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My first laptop: Do I need this stuff?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Jon_Are

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Posted February 23 2008 - 06:07 AM

I'm out of the loop for laptop technology, so here we go. Do I need... 1. Bluetooth capability? (I use no PDA/Blackberry/fancy phone devices. But is Bluetooth necessary or recommended to use a wireless mouse/keyboard with the notebook?) 2. Next-gen wireless card? (I use a standard wireless connection with my home desktop and it works perfectly; would the next-gen give some adavantage in the near future?) 3. Duo-core vs. Duo-core Centrino processor? (Supposedly the Centrino configuration creates a stronger, smoother wireless connection, but that info seems to be coming straight from the manufacturer. Hype?) 4. Glossy vs. non-glare screen? (I know this is a matter of personal taste, just wondering which y'all prefer) 5. 14 vs. 15 vs. 17-inch screen? (I've heard folks say that 17 is too dang big. I won't be toting the laptop very often, but I'm wondering if 17" is too unwieldly to, say, sit on a recliner with the machine on my lap and browse the web or watch a movie on it. Alternatively, is a 14 or 15-incher too small to enjoy a DVD on? Guess that's it for now; appreciate any input. Jon

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted February 23 2008 - 06:58 AM

1) Bluetooth is not necessary for using a wireless mouse/keyboard with the notebook. 2) Next-gen wireless card isn't a must have. Wireless-N hasn't penetrated the market much yet. If your home network is G, a normal wireless-G network card will be fine. It's very unlikely you'll run into public hot-spots that don't support G. 3) There is no Duo-Core Centrino processor. Centrino is a technology introduced by Intel that consists of three parts: a) Core 2 Duo Processor (or Core Solo for regular Centrino) b) Intel 945 or 965 Chipset c) Intel PRO/wireless LAN card 4) My wife has the glossy screen and it's great-- indoors. Take it out in sunlight and you can't read a darn thing. 5) Personally, I think 15" is the perfect size. 17" is just too big for a laptop and 14" is a bit small. But if you really aren't going to be toting it around much, you may prefer the 17". Go to a store somewhere that you can pick up a 17" laptop and see if it feels too big.

#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Jon_Are

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Posted February 23 2008 - 07:20 AM

Thanks, Bryan; very helpful.
Core 2 Duo Processor is what I meant. Worth getting? And any advantage to having Bluetooth? Jon

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted February 23 2008 - 07:25 AM

Yeah, you definately want a Core 2 Duo (Centrino or not). I wouldn't pay a significant premium for the "Centrino" label. My wife's laptop is not a Centrino and we have no problems with battery life, connectivity, etc. What I meant was there is no Centrino processor (Core 2 Duo or otherwise). Centrino is just a regular Core 2 Duo processor with a specific chipset and LAN card. I'd say no to bluetooth since you say you don't have any bluetooth devices. I've never missed it.

#5 of 8 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted February 23 2008 - 08:12 AM

How hard is it going to be to upgrade the laptop? You might not have a bluetooth mouse and keyboard now, but they are available. Yes, you can get wireless mice and keyboards that come with their own usb transmitter. But the transmitter might be damaged, or lost. The wireless issue is a bit trickier. You've got a 802.11g router, which presumably connects to an ever slower broadband connection. Are there other devices on your network? Can you foresee a time when you'll outgrow your present router?

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Jon_Are

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Posted February 23 2008 - 10:41 AM

Is there an advantage of a Bluetooth mouse & keyboard over a USB transmitted wireless set-up (other than the fact that Bluetooth is internal)?

#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Dennis*G

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Posted February 23 2008 - 11:19 AM

I'd go ahead and add in bluethooth, it's usually only about a $30 extra feature and who knows if 5 months from now you get something bluetooth and you kick yourself for not getting it in the laptop. Wireless N is nothing you need now and wireless b, g and n will all do your internet at the same speed (unless yoiu have some uber 20mb connection or something), it's your internal network that would improve in speeds. Centrino is just marketing ploy of Intel to get a few extra dollars Glossy and matte and screen size, those are very subjective so you will have to go check those out in person.

#8 of 8 OFFLINE   JeremyErwin

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Posted February 23 2008 - 02:11 PM

Well, if the desktop is kept, and if you purchase a bluray player that wants it, plus a streaming audio device, you'll have the beginnings of a network. Will it warrant the purchase of a new 802.11n router? Beats me. My own router supports an external drive. I don't really need the extra space yet. But should I connect one up, every bit of bandwidth will help.