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Thread: Buying a new laptop - advice please?

  1. #1
    Revenant 9mmprincess's Avatar
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    Buying a new laptop - advice please?

    First of all, hi to anyone who remembers me - I haven't been here in ages. My Sony VAIO seems like it's going to bite the dust soon, and my lovely signifigant other has offered to buy me a new laptop as a late Christmas present. I don't want another VAIO (the one I have, the motherboard died in it after only a year, and I had to pay 400 dollars to get it fixed. Also, for the last year, it's overheated unless I have a fan blowing at it ).

    I've heard bad things about Dell, good things about Toshiba but for some reason I feel funny buying a Toshiba laptop. I looked at some HP laptops last night, like this one:

    http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/HP-Pa...oductDetail.do

    opinions?

    I'd like to pay under 1100 if possible, I want at least 1 gig of RAM, but 2 gigs is better, I want a video card that's got it's own memory (I don't know too much about that but apparently its better to have, right?), a nice size hard drive would be nice, but I have a 300 gig external drive right now, so hard drive size isn't that important. screen resolution should be good. I'll be downloading a lot of music, playing a few dvds, and working a LOT in Photoshop. I want a core duo processor - thats the best, right?

    any advice at all would be really appreciated. It's so hard buying laptops - first you hear a few ppl say "oh god, don't get a Dell", and so you're like, okay... then you ask a few other people and they're like "I LOVE my Dell - get a Dell!" From what I've been looking at tho, it seems that the HP laptops have the most features for the best price.

    I also have a question about the LightScribe technology-anyone used it? is it any good?

    thank you in advance for any advice

    PS - I don't want a MAC
    There is security in fearlessness.

  2. #2
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Dell has some good ones, HP too, Acer is another to look at.

    First off the easy ones, Lightscribe, it rocks, you can make pictures and junk on lightscribe CDs and DVDs, and the media isnt that much more expensive. This is one of mine:

    http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d1...F/DSC00063.jpg

    Having a video card is better for gaming, integrated will be slower and may not play as many games, but the cards available for laptops still arent at the same level as desktop PCs

    The HP you linked uses shared video, for 1100 bucks you're probaby gonna be stuck with that.

    Stuff that looks decent:

    No idea how ABS is/8 cell batter - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834224054

    Integrated video/ 8 cell battery - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834115284

    2gigs RAM/ 6 cell barrtery - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834115291

    Integrated video/6 cell - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834114294

    From Dell I started with the Inspiron 1505 and customized the middle one, 799, took their far left choice and added a video card.

    From dell:

    XP Media Center
    Core 2 duo 1.66ghz
    1GB RAM
    160 gig HD
    CD/DVD/DVD DL burner
    128MB ati mobility x1300
    9 cell battery
    $1200

  3. #3
    Revenant 9mmprincess's Avatar
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    thanks, YARDofSTUF The first and third one look really good..

    I have another question - my Vaio - do you know how much it would be to refurbish it? would it make more sense to just get it fixed, instead of buying a new one? The thing is, it's slowed down a lot, and I don't know why. I do all the "computer maintenance" things you're supposed to do, but it's just really slow now.

    Problems:

    keyboard doesn't work
    it overheats after only a few minutes unless I've got a fan blowing at the back
    dvd burner only works sporadically, and won't play dvds at all
    it has 512 RAM, I'd like to bump it up to 1 or 2 gigs

    is all that going to cost more than buying a new one?
    There is security in fearlessness.

  4. #4
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    I dont know.

    Sounds like you need a reinstall of your OS, new dvd bunrer, to have someone take it apart and dust it out, and maybe new keys/keyboard, but I dont use a laptop so I dunno how much or if anyone would do that.

    Wait for the experts

  5. #5
    R.I.P. 2017-10-02 Joint Chiefs of Staff's Avatar
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    Just adding my 2cents since I mainly use lappy's over PC's.

    Get 2 gigs of ram and swap out the 5400rpm drive for a 7200rpm. Your lappy will love you for it.

    Get a built in wireless card and bluetooth card as well.
    >>Cult Master of International Affairs<<

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    Moderator David's Avatar
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    View techbarbargains.com for Dell offerings.

    Hell_Yes

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    Forum Techie A_old's Avatar
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    dell's lappys are good. i'd go w/ them or, if it's not out of your budget, a lenovo thinkpad. i don't like hp/compaq products after having worked on them for years..no bueno imho but others might have other experiences...except the printers. i just can't bring myself to buy one. sony typically makes good lappys too tho

  8. #8
    Revenant 9mmprincess's Avatar
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    So do you think it'll be cheaper to get a new laptop than to try to fix everything that's wrong with my current one?
    There is security in fearlessness.

  9. #9
    Forum Techie A_old's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9mmprincess View Post
    So do you think it'll be cheaper to get a new laptop than to try to fix everything that's wrong with my current one?
    Very well could be. It would be best to get a new one regardless.

  10. #10
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    Get a dell with an onsite warranty. They are really good about getting people over to fix your computer for 0 cost.

    I broke my microphone jack and they replaced the motherboard. Also the cdrom drive stopped working and they overnighted me a replacement with a free return label.

  11. #11
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9mmprincess View Post
    So do you think it'll be cheaper to get a new laptop than to try to fix everything that's wrong with my current one?
    If yours is out of warranty...yes replace it. Laptops are usually prohibitively expensive to repair out of warranty.

    I run from Sony laptops..will not support them...their support channels are a nightmare.

    Acer makes good laptops. IBM/Lenovo is my favorite...very rugged, aimed at the business market..so not "flashy with features", just..very rock solid, down to business, reliable, great support, and you pay for it.

    Toshibas are neat in features, but a bit difficult to find support for unless you have a Toshiba authorized service center near you.

    I like Dells Latitude series...aimed at the business market, generally more solid and better warranty over their the more home grade Inspiron line. Hard to beat Dells value for laptops...very aggressively priced.

    HP makes great laptops also...their business line. I'm not as fond of their Pavilion line...more for home users.

    You'll notice a general trend...I separate the business line from the home grade line. Home models often are made of lesser quality components. Often a brief warranty. And a 3 digit price tag. Business grade models are often made of better quality components, and more apt to have a 3 year warranty.

    Especially important (IMO) when considering laptops...as they're more prone to issues, and much more difficult to get serviced..often requiring shipping out to some repair depot.

    Don't skimp on the RAM...get a least a gig of RAM. And upgrade that hard drive...the el-cheapo models usually come with just a 4200rpm..the sun can rise and fall before the thing will boot up or open some programs. Midrange models will come with a 5400rpm (mediocre performance), and the better ones with 7200rpm.

    Strive for Centrino chipset if you can.
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  12. #12
    Revenant 9mmprincess's Avatar
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    thank you so much guys <3 This really helps a lot.

    YeOldeStonecat - I definately want at least a gig of RAM - my Vaio has 512 and it doesn't seem like nearly enough.. I'd really like 2 gigs. see I didn't even know that the rpm of the hard drive was important - I'll make sure it's 7200.

    I'm not sure what to say about my Sony - it just seems to have a lot of problems, and like I said, the motherboard died early.. it's why I don't want another Sony. I wasn't sure about Acer cos I'd never heard of the brand, but if you say they're good I'll check them out. I'll most likely go with a Dell or an HP though.

    Will post an update when I get my new laptop
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  13. #13
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9mmprincess View Post
    I wasn't sure about Acer cos I'd never heard of the brand, but if you say they're good I'll check them out. I'll most likely go with a Dell or an HP though.
    Acer has been around for a long time. They've done an identity change lately...BenQ...making lots of LCD monitors. But they've been around in the PC area for quite a while.

    Their laptop division..they bought up Texas Instruments laptop division back in the Win9X days. And Acer themselves made lots of OEM stuff for other Tier 1 brands..motherboards for IBM, etc. Their business desktops, the PowerPC line, was quite decent. They earned a bad rap with home users with a really cheap PC line called the Aspire, which sold at Walmart and other bargain chains.
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  14. #14
    SG Enthusiast Rainbow's Avatar
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    Acer is a nice laptop, we have ordered a bunch at work, I was finally able to talk them out of Dells

  15. #15
    Conspiracy Fool knightmare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9mmprincess View Post
    thanks, YARDofSTUF The first and third one look really good..

    I have another question - my Vaio - do you know how much it would be to refurbish it? would it make more sense to just get it fixed, instead of buying a new one? The thing is, it's slowed down a lot, and I don't know why. I do all the "computer maintenance" things you're supposed to do, but it's just really slow now.

    Problems:

    keyboard doesn't work
    it overheats after only a few minutes unless I've got a fan blowing at the back
    dvd burner only works sporadically, and won't play dvds at all
    it has 512 RAM, I'd like to bump it up to 1 or 2 gigs

    is all that going to cost more than buying a new one?
    I have lightscribe, takes a lightscribe cd, plus the LS takes longer to burn, than the cd. I can live without it..

    buy a new laptop 9mm.....get the max RAM... also get a notebook cooling pad that goes underneath the laptop, to prevent overheating. Overheating is the primary cause of most problems...

    cooling pads...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ubCategory=319


    some laptops @ newegg......

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834115270

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834115274

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834220103

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834220046
    "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."

    Bruce Lee

  16. #16
    Revenant 9mmprincess's Avatar
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    Bought a cooling pad at CompUSA last night for my Vaio, and it works great - I was finally able to move the fan out from behind it. I got so tired of that thing blowing at me...lol.

    Anyway, I looked at the laptops, and whoah.. I had no idea they'd come so far. My Vaio from 02 looks like it was made in 1970 in comparison. I was amazed how great the screens were. I saw a few really nice HP ones at a decent price - I may go with one of those. I didn't like the Toshiba, and the new Vaio they had there ws rather ugly (not that I'll go with a Vaio again). I can't wait to get a new one now thoughh

    I was looking at this one in particular:

    http://www.compusa.com/products/prod...41647&pfp=cat1

    thoughts?
    There is security in fearlessness.

  17. #17
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Looks good.

  18. #18
    Revenant 9mmprincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YARDofSTUF View Post
    Looks good.
    thank you
    There is security in fearlessness.

  19. #19
    SG Enthusiast Joel's Avatar
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    Just so you know, I have one of these
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834115291
    coming in for a customer either today or tomorrow. I can tell you how it is if you'd like.

  20. #20
    Revenant 9mmprincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    Just so you know, I have one of these
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834115291
    coming in for a customer either today or tomorrow. I can tell you how it is if you'd like.
    sure, thanks Although this:

    Quote Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat View Post
    Acer has been around for a long time. They earned a bad rap with home users with a really cheap PC line called the Aspire, which sold at Walmart and other bargain chains.
    Made me think twice about getting an Aspire... according to YeOldeStonecat, they don't "aspire" to much... lol, I crack myself up....
    There is security in fearlessness.

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