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Godotology

Notebook/laptop/tablet Pc Buying Guide *updated 2011*

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What do you think is the threshold between usability and excess power? In terms of the CPU. PM vs Celeron... higher clock speeds... stuff like that.

Like my desktop right now. Opteron 146 2.75ghz Sisoftsandra says that means its some huge number in theoretical speed 4100+ or something funny.

Obviously people don't need that much power in their portable. My friend has a 600m and that has PM 2ghz. That thing can almost out-calculate me in super pi. 40 seconds vs 30 seconds for 1m.

Basically just getting your opinion for the sake of curosity. I did something really weird. I purchased the CHEAPEST laptop I could find 850mhz P3, 256mb ram will load it with Win2k when it actually boots. Yeah, it even came with a toasted motherboard. So I just ordered a replacement motherboard.

This might be an amusing perspective on laptops for anyone to read.

What do you use your laptop for? Will you go and play Quake 4 at max graphics and resolution? If yes, then go for the Sager, Alienware, Falcon, or a Dell XPS.

But if you will you go connect with Wi-Fi to go online, chat, visit a few websites, and actually get some work done occasionaly on Word. What I just described requires a 400mhz CPU. Maybe 800mhz if you want to be exuberent to do shockwave and media stuff better. But anything more is excessive and you won't notice the difference (especially if you run windows 2000).

Benefits? Better battery life, cheaper, but older technolgy. I mean the IBM T20 I just purchased, the motherboard replacements go for $44 shipped. memory is cheap... everything is upgradable and avalible... even a new LCD is just $50. I can even buy a new battery for a T30 that fits and get 1.5 times the normal battery life. Oh and in the end, mine will come out to $110 (yes, got it at a pretty good price. Talked the seller down to $65 because the board was confirmed broken but everything else was good) Why? It will be a low powered server that can run 24/7 and will give me diagnostics tools that I often need to have with me.

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Range..

What do you think of LG notebooks?

I just realized a few of the local small computer store sells them and their price is pretty decent. Cheaper than the Fujitsu one I had in mind..

I notice this one seems to be pretty popular among some stores I looked.

http://www.lge.com/products/model/detail/l...20express.jhtml

It's about $1225-$1249 CAD.

Centrino 1.73G, 512M DDRII, 80GB hard drive, 14", Intel GMA 900 64MB, DVD-RW, XP home.

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Range..

What do you think of LG notebooks?

I just realized a few of the local small computer store sells them and their price is pretty decent. Cheaper than the Fujitsu one I had in mind..

I notice this one seems to be pretty popular among some stores I looked.

http://www.lge.com/products/model/detail/l...20express.jhtml

It's about $1225-$1249 CAD.

Centrino 1.73G, 512M DDRII, 80GB hard drive, 14", Intel GMA 900 64MB, DVD-RW, XP home.

LG is good, they specialize in thin notebooks and was IBM's former ODM before they went with Lenovo (which now goes under its own name)..

I also think you got the specs wrong..there's no such thing as an Intel GMA 900 with 64mb dedicated.. you sure it's not an x600 with 64mb dedicated?

If so I think it's a nice deal.. a good competitor to the Asus W3V. My friend who works at LG in Korea says there are USB problems but other than that, I haven't heard too many problems. However keep in mind the LW40 is "last years" model, and LG is already releasing a new line with the new Intel Core Duo.. however these will obviously be costlier as they are newer. If you feel comfortable with those specs then go for it, or need something right away, then go for it.

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hi... i was wondering whether anyone here has a sony vaio notebook vgn-fj290? n if u do, do u hear a subtle buzzing noise when the computer is turned off and the power adapter is plugged off as well? mine does that, even when the battery is 3% or even less. the only thing that can stop it from buzzing is when i take out the battery. i was wondering whether this is normal? i got one before this, it did the same thing so i returned it (since it also has another defect on the touch pad) and now i got another one that does the same thing. i'm starting to think this model is infact like that. even tho, the noise is very very small, but it annoys me to know that it's buzzing all the time (never stops). it's like the machine is always working. isn't that bad? what do u guys think? if it is indeed a product defect, should i stay with it? or should i just get another brand or model? please help me out guys... thank you very much.

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hi... i was wondering whether anyone here has a sony vaio notebook vgn-fj290? n if u do, do u hear a subtle buzzing noise when the computer is turned off and the power adapter is plugged off as well? mine does that, even when the battery is 3% or even less. the only thing that can stop it from buzzing is when i take out the battery. i was wondering whether this is normal? i got one before this, it did the same thing so i returned it (since it also has another defect on the touch pad) and now i got another one that does the same thing. i'm starting to think this model is infact like that. even tho, the noise is very very small, but it annoys me to know that it's buzzing all the time (never stops). it's like the machine is always working. isn't that bad? what do u guys think? if it is indeed a product defect, should i stay with it? or should i just get another brand or model? please help me out guys... thank you very much.

Hmm, I recall the S series had some issues with the battery not being very loose. Could the buzzing be the vibrations caused by a loose battery in the FJ series?

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hi range,

i need to buy a notebook computer for college in fall and i'm stuck between two: the toshiba satellite A105-S4004 ($1,099 on sale right now at circuit city) and the dell inspiron 6400 dual core ($1,081 ordered online from dell website). here are the specs...

Inspiron 6400 Dual Core (customized) includes:

Intel Duo Processor T2300 (2MB Cache/1.66GHz/667MHz FSB)

Operating System (Office software not included):

Genuine Windows® XP Home

Operating System Re-Installation CD:

PC Restore recovery system by Symantec

LCD Panel:

15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA Display with TrueLife

Memory:

1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm

Hard Drive:

100GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive

Combo/DVD+RW Drives:

24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive

Video Card:

Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator

Primary Battery:

53 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery

Additional Power Adapter:

90 Watt Spare AC Adapter

Wireless Networking Cards:

Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Mini Card (54Mbps)

Network Card and Modem:

Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem

Dell Service & Support Plans:

1 Year On-site Economy Plan BE1OSP [950-9797][960-6910][983-7578][412-0359][950-9340] 29

Toshiba A105-S4004:

Processor Type : Core Duo

Processor Number : T2300

Processor Speed : 1.66GHz

Operating System : Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005

Memory Size : 1024MB

Display Size : 15.4"

Display Type : Widescreen XGA with TruBrite Technology

Graphics Chipset : Graphics Media Accelerator 950

Graphics Memory : 8MB-128MB dynamically allocated shared graphics memory

Hard Drive Size : 100GB

Hard Drive Speed : 5400rpm

Optical Drive : DVD-SuperMulti drive (+/-R double layer)

Wireless LAN : Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (802.11a/b/g)

Bluetooth : No Bluetooth (No Antenna)

Input Devices : 85 key US keyboard, Hot Key Functions, Windows Key Function, Internet Launch button, Express Media Player CD/DVD launch button, Dual Mode Pad, CD/DVD Buttons

Security : Password Security, Security Cable Lock Slot, Hot Key Security

Modem : V.92 Modem

LAN : 10/100

Audio : SRS TruSurround XT virtual surround sound, SRS WOW stereo sound, Realtek ALC861

Battery Type : Li-Ion (6-cell, 4000mAh)

Battery Life : Up to 3.42 hours

PC Card Slots : 1-Type II PC Card Slot

PC Express Slot : 1-ExpressCard⢠Slot

Media Port : 5-in-1 Bridge Media Adapter

USB Slots : 4-USB (2.0)

iLINK : i.LINK IEEE-1394

S-Video : TV-out (S Video)

Software : InterVideo WinDVD Creator 2 Platinum, Microsoft Office OneNote, Microsoft Works, Sonic Solutions RecordNow! Basic , Quicken New User Edition 2005, TOSHIBA Express Media Player, InterVideo® WinDVD® 5

Weight : Starting at 6.0 lbs.

Warranty : 1-Yr Parts and Labor, 1-Year Battery

so both are about the same price and seems to have mostly the same stuff. in your opinion, which notebook is better? and between dell and toshiba, which brand is more trustworthy?

thanks for your time : ]

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hi range,

i need to buy a notebook computer for college in fall and i'm stuck between two: the toshiba satellite A105-S4004 ($1,099 on sale right now at circuit city) and the dell inspiron 6400 dual core ($1,081 ordered online from dell website). here are the specs...

so both are about the same price and seems to have mostly the same stuff. in your opinion, which notebook is better? and between dell and toshiba, which brand is more trustworthy?

thanks for your time : ]

well the specs are very similar between the two.. but the Toshiba has a dvd burner, while the Dell has a cd/dvd combo (Cd burner, reads dvd, but can't burn dvds). Which would be an advantage for the Toshiba.. but unfortunately for them.. their build quality has been poor for quite some time, and it doesn't seem that their 2006 models have improved either. Keyboard, palm rest and lid flexes quite a bit, and as the description says, it's going to be load with bloatware (all those trial crap big names like to give). the Dell would be better. Make sure if this is enough for your needs. Both models aren't too great for gaming, if you are into such things. and 15.4 might be considered as heavy/bulky for some. Also, for the Dell, is that the price with one of those Dell coupons? I think you might be able to get a better price on it.

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I'm currently looking to customize a laptop from Dell. Here are my choices so far.

It's going to be a E1505 Dual Core.

- Intel® Core™ Duo processor T2400 (2MB Cache/1.83GHz/667MHz FSB)

- Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 (I can upgrade to Professional with my friend's CD.)

- PC Restore recovery system by Symantec

- 15.4 inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen SXGA+ Display with TrueLife™ (Should I get the one with UltraSharp or without? Without is $71 less.)

- 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm

- 60GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive

- 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability

- Dell Wireless 1390 802.11b/g Mini Card (54Mbps)

- Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950

- 53 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery (Should I get the 85 WHr for $99 more?)

- Microsoft Office Basic - Includes Word, Excel, and Outlook email

Is that good so far ? It's going to be $1,592. Not that bad. I might do the monthly installments thingy. That's going to be 3 years though. :lol::mellow:

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I'm currently looking to customize a laptop from Dell. Here are my choices so far.

It's going to be a E1505 Dual Core.

- Intel® Core™ Duo processor T2400 (2MB Cache/1.83GHz/667MHz FSB)

- Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 (I can upgrade to Professional with my friend's CD.)

- PC Restore recovery system by Symantec

- 15.4 inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen SXGA+ Display with TrueLife™ (Should I get the one with UltraSharp or without? Without is $71 less.)

- 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm

- 60GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive

- 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability

- Dell Wireless 1390 802.11b/g Mini Card (54Mbps)

- Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950

- 53 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery (Should I get the 85 WHr for $99 more?)

- Microsoft Office Basic - Includes Word, Excel, and Outlook email

Is that good so far ? It's going to be $1,592. Not that bad. I might do the monthly installments thingy. That's going to be 3 years though. :lol::mellow:

that's a horrible price, you can get it for lower.

take a look at the thread above you on the Inspiron 6400.. it's the same model.

the only difference between that spec and yours is

-1.66ghz core duo vs 1.83ghz

-100gb 5400rpm HD vs 60gb 7200rpm

-dvd/cd combo vs dvd burner

1. the price difference between 1.66 and 1.83ghz should be no more than $60-$70

2. the 100gb offers more but its at a lower rpm.. last I check, they are similarly priced

3. dvd burner should be $50-100 more than a cd/dvd combo.

if this is costing her $1,081, you shouldn't be paying no more than $1250.

$1592 is a rip off for a 15.4" machine that has no dedicated graphics.

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^ The thing is, I need a burner.

Mind linking me to the 6400 because I can't find the customization page for it. Thanks!

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^ The thing is, I need a burner.

Mind linking me to the 6400 because I can't find the customization page for it. Thanks!

I'm really curious to where you went to get a price that high. I went on the Dell Online store and got $1133.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/con...=E1505FDC&s=dhs

To make it simple. 15.4" laptops with integrated graphics are usually the CHEAPEST model in the line up of most brands. Paying $1600 is ridiculous because you could get a model from last year that's powerful and has a good mid-range gpu like the x700, or even the Sony SZ series of this year, which is alot lighter and smaller than the model in question.

I'm guessing you need a dvd burner for burning off files for space? If so, sometimes external options are much cheaper.. i.e external burner or external HD. You might want to re-consider HD size if you are the type who burns off stuff often.

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I just did it again & got $1282. WTF did I select last time ? -_- So you think $1282 is a better price ?

its alot better, but if I got $1133, you should get $1133. I don't follow Dell's deal very much, Xarthan might know more.. but every now and then they release coupons which could put the system well below $1000. Dunno if you are willing to wait for the next bach of coupons (which tend to be used up within an hour its released).

it ultimately depends on what you need.. but quite honestly, it seems your needs are modest.. I'd reccomend you stick to the Core Duo 1.66ghz, keep the ram at 1gb, and make do with out the software they try to sell to you. the battery options ultimately depend on how mobile you intend to be. I personally would lower the HD to 40gb, and burn off stuff to dvd, or buy a large external HD for cheap. 40gb is enough for keeping important files on the laptop, while the external HD is where you'll store your dramas, movies, mp3s, etc.. the stuff that eat up space.

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^ I know Slickdeals.net has a lot of coupons. :)

I'll keep what you said in mind, thanks. I'll go over the selections again tomorrow. For now, back to all my AP spring break homework. Procrastination's a b-tch.

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I think you should seriously take the time and consider why you need a laptop and what you intend to use it for.

You've just posted a 14" thin and light, and a 17" desktop replacement that weighs nearly twice as much as the 14" model. You also got 3 models (including the two in your other post) that are mainstream sizes.. So please take the time and read the faq, go to a store and get familiar with the size, and think what you really need because you are spending hundreds/thousands on something that will be with you for a long time.

as for the models.

the Toshiba is a 14" model, its the lightest one out of all the models you post so far.. However in general Toshiba's build quality sucks.. lots of flex on the keyboard, lid and palm rest. The battery life generally is mediocre compared to other equivelents, and you get a bunch of bloatware. The only good thing is that they can be cheap and affordable. However you might want to consider the Dell XPS 140, Asus W3a, Asus Z63f, or that new Dell Latitude 620 if you want a 14" with integrated graphics.

The Sony FS is not a bad deal. But if you take a careful look, it's last year's model. All the models this year are moving on to Duo Cores and Turions. This FS is still in the Sonoma generation (2005), which is probably why it's cheap as Sony is phasing them out for newer models.

The HP Pavilion is a 17" monster almost at 10 lbs. Its a desktop replacement, and its not something you want to carry. it uses the even older Pentium 4 card, which is fine if you dont intend to travel with it.. other wise models using this card are bigger, thicker, and have worse battery life and heat issues because of this card. This is the only model you posted so far that has a dedicated video card (do you even need a vid card?), but the x600 is considered low end by today's standards.

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^ Lol. My bad. I'm a noob at all this computer business. My friend suggested getting this one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?...N82E16834115328

you can pull out a bunch of links to different laptops, but with out knowing what you're looking for, it's hard to reccomend you a model for your needs. Please figure out what you want to do/expect out of a laptop, what screen size and weight you're looking for, etc.

as for NewEgg, they have good prices for laptops, but have horrible return and pixel policies.

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dear range,

hi i am buying a new laptop for college this summer and i was wondering if you could help me out^^ i would like an ultraportable laptop and i was looking at sony laptops but they seem way too expensive compared to their moderate specs... i also looked at asus and the smallest laptop they have is 12" and i wanted something even smaller^^;;; could you please help me out? i guess i want a laptop that has a long battery life, very small, and has at least 1gb of ram... 80gb hard drive would be nice and 100gb even nicer. thank you!

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dear range,

hi i am buying a new laptop for college this summer and i was wondering if you could help me out^^ i would like an ultraportable laptop and i was looking at sony laptops but they seem way too expensive compared to their moderate specs... i also looked at asus and the smallest laptop they have is 12" and i wanted something even smaller^^;;; could you please help me out? i guess i want a laptop that has a long battery life, very small, and has at least 1gb of ram... 80gb hard drive would be nice and 100gb even nicer. thank you!

wow even smaller than 12"? I think you may just be limited to Asus, Sony, and Fujitsu (if you're in the US).

Sony has the TX series, that one is 11.1 inches

http://laptopsinc.com/Merchant2/merchant.m...tegory_Code=STX

Fujitsu has: The P7xxx (P7120) series, its 10.6 inches

Asus doesn't have one now.. BUT they unveiled some new ones like the Asus S6 which is 11.1.

Some things you need to keep in mind with these ultra portable ones:

-Because they're small, they will often use a smaller battery, i.e 4 cell instead of 6 cell. 4 cell = less battery life

-the smaller they are, the less chances they will have an optical drive

hard drive could be configured at some sites.. the one above lets you configure Sony models and they every now and then throw in free upgrades! Unfortunately they WERE the best place to buy Fujitsu as well, but something happened between them and Fujitsu, and they switched to Sony. So you'll have to find Fujitsu elsewhere. No word on when the Asus one will come out.

If you still want something smaller, there's something called a UMPC that will come out.. think of it as a laptop, but shaped like a PSP with a 5-7" screen. some models will have a touch screen keyboard, others will have it hidden behind the screen (like a cell phone).

some links to reviews for u

http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=2695

http://laptopmag.com/Review/Sony-VAIO-VGN-TX650P-B.htm

http://www.newlaunches.com/archives/asus_s...ther_laptop.php

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