Suggestions for Laptop?


Old 05-14-05, 06:34 PM
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Suggestions for Laptop?

My daughter is going to get her Master's and I told her I'd replace her PC. She wants a laptop because she's going to be doing a lot of writing as well teaching. I believe anything around 1.5/1.7 GHz (Intel) or any Athlon 64 based laptop with at least a 60 GB HDD and 15.4" screen will work. The Toshiba M45 looks good, but does anyone have any other suggestions or experiences?
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Old 05-15-05, 09:08 PM
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I've had several Toshibas over the years, and I can sound like a Mac guy when talking about them. Very reliable; haven't had any problems at all with them, and they've done a LOT of travelling.

-Steve G
Old 05-16-05, 10:13 AM
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only thing I can say for sure, "do not buy an HP Compaq Presario".. and don't buy from FRYE'S unless you have it in blood that they will back what they sell.. this is based solely on my personal experience with a $1200 laptop that wasn't 2 months old and failed.. neither HP nor Fryes would support it or replace it..
Old 05-17-05, 04:05 PM
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Purchased a Mac powerbook G5 laptop for my son who started college this year. Says he will never go back to windows again. Buying it through the scool saved us a lot of money. Apple even gave us the 3 year warranty at no charge for buying through the school. check out if the school has any computer buying programs.

Old 05-17-05, 04:30 PM
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I am a mac person also. They are great but there can be issues with some schools and their networks and programs and ......
I have never had any problems with my macs, no viruses, spyware, nothing. The Apple ibook would be enough for your needs, the powerbook is more expensive and geared towards graphics but you can get a 17" screen.
I have a dell that has been good too.
Old 05-18-05, 10:01 PM
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Unless you plan on watching DVD movies on a laptop, the widescreens are a gimick & the extra size slightly shortens battery life.

If you want best bang for the buck, the Celeron-M's and a 15" screen are where it's at.

Most applicatons that people use desktops for are "office" applcations... web surfing, email checking, spreadsheets, and document authoring. These things don't require much in the way of processing power, so a Celeron-M (different than a mobile Celeron) and a Pentium-M (different than a mobile Pentium) isn't much different. Does it really matter of MS Word opens .5 seconds faster? Making sure you have 512mb of ram is more important.

If video editing is being done, there is a significant difference between a Pentium-M and a Celeron-M, but a Pentium 4 is the best.

If power conservation is important, the an Pentium-M is the best. I have a Celeron-M Toshiba that I got for $500 last Thanksgiving that can give me about 4-5 hours of time. Pentium-M's have a special feature that conserves battery life. This feature makes Pentium-M's the best moble CPU. However, a Celeron-M and a Pentium-M is basically the same thing, except for that feature and a little bit of cache, which isn't going to make much of a difference. I've read specs on some laptops that come with a double battery pack and a Pentium-M that can have 8 hour battery life. Moniter size also eats battery. A 17" moniter will consume more than 15" which will consume more than a 13". To help laptops have software that slows down cpu's and decreases moniter brightness to conserve battery life.

Laptops can be used for games. The main component to that is a good 3D video chipset. You can get laptops that can do games well, but they are expensive and don't have good battery life.

Most consumer laptops are plastic bodied. That works well unless you travel and lug it around a lot and even then can be okay if you take care. Business class laptops are made of metal allow and are more durable. IBM's have the best, but they are expensive and I read they are getting out of the laptop business. However, IBM Thinkpads are about the best made laptops on the market. Dell has durable business class laptops too.

A $500-600 laptop with a 15" moniter, Celeron-M and 512mb of ram is a great notebook computer. It's the best bang for the buck. If you want something nicer (and more expensive) and a better battery life, get a Pentium-M with a double battery pack. If you are less concerned about battery life (and cash), check out the Dell Inspiron 9300 series... the 17" moniter is fantastic.

The AMD Athlon 64 is the best CPU on the market, in my opinion. But what's it's the best in, mainly 3d games, isn't what laptops excel in. That makes it mainly suited for desktop computers.

I'm not a Mac/Apple fan, not because they aren't good computers. It has more to do with software and hardware availability and pricing. Apple missed the boat a long time ago, in my opinion.
Old 05-18-05, 10:40 PM
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I'm with frhrwa, don't buy a compaq. If you ever called their tech support you know what I mean. Their answer to most any problem is to reboot and if that doesn't solve the problem, put in the restore disk.

You won't hear many compaq owners say this...
Very reliable; haven't had any problems at all with them
Old 05-31-05, 01:40 AM
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a common "complaint" from the Windoze crowd is that there is not enough software for the Mac. Yes, there is a lot more software for the PC - and a lot of it is mediocre at best. Gaming is the only place the PC really beats the Mac.

Your daughter is going to teach and write - and do homework, right? Well the Mac Office runs just fine. And it's highly unlikely that a university won't have a significant Mac population so connectivity and support shouldn't be an issue. And universities are notorious for problems with viruses and such that the mac is more likely to resist.

A lot has been said here about product support (yes, avoid Compaq). Check out reviews like Consumer Reports and you'll see that Apple consistently ranks at or near the top.

The Powerbook is nice, but the iBook is a much better value. (though I'd sure like to know where c790 got that g5 PB!) :mask:
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