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General discussion

Best Laptop for $1000

Nov 26, 2005 9:50PM PST

I'm thinking of getting my wife a laptop as a Christmas present, but the problem is that I am a senior programmer for a living and don't know how to compromise. My last desktop was around $2500 ... and I'm afraid to buy a Celeron (or equivalent), go cheap on RAM, etc.

What I am looking for is a laptop that for under $1000 (preferable, although I could I guess go to 1100 or 1200 if its worth it) that:

1. Runs Windows XP well
2. Would be used for surfing, email, MS Word, etc
3. Has a decent, readable screen
4. Not too heavy
5. Reasonable battery length (more than 45 mins)
6. Wireless-capable
7. Reliable
8. Will have hardware that will last longer than 6 mos.

I started looking at the HP dv1000, reviews were solid but not great.

My perfect scenario is her using the laptop around the house at will, being able to surf while watching TV on the couch, etc, and me not being in Hell dealing with it's shortcomings and problems all the time Happy

Thanks in advance!


Discussion is locked

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So far I have perused ...
Nov 26, 2005 9:59PM PST

The HP dv1000 and the Dell Inspiron 6000. Both get around a 7.5 user rating, which as I said isn't great, but not bad.

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If that 7.5 was from Cnet, that's quite good....
Nov 26, 2005 11:41PM PST
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epinions is another interesting place for reviews
Dec 2, 2005 5:13AM PST

It's made FOR reviews, so ppl have wrote away, uninhibited by 1000 word reviews or restrictions of not including any links or mention competing products.

Another cool thing is u can comment on ppl's reviews. Definately not THE source for reviews, but worth checking out noneoftheless

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Thinkpad R series
Nov 26, 2005 10:50PM PST
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(NT) (NT) that IBM kicks the hp to the curve.
Nov 26, 2005 11:45PM PST
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Now there's a $599 sales model...
Nov 28, 2005 2:04AM PST
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Without Wireless Though?
Nov 28, 2005 4:42AM PST

Looks like the $599 deal was for a Celeron without wireless. The $799 one had wireless and a Pentium M.

Wish I could test drive them all for a few days each to see which ones were dogs Happy

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There are no Thinkpad dogs.
Nov 28, 2005 5:35AM PST

You can go buy Office Depot and check out Thinkpads...they now carry them. You'll be able to get a sense for the quality of the build. Type on a Thinkpad keyboard, try to flex (twist) the screen, tap on the back of it, then do the same to some of the other laptops OD carries. I think you'll quickly see why Thinkpads are considered the gold standard in laptops.

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IBM Support???
Dec 4, 2005 9:24AM PST

In the past, I've enjoyed Dell laptops. I'm starting to hear good things about the Thinkpads from IBM, but what I haven't heard is "how is the support from IBM". I've heard a lot of horror stories about Dell and HP support. Any one had any issues with support from IBM?

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No change
Dec 5, 2005 4:38AM PST

Support for Lenovo ThinkPads is still being handled by IBM Global Services...he standard by which all others are measured.

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Get ACER!!!
Nov 27, 2005 4:33AM PST

Get the acer 4402WLMI all for 1117 at, it has a AMD turion ML-30 1.6ghz processor, 512 1 dimm of ram, ATI mobility radeon x700, can play all the games out there!!!(WOW)100 gig of ram(Impressive), 3+ hours of battery life(good), 15.4 inch wxga 1280*800 display, dvdrw burner, and xp pro!!! It also has a wireless card. Thats cheap. Acer is a pretty reliable brand and it can last at least more than one year.

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Try the HP DV4000
Nov 28, 2005 3:16AM PST

I have read some good reviews on this one. It will run around $1000 if you get the Intel graphics chipset which would be fine as long as your wife is not planning on any gaming. If she is planning on gaming some then I would spring for the ATI x700 chip that would increase the cost to around $1200. Also, maybe the HPze2000 would be good for your needs. It would give you the AMD 64 Turion which would "future proof" you when Windows Vista comes out. Anyway, just some suggestions. Good luck with your purchase!

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I love my Dv4000, but for you I'd recommend the...
Nov 28, 2005 3:46AM PST

Dv1000. Great computer, small and light (14 inch sidescreen, under 5.5 lbs)good battery life, great display and gets good reviews from people who own one. The Dv4000 is heavier, a 15.4 and is good for gaming (with the X700 GPU).

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Nov 28, 2005 4:41AM PST

So far everyone recommends something different! Happy

Two votes for the HP dv1000
Two votes for the IBM Thinkpad R Series
Two votes for the Dell Inspiron 6000

Heh ...

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(NT) (NT) IBM all the way. the dell is the perfect second choice
Nov 28, 2005 6:26AM PST
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Which laptop did you finally decide on, and
Sep 16, 2008 9:35PM PDT

and how has it worked out for you?

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Best Laptop for $1000
Nov 28, 2005 9:27AM PST

Im looking for the same thing...

I found a good deal on a HP Pavilion Notebook, #HP-ZE2315. I don't know much about HP and would like some advice.
Is there anyone out there who can tell me about HP compared to Dell, Sony and all the other PC's?

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Ok...Here's the difference..
Nov 28, 2005 9:56AM PST

I have a Dell, and I have to say that it is the best notebook I have ever seen. I have an Inspiron 700m, small , powerfull, and nice on price to. You can usually find a nice refurb from and save a ton of cash. My notebook was only $800; (plus its loaded).

One more thing, HP is good; but Dell is cheaper. I can tell you that HP has higher quality than Dell and thats what you are paying for when you get an HP.

If you need a durable notebook then go HP, if you need an amazing deal then go Dell. Thats the difference.

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wow i did not not know that
Nov 28, 2005 10:18AM PST

consumer reports tells a diffrent story.oh well there wrong i guess

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Hp is a good company but be carefull
Nov 28, 2005 3:33PM PST

I own an Hp ze4210 and I have just ordered an Hp dv1310 (part of the dv1000 series). I did alot of research and read the reviews and if I didn't already have an Hp and know what to expect I probably wouldn't have bought one. There is ofcourse that darn triangle of expectations... between good quiality, fast perfomance, and Price. You can't have it all so let me be the first to tell you you have to compromise.

The Dv1000 series is very stylish and you get alot of features for the price but from what I've read they seem to have some quality control issues. Luckily depending how patient you are of a person it also sounds like they have good customerservice and if something goes wrong you'll be able to get it replaced or refunded if you are patient.

My brother works for IBM and there are some deals right now so if you want a VERY reliable and sturdy computer then get an IBM. The only reason I didn't buy one is I am vain and I didn't think it was very good looking.

From what I've read when the Dv1000 works its a great computer especially for the price. But a few people's computers have failed completely and the reviews on the screen range from Excelent very bright to poor dark and grainy. Also the case seems to be easily skratched it is plastic of course. But then again if you're careful then you'll be fine. Also you have to take into account for the same price you will probably encounter some shortcomings. I've had my Hp ze4210 for five years now and it served me well. A few things have broken on it but, I was pretty rough on it being a college student back then.

Don't know too much about Dell's. Lots of my friends at school have them so I assume they must give great deals. They look a little clunky for my taste.

Good luck guy...

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You gotta be kidding?
Nov 28, 2005 11:49PM PST

Posted by: crash900s
"The only reason I didn't buy one is I am vain and I didn't think it was very good looking."

That's like buying a HD plamsa because you like the way the case looks. Now, if Thinkpads were bright pink or had wood panel sides, I could understand.

When I buy any sort of electronics, I'm looking for preformance, reliability & value. Looks are way down the list of decision factors.

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But the issue is what's important to the buyer, not to you
Nov 29, 2005 1:38AM PST

The retail roadside is littered with the wrecks of good products that lacked appeal to consumers. If we just looked at function and not style won't everybody be driving Hondas and Toyotas? Mustangs and Dodge Chargers seem to be selling pretty well and they trade hevily on style.

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Agreed, and well put
Nov 29, 2005 3:43AM PST

For the record, the wife and I drive Hondas Happy
Sounding like the ThinkPad might be the best bet.

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Actually, I can understand...
Dec 2, 2005 3:01AM PST

...looks being more of a consideration for something like a car. Cars do make a statement about the person, probably shouldn't, but I think they do.

I just don't think my desktops and laptops are in the same category as my car.

For the record, I drive an Acura TL (which is just a glorified Honda). I like the way it looks, but I picked it because of the outstanding Consumer Reports, Edmunds review and resell value.

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I have an '05 Accord EX myself and used to be an
Dec 2, 2005 7:28AM PST

owner of an Acura Legend...that was a great car. But, Honda's... although great cars...aren't (for the most part) sexy. I often read postings from people who love their Fujitsus, Sonys and ASUS' becasue the y feel they are great computers and they are good looking and relitively unsual (as in not just another Dell, HP or Toshiba). I gotta admit, given a choice between two essentically similar and functional notebooks, I'd choose a good looking one over an ugly one myself.

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No thats perfectly fair
Nov 29, 2005 3:24AM PST

Also I suppose IBM's are a little more pricey. So since I know I don't do anything more intensive than watch dvd's I thought I'd save a few bucks.

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OKAY, Assuming I go ThinkPad ...
Nov 29, 2005 3:50AM PST

My next questions boil down to specifics.

1. Is it worth it to avoid the Celeron?

2. I assume a minimum of 512MB RAM makes sense. Worth it to go to 1GB to future proof it?

3. I don't need an oversized screen but good quality and decent size would be nice.

4. Don't need an ultralight body, but it's for my 110 lb. wife so I don't want it to be a monster to lug around the house either.

5. Do I go with the R series, or the Z series? From the looks of the description on the site, sounds like the Z series is more for people who need the flash and glitz. Wider screen, titanium case, a pound or two lighter, etc.

Wonder if I should stroll down to a store and look at both models.

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My brother works for IBM
Nov 30, 2005 11:30AM PST

My big brother works for IBM and he has the T40 which is a little old now but he recomends the t42. Its a little more than 1000 but it seems to fit your needs.

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my thoughts. BTW, how heavy would ''too heavy'' be?
Dec 2, 2005 6:04AM PST

I'm rather well versed in desktops but not laptops. Still, i'm gonna say that this is a common trait in both in that Celerons are simply NOT worth it. Most ppl would be better served in getting a low end Pentium 4 (for desktops) than use a Celeron, even if they use PCs for just the basics like word processing, surfing, and photo viewing. Celerons are really for businesses that wanna save $$. For a home user, an extra $50 to $200 isn't much to get a Pentium 4 or Pentium 3/4 M processor for laptops, but businesses have to buy computers for up to hundreds and even thousands of employees, so the savings do add up in the latter case.

256MB used to be the 'norm' for basic winXP users. Lately, it has gone up to 512MB, so I'd say have at least that much.
Going back to your first post, 256MB would actually be sufficient for..... ''Would be used for surfing, email, MS Word, etc'', but 512MB oughtta allow for better performance and more windows/applications running at once. 1GB seems kinda over kill for just those uses mentioned above. If she plans to go more into more heavier tasks (perhaps database apps, mp3 encoding) or medium resource hogging games, 1GB would be a better investment

1GB is the new minimum RAM for gamers, with some gamers going up to 2GB+.

I'm not sure on the prices to upgrade to 1GB of RAM, but if your new notebook lets you add RAM yourself and has the extra memory slot(s) for it, you can visit and see how much RAM costs if you bought it and installed it yourself. Installing your own system RAM is usually cheaper than having it factory installed. has pull down menus. Just find your make and model of laptop there once you know what it is and see what capacity RAM sticks are available and at what prices. There are also FAQs and other resources to any other questions you may have about RAM, laptops, and how to add the RAM to a laptop.

Widescreen seems to be the rage these days. Movies and games that support this look nicer. I can see Word and Surfing looking nicer on laptop screens as well. Since they tend to be smaller than desktop monitors, the extra space in widescreen for laptops can make a nice difference.

As far as quality goes, there's stuff like UGA WXGA(?), and frankly, I can't remember if these refer to the screens resolution or the screens brightness/color saturation/angle viewability, but keep in mind the nicer down the line, it's gonna be more expensive of course. Try doing some research on these screen types for more details. Then consider walking into retail stores like Staples or Sams Club and see if you can view these screen types side by side for comparisons.

And yeah, I would recommend going into a store and ''trying out'' laptops in person. You can see how well the screen looks, how the keyboard feels, how cheap or well the construction is, and how heavy it feels (if it isn't tethered down by anti-theft devices).

110 lbs!? <whistling>..... Anyways, I can't recommend a particular Thinkpad, but keep in mind laptops are ultraportable and as light as 3lbs, to powerful full desktop replacements as heavy as 13lbs. For all the features you want, 5 to 7 lbs may be a good compromise, altho everyone has their own capabilities of handling heavy objects. It also boils down to having built-in wifi, drives, swappable drives, etc.

Don't know much about thinkpad specifics, so can't answer this.

Hope this helps. Good luck and try to let us know what u end up getting!

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I'm looking at the HP zv6203cl at Sam's Club
Dec 1, 2005 11:47PM PST

It has: AMD Athlon 64 3200+, 15.4" widescreen, 2GHz, 1024MB RAM, 80GB HD, DVD+/-RW Combo, 802.11g wireless. It weighs 7.97lbs and costs $998.42. Does anyone have experience with this particular model?