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Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 04:39 PM   #1
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Laptop Help

I need to buy a laptop. I will use it a lot, at home with an outboard monitor and keyboard if this is possible. I need built in cards for Wi-Fi, Wi-max or whatever. At least moderate battery life, and a decent screen for when I am using it in a coffee house, friend's house, etc.

I haven't used one in years, and wasn't too happy then, but I know things have changed radically since then.

Suggestions?

Thanks, Ha
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 04:52 PM   #2
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Re: Laptop Help

I am looking to purchase this one as soon as it goes back on sale for $699.00
http://www.compusa.com/products/prod...S4284_Notebook

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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 04:57 PM   #3
 
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Re: Laptop Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
I need to buy a laptop. I will use it a lot, at home with an outboard monitor and keyboard if this is possible. I need built in cards for Wi-Fi, Wi-max or whatever. At least moderate battery life, and a decent screen for when I am using it in a coffee house, friend's house, etc.

I haven't used one in years, and wasn't too happy then, but I know things have changed radically since then.

Suggestions?

Thanks, Ha
I owned a half a dozen of them and the most important feature for me is a small screen size. THis makes them truly portable. The one I currently use a 10.4 inch Sony - Not cheap though. I would not get a Screen bigger than 12 or 13 inches. If you are going to use this at home with a docking station, then you are free to get a large monitor for home. Lugging around a laptop with a Screen size of 14 inches or bigger is a pain in the Ass.

Second most important feature is a long battery life. - Look for 4-5 hours
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 05:47 PM   #4
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Re: Laptop Help

While something can be said for having a lightweight laptop and the corresponding small screen that comes with it, I have to say that getting a decent screen is important.

Right now I use a 14.4 inch screen now in a 4.4 lb laptop. I used to have a 15 inch screen in an 8 lb laptop. Too much iron. I don't bother with a docking station because I am usually laying in bed (like now), watching TV and reading the news on my laptop. I don't even bother with a docking station at work.

The width of keyboards (from letter 'A' to letter to the "enter" key is about the same on a laptop as on a fullsize keyboard. You just don't get the separate edit and number regions.

Another thing with laptops is that folks don't seem to know how to configure the touchpad to do real work. I see people adding a separate mouse all the time to run the cursor. If you configure the touch pad for "tap" and "double-tap" and "tap-and-drag" and "tap-in-the-upper-right" you can blow away mouse users.
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 07:44 PM   #5
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Re: Laptop Help

I vote with LOL for a laptop you use regularly around the house. DW uses one for working at home - she moves all over and would reject a docking station and regular monitor. For travel a smaller laptop is a plus. But I just quit them entirely and went with a Blackberry.
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 08:21 PM   #6
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Re: Laptop Help

Laptops frustrate me. They don't seem very durable or I am very hard on them.

Currently I have an IBM (or what was IBM). It is supposed to be very durable with some kind of interior protective bladder system. I went for a relatively lightweight, thin laptop with about a 14" screen. So far so good. But I have had it only about a year. Though it has survived several trips and a lot of Texas dust.

My previous lappie was an HP. No end of problems. I constantly was having to do hard reboots to get it to work. Our IP person at work finally gave up on the thing. Lasted barely more than a year. Before that I had a cowbox. Again, lots of problems and often needed to be fixed.

Frustrating, especially when you have poor trouble shooting skills.
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 08:32 PM   #7
 
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Re: Laptop Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Before that I had a cowbox. Again, lots of problems and often needed to be fixed.

Frustrating, especially when you have poor trouble shooting skills.
A cowbox? - Never heard of that one.

update: maybe a Gateway?
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 08:33 PM   #8
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Re: Laptop Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Laptops frustrate me. They don't seem very durable... Though it has survived several trips and a lot of Texas dust.
A "lot" of Texas dust? You were here what, maybe a week?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Pussy.
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 08:45 PM   #9
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Re: Laptop Help

I have an ACER Travelmate 4670, with a 15.4" WXGA screen. I use it here at home, once in a while at work, and it travels EVERYWHERE with me in either my Targus backpack or my new aluminum Samsonite attache. I REALLY love it!!!

14.33" wide X 10.82" deep X 1.4" high (would have been 1.1" high but I put in a bigger battery)

6.57 lbs.

120GB hard drive. 1GB memory.

My battery life is 5.5 to 6 hours....take 1 hour to recharge to 80%, 2 hours total to charge to 100% with computer off, 2.5 hours to recharge to 100% with computer in use.

Has builtin WIFI & IR, 4 USB's, RJ-11, RJ-45, firewire, and several other line-in/line-outs, yada-yada

It has a built in CD & DVD burner. 5-in-1 card reader (great with my digital camera)

It's ALOT nicer, faster, lighter than my aging Dell Inspiron 2650. (and it runs cooler, too)

(It cost $1149.99 at NewEgg.com when I got it back in June)
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 09:29 PM   #10
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Re: Laptop Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
A cowbox? - Never heard of that one.

update: maybe a Gateway?
Yup.
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 09:30 PM   #11
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Re: Laptop Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
A "lot" of Texas dust? You were here what, maybe a week?
Yeah, but your dust is really dusty.
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-14-2006, 09:45 PM   #12
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Re: Laptop Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martha
Yeah, but your dust is really dusty.
It's imported. We have it flown in daily from Mexico.

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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-15-2006, 02:51 AM   #13
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Re: Laptop Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
I need to buy a laptop. I will use it a lot, at home with an outboard monitor and keyboard if this is possible.
Is it a large high-rez monitor with a DVI input? If so, you really should get a laptop with DVI output, and that will limit your choices quite a bit.

Personally, I like the Dell E1705. Great performance, great battery life, great keyboard, solid as a rock, and it has a nice built-in 17" display as well as DVI (you can drive two external monitors or the internal + one external).

But the E1705 is a big mofo if you've never used a 17" lappy before. You didn't mention if small, light, and very portable were requirements.
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-15-2006, 07:53 AM   #14
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Re: Laptop Help

We have gone through several laptops lately. My kids in college asked for boxes to replace their laptops. Acer did not turn out to be very reliable. A contact inside Shell's IT system recommended not buying HP.

I have a laptop, though, because it takes up less room on the desk and it is very portable when I need to move.

Right now, I have a Lenovo (formerly IBM) which was on sale. It appears to be as stout as the old IBMs (I gather Lenovo used to be IBM's manufacturer). I think it has a 14" screen. The screen is fine. Laptop keyboards have been a headache in the past so I use a standard keyboard; I keep a spare keyboard in my apartment and at home so I don't have to lug the keyboard around. The only reason I take the laptop anywhere is when I need special software that is loaded on it. Otherwise, carry CDs.
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Re: Laptop Help
Old 12-15-2006, 09:18 AM   #15
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Re: Laptop Help

One thing you might keep in mind - try and pick a laptop which can run without having it's fan turn on intermittenly to cool it. Nothing bothers me (concerning laptops) more than the fan turning on every minute or so to vent the heat. This may be hard to detect in a store because of the ambient noise.
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