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Author Topic: Help needed buying laptop  (Read 18528 times)
Abagadro
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on: July 17, 2006, 02:30:16 PM

With my new overseas gig I think I need to buy a new laptop as my Inspiron 8100 is getting long in the tooth and is like carrying around a small boulder.

This is for business so doesn't need lots of bells and whistles for any sort of gaming although I would like to be able to burn stuff to DVDs and for it to be decently speedy.  Screen doesn't need to be huge. Would like WiFi built in but I assume that is pretty standard these days.

Primary issues are therefore: quality, reliability, weight and price. I'd like to keep it around a grand or less if possible.

I am totally clueless when it comes to laptops as I just have the one from my old job that I didn't have any input in buying so need wise counsel from you all as to brands and price sweet spot.

Thanks.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

-H.L. Mencken
Lantyssa
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Reply #1 on: July 17, 2006, 02:46:15 PM

My boss is really pleased with his Dell Inspiron 600m.  He says it's a nice combination of weight, power, and battery life.

We got an Inspiron 6000 for another lady and while it is perhaps a "better" machine, it isn't as portable so it has turned into a desktop that moves if absolutely necessary.

I cannot give you much more than those impressions though as I do not regularly use laptops myself.  Good luck with your search.

Hahahaha!  I'm really good at this!
Chenghiz
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Reply #2 on: July 18, 2006, 06:33:40 AM

My dad's been using the Dell Inspiron series for a few years now, for international trips and field work, and he's quite happy with them.
Ironwood
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Reply #3 on: July 18, 2006, 06:42:02 AM

The Dell X1 is lovely.  Got 3 for the directors in here.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
schild
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Reply #4 on: July 18, 2006, 06:52:25 AM

Having used a 600M a tiny bit, I would recommend it. No long term experience with it. But I heart my overpowered Dell uh 9300? Something big and heavy and gamey.
Sky
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Reply #5 on: July 18, 2006, 08:41:16 AM

Macbook.

Surlyboi
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Reply #6 on: July 18, 2006, 09:56:07 AM

Macbook.

Not to shill, but the midlevel is pretty well suited for what you're looking for.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
Sky
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Reply #7 on: July 18, 2006, 11:56:21 AM

They're probably a bit pricey, though. The Core Duo is a nice cpu, though. Been zippy as hell in OSX and Winders for me.

Engels
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Reply #8 on: July 18, 2006, 06:38:37 PM

Macbook.

He's going overseas to Croatia. I don't know about Apple support in Croatia. Up a creek, no paddle there.

Abogradro, not sure how rough you're going to be travelling, but they do have some more 'robust' laptops if you're going to be doing a lot of walking about with it.

http://www2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/vModelDetail?storeId=15001&catalogId=13401&itemId=95387&catGroupId=25095&modelNo=CF-Y4HWPFZBM-EC&surfModel=CF-Y4HWPFZBM-EC&cacheProgram=11002&cachePartner=7000000000000005702

That one looks nice.

http://www.toughbooksales.com/closer_look/29/index.htm

That one looks a bit over the top, but hey, you never know when you're going to slip on spilt coffee at the airport.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2006, 06:41:46 PM by Engels »

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something. -Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

Babies shooting themselves in the head is the state bird of West Virginia. - schild
Tebonas
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Reply #9 on: July 19, 2006, 01:51:24 AM

There is an Apple Croatia, so there is the same if not better support you get when buying an IBM-compatible notebook in another country and try to get it repaired abroad.

But even if the value per dollar with Apple notebooks seems more right than in previous generations, I still don't consider them cheap.
Lt.Dan
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Reply #10 on: July 19, 2006, 06:34:15 AM

My work laptop is an IBM T43.  Light, built-in DVD/CD player, built in wireless, fast and nice screen.  No idea about price, but it's a great lap top for someone who travels from time to time.
schild
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Reply #11 on: July 19, 2006, 06:55:36 AM

Gotta throw the macbook recommendations under the bus.

Get better for less from Dell. Really, now and for the forseeable future, the vast majority of answers in any "I need a computer" thread should just be "Dude, you're getting a Dell." Best bang for the buck, coming from a guy who bought a Shuttle instead of a Dell because he's an idiot.
Sky
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Reply #12 on: July 19, 2006, 09:03:36 AM

Unless you like OSX. And still want to run XP.

But with Winders notebooks, I'd go Thinkpad before I got a Dell, dude.

Fargull
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Reply #13 on: July 19, 2006, 09:46:58 AM

Abagadro,

The D620 would be the best bet right now.  Pitch for a close now on the D620 as you should be able to get a good price point.

"I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit." John Steinbeck
Rasix
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Reply #14 on: July 19, 2006, 10:47:47 AM

Unless you like OSX. And still want to run XP.

But with Winders notebooks, I'd go Thinkpad before I got a Dell, dude.

Thinkpads are no longer made by IBM.  The quality just isn't there since Lenovo took over the brand. 

-Rasix
WindiaN
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Reply #15 on: July 19, 2006, 01:49:00 PM

dell + 35-45% coupon is unbeatable as far as laptops go
Sky
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Reply #16 on: July 19, 2006, 02:29:26 PM

Unless you like OSX. And still want to run XP.

But with Winders notebooks, I'd go Thinkpad before I got a Dell, dude.

Thinkpads are no longer made by IBM.  The quality just isn't there since Lenovo took over the brand. 
I was thinking about that as I typed it. The best non-Apple laptop I've seen recently was a Thinkpad, real thin and powerful with God's Own wireless antenna (it found a small training hub in what amounts to a metal and steel bunker that nothing else I've seen has found short of boosters).

So whatever IBM makes now...or I guess you're stuck with a dell? I hated my Inspiron, heavy and clunky. It also biased me that I got the last generation of ungameable dells before mobile gpus got decent.

schild
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Reply #17 on: July 19, 2006, 03:52:07 PM

So, you don't like Dell because you got a big shitty one?

Uh. Right.

Ab, get a Dell. "Liking" OSX isn't reason enough to pay the Apple premium. Hell, "Loving" OSX isn't reason enough to pay the apple premium.

Seriously, to you Apple users out there, if they could just keep their costs down a tinnnnnnnnnnny bit for inferior hardware, I'd tell people to buy Apple all the time. But they can't. Because it's art or some shit. Fuck that noise.
Morfiend
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Reply #18 on: July 19, 2006, 04:55:48 PM

MACBOOK!

Widescrean laptop wins. And you dont have the excuse that you need windows now ether. Yeah you pay more, but it is a wonderful piece of tech.
Engels
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Reply #19 on: July 19, 2006, 08:39:04 PM

Jesus, they're worse than Jehova's Witnesses.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something. -Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

Babies shooting themselves in the head is the state bird of West Virginia. - schild
Samwise
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Reply #20 on: July 19, 2006, 08:49:48 PM

I recently got an Inspiron E1505 as a birthday present to myself.  I'm happy with it.

"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
Lt.Dan
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Reply #21 on: July 19, 2006, 10:24:12 PM

I recently got an Inspiron E1505 as a birthday present to myself.  I'm happy with it.

I bought one of these for my wife to use at home.  Dell had an insane deal when I bought it ($400 off and 1gb memory free).  Having been the one to carry it on a recent vacation I would suggest that it's a bit large for frequent travelling, but would be good if you are looking to just have a computer if you're going to be away but in one place.  Battery life is very decent and it charges quickly.  Widescreen format too, nice for watching DVDs.  My only complaint is that there is some kind of scaling of gif images which makes alot of graphics on web pages blurry.  Haven't looked into a work around yet so this might be a user issue.
Samwise
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Reply #22 on: July 19, 2006, 11:19:13 PM

If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, that's a browser option.  In IE you can turn it off under Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Multimedia > Automatic Image Resizing.

"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
Surlyboi
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Reply #23 on: July 19, 2006, 11:55:57 PM

So, you don't like Dell because you got a big shitty one?

Uh. Right.

Ab, get a Dell. "Liking" OSX isn't reason enough to pay the Apple premium. Hell, "Loving" OSX isn't reason enough to pay the apple premium.

Seriously, to you Apple users out there, if they could just keep their costs down a tinnnnnnnnnnny bit for inferior hardware, I'd tell people to buy Apple all the time. But they can't. Because it's art or some shit. Fuck that noise.

Inferior hardware?

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
schild
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Reply #24 on: July 20, 2006, 12:18:50 AM

 $1,999.00 
15.4-inch widescreen display
1440x900 resolution
2.0GHz Intel Core Duo(1)
512MB (single SODIMM) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
80GB 5400-rpm Serial ATA hard drive
4x SuperDrive
ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 128MB GDDR3 memory
One FireWire 400 and two USB 2.0 ports

Dell Baseline E1705 upgraded to the same processor and one-step up on the graphics card:
$1,326
17" Widescreen Display
1440 x 900 pixels
2.0GHz Intel Core Duo
1GB of DDR2 (512 isn't even an option)
80GB 5400-rpm SATA
8x DVD Burner/Who Knows or Cares x CD Burner
256MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1400 HyperMemory
Ports and shit

I mean, comeon. The price difference is astronomical. I didn't even have "try" to get these price differences. I just clicked on the highest base price Dell media system and the LOWEST priced apple system. Ok, maybe not TECHNICALLY INFERIOR QUALITY. But considering the price...
Tebonas
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Reply #25 on: July 20, 2006, 12:47:43 AM

As I already said you pay too much for these things. The comparable Apple to your Dell (the basic 17" Macbook Pro) costs about double what the Dell costs.

But if you don't care about the price you can hold nothing else against Apple. Certainly not the inferior quality. You can easily make the point against Apple without resorting to such things. And I say that as somebody whose last two bought computers where Apples and I would buy them again and certainly might next year or the year after (a new Macbook Pro to replace my Powerbook). These things are too fucking expensive.
schild
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Reply #26 on: July 20, 2006, 01:36:30 AM

For the money, it is inferior quality. If I had put together a Dell machine that cost $2k, the Apple would seem like trash. That's the point. Not that the actual components are literally inferior, but the total package is versus the price.
Tebonas
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Reply #27 on: July 20, 2006, 01:53:03 AM

If your total package includes the OS, its a superior package, but terribly overprized. With all the better hardware in your Dell you still can't run OSX on it. Would many people buy Apple computers to run only Windows on it? You bet they won't. If you don't care about OSX you NEVER EVER buy an Apple computer.
Samwise
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Reply #28 on: July 20, 2006, 01:56:09 AM

Most of the people who buy Macs now were buying them back in the OS 9 days too.  So clearly there's something that you get with a Mac other than OS X.

I'm going to guess it's drugs.

"I have not actually recommended many games, and I'll go on the record here saying my track record is probably best in the industry." - schild
Engels
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Reply #29 on: July 20, 2006, 01:56:15 AM

But if you don't care about the price you can hold nothing else against Apple. Certainly not the inferior quality. You can easily make the point against Apple without resorting to such things.

Its like there's this strange magic aura around the Apple Fashion that prevents its devotees from realizing that their machines are in no way shape or form different from other companies except the OS. That's software guys. Not hardware. It might have been different back in the day, when apple wouldn't even discolse the components it was putting in its machines and you had to be in the know to talk about apple hardware comparisons to pc hardware. That's just no longer the case.

You can tell yourself that the machine Apple makes, which is 1/2 as powerful as a similarly priced PC machine is somehow 'better', but its just not true.

You can make the claim that you prefer Os X, that its less buggy (cough), any number of things relating to the dubious virtues of Linu..er, I mean Os X, but it has jack squat to do with hardware performance.

I should get back to nature, too.  You know, like going to a shop for groceries instead of the computer.  Maybe a condo in the woods that doesn't even have a health club or restaurant attached.  Buy a car with only two cup holders or something. -Signe

I LIKE being bounced around by Tonkors. - Lantyssa

Babies shooting themselves in the head is the state bird of West Virginia. - schild
Tebonas
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Reply #30 on: July 20, 2006, 02:22:40 AM

Or maybe its just that you don't care. You want your Computer to do the job you want it to do. Thats software. The hardware just enables the software to do the job. You need faster hardware if the job takes too long. Really, I'm all about my game rig outperforming the next game rig, PC tuning is our generations equivalent to car tuning after all. My Macs? Just should do their fucking job without annoying me in the process. That they do.

But then I am no Mac zealot. I never had a Mac until OSX, the elitist attitude of some mac users always rubbed me the wrong way.
Ironwood
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Reply #31 on: July 20, 2006, 02:54:26 AM

Wurd.

"Mr Soft Owl has Seen Some Shit." - Sun Tzu
Lt.Dan
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Reply #32 on: July 20, 2006, 06:18:15 AM

If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, that's a browser option.  In IE you can turn it off under Tools > Internet Options > Advanced > Multimedia > Automatic Image Resizing.

Holy shit.  I'd never, ever, ever have found that.  Thanks.
schild
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Reply #33 on: July 20, 2006, 06:34:35 AM

If your total package includes the OS, its a superior package, but terribly overprized. With all the better hardware in your Dell you still can't run OSX on it. Would many people buy Apple computers to run only Windows on it? You bet they won't. If you don't care about OSX you NEVER EVER buy an Apple computer.

Really? OSX is worth $700?

Are you kidding? Because if it's a joke, I don't get it.
Tebonas
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Reply #34 on: July 20, 2006, 07:12:04 AM

What about "terribly overprized" was unclear to you?
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