Laptop Suggestions, Your Help Appreciated!

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
Hi folks... I have always hated laptops, and dont have one for that reason. Since I dont like them, I dont keep up with them as far as whats the latest / greatest. Having said that, I need your suggestions, because my new job will require one ( no they wont buy it )

Here is what I will be using it for, so that you can help me make my decision.

--I will be a traveling salesman and I will need to use Excel Spreadsheets a lot, as well as view PDF's and Digital Photos. I will manipulate some photos in photoshop. A nice wide screen would be nice.

--Gaming performance is NOT high on my list of things to do, but I would like to know that it can perform "decent" if I choose to run a game. Shouldnt be a total dog but top of the line is NOT necessary by any means.

-- Battery life is not super critical since I can always plug it into my vehicle, but absolute crapola battery life is not acceptable either

-- RAM. 1GB+ would be nice. 512mb bare minimum

--Wifi / Ethernet, absolute must but since this can be added via pcmcia its optional, although Id like to keep my expansion slots open if possible. "B" ok "G" even nicer. 100Mbps ethernet is fine. I guess a modem would be desireable if I have to connect in a hotel room, but honestly Id rather slit my wrist than use dial up.

--USB2.0 Absolutely required. USB1.1 Not acceptable. Firewire would be nice too but not required. Would prefer multiple USB slots, or a hub of some kind

--DVD Recorder required.

--Floppy NOT required, and honestly I dont even want a floppy drive.

--Open to AMD or INTEL, but I prefer AMD in my home box. 64 bit would be nice but not required. Its not gonna be that big of a help in a laptop in my humble opinion.


-- Fast hard drive would be nice.

My price range Im looking is whatever it takes to get this machine, but CHEAP AS POSSIBLE. I dont know how much to expect so Im not putting a limit.


How about it folks, anyone have any suggestions?
 

HvyMtl

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Messages
1,730
ok Dell sounds up your alley
gotapex.com or gottadeal.com or couponmountain.com for coupons/deals on dell.
I suggest XP pro as you will have a much better time networking - especially since you'll prolly be hitting various nets.
place for decent info on notebooks - might be worth posting there too...
http://notebookforums.com/
one place to buy lappys that are of good quality. They carry the original manufacturers' books that are rebadged into the likes of HP, Compaq, Dell, etc.
rjtech.com
best of luck
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
Can you elaborate about IBM? I remember a thinkpad back in 99 that my boss had, and it was a huge piece of crap. But then a lot can change in 6 years.
 

lithium726

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
8,195
T series (i havent used the R or the X) thinkpads are the most reliable and well built laptops i have ever used. i had an HP that the had the power connector break off the mobo and the cooling soltuion renetion mechanism break off. same thing with a compaq, sans the power connector. both those laptops batteries' are completly dead... the HP was getting an hour+ charge one day, the next day, it was completly dead. i swear by the thinkpads, i have a T23 and i have never had a problem, and is the most solid feeling machine i have ever used.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Messages
665
I own a dell 9300 and I love it. You can get them pretty bare for ~1000. I love the notebook and wouldn't trade it but its by far not ultraportable as it has a 17" Widescreen.... My vote is for my lappy. Otherwise, if you can afford it, an IBM laptop would definatley meet your requirements as noted above and they have a VERY wide selection, just usually NOT much in the video card department in my expereince. Since that's a low option in your book, it may just be right up your alley.
 

MaxBurn

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
1,084
Just got a Dell D610 and I really like it a lot, it seems to be right in line with your requirements too.

On a much broader view, keep away from desktop processors in a laptop.
 

Dagatech

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 15, 2001
Messages
1,170
the dell i6000d is supposed to be nice as well, pretty similar to the 9300 but 15.4 widescreen and x300 vid card. If you do order from dell, I would recommend getting the smallest amount of memory they will let you and upgrading yourself, it's MUCH cheaper that way

[edit] actually, thinking about it you probably want to go with a Latitude notebook. More reliable, better construction....you just trade the graphics i believe
 

g-megaman

n00b
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
30
I would go for an Acer Travelmate 8005 LMI laptop as it seems pretty decent :
- it has a 15" screen (with a 1400 x 1050 res.) which isn't too bad.
- Graphics is definitely acceptable and it should be able to handle most games.
- Has a battery life of up to 5 hours.
- Has only 512MB RAM, but it isn't too expensive to upgrade (I got similar 512MB RAM for £55 I think)
- Has an Intel PRO/Wireless 2100BG connection, and Integrated 10/100/1000 Mbps Fast Ethernet as well as a 56k modem.
- Has 4xUSB 2.0
- It has a DVD Supermulti drive (whatever that is)

It also has :
- Intel® Pentium® M 1.8GHz processor with 1MB L2 Cache
- I am not sure as to the Hard drive speed, but it has an 80Gb Ultra ATA/100 HDD
And it isn't obscenely expensive - it comes with nice little bundles too!
See : Acer Travelmate 8005 LMI
 

RGMBill

Gawd
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
548
Too bad you didn't get in on the deal that I did a month ago. I picked up a loaded Compaq R3000Z (A64-3000 (1.8Ghz), 1x512MB, 60 GB HDD, 15.4" Briteview Widescreen (1200x800), 64MB GeForce Go 440 w/1394, 3 USB 2.0, WinXP Pro, Floppy, DVD/CDRW) for <$1000 after rebate; a few weeks later, one of my friends at work got built in Broadcom G and a printer for about the same price. It was a HELL of a deal, and other than you needing to upgrade to the DVD/RW drive, and cutting the Floppy, it sounds like what you're looking for.
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
Gateway, theres a name I havent heard in a while. Seems like they have dropped off the face of the earth. I always hated working on their desktop PCs. Does anyone have any experience with their latest laptops?

Thanks for input guys, got some good stuff from you guys.
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
Wow the specs on that Gateway are impressive! What is the mobile Athlon? Is it just the lower power version of the regular desktop Athlon 64?
 

lithium726

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
8,195
i wouldnt touch a gateway anything with a 10 ft pole... my dad has a gateway laptop thats ~3 years old and its falling apart (quite literally)

the mobile athlon, while using less voltage/power than a regular athlon, cant touch a pentium-m.
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
Im curius about how AMD's Turion is going to stack up against the Pentium M. My friend has a Pentium M Dell and I was surprised at how well it performs.
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
That ACER looks pretty good too. Sigh, I hate making purchasing decisions. I always end up comparing everythign on the market, and it takes me forever to make a decision. Although I usually am quite happy with my decision
 

palabared

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 2, 2003
Messages
1,073
i think the dell 6000D would be your best bet. with a 15.4w screen, can get upto a 2.0 pentium m, gig of ram, dvd burner etc. can also get both the 8 and 4 cell battery for just 30 more. One of the best features of dell is the return policy. you get 21 days once your laptop arrives, and u can exchange it or get a refund without having to pay any shipping o restocking frees.
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
Acer is making some nice laptops... do they make their own? Does acer sell their laptops to others like Dell?

Does anyone have any experience with Acer?
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
palabared said:
i think the dell 6000D would be your best bet. with a 15.4w screen, can get upto a 2.0 pentium m, gig of ram, dvd burner etc. can also get both the 8 and 4 cell battery for just 30 more. One of the best features of dell is the return policy. you get 21 days once your laptop arrives, and u can exchange it or get a refund without having to pay any shipping o restocking frees.


PALABARED, Is this the one you are referring too ?

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/inspn_6000d?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd
 

g-megaman

n00b
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Messages
30
I got an old Acer Travelmate 250, which I think they no longer make :) . It has functioned perfectly well with no errors at all, and my only gripe would be that I can't change the graphics card, since it is integrated into the motherboard and uses shared memory. Just check that before you buy, since in the future it can really hamper your computer's performance.
 

enelson125

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2004
Messages
485
I would recommend the Asus Z71V, as it's a fairly powerful notebook and the price isn't bad either. Not sure what your price range is though.

A couple sites that you can get it from are:
www.istnc.com
www.proportable.com
www.hypersonic-pc.com

Specs on the Z71V:
Pentium-M (anywhere from 1.6ghz to 2.13 ghz)
Sonoma Chipset 533-FSB
DDR2-400 & DDR2-533 support
Geforce 6600 Go 128mb video chipset (supposedly user-replaceable)
15.4 WSXGA+ Screen
Has support for SATA and PATA Hard Drives

I plan to get one of these for college, as its very balanced between power and portability. I like the Dell i9300, but it seems like it would be a tad too bid to haul around a lot.
 

aktick

Gawd
Joined
Jun 17, 2001
Messages
916
What are the differences between the displays on the Dell Inspirons?

15.4 inch WXGA LCD Panel
15.4 inch UltraSharp WSXGA+ LCD Panel [add $100 or $3/month1]
15.4 inch UltraSharp WUXGA LCD Panel [add $150 or $4/month1]

Just curious if it was worth $100 or $150. Thanks.
 

enelson125

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2004
Messages
485
aktick said:
What are the differences between the displays on the Dell Inspirons?

15.4 inch WXGA LCD Panel
15.4 inch UltraSharp WSXGA+ LCD Panel [add $100 or $3/month1]
15.4 inch UltraSharp WUXGA LCD Panel [add $150 or $4/month1]

Just curious if it was worth $100 or $150. Thanks.

The differences are the native resolutions of the screens
WXGA 1280x800
WSXGA+ 1680x1050
WUXGA 1920x1200
thats the only difference
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Messages
665
The inspiron is a great choice. I myself own a 9300 with the 17" WUXGA and its great. Right now the platform to have is a sonoma chipset Pentium M with the 533 FSB and 2MB of L2 Cache. Even the new AMD Turion's can barley touch 'em. (though i dobut today you can yet find a laptop with a turion in it, they are still new.) If you decide on this Pentium M chipset, the biggest bang/buck ratio seems to lay in the i9300 I have. The i6000 Is a great notebook as well with a smaller footprint and really quite a bit more moblie than the 17" 9300. I have used both and they really are great. The Radeon x300 is also a very capable card. For your uses i'd recomend the WUXGA screen as its amazingly detailed.

That being said. I think the asus laptop offers similar features/price, as well as some others. Good luck in your final decision!
 

CoPilotJim

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
120
I'd get a 14 inch Ibm t42p with 9 cell battery - 2378 FVU is the model I reccomend.

It's a solid well built laptop, only an inch thick, it'll weigh about 5.5 lbs with the 9 cell. It has a 64MB mobility 9600 in it as well.

http://www-132.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/s...tegoryId=2585864&dualCurrId=73&catalogId=-840

It's the most pricey, at $1529 it only comes with 256mb of ram, but you can buy some on your own for cheap and just upgrade it. I would not go with a 15 inch laptop or the 9300. If you are carrying it around everywhere you do not want those gigantic machines.

Ibm does not mess around. I will most likely end up purchasing a T series myself once dual core P-M comes out.
 

elfletcho

Gawd
Joined
Feb 15, 2004
Messages
814
The_Engineer said:
The inspiron is a great choice. I myself own a 9300 with the 17" WUXGA and its great. Right now the platform to have is a sonoma chipset Pentium M with the 533 FSB and 2MB of L2 Cache. Even the new AMD Turion's can barley touch 'em. (though i dobut today you can yet find a laptop with a turion in it, they are still new.) If you decide on this Pentium M chipset, the biggest bang/buck ratio seems to lay in the i9300 I have. The i6000 Is a great notebook as well with a smaller footprint and really quite a bit more moblie than the 17" 9300. I have used both and they really are great. The Radeon x300 is also a very capable card. For your uses i'd recomend the WUXGA screen as its amazingly detailed.

That being said. I think the asus laptop offers similar features/price, as well as some others. Good luck in your final decision!

I love my i6000
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2005
Messages
665
CoPilotJim said:
Ibm does not mess around.

Very well said. Too bad that laptop doesn't have a sonoma core with a 533 FSB. then it might be more worth the extra cash. I have always envied IBM owners though, they do make GREAT laptops. i6000 would be faster though, with the Higher FSB
 

aktick

Gawd
Joined
Jun 17, 2001
Messages
916
Maybe a very stupid question...but anybody can buy Dell laptops from the "Small Business" section, can't they? Just seems to be much better deals on Inspirons via the Small Business link than "Home." Thanks.
 

lithium726

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 16, 2004
Messages
8,195
The_Engineer said:
Very well said. Too bad that laptop doesn't have a sonoma core with a 533 FSB. then it might be more worth the extra cash. I have always envied IBM owners though, they do make GREAT laptops. i6000 would be faster though, with the Higher FSB
the T43 is sonoma based.
 

choppedliver

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
479
Well folks, I ended up getting a d610. Its ordered, but hasnt been built yet. The d6000 was too big. I wanted something more portable, and something that had a more rugged build, and warranty. The lattitude has a metal frame and a 3 yr warranty. Cant wait
 
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