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Dan Ackerman, CNET laptop editor LIVE!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / July 23, 2007 8:33 AM PDT

Ask the Editor Live!

Laptop live chat event with CNET senior editor Dan Ackerman starts Thursday August 2nd at 11 a.m. to noon Pacific / 2 p.m to 3 p.m Eastern. Where Dan, will be answering your questions about laptops and mobile computing, on topics ranging from picking the proper screen size to speeding up a sluggish system to scoring the best deal. See you at the event!

Click here for upcoming Ask the Editors Live events and past transcripts of events.

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Time to get our chat on...
by Dan_Ackerman-20674565145953706485813510867002 CNET staff / August 2, 2007 3:56 AM PDT

Alrighty, let's get this show on the road. It's time to submit your pressing queries (hopefully about laptops, but you know, whatever's on your mind), and we'll go from there. Keep an eye on the clock, 'cause in 60 minutes, I revert to pumpkin form.

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(NT) What's the best way to fix a power jack intermittent connection?
by carkeek / August 2, 2007 4:04 AM PDT
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Better leave that to the pros

One thing I love about desktops and hate about laptops is the general lack of user-serviceable parts inside. I'd strongly suggest consulting the manufacturer.

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by V3nomRsxs / August 2, 2007 4:04 AM PDT

Is there any way I can built a laptop? Like lets say buliding a desktop...

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Pretty hard to do.
by Dan_Ackerman-20674565145953706485813510867002 CNET staff / August 2, 2007 4:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Built...

It's pretty hard to do that, but a few companies, such as Asus and AOpen offer barebones kits where you can add your own CPU, OS, etc.

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(NT) What's the best source for spare batteries?
by carkeek / August 2, 2007 4:04 AM PDT
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Intel versus AMD
by orlbuckeye / August 2, 2007 4:05 AM PDT

I've heard that Intel is winning the mobile processor battle now. Is this true and why?

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So, so true...
by Dan_Ackerman-20674565145953706485813510867002 CNET staff / August 2, 2007 4:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Intel versus AMD

In fact, we just checked out the mobile version of the Core 2 Extreme CPU in a review of the HP HDX (should be live later today.)

About a year and a half ago, AMD was ruling the roost with the X2 CPUs, but these things always go back and forth, and the ball is just in Intel's court right now.

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by cyndirandy / August 2, 2007 4:05 AM PDT

What can you tell me about this program? It has caught 8 trojans that no other spyware or anti-virus program I have,has even detected. Thank you

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Laptop Fans
by qaedon / August 2, 2007 4:05 AM PDT

I have an IBM notebook. The fan stopped working. My IT guy has had it for over 2 months, saying fans are too expensive. Is this true?

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(NT) I've got a "new" Toshiba 3500 Tablet PC, but can't get external cd/dvd drives to be recognized. Do you know where the best info is for this model?
by carkeek / August 2, 2007 4:07 AM PDT
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Check Toshiba's We site

Are you trying to connect an external drive that requires power through a USB port that is unpowered? Might be worth checking...

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Whats a good laptop?
by SXR / August 2, 2007 4:07 AM PDT

Hey Dan,

Do you have any recommendations on a good laptop?


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Not really familiar with the subject...
by Dan_Ackerman-20674565145953706485813510867002 CNET staff / August 2, 2007 4:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Whats a good laptop?

Good laptops, huh? You've got me stumped. Just kidding -- but it depends on what you're looking for. I'll expound in a little bit on my philosophy of laptop buying.

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by swobble / August 2, 2007 4:08 AM PDT

i have matching sticks of 512 mbs of 5300 ram would it be better to add one stick of 1 gb of ram or is it better to keep matching sticks with ddr2 ram but less ram in notebook

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Black macbook
by metanoya / August 2, 2007 4:08 AM PDT

When you reviewed the macbook, did you notice if the plastic construction looked prone to breaking or cracking? and did the corners bother your wrist while you typed?

Thanks Dan,

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I'll tell you a little story...
by Dan_Ackerman-20674565145953706485813510867002 CNET staff / August 2, 2007 4:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Black macbook

When I reviewed the first Intel-powered black MacBook last year, I brought it home, and my wife (also a tech journalist) took an instant liking to it. When I had to return the review unit to Apple, she went right out and purchased her own black MacBook from the Apple store in Soho. It's now her main computer, and we haven't had any trouble with it, although I've read about some problems with early runs of the white version.

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HP Lap-top Blu-ray Drive?
by yiang / August 2, 2007 4:11 AM PDT

I know HP has a laptop with a HD-DVD drive, will they ever produce a laptop with a blu-ray drive? or will they produce a laptop with a dual Blu-ray / HD-DVD drive like in their one desktop model?

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Why can't we all just get along?
by Dan_Ackerman-20674565145953706485813510867002 CNET staff / August 2, 2007 4:19 AM PDT

Officially, the answer is "no," as HP is somehow involved with the HD DVD parent group. But if Blu ray continues to dominate in the public eye, I think some hybrid drives will eventually start showing up. But don't hold your breath.

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Apple MacBook Pro
by alberi41 / August 2, 2007 4:12 AM PDT

I just bought a MacBook Pro. I did not get Windows or Parallel Desktop. Is it a good idea to install this or should I just limited it to the MAC SW to avoid all the MS problems?

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Well, I like it...
by Dan_Ackerman-20674565145953706485813510867002 CNET staff / August 2, 2007 4:22 AM PDT
In reply to: Apple MacBook Pro

I think it's pretty cool that you can run both operating systems on your MacBook. That being said, you only need to do it if you need a PC-only program for something, or if you simply prefer the Windows interface. Parallels is cool, but it runs, you guessed it, in parallel with the Mac OS, so your performance may suffer.

Boot Camp avoids that, but you need to reboot to switch between Windows and Mac. Oh, and you'll need some kind of official copy of XP or Vista.

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laptop to replace desktop
by vickie46 / August 2, 2007 4:12 AM PDT

Hi, I want to get a laptop to replace my desktop for when we are traveling. I know nothing about laptops. I've heard they perform slower than desktops. I would use it to pay bills online, surf the net, e-mail and play games, mostly Sims2. My desktop is a 3 year old Alienware, which I love. I want a quality laptop. What computer, brand & components would you recommend for me. We want to spend around $2000. Thanks.

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Lots of options
by Dan_Ackerman-20674565145953706485813510867002 CNET staff / August 2, 2007 4:27 AM PDT

Well, you've got a lot of options out there. If you're looking to make your first Well, you've got a lot of options out there. If you're looking to make your first foray into laptop-land, here are a few key things to keep in mind:

The most important thing to note is that for the most part, all these laptops have the same or similar parts inside, at least within their general categories (gaming, etc.). There's basically no laptop you can buy today that won't work fine for Web surfing, working on Word documents, e-mail, etc. Therefore, once you figure out how much you want to spend and what size laptop you want, it mostly comes down to feel and design.

I see a lot of other questions on the same topic, so I'll go into some of the details in a little bit.

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Laptop for .net development work
by vilma_c / August 2, 2007 4:14 AM PDT

I would like to get a laptop for .NET development. What would you recommend? Top of the line may be too expensive, but something in the middle?

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I, too, would like to know more about laptops.
by Nann1204 / August 2, 2007 4:14 AM PDT

What if I only want a laptop for email, exchange of photos, the news and occasional surfing like in "Google" and such.

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For basic stuff like that,

pretty much any modern laptop would work. I'd say the default middle-of-the-road choice right now is a "mainstream" laptop, which is a model with either a 15-inch or 14-inch screen. A good example is the recent Dell Inspiron 1420, a 14-inch that starts around $800.

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Hey about switching to mac?
by Alex_nb185 / August 2, 2007 4:15 AM PDT

I want to switch to mac but i am not sure of what my limitations are. I want to know if there is any huge things you can do on windows you can't do on os x. Also I am new to developing and want to know if there are any good editors for c/c++, and java. if you know anything about it just fill me in.

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Apple or no?
by Mihuda7 / August 2, 2007 4:15 AM PDT

What do you think of apple laptops versus windows? also, do you think that it's worth it to go for the 2499 macbook pro instead of the 1999 one?

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Lots of people like them...
by Dan_Ackerman-20674565145953706485813510867002 CNET staff / August 2, 2007 4:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Apple or no?

Plenty of people have made the Mac switch since Apple added Intel CPUs to their systems -- which makes it possible to also run Windows, thereby easing the culture chock of switching. Limitations depend on the software you want to use (you may not want to buy Photoshop for the Mac is you already own a PC version), or things like the lack of a right mouse button (you can work around this -- touch the touchpad with two fingers and click the button, it's kind of like a right click in many apps). Of course, the biggest Mac drawback for some people is a lack of support for games -- although that's getting better. (And now we'll sit back and wait for the first response from an angry Mac fan

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Back to school laptop
by rjusten / August 2, 2007 4:16 AM PDT

I am going to be a sophomore in college. I learned last year my heavy old 9 pound laptop does not cut it with going class to class. I have been looking at lighter ones but they all come with intels x3100 graphics does it work fine with vista. I was told at the stores that vista is very graphics hungry. could you clarify? Thanks

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