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Yet another "Purchasing a Laptop" post


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#1 of 13 John Wilson

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Posted August 23 2007 - 04:19 PM

Posted Image

I know there are other posts asking for purchasing advice but I didn't want to hijack any of those so here I amPosted Image

My wife's 8-year old Dell desktop is having issues and she would like to get an updated system. We are seriously considering a larger laptop as a "desktop replacement" system. There are a few things we agree we would really like to have as features on this system. They are:

1. A 17-inch NON-GLOSSY screen with reasonable resolution. Who's idea was it to offer all of the glare-monsters that seem to be so plentiful these daysPosted Image Its getting hard to tell from descriptions just what are glossy and what are matte screens these days. Posted Image

2. Windows XP Home or Professional. Not ready for Vista yet. We just like our XPPosted Image

3. At least 1 GB of memory and a large (80-100) GB hard drive.

I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 that we share and have had a relatively good experience with it so far. Dell, Lenovo, higher-end HP and Sony are all fair game as are any other suggestions that pertain to reliable hardware.Posted Image

Thanks for any suggestions or opinions.
John F. Wilson
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#2 of 13 SethH

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Posted August 23 2007 - 10:03 PM

Well, I typically prefer Lenovo, but it doesn't appear that they sell a laptop with a 17" screen.

I looked at Dell and HP -- The model I looked at on HP's site only lists Vista as an option, so I guess that's out. Dell had two models (that I saw) with 17" screens: XPS and Inspiron. The XPS is, IMO, just plain ugly and the Inspiron did not offer XP.

How much money are you planning to spend? Depending on your answer to that, I would possibly recommend the Apple MacBook Pro -- although I would also recommend that you wait a month for it to get the latest version of OSX.

#3 of 13 DaveF

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Posted August 24 2007 - 02:45 AM

May I recommend a 15" laptop + 20" LCD monitor for about the same price as a 17" laptop?

I recently bought a new laptop (Mac, actually) and found the price increase from 15" to 17" was about $300, enough to buy a 20" LCD. And a 15" laptop is small enough to comfortably travel with, or tote about the house, use on the couch, etc. A 17", by all accounts, does not travel as well. I can use the 20" LCD at the desk, and unplug away from the desk.

#4 of 13 Kimmo Jaskari

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Posted August 24 2007 - 05:12 AM

I agree entirely with Dave. A laptop is an ergonomic nightmare as well, everything on it is a compromise to increase portability. The keyboard is cramped, the keys have limited travel, the screen is small, the quality of the screen vs the best desktop screens is dubious and they force you into a position that is usually ergonomically wrong at best.

To mitigate all those factors you need to budget for a good desktop screen, a good desktop keyboard, a mouse and a good work area. The laptop can then be used as if it was a desktop, with the added bonus of mobility if needed.

Can't really chime in with good suggestions as to what specific laptop to get, though.
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#5 of 13 Clinton McClure

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Posted August 24 2007 - 09:45 AM

I think I read recently where Microsoft no longer sells XP. They still support it and will for the forseeable future, but the only Windows OS available for purchase is Vista.

#6 of 13 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 24 2007 - 09:48 AM

Stay away from 17" laptops if you plan to travel. Mine was
a nightmare.

Lenovo is the best laptop you can buy, but if you are considering
paying that much you ought to go with a Macbook Pro instead, unless
you are afraid of going over to the dark side Posted Image

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#7 of 13 ThomasC

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Posted August 24 2007 - 10:07 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clinton McClure
I think I read recently where Microsoft no longer sells XP. They still support it and will for the forseeable future, but the only Windows OS available for purchase is Vista.
It's still available from Amazon. Maybe they've stopped production, but there are still copies out there.

http://www.amazon.co....7993272&sr=8-1

#8 of 13 Chris

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Posted August 25 2007 - 09:05 AM

MS is still making XP. Hell, they've told OEMs at the latest TS2 meetings that SP3 -will- in fact happen. Right now, XP will be available retail and other through December 24, 2007. OEMs will still be able to buy copies through January 1, 2009.

So XP isn't dead.

I'll throw out a value brand name that people seem to have very good luck with and find the quality vs. cost is very high: Acer.
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#9 of 13 Lance_R

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Posted August 25 2007 - 09:12 AM

I would also urge not to get the big screen laptops, they will burn a hole in your lap when you try and use them.

I am a big fan of the HP business machines for home machines, they are built a little better and do not come overloaded with crapware. If space is an issue consider an HP dc 7700 ultra slim desktop. One advantage of the business line is it easier to get XP factory installed and they have better warranties.

#10 of 13 Tekara

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Posted August 25 2007 - 07:11 PM

I use a Dell M1710 17" laptop and I love it, I haven't used a desktop since buying it. I bring it with me near everywhere, including the mile walk to work.

Now as for a recommendation on a laptop, if you're looking for a good deal it's hard to beat Dell's outlet: http://www.dell.com/outlet . I tend to prefer Dells for the complete care coverage, it's really nice to have accident coverage on something that gets carried around.
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#11 of 13 Will_B

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Posted August 26 2007 - 01:15 PM

If I were to buy my laptop over again, I'd get one that was capable of playing games like F.E.A.R. That's just beyond the scope of my little Gateway.

I'd start by looking at the Dell xps m1710, and then I'd search until I found something similar that maybe had a less "hot rod" aesthetic... like the Sony VAIO AR Series (though I'd skip the BluRay drive, for now).
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#12 of 13 Chris

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Posted August 26 2007 - 02:21 PM

If you want something that will play FEAR or similar, here's what you're after:

* Something Intel Santa Rosa based
* Something using the Nvidia 8600GM Mobile or better

I'd look seriously at something like the Asus G1/G2 series.
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#13 of 13 Will_B

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Posted August 27 2007 - 07:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
If you want something that will play FEAR or similar, here's what you're after:

* Something Intel Santa Rosa based
* Something using the Nvidia 8600GM Mobile or better

I'd look seriously at something like the Asus G1/G2 series.

Wow, those are seriously pretty machines! The whole aesthetic is a nice retro-1970s-futurism. And I like that the ASDW keys are stamped with a different color ink to make them easier to find.

Definitely prettier than Dell's silver cans! Thanks for the suggestion. I am going to keep Asus in mind for my next laptop, for sure.
"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted." -Krysta Now




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