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HELP ME KEN SANRAMON!!!

by Chaddy21 / September 21, 2004 7:15 AM PDT

I am looking for a great light laptop with wireless( centrino would be good ) yet has good graphics and could play most of the new games .. I was looking at the Sony Vaio TR3A and the new Dell 700m but im not too sure that the graphic cards are too up to speed with the new technology that new games are offering.. I really need help!! I want a nicely deisnged laptop that doesnt way too much.. Less then 6 pnds but offers good graphics as well.. Not too pricey either!! Someone HELP!!!!!

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Re: HELP ME KEN SANRAMON!!!
by KenSanramon / September 21, 2004 8:05 AM PDT

First you have to define your priorities:

You state that you want a notebook under 6 pounds but the 15.4" widescreen Pentium M notebooks I would recommend (The Toshiba M35 or the HPZT3000/Compaq X1000 (I have one of the Compaq's) or the Acer 2025 (same platform as HP/Compaq but with 128mb dedicated video option -- ATI 9600) are all in the 6.2-6.6 pound range.

Of course if you want to play games you want to get a dedicated video card and 128mb dedicated is ideal -- the Dell 8600 has the widescreen 15.4" and also a 7200rpm hard drive option (and the 128mb video) but it weighs 6.9 pounds and case and keyboard are not ideal.

HP/Compaq has a nice 14.1" LCD notebook model out (see HPshopping) but is has shared video so that is not for you (it does have a remote control in the PC card slot for DVD's/CD's and they can be played without booting up the machine).

I don't know the options for the Dell 600M but Cnet has not rated that as highly as the fully customizable Dell 8600 (but see the issues with that above).

The HPZT3000/Compaq X1000 or the Toshiba M35 series (M35S456 retail) both max out at 64mb dedicated video but that is very good for many games (but not all). See X1000forums.com (HP/Compaq dedicated site) or notebookforums.com (Toshiba and Dell) to see what games people are playing and what issues they have.

The best options if price is not a factor are the Acer 2025 or Acer Ferrari -- both can be had with the ATI 128mb dedicated video (but they are only sold as prebuilt models).

HP/Compaq can be ordered fully customized and you can save money by ordering less RAM (256MB 1 stick) and adding a 512mb RAM stick later yourself to the 2nd slot). Also, they just got the Briteview XGA LCD option which is similar to the Trubrite on the Toshiba M35.

Both the HP and the Toshiba will get 3.5 to 4 hours using wi-fi and longer not using it (games can be less as the hard drive can be running a lot but it will still be vastly superior to Pentium 4M battery life, weight, and heat.

Note that you can carry the 15.4" widescreen notebooks in any Targus backpack that will hold a 15" LCD (or other brands).

And, if you watch any DVD's the widescreen is outstanding for that.

Sony also has some good Pentium M Centrino notebooks but they will cost you more for what you get versus Toshiba or HP/Compaq. Note that the Briteview or Trubrite is very similar to the original Sony Xbrite LCD's.

Sony quality is decent (#4 to Apple, IBM and Toshiba in recent survey) but Sony technical support is rated dead last (both Consumer Reports and PC Magazine).

Note if you are a student you can get a 6% APP discount at hpshopping, a $100 custom order rebate (for HP or Compaq on any model not just the above) through 12/1/04.

You can order the Briteview LCD online (not available in retail yet on some models) or move up to SXGA or UXGA resolutions (but the standard resolution is ideal for websites and games).

Also, you can order a 5400 rpm hard drive (much faster than standard 4200rpm).

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Re: HELP ME KEN SANRAMON!!!
by KenSanramon / September 21, 2004 8:11 AM PDT

If you order 256mb RAM and put in a 512mb RAM stick later yourself (I got PC2700 512mb RAM Kinston memory added to my X1360US Compaq for $69 after rebate) and get the mail in rebate and other discounts (see X1000forums.com -- there are some coupon codes and fatcash as well) you can easily get under $1500 and in some cases even at or under $1,000.

Get the Pentium M 725 1.6 Dothan -- there is no need to go higher than this -- your money is better spent on a faster hard drive, more video memory, etc.

Get 256mb RAM
Get 5400rpm hard drive (only $25 more for 60gb 5400 rpm versus 4200 60gb at HP website)-- Dell 8600 can be ordered with 7200 rpm hard drive option)
Get 64mb dedicated video (or 128mb dedicated if you order the Acer or Dell)
Get CD-RW/DVD ROM (you can get an external DVD burner that will perform better for less and use with firewire or USB 2.0 ports)
Get Intel 2200b/g wi-fi -- bluetooth internal option only $19 more on HP/Compaq.

Get the Briteview 15.4" XGA or save $50 if you want the standard XGA without Briteview

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Re: HELP ME KEN SANRAMON!!!
by KenSanramon / September 21, 2004 8:19 AM PDT

If you really want to play games a lot and also have a Centrino system (Pentium M) look at the Acer 2025 or Acer Ferrari heavily first (order online but prebuilts). These are ATI 9600 or 9700. It weighs 6.6 pounds

If you want to be able to customize the notebook more and are willing to only have 64mb than the HPZT3000/Compaq X1000 or Toshiba M35 are great options (HP/Compaq is ATI 9200 video, Toshiba is Nvidia video).
The Toshiba is 6.2 and the HP/Compaq is 6.5

The Dell 8600 will let you get the ATI 128mb video and the 7200rpm hard drive (which would be ideal as that hard drive is the fastest available) but the case weighs 6.9 pounds and the keyboard/case is not as good.

All of these are 15.4" widescreen notebooks.

You will have to see if the Dell 600M offers the 7200 rpm hard drive and 128mb dedicated video options like the 8600 does.
(14.1" square LCD so it weighs 5.5 pounds or so)

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Re: HELP ME KEN SANRAMON!!!
by Chaddy21 / September 21, 2004 9:24 AM PDT

Ken, thank you sooo much!!! Do you have AIM/MSN/ or anything where I could talk to you on.. You are like a genius!! .. Cause i have some other questions!!

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Re: HELP ME KEN SANRAMON!!!
by KenSanramon / September 21, 2004 9:43 AM PDT

If you have questions in general about the discounts or ideal ordering specifications for the Compaq X1000 series or HPZT3000 series then go over to X1000forums.com and register (it is free). Then, you can post a new thread in the general section and there are tons of people every day over there that will respond that have either the ZT3000/X1000 or HPnc7000 business notebook which are all the same core platform design.

You will also see some posts regarding the Acer 2025 there as well and even a thread showing the inside of both notebooks as they are both built by Compal in China. You can send me a personal message over there as well (I have the same screenname as here).

You can also post your own questions regarding Dell or Toshiba over at Notebookforums.com

Or, just post other general questions here.

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