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Laptop Advice

Old 11-12-01, 05:23 PM
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Laptop Advice

I am going to be heading into grad school very shortly and I am required to have a laptop. Recently, I have been looking around and have been able to find a flaw with most of the $2000 laptops. I am looking for approx 1.0 GHZ, 512 MB RAM (Expandable to 1024), 30 GB HD, 8x CDRW, DVD PLayer, ethernet card, 16 MB of Video memory, and most importantly at least a 15" SXGA display. I have been looking at the Compaq 2701US, HP N5495 Toshiba 5005S504, and the Dell Inspiron 8000. I would like to know if anyone has heard anything good or bad regarding any of these, or if anyone can recommend any other ones. I apologize for this being so long....but i appreciate any help.
Old 11-12-01, 06:33 PM
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This is just my opinion:
Stay away from Compaq laptops. In my experience (with numerous machines), Compaqs are unreliable and their tech support is horrible. I have a Dell Laptop and like -- reliable and relatively durable, plus tech support is good.
Old 11-12-01, 06:42 PM
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I am generally fond of IBM Thinkpads, but they do tend to be more expensive. I love my A21, but I didn't pay for it.

If I were in the market today and money was an issue, I would look first at Dells.
Old 11-12-01, 08:06 PM
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I have a dell inpiron 8000 (15 inch display) and it works great.

They're selling 8100s now..

For displays consider the resolution you will be using, the xga I beleave is optimized for 1024x768 the more expensive (ultra xga) for higher resolutions and does not look as clean on lower resolutions..

I bought this laptop for the 15 inch display (I got the xga) and the firewire port, which most companies do not offer, and the built in modem/nic..
Old 11-12-01, 08:58 PM
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Ive supported IBM, Toshiba, Gateway, Micron, Sony, HP, and Dell laptops..
there really isnt a ton of difference between them.. they all have their perks and their problems.
that being said.. my opinion is that the Dell's are the best choice, both for quality reliable hardware and customer support
Old 11-12-01, 09:47 PM
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as a grad student who carries around my laptop all day every day, i can say that you need to be sure to think twice before you get a "desktop replacement"

i have so far decided not to upgrade to a new laptop, although i likely will in the next few years because my 3 yr old PII won't work forever. i see a lot of people lugging around these huge monstrosities, but the people who are happiest are the ones with the smaller and lighter laptops. 15" screen might be a bit excessive.

are you really going to need DVD player or CDRW? i haven't used a single floppy or CD on my laptop in quite a while. DVD might be good for travel, but i just leave my modular bay empty. (less weight). you can probably connect through ethernet to anything you'd need at school.
Old 11-12-01, 10:47 PM
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Dells are your best bet in my opinion. Eeyore has a point, but it all depends on your needs. If you get a comfortable carrying case, i.e. backpack case, it might not be that big of a deal. But lugging around books and a laptop can be a challenge. Just make sure you can get removable drives, so if they won't be needed you can lighten the load.

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