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i am looking to buy a laptop this year for school and have no clue on what to look for. i would not be playing games on it. just something that can connect to the wireless link at school and to type my papers on. i suppose a dvd burner would be cool--just to have one, but not necessary. any thoughts or suggestions??? thanks in advance. oh, and i don't/can't spend a fortune on this either. the trep is getting new tires and an alignment this friday!! :biggrin:

--rudy--
 

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My wife got a nice deal on a Dell Inspiron E1510 (I think) for about $700 + shipping. And no its not on Dell's list that catch fire (yet).
 

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Personally, I wouldn't buy anything other than an IBM or Toshiba laptop for school. My friend has an HP that is loaded with everything - widescreen,dvd-rw,100gb HD, awesome graphics card and a bunch of other stuff. It would be a sweet machine to leave at home on a desk, but for portability it sucks. Its huge, its heavy, its drains the battery in no time with the P4, and now the screen hinges are all loose. His cost about $1000 when he bought it. In contrast, my thinkpad has none of the fancy stuff, but thats what my desktop is for. It is the perfect laptop to carry around all day. Its barely an inch thick, weighs nothing, and runs forever on the battery with the pentium m mobile chip. It has built in motion sensors to save the harddrive in case of a fall too. The wireless is amazing also. My thinkpad was over twice the price of his at about $2200 but I dropped it off a table from about 4 feet onto tile and it jsut chipped a corner off the plastic. My friends dell fell about a foot and lsot the harddrive and screen.
 

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I'm on my second Toshiba laptop in 5 years (bought the first one used) both Sattelites. Never a speck of problems with either one until one of my wife's cats decided to use the first as a little box (not a good thing! hence the need for the one, althought I did get the old one back up and running and sold it for a $250, had 500mhz processor). This one is top notch and I love it. Both had/have DVD/CD burner. Not too heavy to tote around and I get a little over 2 hours on the battery even after 2 years. IMO Toshiba is the way to go.
 

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lol, i am the opposite, i realy dislike the feel of toshibas, mainly for the wrong location of the windows button, i LOVE the new lightwieght portable compaqs and HP's, and Gateways, id suggest one of those.
one of these you can customize them, single core, dual core, intel, amd, ram and such, and all laptops come with a ton of trash, the last 2 i had i started them up with a windows xp disk in and the firts thing i did was format and reinstall, never saw the original screen, you can download a copy or barrow a copy of windows since you would have a legit key on the bottom of the notebook as well
 

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ximkolo said:
... the last 2 i had i started them up with a windows xp disk in and the firts thing i did was format and reinstall, never saw the original screen, you can download a copy or barrow a copy of windows since you would have a legit key on the bottom of the notebook as well

at that point, no you dont have a legit copy of windows. becuase the disk that you used to "restore" it, wasnt assigned to that machine
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i looked at tiger direct link
i also looked at staples here
i also looked on ebay, but am hesitant to order from there. any other place i could start to look. i start school in one week and would like to have something in hand or on order by that time. thanks again for the advice so far.

--rudy--
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i also looked at best buy here
new back pack included!!! not that important, but i am driving myself nuts looking at all of the these damn laptops!!!!
 

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Dude, get a Dell....Sorry it just had to be said...

You will get more bang for your buck, look at the home 1505, and the small business 6400. They are the same unit, just sold via different channels.

Some things to keep in mind...
1) You can get a 4 year maintenance plan from Dell, for a good price. For school I would recommend getting the complete care. This will even cover your screen if you drop your system and it breaks.
2) Once you get a price on-line, or via a deal site. Give Dell a call, the operator will almost always be able to beat the price that you have gotten.
3) For school, unless you are going into IT, XP Home or MediaCenter will work fine for you. Be for warned there are 5 types of XP, and 10 or 11 types of Vista when it comes out.
4) Get the duo core, it's worth it, and don't skimp on the RAM, Vista will need it. You can run Vista on 512 but it's not fun.
5) Don't get downloaded copies of XP from the internet, it's not worth the headache you will face down the road.
6) Don't forget you qualify for student/teacher software from MS
7) Dell offers discounts to students, give them a call and see what level you will get.

If you want some more info drop me a PM I will answer any question that I can for you.

Just as an FYI, I am factory Certified on all Hardware (desktop/laptop/server) from Dell, IBM, HP (Compaq), Toshiba, and even Sony (run away, run away). I have too many years experience in the IT field to talk about, and I teach A+ courses at the local CC. IBM has had good laptops for the last 7 or 8 years, however I am not sold on the Lenovo brand, and their support has dropped. Run away from Sony, just run away. I know some that love their DeadCow laptops, but I just can't recommend those to anyone.

Two good discount sites:
1 http://www.bensbargains.net/
2 http://www.gotapex.com/ they have a dell on the front page right now for $749 with free shipping...
Happy shopping!
 

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Here's some advice:

1 - DON'T get a Celeron, under ANY circumstances (or Sempron for that matter)
2 - Toshiba's have a major issue where the power connecter hooks to the motherboard, eventually with unplugging and plugging in, the solder connection will break inside, and your laptop won't charge. It's a VERY common Toshiba issue. My roommate's Toshiba just ate it for that very problem, and a girl in my class had her Toshiba give her the black screen of death after 2 months of ownership. I heard Toshiba quality used to be there, but apparently they're not as good lately.


If you're set on a Dell, try to find a Dell coupon for 70% off, you'll kick yourself if you buy a Dell at full price.

I haven't heard anything negative about Dell really........don't they use proprietory stuff?
 

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IntrepidXJ said:
I stick with Toshiba laptops. never let me down. they have low cost options as well as high end stuff

We bought a Toshiba also, nothing bad to say about it at all. And if you time it right, you can get a well spec's one at a pretty good price.
 

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wb6vpm said:
at that point, no you dont have a legit copy of windows. becuase the disk that you used to "restore" it, wasnt assigned to that machine
yeah but it seems more legit, you technically are paying for windows with the pc, but they just dont want to give you a disk, screw that its better than doing a 100% pirate, and dells protection thing i must say is pretty nifty, my very first laptop was a dell an di used it with no real questions asked, first year of college, i messed the screen up, about 10 days later i had a new one, may have been longer or shorter, it was a few years back
 

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unf, as far as microsoft is concerned, it isnt any more legit
(i agree it is crap)
 

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Well if all you are going to use it for is papers and the internet you can pretty much get anything you want for as cheap as you want. Id say 512mb ram, no less than a 40 gig hard drive, processor doesnt really matter for what you will be doing. You could get something new for 500 even.

Everyone has their own opinion on which brand is best. I will recommend one thing though and thats a maintenence plan or warantee. I got the 4 year one from best buy and it literally saved me about 1000 dollars in reapirs. They had to send it out so it took a little while to fix, i hate the geeksquad (they rob ppl for doing basic things) but they did a good job repairing hardware issues (if its them that does it im not really sure). A maintenance plan is a good idea with laptops especially becuase they are so much harder to fix. I fix things in desktops all the time but i just dont want to go to the trouble to try and fix a laptop (because of their complex construction) its way easier to send it out.
 

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Meh, maintenance plans are so expensive........for the cost of a maintenance plan, I have 1/2 the money for a new laptop in a few years :)
 

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Yeah Jeff, those Geek Squad members love to rip ppl off :p
 

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I didnt think my maintence plan was that bad it was like 150-200 bux i think for 4 years. Its prolly gone up since then though.

Yeah laptops are more screws but if you dont have a service manual its really tough to take things out and put them back especially in order. (Excluding RAM and usually the HD since they have made that easier)
 

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there is this one guy that fully broke down a laptop and replaced the fan on the video card and put it back together in less than 30 minutes, i had to give him an applaude for that, i did not even want to be bothered with it at all
 
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