|By Tropicanabanana (Tropicanabanana) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 12:50 am: Edit|
I have no idea how to start searching for a laptop.
These are what I want:
-DVD player/CD burner
-very easy to use with few problems
-lots of space to download MP3's or whatever
-comfortable key pad
that's all i really need. any suggestions? I wanted a Mac but I don't think that's going to happen because I'm not sure if I can transfer my MP3's (i have about a thousand and I don't want to lose them) from the computer I have now. plus there was some weire complication with buying an MP3 player but i forgot what it was.
|By Scubasteve (Scubasteve) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 02:28 am: Edit|
"-DVD player/CD burner "
if you want to anty up about $100-$200 i strongly suggest you go with the all in one dvdrw/cdrw/dvd/cd drive ....buring dvd movies is defintely awesome.. espically since the college you are going to will probably have an integrated network that will allow you to dl movies off your peer's computers
|By Tropicanabanana (Tropicanabanana) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 02:33 am: Edit|
is this what it's actually called? i know nothing about computers and want to know what to ask for without sounding dumb. thanks!
|By Dasweepa (Dasweepa) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 02:51 am: Edit|
The name is DVD±R/±RW.
My recommendation would be either a Sony (sharper looking and a bit lighter) or an IBM (very durable).
Also, look for a significant amount of RAM (at least 512, but 1 GB would keep your comp running well into your 4th year).
|By Alpinesun (Alpinesun) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 04:58 am: Edit|
just say "dvdr" or "dvd re-writer," and "cd burner"...
(fyi: a DVD±R/±RW burns and plays dvd's and cds)
how the heck would you say "DVD±R/±RW" anyway?
i recommend Dell
|By Dasweepa (Dasweepa) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 10:31 am: Edit|
Don't get a Dell laptop. They are garbage.
|By Jolt21 (Jolt21) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 10:52 am: Edit|
apple powerbook g4 has all of that..and can have the dvd burner too..its called Superdrive on apples
i cant wait for my powerbook =)
|By Alex614 (Alex614) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 11:16 am: Edit|
I suggest a labtop from Alienware. I recently got the Area-51 from Allienware, and it's really good compared to other brands like Dell, and Sony. They have a very good customer service if you ever have problems with your labtop. Be warned that Alienware labtops are quite expensive. Mine cost me about $3,000.
|By Malicemizer9 (Malicemizer9) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 11:27 am: Edit|
Alienwares are nice but they are ugly.
Go for Sony, Toshiba, or Fujitsu.
I used this Toshiba for my first year and it has been awesome:
|By Drusba (Drusba) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 11:40 am: Edit|
Some help (on PC's not MACs):
1. First laptops are more expensive for the same system than a desktop. However, laptops are becoming more and more of the norm with college students. What you can get in key features depends on how much you can spend.
2. As to downloading music, how much you can stick on your computer depends mainly on hard disk space. You will see reference to that as amount of "GB" (gigabytes) for the "hard drive." Typical desktop now comes with 80GB or higher (many are into the 200's now); typical laptop comes with 20 to 40. (To know how far the world has come on that, it was only about 6 years ago when 1GB was thought outstanding). The more the better for music; 40 is still a decent size if that is what you intend putting on it, although get 60 or even possibly 80 if you intend to keep it for many years and keep adding music-- when you order on-line from Dell (dell.com), Hewitt Packard (hp.com), Gateway (gateway.com), and some others, you get to customize the laptop you are ordering and thus can get more disk space even if model you are buying comes standard with less. The hard disk drive may also vary in RPMs, with typical laptop being in the 5400 range (although you can get 7200), while desktops go 7200 to 10,000. That relates to speed of upload and download and thus faster the better. However, the higher you go the more power you use and the shorter the battery life -- this is an overall issue with adding higher anything to a laptop, you are usually trading some battery life for higher speed.
3. "DVD" and "CD" refer to the bay where you put disks into the computer. R means you can download onto a disk but then you cannot erase or write over what you have downloaded. RW means you can download onto a disk and then erase it or write over what is on there. For music, you definitely want a "CD RW". If you just want to watch DVD's but not record them then you will be looking for a bay that is usually refered to as DVD/CD RW, those plus and minuses may also be thrown in but the RW for CD is the key. If you also want to download DVD's then get a DVD RW/CD RW sometimes refered to as a DVD/CD combo burner. Look for deals on these things, for example, Dell often offers "free" upgrade that adds the DVD RW to one that already has as standard a CD RW. You will also see references to different bay speeds like 2X or 4X or 8X. This relates to how fast your disk is going take the download and somewhat to how fast it uploads into your computer. The faster the better but most speeds being sold today as your basic within the computer price are pretty good, although you can customize to a higher one.
4. Fast for a computer relates generally to its processing speed and chip. You will see something like "Pentium 4, 2.8GHz." Here you have to make a decision. Most everything is pretty darn fast these days but usually what ends up in a laptop may be somewhat slower than what they will put in a desktop. Intel has the largest market of the chips used and the one you will usually find in on-line computers although AMD is making headway. The biggest problem you have is comparing one kind a chip to another. For example, laptops are more going to Intels Pentium M/Centrino chip because it is designed for laptops to provide more battery time. Battery life is till attrocious on most laptops (2 to 4 hours) and the centrino chip is designed to lengthen that life (the first person who invents a 24 hour battery is going to be very rich). Thus, for your laptop I would recommend it rather than the Pentium 4. But many buyers balk because it is sold with a GHz range of 1.2 to 2 when the Pentium 4 has 2.4 to 3.4GHz and thus people believe the Centrino is markedly slower. That is not true. A Centrino 1.7GHz is roughly equal to the speed of a 2.8 to 3 Pentium
4. The chip size, like other features, can be customized on what you are buying; typically you may see a laptop with a 1.5GHz Pentium M/Centrino; go higher if you can (particularly if you can afford to go to the new 1.8 to 2 GHz centrino chips called "dothan") but that is still a "fast" speed. What you probably want to avoid is the "celeron" chip -- Intel's lowest cost chip that provides good speed on low cost computers but not on the performance level of the centrino or Pentium 4.
5. Another important factor is RAM which comes in mb (megabytes) or now even GB's. It also has an impact on your speed. Bascially, the hard disk is your permanent space, and RAM (Random Access Memory) is kind of the space created for what you are doing at any particular time. The more RAM the better. Many laptops still come standard with 128 or 256 mb. Very highly recommend you get at least 512 and go to 1GB if you can afford it. That 128 size is hardly enough to even run windows these days and add anything else and you are into "slow"; 256 is OK for most common tasks including word processing, internet surfing, but if you want to avoid delays when downloading or uploading music or want to be able to do something else on the computer while that you need the RAM. Also, if you play games, more RAM is needed (in fact true gamesters now consider 1GB necessary and dream of getting the 2GB now available).
6. How light -- when you go to sites that sell computers like Dell, HP or gateway, you can pick the one you want in size and weight. 6 lbs. or less is fairly light; 9 lbs or more is heavy. However, be aware: the lightest ones are going to have the smallest screens (like 12 inch diagonal), the midweight ones get you to 14 or or 15 inches and the heavy ones usually get you to the 17 inch range. Also, overall the small, light ones, will be somewhat slower, than the mid to heavier ones even with the same stuff in them (why that is I do not know).
7. Screen resolution -- laptops have trailed desktops in quality of picture on the screen although that is now becoming much less of an issue. Nevertheless, today's laptop screens come in three categories -- XGA (very good screen quality), SXGA (better), UXGA (even better). Go up if you can but do not consider it an absolute necessity. Sometimes, the "deal" being offered will include a higher resolution screen.
8. Video Card. You will see video cards as one of the features usually by Nvidia or ATI. Here again the more mb's the better and effects quality of picture. Many laptops still come with 32mb size (OK but forget about playing any high resolution games with it). Go to at least 64 if you can, 128 is even better, and true gamesters now want the 256. Here once again is the issue that the more you have the less the battery life nd you probably won't need above 64 unless you are into games.
9. Check carefully to make sure the laptop has an "ethernet" card/hook-up (at least 10/100); that assures you can hook up to your internet system at the college (or home). Those are usually standard now in laptops. Also, you should defintiely get a wireless card in it. Not all laptops come with that as standard yet and thus you may need to customize. You will see references to wave frequencies of 802.11b or 802.11g or 802.11a or often some combination like 802.11a/g. the "b" is today's standard and used at most college campuses that have wireless, the "g" is fast becoming the standard because it provides quicker download time off the internet and makes your access faster. Note if you get "g" you will still have "b"; also even on a g network you will still be able to use b. But get g if you can afford to -- usually the difference in price in getting g instead of just b is not much. The "a" is also a faster network than b and probably still more stable than g but it is not becoming the hot item and is found in only a few places -- University of Illinois partly adopted it and thus you won't need "a" unless your particular college has it.
10. Do not overlook your external hook-ups for where you hook things into the computer like another keyboard, mouse, a second screen, camera, mps player. It should have at least two USB slots, an ethernet (mentioned above), a phone hook-up, a hook-up for second video screen, and an IEEE slot, and possibly an s-video so you hook it up direclty to a TV. Many laptops have those things standard, but be careful because some, particularly lower cost, won't have some of those and when you are looking at its general description on-line it won't tell you one way or the other. Dell, Gateway and HP have areas you can click to to see what their slots are for each laptop.
11. Particularly for music lovers buying a laptop, you probably want to find before buying anything you can on-line that reviews the type and model of computer you are looking at. Particularly what you are looking for is whether any reviewer has commented on the noise of the disk bay. Some laptops can be somewhat noisy when playing a disk, detracting from the music, and you may want to factor that into your buying equation.
12. Essentially all home PC's come with Window's XP. Most have the "Windows XP Home" version. If you can go up to "Windows XP Professional" which adds features that can be valuable when you are part of a sharing network like you will be at college. It is not absolutely necessary but do it if you can.
All of the above is for PC's with windows. Apple's MacIntosh is an alternative. However, be aware of this: the business world uses almost exclusively PC's and thus when you go to an internship or job after college you will find all using a PC with windows; in other words, eventually even if you are a MAC lover you will have to give in and use a PC. The Mac in reality is the somewhat better computer and easier to use, it just lost the marketing wars to Bill Gates long ago and now tries to focus itself on special areas including schools/education (many will have them at college and they will be in many labs). The MAC is more expensive than a PC -- some will claim otherwise but once you compare particular features a MAC that equals the same PC is going to be more expensive.
As to particular company don't listen to the crap about one being better than another. Alien Ware will be because it is basically custom made and uses high end everything, and the cost will so reflect; Alien is really for high graphics gamesters who can afford almost anything. All the others, where you can stay well below that $3,000 computer, like Dell, Gateway, Sony, Toshiba, HP, IBM, you are really going to find like performance -- just remember that with a PC they are all putting the same stuff inside them with the only real difference being the name stamped on the outside. For example, the Intel centrino chip in one is going to be the same darn Intel centrino chip in the other. So ignore any hype about the manufacturer's name making a difference in performance. Shop around a number of makers putting in like internal components and then compare prices among the makers. Where one company can make it itself stand out above another is service when something does go wrong. Most do that pretty well now but Dell still leads the pack there.
|By Chasgoose (Chasgoose) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 01:09 pm: Edit|
I use the IBM T40 and I love it. It seems to be the best match to what you want. Now my model is not made anymore because they have made slight improvements and created the T41 and the T42. Since the T42 came out recently I bet you will be able to get pretty good deals on the T41. Another reccomended computer would be the Sony Vaio Z1 or the thin and light Gateway computer.
|By Kepler797 (Kepler797) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 02:19 pm: Edit|
Save some money and get a dell. They aren't garbage. Mine works just as well as my last laptop, which was an hp. Also, if you ever have any problems with the laptop in the future, dell is known to have the best customer service.
|By Baltodad (Baltodad) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 02:48 pm: Edit|
Check to see if your college has a deal with one of the computer manufacturers. You could save a bundle. (My son's university worked out an arrangement with IBM, and we're getting the just-introduced T42 laptop for more than one-third off the list price.)
|By Dasweepa (Dasweepa) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 03:32 pm: Edit|
Most people I talk to with Dell laptops only have bad experiences to relate. If you wanna take the risk, go ahead and get a dell. Just be forewarned if you can't get your paper off your computer right before it is due.
|By Kepler797 (Kepler797) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 03:59 pm: Edit|
haha, well maybe you shouldn't wait till the last minute to do a paper!
|By Kepler797 (Kepler797) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 04:04 pm: Edit|
Talk about worse case scenerios. Dell is a very large and successful business. If their computers really didn't work that well, the company would cease to exist. Also, if you would like to know, dell is the largest supplier for computers to businesses world round. They must be doing something right?
|By Tropicanabanana (Tropicanabanana) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 04:13 pm: Edit|
I don't think I want a Dell..I haven't been hearing good things about them.
Thanks everyone, especially Drusba!
I'm going to look into IBM, Sony, Toshiba and Powerbooks.
|By Tropicanabanana (Tropicanabanana) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 06:14 pm: Edit|
What is the difference between an ibook and a powerbook?
also, is a 12 inch or 14 inch screen better?
|By Drusba (Drusba) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 06:55 pm: Edit|
Ibook is Apple's lower cost laptops and Powerbook the higher. It will consist of similar differences as noted above -- Powerbook usually has more disk space, faster processor chip, more RAM as standard, higher resolution screen, etc. than the Ibook. A 12-inch screen is small and step back 5 feet from it and you can hardly read anything because it is so small. At the same time, the 12-inch laptops (I have one; a Gateway) are usually your lightest and taking them anywhere is extremely easy. Nevertheless, if that is going to be your only computer (no desktop), I recommend going above 12-inch because a larger screen is going to be much easier to deal with when you are spending hours at your desk in your room typing a paper on the word processor.
|By Stuckonduhmode (Stuckonduhmode) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 07:25 pm: Edit|
You shouldn't listen only to the bad reviews of Dell because usually only people who have problems come with complaints online. There are plenty of people with Dell computers that are doing just fine. I have a old Inspiron 8100 laptop that is still doing fine and it's been 3 years going on four. My aunt and uncle have the newer laptops and they work great. As for your needs, you don't really need a high end laptop unless you're into the newer games. And as for the DVD, don't worry about it too much. In honesty I'd rather watch a DVD on a TV screen. Laptop LCD's (this is the screen I'm talking about which stands for liquid crystal display) or LCDs in general 'ghost' which means you might see a blur as characters talk or move across the screen and that just kills it for me. Being able to connect to a TV because of this is important. Either way, it is a nice feature to have.
Just make sure that you get at least a Centrino/M processor, decent hard drive (at least 60GB) for your mp3s and make sure the rotational speed or 'RPM' of the hard drive is at least 5400 (this is slow compared to desktop hard drives, but its decent for laptops), 512 MB RAM, and a 32MB Video card (more if you want to play newer games).
About the screen size, that is really up to you. It depends on what you are using it for. If you just surf the web and word process, then a 12 inch is fine. Plus it's lighter. A bigger screen is usually picked for the gamers or people who want to have clarity. When you choose a bigger screen, you usually have the option of choosing what resolution quality your screen is at. For non-widescreen LCDs, its usually XGA, SXGA, UXGA, listed in order of resolution. Everything will be smaller when you choose SXGA and above (such as font, icons, etc.) and your native resolution of the screen will be higher (mine is at 1400 x 1050) which means more pixels of color per inch while the standard XGA is at 1028 x 768 pixels. Just like in a digital camera, the more pixels the better (if of course you print large pictures 8X10 and above, so noone will flame me for this). Widescreens come with a W in front like WXGA, WSXGA, and so forth. Usually for the smaller screen laptops, XGA and WXGA is the only resolution available. It's still clear, but not as clear as a SXGA (not for fonts since they're so small, but for pictures). If you like watching DVD's a lot, then a widescren would be best.
Hope this helps.
|By Roh (Roh) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 10:17 pm: Edit|
BUY DELL. PERIOD.
|By Dasweepa (Dasweepa) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 11:11 pm: Edit|
>>DON'T BUY DELL. PERIOD.
|By Kepler797 (Kepler797) on Thursday, May 27, 2004 - 11:37 pm: Edit|
Hey the dell i'm typing on works just fine.
|By Araesova (Araesova) on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 12:30 am: Edit|
Dude don't get a dell...they have the WORST customer service, some people in India I believe. Get a Mac man...I was PC ALL THE WAY before until I used my friend's mac and fell in love with it. So I got the 14 inch Ibook and it kicks ass. Btw, two things...
I haven't had any trouble transferring things from my windows desktop to my mac and I have transferred many things, even music.
The ibook and powerbook differ in that the ibook has a 1 ghz (1.07 actually) processor and the powerbook has 1.33 ghz. The powerbook also has 20 gb or so more hard drive space, compared to the ibook which has 40 gigs. I think those are all the differences, I could check on Apple's site later. My advice...if you do get Mac, get an Ibook, there is very little difference between the two and the powerbook is like $500 more, actually i think $600, but again I have to look this up on Apple's site and im too lazy right now
hope this helps!
|By Alpinesun (Alpinesun) on Friday, May 28, 2004 - 01:47 am: Edit|
their customer service isnt in india anymore.. and my dell is working just fine
|By Jolt21 (Jolt21) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 12:20 am: Edit|
|By Dasweepa (Dasweepa) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 01:13 am: Edit|
|By Stevengoo (Stevengoo) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 12:53 pm: Edit|
dell was the worst computer have ever had... toshiba is pretty good
|By Alpinesun (Alpinesun) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 03:21 pm: Edit|
Apple was rated #1 with the most reliable systems, and Dell came in #2.
I wouldn't focus on individual bad experiences..
|By Leob21 (Leob21) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 08:54 pm: Edit|
How about Toshiba? Are they any good?
|By Dasweepa (Dasweepa) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 10:17 pm: Edit|
Pretty good from what I hear.
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