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What to look for in a laptop?

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What to look for in a laptop?

Old 07-02-08, 08:00 AM
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What to look for in a laptop?

My laptop is dead. I need to buy a new one. I am currently overwhelmed by all the options, and I do not even know where to start. I don't know what processor would be good, what amount of memory to get, or whatever else comes in laptops now like configuration. I don't even know what brands I should look at.

Here's what I do know. Any laptop I purchase under 3,000 my job will pay for me upfront, and then they will deduct the money from my paychecks for 3 years at 0% interest.

I want this laptop to last me at least what the last one did (3 years). I want to hook it up to my LCD tv, which I don't foresee being a problem since I was using my last one in this manner. I use it mainly for web surfing, downloading, watching TV shows, and movie watching. I would like a 15.4" or 17" screen size. Larger than that, and I would probably find it too bulky. I also want at least 250GB.

I priced out a few laptops through Dell, Sony, HP, Acer, and even Micro Express. Do I need the new Intel processor? Should I go for Vista Ultimate with the full 4GB of ram? Is it overkill for my needs?
Old 07-02-08, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
I use it mainly for web surfing, downloading, watching TV shows, and movie watching. I would like a 15.4" or 17" screen size. Larger than that, and I would probably find it too bulky. I also want at least 250GB.

Do I need the new Intel processor? Should I go for Vista Ultimate with the full 4GB of ram? Is it overkill for my needs?

Definitely intel.

You don't need 4 gig of ram if thats all your doing. 1GIG is more then sufficient. 250Gig is pretty big hard drive. How much porn will you be downloading.
Old 07-02-08, 08:50 AM
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3 year warranty and "current" technology

Something like this XPS M1530

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...=bycwpcz&s=bsd

and set it up the way you want it

4gb of ram is the way to go with Vista and a 3 year ownership outlook

You can get up to a 320gb drive if you want it

This is a 15" screen, there is a larger model, but that is a personal decision not a technical one

You can also look around for Dell coupons
www.gotapex.com
bensbargains.net
www.techbargains.com
usually have something like $200 off inspiron over $1000 or something like that. This way you can get a discount on any config you want and not a special deal only on a certain model like most of the dell discounts are.
Old 07-02-08, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by ANDREMIKE
Definitely intel.

You don't need 4 gig of ram if thats all your doing. 1GIG is more then sufficient. 250Gig is pretty big hard drive. How much porn will you be downloading.
Most of my space gets taken up by TV shows. Porn is a small percentage of that.

Is Dell the vendor to go with? No one likes the other laptop makers?
Old 07-02-08, 10:11 AM
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I have a model from Asus and love it. It has a HDMI out so connecting to a TV is easy.

If you're getting a machine running Vista do not get any less than 2gig of ram. 3-4 is preferred.
Old 07-02-08, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
My laptop is dead. I need to buy a new one. I am currently overwhelmed by all the options, and I do not even know where to start.
weight
memory
speed
storage space
accessories

Not necessarily in that order.

Call Dell!
Old 07-02-08, 12:58 PM
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What is a good processor speed? There are huge jumps as they go up. T8100? 8300? 9300? What am I paying too much of a premium for? What's the sweet spot, or should I just get as fast as possible, since I want this to last a while?
Old 07-02-08, 02:19 PM
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T8300 is the current sweet spot, any more would certainly be faster, but at a high price IMO
Old 07-02-08, 02:26 PM
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My work laptop has a T8100 and it feels decent enough.

My feelings with laptops is that you don't want to skimp on the pieces you can't upgrade later, especially depending on your budget. Get a good CPU. If you play games or anything video intensive, make sure you get the good video card upgrade. If you're hooking it up to a TV, aim for one with HDMI.

Things like RAM or even a larger/faster hard drive can be easily upgraded later.
Old 07-02-08, 02:44 PM
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Anyone have any experience with the Studio line from Dell? I like the options, but I don't see many deals going for this line like the Inspiron.
Old 07-02-08, 03:19 PM
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Here are three PCs I built. I tried to get the specs as close as possible. Why the differences in price?

https://ecomm2.dell.com/dellstore/[email protected]
Old 07-02-08, 08:01 PM
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Also, I have my hard drive from my old laptop that I want to get data out of. Unfortunately it is Ultra ATA. Is there an enclosure for it? I wasn't able to swap it into my work laptop because it uses SATA.
Old 07-02-08, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
Here are three PCs I built. I tried to get the specs as close as possible. Why the differences in price?

https://ecomm2.dell.com/dellstore/[email protected]
Um, because they're different laptops?

The most obvious difference is that the 1st has a 15.4" LCD screen, while the other two have 17" screens. As for the differences between 2 & 3, they appear to be minor variations in case design. Here's a review for each:

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=3904 - Inspiron 1720
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4471 - Studio 17

A quick read through shows that the more expensive Studio 17 includes an HDMI port, while the Inspiron 1720 does not. It may have a few other extra features that earn it its $75 higher pricetag.

Also, I have my hard drive from my old laptop that I want to get data out of. Unfortunately it is Ultra ATA. Is there an enclosure for it? I wasn't able to swap it into my work laptop because it uses SATA.
Any enclosure that says it can handle a 2.5" either IDE, ATA, or PATA is going to work. Here's one from monoprice:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
Old 07-02-08, 08:41 PM
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Right, I forgot about the obvious screen size difference. I had tried otherwise to spec them out equally. I guess the HDMI thing makes sense. Thanks.

Also, thanks for the enclosure link.
Old 07-02-08, 11:44 PM
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you should be looking for all these features:


ergonomic keyboard!

Lots of fancy ports!



Make sure you have alot of cool pop-up display features!



Blue-tooth & laser devices!



Oh, and make it an Apple!

Old 07-03-08, 12:04 AM
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just to be different...

If you are just surfing and watching stuff, consider an iPod touch or an iPhone. Seriously.

(you can connect it to your tv via component cables)

Last edited by The Cow; 07-03-08 at 12:14 AM.
Old 07-03-08, 01:36 AM
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I'm a big Dell fan, but when it comes to laptops these days you should take a serious look at Lenovo. The Lenovo name isn't that well known in the U.S., but they are the company that has made IBM's notebooks for years.

Lenovos are built like tanks, are very reliable and have a lot of great features. You can customize them like you can Dells. Here's the U.S. Web site: http://www.lenovo.com/us/en/index.html
Old 07-03-08, 06:02 AM
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get a lot of RAM, and the best processor from Intel you can afford...
Old 07-03-08, 10:40 AM
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Well I went with the Studio from Dell. I was also looking at Lenovo, but there were issues raised in the ratings I can't remember, but pushed me towards the Dell. Plus, the Studio was getting such rave reviews, and it was the one I liked in the beginning that I went with it.

For The Cow, I couldn't go with an Ipod Touch, because my girlfriend will also be using this for schoolwork, and I like having a keyboard.
Old 07-04-08, 12:00 PM
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I have the 13" XPS Dell, and I love it...(Typing on it now)

Clean, not too big, and great screen (LCD)
Old 07-04-08, 10:30 PM
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Let me just hijack this thread for a moment and ask for my own recommendation. I'm looking for a laptop that will:

Allow me to write/create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.
Surf the internet
Watch DVD's

In other words, nothing fancy, and the key words are "cheap but will get the job done."

Any suggestions?

Also, if I have iTunes on my laptop, can I transfer my current library to it? Thanks.
Old 07-11-08, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay G.
Any enclosure that says it can handle a 2.5" either IDE, ATA, or PATA is going to work. Here's one from monoprice:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
This enclosure did not work. The connections don't match. Any other suggestions?
Old 07-11-08, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by spainlinx0
This enclosure did not work. The connections don't match. Any other suggestions?
Well, if it's not SATA or 2.5" ATA, then only 3.5" ATA is left. Are you sure this drive came from a laptop?


Which looks like your drive?

Last edited by Jay G.; 07-11-08 at 07:51 AM.
Old 07-11-08, 07:55 AM
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My hard drive is the Momentus 5400.3 from Seagate. It doesn't look like either of those.

The hard drive fit into the casing, it was the connectors that didn't match.
Old 07-11-08, 07:59 AM
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I am a moron. I had some adaptor attached to the hard drive. It works. Wow, embarrassing.

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