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Help Buying a Laptop

Old 04-03-2007, 08:55 AM
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Default Help Buying a Laptop

I am looking to buy a new laptop and was hoping for some opinions. I hope not to spend over $750. The computer will be for home use and really only do very basic things with it: internet w/ wirless option, pictures, music...My prior computer was a desktop dell(bought in '98), which has worked very well so far. I am not computer savy at all so any help you can give would be great, also what specs i should look for and what they mean would be helpful too. Thanks
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

Check out the scratch and dent, Demo units at COMP USA.
I like the Toshiba. The Quasimo kicks butt. All the bells and whistles and not a lot of preloaded junk you will never use. Your next buy should be System Suite 7 Pro.
Run the registry fixer and all of the optimization features. You will speed up your boot time by 70 percent. They have a very good firewall, virus and spyware package included.
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:51 AM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

You say it is for home use. Is there some reason you are looking at a laptop rather than another desktop? If you plan on using a PC for strictly home use I would advise you stick with a desktop, if for no other reason than its a heck of alot easier to work on one if you have to open it up to fix something. You can also get one cheaper than a comparably equipped laptop, assuming you still have a useable monitor.

Since it seems that you will not be using it for anything other than normal everyday use, I would suggest buying another Dell, or a Gateway. I know alot of guys badmouth Dell and they do some things with their PC's that limit high end users, but for the eveyday avg user they are more than adequate. I just bought a AMD dual core 2400+ with 1gb of ram and 160 gb hd from them for $369. That pc will do anything I need it to do. Only thing I did is upgrade the vid card as I like to play some graphics intensive games.

Dual-Core simply means there are 2 processors, which helps speed up the system by spreading the processor usage around when you are using multiple applications at once. AMD and Intel both make them, and Intel is even moving into quad-core chipsets, though that is much more than you will need. What you basically need is a system similar to what I bought from Dell. 1 gigabyte of ram will be more than sufficient for your general use applications, a 80 to 200 gigabyte hard drive will give you plenty of space to store your pictures, documents, music etc. You can always get a bigger hard drive if its within your price range. You may or may not choose to have a separate video card. That is dependent on how much video editing, gaming etc you plan on doing. If not much, then an integrated chip ( thats a video chip that is part of the motherboard) would most likely be ok for you. The same thing can be said for the sound card. If you are not an audiophile and just have a basic two speaker set-up, you wont really need anything other than the integrated sound on the motherboard. I have always found that setup to work out just fine for me.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

I agree with MichiganBoater, unless you have an absolute need for the portability of a laptop, sticking with a desktop would be a wiser choice......even if it means purchasing a new monitor.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

MichiganBoater- Great info thanks. That computer you just got seems to fit my needs and its about half of what i thought I would need to spend.

I wouldn't mind getting another desktop but the "old lady"(hope shes doesnt read this) wants a laptop so we can use it throughout the house and not just in one room so.....A laptop it must be.

Does wanting a wireless connection factor into the choice, or do they all have that capabliity?

Thanks again
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:40 AM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

I've owned 5 computers in the last 10 years, and without a doubt my 4 year old toshiba laptop has been the best one. I am typing on it now. It lives in my suitcase and flies around the country with me every week. Bulletproof and dependable. Hard to beat for 700 bucks!
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Old 04-04-2007, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

A wireless connection ( card + router) can be added to any computer, and many will come with that card already in the system. You would just need to add a good wireless router which can be had for less than $100. I wouldn't base my computer buying decision on that, but the extra expense should at least be noted.

So if its a laptop that you must have, as oldmako said a Toshiba is hard to beat. Dell, Gateway, Hp all make good laptops in your price range. The hardware in a laptop is usually a step or two lower in capability than in a desktop, but for you that will most likely not even be noticeable.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:24 PM
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I hated my laptop which I used only at my desk. You pay a premium for compactness. I have also told Bill Gates to take a hike, and bought an Apple. Next step is to load Parallels/windows because of specialty software only available for Windows, dammit.
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:29 PM
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I get a new laptop every year from the company (BMW). In the past 5 years, we have been thru Dell, HP and Thinkpads - no question - with 200 field staff, we all have compared notes - it's Thinkpad hands down....

My personal laptop is an apple....
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

Search out Acer and Asus brands, also, toshiba and ibm have been tops for years.

www.newegg.com has the best deals hands down, as well as reviews and excellent customer service.

IBM x51's (thinkpad) are available on ebay for less than you're budget, slghtly used. Wireless cards are history, newegg has nice internal antennas for less than a PCMCIA card retails for.
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Old 04-04-2007, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

Stay away from HP. Good choices are Toshiba, Sony, Dell. Just check the configuration that you are getting, The chains runs specials almost every month. IF you are looking for support then Dell will probably be the way to go, otherwise if you know your way around, the others are good choices. CHeck the bells (Bluetooth, wifi, ports, Ram HD, display size and resolution, ect.) Make sure you configure it the way you want The IBM;s are now Lenovo good machines, but look where they come from, I just cannot see myself buying the Lenovo machines.
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Old 04-05-2007, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

I really appreciate everyones help. I've been looking and found the Dell Inspiron E1505 and was wondering if anyone has an opinion about it. Its in my price range(plus my company offers a dicount through dell) and seems to have much of the specs that were suggested to get. Here is a link to the description at dell.com. I only have two other questions. Can some one suggest a printer and wirless router. The printer, like the computer will only be for basic printing applications. Thanks again

http://www.dell.com/content/products...=19&l=en&s=dhs
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

I would go with an HP Laser on the printer, stay away from inkjets, ink gets expensive. As for the wireless router, If its just basic, WRT54G Linksys. Also you should list the specs on the laptop, size of harddrive, ram, CPU, cd/dvd burner etc, there are many options on the laptop, and sometimes its cheaper with Dell to go up a level when its factory pre-configured. So checks the specs, and look at the other models offered by Dell.
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

Read this for tips on buying a Dell. Dell Coupon codes are your friend.
http://dealhack.com/buyersguides/dell_top_five.php
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Old 04-06-2007, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Help Buying a Laptop

I buy a new laptop about every 1.5 years. I am currently on a Sony Vaio, which I would rank as the second best of all. This replaced a Gateway last year, which I would rank as the least durable. A Compaq that I purchased from the Compaq business web site was the best.
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