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Need to pick between these laptops

By imxelite
Aug 27, 2007
  1. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    No model numbers so this is difficult. Both Toshiba and HP make good ones and less good ones... need the model number and description to known.
    Acer is good when new, but does not hold up well...
    Toshiba is a good computer, but they have been having a lot of trouble completing warranty repairs quickly, or finding parts... Their parts, unless something has changes, are now handled by a third party that is not Toshiba.
    I would buy HP based upon what I see because the support is better and the quality is consistent...
    But It depends on whether they are above the bottom third in the price range. The problem with less expensive HP laptops is that the screen fail early... and they do not have the cooling fans to move all the air that needs to be moved. If you can see them, that is a good thing... inspect very carefully while on to get an idea how many cooling fans or exits.
    Heat ruins laptops. You need to be able to move a lot of air regularly. Thick laptops are best, but thin pretty ones sell.
    When in doubt, I would buy the HP. If the Toshiba is a Techra or a top of the line Satellite, it could be good.
    Acer builds a lot of laptops for others, and they are getting better everyday, only today announcing they are going to buy Gateway.
    Look at screen resolution as reported, and how it looks to you.
    There are only 7 laptop manufacturers in the world, nowadays. They all have tricks in order to do marketing... figger out the tricks that make one better or worse for the price than others...
    Screen is the most important. Cheap screens die soon... either the inverter fails, the screen fails, or the resolution is not adequate to see fine detail.
    Hard drives are next. There are only seven choices, Toshiba (excellent) Seagate (excellent) Western Digital (very good), Samsung (very good), Hitachi (good), Fujitsu (good), Tri-Gem (bad). The prices vary by speed in rpm (5400 rpm lasts longer than 7200 rpm, and generates less heat); Memory (either slower memory or less of it - but if you have room for memory, that is good.), video graphics cards are only in the very best. Others work off the system board video socket. CD drive (CD burner, DVD burner, or plain DVD or plain CD). There are five qualities. The better the optical drive, the higher the price.
    Look at ports. Cheap ones have no serial port, and only two usb ports. Good ones have serial port and four to eight usb ports.
    Then look at the hinges and plastic. Cheap one shave lids that break off, bezels that break or crack. Look at power switches. Do they appear to be solid enough to handle a lot of wear.
    Look at security. Do they have finger print readers, hooks for security cables. Does the lid fit neatly with room to spare. Do they have ethernet sockets that are easily accessible, modems? or do they use pcmcia slots. They won't all have everything. You look for where they compromise.
    Look at the bottom cover. Cheap ones get too hot to hold on the lap.
    Batteries. How many cells in the battery... They run from 5 to 10... the more cells, the longer the battery life, and the better the battery. How accessible is the battery.
    Consider weight. People pay extra to get light weight. Light weight can make them more fragile.
    Consider mostly the warranty. We have found that some lousy laptops have only a one year warranty. Others, such as Dell, Thinkpad, and the better HP's offer a choice of one,two, three, four or five year warranties. The fact that a five year warranty is possible, means the company believes they have a computer that makes them a profit on a five year warranty.
    I would avoid all laptops which only offer a one year warranty. It may be that you can only afford the one year, but it is good to know they offer five. Some will allow you to upgrade the warranty before the old one wears out.

    You do not need a warranty in the first year. You need the warranty in the third, fourth, and fifth years.

    Sorry to run on and on.

    I would get an IBM Lenovo Thinkpad T-41, T-42, T-43, X-41, A series, or T-60 or T61, despite the extra cost because the total cost will be cheaper over the life of the computer... but then, most people cannot afford them.
    Next best. Hp, or Lenovo 3000.
    Whatever else you do, avoid the Sony VAIO, eMachine, Winbook, and Alienware laptops... if you are on a budget.
     
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Firstly, stop shopping online for instore retail sites, they always tax on 200 bucks from what you can find at online retail sites.
     
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    I disagree. It is important to see the laptop you are going to buy, and go over all the final candidates carefully. Then you can buy online or not. There is no bigger con than the clever marketers of some online stores... you can never get enough information.
     
  4. imxelite

    imxelite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

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