STILL are not made as well as the Thinkpad T-Series.



You're comparing apples to oranges. comparing a cheap Dell to an expensive IBM is not fair.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 2:06:57 PM EDT
I will give a thumbs-down to Dell, HP and Toshiba, having suffered with them in the past.

Recently, I had to buy a laptop (previous ones have all been rovided by work, now I am working for myself, I get to choose), and decided on an IBM Thinkpad T43.

I was a bit worried about the Lenovo part ... so asked a friend @ IBM.

Current Thinkpads are made exactly the same way that they have always been.

So I bought a T43 -- it really is the best laptop I have ever had. I have no hesitation in saying go ahead and buy one.
Link Posted: 8/9/2005 12:28:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2005 12:30:10 PM EDT by Quarterbore]
Well, I spent quite a bit of time looking at options and prices and I ended up going with a Gateway myself... I hope to have it in a couple days... Here is the model we bought:

www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7262516&type=product&productCategoryId=pcmcat39100050016&id=1118839115082

What I liked about it is the fast processer and great screen plus it has all the standard connections I need. I plan to upgrade the memory to the full 1.5GB ASAP and from the reviews I had seen the biggest complaint against Gateway is the battery life but we use our laptops as a portable desktop machine and it is almost always used with a cord so I can live with that...

Seemed like a heck of a machine for under $1100

Link Posted: 8/9/2005 12:32:08 PM EDT
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