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by r1c1n / October 26, 2004 5:17 AM PDT

I am a student that is about to go to college and I was wondering what would be the best laptop under $2080 (my budget), i was think something in the P4 range with 128 MB video, can any on e give suggestion please>>>?

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by TONI H / October 26, 2004 5:22 AM PDT

My son in the Navy recently got a Gateway with Intel Celeron for around $1500 and he's very happy with it. I don't have laptops so other than his being pleased with what he has, I'm not alot of help. He hasn't had any trouble with it and it was ordered as cable ready for the internet. All he had to do was find a cable provider, and so far that hasn't been a problem in both Florida and now California. I would check out the Gateway website to see what they have to offer now in your price range, and what options you have for having dsl instead of cable if you prefer.


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by r1c1n / October 26, 2004 7:08 AM PDT

thanks for replying but im looking for laptops made by "high-grade"companies if u will, like sony or hp. no offence to gateway but heard they were not as reliable and anyways i need a p4 or above processor. speaking of the navy, it must be demoralizing to have uur son in the armed forces, sending them to iraq and all.

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I got mine (second laptop) which replacing a 5 yrs old DELL
by FrankQTran / October 26, 2004 7:52 AM PDT

with a COMPAQ X1000 (widescreen) Pentium M 1.5GB (Centrino), 60GB 5400RPM hard drive, 1GB DDR-RAM and after added all the bell and whistle, the total is $1,700.00+. HP also offering 12 months no interest for qualified customer and some rebate too.

My 1.5GB Pentium M runing with a speed almost equivalent to my nephew's 2.8GB Pentium IV but less heat.

You can go here for more detail


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Re: I got mine (second laptop) which replacing a 5 yrs old D
by r1c1n / October 26, 2004 8:28 AM PDT

WOW rally . i didnt not know that a Pentium M would run faster than a 4 at same speed . thast a bit confusing.

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by Kees Bakker / October 26, 2004 8:21 AM PDT

"I need a P4 and 128 Mb video RAM".
If you're sure, buy such. But if you use the PC only for word processing, mail and browsing, it's much too much. But, of course, it depends on what you study: English or Psychology is quite different from Videogame Design or Graphic Arts.

Opinions on HP seem to differ. Our member Bill (who has a computer repair shop in Florida) describes their systems as 'throw away systems'. See

And Sony is great in consumer electronics, not necessarily in laptops.

Good luck with your choice.


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by r1c1n / October 26, 2004 8:32 AM PDT HP = crap got it. well what other better would u recommend. and i do need the ram for games ;* and the P4 for running things faster, plus i saw a notebook for under $2000 and it had a p$ so its not impossible.

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I have no idea what IBM laptops cost but
by Ray Harinec / October 26, 2004 10:02 AM PDT

they certain;ly seem to be considered the premier laptop in every magazine I read.

And don't scoff at the Pentium M processors. I understand that you can actually put them on your lap without burning your britches LOL. Intel has put more developmemnt money into the M for laptops than any P4.

If you plan to run on batteries the M gives far more operating time than a P4. The reason that the M laptops run in league with the P4 is that those with the M processor use a faster chipset and run at much lower voltage which = less power dissipation. The Centrino name connotes a laptop with an M processor, the 400 MHz chipset, and a wireless card.

You may want to re evalute the paramemters that really count in a laptop.

Also, I can find someone that will call any mfr's product as crap while they promote some other brand.

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Another though
by Steven Haninger / October 26, 2004 11:17 AM PDT

I am going to agree with Ray about IBM. They get a bad name sometimes for bad reasons. My son in college just got a T42 and was able to get a super price though some deal for students there. I use an IBM for work. It's a rock solid unit. I care less about being tops in speed and more about reliability. We used Dells for some time. They were decent but became troublesome too soon so our company switched to IBM. At any rate, I might suggest that you with the school you will be going to and see if there are any similar deals you can get as a student. Good luck.

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processor M vs. P4
by r1c1n / October 27, 2004 5:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Another though

ok...thank u all. ok, so IBM = good and about the M processor....why does it say less speed than the P4, for example, like I think the highest M was like a 1.7Ghz while a p4 was running 3.2Ghz, can any one explain this , and if there is a difference can any one suggest what a 3.06 - 3.2 Ghz P4 would compare to a M??? gracias

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I gave a little of it.
by Ray Harinec / October 27, 2004 6:18 AM PDT
In reply to: processor M vs. P4

The M's use a faster chipset. CPU speed doesn't do any good if the data paths can't keep the data flowing fast enough for the CPU to process it. A fast system requires a balanced blend of data paths so that there are a minimum of bottlenecks.

Intel themselves has finally admitted that CPU speed is not the be all and end all of system speed to the extent that the model numbers will no longer contain the CPU speed.

Remember AMD CPU's running at 1.8 to 2.2 or so GHz out perform P4 3.2 GHz systems in many operations, and AMD's best FSB is 400 MHz while Intel uses 800 MHz. Total system architecture determines performance.

To find equivalencies is difficult except that many of the advertisements on the sites for the Centrinos often state the equivlent P4 performance.

When you get a laptop you may find that battery life is of more interest than absolute speed. That is a major purpose of the M, effective speed at long battery life.

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(NT) (NT) Should have said CENTRINOs use a faster chipset.
by Ray Harinec / October 27, 2004 6:20 AM PDT
In reply to: I gave a little of it.
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pro/cons of each??
by r1c1n / October 27, 2004 7:19 AM PDT

ok hold on....if i really dont care that much about battery life (2 hrs max) what would be better M processer with about 1.7 Ghz or a 3 Ghz P4??? and what are some pros/ cons of each

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First, the M requires that is is coupled with
by Ray Harinec / October 27, 2004 7:40 AM PDT
In reply to: pro/cons of each??

the 400 MHz chip set. Not sure that all are. Those laptops called Centrino are. They also have a wireless card, however they have only been of 802b speed, when the g would be much faster. Possibly some now use the 802g wireless.

The time has come to make your own decision. You should really go try them if you have never used the touch pad type "mouse". It seems that some versions are easier to use than others.

The con of the P4 over the M is simply that it consumes more power. 100% of the power consumed is converted to heat, and then laptops don't sit on laps they sit on thermal pads so that one doesn't get burned.

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Re: First, the M requires that is is coupled with
by r1c1n / October 28, 2004 7:15 AM PDT

are you really serious... a thermal pad i have to have one so it doesnt over heat? and what if it does do i have to replace the whole system?

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No, simply my stupid humor
by Ray Harinec / October 28, 2004 8:06 AM PDT

way of reminding you that the P4 laptops at normal use run so hot that you really won't want to put it on your lap because the base is too hot. The pad is to protect your lap. LOL

Just be sure to let us know what you finally buy. Post it in this thread even if two weeks from now. It will rise to the top of the first page again.

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Re: No, simply my stupid humor
by r1c1n / October 29, 2004 6:57 AM PDT

you silly goose LOL wow i cant believe i said that, well i think i will buy a p4 because they usually come in desktop replacements and that is what im looking for and as long as there is an electrical cord, than im satisfied i wont be neding mobility for max of 2 hours. and the company will probably be a dell, not a compaq or hp. anyone know which store (best buy, circuit city) has best deals? cuz im not safe with buying off online.

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You'll get the best prices buying directly
by Ray Harinec / October 29, 2004 7:18 AM PDT

from Dell. Go to their site and watch for a few days for deals. Dell's deals are legitimate, when you see one that you like grab it, they close the door on them rather fast.

Jeff Marchi, one of the CNET moderators gets Dell's for his clients and he knows Dell's schedule for when they offer the best deals.

Maybe post to Jeff in the Hardware forum and ask about the best time to buy Dell's. I'm serious. Not sure if Jeff is around on the weekends.

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by Ceecebee / October 29, 2004 4:44 AM PDT

I'm by no means an expert on this issue but I will offer a couple of worthwhile pointers:

1. If you go with P4 then be sure it is an "M" series Pentium. That one is designed for laptops and will not generate as much heat as the generic P4.

2. Make sure you get at least 512MB of RAM. With less RAM you will find it difficult to run several applications concurrently.

3. Unless you are going to get involved in heavy duty gaming or some form of multimedia, 64MB of video RAM should suffice.

4. Battery life between charges is also an important factor unless you want to drag a charger from class to class.

There are lots of machines available out there for that amount of money. I would stick with one of the mainstream vendors like Dell, HP, etc. These guys all use about the same good quality components and have decent customer support. If you buy from some unknown outfit just to get an unbelievable bargain you will most likely regret it. I know it's a hackneyed phrase but "You get what you pay for" is accurate.

Good luck with your purchase and your education

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by r1c1n / October 29, 2004 7:07 AM PDT

thank you, the specs that i hopefully will get are 512 ram, 60GB+ hard drive, 3.06 Ghz p4 (or M equivalent) and 128 MB video( im NOT gonna game hehe)

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by Mr. Chan / October 29, 2004 8:00 PM PDT

I have three laptops, we say notebooks in Hong Kong. They are BenQ, a parent company of Acer. I found the Centrino 1.6 GHz is the best than Intel P4 chipset as the former does not need the PCMCIA card and the latter does. I understand in North America everybody buys either IBM or Dell but in fact all laptops are the same. With your budget US$ 2,000.00, I am sure you can get a pretty good Centrino 1.7 GHz notebook. If you do not mind the weight, go for the 15" or 17" screen. But I like the 12.1 " screen as it is light. Dell just released a new 12.1" laptops called 700M. Go to their web-site and check it out. I would not buy anything from HP as they often discontinued their models very quickly and do not have parts when you need it. There are lots of good notebooks made in Asia, like Samsung, Sony, Acer, LG and BenQ. But definitely go for the Centrino chipset as the battery is much long lasting than P4 and though it is 1.7GHz, it actually outperforms P4 2.4 GHz in speed easily.

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by r1c1n / October 30, 2004 10:53 AM PDT

ok.simple question, if i buy a P4 notebook, around 3 Ghz, is tyhe heat output produced lethal to the laptop? like for example, will it destroy the hard drive or do any permanent damage to it? screen size i will probably go with around 13, i dont want the size, weight and bat life use of the largeer ones.

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