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Thread: Seeking some expert opinions on Dell Laptops

  1. #1
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Seeking some expert opinions on Dell Laptops

    Hi to all

    I am considering buying a Dell Laptop & am seeking some expert opinions to do so, as i have no clue having never owned one. This is not an urgent thing with me just something i want to look into and don't know where to start.

    Due to poor eyesight i need a 17 inch screen with a very clear picture and text, that much i know. A lighted keyboard is also a must. Weight is not an issue.

    My target price is approximately a $1000.00 CDN. as i live in Canada and would have to purchase here.

    Would like something that will last into the future re performance and specs. I mostly use my comp. for surfing and stuff but would like to be able to do a bit of gaming and perhaps photo stuff as well.

    32 bit...64 bit...Windows 7 Premium, Pro or Ultimate...Extended Warranties, etc are where i am hoping you'll be kind enough to point me in the right direction along with any good deal coupons you may know of to keep prices down.

    Thanks in advance for any and all help.

    ---
    regards

    minir

  2. #2
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    Minir

    A 17" laptop is going to be somewhat light performance wise considering the budget you have set. Here is a site for up to date coupon codes Click (there are plenty of other sites with other codes just search Dell Coupon codes).

    Have you maybe considered HP? The following computer is a little bit over your budget but people have been getting this laptop for between $900-$1099US, the only thing it does not have is the backlit keyboard.


    Genuine Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-720QM Processor (1.6GHz, 6MB L2 Cache, 1333MHz FSB)
    FREE Upgrade to 4GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm) from 3GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm)
    500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
    1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 230M
    18.4" diagonal High Definition HP Ultra BrightView Infinity Display (1920x1080p)
    Blu-Ray +/-R/RW with SuperMulti
    Webcam + Fingerprint Reader with HP Imprint Finish (Espresso Black)
    Intel Wireless-N Mini-card with Bluetooth
    HP Integrated HDTV Hybrid Tuner
    HP Color Matching Keyboard
    HP Long Life Notebook Battery
    Microsoft(R) Works 9.0
    HP Home & Home Office Store in-box envelope

    I have this laptop except i upgraded to the i7-820 with 8GB Ram and it handles everything i throw at it. For the price it is an excellent buy to consider.

  3. #3
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Morning Larry, good to see you old northern friend.

    Some points I'd like to make first, which would hold true regardless of brand.

    When it comes to laptops, seek a 3 year warranty. Laptops are prone to hardware issues more often than desktops, and often require shipping out for repair. Prices for replacement parts outside of warranty are quite high.

    With laptops, even more so than desktops, the more RAM the better. While Windows 7 runs better/snappier than Vista, you should still seek 4 gigs minimum, especially since you mention some photo apps.

    With Vista and Windows 7, performance of the OS is better when you have dedicated/discrete graphics...since the work load of the OS graphics is offloaded to the GPU. Not to mention, performance of graphics apps is better. So look for a model with dedicated graphics like ATI or nVidia....at least 256 megs.

    7,200rpm hard drive. One of the reasons laptops often feel much slower than a desktop PC, is the base models come with 5,400rpm drives. Super budget models, and ultra portables, sometimes come with even slower 4,200rpm drives. 7,200rpm makes it more responsive, and especially for any gaming and photo apps.

    Will you be needing MS Office? Dell offers OEM versions of MS Office 2007 Standard at 129.00, Small Business Edition at 159.00 I think, and up from there.

    Skip on antivirus, and as soon as you receive it, go to Microsofts site and get Microsoft Security Essentials, which is their own FREE and very good antivirus. If the laptop came with any trial AV, naturally fully uninstall that before installing MSE.

    For processors, minimum CPU you should get is an Intel Core 2 Duo. Many less expensive models start with Celerons or older Intel Duo Core processors. The Core 2 Duo should be your minimum for perky performance, if you can, try to upgrade to a CPU with 3 megs cache...as the older base C2D started with 2 megs. The cache isn't a huge thing, but if you can.

    If you're a wireless user, I prefer the Intel Wireless upgrade over the stock Dell wireless. The Intel 5300 if you're a heavy wireless user, transfer rates are much higher.

    The above all being said, I'll focus on Dell. You may recall in the past seeing me say I prefer Dells Latitude line, which is one of their business grade laptops. Another biz grade laptop is their Precision...more high end graphics, for design work like CAD. And on low end of the biz grade is their relatively newer Vostro line. The Latitudes have higher grade components inside, usually start with a 3 year warranty, less "fluffy" bells and whistles. Support for them is usually better also. However, they command a higher price. And they max at 15.4" screen.

    The Vostro line is less expensive, less bells and whistles, I think default with a 1 year warranty. You can get a 17" model.

    On the "home" category, Dell has their Inspiron/Studio line which has some 17" models.

    When on Dells site, first thing to select your models, in the upper left corner choose either Home or Business...and the appropriate lineup becomes available.

    Anyways, I ran through a few configurations of Dells laptops with the above specs...I had a hard time keeping the price under $1,400.00.

    I got a Vostro 17 at $1,398.00 (US). No lit keyboard though.

    I got a Studio 17 at $1,298.00 (US) with a backlit keyboard, no MS Office..just works.

    Those are configured prices. For "deals"..Dell has a "Fast Track" setup, where you get pre-configured models for a much lesser price, only drawback is that they're not very configurable...IE you're stuck with a 5,400rpm hard drive, no MS Office options, stuff like that.
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  4. #4
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    Been using a Dell Latitude for several years now, running XP Pro and Debian Linux. I made a guide about how to install Debian on this model and the beginning is a section "How to purchase Dells and save money".

    http://members.cox.net/tonyt/d830
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  5. #5
    Moderator David's Avatar
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    Could you get by with a desktop? Large LCD monitors (22" to 28") are available at incredibly low prices.

    Hell_Yes

    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity - Seneca

    "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov

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  6. #6
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Nice to meet you J-high

    Thanks for all you time and trouble. Good info. Do you have the model number you recommend?...Thanks

    ----

    Morning Brian

    Nice to see your Smilin Face as well my friend.

    Your input is most welcome and appreciated.

    Do you have the model number or site address of the "Studio 17 at $1,298.00 (US) with a backlit keyboard, no MS Office..just works." so i don't screw up...Thanks

    Office is not important to me and i have been using the MS Firewall and Security Essentials for awhile on my Desktop and find them to do the job just fine so far.

    A few hundred more is not a deal breaker to ensure i get something that will do the job and last for awhile.

    -

    Thanks so much you two i do appreciate your taking the time to respond

    ---

    regards

    minir

  7. #7
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Larry I thought I still had your e-mail, I just searched and I apologize, I cannot find it. Would you mind PM'ing me your e-mail addy? I can run a few configurations for you and e-mail you the cart so you can see options and prices and what not.

    I do have to hit the road for the day, but since you mention you're not in a rush...so over time I can e-mail you a few different configurations. And we'll have time to see if a good deal comes up, when I see one, I'll e-mail you.
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
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  8. #8
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi TonyT

    Nice to see you again TonyT and i appreciate your reply. Will look into it and absorb what i can.

    -

    Morning David

    I do have a desktop now David & bought a large sized Dell 2408 WFP which is terrific, but wish to have a portable that i can use away from home. I do however require as much ease as possible on the old peepers.

    --

    Thanks Fellas, much appreciated.

    -

    regards

    minir

  9. #9
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    Minir,

    You can follow this link to the HP customizable laptops HP. Any of them are good but the DV7's have the screen size you are looking, and the DV8's have a 18" screen. The DV7 and DV8 quad editions have the newest mobile processors which are the Core i7's and the non quad's have Core 2 Duo/Quad. All of the base configurations on these models are well equipped for performance, however they are all customizable for what you are looking performance wise.

    I have personally owned 4 of the customizable HP laptops and have never had issues with them.

  10. #10
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi J-high

    Thanks so much for your troubles. i will take a look now.
    ---


    Might i also take this time to wish all at SG a Happy & Safe Thanksgiving.

    -

    regards

    minir

  11. #11
    Ohh Hell yeah.. Sava700's Avatar
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    www.techbargains.com

    They display all the specials going on with laptops from Dell and will help save you alot of money.

    Win7 64bit is a givin..don't go for anything less.

    4gigs of ram or more and you should be in good shape..I'd also suggest a full warranty with complete care just in case you drop it or drop something on it they will replace for free.

  12. #12
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Morning Sava700


    Thanks for your contribution as i need all the ideas and help i can acquire.

    Damn if i had spent as much time fussing over the ladies as i do over a comp. i'd no doubt still have a GF.

    ---

    Take care

    minir

  13. #13
    SCSI Dude Faust's Avatar
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    good to see you again, minir!


    and for what its worth, i have a few 15% off coupons for Dell Outlet on any Latitude or Precision mobile workstations. as they tend to be on the pricey (but great performance and quality) side i doubt they will be what youll gravitate towards, theyre available if you want them (exp. 11/25). or if anyone else needs them, for that matter.
    "Today is a black day in the history of mankind."

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  14. #14
    Imperial Impotentate brembo's Avatar
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    Faust-

    Please read the thread title. Says "experts" not "mouth breathing keyboard banger". I'll go ahead and make a thread for you to reply in titled "Need advice on being a huge jerk-bag", you can come be the resident pro.

    Tao_Jones Cult Member since 2004
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  15. #15
    R.I.P. MissTynker2's Avatar
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    Hi Larry! So nice to see you my friend!

    I just recently received an email from Dell, listing their most recent deals on laptops, as well as desk tops. There appears to be quite a substantial savings involved...and maybe just what you are looking for discount & coupon wise?

    http://www.dell.com/us/en/home/perfo...OJ2GW-LOBAX-v1

    http://www1.ca.dell.com/content/topi...hs1&l=en&s=dhs (canadian link)


    Hugz
    Last edited by MissTynker2; 11-20-09 at 01:16 PM.
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  16. #16
    SCSI Dude Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brembo View Post
    Faust-

    Please read the thread title. Says "experts" not "mouth breathing keyboard banger". I'll go ahead and make a thread for you to reply in titled "Need advice on being a huge jerk-bag", you can come be the resident pro.

    if this is your way of asking me out on a date, it aint working
    "Today is a black day in the history of mankind."

    - Leo Szilard

  17. #17
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    HiYa Faust

    Thanks very much for your kind offer Faust, but the Latitude seems to be out of my league in price as well as a need for that superior a laptop.

    I am looking mostly for a laptop i can take to my Moms to bring her up to date on some of the pics i get from the family which i presently print out for her and some very enjoyable MPEGs i have that i know she'd get a kick out of.

    I also want to see if she would take to using a laptop if shown how. Shes still pretty sharp at 91 and I was thinking it might enable me to get her one as well if she'd use it.

    Good to see you as well Faust.

    ---

    brembo

    Nice to see you still going out of your way to treat fellow members in such a tender loving manner.

    --

    MissTynker2

    Thanks to you as well Tink. Will store away as i muddle through this situation in the hopes of coming out right side up.

    Nice to see your Smilin Face as well.

    -------

    Regards to all

    minir

  18. #18
    Imperial Impotentate brembo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    if this is your way of asking me out on a date, it aint working
    Would a joint WoW account sway you any?

    Minir- Sorry for spammin up yer thread.
    Tao_Jones Cult Member since 2004
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  19. #19
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brembo View Post
    Would a joint WoW account sway you any?

    Minir- Sorry for spammin up yer thread.
    ---

    brembo if they took away your spammin you'd be known as Silent Sam.

    Not to worry as its always nice to see your mug as well brembo.

    ---

    regards

    minir

  20. #20
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Not to stray from the topic Minir, but we used to have those auto threads, and enjoyed picking on recent " Bangle bloated" BMW models. I saw a new model a few times that I actually like, the "X6". He didn't mess that one up too much.
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