Hey guys, sorry to post this here but as theres no laptop section I figured you wouldn't mind to much. Anyway,
I'm in the market for a new laptop around $1200-$1800 and I'm not sure what I should go with. I plan on using the laptop mostly for programming, homework (word, excel, access, etc...) and DVDs but I will probobly play a few games on it but not many as I have a great desktop. And though I know a decent amount about desktops and their componets (I built my current one.) I have never really looked into laptops, thus my delema(sp). Anyway, I do have some questions and am open to any suggestions.
1. What Brand should I go with? (Sony, Toshiba, Dell...)
I've heard that Toshiba is the best brand to go with but that they do have a few models that overheart and cause slowdown.
2. Whats the deal with the cpus. I looked at dells site and they charge the same price for a P4 2.8 800mhz fsb system as they do for a P4-M 1.4 I'm assumeing that the Ms are better on power conservation and heat while the standard p4 uses more power and runs alittle under par with its desktop counter part.
3. What do the screen specs mean.
WXGA, WXGA+, WUXGA, WSXGA, etc...
4. Anything else you think I should know.
Thanks alot guys for your time.
1. As far as the brand goes, I suggest <A HREF="http://www.powernotebooks.com" target="_new">PowerNotebooks</A>. Excellent customer service, excellent laptops, very good prices.
2. If you want great battery life (~4hrs) and a lighter & thinner laptop then you should go for a Pentium M processor. A Pentium M CPU offers about the same performance as a 50% higher clocked P4-M (e.g. a 1.4GHz P-M is about the same as a 2.2P4-M) but it produces much less heat.
Since you plan playing a few games on your laptop, then I would suggest nothing less than a Radeon 9000. Do not even think getting a laptop with Intel's on-board graphics solution since it will really suck in games.
Overall, I strongly suggest you consider the PowerPro C 3:17 at the link I gave you earlier. I currently have a PowerPro C 3:16 since the 3:17 was not available back in November when I made the purchase. Compared to the 3:17, their major difference is that this new model comes with a Radeon 9600 instead of the Radeon 9000 mine has. After 4 months of using the C 3:16, I can safely suggest it to anyone. Great performance in both compiling projects in C++ and in playing games. And most of all, EXCELLENT battery life. This baby can last 3.5hours while playing C&C Generals before the battery draining out! Imagine what it can do in less intensive situations!
Two quick questions, I called up dell tech support last night and they told me that the new p4s with hyper threading and 800 mhz fsb contain the same battery saving ability of the Pentium Ms and that the Ms no longer are ~50% faster. Do you know if this is true or if they are just saying what they think I want to hear.
Also Im most cases it seems that the wide screen laptops are cheaper then the non wide, should I take that to mean that the wide screens are not as good or smaller or somthing?
Thank you very much guys, I'll be spending the next bit of time looking into the links you gave me. And I really appreciate your time.
P4Man I just finished reading the link you gave me earlier, thank you very much for the information but I do still have one question if you don't mind. I was told that on certain laptops you cannot change the resolution, because they use liquid crystal tech or tft, do you know if this is true? and If so I assume the size is stuck at whatever the acranime(sp) max is.
I have just spent the last few hours compareing prices from the link you gave me to dell and a few other brands and it seems that the link you gave me tends to be about $200 more then even dell and for a slightly lesser system (dell gives ati 9700 128mb where power gives 9600 64mb)
So my question is, is there something else I should consider... That is have you heard that dell laptops suck or anything along those lines?
Thanks alot and I really do appreciate your help.
I am really interested in knowing what model exactly does Dell sell this cheap. Please let me know the exact model you are talking about and I will check the specs as well. Although I can't be 100% sure, I predict that after I post my next reply to you, you will discover the miracle of advertising by big companies and how it can change reality
Any brand notebook can be a "LEMON" like anything you buy.
I have read at least 2 reports of bad aftersales service where DELL notebooks were not replaced after mutiple warranty repairs in a short period of time.
In my opinion I would not buy any notebook unless I had in writing a letter (before the purchase), stating that the notebook would be replaced or $ refunded if more than 2 warranty repairs were required in less than 6 months period over the life of the warranty.
I know of large commercial stores who will do this at there own expence even if the manufacturer won't do it.
Anyway from my experience Toshiba is the way to go.
One other tip - power up the board first before you buy, and check for faulty pixels in your screen - RED DOTS.
Most manufacturers allow a tollerance of 2/3 within a certain area to be OK.
If you want to play games it will push the cost of the laptop way up. It's up to you to decide if it's worth it or not.
We just got three Dell Latitudes D600s this past week. Very nice machines. Configured as follows:
- P-M 1.6
- 14" 1400x1050 screens (absolutely gorgeous - and no dead pixels on any of the three)
- 512MB ram
- 40GB 5400rpm drive
- ATI 9000 mobility
- Win XP Pro
- 3 year next business day onsite warranty
- Broadcom Gigabit and intel wireless networking
We're paying about CDN$2800 (including shipping) but we also get docking bays and extra batterys etc.
It'll give you about 4hrs of battery life, or 8~9hrs if you swap the DVD for a modular bay battery.
In a configuration similar to the above (no extras) we pay around CDN$2400, which should be ~US$1700.
You can shave a fair bit of money off by shortening the warranty, or by switching it to mail in instead of next day onsite service. I would not go any shorter then three years on a laptop warranty. If you are in a position where you can give up your laptop for a month if anything goes wrong you could save some $$$ by going for a three year mail in warranty.
I'm not due for a laptop replacement 'til next year
If you do go the Dell route get a latitude not an inspiron. The build quality is worth it.
*Dual PIII-800 @900 i440BX and Tualeron 1.2 @1.7 i815*