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Recommendations for best laptop less than $1500

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June 6, 2005 10:31:23 PM

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

Does anyone have any recommendations for a laptop less than $1500?

Features I need:
good battery
good weight (not more than ~6.5 lbs)
good customer service
good performance

All the technology review websites I have visited had contrasting
opinions.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
June 6, 2005 11:01:34 PM

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

While you may need the features you have listed, you are very likely not
going to get all of them with any one laptop. You need to prioritize your
requirements. You can get a laptop with a fast processor but it will chew
up batteries like crazy. Customer service is subjective. Some people think
the customer service at Dell is fantastic. Some people think it stinks.
You can get a laptop with a killer battery, but it will weigh a ton.

Here are my priorities for purchasing a laptop.
1. Screen --- I want the biggest, cleanest, brightest, most awesome screen
my money can buy
2. Processor --- Absolutely no Celerons --- AMD over Pentium --- Pentium
standard over any mobile type
3. RAM --- At least 512 MB, preferably a full Gig
4. No integrated graphics of any kind --- 64 MB card, at least --- 128 MB
would be perfect
5. Integrated wireless
6. 40 MB hard drive, 60 to 100 MB would be fine --- 7200 rpm if possible
7. DVD - CD/RW Combo Drive, nothing less
8. Price --- You can get a Dell 9300 for about $1500 --- Look for coupons
they will be having a $750 off coupon offering tomorrow -- Check sites like
www. slickdeals.net

There you have it. Your mileage may vary. Void in New Jersey.
Professional driver on closed course.


"Citizen" <UncleScam@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1118107883.796890.155980@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Does anyone have any recommendations for a laptop less than $1500?
>
> Features I need:
> good battery
> good weight (not more than ~6.5 lbs)
> good customer service
> good performance
>
> All the technology review websites I have visited had contrasting
> opinions.
>
>
June 6, 2005 11:08:01 PM

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

50% off?
That seems somewhat suspicious...

I have had very poor experiences with Dell customer service, but $750
is A LOT of $$$.
Related resources
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
June 7, 2005 12:45:29 AM

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

Yes, it is true. This offer starts at 6:00 AM, Pacific Time, June 7th,
2005. You need the coupon code. Look for it on www.slickdeals.net or
www.techbargains.com.

"Citizen" <UncleScam@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1118110081.708671.260250@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> 50% off?
> That seems somewhat suspicious...
>
> I have had very poor experiences with Dell customer service, but $750
> is A LOT of $$$.
>
June 7, 2005 6:14:16 AM

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

Kevin <webman6@hotmail.com> wrote:
: Here are my priorities for purchasing a laptop.
: 1. Screen --- I want the biggest, cleanest, brightest, most awesome screen
: my money can buy
: 2. Processor --- Absolutely no Celerons --- AMD over Pentium --- Pentium
: standard over any mobile type

For most people, a Celeron is perfectly fine. I've been using one in
my laptop for 2+ years. Yes, I know the difference. I have built two
desktops with P4 chips in them, etc. The very first Celerons (years
ago) were kinda klunky, but the new ones are actually pretty good,
decent budget chips. Celeron today has an unfair reputation as being
too slow.

: 3. RAM --- At least 512 MB, preferably a full Gig

The average user doesn't need more than 512MB. If you are doing
graphics editing, you might want 1GB or even more.

: 4. No integrated graphics of any kind --- 64 MB card, at least --- 128 MB
: would be perfect

Nothing wrong with integrated graphics for the average user. If you
want to play games, you would NOT want integrated graphics, though.
Another reason to avoid integrated graphics is if by chance you do
wind up with 256MB of RAM - then the integrated graphics would eat
some of that, and performance will suffer due to lack of RAM.

: 6. 40 MB hard drive, 60 to 100 MB would be fine --- 7200 rpm if possible

7200 rpm drives for laptops are still fairly expensive, and they eat
more power than the slower ones. For the average user, a 4200rpm
drive is just fine.

Andrew
--
----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
*******************************************************************
----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
*******************************************************************
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
June 7, 2005 6:14:17 AM

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

"Andrew" <usenetMYSHOES@bizaveMYSHOES.com> wrote in message
news:zcasdcfyddzcasd28323831411@bizaveMYSHOES.com...
> Kevin <webman6@hotmail.com> wrote:
> : Here are my priorities for purchasing a laptop.
> : 1. Screen --- I want the biggest, cleanest, brightest, most awesome
screen
> : my money can buy
> : 2. Processor --- Absolutely no Celerons --- AMD over Pentium ---
Pentium
> : standard over any mobile type
>
> For most people, a Celeron is perfectly fine. I've been using one in
> my laptop for 2+ years. Yes, I know the difference. I have built two
> desktops with P4 chips in them, etc. The very first Celerons (years
> ago) were kinda klunky, but the new ones are actually pretty good,
> decent budget chips. Celeron today has an unfair reputation as being
> too slow.

That is because they are slow. If you look at the money difference, there
is no reason to buy a Celeron processor based laptop or desktop computer.
This is why you are seeing so many "deals" at the big superstores like Best
Buy and Circuit City on these systems. When you're paying $700 to $1500 for
a system, it is money well spent to go with the AMD or Pentium 4 processor.
>
> : 3. RAM --- At least 512 MB, preferably a full Gig
>
> The average user doesn't need more than 512MB. If you are doing
> graphics editing, you might want 1GB or even more.

Right. The average user does not need more than 512 MB of RAM. But people
tend to start using their laptops as if it were a desktop system and that
extra memory headroom comes in handy.
>
> : 4. No integrated graphics of any kind --- 64 MB card, at least --- 128
MB
> : would be perfect
>
> Nothing wrong with integrated graphics for the average user. If you
> want to play games, you would NOT want integrated graphics, though.
> Another reason to avoid integrated graphics is if by chance you do
> wind up with 256MB of RAM - then the integrated graphics would eat
> some of that, and performance will suffer due to lack of RAM.

Once again, it is worth the small difference in price for the value
received. And, again, people tend to use that laptop like a desktop after a
while. The video card is worth the money.
>
> : 6. 40 MB hard drive, 60 to 100 MB would be fine --- 7200 rpm if
possible
>
> 7200 rpm drives for laptops are still fairly expensive, and they eat
> more power than the slower ones. For the average user, a 4200rpm
> drive is just fine.

Yes. Now, if we could just get that average user to only use the laptop in
an average manner. Those 7200 rpm laptop drives are spendy. People expect
their laptops to perform the same tasks they ask of their desktop computers.
They don't give enough thought to the components, the intended use of the
system, and their expectations.

I have friends that work at Circuit City and Staples and they hear customers
complain constantly about the "slow" performance of their new laptop, and to
a lesser degree, new desktop systems. Invariably, these systems are Celeron
based machines with integrated graphics and 256 MB of RAM. You would be
amazed at how many of these systems get a memory upgrade before they are
even paid for. They make a killing on RAM at Circuit City and Staples.

>
> Andrew
> --
> ----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
> *******************************************************************
> ----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
> ----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
> *******************************************************************
>
June 7, 2005 12:07:34 PM

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

Kevin <webman6@hotmail.com> wrote:
: "Andrew" <usenetMYSHOES@bizaveMYSHOES.com> wrote in message
: news:zcasdcfyddzcasd28323831411@bizaveMYSHOES.com...
: > Kevin <webman6@hotmail.com> wrote:
: > : Here are my priorities for purchasing a laptop.
: > : 1. Screen --- I want the biggest, cleanest, brightest, most awesome
: screen
: > : my money can buy
: > : 2. Processor --- Absolutely no Celerons --- AMD over Pentium ---
: Pentium
: > : standard over any mobile type
: >
: > For most people, a Celeron is perfectly fine. I've been using one in
: > my laptop for 2+ years. Yes, I know the difference. I have built two
: > desktops with P4 chips in them, etc. The very first Celerons (years
: > ago) were kinda klunky, but the new ones are actually pretty good,
: > decent budget chips. Celeron today has an unfair reputation as being
: > too slow.

: That is because they are slow. If you look at the money difference, there
: is no reason to buy a Celeron processor based laptop or desktop computer.
: This is why you are seeing so many "deals" at the big superstores like Best
: Buy and Circuit City on these systems. When you're paying $700 to $1500 for
: a system, it is money well spent to go with the AMD or Pentium 4 processor.

"Slow" is a relative term. Your speedy Pentium 4 1.8GHZ from
yesteryear is "slow" now too, but it's still plenty fast enough for
today's average user. In fact, most people could get by with a slower
CPU than that. I work with a group that uses a variety of computers,
and I have rescued a number of old computers, and, truly, the most
important factor for computer speed is RAM, not CPU speed.

If I could get a Pentium 4 instead of a Celeron for only $50 more, why
wouldn't I do it? Because, unfortunately, laptops usually aren't
packaged that way. You either get the Model A Celeron with basic
features or Model B Pentium 4 with more bells and whistles you may not
need and may not want to pay several hundred bucks more for. Often,
you don't have the choice just to get the faster CPU.

That was the case when I got my Toshiba laptop. It came with a 2GHZ
Celeron. I got it at Costco (6-month no-questions-asked return policy
is very sweet). There was no option to get a P4 - I would have had to
get an entirely different model, and I liked the Toshiba for the
price. It turned out that the Celeron in my laptop has been much
faster than I expected, and I have never wished for a faster CPU. In
part this is because I have a desktop P4 system also, but even then, I
could easily live with just the Celeron laptop.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a Celeron system to anyone but the
most demanding power user or gamer. For the average person doing web
surfing and MS Office (and that would be the majority of users I
think), today's Celeron systems offer more than enough CPU power.
(But for battery/power reasons, I'd probably recommend a Pentium M
instead of a Celeron if buying a laptop today.)

: > : 3. RAM --- At least 512 MB, preferably a full Gig
: >
: > The average user doesn't need more than 512MB. If you are doing
: > graphics editing, you might want 1GB or even more.

: Right. The average user does not need more than 512 MB of RAM. But people
: tend to start using their laptops as if it were a desktop system and that
: extra memory headroom comes in handy.

Yep - and I've used my laptop as a desktop many times in the last two
years, and only a few times have I wished it had more than 512 MB of
RAM (and I tax my laptop more than the average user would). Very,
very few users will really need more than 512MB. Those people who do
should upgrade. It's not going to kill you twice a year to wait a
little longer because you are running a bunch of jobs in parallel and
your computer is swapping due to running out of memory. For some
people this will NEVER happen and they will not benefit from getting
more than 512MB of RAM.

: > : 4. No integrated graphics of any kind --- 64 MB card, at least --- 128
: MB
: > : would be perfect
: >
: > Nothing wrong with integrated graphics for the average user. If you
: > want to play games, you would NOT want integrated graphics, though.
: > Another reason to avoid integrated graphics is if by chance you do
: > wind up with 256MB of RAM - then the integrated graphics would eat
: > some of that, and performance will suffer due to lack of RAM.

: Once again, it is worth the small difference in price for the value
: received. And, again, people tend to use that laptop like a desktop after a
: while. The video card is worth the money.

See above. You probably won't get the choice of just getting
dedicated video RAM vs. shared and nothing else. Instead, you'll have
to choose between a Celeron with integrated video or a P4 with
dedicated video RAM and more features you may not need, for several
hundred bucks more. For many folks, it will NOT be worth the extra
money for all of this.

: > : 6. 40 MB hard drive, 60 to 100 MB would be fine --- 7200 rpm if
: possible
: >
: > 7200 rpm drives for laptops are still fairly expensive, and they eat
: > more power than the slower ones. For the average user, a 4200rpm
: > drive is just fine.

: Yes. Now, if we could just get that average user to only use the laptop in
: an average manner. Those 7200 rpm laptop drives are spendy. People expect
: their laptops to perform the same tasks they ask of their desktop computers.
: They don't give enough thought to the components, the intended use of the
: system, and their expectations.

I have to disagree on that one. As someone, again, who uses a desktop
system with 7200PRM desktop IDE drives, I am quite content to use my
4200RPM laptop hard drive - and I am probably more sensitive to speed
issues than the average person. I know lots of other laptop users who
are even less sensitive than I am, and I don't recall any complaints
about slow hard drives or slow computing. Most issues are with not
enough RAM or with internet connectivity.

: I have friends that work at Circuit City and Staples and they hear customers
: complain constantly about the "slow" performance of their new laptop, and to
: a lesser degree, new desktop systems. Invariably, these systems are Celeron
: based machines with integrated graphics and 256 MB of RAM. You would be
: amazed at how many of these systems get a memory upgrade before they are
: even paid for. They make a killing on RAM at Circuit City and
: Staples.

I have no doubt that selling RAM upgrades at a premium is a cash cow
for companies like Circuit City. Once again, lack of enough RAM is by
far the bigger performance issue in today's computers.

Andrew
--
----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
*******************************************************************
----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
*******************************************************************
June 7, 2005 4:27:14 PM

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

Thanks everyone, I bought a Dell Inspiron 6000 that (after rebates)
came out to about $1500.

Thanks for all the news about the $750 rebate.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
June 7, 2005 5:47:36 PM

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

Dell has indeed offered coupons good for $750 off on a laptop purchase
of $1,500 (or more). Not often, but more than once. They are
unadvertsied, and the best place to find out about them is at
www.techbargains.com. These deals usually only last for about 4 hours.


Citizen wrote:
> 50% off?
> That seems somewhat suspicious...
>
> I have had very poor experiences with Dell customer service, but $750
> is A LOT of $$$.
>
June 7, 2005 9:02:48 PM

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

"Kevin" <webman6@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:Yd7pe.93$Ru4.2580@news.uswest.net...
>
> 6. 40 MB hard drive, 60 to 100 MB would be fine --- 7200 rpm if possible

I think you have done well with a 40 MB harddrive about 20 years ago, but
nowadays it sounds just a little small to me.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
June 7, 2005 9:53:14 PM

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

usenetMYSHOES@bizaveMYSHOES.com (Andrew) wrote:

>"Slow" is a relative term. Your speedy Pentium 4 1.8GHZ...

I got this fancy HP zd7000 2.9G P4 laptop (at Costco - yes love that bring back
policy) and it *seems to me* to be slower in many respects than the Compaq 1200
600M Celeron that it replaced. For example I can watch the desktop icons appear
one by one at bootup. And I can actually see the text being drawn on the screen
in a long post in Agent. Moving or resizing a window in Notepad sometimes goes
in jumps if there is a large ebook size file. Sometimes it takes several seconds
to redraw the screen behind a window after moving it, but not always. The Compaq
did none of this. But the HP loads programs 10 times faster so the speed seems
to be there at times.

And for the fan argument (another thread?), this HP's fan never turns off, only
gets faster under load. All the time, load or no load, it pumps heat like an
Arizona summer. The Compaq very seldom had the fan run and never even felt very
warm. I'm just not convinced anymore that faster is better...

So why didn't I bring the HP back? This big beautiful wide screen. If only I
could have my old Compaq back with a screen like this, by by P4 and HP... ;) 
June 7, 2005 11:59:34 PM

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

AaronJ <noemail@noemail.com> wrote:
: I got this fancy HP zd7000 2.9G P4 laptop (at Costco - yes love that
: bring back policy) and it *seems to me* to be slower in many
: respects than the Compaq 1200 600M Celeron that it replaced. For
: example I can watch the desktop icons appear one by one at
: bootup. And I can actually see the text being drawn on the screen in
: a long post in Agent. Moving or resizing a window in Notepad sometimes
: goes in jumps if there is a large ebook size file. Sometimes it
: takes several seconds to redraw the screen behind a window after
: moving it, but not always. The Compaq did none of this. But the HP
: loads programs 10 times faster so the speed seems to be there at times.

How much memory does the HP have? Are you sure the CPU is running at
100% speed? The CPU will probably be set to run slower on battery to
save power and that would probably slow the computer down. Is it any
faster running on A/C power?

: And for the fan argument (another thread?), this HP's fan never
: turns off, only gets faster under load. All the time, load or no
: load, it pumps heat like an Arizona summer. The Compaq very seldom
: had the fan run and never even felt very warm. I'm just not
: convinced anymore that faster is better...

Well, a 2.9(?)GHZ P4 is an oven, so no doubt you will need the fan on
100% of the time at some speed. That's why people buy Centrino
laptops these days.

: So why didn't I bring the HP back? This big beautiful wide screen. If only I
: could have my old Compaq back with a screen like this, by by P4 and HP... ;) 

I know there are a least a few Centrino-based "multimedia" laptops
with large screens out there now...

Andrew
--
----> Portland, Oregon, USA <----
*******************************************************************
----> http://www.bizave.com <---- Photo Albums and Portland Info
----> To Email me remove "MYSHOES" from email address
*******************************************************************
June 8, 2005 3:28:14 AM

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

I am shopping for a new laptop now. I have tried the 17" widescreens and
they just seem a little too much in my lap. I have done lots of research
and I have narrowed it down to the dell 6000, gateway 460xl, or winbook
w364. The dell with the coupon could be had for $1500 now, but the others
are more like $1700-1800. Actually I think the gateway has them all beat.
I have a 3 year old Toshiba with a 2.0ghz celeron and 512ram with 64mb
shared intel graphics. I upgraded the cd rom to a dvd-r about 18 months ago
and I upgraded the 30gig 4800rpm hard drive to a 60gig 7200 rpm at the same
time. I like this laptop never had any problems with it and ports and
drives are located perfect. THe only regret I have is not getting dedicated
video memory. I thought when I got it that I would not play games with it.
There happens to be some games I wouldn't mine playing on it because I
ditched my desktop back then as well. I can't play most of the games
because either there is not enough video memory or mostly because it is not
nvidia or ati. (95% of the games made now are made for nvidia or ati).

For me the most important features are form factor, screen quality,
dedicated video, amount of ram, and hard drive rpm.

I disagree I probably wouldn't even upgrade my celeron now but I want a
better video card and screen besides it has been 3 years so I can write it
off.

I don't think that processor speed is as important as ram either. I
disagree some of the new pent m class are outperforming the pent 4s and
amds. Really next to ram I would opt for a 7200rpm drive. I noticed major
differences upgrading to a 7200 hard drive in my laptop now.

SO which laptop the gateway 460xl, dell 6000, or
winbook?


"Guillermo" <gmozavala@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D 851v3$q5m$1@news-int.gatech.edu...
>
> "Kevin" <webman6@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:Yd7pe.93$Ru4.2580@news.uswest.net...
> >
> > 6. 40 MB hard drive, 60 to 100 MB would be fine --- 7200 rpm if
possible
>
> I think you have done well with a 40 MB harddrive about 20 years ago, but
> nowadays it sounds just a little small to me.
>
>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
June 8, 2005 5:23:40 AM

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

usenetMYSHOES@bizaveMYSHOES.com (Andrew) wrote:

>AaronJ <noemail@noemail.com> wrote:
>: I got this fancy HP zd7000 2.9G P4 laptop (at Costco - yes love that
>: bring back policy) and it *seems to me* to be slower in many
>: respects than the Compaq 1200 600M Celeron that it replaced. For
>: example I can watch the desktop icons appear one by one at
>: bootup. And I can actually see the text being drawn on the screen in
>: a long post in Agent. Moving or resizing a window in Notepad sometimes
>: goes in jumps if there is a large ebook size file. Sometimes it
>: takes several seconds to redraw the screen behind a window after
>: moving it, but not always. The Compaq did none of this. But the HP
>: loads programs 10 times faster so the speed seems to be there at times.
>
>How much memory does the HP have?

512MB

>Are you sure the CPU is running at 100% speed?

Other than it loads programs in a few seconds that it took the old laptop 20 or
more seconds to do, no I don't know. But it has run this way out of the box so I
don't think it's anything I've added.

>The CPU will probably be set to run slower on battery to
>save power and that would probably slow the computer down. Is it any
>faster running on A/C power?

This is a monster (in size and weight) laptop bought for use as a desktop
replacement so it runs on AC power all the time.

>I know there are a least a few Centrino-based "multimedia" laptops
>with large screens out there now...

Well I'll keep this one for a few years. Even with it's (perceived?) warts its
certainly useable. Perhaps I had more expectations for a 'fast P4' than was
realistic...
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
June 9, 2005 4:03:35 PM

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

> Features I need:
> good battery

Focus on Pentium M and Celeron M CPUs - lower power than other models.
(Typically, you'll see them at 1.0-2.0 Ghz)

> good weight (not more than ~6.5 lbs)

More expensive = lighter.
Thus, you can buy a Sony U50/70/X505 series for <1lbs, but you'll
spend $2000+.

Lightweight alternatives:
Averatec 1000 $1300 - Compusa.com
Averatec etc <$1000 - Staples.com
Sony S/T series on clearance/open-box sale
etc.

> good customer service

www.pcmag.com
www.pcworld.com

See 2005 user reliability survey reports on both sites.
Generally, cheap & reliable = Toshibas on sale.

Last week had a few going for $499 after rebate in Sunday newspaper
ads in Los Angeles. These are the ones you should be looking at. (Can
even buy 3 of them for $1500!)

eyeball www.fatwallet.com/c/18/ threads on cheap notebooks.
(eg. earlier this year, the 50%+ off sale at dell got tons of
Inspiron 6000 owners new $2000+ laptops for only $1000+.)

> good performance

Faster the CPU & HD = faster = more expensive Simple as that for the
most part.

-=--

As for 'best', that's up to your individual preferences. There is
not one 'best' for everyone.
!