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Considering laptop upgrade

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
September 28, 2010 1:42:11 AM

RE: FAQ and my desire to improve computing experience...
So please copy and paste these questions in the thread that you want to start, and we will answer them there.
1. What is your budget?

Depends. I have never purchased a new computer product, so I am a little skeptical based on inexperience (as well as my perception of resale value for electronics).
If the purchase is popular and valuable enough in the used market, then I am willing to invest more, granted that reliability is high or warranty is excellent and comprehensive (if used often).
For example, I've purchased Honda Accords and sold them a year later for the same price. No major repairs in between purchase and resale.
I've also purchased a Hyundai with 10-year warranty, and had the damn thing break into a billion pieces, with the warranty covering every step (though the resale value had plummeted, from an already not-too-high purchase price).
That said, capital is not the issue -- bang for the buck is essential!

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

I love my current D800s' 15.4" wide screens at 1280x800 (I have two, one at home, one at school). Bought them both with accessories for $650.
I hated my sister's recent $300 Compaq 15" purchase (strange reflectivity, glossiness), 900Celeron as slow as my Pentium M 1800.
Considering 13 AND 14" wide screens as well, since these would be lighter to travel with (class to class).
Though, I really need to go out and see what's available. Any recommendations?

3. What screen resolution do you want?

Unsure. (See 2, as I need to do some screen shopping).

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

This too has bothered me. I like my two computers currently, exceptions being:
a) Immobile: batteries failed, and charging/docking mechanism is damaged on the motherboard, AFAIK.
b) processor + RAM are too weak now to enjoy's weekly video highlights and Netflix (not too bad, not at all great); Matlab a little slow; Adobe Flash bogs me down (usually keep it uninstalled).

I have considered keeping these two as my desktops, loading Ubuntu 10.4, all in hopes of lightening them up so processing speed is fine and batteries are not essential.
If I did this, I would also invest in Ubuntu 10.4 for the new laptop, go very very light/compact, and figure out how to keep appropriate data shared, etc. between the three.
Any suggestions there?

I mention Ubuntu because, since this will be my first "New" purchase, I am leaning toward the so-called Free-Ware market. I am a straight forward anarchist at heart, and trade value-for-value (which usually still includes US FRNs), thus I think the immature OPen Source and Free Ware movements are slightly better for me than the copyright limitations (beyond legal limits, including sharing and progress limits). Further, I despise Microsoft and Apple's uses of government power (nearly ubiquitous now, and highest bidder takes all...until next election), so I lean out of the traditional market and into the other convoluted world of "Free".
That said however, I *am* also willing to toss my values aside (gets me through the day, you can imagine) if Win7 and MacOSX are superior to Ubuntu 10.x.
What do you all think about that!? ;) 

5. How much battery life do you need?
I do well monitoring battery power, and keeping thing afloat, and I would love to only need to plug in once a day or every two...
I speak in MS terms due to my past Win98 and current XP experiences: I love standing by often, then hibernating until upgrades are necessary, so shut downs once a week or less often.
Hopefully Ubuntu offers similar options.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

Nope, don't game.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)

Skype 24/7 for chat, video calls while typing in spreadsheet or doc apps, probably web too.
Matlab, possibly Matematica.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

Not sure. I have done well with 40gb for 1.5years on this D800 :) 
(currently have 31Gb of stuff, and just 10Gb of same stuff on other one)
All school related stuff is stored on SChool's 3x backed up servers.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

I would like some help here too. I like to cut out middle persons. I like to purchase tax free. I like to give added value to individuals who go the extra mile to understand my needs and bring me extra value in my experience.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

Unsure here too. I bought these D800s (used) with XP and 6month remaining full warranties, which quickly expired. Then, after 1year of use, the batteries failed on both (within a month of each other). One was definitely battery, the other motherboard-related, it seems.
I have loved learning the intricacies of Windows OS, and have never had a big problem, only losing 1 document to corruption or something (big paper, can't forget) since beginning computing w/ Windows in 1998.
That said, if I switch to Mac or Linux-based, I'm in it for the long haul.
I liken the laptop to the Honda Accord situation, in that, if reselling it is reasonable, then any time period 1-5 years is fine.

I'm in grad school for the next 5 years I presume, so a consistent and seamless set of transitions (if necessary) during this computing experience would be wonderful.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

Seems like either none at all, or the newest greatest just in case needs arise. I've seen Blueray Roms are available on everything now...

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

I think I did this well above. If additional questions, please ask.

13. What country do you live in?

Still within USA "legal" boundaries.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Feel free to ask.

"...How quickly do local accredited technicians fix laptops?"

I'm in Tempe, AZ. Any recommendations? I don't take all recommendations and shoutouts skeptically, as a thorough investigation of one's reputation is essential for building a longer-term, widest-range business relationship.


More about : laptop upgrade

October 8, 2010 2:33:21 PM

Thanks Maziar,

Hello and welcome to the forusm
Is a good choice and will give you 8hrs of battery life.

Looks very nice, as do many of the others at that site -- thanks for the lead.

I have not chosen "Best Answer" because only one opinion/response and Best implies selection (and in my case, from well-investigated choices).