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Thread: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

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    Default Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    My daughter's birthday (16 eeeek!) is coming up and we've promised her a new laptop/notebook which she needs for a lot of her school work and also for the usual emails, MSN etc. She's given us a list of the software she will need for school and that's fine but we are more interested in making sure we choose the best machine in the first place.

    I know you get what you pay for in this world so we aren't necessarily looking for the cheapest piece of crapola, but neither do we want to spend $$$ on a 'cool' name that doesn't actually do anything more or less than less well-known alternatives.

    She doesn't want to get into Apple/Mac malarky so we'll be lining Bill Gates' pockets for this one. Suggestions please? Also an Avoid At All Costs list would be helpful too. She's the tekky of the family so it does not have to be totally idiot proof and she's doing IT in senior high school so something with a bit of ooooomph will probably come in handy too.
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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    I have one for AVOID AT ALL COSTS. Never, EVER buy an HP laptop (their other stuff, like printers, is fine, just not laptops). Probably half of my friends got HP laptops for graduation, every single one of them had died within 1-2 years. I mean fully died, can't turn the thing on, hope you backed your stuff up b/c you're screwed if you didn't. Some of them were computer people or had computer people in the family, there was nothing they could do to fix it and HP didn't do anything to replace the thing.

    My laptop is a Sony Vaio, and it was recommended by the people at every store I went to. I love it, it was good for the money, it has lots of space, and I haven't run into anything I can't do with it yet, plus it only weighs about 6-7 pounds. I can easily throw it in my bag and not feel weighed down by it (my last laptop was a 17 pound monstrosity, I know the weighed down feeling ). The only negative is that the model I bought is a widescreen model, so it can be hard finding laptop bags that it fits in. That problem is becoming less of an issue now that widescreens are becoming more popular.

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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    I used to sell laptops at the huge computer place I worked at for a few years. You cannot go wrong with a Sony Vaio. They are great! The Toshiba lines aren't top of the line but they aren't bad either. Stay away from HP and Gateway, cheap, crappy and likely to be slow.

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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    There's one laptop that has battery hours in excess of 40 hours or something...or it might be 400. That's the one I want lol

    Samsung make good laptops, but they're more for design as the monitors are very wide and they do get hot.

    Depending on what she's doing she might not need a fast processor, she might even need a larger harddrive if she plans to use linux and windows and wants partitions. What kind of IT degree is she doing?

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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    LOL It's not an IT degree (yet) but I think she'll end up doing something along those lines. At the moment she needs something for school coursework, presentations, etc but she's also getting into computer animation, graphics etc so I think she needs something fairly quick with plenty of memory/discspace. OK I have now reached the limit of my computer knowledge! She will also be carrying to/from school on the bus every day so it needs to be something that can stand the occasional knock or bump, although obviously we'll get a proper bag for it too. And that's another thing, I don't want go get something that's too 'tempting' for some little shit to nick.

    My tame geek says that Toshiba is a good bet on all of the above but I guess in the end they are all much the same if you aim for a certain price bracket. She had an Acer a couple of years ago and it was utter crap. I'll deffo look at the Sony Vaio though as it's had two endorsements here already. As for HP, we had the misfortune to have an HP PC with a Centrum processor........ nuff said.
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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    If she wants to do computer animation and graphics etc, no laptop unless it's like $3500+ will really do it well, they're still not powerful enough + heating. you can get a really good one between 1500+2500 that will do most things, like adobe photoshop, but even then it's a bit slow

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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    We've always had excellent experiences with Dell, including a laptop purchase. We had the laptop for... 5 years? and we just passed it on to sweetie's sister, it's still going strong, not a single issue. A lot of the lines are probably quite similar, but Dell does have very good customer service and warranty programs, and if something unexpected does occur, that can make all the difference.
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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    I travel and had a Sony Vaio. Died rather quickly- in less than 3 months.

    Bought a business class hp and it has worked out very well for my needs. Use it to do web and some graphic design- it's sturdy and easy to use. Don't like the screen resolution and usually end up using a docking station. Which defeats the whole purpose of notebook.

    Good luck with your search. Did you pick up any pc magazines? They usually rate the laptops and may have online utilities to pick laptop based on need.
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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    i'd go with sony vaio or dell.
    those were the two that were most recommended to me and in the end i chose dell because of the better customer service.
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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    I have the Vaio with the hard metal case. Once it was tossed off a hotel balcony and still was perfectly fine. Sony customer service has been great with all the products I've had. The main reason I bought a Sony is that I have that brand camera, digital video camera, television, monitor, etc. Once something breaks they are good about honoring warrantys and even quickly fixing things out of warranty.

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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    Quote Originally Posted by UndercoverGator View Post
    I have the Vaio with the hard metal case. Once it was tossed off a hotel balcony and still was perfectly fine. Sony customer service has been great with all the products I've had. The main reason I bought a Sony is that I have that brand camera, digital video camera, television, monitor, etc. Once something breaks they are good about honoring warrantys and even quickly fixing things out of warranty.

    I've had the same experience with Sony's customer service. My laptop stopped recognizing the battery about a month ago. I called customer service, wasn't kept on hold too long, and got a person who spoke English clearly. I spent about 5 minutes going through it on the phone with them, they didn't treat me like too much of an idiot (bonus!), and then told me a repairman would be calling to set an appointment to look at it and replace the part. The next day the guy called, set an appointment to come to my house, and I had a brand new battery in under a week from the start of the problem.

    My laptop has taken a bit of abuse because I cart it back and forth to class, and not always in the most appropriate bag (my Coach bag is the perfect size to fit the laptop even though it isn't a laptop bag, so I've been known to throw it in there for class), but it's never shown any signs of trouble because of it.

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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    Quote Originally Posted by UndercoverGator View Post
    I have the Vaio with the hard metal case. Once it was tossed off a hotel balcony and still was perfectly fine...
    Say what now????

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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeChayz View Post
    Say what now????
    Hubby and I were fighting. He tossed my work laptop but only after I bounced a bottle of Estee Lauder Pleasures off his head. We suddenly realized how stupid the fight was and started laughing hysterically. But the cops had been called by then.

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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    You have to make sure the laptop you buy meets the requirements to run Vista (Windows new operating system that will be released next year-->laptop prices are quite low now because everybody is holding out till Vista is out)

    It's important to know how much she will have to carry it around as it makes a huge difference in the size and capacity of your laptop - If your daughter wants to use it for graphism in a nearly professionnal way it won't be with the little thing she'd like to carry around -

    The CNET buying guide should help you see what's needed
    http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-7602_7-...1.html?tag=dir

    Also if she is 16 she should be quite interested by the look of the machine, so you could maybe pre-select a few ones with the specs you need in your price range and then ask her what she prefers (unless it's a surprise...I've got a feeling my dad is gonna give me a new laptop for my birthday tomorrow as well

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    Elite Member suede's Avatar
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    Default Re: Laptop/Notebook Advice Please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tati View Post
    We've always had excellent experiences with Dell, including a laptop purchase. We had the laptop for... 5 years? and we just passed it on to sweetie's sister, it's still going strong, not a single issue. A lot of the lines are probably quite similar, but Dell does have very good customer service and warranty programs, and if something unexpected does occur, that can make all the difference.
    I've had good luck wih Dell as well and you can get a loaded laptop for 1000 dollars. They are not always dud free, I don't mind their tech support - on occasion you get someone that actually knows less than you but it's good for the most part.

    I like TOSHIBA as well but my experience is very limited - the beau had one and it was great until the case cracked and you could no longer use the plug (wasn't worth fixing)

    SONY is pretty good - had a few at a job I work at - hated the laptop loved the desktop - the quality is high but so is the price.

    Right now I have a Dell laptop - I like it alot it DOES have an overheating problem that Dell refuses to recognize but come Dec it will be two years old so eh, I don't care and I have coverage up the woohoo so I'll break down and send it in- for me that's the life of a laptop after that you have to tinker a lot on them to keep them running fast IMHO.
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