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Thread: Buying a Laptop

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    SitePoint Wizard wdmny's Avatar
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    Can anyone with a laptop tell me what I need to know about buying laptops? I mean, what accessories to buy, etc...
    Also, if you have a newer laptop, what kind and model?

    I want to soon buy a laptop under $3000 with at least 64 mb RAM, and at least a 6.0 gig hard drive. Also, I want I dock that has or can have a 10/100 nic card. I want the dock and the computer at the same time too, so what should I know about this? Where to buy from, etc...

    Thanks,
    Wes

  2. #2
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    I'm hopefully buying one too within the next 2 weeks. I suggest http://www.buy.com as they gurantee they will beat ANY price!

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    Carpe Chicken Chicken's Avatar
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    The only thing I'll say is, just with home computers, 64MB isn't going to cut it for long. Also, while my laptop is somewhat light and portable, it does get heavy. Those paper thin ones (are they still selling those) made me cry when they came out. Ligher=better if you travel (a given, I know).

    Far as brand goes, I've owned two, a generic one and a Toshiba, and both gave me some random problems, but I stil use the Toshiba. I'm not sure which one I'd get, so I can't recommend one over another.

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    SitePoint Co-founder Matt Mickiewicz's Avatar
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    If you have money, get the Dell Inspiron 7500 with the 15.4" screen... I love mine.
    Matt Mickiewicz - Co-Founder
    SitePoint.com - Empowering Web Developers Since 1997
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    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    Matt
    I do have the money because my boss is buying .
    Do you recommend the Inspiron rather than the Latitude?
    Sony do some nice ones too.

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    I like the Dell and Compaq laptops. The Apple powerbooks are nice too if you are a Mac person.

    I prefer towers to laptops any day - a lot more bang for the buck.

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    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    What about Thinkpads? I have an old one using Windows 95 that I use on trips and the newer ones looks pretty cool.

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    SitePoint Wizard jumpthru's Avatar
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    I recommend Dell...and for 3,000 you can really get a kick as* laptop!

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    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    I have used portables and laptops exclusively since 1988. I currently own an IBM T20. It rocks. I got it in August. I've also owned and enjoyed Dell, Micron, and NEC. Today, I lean toward IBM and Dell. From what I have read, IBM and Dell are the most reliable and have the best service.

    Get at least 128MB memory. It is better to have more memory than the absolute fastest processor.

    Go for the lightest weight machine possible. Don't get hung up on the all-in-one machines. When you are on the road, you won't care if you can have both your DVD or CDROM and your floppy both in at once. What you'll care about is how much it weighs while you are carrying it. The machines that have external drives are the lighter ones. I would go with them.

    I would go for CD/RW before DVD. You really aren't going to want to watch movies on you laptop. It is very nice, however, to make a permanent backup or transfer large files to CD.

    Screen resolution - You want XGA, not SVGA. That means 1024x768 resolution instead of 800x600.

    Docking stations or port replicators are one of the best extras to get. You can leave your keyboard, mouse, printer, etc. hooked up all the time and just plug the laptop into the dock/replicator.

    I would spend the extra couple of hundred bucks for the onsite 24/7 maintenance. Laptops break, and it is a pain to have to send it off to get fixed.

    Have a strategy for backing up your machine. That's why I like the CD/RW. Otherwise, get an external tape backup. You have to backup religiously if you own a laptop.
    Jim Lewis
    To BE or Not to BE, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barium Enema
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    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
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    james, docking ports are great but if you travel a lot then they ar a pain. It's a good idea to have one at home or where you sue your laptop most though.

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    SitePoint Wizard jumpthru's Avatar
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    Well yea, I think thats what their for...at home. Otherwise you would also have to carry around your monitor and jeyboard, and for that matter you might as well just carry around a desktop. I think the point of docking stations is to simpify the use of laptops at home.

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    SitePoint Addict jamesglewisf's Avatar
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    I wasn't advocating carrying around your docking station. I think you misunderstood my post. Sorry.
    Jim Lewis
    To BE or Not to BE, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barium Enema
    FrappyDoo Forums

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    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    I would recommend a laptop from Dell...or, barring that, IBM. I would highly recommend against a laptop from Gateway! They are shoddy and clumsy in my family's personal experiences...tech support wasn't too helpful either.

    I also hear that Compaq is similar...IE: nice desktops, but little else.

    I think Dell is the safest bet. Never heard a bad thing about a Dell.

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    Sports Publisher mjames's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TWTCommish
    I would highly recommend against a laptop from Gateway! They are shoddy and clumsy in my family's personal experiences...tech support wasn't too helpful either.
    Really? Maybe things are different in the laptop department, but my family has been very happy with our Gateway 2000 desktop PC.

    BTW, I would love to get a new laptop, but I probably won't until college for home use because they aren't as comfortable to type in, etc...


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