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Buying Laptop for Daughter Going to School

Looking to get the best buy for the money to last my daughter through 4 years of school. Looking for some guidance to best utilize about $1000 that I'm willing to spend.

I think I need a basic laptop to do non-gaming activites including all MS appliations except Access. Also need to download pictures and edit.

Curious about the need to get a 64 bit processor for such basic function. Not sure if this is even needed since daughter will be on Windows XP the whole time. I see AMD 64 3200+ that seems to be a good price in laptops but, concerned about battery life.

I think her needs are CD-Burner, at least 512MB ram, 802.11g wireless LAN, at least 60GB hard drive, good battery life of 3 hrs or so.

Can someone give me some guidance?

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Comments
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About batteries.

None have lasted 4 years. Only forums like these will reveal the brutal numbers that the battery is only good for about 500 full discharge/charge cycles which is well within a few years of normal usage. This bothers some.

If you didn't mean "battery life" but how long the laptop will run on battery power, that's an interesting problem. Anytime the battery time goes over 3 to 4 hours, it presents the laptop makers a chance to reduce the cost of the laptop by using a smaller battery. The net effect is that laptops turn in similar ranges of power on hours on battery power.

Desktop replacement machines tend to not worry about this number and settle for anything over 1 hour.

Hope this helps,

Bob

PS. While 64-bit is not required to do the mundane tasks, the 64-bit is here and now in plain view. I have one and will not go back.

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Battery Last on a Charge

I did mean battery lasting on a charge.

I see a Compaq at Best Buy with:

AMD 64 Processor 3200+
DVD/CD-RW drive
512MB DDR SDRAM
80GB Hard Drive
wireless LAN

for $900.

Good deal?

Depending on the battery, what would be a good replacement battery to get to upgrade the battery?

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For the battery...

You can review the machine's "specs" to get an idea if that is enough minutes. No one is ever happy about such, but I do fine as long as it's over the hour mark.

At hpshopping.com you can customize the battery offering to get more minutes, but given the prices I wouldn't for most situations since it adds wieght and cost to the laptop. Your choice on that.

One upside and downside to the bigger battery is it will last longer (months/years) but will cost more to replace in a few years when it fails.

Bob

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