ultimate laptop for <2k

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Osmer_Toby, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Osmer_Toby

    Osmer_Toby TPF Noob!

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    Gonna buy a laptop, I think I know what I want, and maybe even where to go to get it, but it seems to me that there are a lot of very knowledgeable people on this forum who love to share their thoughts, so I’m gonna try to get the best system I can for my specific needs.
    if you read my earlier query re: mac v pc (don't have to go there again, i'm solidly back in the pc camp for now), you know i have
    about 2k to spend.

    I think i want:
    System- Pc, windows.

    I want the portability of the laptop, because there are long stretches during the day when I could be editing photos, but am not at home to access my desktop.
    I want a dvd burner for photo storage.
    I’m figurin 1 gig ram, 30 gig hd, 1.4 ghz processor.

    Now, for the screen, I think I need to go smaller for better quality, so I’m lookin at about 14.5- 15” screen. A question- what the hell do all the letters stand for, and what is the pro/con to the various choices? Xvga, usxvga, etc.

    I intend to do no color editing on the laptop, that and all otherl final touches will be done on a desktop monitor at home.

    Have checked out dell online, found the above system would cost about 1.8k. is there any better place to go to get the above for less?


    All thoughts/suggestions welcome, and thank you in advance…
    peace,
    -t
     
  2. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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    IBM Titanium range - cool :0).

    im looking for a laptop too. Dell or IBM!
     
  3. Skyeg

    Skyeg TPF Noob!

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    i have an alienware laptop, i like it more than dell, i think they are built better and use better parts, im not trying to say dell doesnt use good stuff because they do. mine was $2,500.
     
  4. Skyeg

    Skyeg TPF Noob!

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    yeah, definitly check out the IBM think pads, iv loved all the ones iv used. they are definitly very well built, i forget which series it is but the titanium ones are what id go for.
     
  5. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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    thats very cool skyeg hmmmm alienware huh ... i didnt even know about
    them before. you have a really good machine there by the sound of it .
     
  6. jack

    jack TPF Noob!

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    i wouldnt ever use a laptop for editing photographs though.
    maybe reviewing neg scans and testing finished items for
    quality. IMO work on big, eye-level monitors (17" +)
     
  7. photogoddess

    photogoddess TPF Noob!

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  8. Harpper

    Harpper TPF Noob!

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    Which Dell laptop model where you looking at? What really inflates the price is the RAM, processor, and DVD burner. RAM is usually over priced when you buy it from the computer company. Depending on how comfortable you are with upgrading your laptop, it would be so much cheaper to buy from a third party and doing it yourself. Most laptops have a little area underneath where the RAM is store and it's pretty easy to change.

    If you are not comfortable with doing that then just get 512mb RAM to save money. Just to let you know I have 512mb on both my Mac and PC. Can't say it has hold me back too much but I do notice a difference from 256mb to 512mb. You might want to go with more mb in your graphics card though.

    Your processor isn't high end so I doubt that added much to your price. The DVD adds almost $200 but if you really want it I would say go for the DVD instead of more RAM. It's easier to get third party RAM then it is to get laptop hardware components. Although just to let you know blank DVDs can be pretty pricey when compare to CD-Rs.

    The size doesn't really make a difference except for viewing space. The better quality is in the higher resolution. If you go to Dell's sight they have a link that shows the difference. I can't give you a link because it's in a popup window. Basically XGA is "normal" with 1024x768 resolution. SXGA (think s stands for sharp) is next in line with 1400x1050 resolution. USGA is 1600x1200 and WXGA (w stands for widescreen) 1280x800. WSXGA and WUSXGA are the widescreen counterparts. Basically the higher the resolution the sharper the image. You can get this from a 12" screen but then again it's a 12" screen which would be tiny.

    Remember LCDs have a native resolution so you really can't change it. The best way to decide is to go try them out at a store and buy online when you know which one you can live with.

    Wow, what model are you looking at? I quickly went to Dell and customized an Inspiron 5150 with 2.66 processor, 15" XGA monitor, 512mb RAM, 30 gig, DVD burner, and I even gave you the luxury of a 64mb graphics card instead of the 32mb. It came out to be $1,597. Replace the DVD burner with a CD burner and 64mb graphics card with the 32mb and I get $1,349.

    Unless you need it don't go for the compact model. It cost more to make parts smaller so you are buying more just for the smaller size.

    As for other brands, according to Consumer Reports magazine Dell, Apple, and IBM have the fewest repair problems. Doesn't necessarily mean they are the best but they have the fewest repair complaints.
     

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