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In the Market for a New Notebook -Some Questions

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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November 4, 2007 9:01:01 PM

I am a student so my budget is not that high. I will be using my loans to purchase a new notebook when I get my loan refund check next semester. I am fairly tech savvy, and know mainly what I need.
I am looking for a notebook with:

Core2duo CPU
Minimum amount of RAM (I'm going to make sure I have 2GB by buying the RAM off newegg and installing it myself)
Dedicated video card
14.1 inch screen
Light weight (around 5lbs)
Hard drive space at least 60GB
Under $1000 USD

I'm going to try vista out and if I don't like it, I have a copy of XP Pro that I can install.


My problem has been finding a good brand that has these options and is light weight. My current notebook weighs 6.5lbs. I am looking for one that weighs closer to 5lbs.

I have been looking at the Dell Vostro 1400 and configured everything for about $850USD.

I have reservations about Dell, and I like to keep my options open.

Basically, what are some good brands to go with?

Is Lenovo any good now that they sell IBM products?
What about MSI, HP, ASUS?

I plan on using it for mainly school work (Engineering software such as MatLab, Circuitmaker, etc), internet browsing, and maybe light game use (My desktop is my power house for games).

Thanks,
Soloman02
a b D Laptop
November 5, 2007 2:56:39 AM

What reservations do you have about Dell?

The Asus models I have seen that fit your requirements are actually too expensive (1100+). I don't know much about MSI and HP is about the same as Dell.

The HP that you would look at is the DV2500t. It's very close to your 1K price limit though.

Keep in mind with Dell you can search "Dell Coupons" and get some nice deals.
November 5, 2007 7:20:18 AM

I hate DELL; and yet I'd recommend you take L&W's advice and look at those Dell models with their coupons which offer pretty nice deals.

Reservations are one thing, good value is another.
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a c 244 D Laptop
November 5, 2007 10:43:30 AM

why do u hate Dell?
November 5, 2007 2:34:26 PM

I don't know about GGA, but customer service (or lack thereof) is a pretty big factor in when I choose my computers. I don't want to spend thousands of dollars, and then be left high and dry when my computer starts acting up. Of course, it's the whole you get what you pay for, so for the value end, Dell's fine. But I would never recommend them for any sort of power computers, including their XPS notebook line.
November 5, 2007 7:20:34 PM

If I could build my own notebook for the same price, I would but I can't so I have to go through one of these guys. ( I only build my own desktops)

The reservations I had were mainly the stories of horrible customer service and shoddy construction. I guess I am just overreacting, since the majority of users who have good experiences never talk, so all we ever hear about is the bad ones.
I have had my ACER TM4000 for three years now, but it is not fast enough and too heavy, hence why I want a new notebook.

I am looking to spend around $1k, if I can keep it under 1K thats cool, but my absolute max would be 1200. I know that still limits me, but I have to repay the money back at some point...

Also, what about the lenovo notebooks with the Nvidia Quadro Gfx, are those any good?
November 5, 2007 9:15:37 PM

I have owned Dell notebooks for years (on my 3rd one) and I have never regretted my decision to choose Dell. Their customer service has been great and they back up their warranty 100%. Whatever you've been hearing may come from a disgruntled person who was too cheap to purchase an extended warranty and got stung. That happens with all brands.

I paid under $900 for the Dell laptop in my Sig and it scores over 3600 3DMarks 06. Not too shabby.
November 5, 2007 9:52:51 PM

Yeah, I guess. I'm also just a bit bitter because my 3.5 year old Dell desktop just crapped out, I think it's the mobo, and my sister's 1 year old Dell laptop's memory is going bad.
November 6, 2007 3:34:49 PM

id suggest looking at best buy and circuit city.
at the beginning of october, i bought a gateway 17" laptop, c2duo, 5250, 250gb hdd, 1 gb ram (cheap upgrade), hdmi, web cam/mic built in.
im very satisfied with it, although i dont do alot of the higher end stuff, but i paid $799 on sale, which i believe was $150 off. no mail in rebates. (from best buy, circuit city still uses them)

hope ive helped,
melissa
November 8, 2007 12:44:07 AM

Maziar said:
why do u hate Dell?


Personal experience for both home and work PCs (this is a DELL I'm typing on at work).

They are a good value, but they are limited, their home support sucks, and they just usually don't offer what I want. However for most people they are a wicked value, have everything they need in one spot, and I wouldn't let my experiences keep people from that, which is why I preface with "I hate DELL" (fact) with my recommendation that they are often a wicked value, especially with coupons (another fact).

I never let personal feelings about companies colour my recommendations, nor even my own choice if there's a clear winner, but if there's a tie or a +/- a few percentage, then my -5% to DELL might colour my choice for me.

a b D Laptop
November 8, 2007 12:51:15 AM

It's all about personal experience. I've had pretty much nothing but good experiences with Dell so they are the first systems I usually recommend. My friends like HP and their dad is a certified technician for HP so they get my vote as well. Just about everyone will tell you something different and the unfortunate thing is that the majority of what you hear will be negative because the people that had a bad experience are more likely to speak their mind.
November 8, 2007 12:53:04 AM

ibleet said:
Whatever you've been hearing may come from a disgruntled person who was too cheap to purchase an extended warranty and got stung. That happens with all brands.


I wasn't cheap in any of my purchases (except maybe buying my DELL instead of an IBM at 50+% higher price).
I got the 3 year high end warranty (only $50 more since our company dealt with DELL in Ultra-High volume), extending to 3 years of crap service doesn't improve the level service, just how long you feel they owe you better service.

However once I sold the laptop to a friend, the only service call he had he was OK with, so maybe I was just spoiled by the old IBM service which made me dislike DELL's (never needed Gateway service [says something about their product], and Fujitsu has almost matched IBM sofar from my experience [only issue is a driver support one affecting all laptop owners]).
November 8, 2007 3:40:45 AM

TheGreatGrapeApe said:
I got the 3 year high end warranty (only $50 more since our company dealt with DELL in Ultra-High volume), extending to 3 years of crap service doesn't improve the level service, just how long you feel they owe you better service.


Crap service? I'm not sure what you're referring to exactly, but Dell has worked with me on every issue I've had until we reached an amicable solution. I couldn't say anything bad about Dell even if I wanted to, my experiences have been all good. :) 
November 9, 2007 2:11:54 AM

I'm not disagreeing or disregarding your experiences, mine have been different for both me, and my friends, and work; like I mentioned there's even been the positive to add to my negative, just overall negative.
So for me 3 years means 2 extended years of crap service, for your it may be 2 extended years of stellar service. To each their own, but like I said, I don't let it colour my objectivity, just my feelings towards that aspect of my decisions/recommendations.
November 15, 2007 4:24:55 PM

Looks like we may have another dellzoid.
a b D Laptop
November 15, 2007 4:31:37 PM

I don't think that bleet is a dellzoid. He is just trying to argue experience and that never works out well. One person will have a different experience from someone else and nothing is going to change that. On one hand TGGA seemed to have been burned by Dell's "support" and on the other bleet had a good experience. I've had good experiences with Dell, but having listened to plenty of people who haven't, I understand where TGGA is coming from.
November 15, 2007 5:30:07 PM

I've never owned a dell. but from what I've read here about dell. I'm not spending my money on them. But they do offer good rebates. But not on their top nof the line laptops.
November 15, 2007 7:31:31 PM

They are offering rebates on XPS right now...thats as top of the line as it gets.
November 15, 2007 11:42:23 PM

Since I have not been to dell's site in awhile. Nice to see they offer rebates on XPS.
November 16, 2007 12:44:26 AM

Too bad the XPS is about 3 pounds too heavy. I just looked, there are no rebates for the XPS.

Even if there were, $2k is a lot of money. Does anyone have more info about Lenovo thinkpads? I really like the look, but it does cost a little bit more than the dell. I just want to know more about them (lenovo).
November 17, 2007 3:44:52 AM

Dell just ran a $300 discount on XPS...must have just ran out. I had one saved in my cart...just checked and the promotion expired.
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