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  1. #1
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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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!
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  2. #2
    . botto's Avatar
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  3. #3
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by eubi View Post
    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.
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  4. #4
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Get the most RAM that you can afford.

  5. #5
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by botto View Post
    Hmmm. I was afraid of this one...

    Can documents created on a PC be easily transferred and run on a Mac?
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  6. #6
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eubi View Post
    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

  7. #7
    iab
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    Senior Member iab's Avatar
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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.

  8. #8
    ****** squegeeboo's Avatar
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    Get one that turns on.

    I find that to be key.
    In the words of Einstein
    "And now I think I'll take a bath"

  9. #9
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Blonde hair, pretty smile, rich.

    Oh, I just read your post, I was responding based solely on thread title.
    Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kestrelman's Avatar
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    Dual processors. You'll never go back.

  11. #11
    Safety Zealot wyeast's Avatar
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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.

  12. #12
    Carbon Fiber Bones elgalad's Avatar
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    Ease of use in hiding ur p0rn.

  13. #13
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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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.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  14. #14
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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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.

  15. #15
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyeast View Post
    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

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  16. #16
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    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.
    Last edited by KingTermite; 09-14-07 at 08:54 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  17. #17
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    RAM and battery life
    C://dos
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    run.dos.run

  18. #18
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    Simplicity.

    I like the AOL version.


  19. #19
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    Simplicity.

    I like the AOL version.




    I just printed that out and hung it outside my cube.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  20. #20
    phony collective progress x136's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite View Post
    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...

  21. #21
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator View Post
    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.

  22. #22
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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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)
    [CENTER][URL="http://VeloBase.com"][IMG]http://velobase.com/App_Themes/VeloBase2_blue/Images/VeloBase2TitleCampagnolo.jpg[/IMG][/URL][/CENTER]
    [CENTER][URL="http://JonPFischer.com"][COLOR="#006400"]Fischer Photography[/COLOR][/URL] - [URL="http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/785462-My-new-modern-quot-Classic-quot-Kirk-JKS-Classic-Terraplane"][COLOR="#8b0000"]Kirk Frameworks JKS-Classic Build Thread[/COLOR][/URL][/CENTER]

  23. #23
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
    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.

  24. #24
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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  25. #25
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by x136 View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

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