New laptop advice.... - http://www.mmcafe.com/ Forums


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Minuteman
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"New laptop advice...." , posted Sun 10 Jul 02:31post reply

So, my Sony Viao laptop died on me a few weeks ago. I've decided to get a new laptop. Here is what it's come down to:

Choice 1 -
* IBM Thinkpad R52
*Pentium M 740 1.7GHz
*512 MB PC2-4200 (533 MHz) RAM
*2MB L2 Cache
*14.1" display
*XP Pro pre-installed
*40GB HD
*CD-RW/DVD-ROM
*ATI Mobility Radeon X300 (64MB)
*Wireless 802.11 a/b/g (Centrino)
*Weighs 5.8 lbs
*3 yr. warrenty (all hardware)

Total damage = $1,429


Choice 2 -
*Apple iBook (12" display)
*1.2 GHz PowerPC G4
*512 MB RAM
*60GB HD
*512K L2 Cache
*Combo Drive
*ATI Mobility Radeon 9200
*32MB DDR video memory
*3 yr. warrenty

Total damage = $1,266 (and I get a "free" iPod mini, after rebate. I already have a 20 GB one, so this is no biggie to me)

Both prices are with the education discount I would be getting.

I am *not* 100% opposed to getting the Mac, but given I have 1 yr. of Grad. school left, I am slightly more comfortable w/ getting the IBM, since it's more familiar to me and I know the support both on campus and from the vendor will be good. I really want a lightweight, good battery life laptop, as the Sony was more of a desktop replacement that weighed over 8 lbs and had underwhelming battery life.

I should add, w/ the IBM, if I added a 60GB HD, it ups the price by $100 (but I burn lots to CD, so a bigger HD isn't as critical to me).

I'm just tossing this out there for any comments people may have in using either of these prodcuts/brands.

I am growing somewhat tired of being so dependent on Windows based machines, and feel the Mac is a nice option. I have heard grumblings of Apple's quality declining recently though.






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kurushimi
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"Re(1):New laptop advice...." , posted Sun 10 Jul 13:59post reply

First off, what are you going to be using this computer for? General-purpose stuff? Gaming? Graphic/webpage design?

Generally speaking, Thinkpads are one of the top corporate line machines you can get. They're rock solid, and have a good combination of weight and performance. The powerbook is sleeker, but the thinkpad's more versatile.

Also, it would strictly be my personal preference to upgrade the RAM to at least 1 gig. Notebook hard drives are usually slower than their desktop counterparts (unless if you specifically request a 7200 rpm one), so the less it has to access the HD, the better. But like I said, I'm not sure what you're using it for - 512 is enough for general web browsing/word processing/movie watching.





VManOfMana
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"Re(2):New laptop advice...." , posted Sun 10 Jul 14:22:post reply

Thinkpads are definitively good, but they are expensive.

Have you considered a Toshiba or Dell laptop? My current Toshiba M35 S3592 has worked wonders for me the year and a half I have had it*, and I know that Dells are affordable (though generally I don't like Dells).

However, if the purpose of the laptop is exclusively work, I'd stay with the Mac.

* Generally, it has been trouble-free. The _only_ problem I have had with it is that the AC adapter died two days ago, but I was able to order a new one that will arrive this Tuesday. Customer support was top-notch.





Jabel D. Morales - VMan of Mana.
http://vman.animecafe.net/

"Tameraeba makeyo!"

[this message was edited by VManOfMana on Sun 10 Jul 14:24]

Mog
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"Re(3):New laptop advice...." , posted Sun 10 Jul 15:07post reply

Not to make things more complicated, but I'll second Toshiba's laptops. Thinkpads are good too though, and I don't think you can go wrong with either. I would suggest avoiding Dell as they have a tendency to use low-grade components in their machines these days.

As for the Powerbook, keep in mind that Apple will be moving to X86 architecture sometime in the future, so now may not be the best time to "switch". I doubt Apple will dump support for RISC based machines anytime soon, but Jobs has said relatively little about the transition and there's still a lot we don't know. OSX is a great though, and if you don't care about games (not like there's much on PC's these days) and are sick of dealing with Windows, Apple might be the way to go.





Bootation
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"Re(4):New laptop advice...." , posted Mon 11 Jul 03:40post reply

quote:
Not to make things more complicated, but I'll second Toshiba's laptops. Thinkpads are good too though, and I don't think you can go wrong with either. I would suggest avoiding Dell as they have a tendency to use low-grade components in their machines these days.

As for the Powerbook, keep in mind that Apple will be moving to X86 architecture sometime in the future, so now may not be the best time to "switch". I doubt Apple will dump support for RISC based machines anytime soon, but Jobs has said relatively little about the transition and there's still a lot we don't know. OSX is a great though, and if you don't care about games (not like there's much on PC's these days) and are sick of dealing with Windows, Apple might be the way to go.



Im using os x right now and watching "equilibrium" through vlc on my ibook. One good thing about wintel machines is winamp tv. How did you get a free ipod deal?

Why can't you fix your old Vaio?





Pretty please check out my neato sweet awesome webpage

VManOfMana
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"Re(5):New laptop advice...." , posted Mon 11 Jul 05:46post reply

Since we are talking about computers, are there good replacements for the following software?

* OpenOffice. I know there is the X11 port and the NeoOffice version, but I am not counting these. I really don't like how MS Office for Mac looks as it is obviously Carbon and not Cocoa. Plus, I really like how OpenOffice puts more emphasis on styles. I wouldn't mind giving a try to Pages/Keynote, but I still don't know of an spreadsheet alternative.

* ffdshow. Or whatever needed to play fansubs.

* IRC. Snak looks good, but are there other alternatives. X-Chat looks too foreign.

* GAIM/Trillian. What protocols does iChat supports?





Jabel D. Morales - VMan of Mana.
http://vman.animecafe.net/

"Tameraeba makeyo!"

Dante
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Rare Customer

"Re(1):New laptop advice...." , posted Mon 11 Jul 14:21post reply

You can buy a decent laptop for 1,000 if you are looking at a Windows box. I bought mine refurbished:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1161689&CatId=1345

Though it won't come with a warranty at 1,000, you can buy into what you want. Battery life sucks though. I haven't tried draining many times, but the one time I recall... I only got like three hours. Like anything else though, it all depends on what you are doing at the time.





Minuteman
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"Re(2):New laptop advice...." , posted Tue 12 Jul 06:39post reply

Thanks so far for the comments.

I do not plan on using the new machine for any sort of video/photo/music editing. I simply use it for school (paper writing), email, Net browsing, burning CD's, watching some flicks (etither DL'ed or on DVD) and other misc. tasks. I do not play computer games at all (I'm console-based all the way!)

I am not looking at ANYTHING but these two machines I listed. I've heard so many mixed stories about Dell/HP/Toshiba/etc. that I just cut them right out. It has been extremely rare for me to hear anything negative about the IBM or iBook, hence my paring down of choices. Plus, with some of the other brands, I can not get my education discount or I can not configure them in a way that I want, and still get the educational discount.

I'll be buying one of these within the next week or two.

I will not be fixing my Viao because the Motherboard got cooked and died =( It's at least $500 to fix, so it's not worth it...

The "free" iPod mini is a promotion that Apple is running now until September w/ their educational vendors to get college kids to buy more Apple stuff =P

Thanks again - cheers!