Favorite Laptop - Worst Laptop Ever

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Sassy, Sep 17, 2009.

  1. Sassy

    Sassy Member

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    We're finally upgrading our very old Toshiba laptop, and have too many choices!

    We're looking for one with a Webcam, WI-FI capability, minimum 2 GB memory, minimum 250 GB hard drive, decent processor (what should we look for?), decent graphics, decent sound. Of course, it should have Ethernet, modem and DVD burner.

    Are there any minimums to look for on any of these points? We're going to use it mainly for home use (word processing, presentations, pictures, Internet, science program CDs, etc., NO gaming).

    I love Macs, but will be getting a PC ($1800 or less). Any brands I should stay away from? Customer service especially intolerable with any company? Too many problems with any model in particular?

    Weight and size are not really issues, as I'm only going to occasionally take it anywhere outside of the house. Aesthetics are not important here either. I'm looking for quality (something as problem-free as possible), and something that'll last me for a while. (So, should I get Bluetooth option?) I've heard of some laptops constantly crashing, and want to avoid anything that has that kind of history.

    Please share what your favorite laptops have been (what you liked about them), and what have been nightmares (and why).

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    All I can tell you is that laptops have come down in price and you can get a lot of machine for that amount of money.

    I've heard good things about Dell Studio XPS machines, which are available for $1200 on up.
    The screens are phenomenal.

    (I wonder why you don't want a Macbook, though. Great machines, windows compatible, within your budget ... and, as you say, you love Macs.)
     
  3. Principessa

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    I loved my Dell Inspiron laptop until, after 4 years of heavy use it crashed, taking my harddrive and it's contents to points unknown. :mad:
    Unless you are fluent in Urdu, Bengali, or Hindi their off shore, outsourced customer service is likely to be useless. That said I still consider them to be pretty reliable and would consider them again in the future.
     
  4. Ethyl

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  5. Smartalk

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    The concept of having a webcam built into your laptop sounds great no trailing wires, frees up a USB port. However you are very restricted in its mobility unable to rotate it left and right without rotating your laptop making access to the keyboard arkward.

    Just a thought worth considering
     
  6. vince

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    I considered the Dell XPS. I think they are good. Bought a Sony a year ago and have not had any issues. The screen is good and the design is nice. It came with a lot of bloatware like they all do. I ditched most of that stuff early on.

    Whatever you buy, make sure it has Windows 7. I've been using the beta version for four months and it is actually very good. 100x better and faster than than Vista. I have had maybe 2 crashes in four months and it runs AutoCad and Rhino and Photoshop like nobody's business. MS has finally got an OS that works.
     
  7. unique_exposure

    unique_exposure New Member

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    For $1800 you can get alot, at minimum the below-- you should think forward with the specs. I just bought a new desktop this past summer.

    Processors:
    Here is a list of processors in laptops, which (generally) ranks by speed with various benchmark tests.

    64 bit. So if its to be a future minded machine, a good Core 2 Duo at minimum. It should really be 64 bit for next generation operating systems (see the little X in the column on the graph).

    When checking out a specific laptop, try to get the CPU model number (eg T9900) and look it up in the list, some of the older Core 2 Duo's are actually pretty slow (and many are marketed as "fast" just by labelling "Dual core / Duo" when they really aren't).

    RAM:
    Since you are paying a good amount, a max RAM capability of 8GB+ is something you can shoot for (it can come with 2GB, but should be expandable to at least 8). DDR2 (or DDR3) type RAM.
    That'll set you up for a while with multitasking.

    Wireless
    As for as Wireless, the latest is "N." I have a N Router which gives great reception on the other side of the house (even out on a deck). With your 1800 budget you should expect b/g/N, or g/N, possibly with MiMo (multiple in/out).

    Ports
    Not everyone is on board with this technology, but eSATA ports are a "newer" type of port which can transmit data faster. I wouldn't say this is a must, but is a plus.

    .............

    Personally I'm a fan of HP over Dell for desktops. Dell is way overpriced in general.

    I've had 3 Dell desktops in 6-7 years and they all broke on me in some way or another. They were also the least expandable configurations (had to get a whole new motherboard just for more RAM capability, kind of thing).
    These days I like HP.

    I know its not a laptop, but HP released a nice model last spring with an i7-920 CPU in it (8 processing cores, better than "Dual core", and a good priced chip), 6 GB RAM, expandable to 12.
    Its probably the fastest thing I have ever used, and its for multimedia work.

    I got it for your price range 6 months ago, and go figure, now its $900 :/
    HP Pavilion Elite m9650f Desktop - NJ062AA#ABA - Buy.com
    I think HP plans to get the i7 into a laptop. There are some gaming laptops about 2 grand which have them already.

    Best of luck with whatever you purchase.
     
  8. Phil Ayesho

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    I would say this...
    Unless you really need to do serious work on the road... like, say design work, magazine layout or other stuff involving expensive applications, then fuck the $1500 laptop.

    Buy yourself an iMac or PC desktop if you do this kind of thing at home...

    But- if you do not use the machine for heavy intensive processing... if you are mostly surfing the net, doing emails, simple word porcessing and the like... then get yourself a NETBOOK
    These can run as cheap as $300, and will do most things that most folks do with a laptop.
    They are smaller, and in many cases, more rugged.


    Me- I have given up on laptops entirely... I have a desktop at home and office for serious design work, and everything else I need on the road, from email to internet flight booking and the like I can do from my iPhone.

    You might want to consider to not bother carrying a laptop for things that you can do with a handtop.
     
  9. Pitbull

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    For PC Laptops
    Have heard good things about Sony
    HP is a reliable brand (not the Compaq line)

    Dell is often touted as a brand to avoid
     
  10. Sassy

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    I'm in a mixed marriage - he's PC and I'm Mac. Since he's given in, I mean accommodated me on a lot of issues, I figured I could give in, I mean compromise with a PC. :wink:

    Wonder of wonders, my honey gifted me with a HP dv7 - it has everything I was looking for. I'm in love!

    The laptop came with Vista, but has a free upgrade to Windows 7. You can be sure I'll be there day 1. What were they thinking of when they developed Vista?! :eek:

    The only problem that I'm experiencing is that the disk drive is not recognizing my Microsoft Office 2003 holographic disk. Are the holographic disks double layered or something? My regular desktop had no problems. I've only loaded the software once, so I haven't gone over the 50 limit.

    The drive doesn't even pop up the "view files" when I put the disk in, however, I had no problems loading other software via the same method.

    Thanks, all, for your feedback!
     
  11. Pitbull

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    Being in the market for a laptop also
    Asked my computer Guru
    Again
    The warning - Not Dell

    Toshiba, Sony, HP.

    Macs came recommended but more expensive for equivalent computing power and features.

    Glad to see you got an HP
     
  12. Sassy

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    My computer is 64-bit, and rejects quite a few software, INCLUDING Microsoft Office Pro 2003. I either have to buy the version 11 of Office 2003 or upgrade to Office 2007 (which I don't care for).:mad:

    Isn't Microsoft coming out with Office 2010?
     
  13. Mem

    Mem
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    If you can wait I would wait for Windows 7 to come installed. I heard that they just had a major patch that was needed for it.

    I have a compaq Presario notebook with XP that I don't use often, but still works well. I am using a Gateway notebook with Vista as my main computer and it works fine.

    I hope to get a new notebook PC, but not too soon, hopefully by then the bugs in Windows 7 will be worked out.
     
  14. Sassy

    Sassy Member

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    I'm already registered for the free upgrade. Will this allow my laptop to accept the software? (I know the upgrade is for 64 bit, but will it still recognize Microsoft Office Pro 2003 version that I have?)

    Thanks.
     
  15. D_Portelay Porquesword

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    I have two Dell laptops Inspiron models, both screens on each had to be replaced after 3 years but over all they have been fine. One of those has XP and Ubuntu loaded on. (Learing Ubuntu right now)

    I have a Dell desktop Inspiron 531S that I LOVE, it has Vista loaded on it. After some modifications I have Vista behaving more like I want it too. Dell machines over all have been good for me and I love the duo core AMD processor in the desktop.

    Dell for me has been more affordable and suited my needs perfectly but I am ready to take the next step into Mac land for the grahpics work I will be doing in school.

    2,000 posts. Yaaay me!
     
  16. Vestigial

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    Favourite laptop: An old MacBook Pro.

    Worst laptops: Some of the ones I've encountered in stores. And the specifications do seem impressive, if you only look at the card and not the computer...
     
  17. D_Pubert Stabbingpain

    D_Pubert Stabbingpain Account Disabled

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    [Typing this on a Dell XPS M170 running MS XP 2002 SP3 and 276 updates in 4 1/2 years!]

    I realize you have already made your decision and are reaping the consequences of same but people put way too much emphasis on current cost of what they are buying and not long term time and costs. I was a HUGE Microsoft fan for years (since pre-Windows!) but when you add up the time lost and money spent trying to get their latest upgrades and endless patches to work with what you already have or to read your current files, you realize you are an unpaid beta-tester with a tech support avocation. I hope you have a money-back guarantee with your purchase.
     
  18. D_Pubert Stabbingpain

    D_Pubert Stabbingpain Account Disabled

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    As tempting as the new Netbook, booklet, and even laptops are, I am in 100% agreement with Phil Ayesho (except my touch phone is Nokia 5800 XpressMusic). Everything short of a desktop will not have enough RAM or processor speed to run that one program you just will have to have sometime in the next 3 years and you will be doomed. I problem I have always had with this laptop is needing to burn DVD's, usually for backups. Laptops simply are too slow and a common Dell problem is heat. After the first year, my battery died and I am sick and tied of haaving to stay tethered to an A/C cord to stay connected to WI-Fi. As MAC and PC's become more similar you have to look at other qualities. Despite their expense, I am really leaning toward a MAC. They just seem to be a lot more versatile with a lot less hastle.
     
  19. JustAsking

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    We do intensive software development on DELL M6300 laptops. They are heavy machines, but fast and reliable. I was on XP Pro, but just moved to Windows 7 64 bit.

    I have used an endless series of Dells for years, only upgrading when I needed better performance. They are like refrigerators, in that they just run forever no matter how much you beat them up.
     
  20. Sassy

    Sassy Member

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    Will Windows 7 allow me to use the Office 2003 or will I have to get the 2007? Is it even worth it? Should I wait for the 2010 to come out? (I'm NOT impressed by 2007.)
     
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