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Laptop Advice Plz

I am finally considering buying my first laptop. I have had a good run with the IBM ThinkPad I got mysteriously a few years back. It has made it across the country, to Estonia and Finland, though dozens of openCanvas sessions, a lot of random writing interludes, and generally has been a good friend.

Recently I have been using the MacBook Pro (otherwise known as MacDook), and though it is a fantastic computer, it is in all respects my work computer which I will have to let go whenever I leave this job (which hopefully is not anytime soon). Also, I believe their ought to be a separation between work use and personal use computers.

So, since my Christmas shopping is almost completely done (due to a surprisingly productive Amazon shopping spree), I'm considering buying a new laptop at the close of this month. That's where you peeps come in.

I'm not really picky when it comes to computers. But saying that, I want something slightly better than my usual "can I type stuff on it?" standards (what can I say? I'm easily pleased). My target price is under-1000, but if I see something quality above that, I won't automatically brush it off. I will be aiming for a PC rather than a Mac because though Macs are fantastic…I really don't /need/ all that a Mac provides. Shiny only gets me so far.

I need something fast enough that I won't notice when I have a half dozen moderate programs running, with enough space that I don't clog it with pictures after one month (though I'm getting better at not doing that as much anymore), and something in range for my budget-minded self (shush about the iPad!). Other shiny features will be considered upon suggestion.

So what do you peeps suggest? What laptop brand and model should I consider in this little quest? Your opinions are valued because I have not a clue of where I should even began. Thanks in advance and forgive me n00bishness.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 9th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
Mmh, for brands Asus are Lenovo are assured good buys.
Now, in the $1000 range you might be able to get an Intel i7 notebook or an AMD Phenom/Turion one (best models from both CPU makers).

Make sure it has at least 4gb of memory and anything but Windows 7 Home Basic (Home Premium or Ultimate are what you're looking for).

For Video Card, if you get an AMD notebook then you will be able to have a decent gaming experience since those use ATI/Nvidia graphics.
Intel Notebooks mostly use Intel graphics, and generally those are lacking. Try to get one with ATI or Nvidia as well for those.

A few options, for reference or direct buy :P

Lenovo - Core i7 quad-core, 4gb RAM, 500gb HD, ATI RADEON 5730: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834146848

Asus - Core i7 quad-core, 4gb RAM, 500gb HD, ATI RADEON 5730: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220827

Asus - Phenom X4 quad-core, 4gb RAM, 500gb HD, ATI RADEON 5730: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220755

Toshiba - Phenom X4 quad-core, 4gb RAM, 640gb HD, ATI RADEON 5650: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834214045
Nov. 9th, 2010 09:16 pm (UTC)
I strongly second the idea of buying a ThinkPad.

When you call their tech support, you get someone located in the United States, which is worth a fortune when your computer dies at crack-of-dawn o'clock.

Next, I suggest getting something with an on-site warranty so that a part replacement doesn't turn into a ship-fix-ship 4-day adventure. In addition, Lenovo's on-site service is very nice. They've always shown up on time.

Back to answering your original question...

I don't know how portable you need it to be. I also don't know which screen size(s) you are comfortable with.

Consequently, I suggest a ThinkPad T4*** or T5*** (where the stars represent whatever Lenovo's latest model number is) with the cheapest CPU available, a 7200 RPM hard drive, embedded graphics to keep the price down, and one of their on-site warranties.

If you post more details about how you plan to use the laptop (such as, do you plan to store more than a year's worth of files? what sorts of files eat most of your current hard drive? do you plan to tote the laptop everywhere?), then I can provide better suggestions.

If you're comfortable with a small screen, you can also consider the ThinkPad X2** line.

On a rather contrarian note, I strongly advise against buying any laptop not targeted at big companies (e.g. Dell Inspirons, Toshiba Satellites, Lenovo Ideapads, ThinkPad R series) because they'll tend to fall apart quicker and have worse tech support, which can make for very interesting adventures.
Nov. 9th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
With the suggested configs, as listed above:

T410i: $878
T510: $998
X201i: $1018
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )