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Thread: Laptop advice

  1. #1
    Internet Consumist Kayn's Avatar
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    Laptop advice

    Not too long from now I plan on buying a perdy new laptop. Now I usually build my own PCs, so I haven't dabbled in the world of notebook PCs. I don't even know if you can order parts for a laptop and build one yourself. Hmm.

    Anyway. For the sake of price, what is recommended here amongst the sitepointers as far as medium to high end laptios? I've heard good things about Toshiba, and not-so-good things about Alienware. I hear Dell is pretty good.

    Those with laptop experience, please share your thoughts, good and bad. Thank ya!
    Sing in a band called Psychostick, Alfredo Afro.

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    Internet Consumist Kayn's Avatar
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    bump...
    Sing in a band called Psychostick, Alfredo Afro.

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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    If price isn't an issue, then go with Apple or IBM.

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    Non-Member DaveMichaels's Avatar
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    I got a Dell and have been happy with it.

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    SitePoint Zealot p2ranger's Avatar
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    I've been mostly happy with my Dell Inspiron 5100.

    Not until this summer did I try using the S-video out and it didn't work. I didn't get the chance to talk with support about it until this month. It has been sent to the repair place once. It came back the other day and it still doesn't work. Dell is sending out a repair person today to the house to look at it. Still waiting.....

    The guy on the phone said last night they had issues with this motherboard so it seems mine is not alone.

    Jason
    ><>

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    Internet Consumist Kayn's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Interesting.

    Ok, so I've been looking at Dells and I just looked at those IBMs.

    For the first time, I seriously looked at one of those Mac PowerBooks. Now I'm considering one of those. I've been a Windows user for as long as I've used computers (about 9 years), so I'm not familiar with Macs at all. All I know is that they're excellent with graphics, video, and music stuff. My laptop will primarily be used for those very things.

    So, is there anyone here who made that transition from PC to Mac and lived to tell the tale? Please share your thoughts and stuff.
    Sing in a band called Psychostick, Alfredo Afro.

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    SitePoint Zealot p2ranger's Avatar
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    Isn't IBM getting out of the PC market?

    My brother is a rocket scientist (literally) with NASA. When they took away his unix box and were going to replace it with a PC, he requested an Apple laptop. He's sold on Apple now. I bet he won't buy another PC for home. He had only used PC or *nix up until this point. I never heard him complain about transitioning.

    Jason
    ><>

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    SitePoint Wizard Defender1's Avatar
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    Ya, IBM just sold they're PC business to an overseas company, so stear away from IBMs atm.

    If yoiu're going to be doing graphic type stuff, go for the apple.
    Defender's Designs
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    Not-so-patiently awaiting Harry Potter Book 7 *sigh*

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    Original Gangster silver trophy Thing's Avatar
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    I have a Compaq and it's the worst! It's too LOUD and too HOT. Stay clear of Compaq's!!!

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    I like the Sony VAIO. It may be a little overpriced, but I am willing to pay for style.

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    SitePoint Wizard mark_W's Avatar
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    I am also seriously considering an apple at the moment....and not of the fruit variety!

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    IBM ThinkPads are probably the best laptops on the market. Yes IBM is selling their PC division but if you see how the deal is structured, you'll realize IBM will still be your point of service and support well beyond the date any warentees expire. Besides IBM doesn't really build their own laptops. Keep in mind that IBM's corporate customers insist on ThinkPads as part of their overall corporate strategy. So while true, IBM is selling out this leg of their business, ThinkPads and support of ThinkPads will be a very important aspect of IBM's efforts to keep corporate customers happy so that they continue to buy IBM's other services. Also even though IBM is selling their PC business, all IBM computer lines will continue to carry the IBM brand name for several years. Given how much IBM depends on the value of its brand name, I doubt the sale will have any negative impact on the quality or service of their computers.

    Beyond the sale issue, ThinkPads are very well built and extremely durable. I have seen old ThinkPads thrown down a flight of stairs without getting a mark on them and still booting after words. One ThinkPad was intentionally dropped down a flight of stairs several times before it refused to boot due to disk errors. My coworker at the time decided to see if he could bring it back to life and after several low level disk scanning to repair or block bad sectors was able to put a new operating system on it. He is still using the computer almost two years later. With the ThinkPad T41 and T42 series, if the computer is turned on and dropped, the hard drive immediately brings the heads back to a stored position so that they can't damage the drive's platters. With that said, I wouldn't recommend drop kicking any laptop.

    I personally just ordered a ThinkPad T42 (2379RU) with 1GB or RAM yesterday. It even has a built in fingerprint scanner that allows all authentication to be handled from a fingerprint (usernames and passwords are stored on a security chip built into the motherboard). I was worried at first about the pending sale, but after reading a lot about it, I am no longer concerned.

    Ironically enough, you'll sometimes find that top of the line ThinkPads will price out cheaper than comparable Dells (at least I did) as long as you start with one of IBM's predetermined models (and there are plenty of choices).

    The best thing about ThinkPads is since they are business class machines, they don't come with lots of crappy useless software preinstalled.
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    Internet Consumist Kayn's Avatar
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    Can you possibly link to a summary of the thinkpad you purchased?
    Sing in a band called Psychostick, Alfredo Afro.

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    So, is there anyone here who made that transition from PC to Mac and lived to tell the tale? Please share your thoughts and stuff.
    I've been a PC man myself for the last 10 years and when it came time to update I was looking for a good powerful laptop, something to do my work on.

    I was tossing up between an Apple 15'' Powerbook and a few of the Toshiba's.

    I ended up crossing the line and going to Apple.

    I can firmly and happily recommend a Powerbook, it's simply a work of art, while at the same time being incredibly powerful for its size.

    I can pretty much do anything I was able to do before, much easier and then some.

    Go with a powerbook and you wont look back, I hardly touch my desktop now.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayn
    Can you possibly link to a summary of the thinkpad you purchased?
    http://www-132.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/st...catalogId=-840
    I added:
    512MB RAM (1024MB total)
    ThinkPad Port Replicator II
    ThinkPad 72W AC/DC combo (can charge/run ThinkPad off of car cigarette lighter)
    MS Office 2003 Pro

    Do note, I sometimes find their site to be very slow to load (I've never understood this). Today is much slower than yesterday, my guess is they are being hammered by Christmas shoppers.
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    Internet Consumist Kayn's Avatar
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    absolution - cool deal! You know, I'm extremely tempted now. I remember a few years back I'd be all, "A Mac? Hahhahaa." But now, I'm really leaning towards one.

    KLB - Nice. Thanks for the link, I'm gonna play with the customizations for a bit and see what I can come up with.

    Anyone else?
    Sing in a band called Psychostick, Alfredo Afro.

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    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    The iBooks have recently got a spec upgrade so they're almost as good as the powerbooks but much cheaper.

    I made the switch to Apple recently and have no regrets whatsoever.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    This weeks issue of InfoWorld had this to say about ThinkPads when writing about the pending sale: "IBM ThinkPad notebooks enjoy a strong reputation among corporate customers, who are impressed by its security and reliablity features."

    Now what would be really cool is a laptop running IBM's Power5 processor. The battery life would suck but oh, the power.
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    My precious!!! astericks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mstwntd
    The iBooks have recently got a spec upgrade so they're almost as good as the powerbooks but much cheaper.

    I made the switch to Apple recently and have no regrets whatsoever.
    I agree with the statement on the iBooks.

    I bought one and got it YESTERDAY. loving it so far.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    I've never heard anything bad said about iBooks or PowerBooks. Like IBM, Apple produces quality stuff. Whether to go the Windows, Linux or OS X route all depends upon your needs.
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    My precious!!! astericks's Avatar
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    Yeah, forgot to mention that too...go with your needs.

    My main thing is web designing and doing school work [coding etc]. Before buying a mac, i made sure it wouldnt affect the way i do things.

    coding - macs have xcode
    designing - i got the macromedia studio mx for mac for a good price on ebay.
    instant messenging - proteus


  22. #22
    oh hello. JoshU's Avatar
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    I had a Comaq and the the power socket went mad, meaning the entire mobo needed to be replaced. Next I bought a Dell, same problem, along with several broken defective usb ports. Last December I bought a cheap one from BestBuy.Com. It's made my Medion. So far it's good been good. My theory on laptops is buy one cheap because if you use it alot like I do you will need to buy a new one in two or three years anyway even if you buy an expensive one. They just take a lot of abuse and are not easily upgradeable.

    -J!
    Josh Ulfers

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshU
    My theory on laptops is buy one cheap because if you use it alot like I do you will need to buy a new one in two or three years anyway even if you buy an expensive one.
    If you use a laptop a lot, an "expensive" well built rugged laptop will out last a "cheap" laptop and will in the end probably save you money as you won't have to repair or replace it. The reason to buy a cheap laptop is that you don't use it much and it is more likey to become obsolete before it wears out.

    A good rule of thumb for business class hardware that is going to be used heavly, is to buget $500 per year for desktops and $700 per year for laptops. This means if you want to keep a laptop for 3 years, you should budget $2,100, if you want to use it for four years buget around $2800. I used to work for a company that used this calculation for their computers and religiously replaced every computer once it was three years old. As they had over 350 computers, there was constantly a stack of new hardware lined up.
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    So I've discovered IBM takes their global business strategy to an extreme. So far of my laptop order they have shipped four boxes: two from Hong Kong and one each from South Carolina and California. They still have one box to ship. Looks like I'll really get to know my UPS driver over the next week or so. Now I understand why those two IBM guys in the commercials are always getting bumped around the place.
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    I like IBM and DELL laptops. They seem to be better built!


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