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Best Deal On A Laptop

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Resurrection_Joe, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    I'm pretty damn good, if I do say so myself, at hacking together desktops, but when it comes to laptops, I know that fixing and modding is at a minimum.

    SOOOO

    What's the best value in laptops these days? I'd like to start with a blank HDD and have a fairly big screen.

    512 or 1024 RAM

    60 to 100 GB HDD

    I'd LIKE to have a video card, but can do without

    Not too concerned about processor

    MAIN THING - Reliable!
     
  2. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    You'd "like" to have a video card? If you don't what are you going to do, mind meld with the hard drive?:D

    A *good* laptop is not cheap, figure $1500 minimum for something even approaching current technology. I buy laptops for my work that are around $2000 and they're lower middle range for IBM laptops. They start at about $1000 and go up over $5000. I've dealt with Sony, Toshiba, IBM, Dell and Gateway laptops. Sonys are a PITA because they put a ton of useless software on the damn things. Toshibas are not much better, Dells and Gateways have really rickity plasticy cases that don't take a beating. The IBMs are built great and have awesome support on them.

    Look at the IBM R series, they're big and heavy but solid. SOme use desktop precessors, which kind of suck in a laptop because they run hot and eat power like crazy. A mobile processor is always better but you'll pay for it.

    Most of them will have an OS installed, but laptops are not as easy as desktops to build images for, so that's a good thing. Trust me, I build images for the machines at work and it's a pain to get them stable.

    If you want something really cool look at Alienware...
     
  3. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I'm on my second Dell and the first one is now my wife's. Never a stutter. The IT at work has bought 7 for the Management personeel after he checked mine out. Youa can get a good Dell for under $900.00 and pay like $15.00 a month if ya want. You can get cheaper but IMHO ya can't get a better or more reliable. I payed about $1500.00 for my newest and it runs HL 2 really well. Didn't get a DVD burner as I have a firewire/USB 2 one.


    Specs:

    [size=-1]Computer Name: [/size][size=-1]Laptop (in WORKGROUP)[/size][size=-1]Profile Date: [/size][size=-1]Tuesday, March 22, 2005 8:22:44 PM[/size][size=-1]Advisor Version: [/size][size=-1]6.1f[/size][size=-1]Windows Logon: [/size]







    Operating System System ModelWindows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (build 2600) Dell Computer Corporation Inspiron 5150
    System Service Tag:




    Processor a Main Circuit Board b2.80 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4
    8 kilobyte primary memory cache
    512 kilobyte secondary memory cache
    Board: Dell Computer Corporation 0W0940
    Serial Number: Bus Clock: 133 megahertz
    BIOS: Dell Computer Corporation A33 03/08/2004
    Drives Memory Modules c,d29.95 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
    1.14 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

    NERO IMAGEDRIVE2 SCSI CdRom Device [CD-ROM drive]
    NERO IMAGEDRIVE2 SCSI CdRom Device [CD-ROM drive]
    SAMSUNG CDRW/DVD SN-324F [CD-ROM drive]

    ST93012A [Hard drive] (30.00 GB) -- drive 0
    768 Megabytes Installed Memory

    Slot 'DIMM_A' has 256 MB
    Slot 'DIMM_B' has 512 MB
    Local Drive Volumes c: (on drive 0)29.95 GB1.14 GB free Network Drives None detectedUsers Printerslocal user accountslast logon[ 2:12:59 PM(admin)Controllers DisplayIntel(R) 82801DBM Ultra ATA Storage Controller - 24CA
    Primary IDE Channel [Controller]
    Secondary IDE Channel [Controller]
    NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 [Display adapter]
    Default Monitor
    Default Monitor
    LGP 14.9 [Monitor] (14.9"vis)
    Bus Adapters MultimediaTexas Instruments PCI-4510 CardBus Controller
    NERO IMAGEDRIVE SCSI Controller
    Intel(r) 82801DB/DBM USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller - 24CD
    Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C2
    Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C4
    Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C7
    SigmaTel C-Major AudioCommunications Other DevicesBCM V.92 56K Modem
    1394 Net Adapter
    Broadcom 440x 10/100 Integrated Controller
    Dell Wireless WLAN 1350 WLAN Mini-PCI Card
    RAS Async Adapter
    Network Card MAC Address: 00:90:96:B5:9B:D4
    Network IP Address: 192.168.1.100 / 24
    Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller
    Microsoft AC Adapter
    Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery
    USB Human Interface Device
    Standard 101/102-Key or Microsoft Natural PS/2 Keyboard
    HID-compliant mouse
    Synaptics PS/2 Port Pointing Device [Mouse]
    USB Root Hub
    USB Root Hub
    USB Root Hub
    USB Root Hub
    Virus Protection Norton AntiVirus Version 10.00 Virus Definitions Version 3/17/2005 Rev 9 Last Disk Scan on Monday, March 14, 2005 5:45:21 AM Realtime File Scanning On
     
  4. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    No you wankler! I meant I'd like a dedicated card instead of shared memory.

    The best thing I've found so far is the same place that built the bare start of my desktop

    15.4" 1280x800

    AMD™ MOBILE ATHLON™64 2800+ CPU

    1024 Corsair XMS Memory

    80GB HDD

    ATI RADEON 9700 128MB

    XP Home

    Wireless


    $1375
     
  5. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    I would avoid Sony's now. I used to love them. The junk OEM software has never been an issue on any machine I've deployed, I pull and wipe the hard drive's before I even turn new machines on. That's one way I avoid those irritating license agreements at first boot, too. I highly recommend the same approach to anyone that gets a new laptop if you have a licensed retail or corp version of your OS of choice.

    I'm in the process of replacing a couple Sony's, and they didn't hold up well to a year of corporate abuse. Two 505 models in particular are worn out beyond belief, I'd hate to see the thumb that wore out the mouse button on one of them...I can't re-deploy these to other people as we'd planned and banked on. Not to mention that we just sent over 4 out for repairs. Oddly, mostly only executives and special-purpose users get the vaios, but I'm campaigning for IBM's this year. I think you get less bang for your buck with them spec-wise, but the cost is made up by reliability and longer lifespan.

    My under-1-year-old GR-Vaio model has worn paint/plastic on the corners, the lid has wear marks from my bag, keyboard rubs on the screen, chalky wear on the bezel...I know that sounds picky, but my prior Vaio went for a year under the same conditions and looked brand new when I retired it. This one just has not held up cosmetically to day in day out travel. It's guts have been fine, though.

    Otherwise, I'd recommend a newer Dell Latitude or IBM Thinkpad. The lattitude's are nice little machine's, I've given more than a thought or two to switching over to one until my upgrade time next year... The thinkpad's are solid machines, but I had some major problems with them supporting certain PC cards we use. Apparently their PC card bus runs at a hair lower voltage, which normally wouldn't have any noticable effect on pc cards, except the mobile card we use...

    I don't really know what's a good value these days, though. I don't sign the invoices, so I don't really price them out anymore than for a friend here and there.
     
  6. PhoenixZorn

    PhoenixZorn 1/2 ton status

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    you can probably get a decent "white box" from pricewatch.com, and then put in your own components that will cost far less than any prebuilt computer. Plus, you can specify exactly what you want when you build a whitebox, and don't count laptops out for customizability. I've seen guys spend way too much on a prebuilt machine, and they are very easy to build if you have the right components to start out with.
     
  7. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Just surfin' the net and came accrost this .
     
  8. B_to_C

    B_to_C 1/2 ton status Author

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  9. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    The specs on this look amazingly similar to the emachines m6811. That was a great laptop for the price. It had a wide aspect screen and used the Radeon 9600 chipset with dedicated video ram (not shared) and the Mobile Athlon 64 chip comes in a ZIF socket so you can upgrade it later. It also had built-in 802.11b, ethernet, firewire, compact flash slot, SD ram slot, PCMCIA slot, 56k modem, s-video output and a crapload of USB2 ports. All that for about $1k.

    Too bad emachines got bought by Gateway ... you might want to check them out to see what you can get.

    I don't see any reason why you couldn't get all the bells and whistles for under $1500 .... but I would rather go for XP Pro or Linux before subjecting myself to XP Home.
     
  10. MaxCrack

    MaxCrack 1/2 ton status

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    • I don't know about the video on this one, I also never heard of Averatec. I bought an eMachines laptop through these guys and Best Buy. I love it. There are a few more at edealinfo.com















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  11. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Why is that? Ive found XP home to be the most stable thing I have ever run. I can;t recall any crashes, and the only lockups I've ever had were major photoshop filters I shouldn;t have been doing
     
  12. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    Stability isn't the problem, lack of features is.

    Home and Pro versions of XP are very similar. As a matter of fact all of the features of XP Home are available in XP Pro. The base operating system is identical.

    For most home users the Home version of XP works great and the extra features included with the Pro version are not needed or wanted.


    There are a bunch of differences but here are some that make the difference for me:

    Administrative tools: Home edition only has a subset of the admin tools available in the Pro version.

    Sysprep: Pro version allows automated installation using the sysprep utility, Home does not.

    Administrator rights: On XP Home all local users have full control of the machine (admin rights). Pro allows the use of User Groups with configurable rights based on group membership.

    Remote desktop: Pro supports it, Home doesn't.

    Offline files and folders: Pro supports them, Home does not.

    Processor support: Pro supports dual processors, Home only supprts 1.

    EFS: Pro supports Encrypting File System, Home does not.

    IPSec: IPSec user interface is not included in Home edition

    Active Directory support: Home edition cannot authenticate to an active directory domain. That means the following features are not available:

    - Group Policy managment
    - File level access control



    What it really comes down to is what you use your computer for. If you only have one computer and you are the only user (or you are willing to share all of your information with everyone else who uses it) then XP Home is probably the best choice for you. It's certainly MUCH cheaper.

    I have multiple computers that authenticate to an Active Directory. Some of those computers have multiple users that require certain restrictions to be in place. I also have a habit of rebuilding some machines a fairly regular basis and using sysprep to build them and Group Policy to configure them is the fastest and easiest way to do it. The things I do with my computers require the added features in XP Pro... so that's what's best for me.


    :D
     
  13. Resurrection_Joe

    Resurrection_Joe 1 ton status

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    Makes sense.

    Yeah, my computer is mine. My file system is so goddamn complec and neat I'd have a fit if anyone used it
     

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