Laptops forum

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Moderators & Regular visiting Members, Question?

by markm137 / June 12, 2005 3:21 PM PDT

Hello Moderators and All

I myself moderate a few other Message Boards...
Therefore, I understand that the ''Moderators'' and ?Members? who often visit the message board have a very good overview and understanding of the Forum's topic (Notebooks), and the general opinions made by the many people who post. Because of this I am coming to you with my question.

About myself, I have a life threatening illness I am a disabled father of a wonderful daughter (4.3-GPA) who is graduating from High School and will be attending a 4 year University this fall (thank God for Scholarships).
For a graduation gift we will be buying her a Laptop Computer. Being that we are quite economically challenged (poor), this purchase is a major purchase for us and I truly seek your informed advice on this purchase. I have read back as far as page 9 and I am quite overwhelmed with all the information.

I was considering the Toshiba M45-S331 but after reading through many posts and a comment made by the Moderator ?R. Proffitt / Avoid till 2006, I fear I would regret this purchase.

Therefore, my question: What would be a good reliable laptop for under $1,500.
I?m asking for specific Name Brands and Models that you would suggest.
(Note: My daughter is not a gamer.)

I truly need your help on this and I thank you in advance for your advice!


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At the office.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 12, 2005 9:00 PM PDT

We have far too many Dells, then a collection of Compaqs, IBMs, and a few others. And very few issues.

Toshiba came onto the radar screen as avoid since they seem to have forgotten basic ESD (electro static discharge) issues. This is not a new issue as we watched PalmOne on their model m500 a few years back forget as well.

While Toshiba is retrofitting and relearning my comment is to let them relearn but not at your expense. They will support their hardware but why bother with them at all today? There is a lot of great laptops out them. Just stick with the names.

Only those new to the laptop scene will mention the off mainstream names since they haven't learned why.


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by markm137 / June 14, 2005 10:51 AM PDT
In reply to: At the office.

Thank you BOB

From your reply I assume/deducted your favorites are, and in order:
# 1. Dell
# 2. Compaq's and
# 3. IBM'S

I ran across a post, here on this message board, stateing to contact the University that your child will be attending and ask them for their recommendations, and I did.

At the California Baptist University Riverside (CBU) I was told that basically the entire Administration Office uses Dells and they have few to no breakdowns, that they are all very happy with them. I also found out what Software to buy that would be the most compatible with most if not all the teachers on campus.

Next, I live next to the University of California Riverside (UCR) and the home right next to me is a Sorority house (BTW - a very nice group of girls). I went next door and ask "what laptops are your favorites...what do you girls all use?" She immediately replied "OH WE ALL HAVE DELL'S THERE THE BEST!"

Well combined with all three ( C/NET, CBU, and UCR Sorority Girls) all mostly using Dell's I do believe Dell would be the best brand to buy.

If anyone has comment about "BEST BRAND OF COMPUTER?" I would still value your input!

Thank you!

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You've named the models we use.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 14, 2005 11:32 AM PDT

I can't say I'd give any advantage to any of those names however we did get some Athlon 64 R3000s (Compaq) and they have been quite nice for desktop replacements plus some portability. Ken (ikenfixit) did note that you must NEVER bang, bump, stress the power connection. It could be a weak spot in the design but we have seen that issue in other laptops so I can't say it's just a R3000 issue.

There are many fine laptops out there. Keep researching Toshiba if you must, but with the issues my advice is to just avoid them till its all sorted out. Remember that there may be unfixed units on the shelves or pipe so let it work out.


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by markm137 / June 14, 2005 11:53 AM PDT

Hey Bob

Thanks for the tip about the Athlon 64 R3000s (Compaq). I plan on going right now and checking them out. My daughter is graduating tomorrow and I would like to have one in her hand as a gift.

I really liked the Toshiba M45-S331. But after reading reviews here and elsewhere from people who have owned them for 6mo+, I fear getting a "Lemon" and then entering into Toshiba "SERVICE HELL!"

Well its 6:55 here in So Cal and I will be off for one more check on other computer's besides Dell. I will let you know later tonight what I decided!

Take Care

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The R4000 is the new line.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 14, 2005 11:59 AM PDT
In reply to: BEST LAPTOP?

I was sharing out older model numbers at the office. (I snagged one...)


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RE: R4000 comment
by markm137 / June 14, 2005 12:20 PM PDT

Hi Bob

Steping out the door right now, got your comment about the R4000 line!


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Bob & Ryan Finely Decided On What To Buy!
by markm137 / June 15, 2005 7:33 PM PDT
In reply to: RE: R4000 comment

Hi Bob, Ryan, and All

Well I did one more drive around to several stores that sell laptops and I did not find anything I like in stock. Therefore, I decided on buying a DELL!

All in all I think it will be fun picking out just the right one with my daughter. That way she will know just what, and what features she will be getting. Also it will be good father / daughter bonding time.

For the gift, I printed up a very nice congratulations, 8'X 11' sign (photo quality / high gloss color) with a DELL logo, and a fancy colorful picture of a laptop, love mom and dad thing, placed it in a very nice picture frame. She loved it!

Buy the way ---> I found out that both Circuit City and Best Buy have discontinued the Toshiba M45-S331 because of ?Excessive Returns?.
Glad I did NOT buy it.

That?s about it for now, and thank you again Bob and Ryan for your input and suggestions. I may drop in from now and then and say hello and maybe I will learn a thing or two!

Take care!

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Stick with the big three
by Ryan T / June 14, 2005 11:52 AM PDT

If for no other reason than they will support a broken laptop better.

The bottom line here is, the industry uses fairly standard components, and these are all subject to a lifetime before they break. The current Toshiba situation is rare and not typical. Still, right now, Toshiba is to be avoided. On top of their problems, it has been my experience that they charge too much for what they give you in terms of features.

Every brand of laptops will have some that break within 2 years. The difference is, how does the company support it?

Dell, HP/Compaq, and IBM all have good service and support, and will be able to easily repair a laptop should it break. Aienware, Averatec, the other no-names, and even Gateway and Acer have fairly unimpressive service.

For value, I find you can't beat Dell Refurbished. The computers ARE new, but they're not customizable. So you find the right one, and you get it at 200-400$ off regular price. You can get the same warranty as a new computer, and if you buy a Latitude (their business line), you get even BETTER support.

Last november, I got my Dell Inspiron 8600 (Pentium M 1.5, 512MB Ram, 40GB Hard Drive, CDRW), for $899. I have been very happy with this computer so far. I have spent $175 on upgrades: I upgraded the wireless, which I planned to do from the start, and I increased the ram to 1.25GB. I'm VERY happy with it.

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Hasee notebook
by timesyangtse / June 14, 2005 1:14 PM PDT

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