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Old 26th January 2006, 03:34 PM   #1
TragicMonkey
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Laptop Recommendations?

My roommate is seeking a laptop. He knows nothing about computers. I know nothing about laptops. Which are good? What features are essential, and which are stupid wastes of money? Any brands to avoid/seek out?

Another question....right now, his desktop and mine are sharing a non-wireless router and a shared cable internet connection. If he gets a laptop with wireless capabilities, can I just hook up a wireless router to the current router and thus add his laptop, when it's home, to the shared connection? I'd rather not have to go and make the two desktops wireless.
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Old 26th January 2006, 04:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
My roommate is seeking a laptop. He knows nothing about computers. I know nothing about laptops. Which are good? What features are essential, and which are stupid wastes of money? Any brands to avoid/seek out?

Another question....right now, his desktop and mine are sharing a non-wireless router and a shared cable internet connection. If he gets a laptop with wireless capabilities, can I just hook up a wireless router to the current router and thus add his laptop, when it's home, to the shared connection? I'd rather not have to go and make the two desktops wireless.
All i'd say is if they aren't doing any serious music, graphics or gaming, go for a slower processor such as 1.3 mobile. This is easy fast enough for office apps and internet and the battery will last far longer. Also, it should be cheaper.

No idea about the rireless wouter though
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Old 26th January 2006, 04:44 PM   #3
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Like Monoman asked - What is it going to be used for?

If you're looking at getting a wireless router to plug into your normal router then I'd suggest you just get a wireless router and just use that as, keep the other one as a spare. Any halfway decent one should have 4-8 ports on the back for your PCs and the more connections you put in a network chain the more problems you potentially open yourself up to.
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Old 26th January 2006, 05:35 PM   #4
geni
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
and which are stupid wastes of money?
Umm laptops?
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Old 26th January 2006, 05:41 PM   #5
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I recently got a Compaq Presario V2000. It's a bit on the heavy side, but otherwise extremely good, and cheap too.

The CPU is only a Celeron M 1.4, but it is suprisingly fast. There's also a V2000Z model now, which has better processors and faster graphics if you do want to play games.
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Old 26th January 2006, 05:46 PM   #6
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It's for his business, which means he won't need terribly high-end stuff. Just internet browsing, a little light Access work, and storing and very minor editing of digital photos. No gaming, videos, fancy sound, etc required. I'd like as fast a processor and as much RAM as is reasonable in price, because I'll probably be using it sometimes and I hate, hate, hate slowness. Waiting an extra second for something makes me explode into a fury of wrathful impatience!!

If I'm getting you right, Mongrel, a wireless router can also be used as a regular non-wireless router in a couple of ports? That would be ideal, if I could just use it to connect all three computers, wired and wireless as appropriate.
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Old 26th January 2006, 08:08 PM   #7
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If you don't care about weight I can recommend the Toshiba laptop. (I got the Satelliet 5206 a few years ago.) Its a rugged machine, takes abuse, and the company help line is actually helpful. Plus I like their web site. Nothing is a mystery, all the specs (very detailed specs) are on line for all of their models which I appreciate.

If weight is an issue, you may want to go with another company.
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Old 27th January 2006, 02:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It's for his business, which means he won't need terribly high-end stuff. Just internet browsing, a little light Access work, and storing and very minor editing of digital photos. No gaming, videos, fancy sound, etc required. I'd like as fast a processor and as much RAM as is reasonable in price, because I'll probably be using it sometimes and I hate, hate, hate slowness. Waiting an extra second for something makes me explode into a fury of wrathful impatience!!

If I'm getting you right, Mongrel, a wireless router can also be used as a regular non-wireless router in a couple of ports? That would be ideal, if I could just use it to connect all three computers, wired and wireless as appropriate.
Yeah - if you check this page out and look at the 'Ports' description most have 1x10/100M WAN; 4x10/100M LAN or similar. The LAN designation are physical ports for your cables, the WAN designation is the Wireless component.

As for the laptop for general business use you generally won't go far wrong with a Dell, it's not the best but it's not the worst either. They normally have a rebate offer\double RAM\free printer offer going on so as long as you don't go mad with the add ons it's a very reasonably priced option
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Old 27th January 2006, 12:43 PM   #9
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Cool. Thanks, everyone!
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Old 27th January 2006, 03:24 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
It's for his business, which means he won't need terribly high-end stuff. Just internet browsing, a little light Access work, and storing and very minor editing of digital photos. No gaming, videos, fancy sound, etc required. I'd like as fast a processor and as much RAM as is reasonable in price, because I'll probably be using it sometimes and I hate, hate, hate slowness. Waiting an extra second for something makes me explode into a fury of wrathful impatience!!
Not sure what a "reasonable price" is for you. Took the dive for a laptop, AMD 64-bit Turion 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 100GB HD, ATI Graphics, 802.11G on board, DVD Double Layer Burner, Carrying case and extra software for $1199.

As for the wireless router, I just installed a wireless network with 15 computers, using a Linksys WRT54GX4. Excellent long range, a little pricey, but worth the money for my needs. Can pipe through 240Mbps for video transfer, love it!
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Old 27th January 2006, 04:48 PM   #11
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Can't go wrong with a Mac 8-)

The aggrevation you save in not needing crappy anti-virus software alone is a wonderful thing. Not to mention the ease of use.
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Old 27th January 2006, 04:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by kevin View Post
Can't go wrong with a Mac 8-)

The aggrevation you save in not needing crappy anti-virus software alone is a wonderful thing. Not to mention the ease of use.
Oops, just saw the Access requirement. No Access for Mac (other Office products yes, Access no).

When they decide to move to better databases like MySQL, then the Mac is the way to go.
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Old 27th January 2006, 05:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JOKER View Post
Not sure what a "reasonable price" is for you. Took the dive for a laptop, AMD 64-bit Turion 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 100GB HD, ATI Graphics, 802.11G on board, DVD Double Layer Burner, Carrying case and extra software for $1199.
Sounds nice Perhaps a link for our simian friend?
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Old 27th January 2006, 06:28 PM   #14
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Argh. Never mind. He's been talked into a desktop instead by his business partner. Sorry, everyone!
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Old 27th January 2006, 09:08 PM   #15
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Avoid HP/Compaq at all costs.
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Old 29th January 2006, 12:25 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Yeah - if you check this page out and look at the 'Ports' description most have 1x10/100M WAN; 4x10/100M LAN or similar. The LAN designation are physical ports for your cables, the WAN designation is the Wireless component.
The 1x Wan would be the port you plug into you cable modem or DSL or whatever your internet connection is. The wireless is not a "port" so wouldn't be listed with ports.

Quote:
Avoid HP/Compaq at all costs.
Hate to disagree with you there. We have about 300 Compaqs/HP desktops and laptops and about 12 Compaq servers, and in the past 5 years have had maybe 3 hardware failures in all that time, except for a case of abuse every now and then, but that's not Compaq/HP's fault. Every time we had a replacement part within 5 days. We also have about 200 HP printers and they are little bit more problematic but I will swear by their computers any day. And even the printers we get replacement parts usually within days. We have servers that have been up for as long a 7 years (yes, we run servers that are still 400mhz) and the only problems we have had were with Windows Updates, oh, and I replaced a fan once but the redundant fan kept it going so no down time. We still have 9 old 120mhz machines running Win98 in some areas and even the monitors are still crisp and clear. Our last 20-30 machines we finally sprung for flat panels and man, that's even better.

Sorry, stepping down now, but I can't say enough nice things about Compaq/HP. Compared to my previous job where they bought whatever was cheapest, this setup is every IT professional's dream.
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Old 29th January 2006, 01:27 PM   #17
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I think brand preferences is always going to be based off personal experience. I had an HP desktop that gave me lots of grief, while my Dell has been perfectly lovely.
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Old 29th January 2006, 01:51 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think brand preferences is always going to be based off personal experience. I had an HP desktop that gave me lots of grief, while my Dell has been perfectly lovely.
Yeah - we're all fanboys about something Whilst I would never touch a Dell with a barge pole, for a purely work computer they're excellent value for money. If there's any non-work (need to be honest here) stuff being used then other brands need to be looked at .

And thanks Starthinker I've got my house wired for gaming so haven't really looked into wireless or wanted to. Until recently Wi-Fi was just too damn flaky for games.
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Last edited by Mongrel; 29th January 2006 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 30th January 2006, 10:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mongrel View Post
Sounds nice Perhaps a link for our simian friend?
In case anyone is interested still,

Here's the specs: http://support.gateway.com/s/Mobile/.../6096sp3.shtml

Best Buy has this:http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1130986342866
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Old 30th January 2006, 11:46 AM   #20
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I bought a cheap laptop 2 years ago, the specs isn't an issue for me but the mechanical quality. You also get a stronger enclosure and a better keyboard if you pay more, my laptop is unusable unless you plug in an external keyboard and mouse and preferably an external monitor as well. The CD-drive looks so flimsy I'm afraid to use it for other things than installing programs.
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Old 2nd February 2006, 02:28 PM   #21
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If it must be a Windows laptop, check out Prostar. They need a few days to build and ship a computer, but the specs are about the best you can get for the money.
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