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Thread: What laptop should I get?

  1. Question What laptop should I get?

    I need to purchase a laptop in the near year. I would like it to be more of a performance computer. I must insist that it have atleast 1gig of ram. What are some good brands (ABS, Dell, Alienware, HP Compaq, etc.)? What type of processor should I look for: AMD 64, Centrino, etc (I don't want a celeron for sure)? It would mostly be used for word and other technically processing. It would also be used often for games. The hard part is that my budget is $1400 MAX. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Texas, USA

    Default Re: What laptop should I get?

    If you look around you'll be able to find something in that price range with little difficulty. It won't be a desktop killer in gaming performance, but I recently bought a Gateway AMD Athlon64 based laptop with a gig of memory and the X600 mobile graphics chipset and it does pretty good.

    As to processor choices, I like AMD, but that's just me. Lots of folks are perfectly contented with their Intel based systems. I'd stay away from the Centrino line unless the system you choose just happens to have it. From all accounts I've seen so far, the Pentium4 systems are faster... and besides, the Centrino isn't even a processor as it is a marketing gimmick that combines an Intel PentiumM processor with a wireless networking adapter that costs a little more than the generic ones.

    Oh, and be prepared from the start to uninstall a butt-load of extra CRAP that will likely come on your computer. I even had to enter safemode to kill AOL from my machine. Is a royal pain in the rear but all is well now.
    Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Default Re: What laptop should I get?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darthtanion
    Oh, and be prepared from the start to uninstall a butt-load of extra CRAP that will likely come on your computer. I even had to enter safemode to kill AOL from my machine. Is a royal pain in the rear but all is well now.

    Thats funny, the last laptop I got, reformatting was the fisrt thing I did to it after starting it up, I figured it would take longer uninstalling the crap than starting with a clean slate after learning from past experiences with so called brand name systems and all the spyware and other crapolla advertising they ship their products out with nowdays.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Minnesota, United States

    Default Re: What laptop should I get?

    My experience with Gateway is to never buy a Gateway again. My mom's Gateway laptop has had its screen broken as well as part of its keyboard (both randomly, and the latter couldn't be fixed). It has also overheated from day one. The Gateway desktops are almost as bad.

    HP is a little better, but its systems have their fair share of problems too.

    I'd suggest Dell. My last two laptop purchases have been Dell and they're great. They did have rediculous amounts of bloatware, but that's nothing a reformat doesn't fix (and yes, it's faster than removing everything).

    If this is intended to be almost entirely a desktop replacement notebook, meaning it will almost always be plugged in and often on a desk, try to go for an Athlon 64 or Pentium 4 CPU, however (regardless of Darth's recommendation) you won't unhappy with a Pentium-M. They perform around the same as an Athlon 64 of the same clock speed. I certainly see no reason to stay away from Centrino. It makes no major difference unless you need the wireless, in which case you might as well go for it, depending on what specifically you get. Mine came with it for free, so they would have been no reason not to get it.

    If this isn't a DTR system, then go for either a Pentium-M or Turion 64. They do wonders for battery life and heat. A P4 or A64 will likely have short battery life and may be too hot to use on your lap.

    More importantly than the CPU (in terms of gaming performance, anyway), is the GPU. The most common GPUs you'll see are integrated Intel with shared RAM (completely unnacceptable), X300 with shared or onboard RAM (acceptable only if it has 128MB of its own RAM), X700 (decent), and GO 6800 (the best you can hope for at that price range). You should really try for the 6800 or X700, but the X300 with 128MB of RAM should run any game playably, though not all that well.

    For your RAM, you're probably best off getting 512MB in the laptop and 512MB from a hardware retailer. That's much cheaper than getting it all from the laptop's OEM.

    As far as specific recommendations go, see if you can't get a Dell Inspiron 9300 with a GO 6800 down to a resonable price. I got mine for about $1200 and it came with 512MB of RAM, a 1.73GHz P-M and a GO 6800. That said, I hade a coupon code that saved me a couple or so hundred bucks. See if you can't find a coupon. I found mine on the TweakTown deals page. It expired shortly after I got the laptop, but there might be another one soon.

    If you can't get the Inspiron, try for an HP laptop with an X700. I think they make a Turion 64 system with an X700.

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