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Laptop for college kid

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  • Dell
  • Laptops
  • College
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 5, 2005 11:20:03 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

My daughter wants a laptop for college. She says she's asked around and
students she knows have had problems with their Dell laptops. I was
figuring on getting that brand for her but now am wondering what the
reliability of the Dell laptops is? Any input is appreciated.

Craig

More about : laptop college kid

Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 5, 2005 11:20:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

"SCraig" <sassy@yahoo.com> wrote:
>My daughter wants a laptop for college. She says she's asked around and
>students she knows have had problems with their Dell laptops.

Some of that is self-selecting, if everyone has Dells then that's all
the problem laptops she'll hear about. I'd put Dell right about in
the middle of the pack in terms of reliability.

It mostly depends on how tough on her stuff she is, Dell wouldn't top
my list of well built, substantial, tough laptops, but all that stuff
comes at a price. If she's likely to toss it unprotected into a
knapsack and bounce it around, you might be better off looking at a
ToughBook or something deliberately ruggedized.

Either way, get the 3-year 'on-site' warranty, the "everything's
covered, even if my roommate spills Coke on it" extended warranty
coverage, and a good backup scheme (external hard drive OSLT). Add
BIOS-level and hard disk passwords, and impress on her that it's up to
her to replace if if it's stolen.

McAfee ASAP might make a nice virus scanner, as you can know remotely
if it's up to date, and the IP address reporting _might_ help you
locate it if someone stupid steals it. Make sure she knows how to
keep her virus scanner, spyware program (I like MicroSoft
AntiSpyware), and Windows Update up-to-date, and cross your fingers.
8*)
March 5, 2005 11:20:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

The Dell laptops themselves are OK. They are just built very cheap and won't
stand up to much abuse. The problem with Dell is the support. Dell support
has become horrible. If she will be carrying the laptop around, I would
recommend IBM. They are built much more superior to Dell laptops, but the
IBM's cost a tad more as well.
"SCraig" <sassy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:TvoWd.12382$OU1.3454@newssvr21.news.prodigy.com...
> My daughter wants a laptop for college. She says she's asked around and
> students she knows have had problems with their Dell laptops. I was
> figuring on getting that brand for her but now am wondering what the
> reliability of the Dell laptops is? Any input is appreciated.
>
> Craig
>
>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 5, 2005 11:20:04 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

I've sent two kids off to college with Dell Latitudes. Dell set up a great
price for their college, with a couple of configurations in an online store
just for their school. I believe the Latitude is a better built laptop than
is the Inspiron (this is an opinion). I also use one for work, that is the
same as the one I bought my most recent student, a D600. I carry mine every
day, use it docked most of the time, with at least one wireless walkabout
every day for a remote meeting or presentation. I probably am a little more
careful than an average college student, certainly more than my two. In my
experience, dust, and general risk of flying debris is greater than physical
abuse. My experience so far, has been hardware flawless, software, spyware,
viruses, and general overload of non-spying, but equally bothersome adware
requiring a remote cleaning about once or twice a semester.

Jere
"SCraig" <sassy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:TvoWd.12382$OU1.3454@newssvr21.news.prodigy.com...
> My daughter wants a laptop for college. She says she's asked around and
> students she knows have had problems with their Dell laptops. I was
> figuring on getting that brand for her but now am wondering what the
> reliability of the Dell laptops is? Any input is appreciated.
>
> Craig
>
>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 5, 2005 11:20:05 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Sat, 5 Mar 2005 19:58:46 -0500, "JC McDonald" <jcmcdonald@aol.com>
wrote:
>"SCraig" <sassy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
>news:TvoWd.12382$OU1.3454@newssvr21.news.prodigy.com...
>> My daughter wants a laptop for college. She says she's asked around and
>> students she knows have had problems with their Dell laptops. I was
>> figuring on getting that brand for her but now am wondering what the
>> reliability of the Dell laptops is? Any input is appreciated.

> My experience so far, has been hardware flawless, software, spyware,
>viruses, and general overload of non-spying, but equally bothersome adware
>requiring a remote cleaning about once or twice a semester.

Same here. 2 kids to college, 1 to Japan, all with Dell laptops.
Absolutely no problems.

The one thing I'd advise is to watch the weight. We went for bang for
the buck, so the 2 college ones got 1150's. My dad had bought the one
going to Japan a 600m. What a difference in weight; the power supply
too!

My daughter also told me the people that bring bright, shiny new Macs
are getting ripped off... I mean, literally! Their dorm rooms are
targeted; they know who has the expensive laptops. I don't know if
every school has that problem, but I'd think twice...
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 12:44:36 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Like most product lines, some are good, and some are terrible.

Stay away from the low-end Dells - the Inspiron 1000 and 1150 (the
latter is being dropped) and the discontinued 5150/5160. The others are
mostly reasonably reliable.

Reasonably is relative - something like 30% of all notebook computers
require a major repair during their lifetimes - so get a 3-year warranty
at least, and for a college student, complete care is probably a good
buy as well. Major parts for notebooks are expensive (a mainboard for a
Dell system runs $700; parts prices for other manufacturers' models are
similar).



SCraig wrote:
> My daughter wants a laptop for college. She says she's asked around and
> students she knows have had problems with their Dell laptops. I was
> figuring on getting that brand for her but now am wondering what the
> reliability of the Dell laptops is? Any input is appreciated.
>
> Craig
>
>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 6:32:09 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

SCraig wrote:

> My daughter wants a laptop for college. She says she's asked around and
> students she knows have had problems with their Dell laptops. I was
> figuring on getting that brand for her but now am wondering what the
> reliability of the Dell laptops is? Any input is appreciated.
>
> Craig
>
>
I'm a 4th year engineering major (meaning I use my computer more than
the average student) at UCSD; I too purchased a laptop (IBM Thinkpad
T21) just before college (which died last month and am now on my second,
a Dell D610). I know you're only asking about Dell reliability, but
since I just went through researching and buying a new laptop, I figure
I may have some info that may help:

First off, regardless of the brand you go with, get AT LEAST a 3 year
warranty! I recommend an OEM warranty as opposed to one from Best Buy,
Fry's, or CompUSA. I had to send my IBM in two times in 3 years, and
their service is amazingly good (they're known as the best in the
industry). As I've only had my Dell for 5 days I can't say anything
about them yet, but so far it seems very sturdy.

The next big thing I'd recommend is check the college bookstore for
student discounts. For example my school has IBM Thinkpad's listed for
close to a $1000 off MSRP. Dell are also discounted for students but
generally not as much as IBM -- but IBM costs a lot more in the first
place (I found a better deal buying my Latitude from the Small Business
section of Dell.com than on campus, but in general student prices are
better).

On a side note, does she plan to use the laptop as a laptop or just keep
it in her room 90% of the time? If she actually plans to take it
around, I wouldn't go heavier than 5.5lbs. My roommate went with an
Ispiron 9200, and it's a monster; I doubt it's left the condo twice in
the last 6 months which makes me wonder why he bothered with a LAPtop.

Some brands/models I'd highly recommend looking into are: IBM Thinkpad T
series (T43 will be available at student prices in April), Panasonic
Toughbooks, Fujitsu LifeBooks S series, & Sony S series. Brands I'd
avoid are eMachines, the consumer Compaq/HP's, any brand you've never
heard of (not worth the risk for laptops). If you'd like more
suggestions, etc. feel free to email me (just remove nospam from my
reply-to). It should also be noted I would have gone IBM again if the
T43 was available, but I needed the notebook sooner than April.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 6:32:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

1. Check with the college, but in most cases when you order the laptop, make
sure you order it with WinXP PRO on it, not the Home edition.

2. Also get the four year warranty, PLUS the 4 year CompleteCare accidental
damage coverage on a Dell laptop. My wife's Inspiron 1100 had two (2)
instances of hardware damage, due to spilled soda. One time it was sent to
the repair facility, key/mother board replacement, returned to us within 72
hours. The other, a replacement HDD was received within 24 hours after I
called.

--

Rich/rerat

(RRR News) <message rule>
<<Previous Text Snipped to Save Bandwidth When Appropriate>>



SCraig wrote:

> My daughter wants a laptop for college. She says she's asked around and
> students she knows have had problems with their Dell laptops. I was
> figuring on getting that brand for her but now am wondering what the
> reliability of the Dell laptops is? Any input is appreciated.
>
> Craig
>
March 6, 2005 1:59:09 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

>
>Stay away from the low-end Dells - the Inspiron 1000 and 1150 (the
>latter is being dropped)

The 1150 is being dropped?

Sure abt that?
March 6, 2005 2:09:41 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

>I believe the Latitude is a better built laptop than
>is the Inspiron (this is an opinion). I also use one for work, that is the
>same as the one I bought my most recent student, a D600.

Don't the Latitudes still have the serial and parallel
ports whereas the Inspiron lines do not? Inspirons
only have USB ports, right?

If yes..... is the lack of serial or parallel ports
really a big deal?
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 2:09:42 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

me@privacy.net wrote:
>
> >I believe the Latitude is a better built laptop than
> >is the Inspiron (this is an opinion). I also use one for work, that is the
> >same as the one I bought my most recent student, a D600.
>
> Don't the Latitudes still have the serial and parallel
> ports whereas the Inspiron lines do not? Inspirons
> only have USB ports, right?
>
> If yes..... is the lack of serial or parallel ports
> really a big deal?

Latitudes, historically, have been built for business users,
while Inspirons have been geared towards home users.

While I don't know the whys/what-fors/etc., Latitudes
seem to withstand the rigors of the road better than
Inspirons.

Notan
March 6, 2005 2:10:32 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

>The one thing I'd advise is to watch the weight. We went for bang for
>the buck, so the 2 college ones got 1150's. My dad had bought the one
>going to Japan a 600m. What a difference in weight; the power supply
>too!

So you fell the 600m is a better choice.... size wise
and weight wise?
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 2:10:33 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 11:10:32 -0600, me@privacy.net wrote:
>>The one thing I'd advise is to watch the weight. We went for bang for
>>the buck, so the 2 college ones got 1150's. My dad had bought the one
>>going to Japan a 600m. What a difference in weight; the power supply
>>too!
>
>So you fell the 600m is a better choice.... size wise
>and weight wise?

Weightwise most definitely. Size didn't really matter, although, I
think the smaller footprint the better.

Add an internal wireless adapter if it doesn't already come with it.
The dorm rooms should already be wired, but sometimes student centers
or libraries will have wireless routers to access the school system.
Or, if she's rooming with others in an apartment off campus, they'll
have to get a router to share a connection. Going wireless will make
it easier to share.

Also, upgrade the drive to a burner. A dvd burner is nice to have,
but I don't think it's necessary; cd burner is good enough. I did
upgrade to dvd burners. My kids first told me, no need, but now they
ask me to send them blanks for it. Dvd blanks are really cheap these
days, but cd blanks are practically free.

Just curious, what laptops were her friends recommending, instead of
Dells?
March 6, 2005 2:14:19 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

>Brands I'd avoid are eMachines,

eMachines actually got a pretty good review on their
laptops from PC Mag. Why do feel to avoid them?

>It should also be noted I would have gone IBM again if the
>T43 was available, but I needed the notebook sooner than April.

Did you like your T21?

Im thinking of buying a used one from eBay. Hence the
question
March 6, 2005 2:25:20 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

>I'm a 4th year engineering major

Im curious.... instead of a laptop what abt buying an
using a Pocket PC such as the iPaq?

Can a Pocket PC make a good replacemnet for a laptop?
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 9:30:05 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 08:33:59 -1000, Sharon Westfall wrote:
>
> On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 11:10:32 -0600, me@privacy.net wrote:
>>>The one thing I'd advise is to watch the weight. We went for bang for
>>>the buck, so the 2 college ones got 1150's. My dad had bought the one
>>>going to Japan a 600m. What a difference in weight; the power supply
>>>too!
>>
>>So you fell the 600m is a better choice.... size wise
>>and weight wise?
>
> Weightwise most definitely. Size didn't really matter, although, I
> think the smaller footprint the better.

Don't forget to get theft and accidental damage insurance on it. The
smaller they are the quicker they get stolen.

--
spam999free@rrohio.com
remove 999 in order to email me
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 9:30:06 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 18:30:05 GMT, Leythos <void@nowhere.lan> wrote:
>Don't forget to get theft and accidental damage insurance on it. The
>smaller they are the quicker they get stolen.

All laptops are stealable. But theives don't want Dells, they want
Macs.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 9:30:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

I don't blame them. Why steal a Geo Metro when you can steal a Porsche?
"Sharon Westfall" <westfal@lava.net> wrote in message
news:bmlm211sdr5ig3ds7ma2dgs0istm12n0f2@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 18:30:05 GMT, Leythos <void@nowhere.lan> wrote:
>>Don't forget to get theft and accidental damage insurance on it. The
>>smaller they are the quicker they get stolen.
>
> All laptops are stealable. But theives don't want Dells, they want
> Macs.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 9:30:08 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Sun, 6 Mar 2005 15:43:00 -0500, "linuxman44" <etlyons@gmail.com>
wrote:
>I don't blame them. Why steal a Geo Metro when you can steal a Porsche?

Good tip: Don't drive a Porsche to school either. <g>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 9:33:18 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

me@privacy.net wrote:

>>Brands I'd avoid are eMachines,
>
>
> eMachines actually got a pretty good review on their
> laptops from PC Mag. Why do feel to avoid them?
>
>
>>It should also be noted I would have gone IBM again if the
>>T43 was available, but I needed the notebook sooner than April.
>
>
> Did you like your T21?
>
> Im thinking of buying a used one from eBay. Hence the
> question

Definitely, would buy it again. It's a great laptop for its size/weight
combo and ran Linux flawlessly (XP worked well too when I had that
installed). My only problem was with the inverter card which was
covered under the warranty twice (but it's cheap an easy to fix
yourself). Unfortunately my motherboard died last month, but I beleive
that was just bad luck (considering I've got a IBM 600 series that still
runs).
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 9:34:29 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

me@privacy.net wrote:

>>I'm a 4th year engineering major
>
>
> Im curious.... instead of a laptop what abt buying an
> using a Pocket PC such as the iPaq?
>
> Can a Pocket PC make a good replacemnet for a laptop?

I do have a PocketPC (the older Dell Axim X5), but it wouldn't work as
your only computer. I'll elaborate more later.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 10:57:36 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

It is still in the lineup, but reports say it will not be for much longer.



me@privacy.net wrote:
>>Stay away from the low-end Dells - the Inspiron 1000 and 1150 (the
>>latter is being dropped)
>
>
> The 1150 is being dropped?
>
> Sure abt that?
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 6, 2005 10:57:37 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 19:57:36 GMT, "Edward J. Neth"
<ejn63@netscape.net> wrote:
>me@privacy.net wrote:
>> The 1150 is being dropped?

>It is still in the lineup, but reports say it will not be for much longer.

It's still a great laptop. It's just kinda heavy. If they're
discontinuing it, the prices will get even better still.

My girlfriend got an Inspiron 1000. We went by price (as you can see,
I go for cheap...:-). Her husband said he would pay for it, so we
kept it close to his threshold. it's really nice, and light (the
power supply too). Absolutely no problems with it.

Honestly, unless you're doing intensive computing (movie editing?) you
don't need the biggest and the best, you just need connectivity and
office software. And a reliable machine. Dell's are very reliable.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 7, 2005 12:42:52 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Notan wrote:

> me@privacy.net wrote:
>
>>>I believe the Latitude is a better built laptop than
>>>is the Inspiron (this is an opinion). I also use one for work, that is the
>>>same as the one I bought my most recent student, a D600.
>>
>>Don't the Latitudes still have the serial and parallel
>>ports whereas the Inspiron lines do not? Inspirons
>>only have USB ports, right?
>>
>>If yes..... is the lack of serial or parallel ports
>>really a big deal?
>
>
> Latitudes, historically, have been built for business users,
> while Inspirons have been geared towards home users.
>
> While I don't know the whys/what-fors/etc., Latitudes
> seem to withstand the rigors of the road better than
> Inspirons.
>
> Notan

These days, unless you're going to be building interfaces to custom
hardware or plan to use a very old mouse/printer, serial and parallel
ports are not necessary. In general I've found the business line of
most manufacturers to be superior to the consumer ones (at least in
terms of durability).
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 7, 2005 12:53:45 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

me@privacy.net wrote:

>>I'm a 4th year engineering major
>
>
> Im curious.... instead of a laptop what abt buying an
> using a Pocket PC such as the iPaq?
>
> Can a Pocket PC make a good replacemnet for a laptop?

Most students use a laptop for a handful of things: download/listen to
music, talk to friends on AIM/email, and hopefully do a little
research/write papers. For these tasks, a PocketPC is a poor choice
(the only plausible one is communicating over AIM/email). PocketPC's are
great Personal Information Managers (PIM's) but are not suitable as a
primary computer. Even with an external keyboard, they're a headache to
use for notes (screen too small) and don't even think about writing a
paper. I mainly use my X5 as a Blackberry like device (checking email
while in the lab/lecture, etc.). In class it's useful for when the
professor has posted something online (like homework, etc.) that I've
forgotten to print out. I also use mine to SSH into my home computer or
the school lab. Also it's a great place to record all your professor's
office hours.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 7, 2005 1:14:36 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

In general, yes. The 11xx and 51xx systems have not proved very
reliable - they are extremely susceptible to overheating and component
failure.

The Inspiron 1000 is fine for what it is, but it's a throwaway - very
limited upgradeability and a very limited, slow chipsets.

Those are the only models from Dell I'd suggest avoiding - and if you
decide to go with an 1100/1150/5100/5150/5160, get the longest warranty
you can - you will very likely need it.



Sharon Westfall wrote:
> On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 19:57:36 GMT, "Edward J. Neth"

> Honestly, unless you're doing intensive computing (movie editing?) you
> don't need the biggest and the best, you just need connectivity and
> office software. And a reliable machine. Dell's are very reliable.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 7, 2005 1:50:57 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 09:21:56 -1000, Sharon Westfall wrote:
>
> On Sun, 06 Mar 2005 18:30:05 GMT, Leythos <void@nowhere.lan> wrote:
>>Don't forget to get theft and accidental damage insurance on it. The
>>smaller they are the quicker they get stolen.
>
> All laptops are stealable. But theives don't want Dells, they want
> Macs.

Wrong, I had a client have two brand-new Dells, just opened the box, right
out of his office in LA, they were about $4000 each as configured.



--
spam999free@rrohio.com
remove 999 in order to email me
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 10, 2005 7:03:58 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Sat, 05 Mar 2005 20:20:03 GMT, "SCraig" <sassy@yahoo.com> wrote:

>My daughter wants a laptop for college. She says she's asked around and
>students she knows have had problems with their Dell laptops. I was
>figuring on getting that brand for her but now am wondering what the
>reliability of the Dell laptops is? Any input is appreciated.
>
>Craig
>
I seem to recall IBM laptops rated best, but that was before the sale.
All laptops are more problem-prone than desktops, on the average.
--
Top 10 Conservative Idiots:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/top10/
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 10, 2005 7:05:05 PM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

On Sat, 5 Mar 2005 19:58:46 -0500, "JC McDonald" <jcmcdonald@aol.com>
wrote:

>I've sent two kids off to college with Dell Latitudes. Dell set up a great
>price for their college, with a couple of configurations in an online store
>just for their school.

I didn't think of that. If the OP can get a good deal on Dell, that'd
be the one to go withl.
--
Top 10 Conservative Idiots:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/top10/
March 11, 2005 1:07:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

>I use an old IBM
>Thinkpad that I picked up used for cheap. It is sturdy and long lasting. My
>wife and son at college use the same model of Thinkpads, also picked up used for
>cheap. They are equally sturdy and long lasting. My wife and son are sturdy
>and long lasting. So am I... Ben Myers

What model ThinkPad did you buy used?
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
March 11, 2005 8:24:49 AM

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

Thinkpad 390e, with CPU speeds ranging from 300 to 450MHz. Not stunning speed.
Took a while to boot up until I did some cleanup of junk in the start menu,
uninstalled old unused software and defragged the hard drive. It has Windows
2000 installed and I use it on the road a bit, but also to test lots of hardware
and to troubleshoot network and wifi problems. So it needs cleanup every so
often to restore whatever pizzaz it has. I've maxed out memory above the
published spec of 256MB, installing a 256MB and a 128MB SODIMM... Ben Myers

On Thu, 10 Mar 2005 22:07:31 -0600, me@privacy.net wrote:

>>I use an old IBM
>>Thinkpad that I picked up used for cheap. It is sturdy and long lasting. My
>>wife and son at college use the same model of Thinkpads, also picked up used for
>>cheap. They are equally sturdy and long lasting. My wife and son are sturdy
>>and long lasting. So am I... Ben Myers
>
>What model ThinkPad did you buy used?
!