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Toshiba, Dell or Gateway?

Having trouble deciding on a laptop brand. I'm just looking for basic use, nothing too fancy and I'd like to spend under $1k. What are your thoughts? Thank you so much!

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under 1k, eh?

In reply to: Toshiba, Dell or Gateway?

Definitely do not go for the Dells, it may be cheap, but the quality is lacking. I would go for the Gateways, they're affordable, well-built, and good looking.
Toshibas tend to be a bit more expensive and if you're not looking for anything fancy, it might not be the right buy for you.

(furthermore, if you have any friends or relatives that are students, you might be able to ask them to buy you the laptop for a significantly reduced student price\ing)

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In reply to: under 1k, eh?

for the feedback. I've been leaning more towards the gateway for the price category. More bang for my buck.

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What !

In reply to: under 1k, eh?

Ha ha ha ! What a good joke :

it may be cheap, but the quality is lacking

Ha ha ha ! Hey man, I have a Dell Inspiron 6400. And you say what I will tell you ? It is perfect ! The quality is wonderful ! My father has a Dell Latitude D600 and I think the quality build is better than the Latitude !

Did you have a Dell laptop to be able to say what you said ?

Dell tech & customer service is very good. I forgot to put the re-installation CDs of Windows XP MCE in my order and I called the service. The staff member was very understanding and very cool.

Toshiba laptops are also a good choice. They are very well-built and I heard that the tech service is almost good...

Things to look :

About speed ... the Core Duo is the fastest mobile processor and some says that this is the most wonderful processor that Intel never created. So a 1.66 Ghz is fine. Don't forget that you can upgrade it for a MEROM in a year or two to have the 64 bits technoligy and up to 4 MB L2 cache because the Yonah ( Core Duo ) and the MEROM are pin-to-pin compatible and Intel affirmed in many press releases that the Core Duo will be upgradable. But ( there is always a ''But'' ), you'll need the BIOS upgrade. i think that most of the constructor will release it has they did with the Pentium 4 supporting the Hyper-Threading technology.

Memory : Start with 512 MB of Ram on 1 DIMM ( only 1 stick = 1x512 MB DDR2 SDRAM 533 MHz ). If you want to have more speed in a year to run Windows Vista smoothly, it's possible to add a 1x1024 MB DDR2 SDRAM 533 MHz ( be carefull : you must have the same RAM Timming to have the maximum performances with the Dual-Channel memory mode ! ).

Depndability : Dell is one of the laeder in this domain. My dad has a Dell latitude D600 old of 2 years and it works like he had it yesterday.

Graphics : ATi Mobility Radeon X1400 is a must have for photo editing tasks. 128 MB on-board VRAM is better than 64 MB on-board ( for the case of the ATi Mobility Radeon X1300 ).

Optical drives : A DVD burner is not a luxe of our days ! You must have it to make back-up.

Display : A TrueLife display will show you more contrast and more vivid colors for your photos.

Battery : If you plan to use your laptop for a long time without recharging it, buy the 9-cell lithium Ion battery which provides to you about 5:30 ( and more if you drop the bright level of the display ) of battery life.

Here is my configuration. I also want to do photo editing and use it as a desktop replacement.

Dell Inspiron 6400 :

Core Duo T2300
Windows XP Media Center
15.4'' WXGA With TrueLife 512 MB DDR2 SDRAM 533 MHz, 1 DIMM
ATi Mobility Radeon X1400 )
80 GB Hard-Drive @ 5400 RPM
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945
8X CD/DVD Burner
85 WHr 9-cell primary battery
Nylon Backpack carrying case
1-Year return to depot + 1-Year technicial support ( can be 2 years if you buy it with a GOLD credit Card )
Carbon Fiber QuickSnap Cover
WIndows XP Media Center Re-installation CD

About the service plan ... There will be always people who have problem with the customer service, for all computer brands. Even if you go with HP, ACER, Toshiba ... you will see people who loves their machine and some who doesn't like their product. Samething for the service : some persons like it, some have problem with it. No brands is better than another. BUT : Some are worse than other, exemple Alienware.

Things to avoid ( if you don't take a Dell ) is a single Core processor and a integrated graphics controller ( like the ATi RADEON XPRESS 200Mor X200 and the intel GMA 900-950 ). Single core processor will deliver good performances, sure, but they aren't optimized for the future multi-threaded applications. An integrated chip is the worse thing to buy because it steal you 128 MB of the system RAM and delivers very bad performances vis-a-vis a dedicated chip like the X1400. Yes the X1400 will steal you 128 MB, but it's always possible to rectify the amount of VRAM allowed to the HyperMemory and it's also possible to desactivate the Hypermemory, thing that you can't do on an integrated chip.

Things to look for : choose the laptop that has the highest number of ports. HP has one connection that Dell haven't : the Expension base Connector. Dell simply thought that it's better to have a USB dock station for a home user. It's good and do the same job than the other port on the HP.

Read reviews on models that Interest you. CNET has a pretty good library of reviews and take a look also to PC Magazine ( ).

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Agree with ghost

In reply to: What !

Who told you dell were poorly bit machines they are built fine check out the reviews from users that own the systems you'll find it hard to find someone complaining about the actual hardware on the system if anything they complain about customer support. Check what the users also say about their systems at or around 1k you get customers rating their system about 6.5-7.5 and at the higher end 7.5-8.5 ratings from users. That isn't the type of ratings you get from a purly built product if you want to see that check on a few of the more recent toshiba releases they are ok for a while but have hardware trouble later on now to be clear I've never owed a toshiba so I'm just going off what the actual owners of the recent high end qosmio are reporting about their system and the satalite M65. I mean its a good computer expecially for multi-media but I wouldn't say toshiba's build quality is above dell's. As for the gateway I've used and owned a couple gateways and never really had a problem with them and their users seem to like them as well so that's not a bad choice. If I had to go between the three I'd go with the a dell if I wanted to have more of chance to customize the system and more multimedia option and the gateway if I just wanted more of a general computer that came with good software to begin with anyways just my thoughts on the subject.

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