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Help - first time notebook buyer

by springchild74 / November 5, 2004 1:16 AM PST

Hi - Please help me choose the right laptop for me. I'm thinking of buying a new laptop around the price of $1700. I'm not a technical person and only need a solid computer for a lot of emailing, websurfing, Excel and Word usage, DVD movies. I am replacing my old desktop with Win98 that clashes on me all the time. I would like to have a large screen, at least 14in. across. I also would like a decent speed for webbrowsing - and for switching across different programs. The laptop will probably stay at home most of the times, but occasioanlly, maybe a couple of times a week, I would like to take it with me for my classes so that I can take notes on the laptop. So I want it to be reasonably portable as well. I'm a small framed female and I am not very friendly with chiropractor yet.

Thanks for your help!


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Re: Help - first time notebook buyer
by belladonna49 / November 5, 2004 1:36 AM PST

Hi Springchild74. I just purchased my first laptop and I am so excited. I am definitedly a kid with a new toy. I purchased mine for the exact reasons you stated you are buying one. I purchased the IBM ThinkPad T42 the costs was $1,599.99 + 69.99 + $179.99=approximately $1800.00 with the instant rebate of $100.00 at that time. It is only 4.9 lbs not heavy at all. Go to and you can check out all of the other excellent features, and they have 24/7 customer service. Good Luck with your decision.

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14inch iBook woould be PERFECT
by 19877542544404221679077984052348-freebe / November 5, 2004 2:56 AM PST

This will do everything you need and more.
Microsoft office for the Mac has a great note taking looks like a notepad.. organizes in outline form ...and you can record the lecture through it!

It is $149 through the AppleStore for education...but most campuses have a deal where you can get it for about $30 or free.

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Re: 14inch iBook woould be PERFECT
by 19877542544404221679077984052348-freebe / November 5, 2004 3:02 AM PST

I forgot to give you the specs on the iBook:


1.33GHz PowerPC G4
512K L2 cache @ 1.33GHz
14-inch TFT Display
1024x768 resolution
60GB Ultra ATA drive
SuperDrive (Burns CDs and DVDs)
ATI Mobility Radeon 9200
32MB DDR video memory
AirPort Extreme built-in (Wireless)

In addition you get a tone of free applications. I know a lot of students (myself included) that have iBooks/PowerBooks...and compatibility is not an issue. Office for the mac saves and reads Word/PowerPoint/Excel the same way windows versions do.
In addition, University networks are ripe with viruses and will not have those problems with a Mac.

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Re: 14inch iBook woould be PERFECT
by springchild74 / November 5, 2004 4:34 AM PST

I used to use Mac but when the school I attended previously started to lost all the Mac support I switched to PC - I had a serious problem getting my work done on my Mac.

Now I'm at another school, Mac support does not seem bad - however, I'm afraid that I will have to busy a whole new suit of softwares again from scratch - MS Office, Endnotes, etc .... considering that, Mac $1400 tops easily $300-400.

Sigh. I know, I love Mac somewhere in my heart.

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Re: 14inch iBook woould be PERFECT
by KenSanramon / November 5, 2004 6:07 AM PST


If you want to have maxiumum battery life and also want the lightest notebook possible for whatever LCD size you choose (in the PC realm -- Apple of course does both also very well) get a Pentium M (Centrino) notebook.

If you will not play any demanding games and will not be video editing or using any high end video programs (Autocad, Photoshop, etc) you can get away with shared/integrated video memory. If so, the brand new HP DV1000 was modeled after Apple and it becoming very popular. It is 5.3 pounds and you can play DVD's and CD's with the power to the computer turned off (and there is a built in remote control and 2 headsets in the front for watching DVD's on an airplane with a date or friend! (or CD audio).

If you want a larger LCD (15.4" widescreen) and dedicated video memory (needed for games and more demanding video programs) look at the HPZT3000 or sister Compaq X1000 (all of these are at

I have one of these (Compaq X1000) and love it for mostly home use and wi-fi -- and it fits easily in a notebook backpack from Targus (or other brands that will hold a 15" screen) for travel.

Also, there are a ton of discounts you can get by custom ordering at hpshopping (and getting exactly what you want):

$100 custom order rebate good through 12/1/04, 6% APP student discount if qualified (college in US), 12% EPP employer discount if offered at your company, 3% fat cash portal discount, etc -- see for information on discounts and best order specifications and they mention there where the forum is for the DV1000 as well.

If you like the size of the Apple Ibook the HP DV1000 will give you basically the same size and weight and with the new DVD/CD functions (and remote control which slides into the PC card slot when not in use).

Battery life for either of these will be at least 3.5-4 hours if using broadband via wi-fi (your home DSL or cable with a router or at Starbucks or at your campus) and longer if the wi-fi is turned off (Microsoft office, etc). DVD/CD playing should be longer on the DV1000 as you don't have to boot up the computer but on the ZT3000/X1000 it is about 3.5-4 hours also.

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