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Which laptop to choose?

So I can't decide on which laptop brand to buy. I'm torn between the Dell Inspiron 5150, Toshiba Tecra 1, and Hp zd7000. Right now I'm really leaning towards the Dell, but I've been reading mixed things on the user reviews. Can anyone offer any help? I realize that I didn't include any specifics that I want in my laptop, but essentially I want wi-fi and a decently-lasting battery. Weight is not an issue and I'd like for the laptop to be less than $1600. I'm also looking at Sony VAIOs so if anyone strongly suggests that, then point me in that direction. Thanks again

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Also

In reply to: Which laptop to choose?

it's a desktop replacement

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Re: Also

In reply to: Also

If you read some of the moderator's (Bob Probert) you will find out his negative experiences with Sony service.

And, in the recent PCmagazine survey of major US desktop and notebook manufacturer service ratings Sony came in last by far in both notebooks and desktops (IBM was #1 in notebooks -- Dell,Toshiba, and HP/Compaq were all bunched in the middle).

With the emergence of wi-fi on the road (Tmobile at Starbucks or at Airports, etc) it is ideal to get a full featured notebook that can still be transported easily and also allow at least 3.5 - 4 hours battery life (Intel Pentium M processor -- Centrino notebooks).

Also, a 15.4" LCD gives you maximum versatility for spreadsheets, widescreen DVD's, etc while still weigh in at 6.5 pounds (and can be easily carried in a notebook backpack). These all have the Intel Dothan Pentium M processors (715 or higher) available as well with 2mb L2 system cache.

Check out the Consumer Toshiba M35 (10% off online) or retail M35S456 (on sale this week at CompUSA for $1799 -- regular $1999 -- has DVD burner and it is fully loaded. this has the new Trubrite LCD -- check this out.

The Toshiba Techra is similar to the above but it only has a 14.1" LCD and costs more as it is the business line and it weighs about 5.5 pounds.

The Compaq X1000/HPZT3000/HPnx7000 (business) line is similar to the above in a 15.4" widescreen -- you can get $100 custom order rebate and a $100 instant rebate right now by ordering custom at hpshopping.

see x1000forums.com

Note there are other similar forums for the zd7000 also so you should look for those if you are considering them.

Also, see notebookforums.com for Toshiba and Dell.

whatever you order make sure you get a notebook with dedicated video RAM and not shared or integrated or you limit what you notebook can run later --it is not upgradeable easily as on desktops without space and proprietary notebook restrictions.

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Re: Also

In reply to: Re: Also

thanks! you're really helpful. After thinking all of this through and reading on the board, I think I'll get the Inspiron 5150. But is the lack of a dock that important?

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Dock...

In reply to: Re: Also

I've never found one that useful. But I did find an USB hub to be great to pop in a few USB devices in one shot.

Bob

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Re: Dock...

In reply to: Dock...

The Dell 5150 is as Pentium 4M system. Make sure you want to have a 8.5 pound notebook (before A/C adaptor). If you will leave it on your desk all the time that will be fine but if not consider the Dell 8600 (6.9 pound Pentium M Centrino from Dell) as it will give you much more versatility (better battery life, less heavy) from Dell.

The other notebooks I mentioned in the prior post are all Pentium M notebooks similar to the Dell 8600 but they are a bit thinner and lighter (6.2 to 6.5 pounds) as the case was made for the Pentium M and the Dell 8600 was not (so it is a bit thicker).

If you are happy with the very hot Pentium 4M (nearly the same cpu as used in a desktop with much more space and fans) then you should be ok.

Make sure you get the level of dedicated video memory you want now as you cannot change it (get at least 64mb dedicated RAM and 128mb is great if you can afford it and it is offered).

You can save money by ordering only 1 RAM module (256mb or 512mb) and adding your own later to the 2nd slot (512mb RAM PC2700 Kingston only $59.99 after rebates this weekend at Fry's Electronics through 9/7/04).

Also, get the 5400rpm or 7200rpm hard drive if possible over the 4200 as that is much slower (and in a desktop you had a 5400rpm or 7200 rpm hard drive already)

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