Laptops forum

General discussion

Dell, Toshiba, or IBM

I am trying to find the right laptop that will be reliable plus give me the features I am wanting. The features I want are Windows XP home or professsional, 256 RAM (I will upgrade on my own after purchase), SXGA screen resolution (just something better than 1024x768), 32 or 64MB dedicated video graphics memory (which is better?), at least 40 GB hard drive (not sure whether 4200 or 5400 rpm is it okay to just have 4200?), I prefer to have at least a 1.7 or 1.8 Ghz processor, CD-RW/DVD drive, and wi-fi (802.11b/g). I'm looking at a Dell 600M, Toshiba Tecra A2 or Satellite M30, or IBM T42. (IBM is a little more out of my price range, but if it's really better than the others, I can do it.)

Any advice? I know Toshiba is known for being a little more reliable, but doesn't come with as many thrown in extras like Dell. And I can't customize the IBM just how I want it.

Help needed...Thanks.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Dell, Toshiba, or IBM
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Dell, Toshiba, or IBM
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Re: Dell, Toshiba, or IBM

In reply to: Dell, Toshiba, or IBM

The Toshiba M30 (or prebuilt M35S456) is a 15.4" widescreen LCD with the new Trubrite LCD (similar to Sony Xbrite). It weighs 6.2 pounds and has the Pentium M Dothan cpus. The excellent Compaq X1000/HPZT3000 alternatives to these (see or are 6.5 pounds with very similar specs. Both can be custom ordered with 32mb or 64mb video dedicated memory (64mb is better if you can get it as this is NOT upgradable like the hard drive, RAM, or even the CPU in some cases).

If you order custom and can do it the 725 Pentium M 1.6 or the 735 Pentium M 1.7 are cheaper alternatives to the much too expensive 1.8 and 2.0 Pentium M's (all are Dothan with 2mb L2 system cache) -- also, the Toshiba sells the 715 1.5 which is also a Dothan but the 705 1.5 on Dell and HP/Compaq are not a Dothan Pentium M CPU so order at least the 725 on those.

The IBM, Dell, and Toshiba Techra series are all 14.1" LCD's and weight 5.5 pounds or less. So decide whether you value the 15.4" widescreen (for widescreen DVD's, more spreadsheet real estate on sides -- even more than increasing the resolution alone) or not.

Note: Toshiba Trubrite only comes in XGA not SXGA resolution.

Toshiba is selling all custom order notebooks for 10% off right now on their website (Techra or M30).

Compaq/HP has a $100 custom order rebate through 9/1, a 6% student discount if qualified (APP) an employer 12% discount if qualified (EPP), and other discounts. See

If interested in HP the nc6000 (business model -- see under business notebooks) is the equivalent to the IBM, Toshiba, and Dell 14.1" -- it rates 8.5 on Cnet and the only shortcoming there is no firewire (consumer notebooks like M30 and X1000 have that) but you may not need that. Check the other business notebooks for that feature if you want it as some don't have that either (but most people are fine with USB 2.0 if you won't do video editing).

A 5400rpm hard drive can access up to 50% faster than a 4200 rpm hard drive. This will give you a faster system startup. For web surfing (wi-fi) your 2MB L2 system cache and RAM are more important but if using intensive programs that access the hard drive a lot than the hard drive speed increase will benefit you.

Collapse -
Re: Dell, Toshiba, or IBM

In reply to: Re: Dell, Toshiba, or IBM

I would not buy a toshiba if you are looking for a notebook backed by service don't buy the toshiba I would buy the Dell. Toshibas tech support is terrible.

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Here's Everything to Know About the 2019 Grammys

Find out how to watch the Grammy Awards if you don't have cable and more.