AOA Forums AOA Forums AOA Forums Folding For Team 45 AOA Files Home Front Page Become an AOA Subscriber! UserCP Calendar Memberlist FAQ Search Forum Home


Go Back   AOA Forums > Hardware > General Hardware Discussion

General Hardware Discussion Hard drives, CD, DVD Monitors, All hardware questions not better served by our other Topics


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 19th May, 2004, 04:45 PM
DigitalKnight's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: October 2003
Location: Jefferson City, MO, USA
Posts: 99

Laptop Questions

Hey all,

I'm thinking about getting a laptop computer for classes, and I don't know much about moble computing. If anyone has any advice on the subject, of any kind, I would love to hear it.

Thanks.
__________________
No matter how big you are, there are always bigger fish...

Main Rig: - Down
Proc: P4 2.66 Ghz Mobo: MSI MS-6701 RAM: 768 Mb DDR333 Video Card: GeForce4 Ti 4200 OS: Windows XP SP2 / Mandrake Linux 9.0
Laptop:
Proc: P4 3.06 Ghz RAM: 1280 Mb DDR400 Video Card: ATI Radion Mobility 9000 OS: Windows XP SP2

AOA Team fah
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 19th May, 2004, 05:30 PM
Chief Systems Administrator
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

What do you want to do with it? Laptops make big tradeoffs, typically between battery life and performance. If you want performance, then battery life will tend to be on the short side.
__________________
Any views, thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. They don't necessarily represent those of my employer (BlackBerry).
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 19th May, 2004, 05:50 PM
FluffyChicken's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: September 2003
Location: Wales
Posts: 89

Current CPU's to look for in a laptop (I assume you don't want a desktop replacement so battery life and weight are of more importance) are the Pentium-M and the Athlon64's, you'll most probably find the Pentium-M under the branding Centrino.

Your budget will be a deciding factor as well.

To get ideas, http://www1.us.dell.com/content/prod...=19&l=en&s=dhs Inspiron 300/600m
and maybe here for a wider range
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/sh...omize_start.do
Links purely so you can get a feel for what they are like.


Also get decent accidental damage insurance cover (either from the vendor or elsewhere) they come in very handy.
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 19th May, 2004, 06:00 PM
Member/Contributor/Resident Crystal Ball
 
Join Date: March 2004
Posts: 7,451

if you are using it for only taking notes..and not gaming....a centrino 1.3 would suit you real nice, and i just picked one up(sony) for under a 1000 US. took some shopping around, but it seems to be reliable. alot of laptops trickle through my hands through work, and unless it's going to be gaming that you use it for as well, even a thin 1000mhz would do you ok, and not cost too much either.
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 19th May, 2004, 07:28 PM
DigitalKnight's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: October 2003
Location: Jefferson City, MO, USA
Posts: 99

While note taking is going to be part of what the laptop is going to be doing, I will also be using this laptop for coding, and to interface with both the schools wireless network and my capstone project. And if I could get one that could play some RTS games between classes that would be a bonus. Weight is not a huge consideration, as it would only be a small fraction of the normal load I carry from class to class (40+ lb U.S.). Battery life in the range of 5 - 7 hours would be nice, but I can get power in a number of places on campus so that is secondary.

I am looking for something like a Toshiba Satellite Pro M15-S405, which starts out around $1340.
__________________
No matter how big you are, there are always bigger fish...

Main Rig: - Down
Proc: P4 2.66 Ghz Mobo: MSI MS-6701 RAM: 768 Mb DDR333 Video Card: GeForce4 Ti 4200 OS: Windows XP SP2 / Mandrake Linux 9.0
Laptop:
Proc: P4 3.06 Ghz RAM: 1280 Mb DDR400 Video Card: ATI Radion Mobility 9000 OS: Windows XP SP2

AOA Team fah
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 19th May, 2004, 08:12 PM
Member/Contributor/Resident Crystal Ball
 
Join Date: March 2004
Posts: 7,451

you could build you own laptop for fairly cheaper...asus is selling latop shells with mobo and dvd-rw
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 19th May, 2004, 08:16 PM
Chief Systems Administrator
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

If you're using it for anything more than note taking, you're not going to get 5 - 7 hours of battery life with a single battery. I've generally found that running the CPU flat out will reduce the battery life to somewhere between a 1/4 to 1/2 of it's 'normal' capacity.

Coding generally requires a high resolution screen, and the Toshiba you were looking at can only manage 1024x768. Whilst that can suffice, obviously I don't know what IDE you're working in, and how well it'll manage in that resolution.

All Centrino laptops use the same wireless card (It's part of the Centrino name), which will provide your basic 802.11b wireless connection.
__________________
Any views, thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. They don't necessarily represent those of my employer (BlackBerry).
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 19th May, 2004, 08:50 PM
DigitalKnight's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: October 2003
Location: Jefferson City, MO, USA
Posts: 99

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadaveca
you could build you own laptop for fairly cheaper...asus is selling latop shells with mobo and dvd-rw
cadaveca:
Do you have a link to Asus about building your own laptop? I would be interested in that.

Áedán:
I did not know that laptop battery life was that bad, maybe my 5 - 7 hours was more then a bit optomistic. I plan on running XP as my OS, and MS Visual Studio for coding (I have a free copy from my CECS department.) I'll have to weigh screen resolution a bit more in the future.
__________________
No matter how big you are, there are always bigger fish...

Main Rig: - Down
Proc: P4 2.66 Ghz Mobo: MSI MS-6701 RAM: 768 Mb DDR333 Video Card: GeForce4 Ti 4200 OS: Windows XP SP2 / Mandrake Linux 9.0
Laptop:
Proc: P4 3.06 Ghz RAM: 1280 Mb DDR400 Video Card: ATI Radion Mobility 9000 OS: Windows XP SP2

AOA Team fah
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 19th May, 2004, 09:21 PM
Member/Contributor/Resident Crystal Ball
 
Join Date: March 2004
Posts: 7,451

http://www.agearnotebooks.com/
just a store i found..i know nothing about the store itself.
i can pick up the laptop parts @ a local pc store (BCOM)
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 20th May, 2004, 09:36 AM
FluffyChicken's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: September 2003
Location: Wales
Posts: 89

It is only the Gamaing that will alter a decision here, imho.
As that's the only thing where a graphics chipset has to be thought about, the Dell Inspiron 8600 would be a general gaming choice (for example), you get the ATI 9600 mobile or the GeForceFX 5200Go standard. rather than the build in Intel type.

I have a 2 year old PIII-m 1GHz and web browsing, wors, programming (.NET 2003) are all handled very well.
As you are programming I would recommend getting a higher resolution screen, I have a 1400x1050, the 15" + er will be 1600x1200 or whatever the wide screen equivalent are.
The text is smaller, but as your not far away from the screen and LCD have very sharp text I can tell you the extra 'space' is a god send when programming.
You can always switch to large font etc as well

The Pentium-M (Centrino brand) will do everything the P4-m will do, for what you want with a lot better battery requirments. Just buy with Wi-Fi (if it Centrino branded you have it anyway ) Get a second battery and use two at one if it's capable of it.
Make sure you get at least 512MB of ram. That will not just make it nicer to use, but should extend your battery life as the Harddrive doesn't get used so much.
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 22nd May, 2004, 11:00 PM
stigweed's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: August 2002
Location: Somerset. U.K.
Posts: 868

I'm thinking about buying a laptop for uni as well since it is a hassle bringing my rig each term.

Thing is, my uncle has this perfect little notbook from Dell. It's only like a P3 or something. Probably about 12-13 inches wide and really thin. He managed to get it when they were selling off old stock at his work for about £300.

For me size is the priority and it just impossible to find a compact notebook for a decent price these days because the emphasis is on the cpu speed and spangly features. A 1GHz machine with a 10gig hard drive, CDRW (poss DVD),256MB ram, 10/100, modem could be squeezed into a really small form factor these days but they don't exist -the low speed would allow for longer battery life as well and would do everything your average businessman / me, student needs. I HATE fat laptops (most seem to be 1.5inches+ thick unless you head towards £2000).

And don't even get me started on teh whole £1=$1 pricing policy, when its getting closer to £1=$1.8 (yes that means europeans are getting screwed over).

Edit: OK, so I just looked at those ASUS ones and they 13 inchers dont seem a bad size or speed or price. Just that by the time you get them shipped to the UK there's 17.5% on top of the exchange rate. Still they come to around £850 which isnt bad, to buy here they would be £1k+ I'm sure. Just need to buy a power adapter then....I get the feeling that once I get back home and have a job for the summer, my credit card is going to take a hit...

edit again: they come with autoswitching euro/us voltage adapters. Can't wait to get home now
__________________
We never should have stuck our heads out of the grass in Africa.

AOA Team fah

Last edited by stigweed; 22nd May, 2004 at 11:09 PM.
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 23rd May, 2004, 10:59 AM
FluffyChicken's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: September 2003
Location: Wales
Posts: 89

You'll find the ASUS Laptop's under a few different names over here.
which I cannot remember properly but Acer/Tecra rings a bell

As for ASUS UK
http://uk.asus.com/products/notebook/nbindex.htm
pricelist on the left




OR

you could show off and blow all your money on one of these
http://www.evesham.com/PCs/Info.asp?...A-2BBE3474260A
__________________
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 23rd May, 2004, 10:13 PM
dolanenwindrift's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: February 2003
Posts: 499

I'm going to toss my two cents in here: I'm not a fan of Dell laptops, I used to support them and in fact for a while I worked for IBM doing onsite repairs of Dell laptops and desktops. Remember Dell's 'award-winning service'? They hired IBM to do their service calls. In any case, I was not impressed with Dell's durability or quality. For reliability and durability, IBM or Toshiba laptops are IMHO the better choice.
__________________
Dolanen

AOA Team fah
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 23rd May, 2004, 11:01 PM
Chief Systems Administrator
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

Just as long as it's not an IBM T30. Dead hard disks and failing memory slots appear to be the order of the day on them.
__________________
Any views, thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. They don't necessarily represent those of my employer (BlackBerry).
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 24th May, 2004, 06:59 PM
dolanenwindrift's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: February 2003
Posts: 499

There was in fact a large problem with the Hard drives in the T20 through T-30 laptops - specifically the Hitachi made hard drives. Never ran into the failing memory slot problem myself, may have been model specific. IBM makes a good laptop but far too pricey for one to just carry to class - if price is more important than longevity Dell or Gateway is probably the right way to go, or just look around for a used one. I still use an old 266 mhz PII IBM laptop at times - damn thing simply won't die!
__________________
Dolanen

AOA Team fah
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 24th May, 2004, 09:41 PM
Chief Systems Administrator
 
Join Date: September 2001
Location: Europe
Posts: 13,075

It would appear that as many as 30% of the T30 laptops we have (including some that are less than 7 months old) have problems with both hard disks and memory slots. I couldn't tell you the model numbers unfortunately.

The memory slot problem is a known manufacturing issue that IBM has admitted to.
__________________
Any views, thoughts and opinions are entirely my own. They don't necessarily represent those of my employer (BlackBerry).
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Has anyone seen my laptop? Daniel ~ Data Security 2 21st February, 2007 09:16 PM
LAptop without OS stigweed General Hardware Discussion 9 13th September, 2003 03:03 PM
Which laptop should I get? Alphawolf829 Intel Motherboards & CPUs 3 26th December, 2002 09:01 AM
couple quick questions (laptop and a vid card) CeleryMan General Hardware Discussion 10 14th December, 2002 11:35 PM


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:21 PM.


Copyright ©2001 - 2010, AOA Forums
Don't Click Here Don't Click Here Either

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0