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Old 04-02-2009, 05:28   #1
madcitycop
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Which laptop to buy

Help! Wanting to buy a new laptop looking to spend around 600. Dont know crap about computer insides just know how to use em. I mostly do email, internet, documents, music, and videos. Looking for a decent amount of memory for all my music and videos. Any suggestions would be very helpful. Dont know RAM and memory and all that good stuff just know that I need room for all my schtuff and wireless internet capabilities (which I know every laptop on earth now has) Suggest away...
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:09   #2
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I've always loved Dell's products.

The "secret" is to not buy the new ones, but go to their refurbished site (there's a link from the main site). I learned about this from a buddy, and I've bought my last two laptops this way. They look great, run great, and are a LOT cheaper than the new ones.

Unlike the new laptops, you can't specify the exact components you want... they list the ones they have, you buy it if it matches your requirements. If you don't see what you want right then, keep checking because they are constantly updating the list (people actually buy these things, then turn around and resell them, like on eBay?). The deals are THAT good!
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:10   #3
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Hey bro, I sale laptops for a living at best buy and here our a couple that I would consider.
If you want a smaller screen size to help with portability go with this one

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218041150488

or if you are wanting a big screen to keep at home most of the time this one is really nice...
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218041148373 (I know it's a little higher than you wanted)

or if you want a happy medium screen size wise this one is not quite as powerful, but still more than enough for what you describe above.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218041998788
All three are good laptops that I don't see coming back very often at all. I hope this helps!
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:27   #4
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Just ordered this HP for the folks. It looked to have a pretty decent price/performance ratio. One thing to be aware of is that most dells right now do not come with a built in modem. I called a sales rep yesterday to confirm that. It's probably not going to effect 90% of the people lookin for a machine, but my folks live in a pretty remote area. Cell coverage is spotty at best on the farm.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:00   #5
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One thing to be aware of is that most dells right now do not come with a built in modem.
Built in modem? lol.

That's necessary only if you're doing dial-up, and very few do that these days. If you have DSL or cable modem you're good to go, or if you have an in-house wireless network you'd be good.

No... they don't have built in modems. They also don't have 5.25" floppy disk drives.... or monochrome screens.

I haven't needed (or used) a modem in probably 6 or 7 years. They're pretty much outdated and passe.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:03   #6
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Dell or HP. Used HP for many years and now have Dell since it's the company standard. Excellent machine.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:42   #7
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Originally Posted by ron59 View Post
I've always loved Dell's products.

The "secret" is to not buy the new ones, but go to their refurbished site (there's a link from the main site). I learned about this from a buddy, and I've bought my last two laptops this way. They look great, run great, and are a LOT cheaper than the new ones.

Unlike the new laptops, you can't specify the exact components you want... they list the ones they have, you buy it if it matches your requirements. If you don't see what you want right then, keep checking because they are constantly updating the list (people actually buy these things, then turn around and resell them, like on eBay?). The deals are THAT good!
x2 I have bought multiple refurbs, along with family and friends.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:45   #8
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I have a refurbed Dell Studio, it's awesome...and I saved a ton....stay away from Best Buy, I used to work there and they don't care about customers anymore..and it's only going to get worse now that Circuit City is gone. Best Buy used to be good but now they only care about the almighty dollar and if you bring your computer into "GEEK SQUAD" to get fixed be prepared to pay ALOT and wait A Long time for it back. Find someone in your area that fixes them either on the side or has their own repair business and will come to you. Sorry didn't mean to turn it into a Best Buy Bashing post but couldn't help it....
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:00   #9
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Built in modem? lol.

That's necessary only if you're doing dial-up, and very few do that these days. If you have DSL or cable modem you're good to go, or if you have an in-house wireless network you'd be good.

No... they don't have built in modems. They also don't have 5.25" floppy disk drives.... or monochrome screens.

I haven't needed (or used) a modem in probably 6 or 7 years. They're pretty much outdated and passe.
Since you personally don't need a modem, obviously no one else does.

Clearly they are outdated, except in cases where they are not.

I'm not sure what line of business your in, but several of my colleagues use POTS as a backup remote connection solution. Not the most elegant, but it's cheap and reliable.

Had you read the rest of my post...

Quote:
It's probably not going to effect 90% of the people lookin for a machine, but my folks live in a pretty remote area. Cell coverage is spotty at best on the farm.
I believe I stated it's not going to effect the vast majority of people.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:02   #10
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Read the reviews - Apple is tops in reliability if you want that flavor. My reading shows top performers to be Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, Dell and Panasonic. HP does not fare well from what I have read.

I have had an Acer for a year and a half - not a problem just a little short on battery life.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:03   #11
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If what your are asking for is what kind of specs. to look for, let me give you a rundown of what to look for according to the info you provided.

1.5GHz Intel Centrino ( If you can find a laptop motherboard that can run at a higher bus speed than 1.2GHz, by all means, get a faster processor. Otherwise, is just a waste of processor and money.)

4GB in RAM memory (if the board is capable. If not, max it to what the board can handle.)

60 or 80GB Hard Drive (That is all you are going to need to run the OS and any programs you will install.)

1 TB external Hard Drive preferably IEEE1394 (third generation FireWire) if not, then USB. This is what you are going to use for all of those photos, music and videos.

512MB or Higher Video On-Board memory (not shared with RAM).

802.11b/g/n wireless integrated card and Bluetooth capable (many wireless accesories will be commonly bluetooth.

100/1000 LAN Network Card.

SWXGA or better monitor in your choice of size.

1 extra battery pack (If you plan to keep the laptop for more than a year).

That is about it. Hope that is what you were asking.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:44   #12
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I used to work with a gentleman who was an on site computer repair tech, for about 9 years. During that time he repaired about 16,000 computers. He recommended that I get either a Dell or a Lenovo. So that's my recommendation.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:49   #13
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Originally Posted by ron59 View Post
Built in modem? lol.

I haven't needed (or used) a modem in probably 6 or 7 years. They're pretty much outdated and passe.
Unless you use something like VentaFax which allows you to catalog, and sort your phone calls, show caller ID on the computer and record all of your phone calls automatically as a nice neat .wav file.

That said, Staples has a $399 Dual Core Compaq in its weekly ad this week. 2G ram and 160G harddrive, but for a few bucks you could upgrade to 4 G ram. Not a bad deal.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:58   #14
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AAS Computer Science. A+ Certified, CCNA Certified, and MCSE certified.
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Old 04-02-2009, 12:01   #15
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I have a refurbed Dell Studio, it's awesome...and I saved a ton....stay away from Best Buy, I used to work there and they don't care about customers anymore..and it's only going to get worse now that Circuit City is gone. Best Buy used to be good but now they only care about the almighty dollar and if you bring your computer into "GEEK SQUAD" to get fixed be prepared to pay ALOT and wait A Long time for it back. Find someone in your area that fixes them either on the side or has their own repair business and will come to you. Sorry didn't mean to turn it into a Best Buy Bashing post but couldn't help it....
Facts are Facts, i have 2 very close friends that are geek squad agents. You wouldnt believe the stuff they tell me.
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Old 04-02-2009, 13:41   #16
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Originally Posted by SweetKnuckles View Post
Unless you use something like VentaFax which allows you to catalog, and sort your phone calls, show caller ID on the computer and record all of your phone calls automatically as a nice neat .wav file.

That said, Staples has a $399 Dual Core Compaq in its weekly ad this week. 2G ram and 160G harddrive, but for a few bucks you could upgrade to 4 G ram. Not a bad deal.
Yeah. Neat.

Only... he didn't say anything about wanting his laptop to do such things. I'll stand by my recommendation. Get a refurbished Dell, regardless of the fact that it doesn't have a modem.
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Old 04-03-2009, 20:55   #17
madcitycop
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Thanks for all the help folks!!
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Old 04-03-2009, 21:27   #18
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Get over to NewEgg and check out the notebooks...

$650 should get you at least an Intel Core2Duo 2.0Ghz, 2Gb ram, 250G HD with a 15.4 screen, DVD burner... They have a good comparison "grid" you can compare against.

You would be looking at Vista Home Premium (most likely) and if you go 4Gb ram, be sure you get the X64 version of Vista Home Premium so that you get the full 4Gb ram to use.

If you are an X86 person, this will be a nice system. If you have "grown up" with MAC, then get a MAC and pay quite a bit more...

I have just undertaken MAC support at work, and there is really no way that I would switch after 20 years of PCs.... MACs are cool, till you see what you have to pay. They do RULE with Graphics applications!

Good Luck, and let us know what you pickup!

HTH
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Old 04-03-2009, 21:43   #19
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I just bought the wife this one a month or two ago.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1218038553190
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Old 04-04-2009, 14:15   #20
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I preferred you for Lenovo. I m also using lenovo its very good laptop.
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