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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Starting to save for a new laptop


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49 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 07:01 PM

I have that funky feeling that I should start saving up money for a new laptop. The laptop that I'm using, a HP ze49xx, is a Celeron 1.6 GHz that I got in 2005. It does the job, but sadly, XP is just not cutting it anymore. The specs that I am looking at:
  • Windows 7 64-bit OS
  • Non Intel graphics chipset
  • Ability to Virtualize apps (I use Virtualbox)
  • WiFi Networking
Uses for the computer:
  • Presentations - I am starting to do more public speaking, and need a laptop to do Powerpoint
  • Watching DVDs :)
  • Internet on the go
  • Playing games
What has me confused is the graphics chipsets that are available from nVidia and AMD (ATi). If I know how much I'll be spending, I know what to start saving for.

BTW: This will be in addition to my main desktop computer, not replacing my desktop computer. Call me old school.

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#2 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 07:05 PM

Check out Alienware if you want cutting edge.
Personally, I have a HP Elitebook i5, and it does most those things you mentioned. I dont know what Virtualizing apps are tho. The Elitebooks are fast. Heard Asus laptops are good too.

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#3 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 07:19 PM

Just about any sub $500 laptop will do what you need.

Just check out slickdeals every day for deals. I bought two laptops in December (one Asus, one HP), both for under $300 (Win7, quadcore, HDMI out, camera, DVD burner, etc.)

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#4 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 07:21 PM

I dont know what Virtualizing apps are tho.

See this entry from Wikipedia for Virtualbox. What I like to do is run Virtual Machines of Linux and Windows operating systems to test out functionality. Virtual machines, however, require a fairly fast processor and lots of memory.

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#5 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

Gotcha. Reminds me of running MSDOS and Windows3 on my Amiga way back when.
Only other OS I use besides Win7 is an occasional linux boot to copy a Tivo drive or run some software of that type. For those, I just boot off the CD. Interesting app tho.

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#6 OFFLINE   Cholly

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Posted 03 March 2012 - 08:21 PM

I agree with Dave on Alienware. They're rugged , well designed computers.
You might want to ask the guys who went to CES for their views on what they saw that will be coming down the pike.
Coming in May or June are laptops from Vizio that have all the critics excited. Here's a first look from the Verge: http://www.theverge....ands-on#2827791
CNet also spoke excitedly about the Vizio line. Biggest downside I can see is the lack of an internal DVD drive due to the thinness of the computers. Vizio will have an external Blu-ray drive for them. It appears that the two USB ports are USB3, so there should be no problem with the external drive.

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#7 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:19 PM

I noticed a laptop from Dell that seems to be up my alley. It has a Intel Core i5-2410M Processor, 2.30GHz and a 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 550M w/ HDMI 1.4, Mini Displayport. Maybe there will be similar or better deals in a few months.

"In an effort to increase your cable and satellite bills beyond the point of affordability and to further pad the pockets of our executives..."
Check out my list of links.


#8 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:23 PM

Ive never owned one, and may be totally out in left field here, but I have been advised by friends and co workers to avoid Dell at all costs. Various different reasons were given. Might check with some Dell owners before going that route.

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#9 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:36 PM

Dell's OK, but there's less usually less expensive options.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#10 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:00 PM

I'm typing this on a Dell 610 refurb I bought about 3-4 years ago for under $300 -- still going strong.

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#11 OFFLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:05 PM

I'm typing this on a Dell 610 refurb I bought about 3-4 years ago for under $300 -- still going strong.


Why was it refurbed ;) ?? J/K

Tivo Premier XL4, Tivo Premier, Tivo HD whole home on Xfinity HD, DirecTv Whole Home with 39" high gain KaKu dish, Roku3,SageTv 8 TB Win8 Server -> DVDO Edge-> Denon AVR, Klipsch KB15's/Panasonic 55ST60 plasma"


#12 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:43 PM

Ive never owned one, and may be totally out in left field here, but I have been advised by friends and co workers to avoid Dell at all costs.

I'm doing the same thing that I did with purchasing a television. If I'm going to plunk down some serious cash, I can also do some research and ask questions. If I recall correctly, I set down my parameters and what models I was interested in and got opinions back in September for a television that I ended up purchasing on December 31st. The opinions and experiences helped with my purchase.

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Check out my list of links.


#13 OFFLINE   dmspen

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:11 AM

Check the Dell outlet occasionally. These machines are not refurbs (necessarily) but returns that people don't want. Sometimes you can find a good deal.

#14 OFFLINE   fluffybear

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:08 AM

I personally have never been a huge fan of Dell but my mother in law has had a Dell laptop (Inspiron series) that has been running solid now for almost 6 years and has never had a single issue with it.

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#15 OFFLINE   Rob77

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 10:18 AM

With new high speed/low power processors coming on the market in a few months.....there will be lots of computer "sales" coming up as they try to clear stock. Besides being much faster the new chips, will allow for 8 to 10 hours of REAL operating time.

#16 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 03:41 PM

AHA! A co-worker pointed me to this chart comparing the different mobile graphics chipsets. Funny how Intel isn't consider a "Class 1" graphics chipset.

The new "high speed/lower power processors" will probably come out at the same time as Windows 8. I think I can live with Windows 7.... as long as its 64 bits.

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Check out my list of links.


#17 OFFLINE   lugnutathome

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 04:37 PM

I've owned or used Dell, Compaq, IBM, Lenovo laptops and have no preference for any particular brand. For the graphics cards I am an Nvidia fan as their cards have backward compatibility whereas ATI creates cards that are not backward compatible in many cases. If you have a locally installed game or 2 you play a newer ATI card might not support it.

Personally I'm pitching the Windoze environment as my boxes at home die and replacing with Mac hardware/OS. Between the IO issues, advanced features instability, OS related "nuggets" I have to deal with daily at work using SqlServer that make this supposedly point and click OS anything but, makes me consider it in most unkindly terms YMMV.

Compaq hard drives seem to have shorter lifespans in my experience but I've not had one new since the HP merger and they became one large rock sinking in the pond.

The old IBM think Pads were definitely industrial strength and I believe Lenovo bought the rights to that particular line.

With pricing coming down as it has though as someone earlier mentioned, pretty much any reasonably priced unit should do what you ask. And do you really need the amped up graphics?

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#18 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 08:37 PM

Avoid Dell - HORRIBLE quality control and even worse customer service. Shame, because they were best-in-breed at one time.

Honestly, see if you or a friend can build a PC. It's not terribly tough, and you'll have a PC free of "crapware" that all the manufactures load. (Stuff like Norton anti-virus, greeting card makers, etc).

Windows 7, 64 bit home ultimate, Microsoft security essentials, your favorite browser (I like Chrome) and e-mail client, and you're well on the way.

(PS - I'm a Windows fan, but that Mac Mini is darn interesting)

#19 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:03 PM

Building a tower is easy, but I don't think I'd consider building a laptop to be easy.

#20 OFFLINE   phrelin

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 12:01 AM

I'm partial to HP, but I bought my granddaughter an ASUS and my daughter has had some Dell's over the years. The problem with saving up for a particular computer is that unless saving up time is less than 60 days, technology changes. I'd decide how much I want to spend and save that up, then go looking for the best combination of features I could find. Regarding graphic chipsets, at various times I've had nVidia and ATI, and for what I do there didn't seem to be any noticeable difference. If I were a gamer, I might have a different opinion on that.

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#21 OFFLINE   SeaBeagle

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 02:23 AM

I have both a Dell and a Asus. I am happy with both.

#22 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:27 AM

Honestly, see if you or a friend can build a PC. It's not terribly tough, and you'll have a PC free of "crapware" that all the manufactures load. (Stuff like Norton anti-virus, greeting card makers, etc).

Windows 7, 64 bit home ultimate, Microsoft security essentials, your favorite browser (I like Chrome) and e-mail client, and you're well on the way.

(Mild chuckle) This tech support person assembled my own PCs over 15 years. In fact, I intentionally put in removable hard drive bays so that I can easily swap between operating systems. My tower case is a monster.

However, it is very hard to custom build a laptop at a component level like you can with a regular PC. I have to ask the very stupid questions as to which manufacturers are good and which ones to avoid.

"In an effort to increase your cable and satellite bills beyond the point of affordability and to further pad the pockets of our executives..."
Check out my list of links.


#23 OFFLINE   ke3ju

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:47 AM

Ive never owned one, and may be totally out in left field here, but I have been advised by friends and co workers to avoid Dell at all costs. Various different reasons were given. Might check with some Dell owners before going that route.


I work for a company that performs warranty repair service on laptops. Dell is not bad at all. HP is what needs to be stayed away from. I'll only buy Dell. Lenovos are good too, but much more pricey...
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#24 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:06 AM

MacBook Pro.

Don't like Mac OS? Not a problem, just load WIN7 on it and it will be the best Windows machine you have ever had.

But not cheap.

#25 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 09:22 AM

For laptop repairs, I have found Dell to be the easiest to work on. They have detailed technical service manuals, parts are easy to find, and you can get in and out of them fairly quickly. HP's are not too bad either, but finding the technical service manuals is a little more difficult. Toshiba's are very hard to find any kind of technical service manual.

I usually recommend Dell to people since they have a fairly simplistic order process and their laptops just generally work without issue. Most of the times, I find that I am working on older Dell laptops, while with other manufacturers, they are newer models.

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