Laptop trade-off question

Discussion in 'Computers' started by SethH, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Ok, I'm shopping for a laptop for my cousin. She doesn't need anything overly powerful, but it needs to not be antiquated too quickly. I think I've narrowed it down to these two options. They are both Compaq and almost identical. There are only two differences and I'd like your opinion on which is better:

    Here's what they both have in common:

    Windows XP Home
    512 MB RAM
    60 GB HD
    DVD/CD-RW Combo drive
    802.11b/g with 10/100 ethernet and 56k modem
    15.4" WXGA Widescrees
    Microsoft Office 2003 Basic (includes Word, Excel, Outlook)
    12-cell battery (instead of standard 8)
    2 year warranty

    Here's the differences:

    Machine A has an Intel P4 2.8GHz, but has shared graphics memory (so it's pulling from the oh-so-precious RAM)

    Machine B has AMD Athalon64 3000+ 1.8GHz and has a 64MB NVidia GeForce 4 440GO

    So my tradeoff is between the processor and the video card. They are both priced at $1372.99 after all incentives and rebates. Also, if you can point me to something cheaper that'd be great, but it must have some version of Office on it which rules out everything at BestBuy and most other retailers.
     
  2. Tekara

    Tekara Supporting Actor

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  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    That is a good deal. I need to check with her and see exactly what software she needs. Like I said in my original post, the only problem with every computer from BestBuy is that you can't get them with Microsoft Office on them. They all come with Works Suite instead. While this is cheaper, some people need to have Excel in particular.
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Don't buy compaq they're not very reliable and you can get what you want from Toshiba or Dell. I'd also strongly consider going with a Centrino chip instead of the P4 as it'll run far cooler and will have much better battery life.
     
  5. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    ditto
     
  6. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    There is no "centrino chip", All an intel centrino notebook is, is a pentium 4m cpu and an intel wifi card. Its just a marketing tool. If i had a P4m and a lynksys card its the same as a centrino but it wont be given the Centrino badge. Both of the machines you talked about in your origonal post are using the same cpu you would find in a desktop, thus they use more power, will run hotter, and the machine will probably weigh more due to the need for a large heatsink. You would get better battery life out of a mobile chip like the P4m, but you will also be sacrificing some speed and definatly cash. What it really boils down to is whats more important to you. performance, or weight/battery life.

    btw.. i would go with the Athlon machine.. Intel is like the monster cable to cpus. Good, but overpriced compared to the competition. Also, onboard video is not cool.

    I have no complaints about compaq. They build there laptops using the same parts as everyone else.. any major brand name laptop should do just fine.. they all have warranties.

    Theres a few nice free office suits that look and feel just like microsoft office. Check out openoffice.org.

    http://download.openoffice.org/1.1.2/index.html
     
  7. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i dont want to nitpick, but it isnt a pentium 4 m for centrino, it's just pentium M. pentium 4 m is an entirely different cpu, and has nothing to do with centrino.

    CJ
     
  8. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    While you're right that Compaq's parts are pretty much the same you'd find in a Dell or any other computer, what differs is quality control, and Compaq does a poor job at that.
     
  9. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    The "M" stands for "mobile". They run cooler than their non-mobile counterparts and run at lower voltage, which is better for notebook computers and batterylife.
     

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