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(hey all) + Buying a new laptop

(hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby l33t » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:33 am

i just need to get this out of the way: hey all! boy, this place has gone through a *ton* of changes!!!!! i guess that's what happens when you haven't been here in a while!

now, on to my problem.
I'm going to college soon and my 5 year old dell inspiron wont cut it (seriously, this thing is literally held together with nothing but luck and intuition).

so, my budget is $1300 (about) and i need a laptop that is going to last at least a while (3 years minimum).
I am a power user so ill be putting more than average demands on this machine. furthermore, i plan to go into computer science / engineering, so this machine needs to do the usual college stuff (notes + facebook :P ) as well as compile / debug / runing code. i do java and PHP/webdevelopment stuff.

ive ranked my preferences:
1) big screen/high resolution (code and IDE's takes up space. lots of space. big screen are good :)
2) battery (i can get 4 hours out of my dell now, so i want comperable battery [its 5 years old, and a 14 inch screen and running windows 7])
3) pretty fast proc (i dont need the fastest, but i dont/cant have a slllow POS)
4) ram (if its got less than 3, its out of consideration - i need to make this thing last 3 years minimum)


the rest follows....

given this, here is what ive found so far:

1) HP HDX16t
Code: Select all
Operating system Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit) 
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo Processor P7550 (2.26GHz, 3 MB L2 Cache, 1066MHz FSB) 
Memory FREE Upgrade to 4GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm) from 3GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm) 
Hard drive FREE Upgrade to 320GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive from 250GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive 
Graphics card 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 130M 
Display 16.0" diagonal High Definition HP Ultra BrightView Infinity Display (1920x1080p) 
Primary optical drive LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-RW with Double Layer Support 
Personalization Webcam + Fingerprint Reader with HP Imprint Finish (Fluid) 
Networking Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-card 
Keyboard Full Size Backlit Keyboard 
Primary battery 6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery 


this comes to 1,239.43 after tax and shipping. with the 9600MGT and NO backlit keyboard + 12 cell battery = $1,129.59 (that's $109 cheaper)

my questions:
1) is there an comparable offering you know of from dell or lenovo or fitijsu or the like? second, is it worth cutting the gfx card down from the 130M to a 9600M GT.
2) is the backlit keyboard worth it?
3) the 12 cell battery is bigger and will add a little bit more weight, but i think the extra battery life is worth it (and the 1 inch lift the laptop gets should keep it cooler) - do you agree

==== more will be posted here, as i go along.


(thanks for making it all the way down here, i know i make quite long posts!)
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Re: (hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby JabbaPapa » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:38 am

Whatever your choice, I would *strongly* recommend getting Windows 7 as your operating system. It is faster than both XP and Vista, and more suited to your power using needs than either.

You could either buy your computer now and benefit from the free W7 upgrade offer from Microsoft, or you could wait til October 22nd if at all possible and look for the hardware that will be available then, that may possibly be better performance than the current batch.

You could also install the W7 RC immediately after purchase should you buy the machine now, however available product keys are for W7 Ultimate ONLY and you may not necessarily wish to install that flavour of W7 -- because the free upgrade offer on the above machine for example would provide you with a W7 Home Premium key, that would require a clean reinstall at the later date, as you cannot "downgrade" from Ultimate to Home Premium. Or you could just do a Vista > W7 upgrade or clean install after October 22nd.

The above computer looks good enough anyway, and the backlit keyboard will only be worth it if you anticipate needing to work in poor lighting conditions ;) I would *personally* wait for the forthcoming AMD Turion 64 X3 triple core laptops, but that's just me ...
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Re: (hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby AuDioFreaK39 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:13 am

I already told him about Win 7 Ultimate RTM being signed off the other day. He's very informed about Windows 7, however his question is more hardware-centric as he is contemplating whether he should get a GeForce GT 130M or a 9600M GT. They are both essentially the same GPU clock for clock, however one is a 55nm half-node shrink that has the potential of offering slightly lower power consumption. Yet, is it worth the added $100 cost?
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Re: (hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby JabbaPapa » Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:25 am

AuDioFreaK39 wrote:I already told him about Win 7 Ultimate RTM being signed off the other day.


Actually, it hasn't been ;)

:source: http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/window ... 7-rtm.aspx

Although there's a *rumour* that build 7600.16385.090713-1255 might be signed off to Gold today or something (...)
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Re: (hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby phileysmiley » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:15 pm

I just got a laptop with pretty much the same specs for $650. It came with 4 GB RAM, 320 GB HDD, 16" screen, and Intel Core 2 Duo T6400. It comes with Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit with a free upgrade to Windows 7 when it's released officially.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834114605
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Re: (hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby mnemonicj » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:20 pm

I would say go with the Dell XPS 16" because it has DDR3 RAM, but the price is not comparable with HP's sale price.
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Re: (hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby l33t » Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:15 pm

Sorry i haven't posted back in quite some time! ive been really busy!

ill start to address some things brought up in the thread.

1) JabbaPapa: yes, i know all about win7. been beta testing for *quite some time* now. ill defiantly be putting it on my notebook; it will reside on the hard driver with at least 1 other linux distro and if ive got room, some other fun stuff.

2) phileysmiley: thanks for the link! ive been looking quite a lot at newegg and other etailers. Ive had OK experiences with toshiba and fujitsu (sp?). id like to keep with what i know well (dell, HP, lenovo, and to an extent sony as i have had great experiences with them.

3) mnemonicj: i have been unimpressed with Dell's graphics offerings in the XPS series... its (for the most part) crappy intel GMA4500's or very under performing ATI's. I need this laptop to last a while, so a reasonably powerful graphics card is a requirement; i dont plan to do much gaming on this box, but i do need to future proof it. also, i plan to use linux at least 30% of the time on this machine... ATIs drivers on windows are pretty trashy and their Linux counterparts are even worse.


--

im going to a lot of BigBox stores in my area within the next couple of days to really look more at my options.

ill post back more frequently now that ive got more time (recently unemployed : :no )
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Re: (hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby l33t » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:41 pm

its been a long week. and since i just lost my job, i am not going to be able to afford a new laptop for quite a while.

thanks for your help on this though.

can a moderator just delete this thread? there isn't anything useful here, so it might as well be deleted.
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Re: (hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby mido.813 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:32 am

Toshiba Satellite P505-S8945 - Core 2 Duo P7350 2 GHz - 18.4

$1,111 to $1,209 at 13 stores $1,199.99 - Newegg.com $1,199.99 - Amazon.com $1,199.99 - CompUSA
Toshiba Satellite P505-S8945 - Core 2 Duo P7350 2 GHz - 18.4" TFT

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (2 GHz), 6 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 9.7 lbs, 18.4 in TFT active matrix, RoHS, EPA Energy Star, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
Toshiba Satellite Pro M300-S1002V - Core 2 Duo T8300 2.4 GHz - 14.1

$1,149 at 1 store $1,149.00 - Buydig.com
Toshiba Satellite Pro M300-S1002V - Core 2 Duo T8300 2.4 GHz - 14.1" TFT

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (2.4 GHz), 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 5.3 lbs, 14.1 in TFT active matrix, RoHS, EPEAT Silver, EPA Energy Star, Microsoft Windows Vista Business / XP Professional downgrade
Toshiba Tecra A10-S3511

$1,119 to $1,299 at 10 stores $1,119.00 - Buydig.com $1,299.99 - Newegg.com $1,231.87 - pcRUSH
Toshiba Tecra A10-S3511

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (2.4 GHz), 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 6.2 lbs, 15.4 in TFT active matrix, RoHS, EPA Energy Star, Microsoft Windows Vista Business (32/64 bits) / XP Professional downgrade
Toshiba Tecra M10-S3401

$1,099 to $1,311 at 14 stores $1,249.99 - TigerDirect.com $1,249.99 - CompUSA $1,299.99 - Newegg.com
Toshiba Tecra M10-S3401

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (2.26 GHz), 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 5.3 lbs, 14.1 in TFT active matrix, RoHS, EPA Energy Star, Microsoft Windows Vista Business (32/64 bits) / XP Professional downgrade
Toshiba Tecra R10-S4401 - Core 2 Duo SP9300 2.26 GHz - 14.1

$1,193 to $1,552 at 11 stores $1,549.00 - Buydig.com $1,499.99 - Newegg.com $1,552.99 - Amazon.com Marketplace
Toshiba Tecra R10-S4401 - Core 2 Duo SP9300 2.26 GHz - 14.1" TFT

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (2.26 GHz), 3 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 4.4 lbs, 14.1 in TFT active matrix, EPEAT Silver, EPA Energy Star, RoHS, Microsoft Windows Vista Business (32/64 bits) / XP Professional downgrade
Toshiba Portege Laptop with Intel Centrino 2 Processor Technology, Cosmic Black

$1,169 at 1 store $1,169.99 - Best Buy
Toshiba Portege Laptop with Intel Centrino 2 Processor Technology, Cosmic Black

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (1.4 GHz), 3 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 3.2 lbs, 12.1 in TFT active matrix, EPA Energy Star, RoHS, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
Toshiba Satellite A205-S7468

$999 to $1,129 at 2 stores $1,129.99 - Amazon.com $999.00 - California Computer Center
Toshiba Satellite A205-S7468

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (1.5 GHz), 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 6 lbs, 15.4 in TFT active matrix, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
Toshiba Portege M700-S7005V - Core 2 Duo T8300 2.4 GHz - 12.1

$1,199 at 1 store $1,199.95 - Ecomelectronics
Toshiba Portege M700-S7005V - Core 2 Duo T8300 2.4 GHz - 12.1" TFT

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (2.4 GHz), 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 4.6 lbs, EPA Energy Star, EPEAT Gold
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Re: (hey all) + Buying a new laptop

Postby mido.813 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:44 am

Dell XPS M1330 Product Red Laptop Computer (Intel Core 2 Duo T8300, 500GB HDD, 4GB)

Specs: Intel Core 2 Duo (2.4 GHz), 4 GB DDR2 SDRAM, 4 lbs, 13.3 in TFT active matrix, Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition
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