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Does my ideal notebook exist??

by RodgaDaDodga / July 19, 2004 10:13 AM PDT

Please help, I've tried searching the dell,hp/compaq, and alienware websites for these specs. I've come to close ones but not exactly the one I want. Here are my mandatory specs:
Processor: Pentium M 755@2.0 GHz, 400 MHz w/ 2MB cache
Hard Drive: 60-80 GB@7200 rpm w/ 8 MB cache
Memory: 2 GB w/ at least 333 MHz
Graphics Card: Radeon Mobility 9700 or Nvidia GeForce Go 5700 w/ 64-128 MB
Ports: (1)IEEE 1394, (3-4) USB 2.0, 6 in 1 Card Reader, and other important video/audio connections.
Internet: best wireless out there...which I'm assuming is Intel Wireless PRO 2200?? something that covers 802.11a/b/g
Drive:1 extra expansion bay and 8x DVD rewriter( I can stil live w/ 24x CD rewriter w/ 8x DVD ROM tho).
OS: Windows XP Pro

I think all those specs are top of the line correct me if I'm wrong(1st time laptop buyer). Here's the tricky has to be kind of portable..say 4-6 lbs??7 lbs at most. Does my dream notebook exist or am I asking for too much???

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Re: Does my ideal notebook exist??
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 19, 2004 10:40 AM PDT

In short, no. I've yet to see such a machine. Alienware has a few models with that video card, but I leave it up to you to feel out the rest of the machine.

While some may find it's an Intel chip, consider the motherboard chipset is not Intel. Sort of a damper on those that want an Intel solution...


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Re: Does my ideal notebook exist??
by KenSanramon / July 19, 2004 11:08 AM PDT

Let me first state that many users of the Compaq X1000 (same as HPZT3000) laptop I have (Intel Pentium M Centrino) have bought the cheapest hard drive they could (4200rpm 30gb) and then bought an screaming 7200 rpm hard drive on their own. This is easy to swap out if you are willing to reformat the notebook (opens underneath with screw slot). Many of these people cut the cost further by selling the original hard drive on e-bay...

2nd, you will pay a huge premium to order that much memory from any manufacturer. People with my machines (see buy 256mb and upgrade to 768mb for less than 100 more or buy 1 512mb module and then upgrade to 1024 for much lower. Most laptops have only 2 slots so if you really think 2mb is necessary (I think 1mb is enough for most laptops -- more than that and you need other desktop grade components) then you would have to buy 1 1mb memory stick and then you could order the 2nd from Crucial, etc.

You can get the 5400rpm hard drive option from HP/Dell, Compaq, Toshiba when custom ordering if that is enough....

The big kicker is the video card .. most of these offer the ATI 9200 or equivalent Nvidia with up to 64mb of video dedicated memory --if you want the 9700 ATI with 128mb this is limited in Centrino laptops --but the Acer has a model with 128mb ATI.

HP/Compaq has 3 LCD screen resolution options (standard is XGA 15.4" widescreen or SXGA or UXGA, has the DVD burner option (as all the others do) but you have to pay a lot more money to get a laptop that has a modular bay (or you go smaller and don't have all these features).

Keep in mind for all the power and performance you want you won't find that in any ultralight machine so that takes the modular bays out of the equation altogether.

But, the Acer has the fast video card and nearly all the other options you want.

If you can live with 64mb dedicated video I highly recommend the Compaq X1000/HPZT3000/nx7000 sisters or the Toshiba M30 custom or M35S456 prebuilt (with new Trubrite screen technology) models. These weigh 6.5 pounds for the HP/Compaq and 6.2 pounds for the Toshiba even with the 15.4" widescreens....

If you want all that video memory then you definitely want the 15.4" -- Acer has that also..........

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Re: Does my ideal notebook exist??
by KenSanramon / July 19, 2004 11:38 AM PDT

Also, in regards to the wish list for the 2.0ghz Pentium M Dothan -- this is currently the highest speed available and costs much more than the perfectly adequate Pentium 1.8 Dothan or Pentium 1.7 Dothan or even the Pentium 1.6 Dothan.

Save your money there and get the 1.8 Dothan is you must (speed performance increase between all 4 of those chips is incremental) and save your dollars for the 7200rpm hard drive, the DVD burner, and the maximum video memory...........

As Bob states, spending too much right now is not wise as 64bit will be mainstream in 2 years. But right now the Pentium M is in the sweetspot (for notebooks) and you can get a very nice laptop that will be optimal for 2 years and usuable after that (but not optimal) for between $1300 and $2000 dollars.

Anything over that price is throwing money that should be used for your next laptop away...........

The Acer (if you want the ATI 9700 video 128mb) goes a bit above that (low 2,000 range) but it has the 1.8 Pentium M I think so at least you are not paying $200 to $250 more for that.....

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Re: Does my ideal notebook exist??
by vyruz reaper / July 19, 2004 8:32 PM PDT

ken, are you from san ramon california????, i live in danville

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Re: Does my ideal notebook exist??
by KenSanramon / July 20, 2004 4:09 AM PDT

Yes, I sure am. So, I bought my laptop at the Dublin Circuit City (and I hit the new Concord Fry's Electronics a lot also) but I recommend custom ordering for your needs.

The Acer seems to be the notebook for you if you insist on the ATI 9700 video card.

Note, however, that Circuit City has the M35 fully loaded Toshiba model I mentioned to you for 150.00 off the retail pricing this week. It has everything you want (and the Trubrite Screen) except for It is XGA, it has a fixed optical drive, and it is 64mb video.

If you are willing to get a ATI 9200 with 64mb then the Compaq/HP models can easily be upgraded for 3 resolution options.

And all tricks for getting the 100 rebate, 100 coupon, fatwallet 3% rebate, etc are all posted in General at (I have an X1000).

Also, note that if you buy through Costco (I am positive you must shop or the Danville Costco or you should) they have a 6 month computer return policy in case you get a lemon. Full warranty applies and they link you to the same custom HP shopping site for HP/Compaq custom ordering.

Note that they have the HPZT3080 at Circuit City and the Toshiba M35 at Circuit City so they are both easy to compare for keyboards, LCD, etc (although they both only have the XGA resolution there).

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Re: Does my ideal notebook exist??
by vyruz reaper / July 20, 2004 12:55 PM PDT

yeab, but i do not like how the m30 looks.

i have been using the x1000 for a year now, and have been very satisfied. costo has good deals, but i want to go all out on this purchase, so i probably end up buying from direct website. as u recomended, i was getting 1GB ram, but i might get 1 stick of 512, and get the other stick from crucial or what not.

its between the M2 and the zt3000. i have the x1000 so i already know what the zt3000 would be like, but i wanted to try something new.

i just wished sometimes that i didnt have a widescreen, and had a 14 inch instaead, cuz thats what i really need.

what is the difference between the ati 9200 and the 9600?? and are they better than the nvidia 5220???

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Re: Does my ideal notebook exist??
by KenSanramon / July 21, 2004 4:10 AM PDT

As I replied already to 2 other requests for smaller screens than the 15" square or 15.4" widescreen (which are on most consumer models now) .. you want a business notebook.

Go to the website and choose small/medium business to view the nc6000 which is 5 pounds with a Pentium M cpu and the 14.1" LCD.

The Toshiba Tecra business line is also outstanding (available online and at retail) -- my wife's accounting firm used these and she had no problems and they look great.

IBM of course has 14.1" LCD's and they have great keyboards and case construction.

And, the darkhorse (won't see it as much) are the Fujitsu's -- they have a 13.3" screen option. They have an LCD Crystal View series very comparable to Sony.

I probably would lean towards the Toshiba Techra line for the best combination of quality, appearance, price and features but the others are all fine choices.

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Re: Does my ideal notebook exist??
by sheilakmcd / July 20, 2004 11:48 PM PDT
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Sager? You're kidding me?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 21, 2004 12:20 AM PDT

Sager notebooks have been plagued with spare parts and service issues for more than a decade.

I guess we don't learn from history.


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Re: Sager? You're kidding me?
by sheilakmcd / July 21, 2004 11:12 PM PDT

I thought Sager's were Clevo made, not Compal.

Aren't several Toshiba, Dell, etc. notebooks, Compal made?

Parts and service can also greatly depend on who you buy it from, correct?

I just threw it out there as an example that very close to what he's looking for is available, which was the original question.

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Re: Sager? You're kidding me?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 21, 2004 11:49 PM PDT

You may be right, but the Sager horror stories never ended. What good is such a laptop when you can't get parts?

The lesson was quite clear and those who ignore history are DOOMED to repeat it.


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