Laptop recommendations

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by jeff peterson, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    Looking for a high school student entering college this fall. We'll probably wait until July or so to get the latest features.

    Any recommendations with around a $1500 budget?

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    First, see what the school recommends. Most universities have a computer store, which will then support the system that you bought. I'm sure they'll have something within your price range.

    And check out an iBook. They're great little computers, and are right in your price range.
     
  3. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    I agree with Don. Check out the iBook. A friend's daughter brought one to college this year and she couldn't be happier with it. Base price at the low end will be about $1200. By July, the price will either drop or the machine will have added features.
     
  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Dell Inspiron 8200... I think it starts at about $1500.

    It has only one drawback to me and that is sheer physical size and weight. It's pretty heavy for a laptop. That comes from having every bell and whistle you can imagine in one laptop squeezed in there. Easily serves as a desktop computer replacement.

    Pentium 4 CPU, very high resolution screen (1400x1050 or 1600x1200), a Nvidia GeForce2Go graphics chipset (making it easily fast enough to handle just about any game out there), firewire, dual usb... even has s-video out so you can use it as a HTPC/DVD player.

    I have one of its older siblings, Inspiron 8000, and couldn't be happier.

    Depends a lot on what is important to the prospective owner though - performance, games, lots of screen real estate for multiple windows... or a light machine that is ultra portable for a user who won't be doing more than your basic word processing, web surfing and mail. If the latter, this probably isn't the right choice.
     
  5. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    I agree Dell either 4100 for budget or 8100 if you want large screen, better video, etc.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    A few observations and thoughts about laptops. For a given price, you can choose two of these three aspects:
    - Speed. power, screen size, etc
    - Battery life
    - Physical size, weight
    In this particular case, it might make sense to wait until mid-semester, and child has fallen into his/her work habits.
    If your child prefers working in the library, then a smaller size (easier to carry) could be a priority.
    If he works mostly in the dorm room, then size is less important and go for power or larger screen.
    If he is going to school in Hawaii and will be "working" outside alot [​IMG] then maximize battery life.
     
  7. Kelley_B

    Kelley_B Cinematographer

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    Another vote for the iBook. It was designed with students in mind. Its light, looks cool, plenty enough speed, and is very easy to use.
     
  8. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    The only thing wrong with an iBook is that it runs MacOS X when just about the rest of the world (and probably the schoool) will be running some flavor of windows. MacOS X is not a bad thing, but I had nothing but macs in college and it ended up being more of a hassle than anything else. Not being able to participate in lan games with other windows folks, not being able to run the software the labs had at home, professors whining at me because I had a mac. I had enough things to worry about without getting ragged on because of my computer choice.

    As far as purchasing, whatever you buy wait till the kid gets to school and buy from the education store. Edu prices are usually really good. Unfortunately the computer you buy for college should be like the computer everyone else has. After they get out of school then they can buy whatever they want, but having a computer that runs the same OS as everyone else in school will make life a whole lot easier for 4 (or more) years.
     
  9. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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  10. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    You have to be downright negligent these days to fall prey to the normal run of viruses on a PC. Negligent in this case means "have no automatically updating antivirus software" coupled with "running a Microsoft created email program". You also need to compound your folly by cheerfully opening mail attachments sent to you.
    You also need to be stupid enough not to have off-laptop backups of your term papers.
    Anyone too dumb to do the above deserves what they get, IMHO; you'd think someone smart enough to go to college would be smart enough to take backups. But maybe I'm cynical. [​IMG]
    Oh, and about battery life; with fresh dual batteries in my Inspiron 8000 I can go 3-4 hours or so on one charge, but it's not the most energy efficient laptop out there.
    I'm sure that by the above you can also tell I'm pro Intel PC over Mac - but I'm biased by being a hobbyist as well, which means game playing is at least somewhat important to me. The Macs out there do get games, but usually later and nowhere near all of them.
     
  11. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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  12. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    I agree with the fact that Mac OS might be a hassle if everyone else runs windows. Depending on what size screen you get you can easily get 6+ Hours out of two batteries. I friend of mine once got 9 hours of MP3 Playback with the screen closed on his Dell 7200 with two batteries.

    But the real reason I choose Dell, asside from the fact that I like the configurations you cam get. e.g. Killer ATI graphis with Dual monitor support S-Video out S/PDIF out, large screens, good battery life, more time invested in makeing a product that work well rather than invest a bunch of time and money to make it look cute is there warrenty.

    We have allot of Dells at work and if a part is needs replaced a service technition is there withen 24 hours to replace it. This is with the standard 3yr on site warrenty. I and my co-workers and friends who have Dells have had very good luck with there sales and support staff. Unlike gateway that has trained monkies that get paid $7 an hour that are outsorced to another company.

    Dell also give's you way more documentation about your system. There support site is top noch. I noticed on my dell laptop that when the warrenty expired that a new section of there support site opened up. It had detialed step by step instructions and exploded drawings of how to repalace EVERY single component in the system. From the backup battery to the LCD screen.

    Needless to say I like Dell allot.
     

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