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Author Topic: laptops . . . again (sorry)
stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 12:05      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Okay, so I've decided that I can't wait any longer to get myself a laptop as it is just starting to get warm and my room all ready feels like an oven. [Frown]

I've been looking at this one:

Linky

I'm going to be going into computer engineering in the fall. I need something that will last me probably 6 years and will survive through university. Is this a good choice or is there something better for the same price?

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Posts: 1199 | From: Canada eh? | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged
Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 10 posted April 26, 2008 13:11      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Specs seem great for the price, some doubts about the Turion and Vista 64. The screen resolution seems to be low for its size. The 12 cell battery might be good for travelling.
Be aware your apps be compatible with Vista 64 or change to 32.
In conclusion, thumbs up! Go ahead!

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 13:14      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by iWanToUseaMac:
Specs seem great for the price, some doubts about the Turion and Vista 64. But the 12 cell battery might hold the extra push of both, making it heftier, though.
Be aware your apps be compatible with Vista 64 or change to 32.
In conclusion, thumbs up! Go ahead!

Yeah, I'm definetly going to put xp on it once I buy it. But thanks for pointing out that it is Vista 64 didn't even see that, just assumed it was 32.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 14:14      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you're planning on using it for them new-fangled engineering design tools, you'll probably want more screen resolution than it provides, budget for an external monitor in the next year or so (don't buy till you have to, the cost/pixel is still dropping fast).

Also, if you are going to replace Vista with XP, make sure you don't burn your bridges - save a disk image of Vista before scrubbing it, and make sure you keep any Vista installation disks. You want this to last 6 years, it's a fair bet you'll encounter some "Vista Only" apps before 2014.

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macmcseboy

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 14:40      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
REDFLAG on FutureShop. If you do buy from them, DO NOT BUY the Future Shop Warranty. PLEASE for any deity's sake and your sanity BUY Genuine HP Warranty package. I cannot stress this enough. The sell their macs with a loss in the hope of selling THEIR plan with it. That plan takes effec after the Manufacturer warranty, and can be difficult and long to get a claim through. I have a long list of dissatisfied Future shop Warranty buyers.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 14:50      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
Also, if you are going to replace Vista with XP, make sure you don't burn your bridges - save a disk image of Vista before scrubbing it, and make sure you keep any Vista installation disks. You want this to last 6 years, it's a fair bet you'll encounter some "Vista Only" apps before 2014.

Bah...Wine 1.0 might actually be out within the year....and maybe the beta of Wine 2.0 will be out by then. [Wink]

Besides, Windows 7 might actually be on the way...or 8?

(Seriously, TFD has good advice - though a restore disc /should/ suffice.)

On the matter of laptops, I would recommend a Dell Latitude or a MacBook, but YMMV.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 15:22      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Expecting any laptop to last 6 years is optimistic. 3 years is nearer the mark

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 15:23      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
TFD: Thanks for the advice, I will make sure to keep the restore disc around incase I need to use vista.

macmcseboy: Yeah, I never buy the extended warrenty anyways - but yeah I know what you mean, the Futureshop warrenty sounds like crap.

So guys/gurls the laptop looks good for the price? Or is there something around a thousand that is better?

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2008 15:43      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
_______________________________ stevenback7 Just an old mans thoughts. Wall-Mart sells refurbed Compaqs at an insainly low price. Buy one now then when it bites the dust buy a second one, the specs will have improved and after it gives up buy the system you want for home use.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2008 09:15      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have a model from the exact same line as that laptop.

They're built very well, and mine has been fantastic for me (owned it for > 1 year). I put gentoo on it the day I bought it, removed all the windows stickers, printed out the partition list showing I'd deleted the Windows recovery partition, and mailed all that back to HP.

As mmb said, STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM FUTURE SHOP. They are nothing short of EVIL. And their idiotic extended warranty is a scam. 100% profit (it's why the salespeople are so hellbent on hocking it). Buy it somewhere else. Seriously.

Also, iwantouseamac is on glue. The Turion 64 is a fantastic chip. The only thing though, is these laptops do run QUITE hot, so if you're looking for something a little cooler, this ain't it.

If you want that, I lenovos do a pretty good job of it.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2008 09:16      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ugh
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tweety
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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2008 16:13      Profile for tweety   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not to discourage you, but I've not had good luck with HP anything since, oh, about 2000. I've sworn them off. Only my trusty HP 22S scientific calculator still likes me. From what I understand it's a hit or miss with them. Anyone else have recent good experience with HP?

Personally, I'd recommend going with a MacBook. I was looking at a MacBook Pro, but as Mrs Tweety pointed out to me, for about the same price I could get a MacBook and an iMac. Also, the MacBook has the same resolution as that HP you're looking at, but on a 13.3" screen. It's also about the same clock speed (2.1 vs. 2.2), although I do know that AMD's chips are faster than Intels at the same rated clockspeed.

Anyway, you can get a MacBook at MacMall for $1019 after rebates, including free Parallels (after rebate). Pick up the 4GB of RAM at Crucial for $110. What you will lose on with the MacBook vs. HP is the video card. The HP has a much better video subsystem.

Hmmm ... now I'm not so sure you should go with the Mac. Huh, well take what I said with a grain of salt. But, at least with the Mac you can install whatever OS you want, which might be useful as a comp eng student.

Otherwise, I'd go with a Dell Inspiron, or a Lenovo.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2008 16:30      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On the Mac/PC controversy, it's probably worth checking with the engineering school you'll be attending, ask what apps they expect students to use.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 28, 2008 17:21      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just my two cents...

Spend 200 or so on a cheap, used laptop that's in good shape, then spend the rest on a desktop that will do what your laptop will not. The desktop system will massively outperform any laptop you get for 1200 and, when the laptop gets stolen or you drop it down a flight of stairs, you'll be have a backup system that you've got copies of your files on.

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fs

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 03:29      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
Just my two cents...

Spend 200 or so on a cheap, used laptop that's in good shape, then spend the rest on a desktop that will do what your laptop will not. The desktop system will massively outperform any laptop you get for 1200 and, when the laptop gets stolen or you drop it down a flight of stairs, you'll be have a backup system that you've got copies of your files on.

I'd go with a good laptop (with a warranty) and an external hard drive for backups. Of course I don't know about Windows and engineering software on laptops. The last version of Windows I used on a laptop was 98, so...

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Jace Raven

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 04:59      Profile for Jace Raven         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I honestly think that the Intel version of the same laptop is the better machine. and it's 32 bit.
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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 05:58      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
fs wrote:
I'd go with a good laptop (with a warranty) and an external hard drive for backups.

Backup drives are great... if you have access to another system to use them with or can go without a computer for a few days (or weeks in some cases). Personally, I can't afford to go without a system for that length of time because my computers get used for (and are partially paid for by) my job. YMMV.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 29, 2008 09:27      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Regarding backup drives...this is one area where I'm rather impressed by cool Apple stuff. If you clone your HD to an external Firewire drive with SuperDuper! or CCC, you can boot a Mac of similar architecture to it (Intel /or/ PowerPPC), and everything acts as though it's the normal drive. As such, if you have a spare computer around or money to burn (i.e. must keep working NOW!), you can boot up to your backup, and be back in business is no time. This is downright slick!

Of course, in terms of making any computer into a useful machine, I keep a Knoppix disc in my briefcase. [Razz]

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FrogQueen
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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2008 10:24      Profile for FrogQueen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm new here and this is an older thread, but I'll put my thoughts in anyway (if I waited for people to ask me, I'd never get a word in! LOL)

I never expect ANY computer to be in great working order after 3 years. Especially a laptop. And yes I am pleasantly suprised sometimes.

I would either go ahead and suck it up and get a top of the line lap top to give you more time or a decent cheap refurb to save the money. Nothing middle of the road. That would be a waste of time and money. IMHO

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2008 12:36      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Update:

I went out and bought the HP I was looking at. So far it works perfectly fine, I'll see how she performs when I actually have time to get away from school and do something other then word documents with it.

The only negative thing I can find at the moment is the 12 cell sticking out the back is a little odd having on your lap. And it does get a little warm in the lap region when using it for more then an hour.

Yes, 6 years was a bit of an over statement.

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macmcseboy

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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2008 12:48      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I serious hope, that if you did buy from FutureShank, that you DID NOT BUY THEIR WARRANTY. other than that thats good news!

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted May 22, 2008 18:32      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by macmcseboy:
I serious hope, that if you did buy from FutureShank, that you DID NOT BUY THEIR WARRANTY. other than that thats good news!

Oh, definetly NOT.

I walked into the store, called over the first person I saw and told them to direct me to my laptop. She started to explain about the warrenty and then stopped and said "I've sold you a computer before". She then stopped trying to sell me the warranty as she knew she wouldn't succeed.

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