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  • Buying a laptop-need help

    This is the criteria I was looking for, need lots of help;

    1. Must be somewhat durable. I'm going to a very sandy place and will store it in a pelican case but it's still going to get dirty.

    2. will not play video games on it, probably watch some movies, have pictures on it

    3. plan carrying in the truck for use on work related items(invoices). stored in a pelican case. Combined weight of a regular bag, laptop and essential stuff I don't know about can't weigh more than 15 lbs.

    4. want to spend around 500

    5. battery life must be good, might not be around a power point for awhile. Do generators hurt laptops?

    6. Have no experience about wireless internet so any help here would be appreciated.

    Let me know of any companies to stay from also as well as good features I need and those I don't. Should I buy online or at a store? Have until Sep to buy it so I can't wait for thanksgiving sales. Thanks.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: Buying a laptop-need help

    Dell sells refurbished laptops on their website-they are great!

    There will be big sales again over 4th of July. Check out the ads in the Sunday paper-ours have the computer sales in the sports section. (I also posted this in your blog earlier)

    As far as wireless, we use SBC. When we are out we just use unencrypted wireless connections (there are lots more than you would think) or if we know the person get their security code for encrypted connections.
    I love my plumber

    "My Hero"

    Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Buying a laptop-need help

      I wouldn't reccommend refurbished. At least HP SUCK!!!

      All laptops out there have wireless now.

      The cheapest laptops now are $499

      I like sony and dell but they are pricy. But the BEST!!!

      The pricy ones are the best.

      Dell inspiron are $499 on their website.
      http://www.dell.com/content/products...=19&l=en&s=dhs

      Unsecured connection means you can connect if their signal is good.

      Secured connection means you need the key or a passphrase for it.

      In our area it is tought but we connect through our desktop wirelessly.

      If you park in front of target you will get a connection for FREE.

      mrs.wc
      Last edited by westcoastplumber; 05-27-2008, 10:33 PM.
      sigpic

      Robert

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Buying a laptop-need help

        Originally posted by westcoastplumber View Post

        If you park in front of target you will get a connection for FREE.

        mrs.wc
        can i do this? Is this legal?
        Buy cheap, buy twice.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Buying a laptop-need help

          I have bought 2 refurbished dells directly from dell. Each one lasted 10 years, and I am hard on them. I use to drag them everywhere and throw my backpack down. You really can't ask for more.

          You can use any unencrypted wireless connection for free.
          I love my plumber

          "My Hero"

          Welcome, Phoebe Jacqueline!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Buying a laptop-need help

            Good suggestions as far as Dell and other. Understand that battery run time will only be two or three hours at best before you will need to recharge. Regarding the generator and safety, there are so many variables such as surge and other things. Maybe some of tech heads out there will join in? Charging with the computer off may be safer than keeping it on while running off a generator? Wireless means you still need to be close to a wireless internet signal and be set up to access it. If you are buying a laptop with a DVD player I suggest you invest in an inexpensive DVD/VHS recorder that you can hook up to cable. You can record movies off of cable or borrow some movies on VHS from the library and if they are not copyright protected transfer them to DVDs. You can fit three, two hour movies on one disc for about ten cents!
            One more suggestion about power, you might get away with a small inverter that you can plug into a 12volt power source. Something strong enough to run your laptop and charge it's battery might not weigh very much. Check it out.
            Last edited by Frankiarmz; 05-27-2008, 10:49 PM. Reason: sp

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Buying a laptop-need help

              the panasonic tuff books are pretty much indestructible.

              problem is you need to up your offer. $3000.

              the toshiba's are the next best, reliable units.

              will the military help you out on this?

              a 12 volt inverter seems to work fine for me.

              rick.
              phoebe it is

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Buying a laptop-need help

                Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                This is the criteria I was looking for, need lots of help;

                1. Must be somewhat durable. I'm going to a very sandy place and will store it in a pelican case but it's still going to get dirty.
                They make ruggedized ones, but they are way more than you want to spend unfortunately. The thing you'll probably have to worry about most with the sand is the keyboard. I don't know off the top of my head, but I do think some models have fewer ports on the side, you may want to look at that in a positive light since it is fewer places for the sand to get in.

                Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                2. will not play video games on it, probably watch some movies, have pictures on it
                Anything new or refurb should work as long as you get a DVD drive. Most laptops are powerful enough now that unless it is video games you won't have problems. If you have a choice between CPU (Ghz) and Memory for the price, go with the memory. The memory can prevent you from having to access the hard disk, which is the slowest component (because it physically moves)

                Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                3. plan carrying in the truck for use on work related items(invoices). stored in a pelican case. Combined weight of a regular bag, laptop and essential stuff I don't know about can't weigh more than 15 lbs.
                A beast of a laptop shouldn't weigh more than 8 lbs. Don't know about the case though.

                Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                4. want to spend around 500
                I'll admit that I haven't bought one in eight years, so I don't know how much they cost anymore.

                Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                5. battery life must be good, might not be around a power point for awhile. Do generators hurt laptops?
                Depending on the brand you may be able to get bigger batteries. In Thinkpads you can replace the DVD drive with a spare battery. I don't think a generator would hurt it, because the transformer is converting whatever comes off the line to DC and at least on some you charge the battery and run off of that. You can get 12V vehicle adapters if you've got a truck to hook it from.

                Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                6. Have no experience about wireless internet so any help here would be appreciated.
                If you are looking for WiFi (personal/corporate) networks, you should be safe with anything that says 802.11b or 802.11g. I don't know about any cellular type wireless though.

                Originally posted by gear junkie View Post
                Let me know of any companies to stay from also as well as good features I need and those I don't. Should I buy online or at a store? Have until Sep to buy it so I can't wait for thanksgiving sales. Thanks.
                The last laptop I bought was a Dell, and it did break a few times; but their in-home service plan is very good. After the last repair (same component) I complained and they sent me a refurb machine that was close (but better) than the original. That one lasted for about 4 years. Now I have a Thinkpad from work. The IBM branded ones are top notch (but pricey). The newer Lenovo ones aren't as good as the older IBM ones. I've had friends who have had very good luck with the big HP laptops, but I don't think those would be the machine for you (I would go with a smaller one for cost and luggability).

                Also factor in the cost of software that you may need to run it. This could be almost as much as the hardware now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Buying a laptop-need help

                  This is our second toshiba. Bought it brand new a year ago and last week we had to buy new ac adapter. The battery wasn;t charging....And it is the first laptop we never put any junk on, never hit it or spilled anything on it..previous toshiba we had broke after 2-3 years...the screen broke..the little screws didnt hold it
                  sigpic

                  Robert

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Buying a laptop-need help

                    Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                    Good suggestions as far as Dell and other. Understand that battery run time will only be two or three hours at best before you will need to recharge. Regarding the generator and safety, there are so many variables such as surge and other things. Maybe some of tech heads out there will join in? Charging with the computer off may be safer than keeping it on while running off a generator? Wireless means you still need to be close to a wireless internet signal and be set up to access it. If you are buying a laptop with a DVD player I suggest you invest in an inexpensive DVD/VHS recorder that you can hook up to cable. You can record movies off of cable or borrow some movies on VHS from the library and if they are not copyright protected transfer them to DVDs. You can fit three, two hour movies on one disc for about ten cents!
                    One more suggestion about power, you might get away with a small inverter that you can plug into a 12volt power source. Something strong enough to run your laptop and charge it's battery might not weigh very much. Check it out.
                    One more thing, depending on your model you may be able to get two batteries. I had a Dell Inspiron that took 2 batteries and could last for almost 6 hours at first. At the end it woudl only last 10 minutes if that. Often, the only thing that needs fixing on an older laptop is a replacement battery. They can be spendy, but sometimes it is worth it not to deal with the hassle of a new installation.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Buying a laptop-need help

                      The weak point is $500.00 for a tough laptop. Panasonics Toughbook is pricey. Durabook. Similar specs. but around $1500.00 if I recall.

                      I'd ask CPW. We know more about plumbing. He knows computers.

                      J.C.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Buying a laptop-need help

                        Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                        The weak point is $500.00 for a tough laptop. Panasonics Toughbook is pricey. Durabook. Similar specs. but around $1500.00 if I recall.

                        I'd ask CPW. We know more about plumbing. He knows computers.

                        J.C.
                        JC,

                        I think you're right. Nothing else he asked for is a problem, but ruggedized anything costs way more because of the smaller market. If it is available in his state Dell offers an accident "insurance" policy along with the warranty. That might be cheaper than buying something that will last. CompUSA also had a replacement plan like that, you give them the old one, they give you a new one no questions asked (only works once though).

                        Charles

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Buying a laptop-need help

                          Originally posted by cpw View Post
                          JC,

                          I think you're right. Nothing else he asked for is a problem, but ruggedized anything costs way more because of the smaller market. If it is available in his state Dell offers an accident "insurance" policy along with the warranty. That might be cheaper than buying something that will last. CompUSA also had a replacement plan like that, you give them the old one, they give you a new one no questions asked (only works once though).

                          Charles
                          Dell's accident insurance is awesome when you need it. After I broke my leg I spent 6-months in a hospital bed. One day with my Wi-Fi card sticking out the side of my laptop I lost my grip and it fell to the floor. The card snapped in half which also broke the mother board. Within a few days Dell was at my house with a new mother board and got me back in business. A few months after that they came back and replaced my screen when something else happened.

                          However, if I read Ben's post correctly he may be headed to the sand box and I know Dell doesn't not make house calls there.

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

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Buying a laptop-need help

                            Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                            However, if I read Ben's post correctly he may be headed to the sand box and I know Dell doesn't not make house calls there.
                            I was thinking more job site muck, but if it is the sandbox he would be better off asking some of the guys coming back which ones last and which ones don't than us.

                            Another thing that I thought of was that he might want to get a used one if it is going to take so much abuse. No warranty, but if there is someone he knows who wants to upgrade getting an old one could work out pretty well. For photos and the Internet you really don't need much power. To make sure that you could play videos on an older machine, I would just try playing a DVD if that worked I wouldn't worry about 'net video.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Buying a laptop-need help

                              My oldest son has done one tour in Kosovo and two full tours in Iraq plus a bunch of mini deployments to Iraq to reinforce strategies. He carries an off the shelf Dell laptop. If I were Ben I would probably buy an entry level Dell and plan to upgrade in a couple of years. Josh has a blog entry which includes a site which is really good for watching for Dell deals.

                              Mark
                              Last edited by ToUtahNow; 05-28-2008, 01:08 AM.
                              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

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

                              Comment

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