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Acer 803LCi v. Dell D800

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July 8, 2003 3:38:29 PM

Hi. I am trying to figure out which computer to get. I'm a student and have narrowed down the choices to two. Cnet gave the 803LCi the best thin and light notebook award and the D800 got the best business notebook award.

The 803LCi and the Dell D800 are comparable in nearly every way, including price. The 803LCi is thinner and weighs less but has a standard ratio 15" LCD screen. The D800 is bulkier and weighs more but has a 15.4" widescreen LCD.

Has anybody had any experience with these two notebooks? Does anybody have any reason to purchase one over the other? Do I want a widescreen LCD if I sacrifice the weight?

Thanks.

More about : acer 803lci dell d800

July 8, 2003 7:09:17 PM

I shouldn't be answering this question, because I am bound to give you a bias answer:
a) I dislike Acer (I have never had anything but poor results from them, but the last time I used an Acer was 3 months ago, so they may have changed)
b) I own a D800.:p 

But here goes from my perspective, you'll just have to work it out for yourself. The widescreen of the D800 is nifty to have, and great for watching Movies, but can be annoying, as a vast majority of games don't support the widescreen resolutions, which results in a stretched display (although to be honest, in games it's hardly noticable).

It should be noted that the Dell's 15.4" WUXGA LCD has a resolution of 1920x1200, and the Acer's SXGA+ has a resolution of 1400x1050.

What will you be using this notebook for? I am currently at school, and I am able to take notes for 5hrs if I push my D800 - I'm sure you could get 7-8hrs with two batteries. The Acer, however has a far longer battery life, of 6.5hrs, but still retains the ability to insert a second battery. It is thinner, lighter and certainly more suited to a mobile workstation.

But if you are looking for 3D performance, and an excellent LCD, The D800 will blow the Acer away. It uses GeForce 4 Go 4200 graphic solution, whereas the Acer (only) uses a Mobility Radeon 9000. At default values, the GeForce 4 performs about 30% better in most recent games and benchmarks (aside from 3DMark 2003 - where there scores are almost identical).

Oh one other thing, I don't think the Acer has gigabit ethernet.

All in all I suppose the choice is up to you: I would recommend you definitely HANDLE each one of the notebooks, to see which one suits you best. Also, once you get the notebook that you choose, don't be afraid to send it back if it doesn't perform like it should (or like you would expect).

Keep us informed ;) 

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
July 8, 2003 7:40:44 PM

Hi thanks for replying to my post.

Yeah, I was wondering about the whole widescreen thing. I really don't need all the resolution that the Dell offers. I've also heard that if you actually use the WUXGA's native resolution that general tasks (like typing a letter or viewing a webpage) became a little strenuous on the eyes unless you zoom in alot. The only things that I could possibly want the widescreen for would be to watch DVDs (I bet they look great.)

I'm actually am getting this notebook for college but I don't (as of yet) plan on using it to take notes, I still deal just fine with a plain old pad of paper (plus, I can doodle...)

I didn't think that there was that much of a disparty between the two video cards. I was planning on playing a few games on my notebook (mostly adventure/strategy/a few RPGs.) Do you really think that I would need all the GeForce's power?

The gigabit ethernet isn't a big deal either (I don't even think my school has it. Just plain 10/100, I think.)

I'm still really confused as to which one to get. (Although, I was pretty sure that I was going to get the Acer until I read your post!)

Thanks.
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July 8, 2003 8:19:58 PM

I forgot to ask two more things. Do you have any problems with "burn in" or ghosting issues with your Dell? I've read that many people have had problems with that. Also, what do you think of Compaq's x1000 notebook? It's made by the same company that Dell uses but it's cheaper...
July 9, 2003 8:44:20 PM

<<<Yeah, I was wondering about the whole widescreen thing. I really don't need all the resolution that the Dell offers. I've also heard that if you actually use the WUXGA's native resolution that general tasks (like typing a letter or viewing a webpage) became a little strenuous on the eyes unless you zoom in alot.>>>

All I can say in response to that, is that I can never go back to a lower resolution now. If I look at my friends' notebooks, I can see the horizontal and vertical lines between the pixels (which I would never have noticed had I not used a high resolution).

I did a bit of research on the Acer, and it appears that it is just a standard TFT (Thin Film Transistor) LCD technology. The WUXGA of the Dell, however, uses IPS (In Plane Switching) which gives you a 170' viewing angle, and a quick response time.

It is an extremely high resolution for such a [small] display, but I don't struggle at all to read the text from 50cm away. If you don't have good eye-sight, you can always increase the DPI (dots per inch) and it will just make the text bigger in all respects. The one thing that is nifty is that you can have two internet explorer windows open next to eachother, at the same time.

<<<I forgot to ask two more things. Do you have any problems with "burn in" or ghosting issues with your Dell? I've read that many people have had problems with that.>>>

Actually I have - mine is very, very very faint, and ony happens in the bottom right corner (I really had to look hard to notice it. It is actually a "residual capacative charge" that affected thousands of the Samsung brand LCD that Dell was using. But they well send a techy out next week to replace it, and they are not any with the "LCD Burn-in" being sold - they have all but flushed out the defective LCDs.

<<<I didn't think that there was that much of a disparty between the two video cards. I was planning on playing a few games on my notebook (mostly adventure/strategy/a few RPGs.) Do you really think that I would need all the GeForce's power?>>>

I don't know - I had an Inspiron 8200, with the Mobility Radeon 9000 (M9), and it was great, but it has nothing on the GF4 of the D800. To give you an idea of performance, the M9 got 7305 3DMarks in 2001SE, default. The GF4 gets 111503DMarks. I know 3DMark scores are to be taken with a grain of salt, so I'll give you my own opinion too. With the M9, I could only play some games at the top resolution, with the GF4, I can play almost all of them.

I much prefer it, but in all honesty, if you don't really care that much about the performance, then one is as good as the other (Oh, the M9 drivers were flawwed - i could never get a set to work reliably; but the nVidia drivers are great).

<<<Also, what do you think of Compaq's x1000 notebook? It's made by the same company that Dell uses but it's cheaper...>>>

I like it. A lot. If i hadn't gone with the D800, I would have gone with the Compaq. Compaq make strong, sturdy, reliable notebooks (with loads of extra junk that you will get rid of when you format your notebook on the first day).
Have you seen any reviews on it? I wonder how the Mobility Radeon 9200 performs...

<<<I'm still really confused as to which one to get. (Although, I was pretty sure that I was going to get the Acer until I read your post!)>>>

My cousin just sent back his Acer (business notebook), because after 3 days it pretty much packed up on him, and he replaced it with a limited edition Compaq Evo - he says it is a MUCH better notebook. It really is up to you, try and get some hands-on with the notebooks before you set your mind on one. Oh, and remember, if you do get the Dell, you have 30days to send it back if you don't like it.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
July 10, 2003 7:36:24 PM

The Dell and Compaq models sound pretty nice! I have a Toshiba now, but they aren't making a model I like so I've seriously considered the IBM T40 and all the info I've read say its a very nice laptop. The only downside is that its not cheap. How would you stack up the T40 to the Compaq x1000? Neither the Dell or Compaq are under 5lbs like the IBM, but its worth considering. I want a notebook that is relatively light and has a good graphics card and Centrino. Any other suggestions??

Thanks,

Eric
July 10, 2003 9:04:29 PM

As much as I like IBM, if you want "good graphics", Centrino, and a decent price, look elsewhere. The IBM is built like a tank, but it really is expensive for what you are getting. I would definitely go for the x1000 over the T40, no questions - the only major disadvantage of the x1000 is battery life: it can not take a second battery (the Dell can btw). The prices for the Dell and Compaq are much the same, so it really is a toss-up between the two in my opinion.

I would also have liked to see a new toshiba, high-powered machine, with Centrino and the GeForce FX Go 5200. But sadly there isnt one.

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
July 10, 2003 11:11:18 PM

I have a dell C400 and know a lot of other people that have dells (close to 10 people) and haven't heard problems with them. For the past few days, my display is kinda funny though, (read my thread in the notebook section).
July 11, 2003 2:51:46 AM

Anyone know of a chain that carries the Compaq? How long does the battery last under real use compared to the T40? I'd like to bet my hands on the Compaq to see how it feels. Too bad Dell doesn't have a store :( 
July 11, 2003 3:00:44 AM

Quote:
Anyone know of a chain that carries the Compaq?


You are talking about the Compaq x1000 right? If so, I don't know where they might have it on display BUT I did go configure one today over @ <A HREF="http://www.computers4sure.com/btoconfig.asp?ss=84&s=BTO..." target="_new">http://www.computers4sure.com/btoselect.asp?l=1&u=1&c=Z...;/A> and man, I was really surprised to see that come out with a fairly good price. Also, it looks like a really nice looking system. Just a LB or so heavier than I want but geez, what's 1 lb!!

Quote:
Too bad Dell doesn't have a store :( 

actually, you *might* check their web site out on that. I just tossed a DELL mag in the trash but they say they do have *some* stores ... just not a lot and I don't know where (or they might be kiosks... I don't recall). Also, they had a deal with SEARS but I know they ended that or will be soon. Might check that out ...

-ot

IC7-G 1.3| P4 2.8 800 | SLK900-U / 92mm Fan (AS3) | 2x512mb Corsair PC3500C2 | 2x120gb SG SATA RAID 0 | 2x120gb WD RAID 1 | CM ATC201B-SXT | 520W | Radeon 9800 Pro | Audigy2<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by okietex on 07/10/03 11:04 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 11, 2003 3:17:38 AM

Damm, that is a good price!! I could probably deal with the weight, but I wonder how the battery life is for the powerhouse!!! The nice thing about the IBM though was that it comes standard with a 3yr warranty! I guess I could pay the extra on the compaq or dell as well.
July 11, 2003 4:00:47 AM

<A HREF="http://hpshopping.speedera.net/www.shopping.hp.com/shop..." target="_new">maybe this will help</A> and this one -- <A HREF="http://reviews.cnet.com/Compaq_Presario_X1000/4505-3122..." target="_new">battery life</A>

man, the more i look at this one, i can't believe i didn't consider it.

but dangit- they sure do make it hard to find the specs. that hp/compaq site sucks at giving you info. they hide it all.

and, the stinking battery life isn't on this spec at all.

but, I'm only guessing - I would say 2-4 hrs???? Maybe someone with more tech knowledge knows on these type of batteries. But, with the Pent M etc... supposed to be fairly good.

also, another thing i don't understand -- on the HP/COMPAQ site, they show -- 15.4" WXGA TFT (1280 x 800) display -- but on the Computers4Sure site, they show -- 15.4" WSXGA+ (1680 x 1050) -- for the resolution. What gives on that?
Edit- I see they give choices on the different typs of screen you can buy ...

IC7-G 1.3| P4 2.8 800 | SLK900-U / 92mm Fan (AS3) | 2x512mb Corsair PC3500C2 | 2x120gb SG SATA RAID 0 | 2x120gb WD RAID 1 | CM ATC201B-SXT | 520W | Radeon 9800 Pro | Audigy2<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by okietex on 07/11/03 00:25 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 11, 2003 4:34:28 AM

Actually I found a review on CNET. It say about 4 hrs.

http://reviews.cnet.com/Compaq_Presario_X1000/4505-3122...

I agree, the compaq site isn't that good, but the specs look awsome. You can get a sweet laptop for around $1700 after rebates!! Hopefully someone has had hands on experience, I'd love to hear their feedback.
July 11, 2003 5:43:14 AM

Anyone know the difference of the HP Compaq nx7000 and Compaq x1000??? They look the same!
July 11, 2003 11:55:24 PM

Hey, in the Cnet review, it appears that the Compaq has greater battery life than the Dell, but I can push my Dell to 4.5 - 5hrs, if I really want to - so I'm sure the Compaq could also be pushed in such a manner. The only disadvantage of the x1000 is that it cannot use 2 batteries at the same time,

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
July 12, 2003 12:27:38 AM

How much does the Dell run?? Is it under $2000?? I got a quote for the NX7000 with the 1.6Mhz, 512 MB RAM, 64 ATI..... its the same one on the HP site for 1999. The quote is 1950. The lowest I've seen it is at nerds.net or whatever the company is for 1935. The specs alone are impressive. and the review seems that its no slouch either.
July 12, 2003 10:49:52 AM

<<<How much does the Dell run?? >>>

huh?

<<<Is it under $2000??>>>

It depends, you can configure it yourself.

I configured the the X1000 and the D800 to the following specs:
-Intel Pentium-M 1.6GHz
-15.4" WUXGA (1920x1200) LCD
-512MB DDR SDRAM (2x256)
-60GB 4200rpm HDD (this is the only HDD that they both had in common)
-DVD/CD-R/RW (8x24x10x24x)
-802.11b Wi-Fi + Bluetooth (Compaq); 802.11b/g Wi-Fi (Dell - Has bluetooth standard)
-ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 64MB (Compaq); GeForce 4 Go 4200 64MB (Dell)
-3 year, NBD On-site Service and Completecare (Dell)/Damage Protection (Compaq)
-Windows XP Home
-Default Software packs

The Compaq came to $2367
The Dell came to $2644 - $200 (Rebate) = $2444

Now bare in mind, that the Dell has greater battery options, a higher performing Graphics card, 802.11g wireless support, and a modular bay (e.g. if you buy a DVD+R/RW somewhere along the road, you can just plug it in, without even having to get out a screw driver OR you could have a second HDD that you just plug in), and not to mention that it has gigabit ethernet over the Compaq's 100Megabit.

<<<I got a quote for the NX7000 with the 1.6Mhz>>>

I'm sure it runs a bit faster than that, I mean the first Intel 8080 ran at 2MHz, and the 286 ran at up to 16MHz. Plus the Pentium-M minimum speed is 1.3GHz - so it can't possibly run that slowly.

Can you give me a link to the NX7000? I can't find it anywhere.

thanks,

RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
July 12, 2003 5:31:13 PM

Sorry, I meant 1.6Ghz.

Here is the link.
http://www.smb.compaq.com/dstore/MiddleFrame.asp?page=c...

Both models seem to be pretty close in the specs with the Dell at a slight upper hand. The last Compaq laptop I bought over 4 years ago is still running like a champ so hopefully the Compaq/HP merger didn't ruin that reliability.

Thanks for the input Rapture!!

Eric
July 12, 2003 8:12:11 PM

Anyone who is interested, I just saw the x1000 at Costco. It looks very nice! it was only the 1.4 and ATI 32 MB, but still looked nice. They have it on sale for 1599.
July 13, 2003 6:07:30 PM

Hey. I thought I'd just let everbody know that I finally decided on getting the Dell D800.

Base : Pentium® M Processor 1.6GHz 15.4 WUXGA Display

Hardware Support Services: Promo 3 Yr Limited Warranty plus 3 Yr NBD On-site Service and CompleteCare

Operating System : Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional Service Pack 1

Memory: 512MB,DDR SDRAM

Wireless Networking : Intel® PRO/Wireless 2100 WLAN (802.11b,11Mbps) miniPCI Card

Battery: 9 CELL PRIMARY BATTERY

Hard Drive : 40GB,HD,9.5MM,5400RPM

Modular Bay Devices: 8-24-10-24X SWDVD/CDRW Combo Drive

Modem : Internal 56K Modem

Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce4 4200 Go™ 4XAGP graphics w/64MB DDR Video Memory

File System : NTFS FILE SYSTEM

What made me go with the Dell?

Service and support

Cnet released their customer service and support survery for 2003 yesterday. Acer got an overall grade of D and Compaq got an E, so much for that. No wonder they can sell really cheap notebooks. (Also, the number of Compaq notebooks that needed repair within the first 12 months was horrible.) Also, when I called about the x1000 the staff didn't know anything! It's been out for a while now and I had to convince the guy on the phone that Compaq does indeed sell a notebook called the x1000. He then proceeded to tell me the information that was already available on the website. He was literally READING the exact same thing I was. Then when I asked him another, seemingly simple question, "Does the x1000 fit into the standard Compaq Presario port replicator or does it use it's own?" he had no idea and told me to call back in a few weeks. Yeah, right- I can now tell you that I'm not getting a Compaq!

I think the Dell will be a good, solid notebook for what I need. (Plus, I got a REALLY great deal on the D800 through my school. If they sold all their notebooks for the price I bought it at, Dell couldn't possibly make any money...)
July 13, 2003 11:05:13 PM

Congrats on your purchase!!!

I actually am going with the NX7000. I called HP/Compaq and got all my answers and I think the since this is a business side notebook, service would be better. I got a great deal through my vendor for work so I couldn't pass up the deal either. It was a toss up between the two. The last Compaq notebookk I bought was great. I agree their service isn't the best, but if you yell enough you'll get past the help desk and up to a higher tier engineer. I could either get the IBM T40 for service and build quality or the NX7000 for price and features.
July 14, 2003 6:43:06 PM

Geez, Adam, that sounds great.

Although If you haven't ordered yet:
I ordered my D800 with 128MB of RAM, and ordered 512MB of RAM separately from Samsung - It cuts down on the cost of the notebook by a couple hundred bucks which is always nice.

Otherwise your system looks Great!!

Just a note: Compaq Support used to be a lot better than it is since the HP merge (not that it was ever fantastic, but it was better) - the thing with Compaqs - i've found - is that most often you never use the support service... very sturdy little machines those.

Oh, and Dell support in the states is a pain in the butt most of the time - but a lot less of a pain than other manufacturers supports.

Give us some feedback of your Dell when you get it - I can tell you what to look out for in case you need to send it back.

congrats, RaPTuRe

Who's General Failure and why's he reading my disk?
!