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Best Laptop Company?

By Raine · 21 replies
May 12, 2002
  1. I currently have a Compaq Armada 1500c (96 MB RAM, 333 mHz Celeron processor, no video card, generally weak system) and am interested in purchasing a new laptop.

    Anyone have any thoughts on what is the best company?

  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    Well, honestly I believe they are all about the same. You'll find they use virutally the same components because everything is integrated.. It's a matter of getting the most for your money.

    However, I've heard many people favor Dell, Toshiba and Compaq. I have no evidence on whether these brands are any better than others.

    So just look for good components (plenty of RAM, fast CPU/hard disk) and then look for the best price and warranty I would say.
  3. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,218

    Rick pretty much covered it, I would just add one thing. The casing might also be a concern even if not as much as the other. There aren't many things that will ruin your day more than dropping your Laptop or Notebook and finding it no longer functions.

    I wouldn't suggest tossing one out a tenth story window, but you might want to look for something that will take some abuse.
  4. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 977

    Nobody mentioned Sony?
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,512   +65

    I've actually never known anyone in person who owns a sony. I would add that to the list of notebooks to look for too, because I've heard good things about them on the web.
  6. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 977

    All you hear is Dude your gettin' a Dell" which are manufactured by Quanta Computer (Taiwan) same for Gateway I suppose. All the majors have good warranties.

    What impresses me about the Sony Vaio w/ the Athlon MP is the price$ & features. DVD & cdrw. Great for a dorm room or an office.

    Questions about Buying a Laptop?

    Know any good retail sites for notebooks?
  7. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 660

    Sony laptops are pretty decent. If you want to play games on your laptop you need to make sure it has at least a 32Mb Geforce2/4Go or a Radeon7500 Mobile.
  8. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

  9. Cryo

    Cryo TS Rookie Posts: 49

    I would say to go with Dell or Sony. Typically they cost a little more but in my opinion its worth it. I reciently just bought a Dell Inspiron 8200 after doing some seriouls looking for almost 2 months. Toshiba and some other companies have some really great setups with some real power under the hood but the problem I found was that their graphics were pretty poor, usually with a mere 8 to 16MB onboard graphics card. I ended up going with a Dell because they are majorly customizable, anything you want you can get, i.e. a 32MB GF2 or 64MB GF4.
  10. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    Hey Cryo...

    How about a Radeon 7500 with 64MB of DDR?

    (I'm speaking about the Area 51-M, of course ;) )
  11. Cryo

    Cryo TS Rookie Posts: 49

    Yeah and??? the mobile Radeons are awful, have you seen them? Depending on the actual screen that you get you might as well go with the cheaper GF4.

    Why would you want to spend that much anyway? You can get a comparable system from dell for about $750 to $1500 less depending on the specifics. ~$2900 for a base price on that laptop is a little too much for me when I just picked up a machine just as good for a total of $1607!
  12. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,254   +512

    Well - we finally got our Area-51 2.4 Ghz laptop in (guess it's not really we, but my buddy) and I'd have to say I like my laptop a lot more than his. I have a Dell Latitude C840 and although his is obviously faster when just using windows mine blows his away in gaming. Also, I really love the fact that I run at 1600x1200 (I even run Quake 3 at that res and my fps stays pegged at 90) and the max res on that Alienware is 1400x1050. Plus Q3 doesn't really look that nice on it. Also!!!!! Only one PCMCIA slot! WTF? No option for MiniPCI wireless so we tried to get a 3Com X-Jack WiFi NIC working in it - couldn't get it working on that machine but very little probs getting it working in my other buddy's laptop. No option for a GeForce 4 440 Go w/discreet mem arch. (no G4 at all) - WTF kind of ultimate gaming machine is this? My C840 demolishes this thing in games. Just my $3106.73 (that was more than $0.02 worth)

  13. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,645

    How strange. Must be the monitors fault, or maybe even some driver problem.
    Just blame it purely on the monitor :p Dell probably uses better tubes anyway. I know their desktop monitors are Sony, dunno about laptops.
  14. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,254   +512

    Another update on Alienware laptop - although it says 1400x1050 max res we managed to set it to 1600 and it really was 1600. Dunno why they have it advertised in some places at 1400 max though.

  15. bedlam_4

    bedlam_4 TS Rookie Posts: 156

    A follow-up on where my 8100 stands. On July 01 I contacted Dell Tech Support with a problem. My fans were running continuously from power up. Programs and games were instable and slow. The first thing we did was to restore settings to a random point in June. As this had no discernable effect we decided to run the diagnostic program that comes with all Dell systems. This was a real cool utility. When the diagnostics checked my fan the computer instantly shut itself down. Dell then airfreighted a box that was prelabeled, I shipped out my computer and low and behold, it was back in my hands, good as new, on July 8. It actually was turned around on the 5th. That kind of service is absolutely outstanding.

    cyro what is wrong with the mobile Radeon? Mine seems to work pretty good. I watch all kinds of movies with it and it looks great. The hottest games (MoH, RTCW, SoF2 to list only a few) play great and look great with all options turned up to their highest setting. So wtf are you talking about?

    I hope the folks at Dell read this because I think they are doing a hell of a good job.

    I couldn't be more pleased with Dell's product and their service. I feel I got a great deal on my notebook as it cost $2300.00. So, I think that even though you might find a better notebook at a better price than what you get from Dell I think you can also do a hell of alot worse.
  16. Cryo

    Cryo TS Rookie Posts: 49

    Nothing is wrong with the mobile Radeon, it works fine. It's just that when you put it up against a GF4 it just seems a little pricy thats all. This is kinda getting onto the never ending battle of who has the better card. (Personally I don't really care just so long as I can play my games ;-)) I'm not saying that I wouldn't mind having one or anything ;-) Thats the only regret I have about my laptop is that I didn't get a 64MB video card. Finding one to install is easy enough except that installing it myself voids my 3 year warrantee and having dell do it is VERY expensive. Ahh well....
  17. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,669   +416

    Should eventually be joining the 8100/8200 club

    Dell Inspiron 8200 Laptop | Mobile P4, 1.7GHz | 15" UXGA 1600x1200| 512MB DDR (266) | 32MB DDR Nvidia GF4 Go 440 | 30GB Hard drive | 8x4x32x CD-RW/DVD | Integrated NIC/Modem | Windows XP | Single LiIon Battery

    Tried to get my company to consider getting me the Mobile P4, 2.0Ghz but the deal on the 1.7Ghz was much better value for money. Also they were too cheap to get the 64mb GF4 Go 440 for my new laptop :(
  18. bedlam_4

    bedlam_4 TS Rookie Posts: 156

    If you can you might try to throw in the extra $$ for the best vid card available. I think you'll be glad you did.

    BTW when you get your machine let us know how it performs running Morrowind.

    I will be testing it on my machine probably around November but mabe sooner.
  19. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,254   +512

    Ack! Morrowind on the laptop? Well... maybe I'll try it and let you guys know how it runs for me...

  20. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,669   +416

    Its £100 more for the GF4 Go 440 64mb....
    And since it is the companies property I don't really want to pay that... Dunno if I will be at this company for the whole lifespan of the laptop.

    It will probably be delivered when I am back in Milan so it will probably be about a month until I get my grubby little paws on it. Once I do I'll try running MorrowWind on it and post results... ;)

    Let us know how you get on with MorrowWind on your mobile workstation LNCpapa...
  21. bedlam_4

    bedlam_4 TS Rookie Posts: 156

    With all that DDr memory your getting I bet morrowind will run great on your Dell, Arris.
  22. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,669   +416

    My home PC (1.5Ghz Athlon C, 256mb DDR and Original Geforce 3) has moments where it pauses to load when its not a official loading sequence which spoils the seamless nature of the environment. Might buy some more DDR for that while its relatively cheap. Looking forward to this laptop since I am currently using an Inspiron 7000 366PII with 384mb of PC100 :(
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