Need Advice on a New Laptop

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jon.M, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Jon.M

    Jon.M Stunt Coordinator

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    Can anyone provide any recommendations for a new laptop? I'm not going to be travelling with it a ton, so I'm not terribly concerned with the size/weight. I'm probably going to be using XP Pro on it. It will almost exclusively be using a wireless connection at home and at the office. I'm looking to keep things under a $1K, after any applicable rebates. I'd also be willing to buy refurbished if it was direct from a manufacturer. Any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Check this one out:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=3464860742

    It's an IBM brand new. It's on Ebay but is being sold by IBM. It's hard drive is a little small, but it's probably got the best processor you're going to get in your price range. It also has XP Pro and a wireless card included. It also includes a 3 year warranty.

    Also, search under ibm on Ebay for their computers. Dell sells under dell.computers but they don't have anything in your range right now.
     
  3. Erik*R

    Erik*R Agent

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    hmm Actually Dell has some decent deals on the laptops right now especially where they are doubling the ram for free. You could spec out a decent laptop for under $1000 with their instant $100 off and their $100 mail-in rebate.

    Plus you have the options warranty length. [​IMG]

    (btw I personally usually buy compaqs/sony laptops because Ive found compaqs last forever [​IMG] and the sonys just have some nice features I use (built in sony memory stick reader ect.)
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I went to Dell's website and the lowest model they sell with a P4 instead of Celeron is the 5100 which starts at $973 after all the rebates. Problem is once you add XP Pro and a wireless card you're up over $1100, not to mention if you want a warranty on it. Now if you already own XP Pro that could save you $80 or so which might make it work.
     
  5. Heath_E

    Heath_E Stunt Coordinator

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    There is an Inspiron 1100 listed at gotapex.com that Dell is selling through the small business division that starts at $674 after $25 instant savings and $100 dollar mail in rebate. I speced one out earlier today and made some upgrades to a 2.4 Pentium 4 from the celeron, went up to a 30 gig hd from a 20, XP Pro, wireless card, dvd/cd-rw combo drive, and 2 year on-site warranty for $1000 with free shipping. You could give up the $100 rebate and double the memory to 512 also. You might want to have a look at that. The incentives end tonight though. Just start from the link at gotapex.com

    I forgot to mention, you also get a free Palm Zire 21, digital camera, or Dell A920 muti-function printer with that.
     
  6. RossTerry

    RossTerry Guest

    look at the latest eMachines laptops
     
  7. Jon.M

    Jon.M Stunt Coordinator

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    I did. $1100 and I'd still have to upgrade to XP Pro and get a wireless card. The deal on the Inspiron 1100 is quite appealing. Unfortunately, I didn't see it until this morning and, alas, it's now gone.

    Anyone familiar with the Averatec laptops? They have an ultra-portable refurbished model for $900.
     
  8. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I have myself a 2 year old Toshiba Satellite 5200. A great laptop...1600x1200 15" screen that blows away most laptop screens I've seen (especially the iBook screens, which I think are horrible - worst laptop screens ever!). I believe the replacement models reached the $1,000 mark, although it's hard to tell as Canada and the U.S. have different models.

    Mine also has a DVD/CD-Writer combo drive, 512mb of RAM (IMHO needed for Windows XP), and an nvidia Geforce 440-2-Go graphics chip. You probably don't need the 3D acceleration, although it is nice to play UT2004 at a playable framerate. [​IMG] Oh, and it has optical digital output. Newer laptops have similar features, with much faster processors.

    From the experiences here at work, the Toshiba laptops are the most reliable. Compaqs are awful, as are the Sony's. Dell laptops, at least those sold to our corporate clients, aren't that great for reliability, but maybe they only sell the crap to corporations?

    My advice is to look for a reliable laptop with the best screen you can afford: High resolution (I suggest at least [email protected]"), excellent brightness uniformity, and should be viewable at a 170 degree angle (unlike the iBook laptops which you have to view exactly on - terrible, just terrible).
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I very much agree with this. All of my experience with Toshiba laptops has been great. I've sold and used Compaqs and don't really care for them at all. I have known very few people who like Sony. The sony's have lots of features, but offer little in the way of performance or reliability.

    I'm typing this on a Dell Latitude that has given me little/no trouble. If I were buying a laptop right now I would probably get an IBM. IBM's sucked for a while, but they make really good laptops now. They are probably the sturdiest laptops I've ever felt. I like my Dell a lot, but the IBM I used some at work and the one my sister has just feel like and run like better machines.
     
  10. Jon.M

    Jon.M Stunt Coordinator

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    Okay...it seems I'm being pushed toward the Toshibas. I made forays today to both Best Buy andd Circuit City and I think I've narrowed my decision to two models...the S150 (P4) and the S359 (Centrino) Considering that this will not be my primary computer, do you think the S359 is overkill?
     
  11. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I only see a few differences between those computers: Processor (P4 v Centrino), Price, and Weight (probably, one is listed without weight on BB's site).

    The one with the P4 processor is cheaper and is likely the better processor, although it will eat battery life quicker. The Centrino notebook will likely be considerably lighter, which could be important if you travel a lot. To me, unless I'm missing something, the P4 is a no-brainer, unless you'll be traveling a lot or just want a lighter notebook.
     
  12. Jon.M

    Jon.M Stunt Coordinator

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    Specs are pretty similar. The 359 offers a FireWire port, which is a moot point because I do my video work on a Mac. The 150 does have built-in 802.11g (the 359 is 802.11b) The 359 does have a video card with dedicated memory (the 150's is shared) The one downer...neither have XP Pro, which means another two hundred bucks to upgrade that. [​IMG]
     
  13. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Yep, that's one huge advantage for companies like Dell and Gateway. Purchasing directly from the manufacturer offers the customer the ability to customize and add those things in. If you get the laptop with Pro installed it only costs $79 more than buying it with Home installed.
     
  14. Jon.M

    Jon.M Stunt Coordinator

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    Eh...in the end I decided to dump the Toshiba. Best Buy was out of the S150's and they were willing to sell me the floor model only for a measly $100 off and told me the $150 rebate was not applicable on open box items. After a heated exchange with a floor manager about the need to reduce the price further, I just walked out. Came home tonight and ordered an Inspiron 5100 from Dell. Cost more than I intended to spend, but I chose to pay for a few upgrades like a 64MB video card, Office 2003 and a three year warranty. Thanks for all the previous feedback.
     
  15. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Good luck! Let's hope you don't have any dead/stuck pixels. I hope you are aware that Dell has outsourced customer support, so foreign accents can be an issue if there is a problem!

    I prefer to purchase locally, if only so that I can tell the salesperson to open the laptop and turn it on for inspection before I give them the cash.
     
  16. Jon.M

    Jon.M Stunt Coordinator

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    Who hasn't? [​IMG]
     

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