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Any Advice Re: Ultraportables?

Old 01-27-01, 06:05 AM
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Not sure if this is the right place to post this but...

I'm interested in buying an ultraportable laptop as soon as possible. I already have a desktop and just want the laptop for studying at the library and for class notes since my professors go so fast I have a hard time keeping up with them.

Weight and thickness are my top priorities: 3 lbs and 1" maximum -- I really don't care about anything else since I plan to create a network with my other computers so external drives/docking bays aren't necessary at all. I'm considering the Sony Vaio PCV SR7K, Toshiba Portege 3440CT or 3480CT, Dell Latitude LS, IBM Thinkpad X20, Fujitsu LifeBook 2-4542. Does anyone have any advice or input? Is there any other product I've overlooked? -- I've researched the net pretty thoroughly (about 10 hours looking up specs and reading reviews but everyone seems to disagree as to which is the better ultraportable... *sigh*). Thanks in advance...
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Old 01-27-01, 07:57 AM
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OK (X get ready and hold onto your boots) maybe in this category IBM wins

http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/thinkpad/xseries/index.html

Dell would be my second pick

http://www.dell.com/us/en/biz/produc..._notebooks.htm

Toshiba 3rd ( Only because it is heavier, quality and performance are still #1)

Toshiba Portege Series

Stay away from fujitsu. I would also say avoid the sony.

[Eited to preserve forum formatting. -Jason Northrup]

[This message has been edited by Jason Northrup (edited January 27, 2001).]
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Old 01-27-01, 08:14 AM
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Mind if I chip in my 2 cents? I know it's not exactly what you said you were after, but have you thought about a PDA? If all you really want to do is be able to word-process stuff on the go, then this could be an answer. I've got a Palm and a stowaway portable keyboard to go with it; the PDA weighs about 5 ounces and the keyboard about 8, both of them are about 5"x3" and not more than an inch thick. With an appropriate editing program on the PDA it basically turns into a miniature (albweit somewhat less functional) laptop. Obviously if you want to do anything "proper" on it, it's woefully inadequate, but if you just want to be able to take down notes in class or whatever, it works pretty well. Also dead handy for taking down to the library; I use it all the time when I have to go and make notes out of several books, then I just import the whole lot into Word, paste it together, format it up all nice and print it out. Not sure what prices are like in the US, but a low-end Palm and a portable keyboard would probably cost somewhere in the region of $200. Plus, it really impresses people when you take two little black boxes out of your pocket and turn them into a computer

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Old 01-27-01, 12:56 PM
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4KRG: Thanks for the advice -- I already have those pages bookmarked so I can refer back to them again although I couldn't open the Toshiba one (kept getting an error message). Just out of curiosity, why do you recommend against the Fujitsu and Sony? The Sony Vaio(s) seem to have pretty good reviews -- the only complaints I've read is that anything else you might need is very expensive...

TheyCallHimJim: actually I was considering doing that -- my fiance takes his Palm Vx and keyboard with him to his law school classes and he says it's great. He tells me that everyone gives him either a funny or curious or puzzled look -- he loves it!!! I've looked at what the text looks like once it's uploaded into the computer. The only thing is that when I do outlines or notes for my classes and I want to work at the library, I won't be able to do the heavy formatting. I tend to color code and use a system of bolded/italicized/underlined terms along with headings and subheading... etc. in my outlines to help get the laws pounded into my dense head. I haven't entirely factored this option out but my fiance agrees that with what I like to do with my studying, the better bet is just getting an ultraportable. But the cost of getting just a Palm and keyboard is extremely attractive. *sigh* choices, choices, choices *sigh*
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Old 01-27-01, 01:20 PM
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Titanium. The best laptop out there, with the biggest screen out there!
http://www.apple.com/powerbook/

Just 1 inch thick and weighing a mere 5.3 pounds, the PowerBook G4 is a heavyweight in an ultralight body-the world’s first notebook computer made of 99.5% pure grade CP1
(meaning commercially pure) titanium.

It's heavier than the others, but it's also a lot better than them.
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Old 01-27-01, 01:41 PM
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WHOA, sexymama, where you been? and have you dropped by the Other Forum yet?????????

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Old 01-27-01, 01:43 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Feneant:
Just 1 inch thick and weighing a mere 5.3 pounds, the PowerBook G4 is a heavyweight in an ultralight body-the world’s first notebook computer made of 99.5% pure grade CP1
(meaning commercially pure) titanium.

It's heavier than the others, but it's also a lot better than them.



Is this an example of Apple's "Think Different"? Don't fulfill the requirements (sexymama said "Weight and thickness are my top priorities: 3 lbs and 1" maximum"), just push Apple? Maybe Apple will send someone to carry it around so they can sell another unit.

sexymama - try copying and pasting the entire Toshiba URL 4KRG provided. It goes over two lines due to its length.

And 4KRG, I'm shocked and amused.

[This message has been edited by X (edited January 27, 2001).]
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Old 01-27-01, 02:09 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by X:
And 4KRG, I'm shocked and amused.




I figured you would be proud. Of course, I took sexymama's requirements and then made my recommendations. Putting size and portability first, while still trying to rank quality, repair, support and all. IBM does come out on top no matter how hard I try to overlook it it's a weight thing.

Sexymama - the Sony Vaio line is put together from second and thrid rate electronics. I have had them apart and looked at the component level, junk is all see . This is one reason why I like Toshiba so much. Nothing but first rate electronic components on the inside. This is why Toshiba will NEVER be able to build (I know never say never they will one day) a sub 3lb unit. Quality is heavy, no way around it right now, maybe in 5 years.

Now about fujitsu, they are assembled with the parts that Sony throws away, need I say more?

I would feel most confident with a purchase from IBM for the ultralight class notebook. Their 3 day (end to end) turn around on repair is better than many (ahhemm sony) I feel the same about the Dell. If you can stand a bit more weight, Toshiba is still my favorite (oh yeah and you have to overlook some seedy business practice in the past, this is why X doesn't like Toshiba) The portege is a very sexy unit too

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Old 01-27-01, 02:44 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by 4KRG:
I figured you would be proud. Of course, I took sexymama's requirements and then made my recommendations. Putting size and portability first, while still trying to rank quality, repair, support and all. IBM does come out on top no matter how hard I try to overlook it it's a weight thing.



You did it exactly right -- listened to the requirements -- and sometimes you end up with different answers than you might have had if you didn't listen to them. That's what I call "Think Different".
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Old 01-27-01, 03:34 PM
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I tried fixing 4KRG's Toshiba link because it was messing up the page. However, his link didn't go anywhere usefull at the site (must have to do with the session ID they embed in the URL). Unfortunately, the link I put in there doesn't help that much more. However, I did lable the series name that it appeared that 4KRG was referring to.

4KRG, if I am assuming the wrong Toshiba series you were referring to or if you can find a link that actually takes us to the Portege Series page, edit your post and replace the URL. By the looks of the way thier system is set up, I think it will be hard to do the latter.

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Old 01-27-01, 03:54 PM
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Hey guys,
Thanks for all your help -- I haven't decided yet since I'm still going through the specs over and over again to see which one I buy. I think I'm going to have to decide between the Dell Latitude LS or IBM Thinkpad X20 which were my first two choices anyway until my fiance tried to convince me to get a Sony Vaio SR7K although the Sony does look pretty cool...

4KRG & Jason Northrup and X: thanks so much for your advice! I truly appreciate it... and for you 4KRG, I owe you a drink for your effort and input!!

Feneant: I liked the Apple too (my fiance thinks I should get it but it's just too heavy and too expensive -- I know, I know it's really not that heavy but my books this semester are too goddamn heavy... But thanks anyway

Namja: yes, I have been to the Other Forum -- Obviously you're not on your toes!! j/k (hee)
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Old 01-27-01, 05:46 PM
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Jason, thanks for trying. Toshiba's web page is a bit funky. I was linking to the portege 7220 cte 650mhz (moot point now I guess )

sexymama - no problem. Look over the specs as long as you need, but between the Dell and the IBM I would ALMOST let price be the sole deciding factor. Just make sure ram, hard drive size, etc are the same and check shipping, sales tax and whatever else is involved (extended warranty maybe) and see which one comes out lower. I would be intested in seeing prices, completely configed and to your front door.

Dell does extend it's corporate pricing to employees of MANY MANY companies. Some you can even fake being employed by if you are crafty enough
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Old 01-30-01, 05:01 PM
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PC Magazine (Feb. 20) just came out with reviews of ultralight portables. The two they ranked on top were the HP OmniBook 500 and the IBM ThinkPad X20 34U.

You might want to take a look.
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Old 01-31-01, 02:09 AM
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One thing about buying an Apple Powerbook...be prepared to wait. The introduction at MacWorld was VERY successful, and most stores have a waiting list.

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