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 Post subject: Good All Around Laptop For College?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:01 pm 
8086
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Hey guys, I'm heading off to James Madison University this fall to study Computer information systems. While the school is currently compiling a list of minimum recommendations for each department, I quite clueless as to what to start looking at in terms of a laptop. I know it should be something I can easily carry to class, but when you get something that is light and thin you sacrfice performance in other areas such as graphics and display size. I don't mind getting around the 6lb range because I probably won't bring my laptop to class everyday. So my needs are no bigger than a 15" screen, something in terms of light gaming, the ability to do some desktop functions, burn dvd's, recode, etc., as well as something reasonable in battery life where I don't have to have the darn thing plugged into the wall ALL the time(kinda defeats the purpose of a laptop don't you think?). The only notebook I have honestly taken a look at and have had some experience with is the Dell Inspirion E1505 with Core2 Duo, and the 256mb graphic card upgrade...any suggestions or comments are more than welcome...

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:42 am 
Little Foot
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I would avoid the Inspiron line, as it is meant for casual use, not for prolonged heavy use (this goes for any laptop vendors consumer line). You would be best purchasing a laptop designed for business use, as they are more robust and reliable. Right now, I would avoid anything from Dell, as they are having major quality problems (personal experience from supporting over 1,000 Dell desktops, and 400 laptops where I work). Their quality has slipped badly over the last 4 years, why else do you think Michael Dell came out of retirement to take over running the company again? The two most reliable laptops are made by Apple and IBM/Lenovo. Lenovo would be your best choice, I would go with the Thinkpad, either the T, R or Z series woudl be fine, as all three have dedicated graphics. The Z is a widescreen model and all will start at around $1100 and have all the other features you require. Myself, I own a Lenovo X60s (ultrportable), it has integrated graphics but an 8.5 hour battery.


Last edited by big_montana on Mon Jun 11, 2007 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 11:56 pm 
Klamath
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yeah, dont get a dell.. they suck... period.

go with an hp dv6000t theyre inexpensive, but they perform very well. alot of people i know use them, and love them!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 7:35 pm 
8086
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see if you can get your hands on a refurb ibm. My cousin got a good deal on his year old brand new one. z series. nice computer. I saw apple's notebooks are ranked with gateway, HP, and compaq in terms of reliability by consumer reports, though their desktops are far and away the best desktop line. IBM and sony are ranked the best by consumer reports for laptops. I'm a day student at a prep school and bring my laptop back and forth everyday. I had a Compaq v2000 series for a year which felt a bit mediocre though lasted a full year. Now I've got the v3000 series which I have some faith in. It's pretty rugged. Even though it doesn't have a latch, its actually never been an issue. My pick for school would be the thinkpad, then an asus, and last a compaq.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:58 pm 
Team Member Top 50
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I would second the HP dv6500 series. Right now, they have an upgrade from 1GB RAM to 2GB RAM for only $25. Thats not a bad deal. I would also make sure to go with the 8400 graphics card, and the T7300 processor. The extra cache can make a big difference.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:21 pm 
8086
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They do a lot of these posts over at www.notebookreview.com.

I disagree with the people who pick on Dell. Dell can make a solid notebook and they just came out with the XPS M1330, which is quite portable and packs a pretty big punch. You also need to look at the Thinkpad T61, which is very solid and durable, with a great feature set and will last you through college.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2007 2:09 pm 
Little Foot
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Karot wrote:
They do a lot of these posts over at www.notebookreview.com.

I disagree with the people who pick on Dell. Dell can make a solid notebook and they just came out with the XPS M1330, which is quite portable and packs a pretty big punch. You also need to look at the Thinkpad T61, which is very solid and durable, with a great feature set and will last you through college.



Obviously, you do not have a lot of experience with Dell. The XPS lineup is marketed as a gaming rig, and is the only one that gets good reviews for dell (I still would not trust it's reliability as it is a Dell). Also the XPS is much ore expensive system then anything else they sell. If people are picking on Dell it is because they deserve it for releasing shoddy and unreliable products. If Dell made solid products like you profess that they do, then there would have been no need for Michael Dell to come out of retirement to right a sinking ship.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 2:42 pm 
King of All Voodoo2 Cards
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big_montana wrote:
If people are picking on Dell it is because they deserve it for releasing shoddy and unreliable products. If Dell made solid products like you profess that they do, then there would have been no need for Michael Dell to come out of retirement to right a sinking ship.


Agreed.

I know several people that have sworn to me they'll never buy a Dell again because of bad experiences with their Latitude series.

I try to direct them towards Clevo based laptops but they inevitably seen to be drawn to H/P's laptops.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:33 am 
8086
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I bought an ASUS laptop this past December and have been nothing but pleased with it.

I wanted something smaller and lighter (which you mentioned is not a concern for you) and opted for a 14.1" widescreen varient with a Core 2 Duo T7200 CPU, 1gb RAM (I will upgrade this later) and a dedicated ATI x1700 w/ 256mb. It also had plenty of bells and whistles, bluetooth, built in webcam, etc.

I have had no issues with the machine and it runs everything I throw at it just fine. My only dissapointment is that it's battery runs flat at around 3 hours, but I do not typically go completely mobile (yay wall outlets) so this does not cause a large impact.

All in all I payed around $1300 off of Newegg.com.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 5:58 pm 
8086
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I bought a dell xps gen 2 laptop two years ago, and I must confess that I absolutely love it! In terms of tech it might seem dated by now, 2ghz pentium M, 1 gig ram, and 6800go graphics card. But that doesn't mean i have had any problems playing the latest games, even if i have to nudge the graphics down a little now to compensate.
The bottomline is though, the xps is tuned and marketed for gaming. i do use it at college, but if your budget isn't $3,000, you would probably be better off with another brand. As other people have already said, the rest of the Dell lineup isn't all that great. I have had experience with other normal inspiron line laptop, and they are completely unimpressive.
In the end it will come down to your budget, and which company/product you find to be most aesthetically pleasing (i admit, i was totally mesmerized by the colorful lights of the xps :P ). If its just for school, all out performance will matter much less than other factors such as wieght, battery life, and screen size.
just go with what your gut says, and make sure you read reviews to make sure the market views the product (on average) favorably.
Good luck ^_^


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