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Buying a new laptop

by 02clb / August 8, 2005 10:51 PM PDT

I am looking to buy a new mainstream, average size, laptop (not a huge desktop replacement, nor a super small/light ultraportable). I have had (very) bad experiences with Dell laptops in the past and so I am very hesitant to buy from them again. But, they do offer customization, and a lot of computer for the money (as does HP, I know).
I will mostly use the laptop for basic home/work use: photo editing (Adobe), email, financials, movies, word processing, etc. I will not be using it for games.
So my question is, based on the specs below, who makes a better notebook? Dell or HP? (or some other company I am not considering) I'd like to keep cost relatively low.

- 60GB HD (maybe 80?)
- 512 RAM (at least)
- Good screen - 14 or 15 inch (don't know anything about screens, except native resolution)
- 7-10 pounds
- Good graphics card preferred but not essential if I can do the photo editing with an average one (don't know anything about graphics cards).
- Good processor, at least 1.5GHz
- Standard DVD/CD-R(W) drives

Thanks so much for your help!

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So far, the notebook (hardware) turns out to not be the real
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 8, 2005 10:58 PM PDT
In reply to: Buying a new laptop

The real cost of PCs is not turning out to be the hardware. It's what happens when the machine doesn't boot or have some other software issue. The cost of taking it to some local shop can be in the hundreds of bucks. This brings up a few points.

Today's users are 'users' and not 'owners' of the product. An owner would familiarize themselves with the system and perform the rudimentary backup and recover from minor gaffes. Users will have to get support for any minor issue.

Users are more profitable to a company.

There are many fine machines to choose from, but support can be the breaking issue.

-> In closing, not all machines are available to all users. You may be in the US or Aus. Supply your short list of what you are considering.


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Systems I have read about
by 02clb / August 8, 2005 11:15 PM PDT

I haven't seriously looked at any systems as of yet, but have read stuff on:
Dell Inspiron 6000 (read some not so great things about these randomly turning off after a few weeks)
HP dv1000s
HP dv4000s

I welcome any suggestions on any good systems.

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Those are top rated.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 8, 2005 11:52 PM PDT

With many happy and few unhappy owners. The remote control DVD playback without booting is a bonus feature.

My short list is more the 64-bit units such as the Compaq v2312us, the r4000 line and the Livestrong models.


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by smiledoctor / August 9, 2005 12:06 AM PDT

Unlike you I've never owned a Dell. The nice thing about the Dell Inspiron 6000 is they are currently offering it with an Ati Radeon Graphics card for only $1,150.

Both the dv1000 and the dv4000 come with an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 graphics chip. From first hand experience I can honestly tell you that it might give you a hard time in photo editing as the color is off, images begin to pixelate when your computer gets low on power and it's just lacking when it comes to details.

An Ati radeon chip and probably an Nvidia geForce chip outperforms any Intel Graphics chip.

If you like hp, i'd recommend you check out the following desktop replacements, all with Ati Radeon Graphics chip:

1. Hp Compaq nc8230 (15.4", 5.8 lbs)
2. Hp Compaq nw8240 (15.4", 5.8 lbs)

1. HP zv6000
2. HP ze200z
3. HP l2000 limited edition livestrong notebook
4. Compaq r4000

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The color is off on every laptop I've used unless....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 9, 2005 12:16 AM PDT
In reply to: Re

The owner picks up a PANTONE SPYDER and calibrates the display.


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by smiledoctor / August 9, 2005 12:25 AM PDT

I see.

I've tried very hard to tweak the screen of my Compaq nx6110 withan Intel GMA 900. Sadly, it still pales in comparison to my old Compaq 2100 with an old Ati Graphics cheap (whose screen was also tweaked). Even among my friends, it's the laptops with the Ati Radeon screens which stand out.

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Stay away from Dell!
by Reni Perez / August 9, 2005 4:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Buying a new laptop

I'm also looking for a new laptop and it's to replace a Dell Inspiron 8600 which I've had for just over a year. The number of users who've had motherboard failure with this model and others is ridiculous. Check out the Dell community forum. I originally went for Dell due to the low price for the customization, but have paid for it by not having a computer I can rely on. I like what Compaq and HP are offering and their extended warranty isn't too dear.

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