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10 Rules for Buying a new Laptop

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Since I am a true geek with 3 laptops, I wanted to post this:

10 Rules for Buying a new Laptop

1. Processor speed, a much used sales point, is not as important as most people think. Unless you are running high end graphics you can easily use a Pentium III or equivalent. often test so that systems with P4 chips actually run no faster than Pentium III configurations in laptops. People who have modest computing needs can save a lot of money by sticking with a PIII-M notebook. Use that money for other things, like RAM. Try the new Centrino Technology!

2. System memory: Don't settle for anything less than 256MB of system memory if you want to do more than word processing and e-mail, because Windows XP and newer applications quickly chew up memory and threaten to slow down your work. Memory slots are usually fairly easy to reach on notebooks, if you wish to upgrade.

3. Graphics memory: You'll want 32MB or 64MB of video RAM if you plan on using your laptop to drive external monitors for presentations. Make sure that the memory is dedicated rather than pulled from main memory; this is sometimes referred to as a universal (UMA) or shared (SMA) memory architecture.

4. Screen: Some portables with 14.1-inch and 15.1-inch screens now cost as little as $599. But business-class fliers who prefer a more compact notebook screen size of 12.1 or 13.3 inches may soon have only ultraportables to choose from.

5. Battery: In battery tests conducted by the PC World Test Center, battery life in units equipped with the new P4-M chip averaged roughly 2.5 hours. While Intel and notebook manufacturers try to iron out the P4-M's power consumption kinks, consider buying a notebook that uses the older Pentium III-M chip; these portables posted battery lives of between 3 and 3.5 hours in most cases. Most notebooks come with a lithium ion rechargeable battery, which lasts longer than the less common nickel metal hydride rechargeable and doesn't need to be replaced as often.

6. If you want more time away from an outlet, buy a notebook that has a modular bay capable of holding a supplementary power pack. Secondary batteries usually cost between $100-$150.

7. Keyboard and pointing device: A thin-and-light notebook usually has smaller-than-average keys spaced more closely than the ones found on a desktop-replacement model. Even notebooks with the same standard 3mm travel (the distance a key depresses) and 19mm spacing (from the center of one key top to the next) can feel different, however, and their layouts may differ significantly.

8. For people who can't choose between a touchpad and an eraserhead pointing device, some notebooks include both. If you buy one of these dually equipped portables, make sure that it provides two sets of mouse buttons--one for the touchpad and the other for the eraserhead--so you don't have to stretch to reach.

9. Optical and other drives: Built-in rewritable DVD drives aren't likely to arrive in notebook PCs anytime soon, but if you can afford it, the next best thing is a combination DVD-ROM/CD-RW drive. Midrange machines usually feature a DVD-ROM drive or a CD-RW drive, and only the least-expensive notebooks come standard with just a CD-ROM drive.

10. The floppy drive has outlasted its SuperDrive and Zip drive challengers and continues to appear in many notebooks. Some "legacy light" portables have phased it out, but you can buy a USB add-on floppy drive for less than $100

 
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Wow, very informative!


And may I say that you and my DH would get along smashingly.. (he's a computer "geek" as well, hehe)


Thanks!

 
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Great post Tony. Gonna print it off & keep it on file


 
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Tony, since you brought this up (last year), are there any laptops that you might suggest for the everyday user? Please specify make, model and why if you don't mind. I have an IBM that's a couple of years old and works fine, but am in the market for something new, light and capable of getting me through the day. Anything that doesn't require too much work to link up to wi-fi would be great. I don't know what else to ask, but if you can think of a great machine within reason, I'd appreciate it.

Screen doesn't have to be enormous, because I would need to carry it with me everywhere I go. The dvd burner isn't that important, although nice, would not be needed since the new desktop can handle that.

Sony, IBM, Dell, etc????

If possible, please provide link to item. I really do appreciate it.

 
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Hi Sofia! I am strickly a DELL guy. We practically own Dell with the number of desktops and laptops we have purchased from them.

If I were you, I would prolly go with a Dell Inspiron 700m but request regular Windows XP Home edition. Click here to see this laptop. Here are some details about it:

Ultra-Mobility

The Inspiron 700m, with Genuine Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, is Dell's thinnest and lightest Inspiron notebook, so it is perfect for students and people who travel frequently with their PCs. At 4.1 lbs and 1.5" thick, you can slip this notebook into a briefcase or satchel with your other papers and hardly notice the difference. And you'll be thankful for that when you're running to catch your bus.

Impressive Power

The Inspiron 700m uses the Intel® Pentium® M processor and can support up to 2 GB of shared DDR SDRAM so you don't have to compromise performance in favor of portability. This little slip of a notebook will surprise you with its muscle.

I always use this site here for dell coupons: http://www.firingsquad.com/deals/

Inspiron Notebooks. INSPIRON LAPTOP DEALS

  • $300 off $1099+ Inspiron notebook purchases! Use code: Z5HJTRN9M8LPDB
  • $500 off $1499+ Inspiron notebook purchases! Use code: HQTHBLRS9PBVF3The Inspiron 9300 is an excellent one to use with this coupon. Add $50 worth of upgrades to use the $500 off. DELL INSPIRON 9300 LAPTOP DEAL

[*]$750 off $1999+ Inspiron notebook purchases! Use code: G76?BXMPC5919D

Coupons expire 1/6/06 at 5:59AM Central or after 4000 redemptions unless otherwise noted:
 
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I am strickly a DELL person too! My desktop and my new laptop is DELL and I love them specially my laptop :icon_love

Originally Posted by Tony(admin) Hi Sofia! I am strickly a DELL guy. We practically own Dell with the number of desktops and laptops we have purchased from them.
If I were you, I would prolly go with a Dell Inspiron 700m but request regular Windows XP Home edition. Click here to see this laptop. Here are some details about it:

Ultra-Mobility

The Inspiron 700m, with Genuine Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, is Dell's thinnest and lightest Inspiron notebook, so it is perfect for students and people who travel frequently with their PCs. At 4.1 lbs and 1.5" thick, you can slip this notebook into a briefcase or satchel with your other papers and hardly notice the difference. And you'll be thankful for that when you're running to catch your bus.

Impressive Power

The Inspiron 700m uses the Intel® Pentium® M processor and can support up to 2 GB of shared DDR SDRAM so you don't have to compromise performance in favor of portability. This little slip of a notebook will surprise you with its muscle.

I always use this site here for dell coupons: http://www.firingsquad.com/deals/

Inspiron Notebooks. INSPIRON LAPTOP DEALS

  • $300 off $1099+ Inspiron notebook purchases! Use code: Z5HJTRN9M8LPDB
  • $500 off $1499+ Inspiron notebook purchases! Use code: HQTHBLRS9PBVF3The Inspiron 9300 is an excellent one to use with this coupon. Add $50 worth of upgrades to use the $500 off. DELL INSPIRON 9300 LAPTOP DEAL

[*]$750 off $1999+ Inspiron notebook purchases! Use code: G76?BXMPC5919D

Coupons expire 1/6/06 at 5:59AM Central or after 4000 redemptions unless otherwise noted:
 
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We got ours from Circuit City, they have a build your own system there. Really worth checking out and much cheaper than buying one already made and they are brand name (like HP).

 
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Wow thanks so much, Tony. The 700 looks perfect and the coupons were an added bonus. I really appreciate it. Thanks again.

 
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Wow! Thanks for all the helpful information, i myself am looking at possible purchasing a laptop and was pretty clueless as to what to get. I am gonna print this and keep it with me. THANKS!


 
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Mine is Dell too, I also got some deals a year ago. Considered most of the things on the list, great thread Tony!


 
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hey tony, which do you think is better for a girl like me that justs wants a laptop to go online and do school work.

dell xps or dell 700 m?

 
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Tony

What is your opinion the Dell Inspiron 6000 ? I called a Dell rep and he claims it was voted Laptop of the year. I download a lot of music and do a lot of word processing typing on MS Word. The rep suggested this model.

 
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Whoa! I wonder why I never saw this! Thanks Tony! I'm looking into getting an Alienware laptop, though. Our sales agents (at the co. I work for) all have Dell's and they all have problems. They say the customer support stinks. There may be some kind of system incompatibility with the custom programs we run, but I need more of a gaming computer anyway. Great info!! I'll still consider Dell, if you like them!

 
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Dell 6000 is EXCELLENT! It's the best one that DOESN'T have the huge 17" monitor. In fact, I'll be buying a few of these these year. I personally like the 15.4 in monitor with the UltraSharp WUXGA LCD Panel. We here at AR WebSolutions all have Dells. I personally will buy Dell all the time since they offer laptops that are super high end. The DELL XPS has won all the awards for gaming, hands down. Make sure you always check out http://www.firingsquad.com/deals/ for coupons, and it's updated daily

Stay away from Alienware, I have three personal techie friends that had huge customer service issues. In fact, they lost my one friend's 4,000 notebook, then took 4 months to replace it. The Dell XPS runs circles around any Alienware.

 
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Originally Posted by Tony(admin) Stay away from Alienware, I have three personal techie friends that had huge customer service issues. In fact, they lost my one friend's 4,000 notebook, then took 4 months to replace it. The Dell XPS runs circles around any Alienware. Oh. Well, I see what you've done with MuT and your other endeavours and I trust your advice and techie knowledge, so you've just made my decision!! I would die if I went 4 months without a computer, let alone 4 days (or hours or minutes).
 
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thanks a million Tony since I am actively looking for a notebook this info is priceless!!

 

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