Laptops forum

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Performance v Quality v Reliability v Value for Money

by parmer56 / April 20, 2009 9:48 PM PDT

I am looking to buy a decent gaming laptop which and need all the help I can get from some of you experts out there, I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Of the following Laptops, which would you buy and why bearing in mind the above criteria (the below is not in preference order)
> 1. Rock - Xtreme XSL8-9550
> 2. Dell XPS M1730 with 8800M GTX SLI
> 3. ASUS W90VP-UZ023J
> 5. ACER AS8930G-904G100

Many Thanks


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 20, 2009 11:04 PM PDT

All are consumer grade laptops that should get 2 to some number of years of service. I no longer consider these reliable when we compare to models like the old IBM ThinkTanks or the Panasonic ToughBooks.

As to quality they all are built with similar, same hard disks, CPUs, RAM, printed circuit board and cable technology. Under the skin they are the same things.

Performance is however MEASURABLE by you BENCHMARKING (see the words in all capitals on google if you don't know them) and by doing the benchmark you can pick the winner.

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My experience.
by Renegade Knight / April 21, 2009 4:37 AM PDT

The Dell is crap. Support is crap. Their willingness to honor their warranty is horrid. It specs out nice, and the price can be fairly good giving you a high "value" for them money. As long as you never need support or warranty work you will be good. Alas every Dell I've had in the past 6 years has died a premature death and Dell was right there to refuse to stand behind the product to help me along. I'm Biased but I'm biased with a dead laptop with an extended warranty.

Toshiba's Qosmio...I have an old (2 years old) AV650 with an Extended (non toshiba) warranty. I'm making heavy use of the warranty that I purchased. It's dead again. I got 2 trouble free years out of it. Now it's going in for the 4th time. This kind of trouble eats up my limited number of installs of things like Spore and Office before I have to phone in and beg for install rights.

Someone likes to point out that consumer laptops last about 2 years now. That seems to track with real life observation with my Dell and Toshibas. I'm now running old ThinkPads that are slow, ugly, and rock solid.

My Mac is less than a year old so the jury is out on that one. Were I buying now I'd go Lenovo and hope they still have some IBM ThinkPad DNA. Never looked the toughbooks.

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What to buy??
by parmer56 / April 21, 2009 5:47 PM PDT
In reply to: My experience.

Many thanks Renegade Knight, this is valuable information notonly to me but to others also,specially if one is contemplating investing one's own hard earned money, I agree about Dell and your experience, some 9 yrs ago I bought an all singing & dancing Dell Inspiron fully customised around 2.5k, after the Sale Dell were nowhere in sight to resolve any issues.

Appreciate your kind input.


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Do tell what issues.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 21, 2009 8:28 PM PDT
In reply to: What to buy??

Many expected support in connecting a printer or fixing/explaining a Windows issue. At the office we are surrounded by Dell machines and never an issue. However we don't call them for issues with the software. Why? Dell didn't make that part.

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by parmer56 / April 21, 2009 8:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Do tell what issues.

Hi Bob,

You have a valid point about the "Office", however, as businesses have expensive maintenance agreements either with Dell or with other maintenance companies, so their issues get resolved pretty damn quick, it is in Dell's vested interest to resolve a Business Client's problems as failing to do, could put them in hot water, it is the lay person that finds it difficult to take on the might of the likes of big corporates.

On another note,when a computer comes to a grinding halt,a lay person can't tell whether it is S/W or H/W so the first port of call is generally the place one purchases the machine from.

But I do accept that some calls are totally uncessary like how to connect a printer etc.

Many Thanks

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That's EXACTLY the point.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 21, 2009 9:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Dell

Given your average consumer must get support for software and hardware Dell and most other laptop makers are going to be terrible.

-> How about a company that does it all? That is, Apple.

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by parmer56 / April 21, 2009 9:12 PM PDT

Hi Bob,

Are they for gaming too?, I know they are good for Multimedia. They are very pricy for the spec.

In view of the ones I picked here, which Apple one would you suggest?

Many Thanks

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Today, yes.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 21, 2009 9:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Apple

While it won't do for the wild eyed gamer that must have quad core dual SLI solutions all the current offerings have fine video chips.

As to the price maybe support costs money. Or rather people will not pay for it and are willing to live with the Windows machines that come with no support for the software?

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Lenovo is garbage
by Germaux / April 24, 2009 12:17 PM PDT
In reply to: My experience.

"Were I buying now I'd go Lenovo and hope they still have some IBM ThinkPad DNA. Never looked the toughbooks."

I made that same mistake and bought a new Thinkpad T500 in January. It's easily the worst computer I've ever owned. The once great Thinkpad support has gone way down hill, and the build quality is sub-par compared to my old T42. Also, Lenovo doesn't do a great job of testing their products before sending them to market or fixing them in a timely manner, so read the lenovo support forums for any model specific outstanding issues before you buy.

Also, it's true that you get what you pay for, so a brand new top of the line Thinkpad that's cheaper than a similarly equipped Dell or HP consumer notebook is going to have all sorts of other issues; whereas an "overpriced" Macbook is going to be reasonably reliable and have very good support.

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My experience
by hoopertoo / April 27, 2009 5:04 AM PDT
In reply to: My experience.

I bought a dell computer that came with a one year warranty. The warranty ended on April 24,2009, it died on April 27, 2009. For a fee of $49.00 I could get technical support. I told them it was dead and I needed it fixed. You can't get it fixed without paying them the $49.00 fee and talking to a "tech" first. The "tech experts" are all foreign that either can't understand you or you can't understand them. It is all VERY frustrating.

Right before this happened I ordered a new Dell laptop for our business. When it came, I took it out of the box and it wouldn't hook up wirelessly. In the end, nothing was wrong with my router. After spending a total of eight hours on the phone with Dell, the things that their so called experts told me to do took down my business email and they never resolved the problem. I ended up boxing it up and sending it back to Dell.

I will never buy another Dell product.

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by parmer56 / April 27, 2009 6:28 AM PDT
In reply to: My experience

Hi Hoopertoo,

It is something similar to my own experience with Dell as mentioned above, I think the solution is to have 3rd party support, where Techy's can deal with the manufacturer's techy's who won't be fobbed off .

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The Acer AS 8930 is being
by orlbuckeye / April 21, 2009 7:48 PM PDT

replaced by the 8935 in the next month. The 8935 will have an ATI graphics card instead of Nvidia.

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Acer 8935
by parmer56 / April 21, 2009 8:50 PM PDT

Thanks Orlbuckeye,

What is your experience of 'Acer@ machines, I was told by some Sales person at Micro Anvika that they have issues with HDD's and Motherboards and yet thet were selling them.

Acer being 'Altos' in the old days and I used to work for a computer company(1985-1989) selling Altos Boxes(mostly with Unix/Xenix) to big corporates and they were pretty damn good then, but as technology changes and they never did laptops with Msoft Windows etc, I am treading very carefully, the model I included on this thread is only available at Comet's with a pretty good spec inc 1Tb HDD for

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I have an Acer Aspire 9810 and I believe the mobo
by orlbuckeye / April 22, 2009 1:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Acer 8935

just went this weekend. The laptop is 3 years old and the cost for the mobo is 300. I don't believe Acer makes their own mobo's and I know they don't make the harddrives. I was looking at the Acer as 8930-7665 which has the quad core processor with 500 gig and Blu-ray and I see Newegg stopped selling that model and I researched and found out that Acer is releasing the 8935 next month. The 8930-7665 is still available for 1699.00 but supplies are limited. I might have puled the plug when I saw it at 1599 but I'm waiting for the offer to upgrade to Window 7 for free when you buy a new machine.

The 8930 comes in multiple models. The 7665 is the top of the line amd the differences in the module are processor speed, screen resolution and HD size. the 8930 models start at around 1000 to 1699 although those prioes can vary. The best vendors in USA for Acer is Comp-USA, New Egg or J&R music which you can get through

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by parmer56 / April 22, 2009 1:30 AM PDT

Tx for the tips.

I'm in the UK, not sure whether US Spec machines will be compatible in the UK??? I guess I'll have to wait until it comes out here.

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If you go to the Acer site they
by orlbuckeye / April 22, 2009 2:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Acer

have all the models listed. The way Acer does business if different from Dell and Dell sales some configurable models on it's website. Acer doesn't sale configurable model directly. They only through retail outlets and are preconfigured. Here are all the configurations of the 8930. If you notice they are all 8930's but the number after the - shows the specific configuration. The part numbers are also different. Some of the models have Blu-ray and some don't. The most powerful Core 2 Duo is 8930-6448 which is the 2.53 ghz processor.

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