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Help me buy a laptop.

Old 08-03-04, 02:07 PM
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Help me buy a laptop.

Im going to be purchasing a new laptop within the next month or so. Those in the know help me buy one...my budget is about $3,000 for the computer itself but of course, it would be nice to stay under that.

Here is what i like to do.

I have about 20 GB of music on my home computer right now and it's definately growing. I would like it all on my new computer or i may just keep it on my old computer and purchase an iPod.

I would like to be able to watch movies when Im on the road and I am a snob...I want it to look the best!

I do play games but at a minimum amount of time...im too busy to be a real "gamer". i play about twice a month or so on my computer.

It has to have fire wire...DVD burning capabilites....plenty of USB 2.0 inputs/outputs....basically the works for connections.

Someday im hoping to be able to stream files to my home theater and I would like this computer to make that as easy as possible for me.

I also do a lot of work on the computer. Im a teacher and coach and I would like to keep grades on it, Stats, etc.

I have also thought about leaving PC and going MAC (i have a friend that works for Microsoft and another that works for Intel and they both went MAC and said they will never go back...they work for PC companies so that says something to me but im not sure what). Im just worried that they are going to come out with another laptop soon that will be much better (G5? or something).

What I have looked at:
Toshiba Sattelite P25-s670
HP Pavilion zd7000
Apple 17-inch PowerBook G4

any suggestions would be awesome. thanks.

Last edited by Caliking; 08-03-04 at 03:18 PM.
Old 08-03-04, 03:42 PM
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Statements from Apple point to G5 Powerbooks coming out around late this year to early next, so if you feel you can wait awhile before purchasing, it might be in your best interest to do so. I can't comment on the specific PC's you list having an interest in, but I do have a Powerbook, so I'll give my thoughts on this and allow others to chime in on the others.

The 17" display is quite beautiful and watching DVDs on it is a joy IMO. Airport Extreme (802.11g) and Bluetooth for adding a wireless keyboard/mouse or synching to a Blutooth compatible cellphone/Palm PDA are built-in.

The 17" features a fiber optic backlit keyboard. Built-in light sensors automatically adjust the keyboard illumination and screen’s brightness based on available ambient light. It's a nice touch when you’re working in a low-light environment. It also just looks plain cool, which is ideal considering you're a self-described snob .

Firewire, both of the 400 & 800 (double the throughput) variety, USB2 and DVD burning capabilites work prefectly and as described. Gaming, however, is a different matter entirely. Mac's are not exactly a bastion of game software, so if getting the latest and greatest new game release is important to you, I'd recommend you look to one of the PC's. Yes, we have games, but they usually arrive later, sometimes MUCH later, than the PC release.

Streaming of your music files wirelessly to your Home Theater is quite simple with the newly released Airport Expres. It runs roughly $129 and serves a myriad of uses as it effectively acts as a Wireless Broadband Router, Print Server and Music Streamer. Specifically in regard to music streaming, you'd simply plug-in a digital optical cable from the unit into your Home Theater Receiver and you can effectively stream all your music wirelessly from the Powerbook using iTunes.

As for the PC/Mac debate, I'll leave that up to you. Both OSX and XP I feel are very stable OS's and both can accomplish basically anything you'd like. It's simply a matter of personal preference. While I prefer OSX and adore the utter lack of virii and spyware that's a decision that's best left up to the individual making the purchase.

Hope I was of some help, and good luck with your decision...

Last edited by meritocracy; 08-03-04 at 03:46 PM.
Old 08-03-04, 05:21 PM
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Check out the HP Pavilion ZT3000. I spent the last month checking out the various laptops to find out what was best for me (college student), and decided on the HP. Most of the PC laptops that I liked weighed 9+ pounds and were huge (including, in my opinion, both the toshiba and the hp that you listed). This one is 6.5 lbs and a little over an inch thick. I customized and bought mine at hp's website.

Here's the configuration I got (about $2300 after taxes)

- Intel(R) Pentium(R) M Processor 755 (2.0 GHz)
- Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Professional
- 256MB DDR SDRAM (1x256MB) - I added another 512 MB myself
- 80 GB 5400 RPM Hard Drive
- DVD+RW / R & CD-RW Combo Drive
- Intel(R) Pro Wireless 2200 802.11b/g & Bluetooth
- 15.4" WVA WSXGA+ (1680x1050)
- 64MB ATI Mobility Radeon(TM) 9200

I've had it for about a week and I love it. The widescreen is great for watching dvds, and it has an SVIDEO output for hooking up to a tv.

If you want to check out the size and weight, I know they have one at the Redwood City Costco (and maybe others too). It's not the same configuration, but the size and weight of the laptop is the same when you configure it. They do NOT have one at Fry's.

The Powerbooks are very nice too, and I would have gotten one if they had the G5s out (I was very tempted by the G4s even).

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