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I want to buy my first laptop computer

by sinatra13 / March 4, 2007 9:12 AM PST


I want to purchase my first laptop computer in the next month or two. Before I do I want to do my due diligence so I make a good decision.

What are the most important aspects to look for in a laptop computer?

What are must haves and what is not that important?

What are the most reliable ones available?

What are the best bang for your buck?

What are the best (price does not matter) ones?

Is there some coming out that I should put my purchase on hold?

What brands are better than others?

What are some good sites for information?

Price will be factored in, however I will pay more for reliability and ability to stay useful longer (i.e. not being outdated with 6 months)

Thank you all in advance.


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by steve749 / March 4, 2007 9:21 AM PST

1) Well, there is the question of what use does one have for the laptop, e.g. gaming, home office environment, media center, etc.? Also, how portable and big does one want the laptop to be as sizes can range from 12" to 20" screens with varying weight and battery life.

2) The must haves vary considerably as different people will focus on different elements. Some want portability and battery life while others will use the laptop as a desktop replacement and so portability and battery life don't matter in this case.

3) The most reliable is subject to change as well as a lack of data if you think about how new models keep coming out since for example last year at this time there weren't Core 2 Duo laptops like there are now and in a year there may well be laptops with new video cards that aren't out now.

4) Depends on how one values which bang as well as what they use it for. Gamers may want a better video card compared to the person that will just do some web surfing and basic office stuff like word processing and spreadsheets.

5) Best depends on what you value. Some may think the look should count more than the ability to play games and others may have a very different set of priorities.

6) Do you want a Direct X10 Card in the laptop? If so then you may wait a bit for these to come out.

7) Brands vary a lot though there is the PC Magazine Reader Survey that may be useful for one idea.

Cool is a great site for looking at laptop reviews as well as here on CNet.

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Getting my first laptop
by sinatra13 / March 4, 2007 7:36 PM PST
In reply to: Answers...


Thanks. I should have been more specific.

1) Home office; portability would be nice but not the most important aspect to me.

2) Mine would be a desktop replacement

3) What is Core 2 Duo?

4) Basic office stuff and surfing; no gaming

5) Surfing, home office, pictures, music

6) What is a DirectX10 card?

Thank you very much for your input.

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Core 2 duo and Direct X 10
by Sheepish12 / March 5, 2007 8:06 AM PST

The Core 2 Duo is Intel's CPU that is in most current PC's. It is a dual core processor meaning while it has only one processor, it has two cores so you get a faster processor without your battery life taking a big hit. It is virtually the fastest CPU out there (except the Core 2 Extremes which are only in gaming laptops). A Direct x10 chip is a graphics card with Dx10 graphics, which you can only run on Windows Vista. Basically, its the new generation of PC graphics, however if you are buying a laptop, like you say, and you want these graphics make sure you're buying a notebook with a graphics card, because many have graphics integrated into the motherboard, not Dx10. You really only need DX10 if you do a lot of gaming on your computer.

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Some more answers.
by steve749 / March 5, 2007 11:10 AM PST

"Core 2 Duo" is the name of Intel's latest CPU line. The laptop form was codenamed "Merom," and basically there are a few types of CPUs in laptops out there: Core 2 Duo, Core Duo(Which is the previous generation of technology), Pentium M, Pentium 4, Pentium 4M, Turion 64, Turion 64 x2. Those are the main ones and depending on how far back in terms of technology you go they can be cheaper though this has its trade-offs.

Direct X10 card simply means a card that can run the latest version of Microsoft's Direct X which is used for graphics like in games. XP uses up to verion 9.0c I think while Vista allows for the next version which is the X10 and the only card that supports it now is the 8800 series from nVidia for desktops. It was just an example of something that may or may not be a factor when it comes to your laptop.

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Pentium or AMD?
by StephenAM / March 5, 2007 6:19 PM PST
In reply to: Some more answers.

Are there real differences between the AMD Turion

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by steve749 / March 6, 2007 12:11 AM PST
In reply to: Pentium or AMD?

Yeah there are real differences though these are noticeable if one is gaming or other processor-intensive tasks like video encoding as well as the impact on other things like battery life.

How close to gaming is the kid stuff going to get would be one point. On battery life, Intel has done better. Link to Tom's Hardware showing an hour and a half difference in playback of a DVD, which would be an example of kid stuff, between a Turion 64 x2 and Core Duo. To me that is a real difference. As for the difference between Core Duo and Core 2 Duo, this is a small gain if I remember the news articles when it came out.


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