Laptop recommendations??

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 3:03 PM GMT
    I am looking at purchasing a new laptop. Any recommendations? Looking at spending $800-$1,000. Its for personal use only.
  • Bunjamon

    Posts: 3161

    May 10, 2009 3:55 PM GMT
    I got an HP Compaq nx9420 almost three years ago and I've been incredibly happy with it. It only bugged out on me once, and restoring it to factory settings fixed it no problem.
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    May 10, 2009 3:58 PM GMT
    Macbook. You can run Windows, OS X, or Linux. Or all three at once. Great machine, and would be in your price range.

    Just my $0.02
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    May 10, 2009 4:03 PM GMT
    I bought my partner the latest MacBook Pro notebook for Christmas, the new one with the solid aluminum case. He loves it, flawless like all the other Apple computers I've had for over 25 years. It's outside your stated budget (his version over $3000), but something to consider if you can manage it.

    BTW, your physique at 43 is most lovely, congrats. icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 10, 2009 4:18 PM GMT

    Without knowing what you need the machine to do this is kind of a shot in the dark. But...

    $1,000 would get you an Apple Mac Book. I am a HUGE fan of Apple products. They are elegant. There is great integration between the operating system and the vast number of programs Mac's ship with. And their customer care is first rate - especially if there's an Apple Store near you and you can go to their Genius Bar.

    If you decide to go the Apple route, check out their online store at:

    http://store.apple.com/us

    Scroll down and near the bottom on the left side of the screen, there is a box marked "Special Deals". My experience with their refurbished equipment has been great.

    Also, if you a student or a teacher, check for Apple discounts for educators.

    Best of luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 4:20 PM GMT
    well I bought a Dell Inspirion 1525 for less than $500.00 months ago. Works fine except that it gets uncomfortably heated sometimes and this can be annoying.
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    May 10, 2009 4:26 PM GMT
    I love love love love my Gateway laptop, had it two years and it's never had a virus or any kind of problem (knock on wood). Yeah Macs may be cool and all, but they're damned pricey, and you can only have it serviced by a mac specialist (which gets damned pricey too), whereas a PC you can just pop the installation disk in and reinstall.
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    May 10, 2009 4:27 PM GMT
    Soooooooooo many choices... Dual Celeron, largest screen you can find, ability to get about 4 gig of memory, and a fat hard drive. Try Alien Ware. New Egg has many good prices also...
    www.newegg.com
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 4:32 PM GMT
    MacBook-pro-24-carat-Gold-1.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 4:40 PM GMT
    I bet DancerJack is pretty good.

    Oh.


    Computer.



    I thought you meant dance.

    icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 5:03 PM GMT
    If it's really going to be mobile, smaller is better. I really miss the form-factor of my 12" Powerbook, although I'm getting used to the 13" macbook. Anything bigger is just ludicrously ungainly to haul around. You can always dock it to a larger display at home, if you wish.

    If you're going to be hooking up to different networks on the go, don't even think of anything but a mac. I've been on numerous jobs where mac users whip out their computers and start working. Everyone else spends a day or three trying to get their windows boxes to communicate. I dunnno... microshaft MUST be getting better at this or they'd be dead meat.

    Still looking forward to the day when the laptop disappears completely. I could live with a heads-up display in my wayfarers and data gloves that wirelessly synch with a wrist-cuff device.
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    May 10, 2009 5:09 PM GMT
    I would recommend the newer unibody macbook, they start at 1200 though.

    If you work for a medium-large company, they may have a purchase plan, talk to your human resources department. They'll have a special web address where you can get a discount similar to the student discount.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 5:56 PM GMT
    macbook pro. nothing else comes close.
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    May 10, 2009 6:06 PM GMT



    ...and just when I was about to post, Lostboy beat me to it....
    "I bet DancerJack is pretty good."

    Clearly, we're on the same page today! I think we both need to wash our brains out with soap.


    -Doug (Bill shaking his head at the trite humour)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 6:12 PM GMT
    meninlove said


    ...and just when I was about to post, Lostboy beat me to it....
    "I bet DancerJack is pretty good."

    Clearly, we're on the same page today! I think we both need to wash our brains out with soap.


    -Doug (Bill shaking his head at the trite humour)


    I´d rather wash Jack with soap

    icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 6:18 PM GMT


    On a waterslide?
    With no clothes on?
    After a few drinks?

    (this is starting to sound like 'Green Eggs and Ham')icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 6:19 PM GMT
    singleagain saidI am looking at purchasing a new laptop. Any recommendations? Looking at spending $800-$1,000. Its for personal use only.


    I would recommend looking at the new HP ProBook series, too. We've been using the HP NC6700-series business notebooks where I work for about a year now, and overall - minus a few bugs along the way - they've been a really solid mobile platform. Take a gander here:

    http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF04a/321957-321957-64295-3929941-3955552.html?jumpid=re_R295_prodexp/busproducts/computing-notebook/hp-probk-ntbk-pc&psn=notebooks_tablet_pcs/tablet_pcs

    More generally, here are some things I would recommend you keep an eye out for when looking through specs:

    1. Core hardware - Basically, *ahem*... AVOID CELERON. icon_smile.gif Do not skimp on your CPU. It's easy to do, because a lot of people look at the "GHz" value and say "Well, these are the same. Why would I get the more expensive one!?" Essentially, they are NOT the same. If you're going to do this thing, my motto typically is "Go big, or go home." You're investing in a machine you want to keep for a while, and the CPU is probably the most important factor in the machine's longevity. Right now, there's little reason to go with anything other than a full-on Core2Duo (not Celeron) CPU in your laptop. AMD has some offerings you can consider, but AMD has been dealing with an impregnable performance hurdle set by Intel's C2D line. The performance per $ I just don't think is there with AMD's mobile stuff yet.

    2. LED back-lit LCD's - Simply, more even (and accurate) color presentation than traditional flourescents, less heat and power consumed (ie, longer battery and screen life). This will compliment well my section on display standard below, too. icon_smile.gif

    3. Discrete graphics - This is not really a "must," per se, but it's definitely something to opt for if you have the funds for it. I'll spare you the boring details (unless you just really wanna know, msg me), but general video performance goes *way* up with a discrete architecture, because the CPU of the laptop is able to offload pretty much all 2D/3D video rendering to it. That frees the CPU up for other important stuff, like showing the contents of windows, opening applications, saving files, etc.

    4. Hard drives - There are a few options to consider here. First, there are traditional "magnetic" hard drives. The semantics here are not important for you, but it's the type of HD that has been around for the past 25 years, and it is by far the cheapest. What I want to point out are the different common speeds: 4200rpm (rotations per minute), 5400rpm, and 7200rpm. The higher the RPM value, the faster the access/seek times on the drive, the (generally) faster the drive performance. There is also a newer type of magnetic disk that uses what's called "perpendicular" storage. Again, the term and details are probably not that important to you, but if you're asking representatives on the phone, or looking at spec sheets, keep an eye out for it. If you can afford it, go with a drive that uses perpendicular storage.

    The other option for HD's is the newer SSD (solid-state disk). It is about 17x the cost per Gigabyte compared to the magnetic disks I described above; however, because it is essentially a giant USB drive (with key differences, but they're not that important for this lesson. icon_smile.gif), there are no moving parts, and no latency inherent in moving a read/write head across magnetic disks. It's all electronic access, just like USB drives. Also, because of this, weight is *hugely* reduced, power consumption is nil, vibration and noise are completely eliminated (nothing to vibrate). Perfect, right? ...Almost. Some caveats: there has been evidence to show that as SSD drives are used, because of how they work, they actually begin to lose performance and capacity. It is not something that can't be worked around, and manufacturers do a lot to make sure that this is invisible to you the user. But be aware that it does exist. Also, there are two types of SSD's: SLC and MLC. Again, I'll spare you the details; you can look them up if you're curious. Esseentially, SLC's right now are better performing and do not degenerate quite so quickly as MLC's. The trade-off is that MLC's typically offer higher capacities.

    Whew! Moving on! icon_smile.gif

    5. LiPol Batteries - Another important thing is the type of battery the machine uses. Traditionally, a lot of laptops have used lithium-ion batteries. There were several different generations of them, each made of a slightly different compound to improve efficiency. The latest iteration of this is the lithium polymer battery. I don't have all the tech details in front of me right now, but these guys were designed to address some of the lingering problems that older li-ion batteries had: degeneration over time, overcharging, heat dissipation, size/weight, etc. Keep an eye out for them as you're shopping around. I think a lot of your heavy hitters have already switched to these - Apple being one of them, I think - but it's something to watch out for.

    6. Display Standard - Something a lot of people skimp on is the screen standard the machine uses. It is essentially what determines the highest (ie, "native") resolution of the screen is. Typically, the higher the better. There's a good wiki article on it here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_display_standard

    Just to narrow it for you, I'd stick to something at least WUXGA, which has a native resolution of 1920x1200. If you're translating that into TV lingo, that's native "1080p" resolution. icon_smile.gif The better the standard, also, typically the better your color rendering will be, as well. This is the part of the machine you're going to stare at more than any other part. It's better to go as high as you can afford, for your eyes' (and gorgeous video's) sake!

    ***********************

    I think I've probably bored you enough. I could go on and on with this stuff. It's kinda' my thing. icon_smile.gif But just be careful as you're shopping. There are a lot of acronyms floating around, and a lot of nuance behind each one of them that could hold HUGE sway in the economy of the decision. When it's all said and done, it comes down to what fits your budget, and what fits your needs. My list, I hope, will at least bring some terms ot the surface that you will see in your shopping and make you stop and think "Hmm...I saw that somewhere...I wonder what that is?" Don't be afraid to research stuff before you buy it! Don't trust sales people; most of them don't have a clue what they're doing/talking about. Not that ALL of them are bad, but very few actually understand what's behind the acronyms they throw at customers to dazzle them into the latest, shiniest thing on the shelf.

    Hope it helps! Feel free to message me if you have any specific questions on stuff. Good luck on finding your perfect mobile monster! ^_^
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 6:36 PM GMT
    Not sure how to follow up to the wealth of information above. However, I will say I bought a Sony Vaio laptop the day after Thanksgiving (just over 1K with taxes) and have yet to have any issues. 4G, 1080p and Blu-ray...the roomies all drool over it and keep asking if they can have it should anything happen to me. Only real issue I have is that it came with Vista...but I can overlook that until I can get 7 installed.

    I agree with mtown, don't limit yourself if you are planning on keeping this for years.

    Oh, and macs are very elegant machines and well developed by the company; they come with a lot less stuff preinstalled and have beautiful design. However, you can do most of the same stuff on a windows machine and usually for a lot less.
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    May 10, 2009 7:08 PM GMT
    Mosdef a mac...anything else u will have to put da geek squad on for additional moneyicon_eek.gif
  • ursa_minor

    Posts: 566

    May 10, 2009 7:34 PM GMT
    have you been to the website http://www.notebookreview.com/ ?

    you can run a search on it for your budget. personally id stick with HP or Dell
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 7:37 PM GMT
    My last two have been HP/Compaq (same company), and I've been VERY happy. I had a Dell before, and was not happy.
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    May 10, 2009 7:48 PM GMT
    I'm in the same situation, I've been working with my Vaio S360 for roughly 4 years now, desperately seeking to upgrade.

    I'm comfortable with XP and I've hacked the hell out of my registry to fine-tune my system's performance--works like a dream, despite Centrino platform (T400; mid 2005).

    While Apple does maintain a healthy position as the leader in a UNIX based OS, I would argue that the hardware is really mediocre.

    Yes, the unibody construction is a "revolution" in the notebook market, rather than the "evolution" of standards plastic frames. But worth the $1300+ (base) price tag? I somehow doubt it.

    Focus on your specs when shopping for a notebook, namely DDR3 and front-side bus speeds (1033Mhz as a start). HDD are a dated technology, if you can, shoot for SSD drives as a replacement--OCZ and Intel manufactures some great drives. The clock speed on notebooks is becoming less and less relevant with the number of cores expanding--i.e., Intel's "i7" hits 3.2 ghz, but who cares when you're running 4-cores?!

    Wow I'm ranting...

    If you can, wait until June/September (students entering Universities equates to product updates, discounts, and freebies).

    That being said...I'm a total hypocrite and I'm waiting to buy a unibody Macbook (ONLY b/c I enjoy the OS X environment and upcoming Snow Leopard feature set).

    ....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 8:05 PM GMT
    Macbook all the way. Built in spyware and so much easier to use. I LOVE all apple products. so much better then PC
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    May 10, 2009 8:11 PM GMT
    I've used and owned Macs for over 20 years and never been disappointed. (Plus, you'll be one of the cool kids if you get one icon_cool.gif ) But, if you decide to stick with PC, I've also had a Dell Inspiron for almost five years now, and been really happy with it, all things PC considered.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2009 8:26 PM GMT
    Just bought a Toshiba Satellite, like it a lot. The current Consumer Reports has a large section on laptops and netbooks.