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Author Topic: Calling all techy people.  (Read 3445 times)

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Offline Mouse

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Calling all techy people.
« on: February 03, 2008, 10:51:28 AM »
As some of you know Lappy has decided that she does not wish to continue living. Unfortunately I've been unable to respect her wishes as I need to use her to get all of my schoolwork done. But she powers off on me occasionally and it takes forever for me to get her going again as she keeps saying shit like 'operating system not found'.

So, I'm saving up for a new laptop. I was talking about this with Matty the past couple days but I figured some input from other people would be a good idea.

So far I'm mostly into this one: http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Toshiba-Satellite-U305-S7467-13-3-Widescreen-Laptop-U305S7467/sem/rpsm/oid/191734/catOid/-12963/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do

But I've read about some issues with it so if I can find something better in the same class that'll do. I'd like the price range to stay on or near (under 1500 would be best) 1000 dollars or under. I don't want to get something cheap just cause it's cheap though as one of my main requirements for this machine is that it get me through 4 years of university comfortably with very little issues.

Other requirements:
- I want it to run fast. I hate waiting for shit to load. I am spoiled.
- At least 200gb of harddrive space.
- 2 gigs of RAM would be nice. Or more.
- Decent speakers, decent graphics. I understand neither of these things are prominent on laptops but I would like a good quality for their market.
- As thin and light as possible. One of the appeals of the Satellite, when I saw it in the store was how small and light it was. It's effing adorable and very cool.
- Durable. I take basically good care of my shit but I do carry my laptop around with me quite a lot and I don't want it to be very fragile.


Any ideas? Comments on the one I'm looking at now? Y/N?

Offline Iggy

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2008, 10:57:09 AM »
One thought.  Have you ever considered wiping your current laptop and installing Linux?  It has come a long way and it is free...and uses barely any memory compared to windows.


Offline ademas

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2008, 10:58:02 AM »
I'm so not a techy, Jaser, but I'm looking, too.

Check this out.

http://www.walmart.com/search/browse-ng.do?ic=24_0&ref=125875.183815+500848.4293870348&catNavId=4070

I keep reading a good graphics card is very important, too, but I have no idea how important it is to me.  I'm not a gamer, but I would like to play around on second life, and my current system is very limiting.


Offline Mouse

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2008, 11:03:13 AM »
My current laptop is totally fucked. Nothing I do short of getting a lot of shit fixed and replaced professionally and paying out of my ass for it is going to save it.



Also, I am never buying a laptop from Walmart again. Evah. :[

Offline Iggy

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2008, 11:06:14 AM »
Understood.  The only other suggestion I can offer is CNET's site.  The linked page below will bring you to their price comparison charts.  Their product reviews are usually pretty good, and in general I love that site for their library of freeware downloads.

Hope it helps.

http://shopper.cnet.com/2001-3121_9-0.html?tag=shfd.dir

Offline Mouse

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2008, 11:14:43 AM »
Understood.  The only other suggestion I can offer is CNET's site.  The linked page below will bring you to their price comparison charts.  Their product reviews are usually pretty good, and in general I love that site for their library of freeware downloads.

Hope it helps.

http://shopper.cnet.com/2001-3121_9-0.html?tag=shfd.dir


Thanks. I'll take a look.

Offline Dragonette

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2008, 11:48:02 AM »
If you wait till you enroll in college wouldn't there be cheaper options thru their computer service or shops affiliated with them? I met this American girl with an ibook and she said it was really cheap thru her uni. Maybe you can already get it now that you're accepted. just a thought.  btw: CONGRATULATIONS!
"If you keep one foot in yesterday, and one in tomorrow, you piss all over today". Betty Tacy

Offline Joe K

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2008, 01:12:43 PM »
I would suggest you talk with a local computer store and see how much they would charge to build you one.  The reason I say this is that the machines you have referenced are made for mass consumption and I doubt they will be suitable for your needs.  For example, you want fast and while the Toshiba has a Dual Core and runs at 1.66GHz, the bus speed however is only 667MHz and the bus is what connects everything together so nothing can run faster than the bus, no matter how good the chips are.  You may also want to consider getting a screen larger than 13.3 inches as that is really small and may be difficult to use for work requiring a decent resolution.

Make a list of what you want to use the machine for and then choose components that are a good value.  Many times a slight upgrade of key components will make the difference between a decent machine and an adequate one.  Build the machine to do what you want it to do, not what you think you might need.  Use dictates how you want to build your machine and upgrades in both memory and hard drive SPEED will improve performance.  Just remember that it cost much less to upgrade components, from the start, than to replace them later.  You may also run into limitations on some machines, so go for something that will meet your needs, right out of the box.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 01:15:20 PM by killfoile »

Offline Mouse

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2008, 01:16:32 PM »
I would suggest you talk with a local computer store and see how much they would charge to build you one.  The reason I say this is that the machines you have referenced are made for mass consumption and I doubt they will be suitable for your needs.  For example, you want fast and while the Toshiba has a Dual Core and runs at 1.66GHz, the bus speed however is only 667MHz and the bus is what connects everything together so nothing can run faster than the bus, no matter how good the chips are.  You may also want to consider getting a screen larger than 13.3 inches as that is really small and may be difficult to use for work requiring a decent resolution.

Make a list of what you want to use the machine for and then choose components that are a good value.  Many times a slight upgrade of key components will make the difference between a decent machine and an adequate one.  Build the machine to do what you want it to do, not what you think you might need.  Use dictates how you want to build your machine and upgrades in both memory and hard drive SPEED will improve performance.  Just remember that it cost much less to upgrade components, from the start, than to replace them later.  You may also run into limitations on some machines, so go for something that will meet your needs, right out of the box.


I'll look into that. I keep feeling like it's going to cost me a ton more money to have one built for me and I'm on a tight budget. Is it typically a lot more to do this rather than buy one already made?

Offline Joe K

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2008, 01:32:07 PM »
I think this overview will be very helpful in you choosing a size and type of laptop.

Laptops

Stylish machines with cutting-edge features

If you haven't shopped for a laptop lately, you might be pleasantly surprised by what you'll find in stores or online: a case with a red finish as glossy as a new sports car, a display that's brighter than ever, longer battery life, and lighter weight.

What you pay might also please you, since laptop prices continue to fall. Here are the key considerations if you're choosing among the latest batch of laptops:

Screen sizes vary. When you hit the stores, you'll find tiny laptops, large laptops, and many choices in between. Each has its benefits and trade-offs.

A new offering from Sony combines a small 11-inch screen, light 2.6-pound weight, and long battery life. But you'll pay for the portability in price and storage space. See our First Look at the Sony VAIO TZ191N/XC on the facing page.

If you're planning to carry the laptop around with you frequently, a 13-inch model is probably the right choice. In our tests of 13-inch systems, we found that you might have to sacrifice some speed, and you'll spend a few hundred dollars more than you would for a larger laptop. But you'll also lighten your load by at least a couple of pounds, and you'll find many of the same features on slim-and-lights that are available on larger laptops, including webcams, memory-card readers, and fingerprint scanners.

If you don't mind trading an inch of screen space for a half-pound to a pound or so of weight, laptops with 14-inch displays are a good, welterweight alternative for travelers on a budget.

Laptops with a 15-inch screen generally offer the ideal balance of performance, portability, and price. They weigh about 6 pounds, although you can find some lighter ones, including the 5.3-pound MacBook Pro. They're a good choice for those who need to take a laptop along less frequently, and a system in the 15-inch size range can easily be configured to serve as a desktop replacement.

For a full-blown, entertainment-oriented desktop replacement, consider a 17-inch model. You'll get a good-sized screen, better speakers, and more options for multimedia features. It will cost more than a comparable desktop, but it's handy if you have space constraints or if you're planning to use it in areas of your house other than the home office.

You'll pay for portability. Slim-and-light models are the most expensive, ranging from about $900 to $1,600 or more, while the 11-inch Sony costs up to $3,200. Midsized systems cost less, but as you add RAM, storage space, and speedier processors, you'll pay more. AMD-based systems tend to be less expensive.

Your money goes further. With prices falling, you'll get a more powerful system for less money than you would have a year ago. More than 60 percent of laptops sold for less than $1,000 over the first six months of 2007, according to Synovate, a market-research company.

For example, you can currently pick up a 15.4-inch laptop with 1GB of RAM, a 120GB hard drive, a DVD burner, Windows Vista Home Premium, and a dual-core processor for about $600. Models that come standard with 2GB of RAM have become common, a healthy trend for those using Vista, which should have at least 1GB but runs even better with double that amount.

Despite the lower prices, 10 percent of the respondents to our latest Computer Shopping survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, said they spent at least $100 more than they had planned. Most said prices rose as they customized their systems during the purchase process, so make sure your estimates account for any extra features you might want.

Features abound. Beyond sheer muscle, you'll find more features that turn your laptop into an entertainment center. For example, those looking for high-definition content can now view it on players that are optional from Acer, HP, and Toshiba (HD DVD), and from Dell and Sony (Blu-ray). Dell, HP, and Toshiba have picked up on Apple's idea of a mini remote control.

Once standard only on some Apple and Sony laptops, webcams and microphones now are included or available as an option on most laptops. Finally, fingerprint scanners are standard on many laptop models.

Technologies trickle down. A whole new crop of technologies is moving into consumer laptops, providing such benefits as longer battery life, lighter systems, and brighter displays. Earlier this year Intel introduced a new version of its Centrino Duo chipset. It adds a bit to the speed of laptops, but its main advantage is in extending battery life, which we found to be 30 to 45 minutes longer than older chipsets. An up-and-coming storage technology, the solid-state flash drive, is also adding to battery life.

Apple was one of the first to add LED-backlit technology to its laptop displays. You'll find it on the 15-inch MacBook Pro. That display rated very good in our tests, with a bright screen and a wide viewing angle. Another advantage of the technology is its more efficient use of power and, as a result, longer battery life. We also expected to see more vivid color on this display, but it wasn't better in that respect than displays using older technologies.

It's all about style. Design and style dominate in today's laptops. The black plastic model you might remember from a couple of years ago is disappearing. Its stodgy, traditional look has been replaced with sharp styles, silver interiors, and bright colors. Designer trends you'll find include glossy exteriors, such as those on many Gateway, HP, Sony, and Toshiba laptops. Some even sport a pearlized look. Dell's systems are available in eight colors for a premium of $50. Dell and Toshiba have adopted the metallic keyboards Apple uses on its MacBook Pro, though you may not like the slightly grainy feel. Acer, Dell, and HP placed touch-sensitive CD-playback buttons on some of their systems. In the case of the Acer 5920, however, the buttons are located in a spot on the laptop that your hands might inadvertently swipe, causing programs to launch that you didn't intend to start up. Finally, those who need to work in the dark will appreciate the lighted keyboards installed on Apple's MacBook Pro and Lenovo's ThinkPad T61.

Think green. A new, voluntary Energy Star standard went into effect this past summer for laptop and desktop computers that should result in more efficient power use. Energy-use guidelines now cover three operating modes--standby, sleep, and running--with systems entering sleep mode within 30 minutes of inactivity. Power supplies will also need to operate more efficiently.

You probably won't notice much difference in the operation of your computer, but your electric bill might go down a bit. Look for the Energy Star label on compliant laptops. The price of laptops won't increase because of the new standard, according to a spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star program.

Most laptop manufacturers also have recycling programs that help you dispose of your old laptop, but the programs vary considerably from one company to another.

Apple's and Dell's recycling options are the best among the brands we rated for this article. They provide free recycling of your old system when you buy a new Apple or Dell product, no matter what brand you're replacing.

Offline Joe K

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2008, 01:38:34 PM »
It would depend upon the computer store.  I would take the specs from a machine you like and see what they would charge to build something compatible.  Forget any store that wants to "customize" your ideal machine, because it will cost more than a car.  But you can get great deals.  I built my dream gaming desktop for $1,800 locally and it would easily have cost three times that through someone like Dell.  Given your budget, look for a mass machine that will do what you want it to do.  I would also check with your school before you buy any machine, as my daughter got a great deal through her college for a top notch laptop.

Offline Mouse

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2008, 02:13:56 PM »
Thank you! I have a lot to think about now. ... urgh.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2008, 02:24:08 PM »
Mouse, I don't trust you. Did you really mean Techy people or Tacky people? ;) Kidding aside, go to your Univ book store and see what kind of price you can get for a laptop. I know there prices are cheap along with software. You won't be getting a discount on your books, so same money where you can.

Offline bryonut

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2008, 04:43:41 PM »
Campus bookstore! I have had some killer deals through them.. well at BYU anyway.

Yes, don't mock me I went there.

I'm not a mormon,

bry

Offline Mouse

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2008, 04:55:25 PM »
I don't knwo if my campus bookstore sells computers. I checked it out online and all I saw were books, gift stuff and clothes.

Offline Joe K

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2008, 10:37:04 AM »
Hey Mouse,

If you cannot get a deal through your college bookstore, I would be willing to help you out.  Narrow your search to 2 or 3 machines, tell me specifically what you want to use the computer for (such as writing, photography, or whatever) and I'll help you decide which machine is right for you.

Offline trellium

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2008, 11:19:01 AM »
check out the computer category at www.dealnews.com

Offline David_CA

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2008, 01:09:08 PM »
I like the business notebooks from Dell and HP / Compaq.  I've had several of each and have never had failures.  My last 'main' notebook was a Dell Latitude C610 from '02.  It worked fine up until '06 when I got a new one (from work).  The new one is a Latitude D610 and has also been trouble-free.  I use it 99% of the time as my main computer at home.  It's sturdy, reliable, fast, and reasonably small (14.1" screen).  I'd stay with a Windows based PC, as that's what most universities IT will support.

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Mouse

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2008, 05:53:51 PM »
Hey Mouse,

If you cannot get a deal through your college bookstore, I would be willing to help you out.  Narrow your search to 2 or 3 machines, tell me specifically what you want to use the computer for (such as writing, photography, or whatever) and I'll help you decide which machine is right for you.


Well. These are the ones I've been looking at:

http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Toshiba-Satellite-U305-S7467-13-3-Widescreen-Laptop-U305S7467/sem/rpsm/oid/191734/catOid/-12963/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834101124
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834117653

I want something I can use for school, that's easy to carry around and that I can use to store and watch/listen to a lot of music and movies.

Offline David_CA

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Re: Calling all techy people.
« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2008, 06:02:55 PM »
We've had really good luck with these and the model before it (which was almost the same thing):
www.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/latit_d630?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&~tab=bundlestab

One key item that's lacking in a lot of notebook pc's is warranty.  This one comes with a 3 year warranty.  Not only do I use these, I support about 15 of 'em!

David
Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

 


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