Author Topic: In the market for a notebook computer...  (Read 3303 times)

Offline JoeS

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In the market for a notebook computer...
« on: Mar 19, 2008, 07:20 PM »

Offline Mark H

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #1 on: Mar 19, 2008, 09:28 PM »
We bought an HP laptop and my work laptop is also HP. I would recommend HP highly.

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Offline Buffalo2102

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #2 on: Mar 20, 2008, 02:40 AM »
I have a HP too and can't fault it.

You really need to make a decision whether to buy a MAC or a regular notebook - they are quite different.  Consider what you want to do and see what MAC/PC applications are available and what other users say about them.  Try to filter out the "fanboy" reviews from the well-balanced, considered reviews and ignore them.

I won't make your choice for you, but there are a few things I will point out that you need to consider - apologies if you have already considered them.

There are several things to consider when buying a notebook that are not so important for a desktop.
  • Battery life.  Very important if you are planning to be mobile.
  • Size/weight.  Ditto.
  • Warranty.  If it goes faulty, it will probably be difficult and costly to repair/replace.  You will have to send back the whole unit for inspection/repair.  Check the length and cost of the warranty and what it covers.
  • Connectivity.  Number of USB ports, whether you need firewire, wireless networking built-in, bluetooth, PCMCIA slot, etc.
  • Operating system.  A lot of notebook suppliers will only provide what they offer - Vista mostly these days (or MAC OSX).  Some will provide XP or Linux as an option.  You could install your own OS (probably have to pay for it separately) but you will likely lose the convenient recovery options that are usually provided with a notebook.
  • Overall spec.  Although you say you don't need a fast system etc., you should always try and get the best (quality) spec. you can for the money.  This is because it is very difficult and often impossible to upgrade a notebook - what you buy now will need to last you a few years (unless you are rich).
Those are on top of the usual decisions about processor, graphics, memory etc.


Having said the above, as far as your four choices go, they are all good makes and you likely won't go wrong with any of them.

I hope the above helps.

Buff; probably not.
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Offline Bill

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #3 on: Mar 20, 2008, 06:57 AM »
Being somewhat less diplomatic than Buff, I would vote for Lenovo.  I just purchased an R61e from the Lenovo Outlet with Dual Core Duo 2 2ghz, 100 gig HD and 2 gigs of ram for about $800.  I picked this particular unit because XP Pro was on it rather than Vista.  System arrived in about a week.

It has a very solid and well built 'feel', and seems way better than the old Dell it replaced.
The down side is or was that Lenovo packs their notebooks with all kinds of extra applications for recovery and lots of other bloatware.  In my case I elected to wipe the HD and did a clean install of XP Pro which I had to purchase separately.

But all in all I am happy with the system. 
One other thought, most brands have a forum for users and reading the messages can give you a better understanding of pluses and minuses for each brand and model.

here is the outlet:  http://stores.channeladvisor.com/LenovoOutlet/Notebook/New/ThinkPad%20R%20Series/

Here is the forum:  http://forum.notebookreview.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2

Welcome to Poasters.

Bill
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Offline JimS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #4 on: Mar 20, 2008, 07:25 AM »
Thanks, everyone.

Everyone here raises good points.  Joe's become something of an Apple fan since getting an iPod; I swear he'd shower with it if it was waterproof.  He originally wanted a MacBook and wanted to install Windows onto it.  I was successful in explaining that if you want to use the Apple OS, buy a Mac, and if you want to use a Microsoft OS, buy a Window machine.

One point he forgot to mention is that he plans on carrying this back and forth to school with him, so durability is important.  Another point I found amusing is his $1,300.00 price limit.  Originally he had set a $1,000.00 limit, which at this point he doesn't have, but Linda and I said we've pay for 1/2.  All of a sudden, we're up to $1,300.00, since $650.00 he can do.  It's a good thing we like him...

As the very satisfied owner of a five-year-old IBM T40 that is carried back and forth to work every day (a two-hour commute each way via buses and trains) and is used for many hours every day, I'm very partial to the IBM/Lenovo, simply because they're built so well.  But I wanted him to research this and come to his own educated decision, so I suggested he register here and solicit opinions, which is what I did when I bought my IBM back in 2003.

Thanks again, everyone.
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Offline Bill

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #5 on: Mar 20, 2008, 07:43 AM »
JA,
Yes and yes.  IBM sold the line to Lenovo and they have maintained the quality of the machines and are ranked next to Apple for support, although it's not free.

Bill
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Offline JimS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #6 on: Mar 20, 2008, 09:59 AM »
I believe Lenovo had been making the notebook system for IBM almost forever.  The biggest difference is in 2003, the IBM ThinkPads came with a three-year warranty.  The Lenovo system come with only one year.  The only problems I had with my T-40 came after about 2.5 years, and IBM had it back to me fully repaired in five days.
"I shall pass through this world but once.  Any good I can do, or any kindness that I can show any human being, let me do it now and not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again."
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Offline JoeS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #7 on: Mar 20, 2008, 11:40 AM »

Offline JoeS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #8 on: Mar 20, 2008, 01:12 PM »

Offline JoeS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #9 on: Mar 21, 2008, 02:27 PM »

Offline Bill

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #10 on: Mar 21, 2008, 02:31 PM »
JoeS,
I have already voted but if I were you, I would google the Sony for a history of reliability and frequency of repairs.

Bill
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Offline JoeS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #11 on: Mar 21, 2008, 03:12 PM »

Offline Carskick

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I just ordered a Dell Vostro, here's why:
« Reply #12 on: Mar 21, 2008, 10:22 PM »
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Offline JoeS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #13 on: Mar 25, 2008, 07:15 AM »
Thanks for the info,

This dell does seem like lots of bang for the buck, but I still like what the lenovo offers. Also, this dell is a 1st generation model, and dad (JimS) says never buy something that just came out. But thanks anyway.

JoeS

Offline Carskick

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #14 on: Mar 25, 2008, 11:07 AM »
True, though the guts are nearly identical to inspiron, and the laptop has been on the market for at least 8 months already, so many reviews and reports are available. But I understand your logic.
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Offline JoeS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #15 on: Mar 29, 2008, 01:48 PM »

Offline pat

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #16 on: Mar 29, 2008, 01:56 PM »
I can't comment on that choice, but have you looked through the Lenovo Outlet Center ? They seem to have some good deal there.
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Offline Bill

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #17 on: Mar 29, 2008, 02:05 PM »
JoeS,
There is a reason the Ideapad is less expensive and has all those additional goodies.  Lenovo wanted to get into the non-business market, which IMO is typically younger with less money to spend.  It is also, I think, a first generation machine. 

Bill, I agree with Pat's suggestion.
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Offline JoeS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #18 on: Apr 02, 2008, 04:16 PM »
JoeS here,

Wish me luck, because I just might win a free gateway today.    :)

JoeS

Offline JoeS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #19 on: Apr 25, 2008, 03:13 PM »

Offline Bill

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #20 on: Apr 25, 2008, 03:20 PM »
I don't put much stock in dreams or words appearing inside my head...except for absolute flashes of brilliant intelligence, which don't happen that much anymore.  Besides, you've been down that road with LinS and JimS before.

Bill
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Offline JimS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #21 on: Apr 25, 2008, 05:28 PM »
"...you've been down that road with JimS and LinS before..."

You're referring to the absolute flashes of brilliant intelligence Joe always sees in his parents (well, at least in his father), right, Bill?


p.s.: There could be something in this for you if you answer correctly...
« Last Edit: Apr 25, 2008, 05:34 PM by JimS »
"I shall pass through this world but once.  Any good I can do, or any kindness that I can show any human being, let me do it now and not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again."
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Offline Bill

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #22 on: Apr 26, 2008, 06:22 AM »
Actually I was referring to flashes of intelligence being replaced by 'senior moments', but there is definitely wisdom in following the advice of the people who are going to pay half the invoice! 

Bill
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Offline pat

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #23 on: Apr 27, 2008, 04:25 PM »
I'm also looking into a macbook, you may want to give the Apple store clearance and/or refurbished center a look.
They seem to have some pretty good deals there. I may just take the plunge soon.
SeaSonic S12 550W, Athlon 64 X2 6000+, Asus M2N SLI-Deluxe, nvidia 9600 GSO, 2x2 gig Crucial Ballistix, LG DVD/RW, 2x Western Digital Black Edition 640gb,  SAMSUNG 226BW Black 22", Canon PIXMA MP600,  Logitech X-230 speakers, Logitech Comfort Duo keyboard & Mouse, Windows 7 64 Home Premium & Vista 64

Offline JoeS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2008, 03:17 PM »
Hey everyone,

What has a 15 inch screen, windows XP Professional, a built-in camera, 1GB 667MHZ 1DIMM, a touchpad, 160GB HDD,5400RPM, a DVD recorder, Bluetooth, 6 Cell Li-ion battery, a fingerprint reader, and three years of warranty? Having trouble?     ::)

A Lenovo Thinkpad R61i! It should come at least next Wednesday! $956.31 in total.  ;D

JoeS, thanks everyone for the help!!!!!   :)

Offline JimS

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2008, 04:43 PM »
You forgot the extra 2 gB stick of RAM from CDW for $49.25.

I think it'll take longer than one week.  The person I spoke with at CDW said that custom notebook configurations can take quite a while to receive.  The time frame given by Lenovo was 2 - 3 weeks; I'm betting on about two weeks.  He said that Lenovo was probably the fastest at filling custom orders, while H-P could take up to a month.
"I shall pass through this world but once.  Any good I can do, or any kindness that I can show any human being, let me do it now and not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again."
 - Stephen Grellet

Offline Dan$

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Re: In the market for a notebook computer...
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2008, 07:35 PM »
It probably would have been easier for you if you made this forum a poll, just a word of advice.  :P
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