Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Requesting your opinion for my laptop now.

Tags:
Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
Share
July 18, 2007 2:25:22 PM

Alright guys and gals, I posted a while ago for input on my desktop and now I've come back to ask for input for my laptop. Here it is...


Looking for a new laptop for college! Budget caps out at preferred $1200 but might be able to raise $1300 by the end of August (although college starts August 26th)!

Uses will include:
-Anything school related (Microsoft Office, Web Surfing, Pictures, and anything Computer Science Related)
-Gaming: This is the only system I will have Vista installed on for a while so maybe Halo 2 for PC or other games for Windows would be nice to run. World of Warcraft is a must have but I am sure it will run fine on what I have configured.


Here are the likely candidates...


Dell #1

Dell Vostro 1500-2 Year Warranty

PROCESSOR Core%u2122 2 Duo T7300 (2.0GHz, 4MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista%u2122 Home Basic
LCD PANEL 15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA LCD Display with TrueLife%u2122
MEMORY 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM
HARD DRIVE 120G 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
OPTICAL DRIVE 8X CD/DVD Burner w/ double-layer DVD+R write capability
VIDEO CARD 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce%u2122 8600M GT
WI-FI WIRELESS CARD Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Wi-Fi Mini Card
SOUND OPTION High Definition Audio 2.0

for ~1300 after taxes (but not including that nice discount)


Dell #2

Dell 1520 (More Expensive One)--3 Year DellCare Value Warranty


SYSTEM COLOR Midnight Blue
PROCESSOR Intel® Core%u2122 2 Duo T7300 (2.0GHz/800Mhz FSB/4MB cache)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows Vista%u2122 Home Premium ion
DISPLAY Glossy, widescreen 15.4 inch display (1280x800)
VIDEO CARD 128MB NVIDIA® GeForce® Go 8400M GS
MEMORY FREE! 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
HARD DRIVE FREE! 160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
OPTICAL DRIVE CD / DVD writer (DVD+/-RW Drive)
WIRELESS NETWORKING Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini-Card
INTEGRATED WEBCAM Integrated 2.0M Pixel Webcam
BATTERY OPTIONS 56Whr Lithium Ion Battery (6 cell)
SOUND OPTIONS High Definition Audio 2.0

Total Estimated: ~$1185 US Dollars (price after $273 dollars off and a hopeful combination with friend's 15% company discount).


HP

HP dv6500t Series--1 Year Standard Warranty


Operating System FREE Upgrade from Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic (32-bit) to Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium!
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo processor T7300 (2.00 GHz, 4 MB L2 Cache, 800MHz FSB)
Display 15.4" WXGA High-Definition HP BrightView Widescreen Display (1280 x 800)
Memory 75% OFF upgrade to 2GB DDR2 (2 Dimm)!!
Graphics Card 50% OFF!! 383MB NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS!!
Personalization HP Imprint (Radiance) + Fingerprint Reader + Webcam + Microphone
Networking Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection
Hard Drive FREE Upgrade from 120GB 5400RPM to 160GB 5400RPM!!
Primary CD/DVD Drive FREE Upgrade to LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support
Primary Battery High Capacity 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
OS and Recovery Media System Recovery DVD with Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (32-bit)
Productivity Software Microsoft(R) Works 8.0

Total Estimated: ~$1300 (after all deals and taxes included).


Dell's have 2 more years of warranty and cheaper, especially if my friend's employee discount can come into play.

I am open for suggestions for anything that will satisfy my needs for a first laptop for college, but these are the two I have narrowed it down to and will probably stick with. My budget is $1200 but its obvious that these laptops have taken it to the limit. Anything with 2GB of ram, 100+GB of storage, decent CPU, and preferable DX10 dedicated GPU would be preferable. I am not too crazy about high-res LCD becuz I will hook up my monitor to play. The looks of the laptop are up there with my other favorable wants along with a preference to not get too hot to the touch.

If I am able to gather some extra bucks, I might be able to get the HP, but at the same time upgrade to a possible Nvidia 8600 with the Dell's.

One more question is whether or not I should wait a few weeks for the back-to-school sales, although the current ones are pretty nice.

I have never bought from either company and past experience with them might be helpful in making my decision.

Also, if anyone knows of any way to save a few bucks, I would greatly appreciate enlightenment in that subject area :ange: 


Thanks in advanced!
a b D Laptop
July 18, 2007 3:08:54 PM

OK, first off, please fix the vote set-up. Looks like you forgot to set a deadline and the poll closed itself.

I have had a Sh*tload of experiences with Dell and not a single one was negative. 3 desktops, 2 laptops, 1 TV, 1 Monitor, and one MP3 player. My best experience with them was with the TV. We bought a 26'' LCD from them and it died 5 months OUT of warranty. I called them and was on the phone for no more than 30 minutes and they 1) replaced it for free and 2) Upgraded it to the 32'' model. Thank you Dell!!!! Poor support my ass.

The choices you listed make it very tough. The only thing that would make the Dells better than the HP (beside the warranty) would be if you could upgrade to the 8600GT. I like the HP's looks a lot better than the Dell's. My friend's Dad owns an HP certified rep and repair center, so from his experiences they are good.

If you can upgrade to the 8600, the 1520 wins. If not, HP gets my vote.
July 18, 2007 7:50:38 PM

Thanks for the input lost! I agree that the HP is much better looking than the Dell's but Dell has the 8600 upgrade for the same price as HP along with that extra two years. I hate shopping (especially the spending money part).

I have tried several times to try and get this stupid poll working, but I can't. I typed in the deadline as 07-31-2007 and 12-00 for the last two boxes (no clue what they mean). I think the problem is with those last two boxes. The help button does not accurately describe how to set up a poll (those deadline boxes aren't even in the list). Until I figure it out, posting your vote would definitely be treated as if it was in the polls.

Also, if anyone else is looking at this and buying a laptop for college, be sure to find out if you can get a student discount!!!! I just found a link for a possible student discount from HP that I am going to try once I get home from work (I am a slacker).
Related resources
July 20, 2007 3:21:29 AM

Quote:
Alright guys and gals, I posted a while ago for input on my desktop and now I've come back to ask for input for my laptop. Here it is...


Looking for a new laptop for college! Budget caps out at preferred $1200 but might be able to raise $1300 by the end of August (although college starts August 26th)!

Uses will include:
-Anything school related (Microsoft Office, Web Surfing, Pictures, and anything Computer Science Related)
-Gaming: This is the only system I will have Vista installed on for a while so maybe Halo 2 for PC or other games for Windows would be nice to run. World of Warcraft is a must have but I am sure it will run fine on what I have configured.


So if I read right, you have a desktop? Then if I were you, I'd beef *that* up to play games on and get a lower-powered, more portable laptop than the ones you've been looking at. You'll get far more FPS for the buck doing that, trust me. A Radeon x1900 XT or a GeForce 8800GTS 320 MB will trash anything any notebook has while costing $200 or so. The best remotely-portable notebooks have GPUs that at best might rival an x1650 Pro or 7600GS desktop card, and you'll pay dearly for them, too.

I'd suggest a laptop in the 12.1"-13.3" range and no larger than 14.1" and 6 pounds. These units are lightweight and relatively small, so they stand a chance of being portable. With a good 8-12 cell battery, you can get 5-9+ hours of run time from them. There are many machines in your price range that fit these specs. One right off the top of my head is the HP tx1000, which is 12.1" and weight ~4.5 pounds and costs $1100 nicely equipped. You can also get a 3.5-4 pound 12.1" Lenovo ThinkPad X61 or X61s for $1200 to $1300 if you don't check too many boxes. These smaller units will probably be much more useful to a college student that uses a laptop as more than a desktop replacement than a 6-9 pound 15.4" unit. I can surely say that you will not want to haul around a big sonofagun if you take notes in class. If you think you'll take notes in class, a convertible tablet may be more up your alley, but it's hard to find one for $1200-1300. $1400-1500 is what most of them cost once you add tax and shipping and such.

One more thing: I'd not install Vista on a laptop yet. Vista requires more memory and has worse battery life than XP on notebooks. Also, if you're CS, look into dual-booting XP with some sort of UNIX-type OS like Solaris, BSD, or Linux with the GNU compiler and toolchain, as well as the Java compiler. My university did some stuff like Visual Basic and a little VC++ on Windows boxes but anything C and Java was on Linux, or more appropriately, an ssh terminal from a Windows box to a Linux server. The UNIX clones are very, very good to do dev work on and you'll only do yourself a favor to become familiar with them.
July 20, 2007 7:19:39 AM

I just ordered the Dell 1520. Pretty much your specs, except with a T7500 and 8600M GT and a better battery, and Draft-N. I vote for either Dell's, but I would NOT go with the 3 year warranty. Expensive, plus most of the things you could fix yourself. I don't see why Vista would be a problem to use right now...
July 20, 2007 7:20:45 AM

I just ordered the Dell 1520. Pretty much your specs, except with a T7500 and 8600M GT and a better battery, and Draft-N. I vote for either Dell's, but I would NOT go with the 3 year warranty. Expensive, plus most of the things you could fix yourself. I don't see why Vista would be a problem to use right now...
July 20, 2007 12:07:03 PM

Well I have been doing some thinking and I might end up getting the Vostro 1500 because it is the only one that offers Windows XP (online at least). I could probably just buy an upgrade from Windows XP to Vista later on and be able to load it on either my laptop or my desktop. But then I won't be able to get DX10 for laptop, which I why I need/want the 8600 and 2GB of Memory. XP won't affect or be affected by using XP will it? I am also upgrading my desktop to 8800 and new processor. I will check back later.

Thanks in advance!
July 20, 2007 6:53:22 PM

Forget DX10 for these, it'll be a nice slideshow to see what everyone else is 'playing'.But get the GF8600 for DX9 performance because that's what you'll be using most.

As for XP vs Vista, I'd buy the vista instal but the manually instal XP until Vista was compelling for me.
!