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Old 12-19-07, 09:35 PM   #1
v1k1ng1001
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Laptop Search Ends

Originally I had intended to buy something this spring but since the remaining lifespan of my Gateway can now be measured in weeks, not months, I had to accelerate the search.

Instead of buying a standard consumer laptop, I decided to build a custom notebook. Mine is based on the Compal IfL90 chassis (my other choices were the Asus C90 and Asus S96S). Turns out that it actually costs less, especially if you can avoid paying Bill Gates for the OS.

It doesn't look fancy but, it's comparable to the base model 15" MacBook Pro for about half the price. Check it out and tell me what you think:




Compal Ifl90 (Sager 2090 / Force 3297 / PowerPro J 10:15)

15.4" WXGA (1280 x 800) "Glossy" LCD w/PCI-e
nVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT w/512MB
Intel Core2 Duo T7500 2.2GHz Processor w/4MB L2 On-die cache - 800MHz FSB (Santa Rosa)
(Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound )
2GB (1 SODIMM) * CORSAIR * DDR2/667 Memory
1GB Intel Turbo Memory (Robson) - (Vista Only)
120GB SATA 3GB/s Seagate Momentus 7200.2 Hard Drive at 7,200 RPM
Combo Dual Layer SuperMulti DVDRW/CDRW Drive
Built-in Intel PRO/Wireless 4965 802.11a/g/n
Smart Li-ion Battery (9-Cell)

$ 1,390.98 with 3-year Warranty - Next Business Day Shipping - Lifetime 24/7

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Old 12-19-07, 09:40 PM   #2
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Very nice. Specs looks more like a gaming rig. Is it?
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Old 12-19-07, 09:41 PM   #3
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8600 GT is pretty smokin for a laptop.
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Old 12-19-07, 09:44 PM   #4
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8600GT in a notebook? Damn, I just put one of those in my desktop computer.
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Old 12-19-07, 09:45 PM   #5
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Geez that's a fast laptop. Gonna be smoking some orcs or something?
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Old 12-19-07, 09:46 PM   #6
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$ 1,390.98
Ya know that's the price of a decent bike, right?

*shakes head at you* Man. Where are your priorities???
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Old 12-19-07, 09:48 PM   #7
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Shame Everex flaked on the sub $300 lappy. You coulda bought one for yourself and three for a local school or something for the kinda dough ya roll.
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Old 12-19-07, 10:39 PM   #8
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Geez that's a fast laptop. Gonna be smoking some orcs or something?
No, but I was thinking Orange Box or Bioshock. I don't play a lot of games but there are usually a few shooters that I get into. I figure why not put the money I would spend on a gaming console into my computer instead? Then I can benefit from the hardware in other ways.

I was originally looking for laptops around $1000, but when I saw you could get a solid DX10 compatible notebook for around $1400 with warranty, I just took the plunge. I generally try to budget about that much every 3-4 years. I spent as much on my Gateway (AMD 64 / Radeon 9600), which I would still be using for another year or two had the laptop not been a lemon.
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Old 12-19-07, 10:46 PM   #9
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Ya know that's the price of a decent bike, right?

*shakes head at you* Man. Where are your priorities???
I put almost that exact amount into my Lemond just over a year ago! And I just put a new Yakima rack on my Outback! I have priorities dammit!!!

(keep in mind I'm also selling my Cannondale frame this week)

I would like a new mtb and a new snowboard. But I can wait on those since I am moving to Texas in a month. What I might end up buying instead is a whitewater kayak which can be used in Texas, after the storms hit. I sold my ancient WaveSport Godzilla this spring and I've been aching to get a new boat ever since.
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Old 12-20-07, 10:58 AM   #10
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Nice specs on the notebook. Where'd you order it from?
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Old 12-20-07, 11:01 AM   #11
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No, but I was thinking Orange Box or Bioshock. I don't play a lot of games but there are usually a few shooters that I get into. I figure why not put the money I would spend on a gaming console into my computer instead? Then I can benefit from the hardware in other ways.

I was originally looking for laptops around $1000, but when I saw you could get a solid DX10 compatible notebook for around $1400 with warranty, I just took the plunge. I generally try to budget about that much every 3-4 years. I spent as much on my Gateway (AMD 64 / Radeon 9600), which I would still be using for another year or two had the laptop not been a lemon.
Come and play TF2 with me.
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Old 12-20-07, 03:01 PM   #12
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I am missing the BLING!!!
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Old 12-20-07, 04:07 PM   #13
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Nice specs on the notebook. Where'd you order it from?
powernotebooks.com

They have a very cheesy website but their reputation is solid. You have to look under Sager np2090 or powerpro J 10:15. Powerpro J (their in-house brand) is cheaper, comes with more options and includes the warranty. Another option is xoticpc.com which sells the Sager.

Gentech.com and Btotech.com both have good reputations and very competitive prices on customizable Asus machines. It was very difficult to turn down the Asus C90. It is a huge desktop replacement notebook with all kinds of fans and zero battery life, but it allows you to upgrade everything including the GPU which means you could probably keep the thing current for five or six years.

If you're into assembling them yourself zipzoomfly.com is the way to go I guess.
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Old 12-20-07, 04:08 PM   #14
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Come and play TF2 with me.
I can't wait! <3 TFC
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Old 12-20-07, 04:48 PM   #15
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powernotebooks.com

They have a very cheesy website but their reputation is solid. You have to look under Sager np2090 or powerpro J 10:15. Powerpro J (their in-house brand) is cheaper, comes with more options and includes the warranty. Another option is xoticpc.com which sells the Sager.

Gentech.com and Btotech.com both have good reputations and very competitive prices on customizable Asus machines. It was very difficult to turn down the Asus C90. It is a huge desktop replacement notebook with all kinds of fans and zero battery life, but it allows you to upgrade everything including the GPU which means you could probably keep the thing current for five or six years.

If you're into assembling them yourself zipzoomfly.com is the way to go I guess.

How did you hear about these guys? How do the manage to build such an inexpensive machine for you. My laptop similarly spec'd is about $700 more then yours, though it does include mobile data.
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Old 12-20-07, 05:21 PM   #16
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Geez, I didn't even know it was possible (and easy and common) to build one's own laptop nowadays. Had I known that a year or so ago, I may not have bought the crummy Compaq that I did. That thing was compromise on top of compromise, due to the assumption that prebuilt was still the only available option.

Oh well, I paid for my ignorance when it started falling apart very quickly.
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Old 12-20-07, 08:10 PM   #17
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How did you hear about these guys? How do the manage to build such an inexpensive machine for you. My laptop similarly spec'd is about $700 more then yours, though it does include mobile data.
I think the four companies I mentioned do a lot of business, and they compete with each other. They maintain an active presence on forums like notebookreview.com and have a loyal following. Oh, I ordered mine without an operating system too, so that saved me $100 or so. But also keep in mind that I get a 3 year warranty thrown in as well. If you're really curious you can just phone them or email them. Their sales staff is only three or four deep and they kind of have that friendly small shop feel when you talk to them.

There are a few others out there that will build a customized rig for you, but they will charge custom prices instead of passing the savings on.

Like x, I was kind of fed up with the standard choices, especially since a lot of laptops have gone with the crummy intel video accelerator to save money on production costs. Somehow I found out that Apple laptops are manufactured by Asus and I began shopping Asus computers which are less expensive. Asus had a list of resellers and I began to visit each one, eventually coming across the custom laptop phenomena.

In fact a lot of the major manufacturers actually do the same thing except they rebrand them. For example, my Gateway is a rebranded Arima. Alienware and a few others came out with different laptops built on the same chassis.
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Old 12-20-07, 08:26 PM   #18
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Does it run crysis ;P.
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Old 12-20-07, 09:22 PM   #19
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Nice and congrats on selling the frame. Get what you wanted for it?
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Old 12-20-07, 09:34 PM   #20
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Nice and congrats on selling the frame. Get what you wanted for it?
No, no, it's on ebay right now. Stop by my auction and ask me a question so I look all legit!
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Old 12-20-07, 09:35 PM   #21
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Does it run crysis ;P.
Yes!
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Old 12-20-07, 09:54 PM   #22
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No, no, it's on ebay right now. Stop by my auction and ask me a question so I look all legit!
Sure I ask you a question, but what kind of questions can you ask about a frame?
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Old 12-21-07, 02:46 AM   #23
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Ask me something about shipping?
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Old 12-21-07, 12:07 PM   #24
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I think the four companies I mentioned do a lot of business, and they compete with each other. They maintain an active presence on forums like notebookreview.com and have a loyal following. Oh, I ordered mine without an operating system too, so that saved me $100 or so. But also keep in mind that I get a 3 year warranty thrown in as well. If you're really curious you can just phone them or email them. Their sales staff is only three or four deep and they kind of have that friendly small shop feel when you talk to them.

There are a few others out there that will build a customized rig for you, but they will charge custom prices instead of passing the savings on.

Like x, I was kind of fed up with the standard choices, especially since a lot of laptops have gone with the crummy intel video accelerator to save money on production costs. Somehow I found out that Apple laptops are manufactured by Asus and I began shopping Asus computers which are less expensive. Asus had a list of resellers and I began to visit each one, eventually coming across the custom laptop phenomena.

In fact a lot of the major manufacturers actually do the same thing except they rebrand them. For example, my Gateway is a rebranded Arima. Alienware and a few others came out with different laptops built on the same chassis.
Very interesting, how is the battery life on your system?

What made you pick them over say, Dell?

For a personal computer I might check these guys out, for years I've been buying Dell. Largely for the support and warranty.
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Old 12-21-07, 04:51 PM   #25
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Very interesting, how is the battery life on your system?

What made you pick them over say, Dell?

For a personal computer I might check these guys out, for years I've been buying Dell. Largely for the support and warranty.
It comes with a 9 cell battery that gives between 3-5 hrs. depending how hard you're running. It's built on the Santa Rosa platform which relatively efficient all things considered.

I chose these guys mainly because they were offering better machines and more customizability for lower prices. I just couldn't come close to the same performance, reliability and component options with HP, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, etc. Like I said, you can buy an Asus that's the equivalent of a mac book pro for nearly half the price.

Also, when you buy their in-house brand, instead of the Sager (same exact chassis minus the brand name), they throw in a 3-year warranty with a lifetime of free tech support. It seems too good to be true but they check out reputation-wise, as do the other outfits I listed above.
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