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Old 09-14-07, 06:15 AM   #1
eubi
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Most important laptop feature

Well, I'm finally getting laptop.

I'll use it for Powerpoint presentations, photo manipulation and storage, running a CCD camera for my telescope (in remote locations!), and viewing DVD's.

My budget is $1,300, give or take.

OK, tech heads, I know this is a challenge, but what is the one most important feature that you would recommend that I consider?

Thanks!
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Old 09-14-07, 06:29 AM   #2
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Old 09-14-07, 06:29 AM   #3
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OK, tech heads, I know this is a challenge, but what is the one most important feature that you would recommend that I consider?
The one feature you need to only consider is the fact that there is no one feature you need to consider. In all seriousness, it's the whole package being a compromise of power, weight and price.

Running CCD software isn't very hungry sys reqs wise. But the photo manipulation demands a large screen. Same with dvd viewing. This affects your weight, portability and price.
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Old 09-14-07, 06:31 AM   #4
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Get the most RAM that you can afford.
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Old 09-14-07, 06:42 AM   #5
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Hmmm. I was afraid of this one...

Can documents created on a PC be easily transferred and run on a Mac?
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Old 09-14-07, 06:49 AM   #6
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Hmmm. I was afraid of this one...

Can documents created on a PC be easily transferred and run on a Mac?
Welcome to the proprietary world of Mac. Buy us and we own you

Docs are not typically a problem but I often times have to deal with other file types that are incompatible with the Windows version of the same software. Quark in particular has been a PIA in the past. But then there are compatibility issues between versions of MS Word on the same damn PC
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Old 09-14-07, 07:02 AM   #7
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High res screen (1920x1200), RAM. The cheapest CPU you can get, none of your applications are CPU heavy.

As for the never ending Mac/PC debate, it seems either would be fine except I don't know about the CCD/telescope program.
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Old 09-14-07, 07:06 AM   #8
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Get one that turns on.

I find that to be key.
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Old 09-14-07, 07:14 AM   #9
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Oh, I just read your post, I was responding based solely on thread title.
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Old 09-14-07, 07:22 AM   #10
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Dual processors. You'll never go back.
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Old 09-14-07, 08:12 AM   #11
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Sounds like this one's gonna be traveling a lot. I'd say the most important feature is accidental damage coverage. Saved two laptops from premature retirement for me.
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Old 09-14-07, 08:13 AM   #12
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Ease of use in hiding ur p0rn.
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Old 09-14-07, 08:25 AM   #13
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In order, my opinion is:

DVD-RW (preferably with lightscribe)
MUCH RAM
Battery Life (if plan on taking it out at all)
Weight (if plan on taking it out at all)

I wouldn't worry about hard drive size. Laptops are never big enough...you'll be needing an external usb hard drive at some point anyway.
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Old 09-14-07, 08:44 AM   #14
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Full Size keyboard (I hate proprietary tiny keyboards)
Muchos ramos
dvdrw
weight (5 pounds is my happy medium between nice sized keyboard/monitor and built in dvdr)

Speaking of which I don't understand why people want tiny laptops and then carry around an external dvd. WTF is the point of the 4 point laptop at that point.
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Old 09-14-07, 08:47 AM   #15
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Sounds like this one's gonna be traveling a lot. I'd say the most important feature is accidental damage coverage. Saved two laptops from premature retirement for me.
+1 , good warranty too. I had a power problem on mine that caused so much damage, the laptop
would have been totaled if not for the free warranty repair I got. fyi- I got a Toshiba Satellite at Best Buy
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Old 09-14-07, 08:47 AM   #16
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Full Size keyboard (I hate proprietary tiny keyboards)
Muchos ramos
dvdrw
weight (5 pounds is my happy medium between nice sized keyboard/monitor and built in dvdr)

Speaking of which I don't understand why people want tiny laptops and then carry around an external dvd. WTF is the point of the 4 point laptop at that point.
Very good point on the keyboard. I HATE, I mean H*A*T*E* laptops with keyboards that have half-sized shift keys, switch around the order ofthe insert/delete/home/end/pageup/pagedown key area, etc... It makes it impossible to get used to and type.

I'd like to ammend my list.

In order, my opinion is:

Full-size, standard configuration keyboard
DVD-RW (preferably with lightscribe)
MUCH RAM
Battery Life (if plan on taking it out at all)
Weight (if plan on taking it out at all)

I wouldn't worry about hard drive size. Laptops are never big enough...you'll be needing an external usb hard drive at some point anyway.
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Old 09-14-07, 08:49 AM   #17
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RAM and battery life
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Old 09-14-07, 08:57 AM   #18
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Simplicity.

I like the AOL version.

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Old 09-14-07, 09:03 AM   #19
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Simplicity.

I like the AOL version.




I just printed that out and hung it outside my cube.
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Old 09-14-07, 09:22 AM   #20
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But the photo manipulation demands a large screen.
Alternately, the ability to connect to a large screen might suffice, if it isn't necessary to perform this task on the go often.

Personally, I'd go for the smallest laptop available (aside from the insanely tiny, insanely expensive notebooks imported from Japan), and put as much RAM in it as possible. I bought a notebook with a 14" widescreen, and even it feels too big sometimes.

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Very good point on the keyboard. I HATE, I mean H*A*T*E* laptops with keyboards that have half-sized shift keys, switch around the order ofthe insert/delete/home/end/pageup/pagedown key area, etc... It makes it impossible to get used to and type.
Guh, all laptop keyboard suck, some just worse than others. It's real tough to fit a proper full-size, buckling-spring keyboard into a portable computer, unless you're talking Compaq Portable and it's about 1983...
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Old 09-14-07, 09:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
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The one feature you need to only consider is the fact that there is no one feature you need to consider. In all seriousness, it's the whole package being a compromise of power, weight and price.

Running CCD software isn't very hungry sys reqs wise. But the photo manipulation demands a large screen. Same with dvd viewing. This affects your weight, portability and price.
+1 One thing I would recommend doing is going to a shop and finding what size, style of keyboard, etc work for you.

For example, you don't want a screen that's too small, but you also don't want one that's larger than you need. Larger screens are heavier, more expensive, and require more power to run them (which requires bigger batteries which increase weight more. Likewise, getting far more processing power than you need will only be a drain on your batteries.

If you will take this on the road a lot and don't need to view DVDs there, consider getting a computer with an external DVD player that you only hook up when you need it. This will reduce size and weight even more.

Technology is cheap enough that you'll be able to get plenty of power for your budget. It's a matter of figuring out what features you actually will use.
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Old 09-14-07, 09:23 AM   #22
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I just did the laptop buying thing a few months ago. I ended up with a mid range Toshiba, however it has its downsides and oddities as well (mainly keyboard layout). Here's my feature list:

1) Dual Core (Intel Core 2 Duo Centrino for laptops is best right now and I'm an AMD guy)
2) Screen size / quality. You can't upgrade the monitor later!
3) Battery life. This is going to be a trade off between performance / weight / etc. Depending on how much you'll go un-plugged will determine how important this is.
4) Port layout - usb locations, number of input / outputs, etc.
5) Hard drive space. Can be upgraded later, and most good machines are coming with plenty of space now, though doing photo / graphics work can eat that up fairly quickly.
6) RAM - yes, this far down the list. And for a reason. Laptop manufactures LOVE to charge an arm, a leg, and your first born for ram. Buying more (or replacing completely) RAM direct from Cruicial or Kingston, or from Newegg.com (or other reputiable online dealer)
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Old 09-14-07, 09:26 AM   #23
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Personally, I'd go for the smallest laptop available (aside from the insanely tiny, insanely expensive notebooks imported from Japan), and put as much RAM in it as possible. I bought a notebook with a 14" widescreen, and even it feels too big sometimes.
If you have to work on aircraft, large screens are impossible to deal with. I have a computer with a small screen specifically for that reason. Also, it's nice and light with long battery life. Some notebooks are too small, but I got the smallest that I found usable. I plug into an external monitor and keyboard when I'm at home or in the office.
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Old 09-14-07, 09:26 AM   #24
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KT, you should love this then...


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Old 09-14-07, 09:29 AM   #25
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Guh, all laptop keyboard suck, some just worse than others. It's real tough to fit a proper full-size, buckling-spring keyboard into a portable computer, unless you're talking Compaq Portable and it's about 1983...
I'm pretty sure I've seen some that were standard layout. I don't necessarily mean standard sized, you can get used to the compact keyset, as long as the keys are the same proportions and in same locations.
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