help me find a laptop

Discussion in 'Computers' started by david*mt, May 2, 2006.

  1. david*mt

    david*mt Second Unit

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    I'm going to law school next year, and I am in need of a laptop. I'd really like someone to recommend one for me. I don't need anything too fancy, but it needs a Dual Core or Pentium M processor, 1 GB Ram, 60 GB hard drive, wireless internet card, and a 3 yr warranty. I'd also like a 14'' screen. Got any recommendations? I really don't want to spend over $1200 and the cheaper the better.
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I don't think you're going to be able to get a Core Duo and a 3-year warranty in your price range. So, I would suggest getting a PentiumM or waiting until late July or so to see if prices come down on the Core Duo.

    I've always been very partial to the ThinkPads (formerly IBM, presently Lenovo). IMO, they are the most solidly built laptops available. My wife and I have each owned Dell Latitudes which have been very good to us for the most part -- but I still like my sister's ThinkPad much better.

    UPDATE: Lenovo actually sells the Lenovo 3000 N100 with a Core Duo processor. When you move up to 1GB of RAM and add in a 3 year warranty it comes to $1267. That's probably about as low as you'll get for a good laptop with a Core Duo.
     
  3. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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    Second SethH's suggestion to go with a Thinkpad. Another point to consider would be to get the laptop after you get into law school, because that way you can take advantage of academic discounts.
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Generally, or at least at my school, the discounts are made available to students as soon as they are admitted to the school. However, make sure these discounts are actually discounts. For instance, my school had a deal with Dell when I came in as a freshman. It was 5%-10% off various models depending on price. However, the catch was that you had to pay sales tax on them (4.5% in my state at that time) and you couldn't use other offers (rebates, discounts, etc). It ended up being cheaper for me to just buy directly from Dell rather than using the "special" Dell site setup for my school.

    Software, on the other hand, is a different story. My school sells MS Office to students for next to nothing on a contract with MS. If your school has a similar contract you will likely save a couple hundred dollars compared to buying it through Dell or Lenovo.

    If they don't have a software contract, you should consider OpenOffice which has gotten considerably better with version 2.0 and could be a viable alternative for you depending on your needs.
     
  5. Kean-Hock Yeap

    Kean-Hock Yeap Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree that Dell has aggressive discounts via coupons online, so it's gonna be hard to beat that using academic discounts. I still believe that academic discounts for Thinkpads are real, though the amount of savings may be different depending on the particular model (more expensive ones tend to have better discounts).

    As far as sales tax goes, I believe now you also have to pay for sales tax if you order onine via Dell directly.
     
  6. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    You have to pay sales tax when buying Dell online only if they have a presence in your state. Which includes the Dell kiosks at the mall.
     
  7. AlyssaAnders

    AlyssaAnders Extra

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    I have a Dell that I love and I have had a thinkpad in the past too. Both are very good computers. Dell always seems to have the best deals whenever I pay attention to the ads.

    Definitely plan on buying around Memorial day if you can, they will be offering even bigger better discounts and rebates.
     
  8. Lance_R

    Lance_R Stunt Coordinator

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    If you are buying just on price the Dell's are hard to beat. Otherwise take a look at the Lenovo line and HP's business line like the nc6320. Never been a big fan of the HP home line, but their business models are great and do not come loaded with all the crap software.
     
  9. david*mt

    david*mt Second Unit

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    What's the difference btwn a Pentium M and Dual Core? Do I really need a Dual Core for school stuff?
     
  10. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    The dual core is more "future proof." Intel has said that by the end of the year 90% of the processors they produce for laptops will be dual core. Essentially when you buy a dual core you're getting a single physical chip that has two Pentium M's built into it.

    Do you really need it for school running Windows XP? Nope. But if you plan to upgrade to Vista then your machine might run a little better with dual core since Vista is expected to be a resource hog.
     
  11. Cameron_S

    Cameron_S Auditioning

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    I have had great luck with Sony and have two VIAOs. PC Mall was running a great special on them.
     
  12. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Dell's Inspiron E1505 can be had with Core Duo, 3 year warranty and 1GB RAM can be had for almost exactly $1200 right now with their current special. I know because I'm pricing one out for myself.
     
  13. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    You have to be quick when they post codes, but I bought my Dell laptop with a $750 coupon from:
    http://www.couponmountain.com/

    p.s. I see there's a $650 right now.
     

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