thinking of buying a first laptop, need help

Hi, I was never into laptops, but might have to get one soon for someone. But, I'm clueless about laptops since I've never owned one and used it only few times though I'm fairly knowledgeable about desktops.

Could any experienced laptop users list some features that you think are most necessary and/or useful on a laptop? Such as, if I should be most concerned about battery life, wireless networking, CPU, RAM, etc.? Please try not to include things that are more of a personal preference (e.g. screen size and keyboard layout). Thanks in advance.
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  1. 1. Screen - Glossy, make sure it is crisp and bright (I like 15.4") WUXGA for 14.1" or smaller, WXGA/WSXGA+ for 15.4", WSXGA+ for 17" and above.

    2. Memory - 1 Gig minimum - preferably on 1 chip so you can upgrade in the future.

    3. CPU - Dual Core, 64 bit would be really nice for the next gen of computing. Right now the only Dual Core 64 bit out is the Turion X2, and when you can find them the Core 2 Duo.

    4. Battery - Cell count, the higher the longer it will last.

    Very important to a gamer will be a dedicated GPU, this may or may not be an issue for you, and cost is a factor.
  2. A few more things... You should make sure the keyboard on the laptop is a decent size... some people may not care, but personally i hate using a teeny tiny keyboard...

    Also know that as far as harddrives go, the speed (rpm) will determine how fast files (especially those like movies and songs... the really large ones) save, open, etc. 4200 rpm is standard, 5400 rpm is (i think) the fastest

    having a grafix card is infinately better than onboard grafix... usually it will say somthing like radion X-whatever or G-Force... those are the two big brands that u will normally see.

    Onboard wireless LAN is also a good thing to have. You can buy the cards that enable the laptop to use a wireless LAN, but i have found that they are not as good as onboard W-LAN. Even if you dont have a wireless network its a nice thing to have. Be sure its a/b/g compatable, i found out the hard way that there are 2 different modes or whatever thay are called, and that i needed to be sure what i bought could work with what i had.

    And depending on what the laptop's intended use is, you will want different things... personally im looking for a laptop to play games on so im going to want higher speed processors, more ram, faster harddrives, etc. Office users want a good keyboard, maybe a number pad, and dont need the faster harddrives or suped up vid cards...

    I hope this helps, and good luck. I hope your search goes better than mine.
  3. I am also looking to purchase my first laptop for school. I will be going into the recording arts program at school so I will need a pretty powerfull machine (cpu/memory wise). Graphics are not a huge issue with me but it wouldn't hurt to be able to play a game or two on this. Regardless, does anyone know when the Core 2 Duo processor will be released for laptops? That's what I will be looking for when I purchase this. Secondly, I know of Dell, Falcon Northwest, and Alienware (basically dell now), but are there any other reputable brand names out there that are good for a configure to order basis?

    And if you can offer any other information about laptops in general that you think might be helpfull I would REALLY appreciate it!

    Thank you very much!!!

  4. Havnt personally bought from him but looks and sounds legit. Systems are much more competitively priced those other options.
  5. These guys are definitely well priced. Has anyone had any experience with Reliablility or perfomance ratings?

  6. There are 7200 HD's for laptops.
  7. Great. Thanks for all the tips. I really appreciate it.
  8. Hey, if you guys have any questions you can email me direct from my profile or PM me.
  9. Ok to the dude going into the "recording arts" if that means like messing with audio/video files or running somthing like photoshop, you want a lot of ram and a good grafix driver... especially with programs like photoshop they suck up the resources, and when your dealing with poster sized images it helps to have a really good computer.

    From what im told, core duo is a really good fast processor (actually its 2 processors, woot!) but not needed for people who are looking to use their laptop for college activities...

    Remember im not an expert, but from what im told by friends, laptops are very task orientated. If you buy a laptop to do one thing (say, office activities) its not going to preform well doing other things (like games). So when you buy your laptop look at what you want it to do and go on from there.

    Finally, i personally dont like it when people PM solutions, as the rest of us cant benifit from the question / answer. Maybe pm or e-mail the guy and say that you posted on the forum, but help the rest of us out by leaving all the information on the forum and keeping away from PM's

    At least thats my opinion.
  10. Noob is correct on the dual core for multimedia, it was bred for it:

    Core Duo multimedia performance.

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