buying a laptop

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buying a laptop

Postby Eric O » Fri May 11, 2007 10:06 am

So I am looking for a new laptop but I'm not much for comupter shopping. Trying to find something with 2GB ram and a minimum 80GB hard drive, with DVD burner and MS Office, without paying more than I need to. Intel proccesor preferred. Link me up to the deals if you know where to find them.

thanks!
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Postby chris86wm » Fri May 11, 2007 11:32 am

your best bet is buying online instead of going to a retail store like office depot or best buy. its usually cheaper that way.

I would recommend Dell. They are usually the cheapest and in my opinion and in my experience with them they have been quite reliable (others opinions may differ). You can find $ off coupons for dell online that will save you some big bucks. I used a $750 off $1500 coupon 2 years ago when I bought my laptop from them.

If you must go to a local store to buy a computer, I would wait till they have a sale or until you find a coupon that will bring the price down. Office depot has some nice $100 off coupons that you could use.
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Postby black udder » Fri May 11, 2007 10:39 pm

Dell is about the biggest boy on the block - HP is next. They'll have the best laptop deals because they are huge and deal in bulk.

You'll get raped on Office regardless. Just like the OS, there are no sales, no coupons, just purchase the version you want/need. What will come with your computer is a trial version which you can purchase online or perhaps over the phone and unlock it with the serial code.

Computers in general (when dealing with reputable dealers) are either great or bad. Meaning, it works great and lasts a long time, or it's breaking right out of the box or within 30 days. That's the plus. Don't believe that just because it breaks it's a bad computer or bad company. Parts are made so cheaply these days that sometimes they just faulty. They'll be replaced and you'll be on your way.

Since Dell is so large, they'll probably have a computer repair tech within driving distance of you so they'll provide on-site repair for like the first year.

2gb of ram will not be standard (1gb is). But you should always be able to upgrade it *very* easily yourself if you find a great laptop with only 1gb of ram. I think an 80gb hard drive might be getting close to standard - either 60 or 80. DVD burner won't be standard either - reader will be, so make sure it's a burner before you buy.

Cream of the crop are Alienware and Falcon, but it really depends on what you want it for. If not for hardcore gaming, then Dell should do you just fine - you can even get a slight upgrade on the video card if you go to Vista.

You might also find some deals in places that still have XP loaded on the laptops and they're trying to dump them due to Vista being out.

I'd expect to pay between $750 - $1,500 for a good laptop. Price will vary depending on monitor size, ram, hard drive, processor, etc.
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Postby J2 » Fri May 11, 2007 10:59 pm

i bought a laptop 2 years ago. so shit has upgraded alot since then, but a few things ive notced still.

get a hard drive that is 7200 rpm, it doesnt matter if it has smaller storage capacity, you can get an external for wicked cheap. like a 500 gig for a 100 bucks.

upgrading the ram yourself sucks. there are normally 2 sticks, 1 is easy to get to, the other you have to dig for in a lot of laptops. if you dont know computers it sucks.

dont worry about software. right now xp is probally better for you, exspecially on any computer with less than 2 gig of ram. if you want office or any other software, torrents, if you dont know what a torrent is google it. you can find anything you want with torrents.

oh and laptops are not worth it unless you actually want to carry this thing around, alot. so look for lots of battery ldife.
if you think you might take it with you on trips once in a while, go with a desktop, it is cheaper and easier to replace coponents
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Postby chris86wm » Fri May 11, 2007 11:13 pm

PS: as a word of advice........

dont sacrifice portability for performance. alot of people go out and buy the fastest laptop with the largest screen and then suddenly realize that its a pain to carry around. just remember you are buying a LAPTOP and not a gaming machine.
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Postby black udder » Fri May 11, 2007 11:35 pm

The upgrade I did for my HP was simple, unscrew 1 screw, remove cover, insert ram. I believe more of the modern laptops have a cover on the bottom, you just remove it and there are your ram slots (as mentioned, 2). Only thing would be nice to see if a 1gb setup has 2 512 sticks or 1 1gb stick. If it's 2 512, then it means you're buying 2 1gb sticks or 1 2gb stick later.

XP is gone as far as new purchases. You'll only find them on the bargain racks (if at all). MS is adamant about not making XP an available purchase from retail any longer (meaning installed on a laptop). I believe if you *have* to have XP, there is some option to send it back to MS and exchange it for XP or something.

If you are carrying it around, then you might want to consider an extra battery.

Also, keep in mind that with a larger screen, the native resolution will be larger and make the text smaller. You can adjust the text size, but then it makes everything else look strange.

a drive with 7200 rpm will increase the access/write times of the software you run on it.

As for portability/performance, put your hands on the keyboard. There are many tiny laptops, but the keyboards are changed in order to make them that size. Standard laptops are not that huge these days and only the gaming laptops are really that heavy. And these days, laptops are very popular gaming machines - makes them fantastic for lan parties (walk in and setup in 5 minutes. break-down and leave in 5).

It is something to consider though... if you do travel with one, I'd recommend one of the backpack carriers. Much better than the over the shoulder variety.
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Postby Eric O » Sun May 13, 2007 3:37 pm

Thanks for the tips. The general consensus from most I've asked is Dell has the best deals going most of the time, so I'm looking at buying direct from their website. Probably getting a new desktop too that can run some games halfway decent.
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Postby Rooster » Sun May 13, 2007 4:27 pm

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Postby zealot » Sun May 13, 2007 4:48 pm

tigerdirect.com
Image
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Postby black udder » Sun May 13, 2007 8:52 pm

Rooster wrote:http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?nnmm=browse&mco=520F94DC&node=home/macbook/macbook


That's a joke, right?

hahahaa... sorry -- had to chime in.

Macbook is a great laptop too, just make sure that the software you want runs on a Mac. If it does, they're real solid. If you need/want more variety for software, then the "pc" market would be what you're looking for

Dell is cheaper than Tigerdirect, also. Tiger direct isn't bad, but better deals are out there via dell or smaller online places.
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Postby chris86wm » Sun May 13, 2007 9:09 pm

IMO, Macs are overpriced and poorly built. If you want to spend money on a top of the line system go with IBM/Lenovo. Avoid apple like the plague unless you want an underpowered "trendy" computer that will break on you in a year.
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Postby Rooster » Mon May 14, 2007 7:42 am

are you kidding? please explain to me how the macbook(or any other mac) is underpowered and poorly built? experience? everyone i know that has owned or does own a mac says they are the best computer they've owned. seems to me that the macs ahve the latest intel chips, the standard 1 Gb of RAM and pretty much all the other bells and whistles. the only reason you could say they're "underpowered" is becuase the graphics cards aren't top of the line(ecept on the mac pro). i feel your wayy off base in your statement.

secondly, even if yopur mac does break(which in all likelyhood it won't) apple has one of the top rated customer service service of ANY business(not just computer companies).
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Postby some call me...tim? » Mon May 14, 2007 8:16 am

As far as getting Office goes, one option is http://www.openoffice.org/ It's pretty much the same thing as the MS Office suite, compatible with all the files, but it's open source, and best of all, free.

If you're going to be buying a new laptop though, I think there's a good chance that software will be bundled with it. I dunno...it's been a LONG time since I've bought an "off the shelf" computer, but I seem to remember it coming with all the basic software you'd want (let's hear it for Win95! :D )
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Postby TexasOutlaw » Mon May 14, 2007 10:54 am

I like Dell too. The thing to do with them is watch for specials. You will eventually get what you want for the price you would buy an HP for at Best Buy.

When I bought my pc, I kept an eye on their promotions until I found one I liked. Also if you're getting Vista don't let anyone talk you into less than 2 g of ram.

Dell has great customer service; a buddy of mine just ordered one and the cd-rom drive was defective, so they sent him another drive ( no questions asked ).
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Postby chris86wm » Mon May 14, 2007 12:33 pm

Rooster wrote:are you kidding? please explain to me how the macbook(or any other mac) is underpowered and poorly built? experience? everyone i know that has owned or does own a mac says they are the best computer they've owned. seems to me that the macs ahve the latest intel chips, the standard 1 Gb of RAM and pretty much all the other bells and whistles. the only reason you could say they're "underpowered" is becuase the graphics cards aren't top of the line(ecept on the mac pro). i feel your wayy off base in your statement.

secondly, even if yopur mac does break(which in all likelyhood it won't) apple has one of the top rated customer service service of ANY business(not just computer companies).

Just going by the specs.....
This is their "budget" laptop
* 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
* 512MB memory
* 60GB hard drive1
* Combo drive
$1,099.00

I challenge you to find a PC that cost over $1000 that only comes with 512mb or ram and a 60g hdd! (not to mention the graphics cards are crap but you already said that) You can get a much better system for 100s less.
and thats just the laptop department. Their desktops are even more laughable.

Mac book pros have had numerous problems from random shutdowns, to making a "moo sound" at you when you turn it on (fan relative from what I understand). Most people who praise the Macs are either Apple fan boys or so computer illiterate that they dont understand how bad they got ripped off.

As far as their customer support.........hahaha
I had an ipod that broke 3 months after I bought it (because it was a poorly built POS). I babied that thing and it never left its $40 protective case. When I turned it on, the hard drive would freak out and make a loud grinding sound. I had to RMA the unit. The first time they sent it back to me saying that there was nothing wrong with it, so I quickly called them back and explained AGAIN that this thing sounded like it was about to blow up in my hand. After numerous calls they finally accepted their error and sent me a new ipod. I sold it on ebay the following day and bought a Zune. The whole RMA process took 2 months.

I have a Dell laptop and the speakers started to make a popping sound while playing back music. I called Dell and they had a Tech come to my house the following day to replace the speakers at no cost to me. I wonder how many Techs Apple sends out.........

You cant play games on a Mac, and their biggest slogan now is that they can run windows on their new machines........why the hell wouldnt you just buy a PC if you wanted to run windows. OSX is a joke, their computers are overpriced, and they steal code from the open source community without contributing back or giving credit for it.
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