Alright I am going to do this in the order that you asked the questions, it will be easrier for both of us to keep track of.
First off the 3 year warranty. When I buy a laptop I generally only go with a 1 year warranty, but that is only because I can fix the laptop if something goes wrong. Now in your case you got to ask yourself, what am I going to be doing with the laptop? As a desktop replacement I can't imagine you lugging it around often so it's going to stay relatively in the same spot. Is there any way that something could go wrong in this spot? Questions like that, warranties are expensive, and you can always repurchase a warrantly latter. So with that you may need to decide for your self.
As far I know if you buy the warranty from compUSA, you can slo be double producted with a warranty from HP if you like. Which is nice because if something was to go wrong you can either send it to compUSA whic in some cases will have ther techs look at it and if they can;t fix they will transfer it to HP. It is sometimes nice to cut out the middle man, but you don't want a warranty to go to waste as well. But bottom line I think yead you can definately double up. And if not, you can purchase a warranty from HP after the CompUSA warranty expires.
As far as the system itself, there are some areas where I think you can beef up, while in other area's lower down standards. First off is the screen. It is very common, and I understand that as a desktop replacement you want the big 17" screen. But you said that you would also have a desktop on hand. What I'm asking is this laptop going to be sitting next to the desktop. I mean 17" is great and if you want that big experiance go for it, but if the desktop can easily replace that, and you are going to put the two next to each other. Then it could in some cases defeat the purpose. But as a desktop replacement I think you should go for the 17". I am just playing devils advocate to see if you think you are spending to much, because you sound concern.
Other then the screen I would really consider upgrading the processor. As a desktop replacement you want a machine that can keep up with dekstops. With a dual core 1.6 you have a cumulated processing power of 3.2 GHZ, and most software hasn't been designed or coded to utilize both cores simultaneosuly, Windows is a great example. So I would consider upgrading the processor, becuase 1.6 core 2 is something that is very common in most laptops at a thin and light level. And as a desktop replacement you want a really powerful machine. If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them. Otherwise great machine, great choice. And Good Luck, buddy!
Hey, Stargate Fan if you're out there:
I told you week or so ago that I'd come back at you with a model to get your opinion as I make my first foray into Laptop Land. Here's the one I think I want to jump at -- it's on sale at Comp USA right now.
Can you offer your thoughts? Also, my big hurdle now seems to be whether to agonizingly plunk down another $370 for a three-year warranty (gotta see if it covers accidental damage or not, though). Is that a must-have? ... Another question about warranties: If I buy it from CompUSA, is their plan my only warranty option, or can I purchase a warrant from HP.com if I buy their product from a vendor like CUSA? (Maybe HP's is a better deal?).
As far as my purposes, as I've said before, I'm not a big gamer (though I wanted a system that could handle it just in case). My main uses will be Photoshop and handling digital pix (future video) and streaming video (and watching DVDs).
Do you think I'd be buying more than what I need and overpaying for this machine? I do like the 17-inch screen, though, since this'll be a desktop replacement (though I'll still have my desktop), and it seems there aren't a lot of 17-inch options out there with Intel chips (in this price range). I think if I go with a 15.4-incher, I'll end up wishing I had bought a 17.
Thanks (in advance) for your thoughts. And if anybody else owns this model, PLEASE let me know your thoughts.
Here are spex, in case the link doesn't work:
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5200, 1.6GHz, with Centrino Technology, 2GB RAM, 160GB Hard Drive, 17-inch WXGA+ TFT Display, 8X DVD+/RW Drive, Windows Vista Home Premium
Video Chipset Brand: NVIDIA
Video Chipset: GeForce Go 7600
Installed Video Memory: 256 MB
Front Side Bus: 533 MHz
L2 Cache Size: 2 MB
Memory Slots Total: 2
Memory Slots Available: 0
Drive Controllers: SATA-150
Rotational Speed: 5400 RPM
Optical Drives: LightScribe Double Layer DVD SuperMulti Drive:
Create a DVD Writable at a maximum 8X Write speed
Other speed specifications are not available from the manufacturer
Additional Drives: LightScribe DL DVD SuperMulti
Sound Support: Digital Audio (16-bit)
Resolution: 1440 x 900
Screen Size: 17.0 in
Screen Type: Active Matrix LCD (TFT)
Port Connectors: 4 x Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0
1 x Audio - Headphone-out with S/PDIF Digital Audio
1 x Audio - Microphone-in
1 x Video - VGA (15-pin)
1 x Video - TV-Out (S-Video)
1 x RJ-11 Modem
1 x RJ-45 Ethernet LAN
1 x Notebook Expansion Port 3
1 x IEEE-1394 FireWire (4-pin)
1 x Consumer IR (Remote Receiver)
1 x HDMI
Card Slots: 1 x Memory Stick
1 x Memory Stick PRO
1 x Secure Digital(SD)/MMC
1 x xD-Picture Card
1 x ExpressCard/34
1 x ExpressCard/54
Network Support: Ethernet (10/100 Mbps)
Wireless Protocol: 802.11a
Modem Speed: 56 Kbps
Input Devices: Keyboard
Security Features: Kensington Security Slot
Number of Batteries: 1
Installed Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium
Included Software: Security and Support:
Symantec? Norton Internet Security 2007 (including complimentary 60 days Live Update)
HP Total Care Help & Support Center
Wireless Home Network
PC Recovery (Softthinks Restore Solution)
Productivity and Finance: