Laptop Recommendations

Discussion in 'Computers' started by John Wilson, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. John Wilson

    John Wilson Supporting Actor

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    I'm in the market for a lightweight, durable and inexpensive Laptop that my daughter could utilize this Fall at college. The basic requirements would be:

    - 512MB memory minimum
    - lightweight, 5 lbs?
    - wireless b/g built-in
    - Windows XP
    - Non-celeron processor
    - long-life battery
    - 12 or 14-inch screen
    - Durable, i.e. well-built

    I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 now that I'm happy with but its too big and heavy to use on a daily basis in a college setting. What Dell models or other models by Sony, Acer, IBM would be possible candidates?

    Thanks for any input/suggestions![​IMG]
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Pricing is also an important criteria. If the sky is the limit choices show up that weren't there if we're talking super-budget class. [​IMG]

    If you have an absolute upper limit, it would probably be helpful to state it.
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I always lean toward Lenovo (IBM). I've used several of them and have several friends/family who own them. My wife and I have both owned Dell laptops (Latitudes) and now have Dell laptops through work (Inspirons).

    I just feel like the Lenovos are nicer, better built machines. Also, definitely go with 1GB of RAM with room to upgrade. At some point during college your daughter will likely want to upgrade to MS Vista which will definitely need at least 1GB of RAM to run smoothly.
     
  4. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    Does her college offer any special pricing? I'm picking up my sons T60 Thinkpad tomorrow from NC State. They offered some pretty good pricing through the school. All 3 of my son's in college have Thinkpads. They have been very reliable. School statistics show them to be most reliable and anecdotal info from my son's says same.
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I agree with Bob to check on school discounts. My school offered discounts on Dell and I used it. But there was a pretty big catch to it. By using the discount we had to pay sales tax which we wouldn't have to pay if we just ordered it directly from Dell. So the 10-12% discount became a 5-7% discount.

    However, unless the discount is substantial, don't let it steer you away from a better computer. I would personally be willing to spend a little more on a ThinkPad than on the equivalent computer from Dell or HP.
     
  6. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    I picked up a Toshiba laptop for my wife from Best Buy for Christmas and couldn't be happier.

    They have a newer model (Model: A105-S4074) that weighs in at 6 lbs. And has the following.
    Centrino® Duo 1.6GHz processor
    WXGA widescreen active-matrix TFT-LCD with TruBrite technology (1280 x 800) Screen Size 15.4 in.
    System Bus of 533MHz
    Cache Memory 2MB on die Level 2
    System Memory (RAM) 512MB expandable To 4GB
    PC4200 DDR2 SDRAM
    120GB Hard Drive SATA (5400 rpm)
    Optical Drive Double-layer DVD±RW/CD-RW, 4x DVD+R DL; 4x DVD-R DL; 8x8x8 DVD+RW; 8x6x8 DVD-RW; 5x DVD-RAM; 24x16x24 CD-RW
    LightScribe Compatibility
    Digital Media Reader or Slots
    Digital media card reader
    Built-in Intel® PRO/100 VE 10/100Base-TX Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector)
    Wireless Networking Built-in Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG network connection (802.11a/b/g)
    Battery Type Lithium-ion, Operating System Windows XP Media Center 2005 and more.

    Go here for a look. They have it on sale for $950 which isn't bad.

    Parker
     
  7. John Wilson

    John Wilson Supporting Actor

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    Thanks to all for the replies so far. They have given me food for thought. [​IMG]

    Kimmo:
    Yes, I should have stated an upper price limit. I would like to stay under $900 if at all possible but I'm keeping my options open.

    Bob,
    are there any "older" Thinkpad models that might come close to my criteria?
     
  8. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Try www.notebookreview.com - they have a nice configuration tool on their front page where you can enter your requirements and see if any laptop fits.
    However, I wholeheartedly agree you should check out what the school offers first or check manufacturer pages directly to see if you can get student pricing info.

    Also, your daughter will probably have some opinions on it, she's the one who's going to be hauling it around campus. She might like a black "Darth Vader Special" laptop from Lenovo, it's not impossible, but she might also wind up gritting her teeth every time she unpacks it... [​IMG]

    Macs tend to be popular with the ladies, because say what you want about Apple, nobody can argue that their design department is anything but numero uno when it comes to making good-looking gear, and they do run a nice OS as well these days.

    Again, heedlessly barging ahead without fear of clinging to old stereotypes [​IMG] , I'll bravely claim that girls don't often put a premium on gaming which is one area where Macs fall down (and lets face it, for $950, you won't be gaming on any laptop you buy anyway...) Macbooks start at $1000-something without discounts. http://www.apple.com/macbook/macbook.html

    I believe Apple also gives decent discounts for students, but never really checked.

    Edit: spotted that they have a back-to-school special going on. She can get an iPod Nano for free. [​IMG] http://www.apple.com/backtoschool/?c...20060530-Y97V2

    I'm not necessarily advocating getting a Mac, I'm just tossing out the possibility here since nobody else have mentioned them. They're not half bad. Heck, most anything is better than Windows. [​IMG]
     

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