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#1 LA03

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 09:23 AM

My laptop of four years died last weekend (well just the monitor went thankfully so I can still get all my stuff off of it...which no I haven't been backing up at all) It was a Dell Latitude and Qpac made everyone get the same laptop freshman year. I am sort of sad about it .. especially since this is the LAST thing I wanted to spend money on. (I really wanted a new bag, but now that's not happening.) I'm pretty clueless about computers and my dad has been trying to help me decide, but we wind up arguing about it. Even though I'm the one paying for it. (For instance, I liked the Dell Inspiron because it comes in pink. He wants me to look at the thinkpads, but I think they're really ugly.)

Anyway I was thinking about getting the Dell Inspiron 1420 (the 14.1 inch/2GB of memory)

or maybe a Toshiba or maybe even the thinkpad. I don't know.

Orrrrr maybe even switching over and getting a Macbook. But that makes me nervous because I've never used a Mac in my life.

Really any insight would be great. Thank you.
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#2 South Jersey Devs Fan

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 09:53 AM

My laptop of four years died last weekend (well just the monitor went thankfully so I can still get all my stuff off of it...which no I haven't been backing up at all) It was a Dell Latitude and Qpac made everyone get the same laptop freshman year. I am sort of sad about it .. especially since this is the LAST thing I wanted to spend money on. (I really wanted a new bag, but now that's not happening.) I'm pretty clueless about computers and my dad has been trying to help me decide, but we wind up arguing about it. Even though I'm the one paying for it. (For instance, I liked the Dell Inspiron because it comes in pink. He wants me to look at the thinkpads, but I think they're really ugly.)

Anyway I was thinking about getting the Dell Inspiron 1420 (the 14.1 inch/2GB of memory)

or maybe a Toshiba or maybe even the thinkpad. I don't know.

Orrrrr maybe even switching over and getting a Macbook. But that makes me nervous because I've never used a Mac in my life.

Really any insight would be great. Thank you.



LA--I do this for a living (run a IT consulting company outside of Philly) and there are a few basic concepts that will keep you out of trouble:
  • Buy from a name brand manufacturer Dell is OK but their quality has declined, Toshiba OK, Sony OK, HP is good, Thinkpads are now made by a company called Lenovo--not IBM but they are really good
  • Get at least a 3 year onsite warranty--it is really worth the extra $$ at time of purchase--also don't get a "depot" warranty which means you would have to send it away for a repair
  • At this point you should be getting a processor that is called dual-core either Intel or AMD are fine
  • 2GB of RAM at this point is recommended especially if you get Windows Vista
  • If you've never owned a MAC I wouldn't go that route--it's a whole different world
Hope that helps....
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#3 devilsfan26

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 11:36 AM

I would suggest not getting a Sony whatever you do. I have had mine for two years and it has been nothing but problems. Between the DC jack falling apart, the sound suddenly not working, the mouse button refusing to function, and the hard drive dying twice, there has never been a time where everything on this computer works fine. I can't wait until this thing is just completely done so I have no choice but to buy a new one and take this thing out back and beat it with a hockey stick.
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#4 CRASHER

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:36 PM

Lenovo's are good but they ain't cheap

if you go Dell let me know... I get coupons once a month B )
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#5 Devilish34

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:37 PM

Thinkpad

Mine is 4+ yrs old and is around dust and vibration all day not to mention heat(direct sunlight)
Spend the money on the 3 or 4 yr on site protection
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#6 SteveStevens

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 02:42 PM

I have a MacBook and i love it. Theres no spyware possible to get on it, everything is very simple but the problem is if you want microsoft word and etc you have to pay for it. extra.
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#7 sammyk

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 03:47 PM

I'm another IT guy here and what South Jersey guy says is right.

Please please don't select your laptop based on looks. I know you may want to be trendy and all but if it looks good on the outside and sucks otherwise what's the point? If that is the point of conflict with your dad that's a bit silly on your part isn't it? If you want to customize it just put some stickers on it.

Definitely get as long a warranty as you can afford and as much RAM and Hard Drive space as you can afford but make the warranty a priority and as mentioned make sure it's onsite.

I used to work for Dell and their quality has certainly declined but they are still pretty decent. Nowadays I work with HP laptops (and have had one myself for the past four years) and have had no issues with them. The users I work with travel with them a lot and they see a lot of abuse so they're pretty durable.

BTW, let me ask you this, you said just the screen went out. Are you able to plug a monitor into the back and see everything? If so it may just be the "tube light" in there that's burned out. If it's the whole screen then that could be a pricey fix but it is pretty simple to swap out.
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#8 South Jersey Devs Fan

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 04:48 PM

Lenovo's are good but they ain't cheap

if you go Dell let me know... I get coupons once a month B )


Coupons from Dell?...WOW you must be special.... :P
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#9 sammyk

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 04:59 PM

Yah, only special people get those. :giggle:
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#10 Bulletproof

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:23 PM

I agree with South...if you have the cash, go for a Thinkpad. I have a Dell Inspiron 6000 right now and I'm not crazy about it. My computer before this one was a Thinkpad and the thing was a beast...that thing rattled around my book bag all through college and it ran like a champ.

Plus, Dells are know to run REALLY hot...if I leave mine on for an hour, you can fry bacon on it...
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#11 NJayDevil

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:46 PM

I'm an IT guy as well and if you have the cash right now, then the best thing is a Thinkpad.

I'm currently using the Thinkpad X40 (12 inch-er) from 2 years ago, and I haven't had one single problem with it. When it comes to reliability, stability, and battery life nothing really tops the Thinkpads. They are very simple, but they get the job done.

The fact that you can drop this thing a thousand times and it will still work is amazing. I've had my fair share of drops. The screen is cushioned and the hard drive has a fantastic protection feature.

We've had old Thinkpad R51's from 5+ years ago at work and we still lend them out to employees needing a laptop for traveling and what not.

If you want something ultra portable, get the X series. It comes with a 12 inch screen and weights about 2 pounds. If you want something bigger and more powerful, go with the T series.

It might be more money right now, but in the end it will save you.
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#12 sammyk

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:48 PM

Plus, Dells are know to run REALLY hot...if I leave mine on for an hour, you can fry bacon on it...


That is not unique to Dells and is different from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model.
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#13 Devilish34

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:52 PM

I'm an IT guy as well and if you have the cash right now, then the best thing is a Thinkpad.

I'm currently using the Thinkpad X40 (12 inch-er) from 2 years ago, and I haven't had one single problem with it. When it comes to reliability, stability, and battery life nothing really tops the Thinkpads. They are very simple, but they get the job done.

The fact that you can drop this thing a thousand times and it will still work is amazing. I've had my fair share of drops. The screen is cushioned and the hard drive has a fantastic protection feature.

We've had old Thinkpad R51's from 5+ years ago at work and we still lend them out to employees needing a laptop for traveling and what not.

If you want something ultra portable, get the X series. It comes with a 12 inch screen and weights about 2 pounds. If you want something bigger and more powerful, go with the T series.

It might be more money right now, but in the end it will save you.


No one here put their Note book thru the abuse I do.
But like Crash said Thinkpads are purdy salty but the hold up.
I just broke one of the steel hinges on mine. :(
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#14 sammyk

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 05:58 PM

No one here put their Note book thru the abuse I do.
But like Crash said Thinkpads are purdy salty but the hold up.
I just broke one of the steel hinges on mine. :(


When I was at Dell we were sent a picture of a notebook from the parents of a soldier in Iraq. I can't remember the details of how it happened but the one corner was all melted and disfigured and it looked like a tank had run over it but when he picked it up and tried to use it it still worked. Battle tested baby, try and beat that with your cem...concrete adventures! :evil:
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#15 Devilish34

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:04 PM

When I was at Dell we were sent a picture of a notebook from the parents of a soldier in Iraq. I can't remember the details of how it happened but the one corner was all melted and disfigured and it looked like a tank had run over it but when he picked it up and tried to use it it still worked. Battle tested baby, try and beat that with your cem...concrete adventures! :evil:


I use to ride around in a Ford truck with it mounted on a Jotto Desk.
Driving a Ford is like going to battle only worse :P

But all kidding aside no one seemed to have as good a support group as Lenovo/IBM.
Definitely not Dell
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#16 sammyk

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:07 PM

True, Dell support is pretty crappy and after I left it got crappier! :P

Hell, they spent millions and it still didn't improve much.

But in the grand scheme of things I am sure plenty of people have Lenovo/IBM/HP/Gateway/Etc. horror stories to tell.
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#17 RowdyFan42

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:08 PM

I'm an IT guy too and I have a Dell. Apparently that will get me laughed out of this thread according to some people. :noclue:

(Then again, I'm a programmer, not an engineer or a hardware expert, so what do I know? :noclue:)
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#18 Devilish34

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:14 PM

True, Dell support is pretty crappy and after I left it got crappier! :P

Hell, they spent millions and it still didn't improve much.

But in the grand scheme of things I am sure plenty of people have Lenovo/IBM/HP/Gateway/Etc. horror stories to tell.



This is true but I've only heard horror stories about Dells support people :P
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#19 LA03

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:51 PM

Thanks for the advice guys... I have a lot to think about. I've been reading reviews online, but since I don't know a lot of the "computer lingo" I'm a little confused on some things. My Dell worked fine for the four years I had it. I never had a huge problem. (Freshman year the battery stopped working so they sent me a new one. And uh I had the keyboard replaced once because I ripped a few of the keys off... hah.)


LA--I do this for a living (run a IT consulting company outside of Philly) and there are a few basic concepts that will keep you out of trouble:

  • Get at least a 3 year onsite warranty--it is really worth the extra $$ at time of purchase--also don't get a "depot" warranty which means you would have to send it away for a repair
  • At this point you should be getting a processor that is called dual-core either Intel or AMD are fine
  • 2GB of RAM at this point is recommended especially if you get Windows Vista
  • If you've never owned a MAC I wouldn't go that route--it's a whole different world
Hope that helps....


The inspiron I was thinking of getting comes with the 2 year warranty and then I figured I'd pay extra for accidental/theft warranty since knowing me ---I might drop it.

if you go Dell let me know... I get coupons once a month B )


Oh thanks! I'll let you know.


ht.

Please please don't select your laptop based on looks. I know you may want to be trendy and all but if it looks good on the outside and sucks otherwise what's the point? If that is the point of conflict with your dad that's a bit silly on your part isn't it? If you want to customize it just put some stickers on it.

Definitely get as long a warranty as you can afford and as much RAM and Hard Drive space as you can afford but make the warranty a priority and as mentioned make sure it's onsite.

I used to work for Dell and their quality has certainly declined but they are still pretty decent. Nowadays I work with HP laptops (and have had one myself for the past four years) and have had no issues with them. The users I work with travel with them a lot and they see a lot of abuse so they're pretty durable.

BTW, let me ask you this, you said just the screen went out. Are you able to plug a monitor into the back and see everything? If so it may just be the "tube light" in there that's burned out. If it's the whole screen then that could be a pricey fix but it is pretty simple to swap out.


Haha my dad knew I was joking about wanting the Inspiron just because it came in pink and I wouldn't choose a laptop based on looks alone no worries.

I'm the last of my friends to still have this laptop..... so I'm lucky that mine last this long. My friend had this same problem at the end of the year and it was confirmed that her monitor was completely dead and for the price of the new monitor it made more sense to get a new laptop. To be honest I don't know if my monitor is completely shot or if it's just the "tube light". The day before it went it started flickering and now I can turn it on for a minute before it goes to black. I'm just assuming the monitor is shot. In order for me to get my stuff off my hard drive I'm going to have to hook it up to my mom/dad's desktop.

HP is another option for me at the moment, but the Dell Inspiron 1420 seems to the be most reasonably priced with the "e-value discount" feature they have going on right now.

I'm an IT guy as well and if you have the cash right now, then the best thing is a Thinkpad.

I'm currently using the Thinkpad X40 (12 inch-er) from 2 years ago, and I haven't had one single problem with it. When it comes to reliability, stability, and battery life nothing really tops the Thinkpads. They are very simple, but they get the job done.

The fact that you can drop this thing a thousand times and it will still work is amazing. I've had my fair share of drops. The screen is cushioned and the hard drive has a fantastic protection feature.

If you want something ultra portable, get the X series. It comes with a 12 inch screen and weights about 2 pounds. If you want something bigger and more powerful, go with the T series.

It might be more money right now, but in the end it will save you.


I was thinking about getting something 12 inches, but I thought it might be too small. Honestly I really haven't looked at too many of the thinkpads, but I'll check them out now.
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#20 LA03

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 07:24 PM

Okay let me tell you.. the on-site warranty is expensive. A 2 year costs another $139 and the three year is $219. Why not do the depot? And do you think it's important to get the protective warranty against accidental stuff like spills etc because that's ANOTHER $249 for the onsite.

And for the hard drive do you think 80GB is sufficient?

Because this Thinkpad T61 that I just customized with:

2GB Memory
80GB Hard Drive
4 cell battery
2 year onsite upgrade + 2 year Thinkpad protection

This would cost me $ 1,422.00

Eeeeeek.

The Dell Inspiron 1420 with:

2GB Memory
120GB Hard Drive
9 cell battery
2 Yr In-Home Service, Parts + Labor, 24x7 Phone Support
Added Accidental Damage and LoJack Theft Protection to 2Yr Warr.

This would cost me $1,267
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