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Old 01-21-07, 04:57 PM   #1
cuda2k
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So I'm in the market for a new laptop...

Long story short, the HP 4200 I have now has been a bit of a lemon. I've had friends with the exact same model, and others with HPs of the same age as mine, without problems. I on the other hand have had many problems with this one. Ranging from power buttons that require mashing to operate, mouse buttons that stop functioning, the power plug now has a perodic disconnect issue, and to top it all off, a wonderful habit of hard locking when installing large software, or any other time it pleases. It once took me 4 tries to get Windows XP Pro to finish installing, only to have the new installation corrupted by a lockup during updates (SP2).

So today I called up the service contract people at MaxAssurance (through OfficeMax) and they finally agreed that enough was enough and they are refunding my purchase price (~$900). And now I'm in the market for a new machine to replace this one once I ship it off once and for all. Here's what I've got now (after upgrades over the years): Pentium 4m 1.8Ghz, 700mb ram (after the video gets its share), 60gig HDD, DVD/CD-RW, 15.4" screen.

Obviously it shouldn't be too hard to top these specs now 4 years later. And obviously I'd like to stay under the $900 price tag that I'm getting out of this current wreck of a machine.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:02 PM   #2
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If I were in your shoes, I'd go up a couple hundred and get a Mac. I've had practically no problems with my iBook...and the new MacBooks are just amazing machines.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
Long story short, the HP 4200 I have now has been a bit of a lemon. I've had friends with the exact same model, and others with HPs of the same age as mine, without problems. I on the other hand have had many problems with this one. Ranging from power buttons that require mashing to operate, mouse buttons that stop functioning, the power plug now has a perodic disconnect issue, and to top it all off, a wonderful habit of hard locking when installing large software, or any other time it pleases. It once took me 4 tries to get Windows XP Pro to finish installing, only to have the new installation corrupted by a lockup during updates (SP2).

So today I called up the service contract people at MaxAssurance (through OfficeMax) and they finally agreed that enough was enough and they are refunding my purchase price (~$900). And now I'm in the market for a new machine to replace this one once I ship it off once and for all. Here's what I've got now (after upgrades over the years): Pentium 4m 1.8Ghz, 700mb ram (after the video gets its share), 60gig HDD, DVD/CD-RW, 15.4" screen.

Obviously it shouldn't be too hard to top these specs now 4 years later. And obviously I'd like to stay under the $900 price tag that I'm getting out of this current wreck of a machine.
Just get a damn dell man .
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Old 01-21-07, 05:16 PM   #4
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i love my macbook to death.

have had bad experiences with pc laptops in the past, ac connector issues and other random things breaking and requiring service. not one problem w/ my macbook yet. ... it'll probably break tomorrow, now.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SingingSabre
If I were in your shoes, I'd go up a couple hundred and get a Mac. I've had practically no problems with my iBook...and the new MacBooks are just amazing machines.
I develop in Microsoft VB6, C#, SQL2000/SQL2005 so I need a windows OS. Right now I'm looking at another HP with the AMD Turion 64 Mobile chip or a Intel for about $780 with a gig of DDR2 and a SATA 80gig drive. Just don't know if I want another HP. I've had two so far.

Couldn't find any decent deals on Dell.com. They seem several hundred $ more than HP for the same specs. And given that my work's IT guy has nearly completely given up on Dells for laptops tells me something about their recent quality in that department.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
Long story short, the HP 4200 I have now has been a bit of a lemon. I've had friends with the exact same model, and others with HPs of the same age as mine, without problems. I on the other hand have had many problems with this one. Ranging from power buttons that require mashing to operate, mouse buttons that stop functioning, the power plug now has a perodic disconnect issue, and to top it all off, a wonderful habit of hard locking when installing large software, or any other time it pleases. It once took me 4 tries to get Windows XP Pro to finish installing, only to have the new installation corrupted by a lockup during updates (SP2).

So today I called up the service contract people at MaxAssurance (through OfficeMax) and they finally agreed that enough was enough and they are refunding my purchase price (~$900). And now I'm in the market for a new machine to replace this one once I ship it off once and for all. Here's what I've got now (after upgrades over the years): Pentium 4m 1.8Ghz, 700mb ram (after the video gets its share), 60gig HDD, DVD/CD-RW, 15.4" screen.

Obviously it shouldn't be too hard to top these specs now 4 years later. And obviously I'd like to stay under the $900 price tag that I'm getting out of this current wreck of a machine.

You got your money back on a 4 year old computer?

As far as I know (and I don't know much about puters) they are all basically the same. I suppose you should look for one with a good waranty. I have a Dell Laptop and it has served me well.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:31 PM   #7
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I have a gateway Solo 5350. I got it used from some poster here on BF actually. While it does not quite meet your specs, the product is excellent. I would recommend Gateway.
The Sony laptops do look damn cool though.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:34 PM   #8
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Yup. Cash back after 4 trips to the repair shop is one of the clauses in this warranty (laptops are one of the few things I will ever get an extended warranty on). I've actually sent this thing in more like 5 times now over the last 4 years, starting mostly about 2 years ago. First couple of years it worked great.

I'm leaning towards a new HP and a new MaxAssurance policy on it. Anyone (other than the Mac fans ) have an opinion between the new AMD Turion 64 Mobile and the Intel offerings (Duo cores, etc?)
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Old 01-21-07, 05:40 PM   #9
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- have an HP L2000 (LiveStrong) notebook (AMD64, 15" LCD, DVD+-R/W, etc.)

- works great, especially after i wiped off the default operating system and installed a 64-bit GNU/Linux system... AFAIK faster/better notebooks are now less than US$1K?

- dunno if you need the latest and greatest, but perhaps you should hold off for just a few weeks so you can be an early adopter beta tester of the latest offering from Software from Satan™? (i.e., Vista)

(otherwise you'll be dealing with coupon-based consumer satisfaction)

:-)

p.s. and yes, my iBook G4 beats any notebook i've *ever* owned!
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Old 01-21-07, 05:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linux_author
- have an HP L2000 (LiveStrong) notebook (AMD64, 15" LCD, DVD+-R/W, etc.)

- works great, especially after i wiped off the default operating system and installed a 64-bit GNU/Linux system... AFAIK faster/better notebooks are now less than US$1K?

- dunno if you need the latest and greatest, but perhaps you should hold off for just a few weeks so you can be an early adopter beta tester of the latest offering from Software from Satan™? (i.e., Vista)

(otherwise you'll be dealing with coupon-based consumer satisfaction)

:-)
A coworker is already running Vista on his machine, I'll let him figure it out for a few months before I dive in. From what I can see it looks great, but there are (as there always is) a lot of compatiblity issues with older software working with Vista.

I would like to do a dual boot if I can get a decently big HDD on it. Then again, I've been meaning to dual boot my desktop since I wiped it the last time back in September.
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Old 01-21-07, 05:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
I develop in Microsoft VB6, C#, SQL2000/SQL2005 so I need a windows OS. Right now I'm looking at another HP with the AMD Turion 64 Mobile chip or a Intel for about $780 with a gig of DDR2 and a SATA 80gig drive. Just don't know if I want another HP. I've had two so far.
Vista runs great on my MacBook.



And that's in a parallels virtual machine. It would probably run even better under BootCamp. With the price of the MacBooks not being that much different than a comparable Dell, why not?

By the way, our church did recently get an HP dv2000z. It's a decent machine but the MacBook and most other Core2Duo notebooks outclass it in almost every way. I'm not totally sure you'd be happy with the Turion if you're doing a lot of horsepower-heavy developer work.
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Old 01-21-07, 06:05 PM   #12
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I am in the market as well, after a Dell finally and thankfully has bitten the dust. I am going with a MacBook as well, but am going to wait for Leopard to come out.
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Old 01-21-07, 06:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SkyeC
i love my macbook to death.
and I love my powerbook G4 to death
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Old 01-21-07, 06:11 PM   #14
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My mistake, the Turion 64's that the HPs are using are the "X2" models which are dual core. Did the HP dv2000z that your church purchased a Turion model (which would most likely be an X2) or the older Sempron which is also avalaible?

I do some developer work on this machine, probably more than I really need to or should do. Its primary purpose is a machine to do school work on back and forth from class at UTD. But it seems that 90% of the time I'm browsing BF's on it.

I'll do some searching and see if I can find an Intel Core2Duo equipped machines in my price range.
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Old 01-21-07, 06:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ax0n
Vista runs great on my MacBook.
A MacBook is one way cuda2k can get an Intel Core 2 Duo laptop near his price range. So long as he doesn't need a dedicated graphics card and his budget doesn't include buying an operating system. (He'll get one preinstalled on the computer, but not the one he needs.) But if he already has a spare copy of Windows (perhaps from his old laptop's Windows XP Pro upgrade) then this is a very real option.

I'm very pleased with my new MacBook Pro. But if one's looking for the cheapest Core 2 Duo machine and including the price of a new copy of Windows, an Apple laptop probably isn't it.
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Old 01-21-07, 06:23 PM   #16
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Jon,

IF you want to a Dell deal, PM me for a link to a place that posts specials daily.

Here is an example for $908

PROCESSOR - Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5500 (1.66GHz, 2MB L2 Cache, 667MHz FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEM - Genuine Windows® XP Professional
LCD PANEL - 15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA Display with TrueLife™
MEMORY - 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm
HARD DRIVE - 80GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
OPTICAL DRIVE - 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
VIDEO CARD - Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950
WI-FI WIRELESS CARD - Dell Wireless 1390 802.11b/g Mini Card (54Mbps)
SOUND OPTION - Integrated Audio
MEDIA DIRECT - Media Direct 3.0
Accessories
BATTERIES - 53 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
Software
PRE-INSTALLED PRODUCTIVITY - No productivity suite- Includes Microsoft Works 8. DOES NOT INCLUDE MS WORD
PRE-INSTALLED SECURITY - No Security Subscription
Service
WARRANTY & SERVICE - 1 Year Mail-in Economy Plan
ALSO INCLUDED:
Network Card and Modem Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
Miscellaneous Inspiron 6400
Processor Branding Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
A/C ADAPTER Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 7.0
Digital Music Music Jukebox by Yahoo! Music - Basic music software
Digital Imaging Corel Snapfire Basic - Organize and Edit your photos
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Old 01-21-07, 07:47 PM   #17
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Fred, you got PM.

So I've looked at Dell, HP/Compaq, Toshiba (@OfficeDepot.com), Gateway and Mac. Any other suggestions?
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Old 01-21-07, 08:11 PM   #18
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Cuda -- I go through laptops probably more than anyone. I currently use an HP for work and have nothing but issues with it. It's a mobile workstation and is actually a nice unit but it is plagued with various issues so I feel your pain about your laptop that you returned. If it weren't leased through work I would return it. It gets real old, real fast having to constantly have warranty work done. I recently got a new Dell at work to start testing Vista on. I just brought it home the other so I don't have any feedback on this one. I've owned several Dells and they hit or miss. The most common warranty issue that we deal with at work on the dells are keyboards and touchpads.

My personal laptop that I use at home is the best laptop that I have ever used. It is a Gateway that I bought myself for Christmas 2005. It has an AMD Athlon 64, 1GB RAM, 100GB HDD, widescreen 15.4 display, and all of the other bells and whistles that come with a fully loaded laptop. I was a bit reluctant at first to try a Gateway but I knew if I didn't like it I could take it back. It has now been over a year that I have owned it and I have not had one problem with it. Ryan used it the other day and commented on how nice of a unit it is.

My next personal unit will be a MAC. I can get any HP or Dell from work so I want my next personal laptop to be something different.
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Old 01-21-07, 08:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuda2k
My mistake, the Turion 64's that the HPs are using are the "X2" models which are dual core. Did the HP dv2000z that your church purchased a Turion model (which would most likely be an X2) or the older Sempron which is also avalaible?

I do some developer work on this machine, probably more than I really need to or should do. Its primary purpose is a machine to do school work on back and forth from class at UTD. But it seems that 90% of the time I'm browsing BF's on it.

I'll do some searching and see if I can find an Intel Core2Duo equipped machines in my price range.
yes, it's an x2 Turion.

Honestly, I found out a year ago or so that it's not worth the hassle of doing work when you're not at work, unless it's a bona-fide condition of your employment. So if you're a hobbiest of some sort, and just like playing with that stuff, and you have a spare copy of Win2K, server 2003 or XP laying around, just toss Q (Open source) on a MacBook, install your toys, and be done with it. The OS X experience is awesome, as is the build quality of the MacBook. So, if you have everything else you need, it's a good, light, solid notebook for a competitive price.

Parallels costs $80, but it's a Virtual machine hypervisor, not an emulator like Q. Parallels has better performance. BUT the guys working on Q are working on virtualization, too. So, Q could become a free competitor to Parallels soon. By the way, Win2K runs great in Q. Vista, not so much.
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Old 01-21-07, 09:07 PM   #20
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yeah, get a dell, cant go wrong.
dont get a mac, damn hipsters haha
ipod is ok though
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