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General discussion

HP Pavilion zd8000 vs. Dell Inspiron 9300

by straca / March 6, 2005 7:52 PM PST

I am deciding between these desktop replacements.

The following are the specs:

HP zd8000
P4 w/ HT 3.2Ghz
1 GB DDR SDRAM, 400 MHz
60 GB 7200 RPM HD
8x DVD +/- RW/R & CD-RW
256 MB ATI Radeon x600
17" WXGA BrightView(1440x900)
Windows XP Pro
$1,854.99 (free S/H; Costco.com)

Dell 9300
Pentium M 750 (1.86 Ghz/533Mhz FSB)
1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM 533 MHz 2 Dimm
60 GB 7200 RPM HD
8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW0 with double-layer write capability
256 MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800
17" Ultra Sharp XGA (1440x900)
Windows XP Pro
$2,032 + S/H (Dell.com)

The PC will be used primarily for data processing and streaming, DVD viewing, Internet surfing (need compability since I travel a lot, mostly in Europe, N. America, Australia once in blue moon). I do not play games now. Weight is not much of an issue, performance and good quality PC is.

This would be my first HP or Dell. I owed Toshiba before and was very happy with it. But reading the negative comments plus they seem to always throw in some cheaper stuff and I want faster RPM HD (only Qosmio has 5400 RPM HD) makes me look at these two laptops.

My questions are:
1. Which processor is better: Pentium 4 or the Centrino "Sonoma"?
2. I really like the HP keyboard (this keyboard should be on every 17" laptop), but am not too crazy about the weight, heat issues and P4.
3. Video memory: Dell offers ATI x300 with 128 MB, NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800. HP ATI x600. I may not need 256 MB, so how x300 compares to x600?
4. Is it really worth to spend extra $200 for Windows Media Center (HP)?

Which one would you recommend and why? Thank you all for comments.

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HP ZD8000

I've never had a Dell. But I just brought the ZD8060 which is basiclly the same but only with a 100 gig hard drive. I would reject either of the systems you mentioned because of the hard drive. If you are going to have that much power might as well for a few more dollars get the bigger hard drive. The media center yeah but only if you are going to be using desktop replacement in a room you can run a cable line and and want to watch tv. Other then that it's useless. Unless want to move it around and use like tivo. To record shows and burn to dvd. I brought this computer because of the screen. And as a computer it's great so far I've had it about 1 month. It's heavy and get's hot and only about 1 hour and a half battery life. This is my first lap and the only downfall to me is the battery life. But I'm not using this for traveling either, just goes around the house so not a big deal. I think the screen is the deciding point as everything else can get a lot cheaper with a smaller screen. Another thing about the media center can use it to play music but and a big but to me music has to be loaded/ripped into windows media player. I have 1,000 songs on itunes and can't listen to any of it through the media center. Of course learned this after I had ripped all the music to itunes. And you can't bring it back into media player without re-ripping it all. Yet if you add to media player first can also put it in itunes.

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Thanks for the input
by straca / March 8, 2005 9:08 PM PST
In reply to: HP ZD8000

The HD size is not as important as the RPM (by the way, I could only select the 7200 RPM HD from costco.com website, not hp.com). I used to live with an old 2GB HD in my desktopn for something like "ever", so 60GB would be OK (my old Toshiba had 30GB, and I never got over 10GB used space). Plus I do not download songs. I do have a library of CD's from my digital camera and I am good at keeping my HD in reasonable shape.
The media center does not make much sense to me, either. If I have to have cable or satellite connection, I usually find TV attached to it.
I have not seen the new 9300 (saw 9200) and I like the non-reflective screen better. My eyes are too sensitive to any reflection, etc. (I can't use CRT anymore). I do like the HP screen, though. Have you had any problems with the reflection (even in your home), eyestrain? I may sit in front of it for 8+ hours a day?
HP also offers 17" WXGA + Wide Viewing (1440x900) for $25 less. Is this the non-reflective screen?

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NO
by mhpth / August 29, 2005 3:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the input

i am using the computer u are talking about rit now and it is very reflective . Thoguh it is good for movies because it is high definition
the bad part is because it doesnt have a built in tv tuner . it has an attachtment that requires antoher powers supply . Get the toshibia qosimi with the built in tv tuner.
Microsoft Specialist

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Do you mean the HPzd8000?
by LaCazadora / September 9, 2005 11:50 AM PDT
In reply to: NO

If so, I am purchasing the HPzd8000 and am torn between the 17.0" WXGA+ Wide Viewing (1440x900) and the 17.0" WXGA+ BrightView 1440x900. I am not sure I understand the difference between the two screens. I currently have a DELL Dimension 4600 with a 17.0" E171FPBb Flat Panel Display and love it for surfing the web, however watching movies is challenging at times. The picture is a bit dark and there?s a glare when the lights are on. Please help.

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Re: HP Pavilion zd8000 vs. Dell Inspiron 9300
by Davidl1114 / March 8, 2005 3:37 AM PST

Hey straca, I must say that I'm quite jealous of the specs that you've configured. I actually found myself in the same situation, deciding between these two exact notebooks. In fact, we both seem to have the same needs and uses out of our laptops, so I hope I can help. Though my opinion may be biased, bear with me, I have done a lot of research on this.

First, you need to weigh (literally, because the HP is five pounds heaver than the Dell) whether you want a notebook that delivers performance, or one that is more suitable for on-the-go. It already seems as if the notebook will not be solely a desktop replacement, so unless you are certain that weight will not be a problem, I would ask you to look again at mobility issues. Deciding which processor is "better" depends on your definition, and what you are looking for. Since you've already decided on one of these monstrous notebooks, and since you're looking for pure performance, I would say that the HP wins out in terms of pure performance. After all, it's 3.2GHz HT, I have no doubt that it will deliver greater performance, though that is not to say that the Sonoma is not already plenty powerful for your needs.

Next, because you say that you will be doing travelling, you will need to think about heat issues and battery life. The HP is known to have heat issues due to the amount of power it must suck up to run the processor, and by corollary, battery life no doubt will be a problem. I would say that the Dell outperforms here. I've noted that one of the users who posted a response claimed his HP had one an a half hours. From all the user reviews of the Dell, I have heard an average of about three to three and a half hours. In addition, because it uses less voltage, the Dell will run cooler, and it will be more comfortable to use on the go. Believe me, I speak from experience when I say that a cooler notebook is much more comfortable to work with. I have not done any research on this, so this is a question that I would like answered, that is, if anyone is more knowledgeable than me: Do notebooks like the HP run a risk of overheating? If so, will overheating run the risk of damaging parts of the notebook? Though I don't have the answer, this may be something to consider.

Your question about graphics cards is rather intriguing. I would say that for your purposes, the x300 is fine. Really, if you don't know the difference between the two, then it probably isn't necessary to get the x600. My strongest argument is that because you will do no gaming, there isn't a great necessity for a powerful video card.

Lastly, because you say that you will be primarily doing data processing, no, it is not worth it getting the Windows Media Edition. Though you will be watching dvd's, the Media Edition is generally suited for video editing, which, for you purposes, is not necessary.

If you were to look at final cost, the HP will run you around $2000 after taxes, give or take maybe $20 depending on where you live. The Dell will no doubt run you around $2100 after taxes (shipping may be free), again give or take, if you end up downgrading the NVIDIA. For such a large investment, I would not consider the price difference very significant.


My personal opinion is that if you are trying to decide between the two based on the criteria you've listed, the Dell is plenty powerful for your needs, and because it runs cooler, it will better suit you.

Take your time to think about this, and I'm sure you've read the reviews of the ZD8000 too. The 8000 is not a bad computer, in fact it scores higher than the 9300 according to cnet. User reviews on the 8000 are very good, while the user reviews on the 9300 generally compain of a bright screen or of bad customer service experiences, not of bad performance. Keep in mind though, that these reviews are based off of accessories and specs that you will not necesarily configure for your own computer.

That said, you've probably guessed that I've opted for the Dell. I actually configured my 9300 with very similar specs. It is supposed to arrive around the 22nd of March, so if you are not in a terribly urgent need to get a new computer, and if you would still like to know what I think after I get it, please email me, bruinyahoo AT hotmail DOT com. Apologies for the paranoia about lending out my email address. I would be glad to follow up on this if you will have my opinion.

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Dell Coupons
by bill_reinwald / March 8, 2005 3:53 AM PST

One thing that might *really* swing your opinion is the new coupons out for the Dell 9300. You can get $600 off instantly using coupon code V929$6QK7GHP3J

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Coupon only good for $33
by straca / March 8, 2005 8:49 PM PST
In reply to: Dell Coupons

Thank you for the coupon idea, but when tried, it changed the checkout price from $2,032 to $2,599 (free S/H). So the savings is $33. I do not know why it did that, but it may be better to call than use Dell's website.

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Try this coupon then...
by afrancksen / March 10, 2005 6:24 AM PST

If it's that much, use coupon code ?W$W$3K$D5R90Q for $750 off $1999 or more. I'm looking at buying a system like this myself.

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Is it still valid?
by straca / March 15, 2005 8:59 PM PST

I tried to use the coupon, but all I got was an error.
Is still good or is there another one to use?

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Thanks for the detailed reply
by straca / March 8, 2005 10:34 PM PST

I have done all the reading on the subject I could handle, all the reviews, opinions, etc. As I mentioned I had Toshiba Satellite before and was very happy with it. But for my needs I would have to buy Qosmio, and though great system (except the dual HD and old Pentium M), if I wanted DVD player, I would buy one. Plus the price difference is great and their support lacking (once I had to resolve an issue with someone in Turkey; not much fun plus no solution was found).

The heat issue concerns me. I do not like to sit in fridge, so my PC is comfortable. I have read review on zd8000forums.com and some people recommend Tagrus cool pad. So that means something else to take lug around. What I have done in the past is getting 4 small size Post It pads and put them under the PC. Stable, light, cheap and the PC has all the air in needs.

Regarding the dedicated video, the x600 is not available on the 9300, it's either x300 (and I could not find any info on it on ATI website) or the GeForce 6800. I may never need this much video memory, but once you buy laptop without it, you can't add it latter (unlike memory, if expandable, of course).

Cost wise, they are pretty much the same. By the way, what resolution did you get on your Dell, the XGA or UXGA? What about other specs?

I will keep your email and contact you for updates. My current situation is, that I may need the PC next week or maybe next month.

And remember, only the paranoid survive :-).

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Dell
by culture_of_one / March 19, 2005 11:49 AM PST

Personally, I'd like to hear how your experience with Dell goes. I think you've selected the hardware for all the right reasons. What I'm really interested in hearing is whether or not you have any issues with Dell (late delivery, DOA, not what you ordered, etc.), and if/how they resolve them. (BTW, I really do hope that everything goes smoothly for you!) Let's see if Dell is making any effort to counter all the negative reviews their quality assurance and customer service have gotten lately. They promised they would, you know? Silly

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laptop choice, look at 15.4
by ehellgren / March 8, 2005 11:19 AM PST

I would not go with either for your needs. Unless you work out regularly. I have the Compaq X6000 custom built for gaming (going to gaming parties) and watching DVDs and after adding the power supply and some items I need to my backpack Im around 15-18 lbs, if your running around traveling that will get to you after awhile, even with a good padded backpack. I would recommend a laptop with a 15.4 screen and either P4m, P4 w/HT or the new AMD 64, you get the best of both worlds, shave some weight from a 17" but still get a big screen and make sure you get one with at least 64 meg video. For your needs it doesn't matter if its shared or deicated. The key thing is at least 512k ram and 40-60gig hd. Spin speed of the HD helps in performance, so go for at least 5400rpm or 7200. Some PC's have DDR, so you can order a PC with only 256meg and buy offline cheaper another 512k, the new DDR2 is not so cheap as its new higher speed memory. I search pricewatch.com and found a 512k ddr2 for $120, ddr is half that but go with name brand, ex: samsung, micron, etc. As for name brand PC's? Im happy with my Compaq X6000, love the fit and finish, color of silver and black top looks nice and since Compaq was bought out by HP, service has been great and its build quality is way better with HP engineering. Dell is a good choice as I just sold my Inspirion 8200 and never had any issues. I looked at the 9200, but it was over 2k with the same config as my X6000. I was really tired of black PC's & wanted a newer and faster desktop and read alot about HP/Compaq service and build quality....so I am very happy so far. Good luck!

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Couple of questions about your x6000
by straca / March 8, 2005 9:29 PM PST

Thank you for your reply. If I am not mistaken, the x6000 is the Compaq version of HP zd8000. These are basically the same systems, so the weight should be very close. Why did you decide to go with Compaq rather than HP?
I am concerned about the weight issue, too (one reason why I do not use my SLR and replaced it with a small pockets size digital camera), but my problem is I truly need the 17" screen so I can display all the data I want. Actually if I could by reasonably priced and light 19" notebook I probably would.
I know I may not need all the dedicated video, but as with all notebooks, once you buy one without it, that's it. No changing your mind in the future.
One thing I do on my PC while I work is play CD's. How are the JBL speakers as compared to Harman/Kardon on the HP? My old Toshiba had HK and they were great.

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RE- Couple of questions about your x6000
by ehellgren / March 17, 2005 7:24 AM PST

as for speakers they are about even. I went with Compaq as I went to a local store and held both in my hands, check fit and finish and felt the Comapq was a tad sturdier and I liked the whey the cover closed over the HP looking like a pair of lips closed, plus I liked the mix of silver and black on the Comapaq. I never was a Compaq fan but since HP took over and I have a friend who works for them he said they reengineer there PC line and they are much improved. Dont get me wrong, I was ready to buy the HP8000, but I saved about $200 on the same config between Compaq & HP (compaq being cheaper) didnt need media center that can be ordered from HP. I would probadly recommend either, right now 3/17/05 you cant order my config from Compaq, they are out of stock on 60 gig HD 7200rpm drives & ATI X600 256 video cards and they rasied some of there prices. WIN XPPro now is $69, when I ordered it was $49, etc. If you want a great 17" today, you need to order the HP8000, it lists all options and I recommend getting the ATIx600 256 card, for $50 over 64 meg is a no brainer. I would order it with 256 mb ram, then go out and buy another 512 from someone else as HP charges too much. I would also order the 60 gig 4200rpm ($25 upgrade) then use it for storage or sell it on ebay or craigs list and buy the 60 gig hd @7200rpm, that adds another 10-15% performance. Any other questions just email me at ehellgren@yahoo.com be more than happy to hel pout anyone trying to understand what is the best connfig for laptops.

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Savings
by togus / March 8, 2005 9:43 PM PST

I checked wtih Dell, the coupon was good for $600 off the price for 9300 configured at over $1,600. The free upgrades were still good, but any other offers could not be layered on. The purchase must be made through the net, and there were only 3000 coupons to be honored. Still looks like a good deal to me.

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It's a good deal, but ...
by straca / March 8, 2005 10:03 PM PST
In reply to: Savings

I checked the fine print, too. But when trying to actually check out (same config), the price was changed from $2,032 to $2,599, so beware! Try it.
The devil is in the detail, I guess. Like raising the price $30 backs so you can have a $35 off sale next week. Ok, why bother.

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Why they change the config option
by straca / March 8, 2005 9:32 PM PST

I just check Costco.com website, and they no longer offer the 1GB memory (hp.com does!). On the other hand, I could only select the 7200 RPM HD from costco website, not hp. Go figure.
That is one thing that drives me crazy. You configure the PC, wait for few days to decide and when ready to buy, you can?t get the system you want.
Nuts!!!!!!!!!!!

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HP or DELL
by ghinnant2005 / March 13, 2005 7:13 AM PST

I have owned a DELL for the past two years and would be getting another if they had a bigger screen and faster processer. I just got an HP zd8000 and I can tell you this, the support with DELL is MUCH better than HP. If you call HP supprt you will get some voice over IP line to somewhere in India, your support will come from someone who can hardly speak english and I had to explain my problem from beginning to end to 5 different service people before I finally got fed up and returned one of the componants to HP(Port Replicator Hard Drive kit that didnt work)

Good Luck to you

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HP
by culture_of_one / March 19, 2005 12:03 PM PST
In reply to: HP or DELL

I've heard that HP's customer service is practically non-existent, but that they were compensating by making stuff with fewer issues. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

My wife and I own an HP printer...and I'm frequently amazed at how many things HP has thought of to make self-diagnostics and self-service better. I've never had to contact HP customer service. Even when there were issues like software conflicts, paper jams, and the like (all "My Bad", by the way), it was just click-click and things were fixed. I'm thinking, if their laptops are the same, maybe I'll try out an HP. (Currently have an IBM...no complaints except the price.)

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HP Pavilion zd8000 vs. Dell Inspiron 9300 - #2
by pcfitness / March 13, 2005 11:44 AM PST

1. Which processor is better: Pentium 4 or the Centrino "Sonoma"?

entrino is better for mobile use. The p4 is for of what I would consider a workhorse processor. As far as processors go they both are great! Get the best that your bank account can afford.


2. I really like the HP keyboard (this keyboard should be on every 17" laptop), but am not too crazy about the weight, heat issues and P4.

Even though the compaq x6000 is pretty much the same laptop as the zd8000 for some strange reason the x6000 was supposed to run cooler than the zd8000. I read that in a forum somewhere online.


3. Video memory: Dell offers ATI x300 with 128 MB, NVIDIA GeForce Go 6800. HP ATI x600. I may not need 256 MB, so how x300 compares to x600? The x600 is faster than the x300, better for gaming etc. The Go 6800 is better than both. Not by much but it is better.


4. Is it really worth to spend extra $200 for Windows Media Center (HP)? No! Unless you will use it as a Tivo then sure. But most people I know use their computers for business and games. There are other products on the market to do the same things that windows media center does. Like Tivo, Comcast's DVR box etc. Just remember, there is a fee for everything, even to take advantages of certain features in WME. By y Tivo for $49 on eBay and order Win XP Home on your laptop and save $200...lol

Which one would you recommend and why? It depends on what your going to use it for. In fact, that is such a huge question that it should be a separate area...;) j/k.

pcfitness
www.expertcomputerhelp.com

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Thank you for your opinions ...
by straca / March 14, 2005 9:47 PM PST

From all the posts I am think I will go with Dell. Strangely enough, when I checked their website the last time, the WME was less expensive (by about $40) than Windows Pro. Go figure.
I am though curious about the Compaq x6000. Have not seen it in person, but I think Fry's may have it.

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Dell Coupon
by bill_reinwald / March 16, 2005 3:04 PM PST

Are you sure you're copying the coupon code correctly, its "W$N7BQKNQBFM42", don't include the quotes - I just checked it, it still shows as being good as of 3/16 at 11PM PST, although maybe only for $500 now.

Go check www.techbargains.com to be sure you're getting the entire coupon code, its at the very bottom of the page now.

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Compaq X6000 vs zd8000
by ehellgren / March 17, 2005 7:25 AM PST

check frys and compUSA, they both had them when I was in the local stores.

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Input on the HP zd8000
by zaran1 / April 7, 2005 6:07 AM PDT

My wife and I just ordered and received the zd8000. I will say that I am pleased with the style and layout of the laptop, it has all the features you need and the keyboard is excellent. Now everyone complains about heat and I completely agree that I wouldn't want to have this laptop directly on my lap for long periods of time. That said if your fine using a table or desk heat shouldn't be a problem. I havn't seen any sort of performance problems with the laptop related to heat in any way. The X600 with 256 ddr2 ram is awesome. We play EQ2, Counterstrike and it seems to be able to run all the high end games at medium-medium high quality levels with no impact on performance. That said you can't crank doom 3 all the way up to full settings. I can't get Doom 3 to run well on my Desktop AMD 64 3400+ with an X800XT PE when I have it cranked all the way up to full settings either.

The laptop does exactly what it is supposed to do. It runs games very well at decent settings and is a perfect replacement for a desktop. If you want something a little more mobile the Pentium M's chips do consume less power. If you upgrade a 9300 to the Pentium M 2 Ghz with 1 Gig ram and the 256 6800 then your looking a $2700 which is quite a step up from the $2000 that our HP cost. You might as well get a XPS Gen 2 if your spending 2500+. XPS Gen 2 is like 8.6 pounds and the HP Zd8000 is 9.3 I believe so not much of a weight difference if that is a concern for you. For what you want the computer for I would go for a cheaper zd8000. As an avid gamer I'm considering getting the XPS Gen 2 and letting my wife use the zd8000 since she is more into Sims and less into high end 3d games. Once more I'll say the Zd8000 runs all these high end games rather well but if you want to tweak out 10-20 FPS more the Gen 2 is probably the way to go.

Anyway I know it's not a zd8000 vs XPS Gen 2 article but given the small price difference I'm not sure why you would buy the 9300 when you can spend 200 dollars more and come out with a 2.13 ghz Pentium M and a Nvidia 6800 ULTRA.

Good luck


BTW stats on our HP Zd800 which cost approx $2000 are standard with the following exceptions.

Processor: 3.4 ghz Pentium 4
Video Card: X600 256 MB
Ram: 1 Gig
Monitor: WSXGA 17 inch
Hard Drive: 100 GB
Optical Drive: Dual Layer DVD Burner

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Reply for Laptop ???
by HP_Fan / March 19, 2005 10:47 AM PST

I would take the HP. Dell is having a little power issues.The adapters are not made veryt good. If you ever want to use the internet in a hotspot, the Centrino would be the best choice. The Windows
Media Center is for entertainment. I hope you pick the HP computer.

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My HP cooks my lap
by no-exit / April 4, 2005 4:17 PM PDT

I got the ZD8060 2 months ago and all was well at first. It was so pretty that I didnt notice the weight and heat. Its 2 months later and the honeymoon is over. My lap is well done and I've had quite the workout luggin this thing just around the house. I dont travel much but I would NEVER take this thing anywhere. It would die in an hour without an outlet. You cant work on a plane or in an airport nor can you watch a full movie. Its almost senseless. I had a power outage for 2 hrs last month and it was ridiculous... my laptop died.

It's still pretty and I'm not getting rid of it... but I ordered an IBM thinkpad tonight so I actually have a mobile laptop instead of 10lb stove.

Not trying to deter you, just my experience so far. By the way, its not like I didnt know what I was getting, we have 5 laptops in the house and the 6th one is on its way now.

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Fujitsu N6000
by ruper109 / April 5, 2005 9:30 AM PDT

Have you looked at the Fujitsu Lifebook N6000 series?? It's basically the same package as with the ZD8000, 17"widescreen, full keyboard/keypad, 3.2g processor, 1gbRam, etc. But the screen quality is much better, and looks like an overall more quality product than the HP counterpart. Not taking anything from the ZD, as I'm between the HP and Fujitsu as well, but the N6000 seems like a more finished product.

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BEWARE of Dell Coupons .. not all they crank up to be ?
by straca / April 6, 2005 3:03 AM PDT

I decided to get the 9300 today. I found a coupon last Friday for 35% off selected Inspiron Notebooks $1499+. My PC comes to $2679 and when I was ready to check out I found the coupon is no good (yes, they have 30% off, but the 5% comes to almost $134 and would pay for good chunk of the sales tax). Upset does not come close. When I called Dell, they told me they are usually conditions attached, such as number of PC?s sold, but I could find no such info. Also, if the coupon expires on e.g. 4.1.05, good luck using it on that day, because the coupon actually expires 3.31.05. Sad

I think it?s a bad business practice and it seems the company is playing games. Perhaps I am crying over hill of beans, but this makes me wonder how Dell will treat me should I have a real problem.

Maybe the time is right to wait if HP will come out with Centrino version of zd8000 and say good riddance to Dell. Happy

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Umm...
by Fredrick_NP / April 6, 2005 7:35 AM PDT

Ok I agree the whole expires the day before is garbage but, after you enter a coupon there is a option that comes up where you can click to view details about that coupon (This is all done in the shopping cart.)

You shoud read more carefully.

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I would ? if the info was there!
by straca / April 6, 2005 8:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Umm...

The place where I find these coupons does not show any ?fine print?. On the Dell website all you get is ?coupon expired?.

I have no problem with the coupon rules, I would just like to know them before. That?s all.

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