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377 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 23285 24-Jun-2008 17:55
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Hey guys

I am going back to studies again in a few weeks and want to get a laptop (because I like to study not only at one place with my current desktop Computer) Just wanting to know if anyone knows of any good Laptops for under $1,000.00

Cheers

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  Reply # 140239 24-Jun-2008 18:17
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There are plenty of laptops under $1000 that are "good" - it really just depends what your requirements are.

If you're just wanting a basic unit for using word or web browsing then a $599 laptop is perfectly adequate.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 140246 24-Jun-2008 18:36
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Oh ok, I mainly want it for word, processing and Toastmasters.
Is a Dell laptop a good one? because they got one that is $899.99 or something like that

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 140272 24-Jun-2008 19:30
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Get something with Windows XP, not Vista, as in that price range, with Vista, it will just crawl. Doesn't really matter what brand you get, sub-$1000 full size notebooks are all full of compromises and low-spec parts.

Personally I would be buying a Compaq, or an Acer, maxing it out with RAM, and blowing away the factory XP install and starting from scratch with a clean install from Microsoft media.




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  Reply # 140275 24-Jun-2008 19:38
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Don't forget that most sub-$1000 laptops don't come with any software, or if they do it will only be a trial version. Factor in about $250 for a copy of MS office Student and Teacher edition, but keep your eyes out for any bundles, DSE sometimes do these for example, get a laptop and get a free copy of office/antivirus etc etc




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  Reply # 140277 24-Jun-2008 19:38
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tonyhughes: Get something with Windows XP, not Vista, as in that price range, with Vista, it will just crawl. Doesn't really matter what brand you get, sub-$1000 full size notebooks are all full of compromises and low-spec parts.

Personally I would be buying a Compaq, or an Acer, maxing it out with RAM, and blowing away the factory XP install and starting from scratch with a clean install from Microsoft media.

It's hard to find a good XP laptop now a days, just get a simple Vista Home Basic laptop under $1000, wipe it clean and install XP.

I've got a $900 Compaq laptop from last March - still going strong! (with XP and an extra 512MB of RAM)




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  Reply # 140305 24-Jun-2008 20:51
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manhinli: ... get a simple Vista Home Basic laptop under $1000, wipe it clean and install XP. ...

Here's something which saves having to do it yourself.

XP Professional downgrade rights:
http://www1.ap.dell.com/content/learnmore/learnmore.aspx?c=nz&l=en&s=bsd&~id=hmc_os_vostro_xp&~lt=popup&~series=vostro

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  Reply # 140306 24-Jun-2008 20:57
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lapimate:
manhinli: ... get a simple Vista Home Basic laptop under $1000, wipe it clean and install XP. ...

Here's something which saves having to do it yourself.

XP Professional downgrade rights:
http://www1.ap.dell.com/content/learnmore/learnmore.aspx?c=nz&l=en&s=bsd&~id=hmc_os_vostro_xp&~lt=popup&~series=vostro

But don't you have to pay more for the license? (from a Vista Home Basic laptop)




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  Reply # 140344 24-Jun-2008 23:09
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manhinli: ... But don't you have to pay more for the license? (from a Vista Home Basic laptop)

Some it is explicit, some it seems to be factored in, eg:
http://dellstore04.dell.com.au/public/cart/configurator.jsp?prd_id=644553&sr_no=3
- but would you not have to pay (or have paid previously) for XP otherwise?

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  Reply # 140513 25-Jun-2008 17:13
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manhinli:
tonyhughes: Get something with Windows XP, not Vista, as in that price range, with Vista, it will just crawl. Doesn't really matter what brand you get, sub-$1000 full size notebooks are all full of compromises and low-spec parts.

Personally I would be buying a Compaq, or an Acer, maxing it out with RAM, and blowing away the factory XP install and starting from scratch with a clean install from Microsoft media.

It's hard to find a good XP laptop now a days, just get a simple Vista Home Basic laptop under $1000, wipe it clean and install XP.

I've got a $900 Compaq laptop from last March - still going strong! (with XP and an extra 512MB of RAM)

Research drivers first however.
I had to do a decent amount of hunting with a vista basic compaq laptop, to get the right audio driver. Compaq had none listed and i had to try different versions made for other laptops until i got one that worked. Even then it shows an annoying volume bar which will minimise any fullscreen application you have open, whereas the vista equivilents don't.
Pushing for the $1200 price point however i believe is worth it, as with that you can get 1gb+ ram (nowdays 2gb even) and a dual core processor, sometimes with a fairly okay nvidia chip also or something.
Sub $1000 laptops tend to be a lot worse, ive seen $900 ones with only 512mb of ram and usually they have single core processors. Not sure exactly what its like now though.
I know its out of your range but i think $1500 gives the best bang for your buck in terms of overall performance.

Also Pricespy.co.nz is your friend.

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  Reply # 140518 25-Jun-2008 17:38
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eXDee:
manhinli:
tonyhughes: Get something with Windows XP, not Vista, as in that price range, with Vista, it will just crawl. Doesn't really matter what brand you get, sub-$1000 full size notebooks are all full of compromises and low-spec parts.

Personally I would be buying a Compaq, or an Acer, maxing it out with RAM, and blowing away the factory XP install and starting from scratch with a clean install from Microsoft media.

It's hard to find a good XP laptop now a days, just get a simple Vista Home Basic laptop under $1000, wipe it clean and install XP.

I've got a $900 Compaq laptop from last March - still going strong! (with XP and an extra 512MB of RAM)

Research drivers first however.
I had to do a decent amount of hunting with a vista basic compaq laptop, to get the right audio driver. Compaq had none listed and i had to try different versions made for other laptops until i got one that worked. Even then it shows an annoying volume bar which will minimise any fullscreen application you have open, whereas the vista equivilents don't.
Pushing for the $1200 price point however i believe is worth it, as with that you can get 1gb+ ram (nowdays 2gb even) and a dual core processor, sometimes with a fairly okay nvidia chip also or something.
Sub $1000 laptops tend to be a lot worse, ive seen $900 ones with only 512mb of ram and usually they have single core processors. Not sure exactly what its like now though.
I know its out of your range but i think $1500 gives the best bang for your buck in terms of overall performance.

Also Pricespy.co.nz is your friend.

You're right about the drivers - it took me 2 months (not continuously, but stuff like wireless networking came later as I didn't have a wireless router,) but I got there in the end. I've now archived these for later (I wipe my computer clean every year!)

Thankfully, my laptop was used PATA rather than SATA... which saved me a whole lot of time!

Some cheaper (and I mean useless) dual-core laptops (like Pentium Dual Core) can be seen in specials for $900 (sometimes after cashback and/or similar promotions). So if you need a little more grunt, a $1200-$1500 should be enough, but as I'm also a plain student after some basic computer which can last me for a while, my laptop was fine back then.

Here's my laptop which I bought in March 2007:

Compaq Presario F503AU
AMD Turion64 2GHz (single core)
80GB HDD
512MB RAM (+512MB RAM extra for $29)
DVD-DL+/-RW drive
15.4" monitor
NVIDIA graphics (GeForce Go 6100)

$900 (on special)

As for the annoying volume indicator, I like it, as I can see what the volume is when changing. You can Google for some removal tips.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 140524 25-Jun-2008 17:59
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Dick Smith are selling a Toshiba A210 Laptop for $1000 right now (this includes $100 cashback), with a temporary discount of $200 (that's not including the cashback).  I've chosen this to purchase in the next week or two, after doing a bit of research.  You can read a review of this at http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4158 

One thing that I had problems with when choosing a laptop was the touchpad - many laptops (all Acers it seems, a lot of HP's as well plus the occasional Toshiba) have the touchpad at the same height as the palm rests.  Being a touch typist, I rest my palms on the palm rests and when the touchpad is flush with the palmrests the mouse pointer dances around the screen.  At the least very distracting, at the worst it will move the editing cursor when you are typing, as I have read about in other reviews at that site.  Whatever you buy, rest your palms on the touchpad and pretend to touch type and see if the pointer likes to dance.

Dick Smith have an extended warranty for $220 for this laptop, if you can afford it I'd recommend it, also upgrade the memory when you can afford it to 3GB for $120 there too. 

I've found that in this price bracket, it's the faults that differentiate each laptop, rather than features.  Excepting faults, laptops in the $900-$1300 range are much of a muchness.



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  Reply # 140542 25-Jun-2008 18:39
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wow thanks for everyones suggestions, I thought that Vista was good because can't you download a service pack for Vista? and my old teacher said that Vista is good unless it's installed with the service pack or something (I had done a IT course but yeah wont go there)

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  Reply # 140546 25-Jun-2008 18:51
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patrickstarr: I thought that Vista was good because can't you download a service pack for Vista? and my old teacher said that Vista is good unless it's installed with the service pack or something

Paraphrase: Its good because you can download a service pack / its good unless the service pack is installed ............. ??

The two statements are contradictory. If service packs are the measure of an OS, then please buy Microsoft Windows 2000, it has more service packs than any other desktop OS from Microsoft.

Vista with SP1 is still going to crawl on a low spec machine as badly as Vista RTM does.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 140547 25-Jun-2008 18:55
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Service packs are generally good things, they include all of the security updates since the release of the software, bug fixes and other stuff. Most are uncontroversial but Windows XP service pack 2 (2004) have security updates that stopped a lot of software working, and delayed the release of Vista for about 6 months as programmers helped out on the service pack. Generally they come 1 year after the release of a Windows operating system, then about 1-2 years after that.  You can also get service packs for large pieces of software (Office, programming suites etc).

Vista service pack 1 was released in either Feb or April this year, I think, so your laptop may not have it.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 140548 25-Jun-2008 18:57
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Oh ok, it's just that he said that it's good if you got Purchased Vista and then once the service pack is out it's all good but from what I've read he might not be right about that then.

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