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Old June 20, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Default Need help choosing laptop.

Hello. I've been asked by a family member to help them choose a laptop. It is for work and personal use. No gaming, only work, school work and browsing. Gonna be installing MS Office on it. I was feeling a little nervous, so I decided to post here for some help. I figure something with a core 2 Duo, 1 gig or two of ram, network with N standard and going with the laptop that offers the most HD space for the money. Nothing too expensive but that' ll be good for a while. What do you people think? Please feel free to post links to suggestions and to comment on the specs I' m considering, to help me make a better choice if needed.

Thanks, all help is appreciated!
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Old June 20, 2008, 08:30 PM
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Basically any laptop out there right now meets those requirements...

I'd be inclined to say to look into Dell Inspirons. You'll be able to customize it to your liking and they start at pretty low prices.
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Old June 21, 2008, 02:21 AM
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I agree with jdrom17 that pretty much any laptop will fit those specs. Check out some of the advice here Laptop for School .

If the laptops you are looking at have shared video RAM then definitely get 2G main memory unless you are desperate for battery life.

Looks like you should concentrate on creature comforts. Does this family member have good eye site? High resolution screens are great but only if you can actually see them. Can you try out the various keyboards to see how they feel? Trackpads and Touchpoints are no fun to edit text on (for most people). Perhaps you want to hold back $80 for a good Bluetooth mouse and make sure the laptop has internal Bt support.

I would also suggest you budget for an external hard drive and some backup software.
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Old June 21, 2008, 12:49 PM
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something to watch for in the keyboard area is

will the person be doing data entry? yes? you will definatly want an NUMBERPAD on it. i do data entry all day long and it would kill me to not have a numberpad.

If you get a laptop with a numberpad, make sure the "home/end/pg up/pg dn" buttons are all on the TOP of the numberpad... certain acers i've noticed have them on the bottom where you constantly push them by accedent... nothing worse than hitting the page up or down home or end button all the time when your trying to input numbers into exel.... huuuuge pain in the ass.

shift key lots of laptops these days have crappy placement of shift keys... mine is a half size shift key right beside the up arrow key, so, same as the numberpad keys, i hit the up key instead of the shift key all the fricken time and have to stop what i'm doing to move the curser back to where i want it. also, some put it a bit to far to the right, where you have to reach for it. if you can find a laptop with a normal shift key position, and the rest fills your requirements i recomend you do that.

Pay the extra dollers (if you go to future shop or best buy) to have them clean all the useless bullshit trial offers and extra programs and crap that seems to be so popular these days... its absolute BS that these companies are getting away with putting all this crap on there, your system will easily DOUBLE in speed, just getting rid of it all. worth the 40 bucks they charge. but make sure you complain in a big big way, thats the only way to get those retards to stop putting that Sh1t in there.

absolutly MUST have 2 gig of ram, i dont care what anyone tells you, Vista MUST have 2 gigs or its slow and useless and will piss you off. put XP on it if you have a copy lying around, your performance will go way way up.

While your at the shop getting rid of the crap, have them uninstall NORTON again, i dont care what anyone tells you, norton is a piece of !!!! get rid of it, its not free, its a trial that will make you pay for something that will make your computer run slower than if you actually had a virus get NOD32. its lightweight runs great, has a great track record and you'll never know its running. I think its even cheeper than norton.

but really the thing to know is, and i know everyone craps on vista alot, but when vista is installed NOT all laptops are created equal. Sure, EVERY laptop on the market today will do Office, Internet, IM, movies... pretty much everything normal people do, BUT Vista needs power to run, simple as that, then when you couple in the CRAP that OEMs install on new computers your shiny new machine is going to be the most usless slow P.O.S. you ever bought. So, get a dual core, 2 gigs of ram, as much hd space as you can and a DEDICATED graphic card if your running vista, if you can roll it back to XP then integrated is fine.

dont buy an acer
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Old June 21, 2008, 02:02 PM
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Wow, I am so glad I asked. Thank you peoples.

Gonna use this info to go over my choices again and probably even post here with what I come up with.
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Old June 21, 2008, 05:49 PM
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I have a Dell Inspiron 1300 in the FS thread for $450 Obo. right now. Easily upgraded to 2 gigs of ram too.
FS: Dell Inspiron 1300 Laptop / 15.4" Wide
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Old June 22, 2008, 05:25 PM
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Don't worry CMetaphor, I had already noticed your sale. Good luck with it, if anything I' ll let you know. Thanks.

What I would like to ask though, is if someone can point me in the right direction to find some info and comparisons of the different processors. I would like to learn which ones use the less power while putting out some good performance. I don't need a powerhouse processor but I don't want to buy something that sucks up the battery power and doesn't deliver any power either.
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Old June 22, 2008, 06:25 PM
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any Centrino brand dual core is power saving. Most modern laptops/computers have throttleing which drops the frequency of the processor and the graphics processor when its not needed. Also something to note, if power saving is REALLY an issue... you'll need to decide which is more important, a numberpad (if you need one) or power saving. any laptop you get with a number pad will have a 17 inch screen. the larger screen eats up a fair bit more power. also 17 inch laptops typically have multiple hard drives (which eat up a bit more power) and better proc and graphics cards (which also eat up more power) so if power is very very important, you'll want to find yourself as small a laptop as you can get. but i HIGHLY recomend getting a numberpad above all else if they are expecting to do data entry with numbers.
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vista 64 on these rigs
Q9450 @ 3.5Ghz | E8400 @ 4.2Ghz
8gb Muskin Redline. | 2gb Kingston Hyperx
________________________________|_________________ ______________
EVGA 780i FTW ----\--||___||--/---- EVGA 780i SLI
Antec TP Quatro 1000W \ :==^==: / Antec TP Quatro 850W.
Nvidia 9800 GX2 X 2 SLI \|--o--|/ Nvidia 8800 GTS X 2 SLI
1X 500GB Western Digital. \_____/ 3X 150GB WD RAPTOR RAID-0
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Old June 29, 2008, 05:47 PM
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Yes, a small laptop is what is preferred here, so the number pad would have to be by connection anyways. Thanks for the info on the Centrino processors as well. The last question is regarding I/O Ports. What should I look for, for maximum I/O Port connectivity?
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Old June 30, 2008, 07:38 PM
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most laptops come with the same amount of ports, usually usb, and you'll want as many of those as you can get. Standard is pretty much 4 usb ports these days wich still isnt enough, but its what we're stuck with. The only other ports your going to find is a vga out and maby a docking station port on an HP. flash memory card ports are pretty common and are really handy if you have a digi cam that you upload to the laptop, but its not really necessary as most people have a usb to flashcard adaptor anyway.

something to consider since it sounds like you might be getting a few add ins along with the laptop (ie. external numberpad) is the bag you intend to buy to carry it around in. There are a couple different types, attache hard case, fabric breifcase type (most common) and backpack/slingbag type. Obviously they all look much different than each other though they all cost similarly. the biggest difference though in all of them other than looks is the space they have for perifrials...

Hard = very little extra space
soft = moderate space (though they do come in varying sizes)
backpack = Alot of extra space

Myself, because i work on the road, i've got the backpack type wich holds an AMAZING amount of things.... I've got two 3.5 " external drives (plus power cables and usb cables) 2 mice, a linxys wireless router + power cable and 3, 6' rj45 cables, my vusix 3d glasses my 17" laptop + power cable, spindle of blank dvds (10) a usb (under the) laptop cooler, pens, pencils paper for my printer, extra ink for the printer, books for the tools i use and soooo many more little things i dont even remember.... like paperclips lol and tape... all in my laptop bag... backpack types have an amazing amout of room, but they look very unprofessional lol so if your taking it to a buisness environment you'll likely want one of the other two types... most people will find the fabric type has more than enough room though. pretty much only need room for an extra mouse, one 2.5 inch external drive, a mousepad... (oh yeah, i've a steel mousepad in my bag too...) and cables. but its something to keep in mind.

my suggestion to you is to wander down to bestbuy and find the one you like the color of that has a centrino logo, because of all the small laptops for business use the only difference between HP, Compaq, Sony ect is the color of the unit and who you have to call to have it repaired. I recomend best buy only because they'll have the best prices, and you can return it NO QUESTIONS ASKED for 14 days after the purchase and you can pick up a different one. Not that im encourageing you to "try before you buy" by doing this.. but at least if the owner finds that he really hates some part of it he'll have the option available to him.
__________________

vista 64 on these rigs
Q9450 @ 3.5Ghz | E8400 @ 4.2Ghz
8gb Muskin Redline. | 2gb Kingston Hyperx
________________________________|_________________ ______________
EVGA 780i FTW ----\--||___||--/---- EVGA 780i SLI
Antec TP Quatro 1000W \ :==^==: / Antec TP Quatro 850W.
Nvidia 9800 GX2 X 2 SLI \|--o--|/ Nvidia 8800 GTS X 2 SLI
1X 500GB Western Digital. \_____/ 3X 150GB WD RAPTOR RAID-0
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