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New Laptop Recommendations

By mickylaren
Jan 2, 2005
  1. Hi, everyone. I'm looking to buy a new laptop within the next few months, and I was wondering what your recommendations would be.

    In the past, I've been a big fan of Dell. I feel like they make a quality product and, if something goes wrong, they ship out a new part (usually overnight - I've had it arrive in less than 24 hours). However, I don't like the designs of their new notebooks. They are thick, made of plastic, and just cheap looking (and boring). Furthermore, they don't have both an eraserhead pointer and a touchpad (they just have the touchpad).

    I'm also interested in IBM, but I don't know enough about ThinkPads. I hear they're the best, but IBM has also just been sold to that company in China. Do you think that will affect their quality? Anyone know how IBM's warranty operates? Also, does IBM ship a Windows disc with its computers (or one of those compaq-like "System Restoration" discs)?

    I really like the WiFi on/off physical toggle switch on some HPs and Vaios, but I'm not too sure about the quality of their computers. I don't believe Dells or IBMs come with such switches, but I would really like that on my next computer.

    Also, my price range is $2000 or less, after warranty and Office 2000 Small Business. I need 802.11 B & G.

    I was thinking about getting Bluetooth support as well (for a Bluetooth mouse), but those that I've worked with (all have been the Microsoft version) have been very "unsensitive". They don't respond well. I don't use the computer for gaming, but I need accuracy in a mouse, and I'd probably stick with RF.

    Lastly, what are your opinions on Centrino? I don't need ultraportability (I need an integrated/swappable CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive), but I'm not sure whether to go with a P4-M or Pentium-M processor w/Centrino. What exactly is the difference (since I can still get integrated wireless with a P4), and what will I notice?

    Thanks so much the advice!

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I don't think the "IBM" PC products will be going down the drain for at least a year or two. The merger of such huge business takes time and until then everything will be done the good old way.

    HP and Sony do make good notebooks. I don't really understand what is so good about the physical WiFi switch tho..

    You do not want a bluetooth mouse. You avoid all kinds of compatibility problems by using a plain PS/2 or USB mouse.

    Centrino has better battery performance since all the system components are designed with low power consumption in mind.

    I am a big an of ThinkPads myself. Those things are literally bomb-proof. They also come with TrackPoint which IMO is way better than those touchpads thingies and IBM laptop keyboards are very good. The Darth Vader style looks may not appeal to everyone though.
  3. Astro

    Astro TS Rookie Posts: 38

    Avoid anything from Compaq like the plague. They are the absolute worst. I guess this means HP too since they are the same company.

    I've had good experience with Dell & Toshiba. Toshiba has the on/off switch you are wanting.
  4. mickylaren

    mickylaren TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    I've heard IBM makes the best notebooks. The physical switch isn't that big of a deal, but it would be nice to be able to disable the wireless radio without having to go into Network Connections each time (i.e., if I take the laptop to the airport and don't want to worry about someone trying to get in).

    I'm really more interested in IBM's warranty process. I'm so used to Dell. With them, if something fails, they send a replacement and I can install it (unless it's something internal and complicated). Does IBM require that a technician come out to your location? Also, how reliable are they? And should I buy it direct or from a reseller?
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