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Buying a laptop

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July 7, 2007 1:55:20 PM

Hey!

Now that I am finally about to get money I am really searching for the perfect laptop. I found a Gateway at www.Tigerdirect.com that had a 120 gb hard drive, 1gb of RAM, a dual core processor and Windows home Premium. All that for 559.99 which I think is a great price. The only thing I was wondering about is that it said it was REFURBISHED. I am not exactly sure what that means and if you guys think that it would be better not to get a refurbished one.

So, basically I want to know:

1. What is Refurbished and is it good or bad.
2. Are Gateways good computers.
3. Do you trust Tigerdirect
4. Do you know of a site with cheaper laptops.

Here is a link to the Gateway computer
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

More about : buying laptop

July 7, 2007 2:55:10 PM

That notebook is terribad and you should have at least 2gb for vista home premium or ultimate. stay away fomr AMD for notebooks. keep that in mind. refurbished means that there was some thing wrong with it and gateway fixed it and now they can sell it again. tigerdirect is a good site and you can trust them
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July 9, 2007 3:57:00 PM

AdamJ said:
That notebook is terribad and you should have at least 2gb for vista home premium or ultimate. stay away fomr AMD for notebooks. keep that in mind. refurbished means that there was some thing wrong with it and gateway fixed it and now they can sell it again. tigerdirect is a good site and you can trust them


Refurbished does not neccessarily mean there were something wrong with the laptop, it could be a wrong order sent out, or a displayed item, or damaged packaging upon delivery and got rejected by customer.

And why the hell staying away from AMD for notebooks? the Turion X2 offers as solid of performance as the Core Duo and slight lacking vs the Core 2 Duo, but for under $600 ?!?!

If you think that laptop is "terribad" i would like to see you recommend a much better one with simular price.

DELETED
July 9, 2007 4:12:38 PM

Gateway isn't the best - they're getting better though.

I think the highest rated (mainstream) brands for laptops are going to be Apple MacBooks, Sony VAIOS, and IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads.

Problem with that is that Apple is OS X (which may be a problem if you want Windows) and a bit more expensive, Sony IS expensive, and IBM/Lenovo Thinkpads may be more business laptop than you want or need.

Acer, Dell, Gateway, HP, and Toshiba round out the list.

Acer is more of an 'international' brand from what I can tell - they aren't as popular in the United States - BUT, they make REALLY good laptops (particularly the Travelmate series).

Dell is pretty popular and cheap and quite customizable. AND, they are sold at Wal-Mart now (or so I've read?) if you need to buy from a brick and mortar store. The new line of Inspiron laptops came out a week or two ago and they're supposed to be prettier looking (think Apple/VAIO style) and have more features (like fingerprint scanners I think???).

Gateway for a long time made VERY bad computers - they almost went out of business I think (they had to cut back their retail stores I know for sure) because people stayed away. BUT, now their laptops are supposed to be pretty decent.

HP is the king right now (they surpassed Dell in sales numbers last year I think). From what I can tell, they make VERY good laptops, and, like Sony, they are a good overall brand - you can just trust them I think - they make good printers, computers, etc.

Toshiba is also good...but somewhat quirky. What I mean by this is that they have some strange things that kind of stray from the norm. For example, they were real big into fingerprint scanners on laptops before anyone else, and they use strange hard drives (very low speed but high capacity - they were really pushing like 200GB laptop hard drives before anyone else - BUT i've heard stories of them failing for whatever reason).

Hope that helps.

And, you do need 2GB for Vista. Processors aren't a big deal - AMD and Intel both make decent laptop processors - make sure you get a dual core at least though.
a c 99 à CPUs
July 9, 2007 4:38:46 PM

junior_719 said:


So, basically I want to know:

1. What is Refurbished and is it good or bad.


Refurbished is where a computer was damaged or broken and then fixed by the manufacturer. The refurbished unit is not new, but it is supposed to work like new. However, there's a chance that whatever was broken or damaged before will break again or was not correctly identified as being the problem and not fixed. However, the units are usually warrantied like standard units. So you'll end up with a working machine with possible cosmetic damage and a higher chance of having to RMA it.

Quote:
2. Are Gateways good computers.


They seem to be about as good as any other for the same price range. After all, the parts inside are very similar to everybody else's- Intel CPU, chipset, GPU or AMD CPU, NVIDIA or AMD chipset, ATi or NVIDIA GPU. I was using a 5-year-old Gateway 600 notebook up until very recently, when the power adapter cord developed a short. I used the snot out of that machine and it only had the typical wear items break- the HDD and the optical drive.

Quote:
3. Do you trust Tigerdirect


I've heard many bad experiences that my friends have had if and only if they have to return something. If you don't have to return something, they're fine, but if you might need to return or RMA something, Newegg or ZipZoomFly is much friendlier.

Quote:
4. Do you know of a site with cheaper laptops.


Just look around sites that do notebook pricing, such as http://notebookreview.com.
July 13, 2007 10:49:16 PM

pete4r said:
Refurbished does not neccessarily mean there were something wrong with the laptop, it could be a wrong order sent out, or a displayed item, or damaged packaging upon delivery and got rejected by customer.

And why the hell staying away from AMD for notebooks? the Turion X2 offers as solid of performance as the Core Duo and slight lacking vs the Core 2 Duo, but for under $600 ?!?!

If you think that laptop is "terribad" i would like to see you recommend a much better one with simular price.

By the way, your an idiot!


Ive had a notebook with a turion x2 52 and t2250 and the 2250 is by far faster.
If your running vista home premium with 1gig your gonna be DELETED.
And refurished does mean that there was something wrong with the item and it was fixed.

DELETED
a c 99 à CPUs
July 13, 2007 11:36:45 PM

AdamJ said:
Ive had a notebook with a turion x2 52 and t2250 and the 2250 is by far faster.


True, but the Turion X2s are much less expensive. You can put the saved money towards a 7200 rpm HDD or a better GPU, which will improve performance much more than a faster CPU, at least in notebooks.

Quote:
If your running vista home premium with 1gig your gonna be cluster ******.


Vista does take a lot of RAM. 2 GB is recommended for 32-bit, 4 GB+ for 64-bit. And you probably need to watch your language as the new forum software doesn't catch it...leaving the mods to.

Quote:
And refurished does mean that there was something wrong with the item and it was fixed.


Not necessarily. It could simply be returned because it was the wrong item or part of a canceled custom order. But that's the risk you run getting a refurb. Sometimes it's a great deal, sometimes it's exactly what you pay for.

Quote:
And by the way, your an idiot


No need for name calling; we're not in third grade any more. Debate 101: if you disagree with somebody, attack their argument/advice, not them. If you attack them instead, it signifies that you have no comeback and they won.
July 14, 2007 3:31:13 AM

ben72227 said:
Problem with that is that Apple is OS X (which may be a problem if you want Windows)...


Not necessarily. With Apple's BootCamp, you can load Windows on a separate partition, of course, at the expense of losing HD space. Add to that the cost of most Apple MacBooks, which aren't very cheap to begin with.

Apple's Bootcamp

Of course, this is only with Intel based CPUs, and not the previous Apple Gx CPUs.
a c 99 à CPUs
July 14, 2007 5:04:58 AM

NMDante said:
Not necessarily. With Apple's BootCamp, you can load Windows on a separate partition, of course, at the expense of losing HD space. Add to that the cost of most Apple MacBooks, which aren't very cheap to begin with.

Apple's Bootcamp

Of course, this is only with Intel based CPUs, and not the previous Apple Gx CPUs.


There is also another option: virtualization. This allows you to run an OS inside of another OS as a program, without dual-booting. This is very convenient and works quite well, except for gaming as the penalty paid for being able to have an OS in a window is no hardware 3D acceleration. If you game, you need to dual-boot. I suspect that's what you're wanting to do as that's the most common reason I've seen why non-Windows users also dual-boot the OS.

If you don't game, then a virtualization program may be just what you need. I run VMware Server such that I can run a Windows VM for the once-in-a-blue-moon reason I'd need it on my Linux box at home and run Linux VMs for work on the IT-department-mandated Windows boxes. VMware Server currently doesn't run on OS X, but Parallels and VirtualPC do. I've not used them, but they seem similar enough in function to VMware. Any computer that's reasonably modern and has 1 GB or more of RAM and has a decent HDD speed can run a VM without too much strain- my 5-year-old 2.2 P4-M notebook (albeit upgraded to 1.5 GB RAM) can run a VM about like the bare OS would run on my old K6-2/500 or somesuch. My desktop with an X2 4200+, 4 GB RAM, and a RAID 0 stripe across the first 15 GB of three 250 GB SATA drives absolutely flies- the VM there is faster than the OS is on the laptop's bare metal by a pretty decent margin.
a c 159 à CPUs
July 14, 2007 9:07:55 AM

Dell sb has their new vostro model for $599. The link is at slickdeals.net. It has a 30 day refund policy if you don't like it.
July 14, 2007 11:03:29 AM

Refurbished means that the thing is used but the company tried to make it look as new as possible.
In conclusion the machine is working without any flaws but does have possible damages to its casing etc.
July 15, 2007 5:59:38 PM

MU_Engineer said:
Quote:
And refurished does mean that there was something wrong with the item and it was fixed.


Not necessarily. It could simply be returned because it was the wrong item or part of a canceled custom order. But that's the risk you run getting a refurb. Sometimes it's a great deal, sometimes it's exactly what you pay for.


Thats called open box
a c 99 à CPUs
July 15, 2007 6:45:43 PM

AdamJ said:
Thats called open box


Some manufacturers don't make a distinction between open box and refurbished- IIRC HP for one does not. Others very well might. It pays to read the fine print.
a b à CPUs
a b D Laptop
September 21, 2007 5:13:22 PM

Hi this is a great review..

But the biggest problem with laptops are concerning batteries and overheating....

My experiences are that most laptops will have a bad battery after a year... then you'll have to buy a new one for about 100-150$

A lot of costumers comes to get their laptop fix.... but it can't because of the heat generated by the laptop and then it damage the board, video card or the processor itself

I propose buying a core 2 duo because they don't overheat as much as Turion x2, Pentium m and Centrino duo (witch will last under a year if you game w) My friend has one and it doesn't look good, runs find since its new but it becomes so hot just opening it.

Celerons processor must be ok for basic needs but i guess it overheats less since its a low end processor

1 thing to consider, is it worth paying 600-800 or even 1200 $ for a laptop that will last for a year????
September 21, 2007 6:30:33 PM

To the OP. AMD mobile is not bad. When it comes to notebooks there are many other components that will cause it to bottleneck. The Turion X2 is a damn good bank for the buck cpu.

Refurb as MU said depends on the manufacturer. I would take a look at newegg. Great customer service.
a c 99 à CPUs
September 21, 2007 6:37:58 PM

Quote:
Hi this is a great review..

But the biggest problem with laptops are concerning batteries and overheating....

My experiences are that most laptops will have a bad battery after a year... then you'll have to buy a new one for about 100-150$


Batteries can certainly last longer than a year as long as you treat them correctly. The biggest thing to do is take the battery out of the computer when it finishes charging. Continually charging a Li-ion battery when it's full just makes it hot and heat KILLS the batteries. The fact that the battery is underneath a hot computer also hurts it too. If you take the battery out when it's finished charging, you can get a good 2-3 years out of it before it dies on you. But yes, they are $100-150.

Quote:
I propose buying a core 2 duo because they don't overheat as much as Turion x2, Pentium m and Centrino duo (witch will last under a year if you game w) My friend has one and it doesn't look good, runs find since its new but it becomes so hot just opening it.


The Turion 64 X2s and the Core 2 Duos (standard-voltage) generally have pretty similar thermal dissipations. The cooling and temperature depends much, much more on the cooling device and layout of the laptop than it does the CPU. I've seen many laptops with Core 2 Duo and Turion 64 X2 CPUs inside overheat and also not overheat, and the differences were in heatsink, air path, and fans used in the notebook rather than the CPU. I suggest reading reviews over at http://notebookreview.com as they cover laptop heat and noise pretty well.

Quote:
Celerons processor must be ok for basic needs but i guess it overheats less since its a low end processor


Actually, the high-end processors throw off more heat because of their higher clock speeds. The Celerons suck because they don't have SpeedStep and run at full speed all the time unlike the Core 2 Duo and Sempron/Turion 64 X2 CPUs. The Celerons get much warmer at idle than most other CPUs but throw off less heat than some others at full speed.

Quote:
1 thing to consider, is it worth paying 600-800 or even 1200 $ for a laptop that will last for a year????


It should last more than a year. Again, read the reviews as that will help you out a lot. That and get the lowest-clocked C2D or Sempron/Turion 64 X2 as those will throw off the least heat and run the coolest in that particular notebook. You could also consider getting a 12" notebook with a C2D ultra-low-voltage processor. I have such a machine and it runs nice and cool- idles at about 35-37 C and rarely gets above 50 C even when pushed hard. Its performance is good enough for using as a notebook and you'd probably never know that the CPU runs at less than 1.1 GHz unless you benched it or decided to do some video encoding on it.
September 21, 2007 6:38:24 PM

The heat difference between the Truion X2's and the C2D mobiles is minimal if any. It mostly depends on the cooling solution used in each notebook. The Turions are 65nm as are the C2D mobiles, and they are using CLOSE to the same power. The biggest difference as far as heat will be the gpu and whatever cooling solution used for the gpu and the cpu.
January 31, 2008 7:49:36 PM

I really need a new computer soon and realize at least 2GB is preferred for vista. For monetary reasons I'll probably have to
get an xp machine
go desktop vs. laptop
wait and pray the old machine hangs on

wonder if I'm missing another option? :whistle: 
May 6, 2008 10:39:29 AM

Who is the yahoo who said inexplicably "stay away from AMD" ? Actually you should do the opposite. You look to be searching for both cheaper and powerful computing. That's another way of saying AMD. I have a Compaq with an AMD that rocks. I always buy AMD. Last time I bought Intel was 1990. Then I bought and AMD. Why would you ever buy Intel? Since then I have bought 8 AMD processors or laptops and loved every one of them. No processor problems whatsoever.
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