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What do I want?

by Panda geek / March 18, 2007 10:40 AM PDT

Well I'm looking for a laptop, but I have absolutely no idea as to what to get. There are just too many choices, it was easy for me to buy a pda, but I'm going to need help here. A few reqs, or things i'd like to have. My budget is somewhat limited, I wouldn't like to go higher than $1000-$1500.

-Smallish, I don't want one of those big honkin media laptops, light and compact
-DVD drive, doesn't have to write cds or dvds
-SD reader would be nice, but not necessary
-Bluetooth, to connect to my Dell Axim
-Decent video card, nothing extraordinary, just enough to support my occasional gaming
-RAM, a fair amount, 1gb min preferably
-Hard drive doesn't have to be too big either, I used the 40gb on my old laptop for quite a while
-Nice keyboard, odd request, but I do a lot of typing
-One of those little gnobbles in the middle of the keyboard, not sure what it's called Happy but I'm awful with the touchpad
-Strong wifi thingy, not sure how much they vary in strength, but I'd like a good one

Well thats "all". Thanks.

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by Panda geek / March 18, 2007 10:42 AM PDT
In reply to: What do I want?

Also, I'd like a good amount of battery life. Above average. I'd be willing to sacrifice for a longer lasting power supply.

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A few thoughts...
by steve749 / March 18, 2007 11:04 AM PDT
In reply to: What do I want?

What are the video requirements on the "occasional gaming" games? Are they old games or newer games that may have high requirements like Oblivion for example?

Link to's graphics card guide which may be helpful. That site also has a way to screen for laptops that may be worth using to see what you can find through it and what you want.

Don't forget that most new laptops come with Windows Vista which requires a gig of RAM to start with so I'd imagine you'd likely want 2 GB plus look for video cards with dedicated memory rather than those that take from the system RAM. On the hard drive front, again Vista will likely take up quite a bit of space so that 100GB + shouldn't be hard to find.

Also, what makes a keyboard "nice"? Wireless, keys having LEDS in them, diamonds on them, or what?


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Video cards and diamond covered keys
by Panda geek / March 19, 2007 4:45 AM PDT
In reply to: A few thoughts...

I play a lot of games, but I'm not too demanding as to what I need. I've always had to run games at moderate-minimum graphics settings. Following the link you gave me I guess I would be looking for mid-range -> performance depending on price. Oblivion is a game I play, on my windows xp desktop with a mere 512 Mb of ram and an nvidia 6200. How much more would vista tax my machine?

Does vista require 1 gb to start? I thought it was 512 mb. How much more would 2gb cost over 1gb? Will video cards say if they have dedicated memory? How much space does vista take up on the hard drive? Is it still possible to get a laptop with xp? Would that be a good idea?

By a "good" keyboard I meant something along the lines of good tactile feed back. They keys "feel good". Sorry if thats not very helpful but I'm not completely sure how to describe it.

Lots of questions Happy

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Depends on which version of Vista
by steve749 / March 19, 2007 5:27 AM PDT

If you don't go for the Aero interface then it may not need as much firepower.

Vista's minimum is 512 MB though I wonder how many people run just the minimum and are happy with that as for example I think XP's minimum supported is 64 MB of RAM with 128 MB recommended that you are at 4 times that, fwiw. Often I've seen it recommended to have 2 GB of RAM on Vista machines for gamers. Vista needs 20 GB of hard drive space to install I believe. You may still find some laptops with XP and if you want to go that route good luck as they will likely get more rare among new machines.


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Vista or XP
by Panda geek / March 19, 2007 6:26 AM PDT

What would you recommend vista or xp? I'm not sure how much vista adds, and I haven't heard many good things about it. Aside from looking pretty...

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At the moment....
by steve749 / March 19, 2007 6:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Vista or XP

I'd likely recommend XP with the caveat that in a few years you'll probably want to replace the laptop and so that would be the time to research if Vista is really here to stay or will Vienna be coming soon as well as if there are any Vista-only games that you want. My current laptop is nearly a year old and I plan on getting a couple more years out of it before moving onto a newer model though I do game on my desktop computer where it is easier to upgrade components, etc.


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Vista runs fine pre-installed.
by Igiveup2 / March 19, 2007 6:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Vista or XP

Once you get used to some different control features it's a little nicer to use than XP. You must have adequate hardware for it - 2 GB RAM for all but the lightest users. 1 GB machines also tend to need their startup configurations simplified in order to run Vista smoothly. The problems that are giving people fits tend to be issues with upgrade installs and with software/driver incompatibility with Vista. I would suggest checking all the software you use for compatibility with Vista on the Microsoft website. If Vista puts a big dent in your software inventory, you would probably be better off going with XP.

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by Panda geek / March 19, 2007 8:29 AM PDT

I see many games now have the "games for windows" thing at the top, with the vista symbol thing. Does that mean they will only work on Vista? Games such as supreme commander will only work on vista?

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What you want...
by buddhak0n / March 20, 2007 2:41 PM PDT
In reply to: What do I want?

Well after being a "PC" guy exclusively for about what 12-15 years now...

Your answer is so simple it's elementary Dr Watson..

YOU WANT A MACBOOK PRO. I'm sorry but with Apple giving in and going Intel / Windoze compatible..

The MacBook Pro's are without a doubt the best machines out there.

I've been using this thing for about 2 months straight and I can't put it down... EVERYTHING and I mean everything works...

And sorry haven't peaked at Vista yet but OS X Tiger blows away XP... It's just better ...

Sorry with backwards XP compatibility.. The MacBook Pro is the sweetest machine in existence.

It's downright Art.... and It works better than any HP or Dell you can find... I have a high end HP laptop I use along with the Mac and the MAC without a doubt dominates my time.

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by buddhak0n / March 20, 2007 2:46 PM PDT
In reply to: What do I want?

Sorry didnt know you wanted the little Dingy in the middle...

If that's the case get yourself a Lenovo Thinkpad... used to be IBM Thinkpad..

But for everyone else out there wondering if the Macs really ARE better... I'm sorry to have to admit after years of giggling at the Die hard Mac crowd.

The MACS are just better... JUST The bundled ware alone puts any windoze machine to shame.

For some of the stuff I can do with a few clicks... WIndows I'd spend 3 days installing and configuring and reconfiguring and checking for conflicts and reinstalling and reconfiguring.

the MAC? Works right out of the box.

And I've owned more HP's than probably some of you can even comprehend.

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by Panda geek / March 21, 2007 7:26 AM PDT
In reply to: Correction.

I don't really want a mac....

Any recommendations for a thinkpad? Good experiences with Lenovo?

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by cyberj / March 25, 2007 7:45 PM PDT
In reply to: Thinkpad?
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I got it.
by mongoose_1_1 / January 7, 2008 11:18 PM PST
In reply to: Thinkpad?

You would probably want a high spec Thinkpad R61. Or an average Thinkpad T61p.

I believe that choosing the high specs for a Thinkpad T61p is as close as it can get to a MacBook Pro. A nice service center, 2.4 ghz Core 2 Duo, 2 GB ram, a big harddrive, 15.4 inch display, and an NVidia Quadro N45 (or something can remember, it is just under the macbook pro's graphic card), and a nice downloadable software from thinkpad. Honestly I use a low budget R60 but I must say that the software neatly tucks all the ugliness of an XP.

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Just wondering
by eldernorm / February 21, 2008 10:22 PM PST
In reply to: Thinkpad?

If you do not like Macs, no problem. I believe that each person should get what works for them and makes them happy.

But I do wonder what the basic inner thoughts are when I hear that phrase. ??????????

If not a Mac, pick whatever machine looks cute for the cheapest cost. I find most of the PC options are just looks anyways. Its the same software no matter which version you buy and with the IBMs now made by China, the Compacts made by HP, etc, and all of them dark colored and square in shape, I cannot tell them apart.

PS. Macs for the last 5 years = No virus and NO SPYWARE. ( jump for joy. HappyHappy ) This spyware is driving me crazy on my work machine -- Dell Insprion)


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