PDA

View Full Version : Notebook computer suggestions?


Kyle401
11-02-2006, 09:23 AM
I am changing jobs from a small company with a liberal computer use policy to a larger company with a much more restrictive policy. Since I was given free access to my work computer, I have never purchased one. However, I will now need a personal computer.

My wife and I both decided that we would prefer a notebook computer since we don't want to dedicate a space to a computer. We will generally be using the computer for web surfing, digital photographs, MP3's, and maybe some personal finance stuff.

Right now I am looking at this one (http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?catg=535&item=342987&prDeTab=2&pCatg=5680#A) from Sam's Club. I don't want to spend over $1000. Any other suggestions?

DaFace
11-02-2006, 09:47 AM
Looks like a decent deal to me. As long as you stick with the better brands (HP/Compaq, Dell, IBM, Sony) and stay away from the low-end processors (Celeron, Sempron), you should be pretty happy.

In case you're in the mood to shop around, here's a great website that compiles ads from the various retailers so that you can see where to go for the good deals. That should give you a really good idea of what a "good price" is for a notebook.

http://www.salescircular.com/

ChiefsFan4Life
11-02-2006, 09:51 AM
From Nov. 5th through Nov. 11th you can get a laptop that sounds like it would do everything you need it to do for only $400

Check it out here: http://bfads.net/ (scroll down a little)

Here are the specs:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00783092&lc=en&cc=py&product=3231960&dlc=es

Kyle401
11-02-2006, 02:55 PM
Thanks guys!

I like the idea of getting a laptop for only $400, but the specs (particularly L2 Cache, System memory/speed) do not seem to be nearly as robust. Will I notice the difference?

DaFace
11-02-2006, 02:57 PM
Depends on what you'll be using it for. Low-end lappys are just fine when it comes to stuff like browsing the internet and basic productivity. If you're going to get into a lot of multimedia (like digital cameras or videos), you'll definitely notice the difference in speed.

Kyle401
11-02-2006, 03:03 PM
Damn it! If I had never known about the $400 laptop, I would have bought the other one and been fine. Now I will second guess my decision every time I pick it up. :banghead:

PastorMikH
11-02-2006, 03:26 PM
Personally, I love my HP ze2000. I spent a bit more and got the AMD Turion 2.8 processor instead of the Sempron or Celeron. I've had the thing for about a year and a half now and it has been trouble-free.

Two other people in our church have the Compaq version of my laptop, one with the Sempron and one with the Celeron. Mine blows them both out of the water. (Also, both being Compaqs, they both have told me that there are components that you have to go back to compaq for instead of generics - don't know about this personally, but I know it used to be true before HP bought out Compaq).

The big thing I like about the HP over others like Dell or Gateway is they offer the AMD processor. And customer support is fairly easy to work with (Between my personal and thr church I keep tabs on 4-5 HP computers). They are pretty much problem-free but in the rare event that I have a problem, the customer service is quite helpful.



Here's a thread I put up last summer when I was looking that may give some insight to brands and such...

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=117224&highlight=laptop

Kyle401
11-02-2006, 03:46 PM
Thanks for the tip Pastor! Your thread was a good read.

Cave Johnson
11-02-2006, 03:50 PM
Lenovo (formely IBM) is a pretty good choice also. I bought a Centrino Duo over the summer for $700. Office Depot was advertising a Core 2 version for $650 last week.

Simplex3
11-02-2006, 10:02 PM
I find Dell's stuff to work great. I've used a refurbed D800 for almost 2 years now without a single prolbem other than the screens burning in, and Dell sent a tech to me and replaced it twice. Haven't had that issue in over a year and a half. You can pick up a refurb on the cheap:

http://www.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/inspn?c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfh&~ck=mn

Some are new PCs that were cancelled, some are refurbs, some are even off-lease and scratch & dent. You can fall anywhere in there.

Simplex3
11-02-2006, 10:04 PM
As a side note, worry about screen size/resolution as much as anything else because you cannot upgrade/change that later on a laptop.

Kyle401
11-03-2006, 08:47 AM
Thanks for the link Simplex. How long does it take to get a refurbished computer from the time of the order?

Simplex3
11-03-2006, 08:58 AM
Thanks for the link Simplex. How long does it take to get a refurbished computer from the time of the order?
Typically a few days. Everything they show there is sitting on a shelf, ready to go. It's not like ordering a new one where they "build it for you" (yeah right).

Kyle401
11-03-2006, 09:16 AM
Typically a few days. Everything they show there is sitting on a shelf, ready to go. It's not like ordering a new one where they "build it for you" (yeah right).

Thanks! Now it looks like the one I wanted is already gone. Go figure! :banghead:

They must have pretty quick turnover. I'll keep checking it throughout the day.

Braincase
11-03-2006, 09:19 AM
I can get you a great deal on some slightly used batteries...

Brock
11-03-2006, 09:30 AM
My gateway is a POS.

Kyle401
11-03-2006, 09:37 AM
I can get you a great deal on some slightly used batteries...

Heh, how used are they? We'll probably use it in the house most of the time so AC power is only a few feet away. I probably won't be needing extra batteries.

Simplex3
11-03-2006, 11:29 AM
Thanks! Now it looks like the one I wanted is already gone. Go figure! :banghead:

They must have pretty quick turnover. I'll keep checking it throughout the day.
Turnover is rapid, so just keep your eyes peeled. If you wait a few hours another one like that will pop up.

If you add one to your cart you can "hold" it for 15m before they pull it back out.

Simplex3
11-03-2006, 11:30 AM
Heh, how used are they? We'll probably use it in the house most of the time so AC power is only a few feet away. I probably won't be needing extra batteries.
I think that's a joke on the fact that Sony batteries (which Dell uses) recently had another recall because of fires.

JBucc
11-03-2006, 12:02 PM
Mine is just an Acer I got on sale at WalMart. It suits me fine for just regular stuff.

Kyle401
11-03-2006, 12:16 PM
Thanks to all those who responded!

I just completed the ordering process on a Dell below:

Inspiron E1705 - Scratch & Dent
Intel Core 2 Duo T7200
2 GB SDRAM @ 533 MHz (2 DIMMS)
120 GB Hard Drive @ 5400 RPM
17 inch Widescreen XGA+ (would have liked the ultrasharp)
8x DVD +/- RW double layer support
256 MB ATI Mobility Radeon x1400
Windows XP Professional (and tons of junk/trial programs)
1390 wireless card
9 cell battery (apparently just waiting to explode into flames!)

Total price delivered - $923.73

The base price as configured is $1,577 before taxes and shipping, so unless there is major damage, it looks like a great deal. I'll let you know when I get it in a few days. Thanks again to Simplex for the link.

Kyle401
11-10-2006, 12:11 AM
Well I was finally able to sync up with the UPS truck and sign for my new computer (listed above). Funny thing is, I can't even find a small cosmetic flaw even though it was listed as a "Scratch & Dent." I signed up for the 3 months of free NetZero, so I'm working through the phone line with dial-up tonight, but I will probably end up getting the high-speed/dish network bundle through Windstream so I can get the NFL network also.


Thanks again for all those who helped out.

Simplex3
11-10-2006, 12:39 AM
Well I was finally able to sync up with the UPS truck and sign for my new computer (listed above). Funny thing is, I can't even find a small cosmetic flaw even though it was listed as a "Scratch & Dent." I signed up for the 3 months of free NetZero, so I'm working through the phone line with dial-up tonight, but I will probably end up getting the high-speed/dish network bundle through Windstream so I can get the NFL network also.


Thanks again for all those who helped out.
So is it as bitchin' as you thought it would be?

I'm amazed that you can't find the physical defect. That's great.

Kyle401
11-10-2006, 01:09 AM
So is it as bitchin' as you thought it would be?

I'm amazed that you can't find the physical defect. That's great.

It seems great so far. I was very suprised that I couldn't find a physical defecect. As far as I can tell the only thing that distinguishes it from a "custom built" machine is the "refurbished" sticker on the bottom. I'm really glad that I was able to get the 17" screen. I definitely like it better than the one I was considering at Sams Club.

It's a little hard to tell how the 2 GHz Core 2 duo is going to perform compared to the 2 GHz Pentium 4 that I had in my old work desktop because I don't have any demanding programs loaded on it right now. This machine is probably overkill for my normal use, but it was within the budget that I had planned, so what the hell.

Simplex3
11-10-2006, 01:21 AM
It's a little hard to tell how the 2 GHz Core 2 duo is going to perform...
Everyone I know that has one loves them and swears by them.

I'm a little jealous now, I'm still running my crappy D800 with a 1600M Intel mobile CPU.

Kyle401
11-10-2006, 11:06 AM
Everyone I know that has one loves them and swears by them.

Good to hear.

I messed around with it until around 1:30 last night before I decided to head off to bed. There's a lot of junk/trial programs on it (stinkin' marketing agreements), but I got most wiped off.


It's been so long since I actually used the internet on dial-up, I forgot how painfully slow it was. Definitely need to go broadband with a wireless router.