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Buying a laptop-need help

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  • #46
    Re: Buying a laptop-need help

    I've been thinking about getting myself an Acer within the next few months, but haven't decided on a model yet.
    The difference between try and triumph is just a little umph!


    • #47
      Re: Buying a laptop-need help

      This is an email my Dad sent me. I asked him for advice also.

      Ben, here's a fine website on buying a laptop:

      These are specs I think are important:

      CPU: Intel Core Duo. Careful here, as Intel has a lot of other CPUs that sound similar. Core Duo is in the middle of the Intel pack, and gives good value for its cost.

      Memory: 2 GB. More, and you'll probably not see the benefit. Less, and your computer will run frustratingly slowly.

      DVD: certainly a reader, maybe a burner, too. CD burner is always part of this, so don't need to worry if CDs are all you'll burn.

      Hard drive: the bigger the better, of course, but if there's a DVD burner, not much reason to store your movies and music on the hard drive, so the hard drive can be small. 80 GB should be plenty big enough. Everything else being equal, look for a 7200 rpm hard drive over a 5400 rpm one. Might not have much choice here.

      Screen size: I think you'll be happiest with 15.4". That'll make for a heavier laptop to carry, but once you're watching a movie, you'll be glad you went big.

      Keyboard: the best keyboards are made by Lenovo. The best keyboards used to be made by IBM, but then IBM sold their entire home computer operation to Lenovo, which is why Lenovo now makes the best keyboards. Dell's keyboards aren't bad.

      Wireless: usually built in, which means you must know how to protect your computer so others can't access your files.

      Support: I like Dell in this area. Easy to use their website, easy to chat with Tech Support. HP and Compaq have terrible websites/support.

      Operating system: not much choice here. If you're getting a new laptop, it will have Vista. On the other hand, XP will be more reliable, run faster, and be easier for techs to troubleshoot.

      Extended support (3 yrs): important, I think. Will cost about $250.

      Going to Dell's site, you can build a laptop with most of the features above for about $900. That's almost twice what you wanted to spend.

      You might consider going to Dell's refurbished site. Also consider buying used if the laptop is about $400. For that amount, it might be worth taking a chance. Have the seller demonstrate that everything works: burns DVDs, surfs the webs quickly via wireless and wired networking, etc. If you buy used, make sure you get all the original software, especially the product ID for Windows. But doubt you'll find a good deal going used. Sellers remember how much they paid, and forget how far prices have fallen since then. Still, keep your eyes open.

      Hope this helped.
      Buy cheap, buy twice.


      • #48
        Re: Buying a laptop-need help

        Ben, I like your dad already! Yes, Dell does warranty their refurbished units.
        I love my plumber

        "My Hero"

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        • #49
          Re: Buying a laptop-need help

          where do you live? if in MI my brother deals with off lease laptops. All are gone through and what ever needs to be replace he does this before he sells them. You can call him @ 248-431-6228 his name is Eric. He also does ship.


          • #50
            Re: Buying a laptop-need help

            been using sony vaio and dell inspiron. both works well here...


            • #51
              Re: Buying a laptop-need help


              Here is a deal you may want to look at.


              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!


              • #52
                Re: Buying a laptop-need help

                For what it's worth check the business side of web sites. While Windows XP (home) is pretty much history, there should still be lots of PCs on the business side of major companies with XP Professional installed on them. Get tuff and demand full licensed versions of the operating system and any main work programs. Also, demand backup CDs. Later on you'll be thankful you have them.