laptop help please!

Reply Sat 12 May, 2007 06:45 am
I want to buy my first laptop, i want it to be a semi-desktop replacement, but i dont want to lug around a 13 pounder.

I have no idea what laptops are good, ive only used desktops, if anyone can recommend a GOOD laptop, best bang for the buck, for around $2000.00 i will love you forever!( 2gb ram, 224 video memory is what im aiming for, with at least a 2.ghz proc)

for some reason i dont trust sony, otherwise i would have bought a vaio already.
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Reply Sat 12 May, 2007 11:45 am
Personally, I like Toshiba laptops. I would use a separate mouse control and not use the touchpad as I hate touchpads.

Have you tried looking at any of the Computer magazine articles for expert advice?
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Big Dog
Reply Sun 13 May, 2007 05:00 am
Apple--Laptops are usually rated very high, but not as many programs are designed to work with their OS. In the PC line-- Toshiba, Dell And Lenovo rate very high depending on the respective features you are looking for. I'm getting ready to buy a couple of laptops myself and have been researching them for awhile. Look at PC-World, Computer Shopper, and Consumer Reports magazines, they have a lot of reviews on the various laptops available.
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Reply Sun 13 May, 2007 05:45 pm
Dell will very often give you the most bang for your buck, especially if you buy through the Dell Outlet. However, if you're willing to wait and hunt for bargains, you can often get Dell prices or better from a number of other brands. Also note that $2000 is a lot of money for a laptop these days, and it gives you a whole lot of options for the specs you mentioned or better.

Apple and Sony both generally manufacture the best looking and most overpriced systems. Apple laptops of course come with Mac OS (for better or worse), and Sony laptops have the added feature of being a little more fragile than other systems, and generally being harder to repair (on the hardware side).

My current laptop is an Acer. When I got it about a year and a half ago, Acer and Toshiba were my top brands. These days, Acer systems generally don't interest me because most current models have AMD CPUs (for the time being, Intel chips are superior).

So I'll put in another vote for Toshiba, my current favorite. The other biggest contenders are HP (also a good option), Gateway (not too exciting, usually, though they offer some nice Tablet PCs), and Lenovo (good for business users).

Think about what you want, beyond the basic specs you've already mentioned. For example, screen size. 15.4" diagonal is standard, as well as generally the cheapest configuration. Any smaller or larger will typically cost extra. I like slightly smaller systems (since I rarely use my laptop for multimedia or gaming), so I gravitate towards the lighter, smaller 14.1" systems. Keep in mind that individual manufactures don't offer every screen size available. For example, if you want a 13.3" screen (generally the smallest size practical for every-day use), Sony is probably your only option, though a number of manufacturers offer 12.1" and smaller. 17" systems are also very common, and some manufacturers offer systems with 20 inches of screen real estate or more (these are both expensive and heavy).

Will you use your laptop for gaming? Alienware (owned by Dell) and Dell offer some of the best gaming laptops, though they're generally not practical to carry around regularly.

Are you interested in a Tablet PC (which use screens that can be rotated 360 degrees and accept touch/pen input)?

If you want a really light system, usually the biggest factors are screen and battery size, so if a system is offered with multiple battery configurations, you might want to look at that (of course, a smaller battery also means less running time, as well as generally lower price).

After filtering down your system by price point as well as more specific features, the number of systems available should be a lot lower, which should make the decision that much easier.

Finally, if you're getting a Windows system, the best option by far for most home users is Vista Home Premium, unless you really want the extra (mostly business-related) features in the overpriced Vista Ultimate.
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Reply Mon 14 May, 2007 02:24 am
acer and toshiba were my top picks actually. Im pretty sure im going toshiba i get a good feeling inside when i compare their 2000 dollar laptop to a 3000 dollar one by another company and the specs blow the more expensive one out of the water, or are exactly the same.

im gonna play world of warcraft and wc3 dota, and after about 6 months im gonna build a dream desktop and the laptop will become my portable gaming/business laptop, and the business side involves all sorts of graphics design/ art programs so i need high end graphics, memory should be maxxed, nice proc etc, but a 13 pounder is way to much weight.

thanks for the input, i would go by the computer mag reviews, but i havent found a website that offers the detail and experienced reviews im looking for. (maximum pc forums were pretty good tho, for anyone who might need advice that is from people way to into computers LOL!)
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Reply Sat 19 May, 2007 04:12 pm
Maximum PC (which is the only magazine I currently subscribe to) is awesome in general. I don't do podcasts, but a friend of mine says theirs is the best podcast he's ever listened to. However, they certainly cater to the hardcore PC user market, and they very infrequently review systems which cost less than $4,000 or so (a recent issue included a review for a Falcon Northwest desktop which cost more than $10,000).
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