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Help choosing notebook

Last response: in Mobile Computing
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February 17, 2005 9:37:17 PM

Guys,
It's been 3 years I've been with the same notebook. It is fine, but not excellent. I do web design, use several apps open at the same time like photoshop, dreamweaver, outlook, windows explorer, several browsers, etc... I have even done video editing for web with my current notebook. Let me list the setup:

Dell Inspiron 8100
PIII 1.1ghz
512 Ram (2 Dimms)
30GB HD (probably 5400)
15" SXGA

I had minor problems like AC adapter and Dell send me new one in 2 days.

I want to spend some money on a new set, but I want to feel the upgrade. I don't want just a new system.

So, I will tell my requirements range, and you guys can make suggestions of what I could change to lower price or to make it have a better value. I want a good system, but I don't have millions to spend. (isn't that what all of us want?)

Brand - you tell me?
CPU - Pentium M 2.0Ghz (ideally) or a correspondent AMD - I noticed that each 0.1 Ghz added to CPU speed makes it a lot more expensive, so I am open to suggestions like "Why go with a 2ghz, you can go with a 1.7ghz an dwon't even feel the difference, as long as you have 1GB of ram" that kind of suggestion would be great.
Memmory - 1GB
HD - 60GB or 80GB (7200 rpm ideally)
Screen - 15" HAS TO BE SXGA or UXGA (I need high resolution)
Internal Wireless modem
IEEE 1394 - Would be great to have it built in, since I do video editing. But I could use a pcmcia card too.

At first I was going for a P4. But a lot of people told me to go PM. what do you think???

Guys, I know I wrote a lot here, but I am just trying to break it down for you. I know there a lot of experts here that can give me good advice.

Important issue for me is: Warranty and Customer Service - I like extended warranty

Thanks a lot guys,
I appreciate.

More about : choosing notebook

February 18, 2005 12:40:32 AM

I've had Fuji, Sager, and Dell laptops and I'm a huge fan of the Dell's. My system is about a year old and I just love it.

Dell 8600
1.5GHz "M"
512MB ram
15.4" wide SXGA display
9600 pro turbo card
60G 7200 rpm hd
2 usb ports

They just had a sale where something like that would be around $1400.00 usd. Yours would be a bit more with the extra ram and faster cpu.

Bill just go a wonderful Dell 9200 with a 17" display.

Dell 9200
1.8 GHz "M"
512 MB ram
17" wide UXGA display
9700 card
60 GB 7200 rpm hd
4 usb ports

His was around $1800 usd. Again you would need to upgrade a few parts. The 9200 is awesome! It will run forever on batts, the display is huge and wonderful, the 1.8 is nearly as fast as the 2.0 and quite a bit cheaper (hint), the 9700 card Aquamarks at 26,000 which is great for a laptop. The 7200 rpm hd is well worth the extra cash.

If you had the cash I'd look at the 9200. The only drawbacks are that it is rather big/heavy, lacks legacy ports, and it runs a bit dark on batts.

The 8600 is cheaper and smaller/lighter. Only 2 things bother me about mine. One is that it only has 2 usb ports and also lacks legacy ports (printer, serial, ps2). The other is that in spite of XP being set to "do nothing on lid closing" the stinking thing still goes into some sort of suspend on lid closing and goofs up my desktop icon settings.

Either would make a good choice. Was the 15" screen a minimum or maximum?

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
February 18, 2005 1:33:17 AM

The 9200 is apretty damned good laptop for the money. If that is to much though the 8600 is definatly next best. I've seen fliers in my paper w/ big sales on 8600s lately. 1.6ghz PM, 512mb ram, 60gb 7200rpm, 15.4" screen, cd/cd-rw for $995 after rebates. Thats not bad.

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
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February 18, 2005 1:41:02 AM

Yes, but I dont want 17 inches. Too big. THe thing is on my lap, not need for a bigger screen.

I saw the 8600, but for a Dell sounds pricey. I mean, DELLs are usually cheaper. It's going gor about $1800 with all the things I want.

I guess, I could drop the 1GB RAM memmory. Since I don't do games or 3D stuff. And go with 1 dimm of 512 for now.
February 18, 2005 2:00:56 AM

Just get the single module of 512 now and if you end up needing more later buy it off newegg or something. After market ram is a fair amount cheaper.
Dell is still cheaper than most others. Having a Pentium M cpu in there drives up the price a lot. I hate to admit it but my IBM w/ a 1.8ghz PM was over $3000 total, lol. That dell is a steal compared to my IBM :) 

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
February 18, 2005 5:55:52 AM

I love my 8600. Dell is showing about $1408 right now for a system at 1.8GHz and 512MB ram. The 2GHz is $200 more and so is 1GB of ram.

Most people buy a lot more ram than they need.



Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
February 18, 2005 9:47:39 PM

Yes, the 8600 is looking pretty good.
Did you guys get extended warranty? I want to get 3 years. But costs a lot.
February 19, 2005 5:17:59 PM

I have a similar 8100.
The new notebooks available do not appeal to me. The performance increase vs. the cost to replace my 8100 is too high.
I'm going to buy a new notebook six months after Microsoft releases Windows Longhorn. By then the major threats and third party driver and software updates will be addressed. Plus the hardware designed to support Longhorn will have migrated down from the desktop platform to the notebook platform.

<font color=red><i>Doctor Hooter</i></font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.page3.com/" target="_new"><b>(·Y·)</b></A>
February 20, 2005 3:04:52 PM

I agree with zpyrd in a couple of ways. I, myself, wouldn't get an Inspiron Dell (I used to have an 8200, and it was stolen - the new ones just aren't up to scratch... i mean they are slightly better in a couple of ways, but the improvement is too small. I might even rather get the HP/Compaq nx7010 than an inspiron- Although the new 9200 is really, really nice). As it was, I replaced the old 8200 wit h my Latitude D800, and haven't regreted it at all. The latitude is wonderful, and in many ways better than the inspiron.

That being said, getting a 3 year warrantee with a Dell is a MUST. You really shouldn't have less than a 3 year warrantee - trust me on this.

Regards,
RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
February 23, 2005 10:15:54 PM

Bought!
I didn't want o miss the 34% discount. I placed the order, but I can cancel if I judge necessary.

I would like to hear your opinions.

I added a promotional 4 years warranty for $244 but I will get a $100 rebate back.
They also charged me taxes (I am in CA, 3 years ago there was no taxes when I bought a notebook).

The system came to about $144, plus like $244 for warranty ($100 back later) and $150 for taxes.

Inspiron 6000
Intel® Pentium® M Processor 750 (1.86GHz/2MB Cache/533MHz FSB), Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Qty: 1
Unit Price: $2,554.00
Inspiron 6000D Intel® Pentium® M Processor 750 (1.86GHz/2MB Cache/533MHz FSB)

Display 15.4 inch UltraSharp WUXGA LCD Panel

Memory Save $50! (Savings included in price) 512MB DDR2 SDRAM 1 Dimm

Video Card 128MB DDR ATI's MOBILITY™ RADEON X300 PCI Express x16 Graphics

Hard Drive 60GB 7200rpm Hard Drive

Operating System Microsoft® Windows® XP Home

Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem

Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0

Combo/DVD+RW Drives 8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer write capability

Wireless Networking Cards Intel® PRO/Wireless 2915 Internal Wireless (802.11 a/b/g, 54Mbps)

Bundled Software WordPerfect®, Powerful Word Processing

Security Software No Security Subscription

Digital Music Dell Jukebox - easy-to-use music player and CD burning software

Battery 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery (53 WHr)

Limited Warranty, Services and Support Options SAVE $100 (after rebate) 4Yr Ltd Warranty, At-Home Svc, and Tech Support

Dial-Up Internet Access 6 Months EarthLink Internet Access Included

Digital Imaging Paint Shop™ Pro® Studio trial, Photo Album™ Starter Edition

Bluetooth Wireless Dell Wireless 350 Bluetooth Internal(2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate)

Dell Media Experience Dell Media Experience™




Dell Home Customers: Save 34% off Dell Inspiron 6000!
Expires on 2005-02-24 05:59:59 - $868.36


My total cost was like $1850, and I will get $100 back.

What do you think?

Thanks
February 24, 2005 10:37:12 PM

Looks good except that depending on what you want to do the graphic card may be a little whimpy. I searched high and low for a review but never found one comparing a x300 to a 9600 pro or a 9700. Tom has em seperated by interface. The 300 should be fine unless you are doing serious gaming on you laptop.

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I desire.
!