JAGflyer
Topic Author
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Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:05 am

I am going to be buying a laptop in teh next 2 days. Dell has a weekend special for a Latitude 2200 with free DVD-/+ burner (I never have needed/used a DVD burner but I want one for future). It's $899 and comes with free case. See it here ->Latitude 2200 . The other option is a Toshiba Satillite model. Similar specs also with DVD burner. This one ->Toshiba MX40 .

I need it to last for college/uni in about 2 years. For now I will be using it for when I travel and at home for internet/email as well as Office XP applications, basic AUTOCAD and DVD watching. Normal stuff. No gaming or video editting (thats what my desktop is for). All of them must cost under $900CAD and have WIFI.

Does anyone here have any guidelines I can go by for what is needed for my above tasks? Since I do not travel too much I don't need to spend $2000 on a 1mm thick laptop.

Thanks

[Edited 2005-11-12 23:05:59]
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Ibhayi
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:13 am

I am currently using a Dell Latitude D600 and absolutely love it, light weight, great features and that onsite any wher ein the world next day warranty I love. I have used tif or a fault I had on a ram chip, and I was travelling and they agreed to come to me in my next town but I said I would be in Joburg for long enough for them to come round. Now thats service.

Go Dell others dont compare, they arnt their size for no reason.
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corey07850
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 9:30 am

IMHO you will probably need a new computer in 2 years for college so I wouldn't be buying one now for that purpose... I'd recommend you wait until you get a little closer to college/uni then buy one that will last you through school.

If you need one now, check out alienware... Their comparable model to the dell you have listed above is 50 bucks cheaper and has essentially the same features (minus the dvd burner). I've heard nothing but good experiences about them, and their products are pretty neat.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:43 am

http://cnet.search.com/search?chkpt=...search.cnet&q=laptop+tips&tag=srch

C-NET is very good on comparing products.

Another possibility is to visit:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...Category/category_tlc.asp?CatId=17

Tiger Direct sells new and used; from schlock to you have to go into hock. And, I heard it through the grapevine that most customers would rate Tiger Direct at least satisfactory to good.

I personally will probably try to avoid the Hewlett Packard/Compaq brand names. Both are the same company. Personally, I'd rate their reliability and construction poor to fair. We have trouble at work with our laser printers whereas our Dell monitors and other hardware are good to very good and we give them a hearty workout each and every day with our full flight loads.
Hope this helps.

Also, I'd try to avoid the Celeron and comparable AMD low end processors. They can handle tasks but seem to lack stability and the ability to bring in top speedy performance. And by all means, try to insure your laptop. Check your home/auto or work insurance. Laptops are now getting closer to desktops in terms of performance and durability. If I get lucky and my ship or plane comes in, my next computer will most definitely be a laptop. And now, you are not fettered by just the laptops built in track pad or navigation buttons. There are excellant handy dandy compact mice that have most of the bells and whistles of strandard size mousing devices.
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j_hallgren
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 10:53 am

This msg coming to you from my 2nd Dell Latitude...both were bought used as off-lease units from DellAuction so were 2 yrs+- old when I got them..the first one is now 6 yrs old and only problem in last 4 yrs is that the case/bezel has cracked slightly...the new one had a minor bad screen spot...I got 6 mon of remaining warranty so tech came to my house to replace it..not bad for less than $600...i needed a model that could share batteries with old so that's why I got another used one, as the "C" series is now gone...anyway, I've been extremely happy with both!
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bhmbaglock
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:09 am

Check the warranty, many Dells only carry 90 days and most 1 year. Consider a business model for a bit more money, more rugged and usually a 3 yr warranty.

Personally, I'm an HP guy.

You might want to do a search, there was a similar thread a week or two ago with some good info.
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KevinL1011
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:20 am

I own several Dell's, two are Laptops. I vacillated between the Toshiba and the Dell quite a bit as well. I went with Dell as they had more hardware flexibility to customize a system. The most challenging task you have is the CAD program. Either system should handle your needs. However, consider:

1. Proprietary business or industrial software does not work well on Windows Home or Office XP. You'll need Windows Professional or 2000 NT. I use 2000 Pro NT as it runs well with my proprietary software and networks well. Check your CAD program requirements, it may suggest a preferred OS.

2. Graphics! What video card do these machines have? If your CAD pgm. Animates, this will definitely be a factor. Radeon is a good one.

3. The RAM is barely OK. 256 1dmm will be taxed. If you want to run CAD and post on A.net at the same time, get the 512 2dmm which is actually two 256 1dmm chips. This will allow faster multi tasking.

4. Dell tech support and repair is very accessible. One of the better ones.

The wireless card is smart. Weight is comparable. My Dell Inspiron 9100 is on t he heavy side and not a good traveler. It's more of a portable desktop. What I did not consider is the weight of the power supply. Those suckers can be heavy.
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j_hallgren
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 11:51 am

I checked the link from original post...goes to a Inspiron, not a Latitude...the Latitude is their business model and has more support avail...the Inspiron is for home users...just read the details of support VERY carefully!
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Amy
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:27 pm

Satellite for the win!

I have a Toshiba Satellite 3000 and for the spec, it's remarkably talented, lightweight and robust.

More reliable than my Athlon 64 Desktop!
A340-300 - slow, but awesome!
 
TPASXM787
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 12:33 pm

I have an HP zd8000 and I love it.

The only thing that I noticed with Dell is that if you want to add things they get expensive fast. But, if it has everything you want, then do it!
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JAGflyer
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:28 pm

Staples has the Toshiba as well as an Acer with 512MB RAM/60GB HD and DVD writer for $899. The store near me has 1 of the Toshiba in stock. I hope one of the 2 stores closest to me has the Acer one. If they don't I'll buy it online and get free next day delievery Big grin
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bhmbaglock
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 2:44 pm

Quoting Kevinl1011 (Reply 6):
1. Proprietary business or industrial software does not work well on Windows Home or Office XP. You'll need Windows Professional or 2000 NT. I use 2000 Pro NT as it runs well with my proprietary software and networks well. Check your CAD program requirements, it may suggest a preferred OS.

Good call here, most non-business laptops will come with XP Home and it is very expensive to upgrade. If you will be doing serious 3D CAD then you'll want a notebook workstation but it won't fit your budget, they start in the $1500 range.

Quoting Kevinl1011 (Reply 6):
3. The RAM is barely OK. 256 1dmm will be taxed. If you want to run CAD and post on A.net at the same time, get the 512 2dmm which is actually two 256 1dmm chips. This will allow faster multi tasking.

Pay extra for single DIMM memory configuration. Nothing sucks worse than throwing away memory to upgrade and with CAD use, Vista on the way, etc. you will almost certainly want to upgrade the memory from 512MB in the future.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Laptop Buying

Sun Nov 13, 2005 3:04 pm

I am running a Toshiba . . . it's the 4th Toshiba I've had . . .two via US government, and two purchased personally. The Toshiba I have is the only personal computer I use . . . I hook it into a printer, external hard drive, speaker and mouse when i'm home. At work, it does the same job . . . as I can remote to the printers at work.

Toshiba might be a tad more $$$, but remember - you get what you pay for - in every aspect of life.

Toshiba. Next?
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JAGflyer
Topic Author
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RE: Laptop Buying

Mon Nov 14, 2005 5:43 am

I bought an Acer Travelmate from Staples for $1099. 1.6Ghz Pentium M with Centrino, 512MB ram, 60GB HD, WIFI. It's good for my usage. I spend teh whole day running from store to store looking.
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