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buying a laptop

By parissearles · 21 replies
Jan 23, 2004
  1. I am currently in the market for a laptop to compliment my existing system and to serve as a mobile to my business. I am an architect and use very draining programs (like AutoCAD, Photoshop, 3D StuioMAX, Rhinoceros) and files often up to 1GB which require a lot of processing speed (upward of 2.8Ghz I should think), RAM (at the very least 512 but perhaps more) and a very good graphics card to support them. Not to mention a reasonable screen (mininum 15").

    I have looked high and low on the net for a laptop that fits these criteria but have yet to find one even close. Obviously i would like to keep the unit to a reasonable price, which i would consider around the US$2000 mark.

    I was hoping that that someone out there in computer land, an architect or someone dealing with similar graphic utilizations could offer me their advice on a system they may have or may know to suit my needs.

    I really appreciate any help that you can ofer me


    Paris Searles (seychelles)
  2. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 3,874

    I think the Sony VAIO's are a great laptop with all the stuff they pack into them. You not only get the funcionality, but you get the pure power as well. Sony is also reputable to some people and hated by others, it's just personal preference.
  3. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 633

    I'd recommend Dell as long as you arent planning on using their Tech Support...Their Inspirion 5150 can hold up to 2GB of Ram and the P4 3.2GHz. with HT....
  4. snowman

    snowman TS Rookie Posts: 183

    i'd go for dell. they are affordable and well put together. you can customize it and choose all the parts you want.
  5. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 633

    This is why I bought mine through Dell. It's been perfect...Oh and disregard my earlier post about tech support, if you purchase the laptop as a business, you get American tech support, if you purchase one as a home user, you get the out sourced Indian Tech people(wacky bunch). Your buying for a business, no problem there...
  6. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    Personally I would take a Sony VAIO on top of any other brand, any and every day. They also bundle a lot of quailty stuff onto the HD for when you get it.
  7. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 633

    Cant argue about the software, but I do beleive a VAIO will cost you a bit more...:rolleyes:
  8. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    Yeah I believe to do, however if you ask me you get what you pay for ;)
  9. somekid007

    somekid007 TS Rookie Posts: 270

    i'd go with alienware if you have the money, processing speed and style
  10. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 332

    Sony lower end models suck...their high-end models are pretty damn impressive. Dell makes some pretty quality stuff as well...Alienware have the tweaked-out selections that will fit ANY need you could possibly come up with - but it will cost you a bit more. From most expensive to least, I would say Alienware, Sony and then Dell. Believe it or not, the IBM X-31 series are pretty nice as well, but again, on the expensive side...
  11. Rick

    Rick TS Evangelist Posts: 4,512   +65

    It doesn't matter what you buy. All the s#$% is the same under the hood. There are very few companies that actually make the effort to do something that stands out about their notebooks.

    If I had to choose based on internal design and (what would seem to be) reliability, I would choose IBM. They are (by far) built the best structural wise.

    If I had to choose based on functionality, Sony. You often get cool things like firewire, lots of USB ports, memroy card reader.. etc...

    If I had to choose based on best price for what you get, Dell.

    And if I had no choice at all, I might end up with a Compaq or HP.

    Battery life? IBM and Toshiba generally have the best batteries.

    And of course, it all depend son what you get. You pay the extra price tag for IBM, Toshiba and Sony... But if you buy a cheap one, then it will be just that.

    There are plenty of other brands out there too.. Emachines, Gateway, Fujitsu, Acer, Asus etc... It's hard to say, "Get this brand!" because what it comes down to is model.. Not brand name.

    Just make sure you get a laptop with the specs you want, a good warranty and something you are happy with.
  12. young&wild

    young&wild TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 896

    I recommend you give a look a centrino cpus, those which come with 1MB of Cache as opposed to the usual Pentium 4 mobile chu with 512KB cache, although clocked at lower speed, Centrino is still able to edge the Pentium 4 mobile. Proof? Have a look this .
  13. somekid007

    somekid007 TS Rookie Posts: 270

    alienware lets u upgrade ur gpu
  14. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,049   +11

  15. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    Ya well, there is no need for a 9600 onboard if your not playing games, and most people with laptops dont play games on them, as for they arent gaming machines.

    But you were just saying they had bad video was all...Good video but not gaming videocards ;)

    Laptops are not desktop replacements.

    Most bussiness people are using 3D apps?
  16. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 476

    My buddy has an hp and he does alot of video editing and DVD burning. When you spec out a laptop make sure your ram is 1 stick cus laptop ram is expensive and you dont want to throw out 2 sticks and buy 2 more sticks just to upgrade. I think this is an important consideration.
  17. lowman

    lowman TS Rookie Posts: 332

    Get a desktop if you don't need to travel...simple as that...more flexibility as far as usage in my opionion...but then again, I'm a jack@$$...
  18. Godataloss

    Godataloss TS Rookie Posts: 476

    If you have a laptop you can go outside- something I'm sure some TS members should consider doing more often :haha:
  19. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 161

    oooo tough crowd.:(

    Well what do you guys think about the IBM thinkpads? My m8 has a 1.6 centrino with how knows what inside and it can play GTA: Vice City like a beaut! They're not too expensive, they're not too high in spec but they perform outstandingly (is that a word? It is now!).

    I personally like the Dell Inspirons. 3.2ghz!!! and for £1200+ Brilliant price if you ask me, and the graphics kick *** as well.

    PS: The new mobility Radeon 9700 looks great! What laptops is it installed in?

    PS: I'm also thinking about getting a laptop. BUT purely for Xtreme gaming, music and dvd's. What would be the best laptop for this. Budget is anything up to £1400. (sorry about the pounds, dunno dollars)
  20. Rick

    Rick TS Evangelist Posts: 4,512   +65

    Thinkpads usually skimp on the video card. But otherwise they are excellent laptops. I have a Thinkpad myself.

    Internally, they are probably the most well built laptop. IBM's support is good, which is another consideration.

    If you are looking for a high performance laptop, then Alienware might be worth looking at. www.alienware.com

    Not only do their laptops look awfully cool, but they are geared towards "gamers".. Well.. As much as a laptop can be. Of course, the price is usually a little high.
  21. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,929   +15

    TechTV makes the Thinkpad out to be a great laptop. Im pretty sure the Thinkpad has a pretty slim/light weight design.
  22. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,182

    As long as you keep away from the Thinkpad X30, Netvista which has a few TCPA compliant features.

    Edit : press release on the IBM website has been removed & the closest model to the X30 that I could find is the X31, no mention of any "security" features though.:suspiciou
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