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Old 04-24-2010, 19:53   #1
Nolyn
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Need New Laptop - What to get ?

My laptop dates from 2000 and weighs about 30 pounds. Time to replace

I want to get a new one but know little about all the jargon. Someone recommended Sony, others say HP or Dell.

I looked on Newegg.com and it seems that prices vary enormously even within the same brand. There are a lot of different chips listed, and I have no idea what the difference is (AMD, Intel and all the variations)

I'd like something with a decent sized screen and a graphics card that can handle video and PowerPoint presentations. I mainly use MS Office.

I assume that Windows 7 is the latest version and the thing to get ?

I don't have time to review all this technology myself and become expert.

Any input appreciated.
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Old 04-24-2010, 22:25   #2
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Anything Asus, Toshiba or Acer IMO.
Asus 1st if you can afford it.
Instead of MS Office also try Open Office. 100% compatible with MS Office and its free. I would try it out on the laptop you have now though. Also give it a fair chance. It is free and maybe be a little different from what you used but dont let that put you off.

http://www.openoffice.org/
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Old 04-24-2010, 23:19   #3
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thanks

Any preference on chip set ?
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:47   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolyn View Post
Any preference on chip set ?
You want to start a religious war here don't you. lol

The fact is current hardware in most cases out performs most current software. It's pretty hard to go wrong with anything but the most inexpensive system.
Friend of mine just bought a Sony laptop with Intel Core2Duo, 4 gigs ram, 500 gig hard drive and 16" 16x9 display (which looks beautiful) for under $450.00 from
http://slickdeals.net/
I'm amazed, great system.
So look around and find out what's important to you first.
Large screen vs. weight.
Are you going to travel or is this really just a deskstop replacement.

Usually when you pay a little more you get more solid construction. Does this brand feel solid when you open and shut the case.

Glossy screen or not.

As I said, it's hard to go wrong with almost anything unless you have specific needs like image prep or film editing. Enjoy.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:51   #5
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I've had good luck with Toshiba and Asus. Had problems with Dell and HP.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:07   #6
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I will be traveling with this. I need to show pics to people on the screen, so I thought 15" would probably be min size. Most of the new stuff seems to be very light compared to my 10yr old HP.

This is not a desktop replacement, so I can do the heavy duty video editing etc on the desktop. Seems like just about anything will do the job - a lot of people now telling me to avoid HP & Dell. perhaps the big boys got complacent.

Sony products always seem to be reliable and perform well. Very anti-gun company though.
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Old 04-25-2010, 10:37   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolyn View Post
I will be traveling with this. I need to show pics to people on the screen, so I thought 15" would probably be min size. Most of the new stuff seems to be very light compared to my 10yr old HP.

This is not a desktop replacement, so I can do the heavy duty video editing etc on the desktop. Seems like just about anything will do the job - a lot of people now telling me to avoid HP & Dell. perhaps the big boys got complacent.

Sony products always seem to be reliable and perform well. Very anti-gun company though.
I doubt you'll find any computer/electronics manufacturer that is "pro gun", but that is strictly a guess. I've got an Acer that was $320 bucks and has served me very well for 3yrs. It's way underpowered for Vista though(which is what it came with)... Runs Linux great. It's really just for laying on the couch, etc.. not a desktop replacement.

Sounds like you'll probably need a bit more juice, so I'd probably look at something from Toshiba or Sony, and just get the best you can afford.

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Old 04-25-2010, 11:24   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nolyn View Post
I will be traveling with this. I need to show pics to people on the screen, so I thought 15" would probably be min size. Most of the new stuff seems to be very light compared to my 10yr old HP.
This is not a desktop replacement, so I can do the heavy duty video editing etc on the desktop. Seems like just about anything will do the job - a lot of people now telling me to avoid HP & Dell. perhaps the big boys got complacent.
Sony products always seem to be reliable and perform well. Very anti-gun company though.
I'm not a fan of Sony because they are so non-standard but that's the Linux geek in me.
Not a fan of HP either.
Dell has multiple lines. Inspiron is the home version. Not impressed. Vostro is mid level small business, bought my son one a couple years ago. Bullet proof. Latitude is the business line and I have carried them for years and really like them.
I am typing on a Lenovo Thinkpad. A little expensive, fast and rock solid. There is no better laptop than a Thinkpad if durability is your desire.

You want to show images. OK, look for a high resolution screen. Tough to do at Best Buy and such.
My Thinkpad is a 14.1" display and 1440x900 resolution. It is NON a glossy display. Glossy can make images pop on screen but get a not of reflections that can be annoying.

Another option is to look at Dell and Lenovo and whoever else's outlet sites.
http://www.dell.com/content/segmente...=us&l=en&s=dfo
http://outlet.lenovo.com/
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:42   #9
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Any modern dual-core laptop will meet your needs.
  • Battery life. Do you need 3+ hours? Some laptops come with long run time batteries, some don't (meaning you'd have to pay extra for an extra battery with long life).
  • Windows 7 (yes, this is what you'll get. Check your current perifrials to see if they are supported by the 32 bit and 64 bit version. If supported by the 64 bit version get that if available).
  • Keyboard. Do you need a number pad (like on a desktop keyboard)? Some have it, some don't.

Best of luck
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:52   #10
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Thanks for the input. I suppose I really wanted to know if there was a strong correlation between price and functionality/durability/quality, or are there hidden bargains out there.

I don't pay 100,000 for a Mercedes when I can get a Honda that is 95% (better in some respects) for 30,000.
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Old 04-25-2010, 16:16   #11
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I don't pay 100,000 for a Mercedes when I can get a Honda that is 95% (better in some respects) for 30,000.
Then stay away from Apple.
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Old 04-26-2010, 18:39   #12
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Have two Dells. No problems. Solid machines.

ALL my computers in use are Dells.
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Old 04-26-2010, 18:46   #13
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Have two Dells. No problems. Solid machines.

ALL my computers in use are Dells.
+1 Check out the Refurbished list on their site for some great deals that still come along with a warranty.

http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfh/notebo...ks&s=dfh&cs=22
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Old 04-26-2010, 18:47   #14
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From looking at owner feedback on Amazon and Newegg sites, it seems that Acer and Toshiba get the most consistent good reviews.
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Old 04-26-2010, 21:46   #15
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Dells have always been good for me ..
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Old 04-26-2010, 21:52   #16
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Dells have always been good for me ..
Dude you got a Dell!
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Old 04-26-2010, 23:43   #17
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Toshiba makes some really solid laptops. They do have some discount model also though. Acer has the most features for the money and seem to hold up fairly well. Sony are usually good quality and used to have some really non-standard hardware and they are expensive for what you get. The HP. Compact, E-machines often have a lot of issues and likely should be avoided, although they may have some good models. Dell quality seems to have been slipping quite a bit recently and sort of luck if you good or a bad one. Lenovo isn't what IBM used to be. Panasonic is super expensive. I would look at Toshiba, Acer and maybe Sony. I would really go for Intel chips. They are easier on the battery and good quality. I would also try to get Intel graphics. Nvidia graphics are nice but drain the battery much more than Intel. AMD now owns ATI and usually AMD chipset laptops have ATI graphics which drain the battery pretty well too. Intel makes some of th best wifi cards right now too. The computers with them though usually not the discount ones and some of the other wifi cards aren't all bad but there are some iffy ones. I find an anti-glare screen is easier to read in different lighting than a glossy screen. The glossy screen usually show colors a bit brighter though and many store models and lower end laptops only have glossy screens to make the cheaper screens look a bit "brighter" and prettier in the store. I would look for a Toshiba that is Intel, Intel, Intel but some good Acer models might have Intel chipsets and graphics with a different brand wifi card. Some higher end Acers should have Intel wifi though. Low end Toshibas do not either but mid range ones often do.
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Old 04-26-2010, 23:52   #18
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Wow, thanks for the great rundown GG24. I had kinda homed in on the Toshiba and Acer models, based on features, value, and online feedback.

One Acer model seemed to have no graphics card at all, just what was built into the Intel chip (i5). How is that likely to work out - same model with a graphics card was about $85 more ($765 v $680)

Looks like Toshiba cost about $150 more than Acer for the same features

The i7 chips have 8 level multi-tasking v just 4 for the i5. Is the difference really as dramatic as it sounds ?

Last edited by Nolyn; 04-26-2010 at 23:53..
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:31   #19
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Originally Posted by Nolyn View Post
Wow, thanks for the great rundown GG24. I had kinda homed in on the Toshiba and Acer models, based on features, value, and online feedback.

One Acer model seemed to have no graphics card at all, just what was built into the Intel chip (i5). How is that likely to work out - same model with a graphics card was about $85 more ($765 v $680)

Looks like Toshiba cost about $150 more than Acer for the same features

The i7 chips have 8 level multi-tasking v just 4 for the i5. Is the difference really as dramatic as it sounds ?
Well I haven't bought the very newest ones. I do have Core 2 Duo as my newest. I'm not sure everybody needs the extra features of the i7 over the i5. In the long run though as much speed as you want to buy might not be bad and the quality of the laptop might be a higher end line. The Intel graphics are fine for most laptop uses and easier on the battery. The Nvidia graphics are nice for serious 3d work but unless you are doing something special in 3d, the Intel graphics run cooler and are easier on the battery.
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Old 04-27-2010, 12:38   #20
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Great, thanks for the advice. I don't play games so I may just run woth the cheapo version with the on-board Intel graphics
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