Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Looking for a sorta cheap but decent laptop...

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
Share
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
May 25, 2004 6:26:43 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

I am looking for a cheap ($1000-$1300) laptop with decent features. I
have looked at Dell and Gateway, and I would have checked all the
manufacturers' websites, but some are horribly organized and others
refuse to work with any browser. To make life easier for myself and to
get more of an idea of what people really like and not what
manufacturers pay people to rave about, I'm asking here.

Here's what I'm looking for in a laptop:

Processor: Anything that's decently fast... faster is better except
if
it drains the battery, so a mobile-specific processor is probably
best.

Memory: 256 MB required, 512 MB or higher is better

Hard drive: 20 GB required, 30-40 GB or more is better

Optical drive: CD-RW required.

Floppy drive: Uncommon, but (uncommonly) appreciated if included

Screen: 14-15 inches, nothing tiny, nothing huge... 1024*768 minimum,
more resolution is better

Networking: Ethernet and 802.11b required, 802.11g is better, and
probably cheap enough

Battery life: 4-5 hours, pretty long

Weight: Not a feather-light, but something that's not insane to carry
in
a backpack

I know that's a little vague, and covers almost any low-end laptop, so
I'll
tell you the tradeoffs and which way I'd go on them (i.e. how much each
is
worth).

Performance vs. cost: Right now I'm using a 500 MHz Pentium III
running
Windows 98, and I'm posting this on a 333 MHz Celeron running
Slackware.
I would like something relatively fast, but I'm not exactly spoiled.
Maybe 25% speed, 75% cost.

Performance vs. battery life: Same thing... probably 40% performance,
60% battery life.

Weight vs. battery life: About 50%-50% on this--I want something
light
enough to not break my back, but not if it means I can't use it for a
while.

I'm basically looking for a relatively cheap laptop with decent
performance and a good compromise between weight, battery life, and
speed. It's actually hard to find, since most manufacturers have three
types of laptops:

1. "Mainstream/Value". Skimp a little on everything, good balance
between somewhat mediocre speed and somewhat mediocre battery life, but
are cheap.
2. "Ultraportable". Really light, but skimp on other factors...
somewhat expensive.
3. "Desktop replacement". Really fast, but skimp on other factors...
pretty expensive.

What I want is a "mainstream" laptop that costs as much as a low-end
ultraportable or desktop replacement ($1200-$1300-ish rather than
$900-$1000-ish for a "value" mainstream one) but spreads the extra cost
among improving all the components, rather than just the weight
(ultraportable) or just the power (desktop replacement). Sorry if I've
just confused half of you, but I really am having trouble deciding and
I realize that if I want to get help with the decision, I have to
communicate my priorities well or I will just get a bunch of
suggestions that I won't want to buy for some reason or another.

Lastly, I'd like (if possible) for all the hardware to be compatible
with Linux... don't worry if you've never bothered to try it on your
laptop, but if you have tried it, I'd like to know if it worked.
Thanks,

Thomas Tuttle
May 25, 2004 10:49:35 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

emachine


"Thomas Tuttle" <thinkinginbinary@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:c90dmj$q0n@odak26.prod.google.com...
> I am looking for a cheap ($1000-$1300) laptop with decent features. I
> have looked at Dell and Gateway, and I would have checked all the
> manufacturers' websites, but some are horribly organized and others
> refuse to work with any browser. To make life easier for myself and to
> get more of an idea of what people really like and not what
> manufacturers pay people to rave about, I'm asking here.
>
> Here's what I'm looking for in a laptop:
>
> Processor: Anything that's decently fast... faster is better except
> if
> it drains the battery, so a mobile-specific processor is probably
> best.
>
> Memory: 256 MB required, 512 MB or higher is better
>
> Hard drive: 20 GB required, 30-40 GB or more is better
>
> Optical drive: CD-RW required.
>
> Floppy drive: Uncommon, but (uncommonly) appreciated if included
>
> Screen: 14-15 inches, nothing tiny, nothing huge... 1024*768 minimum,
> more resolution is better
>
> Networking: Ethernet and 802.11b required, 802.11g is better, and
> probably cheap enough
>
> Battery life: 4-5 hours, pretty long
>
> Weight: Not a feather-light, but something that's not insane to carry
> in
> a backpack
>
> I know that's a little vague, and covers almost any low-end laptop, so
> I'll
> tell you the tradeoffs and which way I'd go on them (i.e. how much each
> is
> worth).
>
> Performance vs. cost: Right now I'm using a 500 MHz Pentium III
> running
> Windows 98, and I'm posting this on a 333 MHz Celeron running
> Slackware.
> I would like something relatively fast, but I'm not exactly spoiled.
> Maybe 25% speed, 75% cost.
>
> Performance vs. battery life: Same thing... probably 40% performance,
> 60% battery life.
>
> Weight vs. battery life: About 50%-50% on this--I want something
> light
> enough to not break my back, but not if it means I can't use it for a
> while.
>
> I'm basically looking for a relatively cheap laptop with decent
> performance and a good compromise between weight, battery life, and
> speed. It's actually hard to find, since most manufacturers have three
> types of laptops:
>
> 1. "Mainstream/Value". Skimp a little on everything, good balance
> between somewhat mediocre speed and somewhat mediocre battery life, but
> are cheap.
> 2. "Ultraportable". Really light, but skimp on other factors...
> somewhat expensive.
> 3. "Desktop replacement". Really fast, but skimp on other factors...
> pretty expensive.
>
> What I want is a "mainstream" laptop that costs as much as a low-end
> ultraportable or desktop replacement ($1200-$1300-ish rather than
> $900-$1000-ish for a "value" mainstream one) but spreads the extra cost
> among improving all the components, rather than just the weight
> (ultraportable) or just the power (desktop replacement). Sorry if I've
> just confused half of you, but I really am having trouble deciding and
> I realize that if I want to get help with the decision, I have to
> communicate my priorities well or I will just get a bunch of
> suggestions that I won't want to buy for some reason or another.
>
> Lastly, I'd like (if possible) for all the hardware to be compatible
> with Linux... don't worry if you've never bothered to try it on your
> laptop, but if you have tried it, I'd like to know if it worked.
> Thanks,
>
> Thomas Tuttle
>
May 26, 2004 6:33:50 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hello Tom:

AFAIK, few (if any) laptop batteries will last that long, but you could get
a laptop that holds 2 batteries.

I recently purchased a 2-year old Gateway 400 on eBay for $800, and it
includes a 90 day warranty. It has a Pentium 4, 2.6 GHZ CPU, 512 MB of RAM,
a 30 GB hard drive, a 15 inch 1024 X 768 screen, a DVD / CD-RW drive, and
the usual connections (USB, RJ45 10/100 port, phone modem port, cardbus
slot, parallel & serial ports, etc.) - but no floppy drive. I can get an
external floppy drive for $30 - $40.

Hope this helps.

"Thomas Tuttle" <thinkinginbinary@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:c90dmj$q0n@odak26.prod.google.com...
> I am looking for a cheap ($1000-$1300) laptop with decent features. I
> have looked at Dell and Gateway, and I would have checked all the
> manufacturers' websites, but some are horribly organized and others
> refuse to work with any browser. To make life easier for myself and to
> get more of an idea of what people really like and not what
> manufacturers pay people to rave about, I'm asking here.
>
> Here's what I'm looking for in a laptop:
>
> Processor: Anything that's decently fast... faster is better except
> if
> it drains the battery, so a mobile-specific processor is probably
> best.
>
> Memory: 256 MB required, 512 MB or higher is better
>
> Hard drive: 20 GB required, 30-40 GB or more is better
>
> Optical drive: CD-RW required.
>
> Floppy drive: Uncommon, but (uncommonly) appreciated if included
>
> Screen: 14-15 inches, nothing tiny, nothing huge... 1024*768 minimum,
> more resolution is better
>
> Networking: Ethernet and 802.11b required, 802.11g is better, and
> probably cheap enough
>
> Battery life: 4-5 hours, pretty long
>
> Weight: Not a feather-light, but something that's not insane to carry
> in
> a backpack
>
> I know that's a little vague, and covers almost any low-end laptop, so
> I'll
> tell you the tradeoffs and which way I'd go on them (i.e. how much each
> is
> worth).
>
> Performance vs. cost: Right now I'm using a 500 MHz Pentium III
> running
> Windows 98, and I'm posting this on a 333 MHz Celeron running
> Slackware.
> I would like something relatively fast, but I'm not exactly spoiled.
> Maybe 25% speed, 75% cost.
>
> Performance vs. battery life: Same thing... probably 40% performance,
> 60% battery life.
>
> Weight vs. battery life: About 50%-50% on this--I want something
> light
> enough to not break my back, but not if it means I can't use it for a
> while.
>
> I'm basically looking for a relatively cheap laptop with decent
> performance and a good compromise between weight, battery life, and
> speed. It's actually hard to find, since most manufacturers have three
> types of laptops:
>
> 1. "Mainstream/Value". Skimp a little on everything, good balance
> between somewhat mediocre speed and somewhat mediocre battery life, but
> are cheap.
> 2. "Ultraportable". Really light, but skimp on other factors...
> somewhat expensive.
> 3. "Desktop replacement". Really fast, but skimp on other factors...
> pretty expensive.
>
> What I want is a "mainstream" laptop that costs as much as a low-end
> ultraportable or desktop replacement ($1200-$1300-ish rather than
> $900-$1000-ish for a "value" mainstream one) but spreads the extra cost
> among improving all the components, rather than just the weight
> (ultraportable) or just the power (desktop replacement). Sorry if I've
> just confused half of you, but I really am having trouble deciding and
> I realize that if I want to get help with the decision, I have to
> communicate my priorities well or I will just get a bunch of
> suggestions that I won't want to buy for some reason or another.
>
> Lastly, I'd like (if possible) for all the hardware to be compatible
> with Linux... don't worry if you've never bothered to try it on your
> laptop, but if you have tried it, I'd like to know if it worked.
> Thanks,
>
> Thomas Tuttle
>
!