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Looking for a new laptop

Old 10-08-07, 06:38 PM
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Looking for a new laptop

I'm starting the hunt for a new laptop.
My current setup is a 3+ year old Dell 700m, and a homebuilt desktop PC (Athlon XP 3000+, NVidia GeForce 6600 GT w/ 128mb memory *I think*, 1 gig ram, 200 gig HD, 17" 4x3 NEC LCD).

I would like a laptop that will replace both, so I want a machine that is small enough to be portable, and usable on an airplane, but powerful enough to work as my main PC. I'm not a big gamer, and I have a PS3 for that anyway, but I would like to have a dedicated graphics card that CAN handle some of the newer games. I'd like to eventually be able to edit HD video with it.

Here are the specs I'm looking at:
Screen: 15" range
CPU: Core 2 Duo in the 2.0 - 2.4 ghz range
Memory: 2 gigs
Video: NVidia GeForce 8400 or 8600 (I think the latter is DX10 correct?)
HD: Around 200 gigs
Optical: At least a dual layer DVD writer but I'd REALLY like to have Blu-ray capability, since the newer movies I'm buying are all on that format, and it would be nice to be able to watch HD movies on the plane.

I have my eyes on possibly getting a MacBook Pro 15", though I'm waiting to see if Apple introduces a new model in January at MacWorld. Main reason for going to Apple was because I'd like to try out OS X, and Apple has the Final Cut software (I'd get the Express version), but I've read things that lead me to believe some of the newer Macs aren't as reliable as in the past.

I'm still open to getting a Windows machine, but I don't really want Vista until at least SP1. Does anyone have some recommendations for some good PCs with the above specs? I'd also like something fairly good looking design wise (I like the looks of Asus, HP, Toshiba, Sager, Sony VAIO, etc.).

Budget is around $2000 ish

Last edited by bdshort; 10-08-07 at 06:59 PM.
Old 10-08-07, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by bdshort
Main reason for going to Apple was because I'd like to try out OS X, and Apple has the Final Cut software (I'd get the Express version), but I've read things that lead me to believe some of the newer Macs aren't as reliable as in the past.
(Disclaimer: I'm a Mac user by day and a Linux user by night. So consider me biased against Windows machines.)

For what you're wanting to do, I think a 15" MacBook Pro is a really good match. You may be pushing your $2K budget to upgrade to a 200 GB hard drive, but otherwise the 15" MBP fits your requirements almost exactly.

I have a 15" Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro and it's rock-solid (knock on wood). I get a kernel panic every couple of months or so, but it's due to a poorly-written third-party driver for a pretty obscure piece of hardware.

I've heard complaints about build issues with the first generation MacBook Pros, but Apple seems to have worked the kinks out since then. They've also acknowledged a crashing problem on their new iMacs, which is reportedly caused by ATI's craptastic drivers and which Apple's preparing a fix for. But that problem hasn't spilled over to the MacBook Pros, since the newer models use nVidia GPUs.

Be warned that you will be buying your laptop right after Apple's next major OS upgrade. OS X tends to have some teething problems every time a new version is released, although in my experience it's never as bad as a Windows upgrade.
Old 10-09-07, 03:45 AM
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I just got a toshiba with the exact same specs you are looking for except it doesn't play blue ray and the video card isn't that good, It's good enough mind you if you aren't that much of a gamer. I play Halflife 2 on it with 0 slowdown at high settings on it. only paid 730 dollars for it.. so way under your 2k budged... the specs

AMD Turion 64 Dual Core 1.9 (just a touch under what you want)
2 gigs of ram
200 gig hard drive
15.5 widescreen
Dvdwriter with some lightscribe type of labeling thing on it called labelfish
It did come with vista, but with the 1300 you save you can downgrade to xp (provided they have the drivers for that, i havn't checked)

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