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Help on choosing my first lap top

by John8 / November 16, 2004 3:30 AM PST

Hi.. need help to make a decision on which these three laptop will be the right choice.

1. Toshiba M35x-S349
2. Compaq x1000
3. Dell Insipron 600M

For the price, Dell is the lowest. But on the specs, they are very similar, probably a little different here and there or i might be wrong. Any comment? anyone owns any of them? how's the performance and reliability?

My profession is in accounting field. Not using it for gaming.

Thanks !

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Re: Help on choosing my first lap top
by KenSanramon / November 16, 2004 5:34 AM PST

If you really don't want to play games or use higher end video programs you might like the 14" widescreen HP DV1000 series (brand new).

All 3 of the notebooks you mentioned have dedicated video memory which is preferable and I would order 64mb to have the best ability to use the notebook in the future as you can't add video memory later (and 64mb is only 50-75 more than 32mb if offered and you order custom).

Note that the HPZT3000 and Compaq X1000 are the same notebook but have a different appearance. Being in business you might prefer the all black interior (with silver touchpad) of the HPZT3000 but I have the Compaq X1000 -- see X1000forums.com for all the information you need on best ordering specs to get the best value and all the discounts (100 custom mail in rebate through 12/1/04, 3% fatcash portal money back deferred (via Paypal), 6% APP student discount or 12% employer discount if qualified (hpshopping.com).

The Toshiba M35 is a great notebook and I considered an older model when I bought my X1000 --but if you get one get one with the Trubrite LCD and dedicated video memory (not shared).

Toshibas with DVD burners are multiformat. HP was DVD+ only until recently (and many retail models still are) but you can get the multiformat DVD burner at hpshopping if you want it.

Many people are fine with a CD-RW/DVD ROM though at up to $200 less.

Ordering custom you can get 256mb RAM 1 stick and get a PC2700 512mb RAM stick for the 2nd slot under $100 yourself to save money to go to 768mb (on sale at Best buy through Saturday for 79.99 after rebate for Kingston PC2700 512mb Notebook RAM -- I have one in my Compaq X1000).

I would not recommend the Dell 600m as much as the two others as it has some heat issues around the touchpad area (try out one at a kiosk for yourself at a mall --the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, CA at I580@I680 has one. Cnet had this model rated lower (under 8.0)

The Toshiba M35 also has some heat issues (they have raised feet in the back for more airflow) and you can feel a bit of heat around the touchpad also (at least on the older models --try a current one in a retail store).

The HPZT3000/Compaq X1000 has a great keyboard (not up to IBM but still very good) and its only real drawback is only the ATI 9200 video card with up to 64mb dedicated RAM but you won't need more than that for your use (and the Toshiba tops out at 64mb dedicated video also).

Get a 5400rpm hard drive custom for up to 50% better seek time (and faster operating system boot times) for only $250$50 over a standard 4200rpm hard drive at the same capacity (HPshoppping has both in 60gb and I think some offer 80gb in both speeds).

Keep in mind the Dell 600M has a amaller LCD (14" square?) so it is lighter (5.5 pounds or less) while the Toshiba M35 and HPZT3000/Compaq X1000 have the 15.4" widescreen (great for DVD's, more Excel spreadsheet columns) at 6.2 and 6.5 pounds each.

Note also that HP has the Briteview LCD option in XGA resolution available for nearly all its notebooks at hpshopping.com (or Compaq -- same website) which is equivalent to Toshiba Trubrite. Or, you can go up to SXGA or UXGA resolution (but not Briteview). Some retail models have Briteview but others do not.

If using the notebook at a business with outside light behind you or harsh flourescent lights overhead you might NOT want the Briteview/Trubrite but otherwise for home use or consumer use you would want the extra clarity and contrast this LCD coating offers.

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Re: Help on choosing my first lap top
by John8 / November 16, 2004 6:42 AM PST

Thanks for your detail answer Ken!

I have couple follow up questions.

1. I checked on HPZT3000. It has come with 512 MB RAM. Should I get another 512MB? If i buy it on best buy, is it hard to install it myself?

2. For the Screen, should I get Briteview for XGA resolution or SXGA? What's the difference?

3. How do I get advantage of all the discount or rebates you mentioned? when i try the custom order from hp shopping, it only stated a $ 50.00 mail in rebate.

Thanks again!
John

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Re: Help on choosing my first lap top
by KenSanramon / November 16, 2004 9:28 AM PST

Make sure you go to X1000forums.com and read the pinned ordering specifications and discounts in the general section -- there may be a current coupon code out in addition to all the other stuff (and learn about the Fatcash 3% discount (portal to order at hpshopping), 6% Student APP discount, 12% employer EPP discount, etc.

Do not use the 50 HP rebate on the ordering screen or the $30 compaq order on the ordering screen.

Go to the hpshopping homepage, scroll down to the lower left and click the link that states mail in rebates. There you will find under hp notebooks a $100 rebate good for any custom order notebook (PDF file -- print it) or under Compaq notebooks the same $100 custom order rebate (states on form any configure to order notebook). Send in that with the UPC code and you will receive the $100 rebate (can't send in 2 rebates). This one expires 12/1/04 and you can get Wordperfect Office instead or Marriott Bucks if you wanted to.

The HPBriteview/Toshiba Trubrite/Sony Xbrite are a special coating over the LCD itself that makes the LCD much more vibrant and sharp. Most people love this unless they are using it at work with flourescent lights overhead or with a direct light source behind them. That may cause too much reflection. But for consumer use, the Briteview LCD ($50 more custom at hpshopping for XGA only) is very desirable.

If you do want SXGA resolution than order that but you can only bet Briteview with XGA. Remember you have only 1 native resolution with an LCD so make sure you want one over the other. You will get more data to the left and right already with the widescreen LCD but you can get more information with smaller pixels by moving up in resolution but that will make everything smaller.
DVD's will look better the higher the resolution.

The HPZT3000 / Compaq X1000 have an easily accessible 2nd slot under the notebook (this will be empty as long as you preorder only 1 stick of memory). It is very easy to take out the screw, pop the lid, pop in the memory (ground yourself on metal object), and you are done (the PC2700 Kingston 512mb RAM you need and that I put in is on sale at Best buy this week through Saturday for 79.99 after rebates).

The key is you have to order 1 stick memory (the 1st RAM slot is under the keyboard and most people don't want to mess with that but you can get to it if absolutely necessary) -- if you get 256mb 1 stick from HP you can move up to 7698mb (and save the most money) -- or order 512mb 1 stick and move up to 1gb memory -- do not order 2x256 -= 512 or you are out of slots and will only waste money taking one out.

Also, if you want to get a 6 month return policy from Costco you can access hpshopping.com through Costco.com and still get the mail in rebate. You wouldn't be able to use the Fatcash portal though to get the deferred 3%.

At any rate, ordering at hpshopping (direct or through Costco.com) will allow you a 30 day return policy to Hpshopping for any reason (return pickup paid) and you have the standard 1 year limited warranty either way.

Costco is attractive if you live in a state where you will pay sales tax ordering either way as you get the 6 month return policy (to a Costco store) -- but some people can avoid paying sales tax to hpshopping in certain states (but not CA).

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