Buying a new laptop

I am currently looking at options for a new laptop since half of my LCD on my current on doesnt work, so I was wondering…on my laptop now I have an AMD sempron 2.0 ghz processor. I am planning on getting a dual core for my new laptop, so would a 1.7 ghz dual core be equivalent or better or worse? or what would be equivalent and what would be recommended for general use? any recomended suppliers to buy the laptop from (like dell, hp, toshiba, etc.)? I am not interested in apple sorry.


Steer clear from Toshiba, i recommend looking into Dell.

Dell was crap a bit ago when they went to out sourcing their stuff.

Toshiba was on top of the game when dell was outsourcing. Now they have switched places and Toshiba outsources and dell has returned to America.

It makes an amazing change when they give jobs to Americans then other countries across the globe to save costs.

I’ve got a Compaq which was given to me. I truly appreciate the gift. But next one I buy won’t be HP/Compaq. Besides the bloatware, the support IMHO is below average, and the quality is meh. I’d agree with Alex up there and get a Dell. They’ve gotten suprisingly better in quality, service, and choices.

As for the cores, I’m not exactly sure. I never really thought about that before. But I’ve got a dual-core AMD Turion at 1.60Ghz, 2 Gigs, generic ATI graphics and I’m playing Battlefield 2 on Medium and OK render times for Blender.

Look around for deals on Dells. Any dual core is obviously a lot better than a Sempron. Wait for black Friday deals for significant savings. It makes a huge difference. Nowadays its better to spend money on at least a 1.7 ghz dual core cpu and at least a gig of ram because getting anything lower isn’t worth the money anymore. If you buy a Dell, make sure it is a Core 2 Duo and not Intel’s “Pentium Dual Core Processor.” I don’t know why but a lot of people get confused by the two. For reviews and stuff go to or circuit city

Personally, if you’re looking to go the PC route, I would recommend staying as far away from HP as you can. I know of many horror stories involving their customer relations and technical support.

A number of people I know with Dell machines have issues with excessive heat. One friend even has to go so far as to keep his on a fan-cooled stand almost all of the time so it doesn’t overheat. Dell does have some very nice deals pricewise though.

If you’re looking for something very portable I would recommend looking at the Lenovo ThinkPads. They have excellent battery life, and you can easily fit on an extended battery with only a moderate change to the laptop’s footprint. My current laptop (a Lenovo T60) gets about 5-5.5 hours of life with the extended battery, which is great for days when I have back-to-back meetings. The only thing that I don’t like as much (but can understand from a battery performance perspective) is that they do not have high-performance video cards. They are primarily designed for business application, not for gaming. Still, they are excellent machines.

Well, a whole lot these days depends on application also. What do you plan on doing: business, basic web/productivity, video editing, gaming? If you do gaming, get Alienware or Voodoo.

My Dell Inspiron 8600 purchased in nov. 2004 is still going strong!

I’ve used it practically everyday since I got it!

A few months ago the internal wireless card died, but no other major problems.

Several weeks ago I picked up a Dell Inspiron 531 desktop and its working GREAT!

I believe this model was $600 just a few days ago:

The only thing with Dell is that they change their prices EVERYDAY so you have to buy at the right time…:mad:

I’m running a gateway cx210, 2ghz Core2, which blows away my old 3ghz p4 w/hyper threading.

I’ve had good luck with both Gateway and HP computers.

Also if you do anything with graphics, or take notes on your computer get a convertible tablet. They’re great.

DO NOT pay to have the manufacturer install more ram! You can buy it at as little a 25% of the manufacturers cost, and install it your self in about 10 min.!(If you do this its your fault if you break something, so don’t blame me, but I’ve never had any issues.)

I do recommend you have 2gb if your running Vista.

Make sure that you check the terms of your warranty prior to doing so. I believe it’s possible that you can void certain warranties if you open up the case of your laptop.

You do have to check that, but you can easily save $200-$1000 depending on how you configure it.

Just make sure you check first.

I have a dell laptop with Vista. I’ve had a good experience with it so far. It seems to be highly resistant to dropping… which is a good thing for me! If you plan on taking it to robotics or a competition thats always a good thing.

I got a refurbished machine, saved some money and works well. All thats wrong is a loud disk drive.

I wouldn’t be so fast to rule out Apple. Even if you completely ignore Mac OS X and its included software, their hardware is rock-solid and reviewed several times over as great for running Windows through Boot Camp. Right now, a refurbished MacBook almost like mine (the difference being that it carries only 1 GB of RAM, which can be upgraded through a user-accessible slot) for $1,099, and it’s still eligible for AppleCare.

Apple doesn’t make cheap hardware, but it’s worth the investment.

Were they desktop replacement notebooks, like the XPS? Those are probably your worst offenders in the heat department.

I currently have a Dell Inspiron 2200 that I got two years ago, and I’ve never had any problems with it in regards to excessive heat. Then again there’s only so much heat that a 1.4 Ghz Celeron can make… :rolleyes:

If you’re looking at a mid-range laptop, I have a few friends who have Dell Inspiron 1420’s, and are satisfied with them. And if you’re into Ubuntu, you can purchase them with Ubuntu instead of Windows and save $25.

When you find Windows computers with more or less the same specs as Apple computers, they usually aren’t that far apart in cost nowadays, especially when you factor in the cost of equivalent Windows software to iLife.

Plus, if you’re eligible for their Education discount, that knocks another $100 off the price.

Yea, as a matter of fact it is. It weighs about 10 lbs…

Actually, the worst heat offender I’ve ever known was my friend’s old Gateway. It literally melted to his desk! Not only that, he got it replaced by Gateway and the replacement did the same thing about a month later. That was pretty terrible.

I actually use a MacBook Pro when I’m not at work. I love it, though it is really nice to hop on the ThinkPad and get over 5 hours over battery life. I really wish Apple would release a tablet, that would be amazing.

If you do opt for an Apple, I would recommend waiting for the new OSX update, “Leopard”. Especially if you want to run windows, as the full version of Boot Camp will come pre-installed. But even if you like OSX, waiting the week for the new features will be well worth your time.

Ok well after reading all the posts there isn’t much information given tome other then what brand to buy. I was looking basically for the cheapest good running thing I could buy. Almost the cheapest. I ended up buying a laptop like 30 mins after making the post because of how good of a deal I felt it was. I got a toshiba satellite that in my opinion is a REALLY good deal for what I am getting. The total price after tax comes to 705$ and this is the laptop I bought

Go ahead and bash Toshiba all you want but probally about half of my dorm building last year had cheap toshiba’s and i never heard of one problem with them. I am getting out of hp because their service is HORRIBLE and with toshiba there is a local service center.

I abuse my electronics, a lot. my current laptop has been pretty much thrown across a room from stepping on the power cord, and dropped countless times, and is just starting to die now. after having it a year I feel it has had a good run for me being the owner. Right now it has only half the screen working and should fetch a good 200$ on ebay still so I am pretty happy with the deal.

Also when I receive the new laptop I will be wiping vista from it and loading XP Pro on to it.


I’m not a huge Dell fan, but we’ve been looking to buy two laptops with WinXP and finally bit when we found the following deal here from Dell for $649 w/ shipping:

Dell Vostro 1500 15.4" laptop/ 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo/ 2GB Ram
120 GB HD/ NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GS Graphics Card
8X DVD Burner/ 9 cell battery/ Intel PRO Wireless 3945 802.11a/g wi-fi card
Win XP home

For $215 more ($864 total) we upped the CPU to the 2.0GHz/2MB L2cache/800Mhz FSB (T7250) CPU, added Bluetooth and a 1440 x 900 display.

$338 more gets you a three year onsite warranty w/ drop/spill/surge protection and a $150 Dell store credit - this might be worth considering with many student (and mentor) handlers. This is pretty cheap compared to other abuse insurance offered, so perhaps Dell feels these will hold up ( or maybe they’re just cheap to repair/replace)

The Vostro is fairly heavy, but from what I hear is built somewhat studier than Dell’s earlier Inspiron offerings with a magnesium frame and sealed keyboard, and can be ordered minus the usual shovelware (pre-installed unwanted programs).

Well, you didn’t tell us what you wanted. There’s literally thousands of options out there, but it depends on what the usage would be. Regardless, glad you finally made a decision, specifically one that didn’t include HP.

I never asked about a laptop, I asked about dual core processors and suppliers. Mainly About dual core processors. I also did say the usage…I recommend (in a nice way) You go back and re-read my original post.


meh, sorry. I was tired when I read that.