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Which model would you buy?

by insurer / September 15, 2004 2:10 AM PDT

Am looking at the HPzt3000, IBM thinkpad 42, or IBM thinkpad T-51. Which is best to be used for a home business? need cable connection for internet. Want a 5400 hard drive,with at least 40 gig. From what I can read, a pentium M is best. Thanks

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Re: Which model would you buy?
by KenSanramon / September 15, 2004 4:08 AM PDT

You have to decide on what LCD size and resolution you want. The HPZT3000 (and sister Compaq X1000 series I have -- see X1000forums.com for pricing discounts, specification, and technical issues for both notebooks)
has the 15.4" widescreen and weighs 6.5 pounds. It is great for Excel (more columns to left and right and ability to open two 8 1/2/11 screens at times side by side) and widescreen DVD movies.

You just missed out on a $100 instant discount (expired just this week at end of back to school) on the hpshopping custom order site but you can still get a $100 custom order rebate through 12/1/04 and a free upgrade on one of the hardware items.

The IBM's are a bit more durable and the hard drive parks when you drop it or tilt it severely. Also, they are #1 in PC notebooks in Tech support (#2 to Apple overall) by both the PCmagazine and Sept 2004 Consumer report ratings. For repairs, IBM is #3 in PC notebooks (Apple #1 again) to Toshiba and Sony.

The IBM costs more and you may end up with a 14.1" LCD so the key thing is to decide if you like the 15.4" widescreen on the HPZT3000.

If so, they just got the Briteview XGA LCD screen option for $50 over the regular matte XGA last week online (similar to Sony Xbrite and Toshiba Trubrite). Or, you can order SXGA or UXGA resolution custom on the HPZT3000 as well.

Also, consider the Toshiba M35 series (retail M35S456).

Specs:

Get at least a Pentium M 725 1.6 Dothan -- (the 705 is not a Dothan)with the doubled 2mb L2 system cache.

Get the most dedicated video memory you can (64mb for most of these notebooks) as you cannot upgrade it later as on a desktop (shared or integrated video limits your uses and uses system RAM).

Get at least 512mb RAM (but you can order less from the manufacturer if you leave 1 slot of 2 open and put in your own for less later (Crucial, Kingston, PNY, etc).

Get the 5400 rpm hard drive option or higher (5400 rpm is 50% faster seek times versus 4200 -- 7200 adds another 20% boost).

As another person on this board today is considering, IBM does have better case construction and hard drive durability (parks itself) but it costs more and the LCD size is often smaller also (but 1 pound less) and square.

The HPZT3000 has been a great option and has a great keyboard also (but IBM is somewhat better) but the decision falls onto whether you want the most features and options or whether you want the better service and somewhat better reliability.

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Re: Which model would you buy?
by insurer / September 15, 2004 4:53 AM PDT

thank you for the very informative answer. You seem to mention the Compacq quite a bit. Have you heard of any issues w/their service?

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Re: Which model would you buy?
by KenSanramon / September 15, 2004 6:59 PM PDT

The Compaq X1000 series and the HPZT3000 series are the same notebook. So, the reliability should be very similar at least for this model.

Compaq came out lower than HP overall in the recent September 2004 Consumer reports survey for notebook repairs and service.

IBM is #2 to Apple in service (#1 for notebook PC's) and #4 to Apple, Toshiba, and Sony in repairs.

You can read about how users like the Compaq X1000 and HPZT3000 model specifically at X1000forums.com and for this reason (dedicated forum)I am happy I have this notebook.

The Toshiba M35 series is also excellent and has the 15.4" widescreen and Trubrite.

IBM's are more somewhat more reliable, have more durable construction, and have better service but they cost much more for what you get so make the decision if that is important to you (and if you want a 14.1" LCD instead of a 15.4" widescreen)

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Re: Which model would you buy?
by Plinkerton / September 19, 2004 4:17 PM PDT

I was debating between the zt3000 and the T42, and Mr. Sanramon helped me out a lot. I ended up choosing the T42, and every time I think about it arriving next week, I get all excited... Happy

So, that was the choice I made, and I'm very happy with it,(the choice, the computer isn't here yet).

In the end, it ended up costing about the same as the zt3000 would have with everything I wanted, but I did get a smaller screen, and smaller HD.

I didn't want to take any chances with quality issues, and I don't need firewire or anything.

Good luck with your decision. From what I hear, you'll probably be happy with any one you choose.

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Re: Which model would you buy?
by fishhatch / September 20, 2004 2:22 AM PDT

I purchased the Toshiba M35 series 320 about 3 months ago and have been very pleased with this notebook. It has 60 gig, Centrino 1.6 (to early for Dothan). Nice 15.4 screen with all the bells and whistles including the built in wireless package if that means anything. I do not use this for a home business but do think the Toshiba M35 series is something to look at. All this for 1550.00 at Best Buy after rebates. The model that Ken mentioned is worth looking at. Good luck hope this isn't to much info.

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