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Old 06-23-2007, 07:33   #1
PRERUNNER221
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Going back to school, need a laptop

I'm starting school in a few days. I left college about 5 years ago for financial reasons hoping to return after a couple semesters but that never happened. I'm going to be taking online classes because I work 60+ hours a week and need a laptop that won't break the bank but will do everything I need well.

What I need is:
Internet Explorer
Microsoft Word
Office
Relatively light weight
Hi def screen
FAST!
Cost no more then $1300

I was looking at the Apple notebooks but the Safari program they use for internet isn't supported at my school, (University of Phoenix). We bought my wife an HP about a year ago and it's been working great for her, but I know a year is a long time in the computer world, and there is probably something out there 10 times better for the same price.

All you tech-savvy guys and girls, what are your opinions? I need to pick something up in the next week, I just don't know enough about any of this to make a smart purchase on my own. I appreciate any help you can give me.

-Chris
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Old 06-23-2007, 08:16   #2
lens
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I sold/installed/serviced computers for small businesses for 13 years and finally gave up trying to sell computer hardware 2 years ago. It's cheaper to buy a laptop retail (with rebates) than for me to buy one wholesale!

That said, look in the fliers that come with your local Sunday papers. Office Max, Staples, Office Depot, Circuit City, CompUSA, Best Buy, etc. all have "deals of the week" that will do more than you need and usually for <$800! They usually come with a "trial period" of Office, but go out anywhere (Costco, BJ's, Sam's Club, etc.) and buy the Educational Version of Office for ~$130 and it's yours forever . . . it also LEGALLY allows you to install it on two additional family computers IIRC.

Yes, these machines run Windows, but so does 95% of the Business World out there. Apple makes a fine machine, but they are a very small segment of the market (~5%?) and outside of some small niche markets, they aren't often seen or supported.

Good luck in school.
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Last edited by lens; 06-23-2007 at 08:19..
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Old 06-23-2007, 15:09   #3
Washington,D.C.
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I think there is Microsoft Internet Explorer for Mac. It was part of the deal when Apple sued Microsoft. The new Intel Macs can run Windows. The cheaper Macbooks in your price range aren't the fastest notevooks around and you would have to add the cost of adding Windows. The Macbook Pro's aren't lighteight and are very expensive. You can get cheap notebooks these days that are fairly fast.I find that most of the new wide screen 15"+ models are bit large. Something in the 13.3"-14" range is good size for carry and small enough to open on an airplane. There are some pricey models in this size range too. I haven't checked the latest ones recently but I'm going to in the market for one very shortly. The 4200 RPM hard drives are quite a bit slower than the 5400 RPM hard drives. The 7200 RPM hard drives aren't much faster and really eat up the battery.
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Old 06-24-2007, 20:17   #4
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I have a Toshiba Satellite that I love. It has been very reliable and very stable. Came with everything you mentioned. They normally run $799 for my model at Best Buy, although I got mine on sale for $649. There is a faster model, but I was mainly purchasing it for school too. Pretty good quality laptop. It was in the car with me in my car accident and went flying at 45 mph like everything else did. No damage cosmetically. The only thing that was damaged was one of the cells on the battery. It wasn't leaking, it just would n't hold charge anymore. Given the angle of impact though, it hit right on that on the dashboard.
You might also look at IBM's. A little more pricy, but there are thin models, and from working in their laptop dept for over a year, I can tell you even the skinny models are built like tanks. They'll take pretty much everything you throw at them.
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Old 06-24-2007, 20:21   #5
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You are starting school in a "few" days and you haven't gotten your laptop yet, no margin for errors! If the unit goes down with a unexpected problem what do you do then? Excuse me for saying this but that is very poor planning.

HP is doing well in the graphics area with their new Multi-media chip set and they have good prices too.


Go online and search and order directly from HP.

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/home.do
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Last edited by Blitzer; 06-24-2007 at 20:24..
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Old 06-25-2007, 00:06   #6
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I agree with kimigirl, you should look at the IBM's. I have a IBM
Think Pad and I wouldnt trade it for nothing. Had to do a few upgrades as far as more RAM, and I finally put a bigger hard drive in. All in all, a good laptop.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:01   #7
PRERUNNER221
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blitzer
You are starting school in a "few" days and you haven't gotten your laptop yet, no margin for errors! If the unit goes down with a unexpected problem what do you do then? Excuse me for saying this but that is very poor planning.

HP is doing well in the graphics area with their new Multi-media chip set and they have good prices too.


Go online and search and order directly from HP.

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/home.do
I have a desk top right now that o could work on, and my wife has a HP laptop, I'm just looking to see about getting one for myself. I'm fine for now, but it would be nice to have my own.

Thanks everyone for the information, please, keep it coming.
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Old 07-18-2007, 07:51   #8
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My wife finished up at uop a while back. IIRC they had some favorable purchasing agreements for their students, and also had a recommended list of equipment. Although I understand the Macs are better at playing with windons machines than they'ev ever been.

Make sure you've got a good sized jump drive; learning teams end up trading goodly sized files back and forth. Also, if you're going to host your learning team a wireless router connected to the net will be very nice to have.
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