Merry Xmas - Help me chose a new laptop!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Chris PC, Dec 25, 2005.

  1. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Merry Xmas everyone from the great white north!

    Ok. I received a notebook laptop for xmas from my father. I already have a good desktop I upgraded last year, but I have always thought I would prefer a laptop so I didn't HAVE to sit at my desk to use my PC, can use it in the bedroom, kitchen, livingroom, on the road etc etc. Its a very nice laptop, pretty close to what I would have chosen myself, but not exactly what I would prefer...so...here are the details of the laptop first:

    The laptop is this one from Best Buy:

    http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...43&catid=20354

    MX6124
    Processor Type Intel Celeron M Processor 370
    Screen Size 15.4"
    RAM (Preloaded / Maximum) 512MB (Exp. To 2GB)
    Hard Drive 60GB HDD (4200RPM)
    Optical Drives DVD+/-RW Multi-Format Drive
    Graphics See The Features Section
    Average Battery Life 3 Hours
    Product Weight 6.27 lbs
    Audio Type AC '97 2.3 Compliant Audio
    Battery Type 6-Cell Lithium-Ion
    Cache 1MB L2
    Fax/Modem 56K ITU V.92
    I/O Ports Info Not Available
    Included In Box Power Supply, Battery, Manual
    Network Card See The Features Section
    Other Software See The Features Section
    PC Card Slots See The Features Section
    Pointing Device Touchpad With Vertical Scroll Zone
    Preloaded Operating System MS Windows XP Home Edition SP2
    Processor Speed 1.5GHz
    Product Dimensions 35.78(W) x 3.55(H) x 26.39(D) cm
    Removable Storage Info Not Available
    Screen Type Widescreen Ultrabright WXGA TFT
    Speakers AC '97 2.3 Compliant Audio Built-In
    System Bus 400MHz
    Warranty 1 Year Parts & Labour


    An ok laptop, and if there was no way I could exchange it, I would appreciate it. $999 plus taxes and the HP PSC 1510 all-in-one scanner printer too (is that any good?). I would prefer something with a slightly larger HD, really prefer an AMD CPU and non-shared video (not essential but what the heck).

    So my question is this, without spending more, or not much more, what laptop should I exchange/upgrade/trade this for? (I know I cannot refund this for a few days). It must be from Best Buy. I would prefer something similar in performance to my desktop:

    MSI Neo2 Plat
    AMD64 3000+ 1.8 ghz CPU
    1 GB OCZ PC400 ram
    Nvidia Geforce2 GTS 32 MB AGP
    200 GB seagate SATA
    LG 4162 dvd ram burner
    USB 2.0

    ...so I figured a 1.8 ghz AMD cpu laptop would be good. 15.4" widescreen is ok. I don't need non-shared video because I won't play many games. To get more on what my desktop is like, check my price check thread. I know I will lose a few things (video capture, but I can get an outboard one, and I will lose some speed). Does anybody know if the dual-layer dvd drive in the below turion laptop is as good as my LG 4163B?

    I was thinking of this one if I can swing it:

    http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...gon=&langid=EN

    AMD Turion 64 Mobile Technology ML-32 With 1.80GHz Processor Speed
    80GB HDD (4200RPM)
    512MB memory for multitasking power, expandable up to 2GB.
    DVD +/- RW Multi-Format Double Layer
    802.11g Integrated Wireless (Up To 54Mbps)
    Weighs only 2.8 kg and measures just 1.4cm thin for easy portability.
    I/O Ports: 4 x USB 2.0, 1 x VGA External Connector, 1 x IEEE 1394, 1 x RJ11, 1 x RJ45, Microphone In, Headphone
    PC Card Slots: 1 x Type I or Type II; Card Bus, 4-in-1 Digital Media Manager Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Memory Stick-Pro, and MultimediaCard
    Network Card: 10/100Mbps built-in Ethernet; Integrated 802.11g Wireless (Up to 54Mbps)

    Included Software: Microsoft Works 8, Money 2005, Microsoft Digital Image Starter Edition 2006 with Trial, Nero 6 Suite, PowerDVD, Microsoft Office 2003 Student Teacher Ed. Trial (60-day complimentary trial period), AOL (6-month membership included), McAfee Internet Security Suite (90-day complimentary subscription)
    Please Note: This product only contains English operating instructions and system software.

    Product Details

    Web Code:10069888
    Mfr. Part Number:MX6420
    Processor Type AMD Turion 64 Mobile Technology ML-32
    Screen Size 15.4"
    RAM (Preloaded / Maximum) 512MB (Exp. To 2GB)
    Hard Drive 80GB HDD (4200RPM)
    Optical Drives DVD +/- RW Multi-Format Double Layer
    Graphics ATI Radeon Xpress 200M Graphics
    Average Battery Life Over 3 Hours
    Product Weight 2.8 kg
    Audio Type AC '97 2.3 Compliant
    Battery Type 6-Cell Lithium-Ion
    Cache 512KB L2
    Fax/Modem 56K ITU V.92
    I/O Ports Info Not Available
    Included In Box Power Supply, Battery, Manual
    Network Card See The Features Section
    Other Software See The Features Section
    PC Card Slots See The Features Section
    Pointing Device Touchpad With Vertical Scroll Zone
    Preloaded Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home
    Processor Speed 1.80GHz
    Product Dimensions 14.09(W) x 1.40(H) x 10.39(D) cm
    Removable Storage Info Not Available
    Screen Type Widescreen Ultrbright WXGA TFT
    Speakers Built-In Stereo Speakers
    System Bus Info Not Available

    Anybody have any advice? Is the above Turion a decent choice?

    P.S. As per above, I don't need anything huge, my minimum requirements are AMD CPU, 80 GB HDD, 512 to 1 GB ram, 15.4" widescreen, dual layer dvd burner. Also, is the above burner as good as the LG 4163B?

    P.P.S. My father knows me well, and bought the laptop knowing he wasn't sure what I would like, a different laptop, or even a digital SLR. My father is spoiling me! I must take him on a guided fishing trip this year!

    thanx in advance for any helpful advice.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    As an aside....I would actually like the other one at Best Buy with 1 GB DDR and a 100 GB HD and explicitly states that it has 128 MB of DDR video ram...but its another $300:

    http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...gon=&langid=EN


    Anyhow...Back to the Turion MX6420. The only semi-concern I have is that it does not explicitly say that the video is shared or not. I suspect that it may be. Again, I will not be playing major 3D games, and even if I started and they couldn't be played to the max, I would live with it.

    Questions I am trying to figure out:

    1) Does anybody know if the MX6420 AMD64 Turion laptop uses shared memory? Another pain in the arse is the fact that the Best Buy model numbers cannot be cross-checked with gateway! What a pain. I was able to find my laptop because I have the serial number, but not the prospective MX6420.

    2) Is the dual layer dvd drive any good? Does it do CDRW too?

    less important:

    3) Are the 4200 rpm HD much slower than the 7200 rpm desktop units? Meaning, does the 4200 rpm hd slow down the laptop? I cannot see any laptops with faster drives.

    thanx again for feedback

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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  4. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    CJ
    you should look into the pentium M processor. amd can't touch the performance with any of its current mobile processors. and this is coming from a die hard amd desktop processor fan. i just bought my first laptop, has a pentium M 750, and the thing is really fast. but if you MUST have an amd processor, the turion64 is a good choice. and yes, all dvd writers also do cds too.

    if possible, avoid the 4200 rpm drives, these will be a lot slower than the 7200 rpm desktop and laptop drives. 7200 rpm laptop drives arent cheap, but 5400 rpm drives offer a nice price/performance balance.

    CJ
     
  5. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Right, well, I cannot see any Pentium M CPU's in my price range right now. The only one was a 1.5 ghz celery M CPU. I am buying a complete PC, so I guess I cannot chose the hard disk either. AMD64 3500 should be fine vs intel, although perhaps not as power efficient.
     
  6. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I would suggest not being too concerned with HD size. If your only option is a 4200rpm HD, you'd be better off just getting an external HD to use for any speed-critical applications (e.g. photoshop, video editing, etc).
     
  7. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    So a USB 2.0 enclosure would be ok? I have a WD 80 GB HDD I could USB 2.0 / IEEE 1394 firewire enclose for that...but of course, that is not entirely portable. The only PC's with a 5400 rpm HD are the Pentium M laptops. How hard would it be to replace the HD with a faster one? I am fine with desktops, I have always built my own, but laptops are seemingly proprietary and not as easy to upgrade.
     
  8. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    It wouldn't be too difficult, but could potentially run the risk of voiding the warranty. Hitachi (who bought out IBM's drive-making business) makes really good 7200rpm drives for laptops.

    The most difficult part would probably be getting the software on the new drive since many computer manufacturers don't provide you with all the necessary CD's anymore.
     
  9. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Yeah. The thing that sucks is that if I want to migrate to a laptop, I will lose my XP Pro. I don't even know if I can sell this XP Pro to anyone since I "activated it"...unless I sell it along with my desktop. Who knows.

    I don't think running video files on a USB 2.0 connected hd is a big deal. But swapping a hard disk is a problem.

    I was then thinking about this Pentium M laptop:

    http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodde...60&catid=20354

    but now I am thinking about this Toshiba laptop instead:

    http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/ca...fixedCode=WW&=

    Notice I am in Canada [​IMG]

    Originally I was thinking of the Turion64 I mentioned in my first post...but it has a slower HD, less ram and somebody told me they thought the Gateway Turion64 had issues. Have not heard back regarding the issues though.


    !?!?!?! I hate shopping! I used to semi enjoy this. Now its like poking a fork in my eye. The more I learn, the more I realize that I cannot afford what I want!
     
  10. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Chris, if you buy the Gateway from Gateway.com you can select XP Pro instead of XP. Costs a hundred more. Also it may be a bit confusing because Best Buy's numbers do not correspond directly to Gateway's numbers. But, you can customize. The computer is then shipped directly from China to you... so it better work. I have a Gateway NX250X and love it.
     
  11. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Cool. Thanx. I will think about it and see what makes sense.

    So can I customize but still buy through best buy or no?
     
  12. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Any more experience with the Compaq R4225CA?
     
  13. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Does anybody know if I can swap an AMD Turion64 MT-40 into the Compaq R4225CA?
     
  14. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    never mind...sticking with desktop for now...
     

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