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Looking to buy a Laptop

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Looking to buy a Laptop

Unread postAuthor: Jared Haehnel » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:05 pm

So the topic pretty much says it...

Heres the deal.... I'll be going to college full time in the fall and I'm looking to pick up a laptop for under 800 dollars...

....Mostly I'll be doing word processing...really not looking for a gaming computer but I want it to be decent since I'll have no TV or other means of entertainment this is also a factor...

I've done some shopping but I figured you guys might have some good advice too...any helpful suggestion would be nice...

Thanks
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Unread postAuthor: Blitz » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:24 pm

I deploy Dell Latitudes where I work (I'm the manager of desktop services). I also like Lenovos, but the Dell models were cheaper, and my techs know the Latitudes better. Dell gave our company a very nice deal since we ended up buying about 1200 laptops in the last year. (Replaced a boatload of Latitude D600s and D610s that just had their warranties dried up).

The Dell Latitude D630 is a very solid and versatile machine -- I bought one for myself for personal use, I liked it so much. It has a decent resolution screen, it doesn't have a glossy finish so it leaves fingerprints everywhere (Think the back of an iPod), and can actually take some abuse. You can get nVidia Quadro NVS graphics which gives killer performance even in Vista, though I wouldn't try playing games like Crysis on it. :) I have played other games, like Team Fortress II with success, however... The Quadro on my laptop is basically a GeForce 8400, which is why it's not too bad.

If you want a larger laptop (Desktop replacement), the D830 is almost the same, except with a 1920x1200 screen.

That being said, Dell's consumer-grade laptops, IMO, are garbage. Even worse, is their technical support. What laptop you'd really fall for depends on what your personal tastes are in terms of looks and design. Not many laptops right now are TRULY innovative, if you know what I mean. They're typically Core2Duo with ~2GB of memory and a 40-300GB hard drive.
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Unread postAuthor: Jared Haehnel » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:40 pm

Any idea's what the cost might be?
I heard Vista wasn't all that great...would it be better/possible to by it with XP pre installed?
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Currently buying part for...
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/my-new- ... rt,15.html
Still on the drawing board...
C02 tank hybrid
Screen doors for submarines...
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Unread postAuthor: scottcrete » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:43 pm

im not trying to sound like a smart ass.. but go to dells website and build one that you like.. and it will price it for you.. also you can buy on credit.. and you could just purxchase an already made one.
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Unread postAuthor: trae08 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 2:46 pm

asus eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee pc? just one e i did that many just cause
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Unread postAuthor: Jared Haehnel » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:03 pm

im not trying to sound like a smart ass.. but go to dells website and build one that you like.. and it will price it for you.. also you can buy on credit.. and you could just purxchase an already made one


Yes I am well aware of that and Yes I have done that a few times...However I figured that members might have a few words of advice....as with many question that have been and I am sure will be posted they are posted to get the opinions of others...for better or for worse....

@Marvin the Martian.... :shock: huh?
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http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/my-new- ... rt,15.html
Still on the drawing board...
C02 tank hybrid
Screen doors for submarines...
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Unread postAuthor: Blitz » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:03 pm

trae08 is referring to http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=24.

ASUS makes nice motherboards, but their tech support is absolutely horrible. For laptops, good technical support is absolutely essential if you want to be happy with your purchase.

My father-in-law had an HP laptop he recently bought a fewq months ago -- the screen cracked, and after about 3 weeks of complaining, they told him it'd cost 700 dollars to repair. And then, they said some of th liquid from his screen dripped in his case, and on the motherboard, and that'd cost an additional 500 bucks. He only paid about 1300 for the computer itself. Eventually, he managed to negotiate the cost since it really wasn't his fault, but the point is he went through a LOT of hassle to resolve the problem, and he was without his laptop for over a month.

Here at work, if the screen cracks, Dell (Well, Unisys is who Dell contracts out to usually, around here anyway) will come out here as soon as 4 hours if you have the right plan, and replace your part ASAP. Boom, laptop is back in business. The tech support we have here is 24/7 phone support, and one-day break-fix replacement. It's good enough for us, and the price is right.

So anyway, you can select either Windows XP or Vista. I personally have no problem running Vista here at home, but we're definitely not ready for it at work as we have a lot of legacy applications we still need to test. As for what choice you should make, that's entirely up to you. XP is definitely the more safe choice, but for most things, Vista runs fine too. The laptops come standard with 2GB of memory, which is more than enough to make Vista run well.

If you're interested in the D630, our standard configuration is pretty much what Dell recommends, except we upgrade the screen to a WSXGA+ resolution (Which gives 1440x900 resolution) and nVIDIA Quadro NVS 135M graphics over the Intel stuff. Other than that, we don't touch the other options -- 120GB hard drive is more than enough for everyone's needs here at work, and there's no reason to have a larger drive. Once again, your choice if you feel you need more. You should be able to get the laptop at around 800 bucks -- they have some good promotions right now for that laptop. I personally am very biased towards the Intel wireless chipset, but the Boradcom would suit your needs just fine, and it's a $30 upgrade anyway.

Hope that helps. :)
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:19 pm

I got an old Compaq Evo n600c for $400.

It's awesome :D
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Unread postAuthor: Blitz » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:33 pm

The old Compaq Evos weren't bad at all. Support, however, would be an issue since that's old and if I were buying a laptop for up to $800, I'd want it to be brand new, complete with a warranty. :) But that's from my corporate point of view. If you know someone who's selling a halfway decent laptop for cheap, and it looks like to be in good shape and you're confident in your laptop repair skills, by all means go for it. Just be sure your installed OS is legal, and the COA (Certificate of Authenticity) matches the Product Key on your installed OS (Or you have the COA for whatever OS happens to be installed).
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Unread postAuthor: Jared Haehnel » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:44 am

Thanks Blitz that helps out alot. I think that will probably what I end up getting. 8)
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My current projects....

Currently buying part for...
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/my-new- ... rt,15.html
Still on the drawing board...
C02 tank hybrid
Screen doors for submarines...
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Unread postAuthor: Blitz » Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:53 pm

Sounds good! They're very nice, simple no-nonsense machines. I just hate laptops that have a row of 15 buttons that people never use! That, and I like the stick mouse in the middle of the keyboard (eg. nipple)
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Unread postAuthor: TurboSuper » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:28 pm

On the subject of useless buttons, my Evo has 2 power switches. Redundancy ftw!
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Unread postAuthor: Jared Haehnel » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:41 pm

It turns out the the school in going to now uses d630 laptops. I hadn't noticed till now... I like them....
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My current projects....

Currently buying part for...
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/my-new- ... rt,15.html
Still on the drawing board...
C02 tank hybrid
Screen doors for submarines...
User avatar
Jared Haehnel
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Unread postAuthor: brogdenlaxmiddie » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:55 pm

I personally recommend the apple powerbook 15" . I'm actually currently using it. It cost more than 800 bucks but its absolutly outstanding.
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Unread postAuthor: Jared Haehnel » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:51 pm

I've seen them in action and your right they are absolutly nice machines. I would love to have one but I just can't justify spending that much money for a laptop that I will primarly be typing up thesis papers on... now if I intended to game on it.... 8)
  • 0

My current projects....

Currently buying part for...
http://www.spudfiles.com/forums/my-new- ... rt,15.html
Still on the drawing board...
C02 tank hybrid
Screen doors for submarines...
User avatar
Jared Haehnel
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Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:15 pm
Location: White River Jct, Vermont
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