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Author Topic: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?  (Read 1302 times)

stinabee

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Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« on: June 21, 2008, 02:21:08 AM »
I am trying to build my laptop right now, and don't know much about computers, so I don't know how much of everything I should add..don't want to overkill if I don't have to. Now it is a toss up between about a Dell Latitude D630 (best discount through my school) or the pricier XPS 1330. Anyway, the recommended minimum  is 1.8 ghz processor, 2 gb RAM, and 80 GB hard drive. I do have another older laptop that I hope to use for music/pictures/"play"....but who knows how long it will hang on...and I want to give myself  enough room so that I don't experience problems in the 3 yrs I'll be using it. For the most part I'll be using the computer for basic stuff- internet/microsoft office programs. Should I add more memory, more harddrive, both? How much?

Also, what are the best websites to look for laptop discount/coupon codes. Not seeing any out there right now for the XPS..which is fine, because I'm waiting until the beg of August to buy...but would like to get the extra savings if possible.

Thanks for your input! Really appreciate it.

fsohn

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Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2008, 03:42:08 PM »
Dell has great prices on factory refurbished m1330s and m1530s at dell.com/outlet.  I will probably be getting a m1330, simply because I want to have a small computer after having a 15.4 widescreen for a while.  You can also get it with a (somewhat) decent video card, so if you want to do some editing/gaming, it'll serve you fine.

Talking to a friend of mine, he told me that I shouldn't need more than 2GB of RAM, but if you plan on keeping Vista (I don't--downgrading to XP) and doing a lot of other stuff beyond wordprocessing and such, you might want to consider 3GB, though that is likely serious overkill. 80GB of HD space seems a bit on the small side, especially if you plan on migrating your music over to it.  My current comp has a 120GB HD, which is fine for me, but I think the m1330 starts with a 160GB HD, which is more than enough.

stinabee

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Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 11:59:58 PM »
Thank you for your suggestions. Does anyone else want to add their opinion on processor speed/RAM/hard drive specs? And...XPS or Latitude? I'm so torn... I had an inpiron that got beat up pretty bad in my 4 years of undergrad (on its 2nd hard drive and the plastic top is cracked and taped up...but still workin:) so the durability factor of a latitude is appealing...but the XPS laptops just look so nice!

Clayton

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Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 02:26:06 AM »
http://www.engadget.com/tag/latitude

Check out the new latitude, it's quite a bit sexier than the old one.

jbakguy

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Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2008, 02:04:53 PM »
I found a great deal through these sites (sorry, too lazy to link)

Xpbargains.com
Cheapstingybargains.com

Keep an eye on their coupons page.  Cheapstingybargains claims to update hourly so if you check in once a day you can make use of one of the limited use coupons they link.  When I bought my HP in May I found a $400 off coupon that allowed me to beef up the machine for the same price.  There were also 25 Ė 30% off coupons for Dells at that time but Iíve heard nothing but bad things about Dellís customer service and thought the online store did a lot a nickel and diming when I did a test build.

IMHO the best thing you can do when buying a laptop is exercise patience and restraint.  I barely missed out on a 30% off coupon in March and almost pulled the trigger a dozen times between then and May.  By waiting, I got a machine with a 2.5 processor for $100 cheaper then the 1.8 machine I almost bought without the coupon.

The specs on my machine, a HP pavilion 6700tse are
2.5ghz centrino 9300 processor, 3GB RAM, 250GB hard drive, Vista, 12 Cell battery
Cost $1440 - $1040 after coupon

Other tips:
If you are going to stick with Vista donít get less then 3GB of Ram.  Vista is a memory hog and you have to expect to shave a GB of Ram off the top just running the OS

When you open your machine, before you do anything else, run a system backup then download and run the PC decrapifier. New PCís come out of the box just LOADED with garbageware.  You will notice a big improvement in performance after running the program.

There are lots of good free programs out there, some I have found useful.
Avira (free virus protection/firewall)
Spyblocker (spyware protection)
Sandboxie (creates a quarantined area that you can run programs/surf the web in)
Firefox (with adblocker add on)
Google web accelerator

Sorry for the long post, best of luck.
.

jack24

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Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2008, 04:14:09 PM »
After 3 months of research I bought an xps m1330 last month and got 400 bucks off with the cheapstingybargains.com coupon.

I absolutely love it.

Pros:  Very light, good battery life, fantastic display, comes with a decent carrying case, the 13 inch widescreen is small but not too small, it runs very cool and quiet, hdmi output, and it's very stylish.

Cons: Only 2 USB ports, the keyboard is a tiny bit slow if you are a fast typist, it's not as sturdy as the latitude or the lenovo laptops, but it will probably stand up well to normal transport if you don't drop it.


I love my laptop, but I wouldn't rule lenovo/ibm out.  chipstingybargains has good coupons for those systems as well and you can get the same bang for your buck.
My dell is just a lot better looking and the screen blows lenovo away.

scipiv

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Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2008, 09:48:20 AM »
When you open your machine, before you do anything else, run a system backup then download and run the PC decrapifier. New PCís come out of the box just LOADED with garbageware.  You will notice a big improvement in performance after running the program.

Could you describe this process a little more? Thanks!

stinabee

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Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2008, 05:36:36 PM »
When you open your machine, before you do anything else, run a system backup then download and run the PC decrapifier. New PCís come out of the box just LOADED with garbageware.  You will notice a big improvement in performance after running the program.

Could you describe this process a little more? Thanks!

I also was very interested in how to get rid of that stuff...


I think I have decided on the xps m1330...now I'll just be on the lookout for the best deal:) BTW it seems like the Home & Student Microsoft Office edition can be bought separately for a significantly cheaper price (149 on Dell.com...100 on Newegg)...it is easy to install, right?

fsohn

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Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2008, 05:52:40 PM »
Very easy to install, though OpenOffice gets better with every release.  It is a memory hog, but if you don't use OneNote, it is a pretty decent alternative to MSOffice, as long as you make sure you are saving in the correct format.

PaleForce

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Re: Laptop specifications- any suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2008, 08:50:36 PM »
When you open your machine, before you do anything else, run a system backup then download and run the PC decrapifier. New PCís come out of the box just LOADED with garbageware.  You will notice a big improvement in performance after running the program.

Could you describe this process a little more? Thanks!

I also was very interested in how to get rid of that stuff...


I think I have decided on the xps m1330...now I'll just be on the lookout for the best deal:) BTW it seems like the Home & Student Microsoft Office edition can be bought separately for a significantly cheaper price (149 on Dell.com...100 on Newegg)...it is easy to install, right?

If you're going to get a Dell, you might want to check on whether it would be cheaper to purchase it through your school.  I used to work for Dell and most schools have an agreement with them for discounts.  It's through the employee purchase program, so that means your customer service & tech support (this one is trickier) is supposed to be routed to call centers in the U.S. as opposed to India.  I'm not trying to disparage the work that they do there, but the U.S. call centers that aren't an outsourcing firm- and there are some- are able to do more for customers than those in India (because they're working for an outsourcing firm and don't have full access to Dell's system like Dell employees do).  Also, spring for the 3 year on-site warranty, it'll save you a lot of hassels in the long-run!  Good luck!