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Old 11-14-2006, 10:48 PM   #1
SupermanOnSteroids
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Default Laptop buying Advise

I'm looking to buy a new laptop for around 1200 bucks or under if possible. Primarily going to be used for college, music, and porn ofcourse. Not into gaming at all. Any advice which one I should go with and what I should look for? Should I go with Mac or PC and if I go with PC, should I wait till vista comes out? What are some good brand names to look into and the minimum specs I should look for?
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Old 11-14-2006, 11:10 PM   #2
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I'm a Mac man, but the cheapest Mac laptop starts at 1,100. The best bang for your buck is definitely going to be with Windows. The reason I use Macs is because of certain applications like FCP, but if you don't need certain Mac programs, I suggest you go with PC.
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:51 AM   #3
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If you're going for a PC I'd suggest, as a minimum, these specs:

512MB RAM, possibly even 1GB
120+GB hard drive, for all the porno and music. The bigger, the better, basically.
15" or bigger screens are awful nice to have. Preferrably not widescreen, I can't stand wide displays unless they're really big (17"+, but you probably won't find one in your budget).
CPU.. dunno, you don't need anything beyond 2GHz.

Useful, and probably standard on most laptops nowadays:
DVD+-RW
Built-in Ethernet and possibly wireless networking if you need that.
A good number of USB ports, say, 4.

Those figures are what I would base my next purchase on, if I weren't still happy with this laptop that I bought three years ago for under $1k.

You won't need any special graphics, so any crappy integrated video (Intel, SIS, whatever) will do just fine.

As for Vista, I don't care for it myself, I'm still running Windows 2000 and am perfectly happy with it.

From here on it's about how much battery life you need, and if you're going to be lugging it around a lot you're going to want it to weigh less than 8lbs.
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:26 AM   #4
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thanks guys. a few other questions though.

is there going to be any differences in hardware for the vista laptops?

the core2 duo processor thing, how improtant is that? we have wireless hookup at the appartment and all around the school. should i be willing to pay extra for it over a lesser processor? how much of a difference does it make?

should i perfer certain brand names over others? i hear dell makes really crappy laptops and haven't heard any good things about compaq or hp. why is that? i hear the sony viao and toshiba laptops are good. why?
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
thanks guys. a few other questions though.

is there going to be any differences in hardware for the vista laptops?

the core2 duo processor thing, how improtant is that? we have wireless hookup at the appartment and all around the school. should i be willing to pay extra for it over a lesser processor? how much of a difference does it make?

should i perfer certain brand names over others? i hear dell makes really crappy laptops and haven't heard any good things about compaq or hp. why is that? i hear the sony viao and toshiba laptops are good. why?

1. No most of the laptops will be backwards compatible and upgradeable with Vista although you'll probably need more than 1gb to run it without losing too much speed.

2. Core 2 is important b/c it has 4MB cache speed for the processor giving it approximately 1.5x more power than a dual core.

3. Dell - crap
HP/Compaq- alright product but parts can get expensive
Sony - no service centres have to send it to Cali to get fixed two week
wait
IBM/Lenovo - Having software issues since Lenovo took over. Parts are
the most expesive in the industry

Toshiba is your best bang for your buck in my opinion....but then again am a little bias as I work for them. The parts are reasonable and you can get all the parts seperate down to the screws. The quality is high and they are known extensively for the k/b they implement. Also service is realtively quick and easy.
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonez26

Toshiba is your best bang for your buck in my opinion....but then again am a little bias as I work for them. The parts are reasonable and you can get all the parts seperate down to the screws. The quality is high and they are known extensively for the k/b they implement. Also service is realtively quick and easy.

Toshiba is generally considered the best value.

You will need at least one gig ram if you want to use Windows Vista.

Make sure the guts are good too because laptops are much harder to service

nVidia graphics card (higher quality)
intel instead of AMD
etc...
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:11 PM   #7
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If your going to use your labtop in class I would suggest buying a 12" screen, but if you want to use it for almost everything, then get a nice size screen. I would also get an AMD processor, and check out the battery time.
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:13 PM   #8
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AMDs are too loud and they have thermal issues which is suicide for a laptop, dont give bad advice ALB
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JtotheIzzo
AMDs are too loud and they have thermal issues which is suicide for a laptop, dont give bad advice ALB

My bad then. I had an AMD processor for my desktop a few years ago and it was damm good CPU for the price I got it.

I bought a Dell 630M about 7 months ago, and so far so good. I got it for 850, and if your willing to spend 1200 on it, you could get a 17", DVD Burner, Good Graphics card, and what not.
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:23 PM   #10
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I don't know about brands, far as I know the name is only important for the customer service. I've heard that the general build quality of Dells is bad, as in the hinges breaking after a while, but I don't know if that's actually true.

I don't think that just for the Office/browsing/porno/music you need serious video processing power or a dual-core CPU. For just that, a crappy 1.2GHz Celeron would even be enough. If your laptop doesn't have built-in wireless, it's a trivial and cheap matter to stick in a wi-fi PCMCIA card or a USB dongle. 50-100 bucks should do it.

And, Izzo, why would you say that Intel is better than AMD, when he isn't going to use CPU-intensive applications?
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:54 PM   #11
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AMDs are louder and they are less efficient (hence they heat up quicker) than Intels
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Old 11-15-2006, 02:08 PM   #12
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I don't know if it's still actually true that AMD chips use up more power nowadays, thought they'd gotten that under control in the past years, at least for their mobile CPUs. I'm sure www.anandtech.com , www.tomshardware.com and all those sites have some figures, I'm too lazy to look it up.
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Old 11-15-2006, 02:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SupermanOnSteroids
I'm looking to buy a new laptop for around 1200 bucks or under if possible. Primarily going to be used for college, music, and porn ofcourse. Not into gaming at all. Any advice which one I should go with and what I should look for?
For my money, there isn't a finer laptop brand than IBM/Lenovo. They are the best built, most reliable brand. I've had three so far (T21, R32, and R52) and all work pretty much as they did on the first day that I purchased them. Not one single problem except a failed hard drive on the T21, but that happens to every brand.

I hear all sorts of horror stories about Dells, HPs, etc. Not sure how true they are, but for $1,200 you can get yourself a sweet Lenovo (T60 or Z61) that will last you for years.
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Old 11-15-2006, 04:55 PM   #14
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I'm on a Toshiba laptop right now, Satellite A105-S4164 to be specific. 1gig ram, 80gb hard drive, don't know about the processor(but it is definitely fast enough), dvd burner, wireless internet, etc. And it has a 15.4" widescreen display, battery time is about 2 hours or something. It was $600 purchased a few months ago.
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Old 11-16-2006, 02:35 PM   #15
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I hear all sorts of horror stories about Dells, HPs, etc. Not sure how true they are, but for $1,200 you can get yourself a sweet Lenovo (T60 or Z61) that will last you for years.

Actually ever since Lenovo took over IBM, they have had huge issues with their sortware and quality of product is down. Their quality was a lot better when they were just IBM.
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