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Which laptop for portable DVD player?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jim A. Banville, Jun 30, 2001.

  1. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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    Rather than spend close to $1000 on a portable DVD player with a 7" screen, we figured we'd spend that on a laptop with DVD drive and get a HUGE 13" or so screen. We're looking at either a Compaq, HP or Toshiba. I found a Toshiba Satellite 1755 (Celeron 700) for $999 + shipping. Sound good? All the units I'm looking at have active matrix TFT displays, of course. I wasn't happy with the sound from the HP speakers though. They made a terrible buzzing at medium to high volume. Sounded like the chassis of the PC itself vibrating along with the speakers. We may install an RF converter for the audio to go through our truck stereo speakers or use headphones, but I'd like to able to use the PC's speakers too. The laptop won't be used for anything else except for "light" home computing and surfing the net.
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    Jim
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    Mancow rocks! www.mancow.com
     
  2. Wayne_T

    Wayne_T Stunt Coordinator

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    Jim, I haven't tried the HP or Toshiba, but my Compaq Armada E500 works fantastic as a DVD player. We have a 6 year old and on long trips we can keep him occupied in the car (or plane) with movies. When visiting my parents who don't have a DVD player we hook it up to their TV and it works great that way too. The picture on the 15" screen is superb. Sound is OK but we usually use it with headphones. Highly recommended.
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  3. Neil Weinstock

    Neil Weinstock Stunt Coordinator

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    What about the new iBook? Only 12" screen, but it's gorgeous, and the battery life is great.
     
  4. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    I bought my wife and I each a Compaq 1800T about 6 months ago...when they first put the 16meg ATI graphics card in and used the15"+ SXGA screen....phenomenal for DVD playback.
    Some of the new Dell machines as well as Toshiba, I believe are using the new GeForce 2Go card...up to 32 megs of RAM, and these things are untouchable...both for gaming and DVD playback.
    If you're able to find a machine in your price range that sports the 15" screen, also the SXGA resolution...life will be good [​IMG] It makes all of our plane rides go by in a snap!
    Jeremy
     
  5. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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    Thanks guys. I'm trying to stay under $1100. I haven't considered the Apple because we need a PC compatible laptop.
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    Jim
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    Mancow rocks! www.mancow.com
     
  6. Jason Merrick

    Jason Merrick Supporting Actor

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    Jim A. Banville wrote: We may install an RF converter for the audio to go through our truck stereo speakers[/quote]Jim, forget the RF converter, go to radio shack and get a headphone to RCA cord... as long as you have RCA inputs on an amp or an aux input on your head unit.
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    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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    >>>Jim, forget the RF converter, go to radio shack and get a headphone to RCA cord... as long as you have RCA inputs on an amp or an aux input on your head unit.
     
  8. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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  9. Matthew Long

    Matthew Long Extra

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    The Dell inspiron 8000s are amazing little units. Mine has a 32 meg G-force card in it and 512 megs of ram. Smokes with DVDs, games, and any high end graphics work that I throw at it. These G-force cards are duel head as well, so you can run 2 monitors from it. I use my TV as my secondary monitor [​IMG]
    They are pricey though.
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    Tosh TW56X81 HDTV
    Toshiba SD 5109 prog scan
    Arcam Diva AVR100
    Paradigm Monitor 7's
     
  10. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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    I picked up a Compaq Presario 1200US today for $1199. It has an 800MHz Celeron, 128MB RAM, 13" active matrix screen, 8x DVD, "JBL" speakers and WinDVD. I'll let you know how it works out.
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    Jim
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    Mancow rocks! www.mancow.com
     
  11. Hal Olson

    Hal Olson Auditioning

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    Hi all:
    I'm looking at the Dell Inspiron 8000 also. The new catalog shows them coming with "Dolby Headphone". I want a lap-top with great headphone sound, and a control to adjust bass/treble with.
    In addition to movies, I want to be able to listen to my DVD-Audio discs with good headphone sound.
    How is the Dell for audio, or some of the other units for that matter?
    Thanks: Hal
     
  12. Robert Fellows

    Robert Fellows Stunt Coordinator

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    Jim:
    How's that notebook working out for movies?
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    Bob
    p.s.: This advice is worth exactly what you paid for it...
     
  13. Matthew Long

    Matthew Long Extra

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    Hey Hal. Yea, the inspirons come with Dolby headphone. It actually works pretty well and does a very good job of somehow making it sound like the fronts are in "front". It has some settings for different room types as well as a perfect reference room. As far as Bass and Treble controls go, off the top of my head I dont think there are outside of anything you get in a typical windows environment. For mp3s or cds, you can just use winamp (or whatever) which generally has tone controls, equalizers etc.
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    Tosh TW56X81 HDTV
    Toshiba SD 5109 prog scan
    Arcam Diva AVR100
    Paradigm Monitor 7's
     
  14. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    I have a Dell Inspiron 8000 too and absolutely love it. I went with the 700mhz version with ATI Mobility graphics and it works very well for DVD's, games... whatever I've thrown at it basically. I had to keep the purchase costs down, and the GeForce was only available in the 900 and 1000mhz models... so thus this compromise. I also chose the 1400x1050 resolution screen instead of 1600x1200.
    One warning though... if you intend to travel a lot with the laptop, think twice. This thing is quite big and heavy and believe me, when you have to cart it around an airport for an hour or so you really begin to feel it.
    For me, all the features and connectivity and the great screen more than make up for the weight though. It's a matter of priorities.
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    /Kimmo
     
  15. Gregory Pauswinski

    Gregory Pauswinski Supporting Actor

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    So what is the battery life like when watching DVDs on these laptops?
    Gregory
     
  16. Kevin Ziegler

    Kevin Ziegler Auditioning

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    Anyone currently looking at a laptop specifically for viewing DVDs should take a look at the new Fujitsu Lifebook-P (http://www.fujitsupc.com
    [Edited last by Kevin Ziegler on November 02, 2001 at 03:27 PM]
     
  17. Kris McLaughlin

    Kris McLaughlin Stunt Coordinator

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    Anothter option for audio playback in the truck that I haven't seen mentioned would be to pick up one of those cdcassette adapters. (You know, the ones that look like a cassette with a wire sticking out of one end.)
    Of course, this only works if you have a tape deck in the truck, but if you do it costs next to nothing and simply plugs into the headphone output of the PC.
    Just a thought,
    ~Kris M
     

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