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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 30247 2-Feb-2009 18:42
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I am in the process of buying a laptop for school purposes. Mainly I need it for wireless internet, and a word processor, but I also like to do alot of photoshopping also. I started off wanting a 17 inch screen but am coming to realize that a smaller screen might not be such a bad idea, school wise. I am trying to stay under $700.00 so I can bump up my warranty on whatever I buy. If someone could look at these specs (fi there is that big of differance in processors & graphics) and tell me what they think I should do that would be great.


Dell Studio 15: Intell Core 2 Duo T5800 (2.0GHz)
                      4GB RAM
                      320GB memory
                      256MB ATI Radeon HD3450
                      15inch True-Life widescreen
                      $679.00

HP dv7-1245dx (Best Buy): AMD Turion X2 RM-70 Dual Core (2.1GHz)
                                       4GB RAM
                                       320GB memory
                                       ATI Radeon HD 3200 Graphics RS780M
                                       17inch WXGA HD widescreen with Brightview
                                       $699.00

Asus X83Vb-X2 (Best Buy): Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 (2.0GHz)
                                       4GB RAM
                                       350GB memory   
                                       NVIDIA GeForce 9300M GS (512MB)                 
                                       14.1 Widescreen
                                       $679.99

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  Reply # 193488 2-Feb-2009 19:03
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If I was going the laptop way I would go for a smaller screen, even a 15.4 seems big these days and I am sure Asus is building better laptops than what it used to.

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  Reply # 193491 2-Feb-2009 19:09
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Unless of course you want a good desktop replacement. I have a huge Acer laptop that is faster than lots of desktops - but it won't leave the house so heavy it is. When I travel or go out I take a HP tablet PC.

If you want a brand I recommend HP and Dell. Of course you have to check which models meet your requirements.





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 193494 2-Feb-2009 19:21
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Where are you getting these prices from?
Seem too cheap to be real (In New Zealand at least)




Jordan, Auckland University.
“Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” - Paul Rand




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 193495 2-Feb-2009 19:22
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I was leaning towards the Dell untill the guy at Best Buy showed me the Asus. He made it seem like its graphics card was alot better than the others. How does each pracessor and graphics card stand up to one another?



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 193496 2-Feb-2009 19:24
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I got the prices from Best Buy.com

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  Reply # 193497 2-Feb-2009 19:25
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wrath524: I was leaning towards the Dell untill the guy at Best Buy showed me the Asus. He made it seem like its graphics card was alot better than the others. How does each pracessor and graphics card stand up to one another?


Best Buy, is this In Aussie?




Jordan, Auckland University.
“Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” - Paul Rand


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  Reply # 193498 2-Feb-2009 19:28
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Best Buy in the U.S.

I wouldn't think the two ATI video cards would be much different in the Dell and HP machines.




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  Reply # 193499 2-Feb-2009 19:31
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Oh wow that is great pricing compared to NZ.
What would be the things to worry about? (Charger?)




Jordan, Auckland University.
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  Reply # 193502 2-Feb-2009 19:38
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Going very off topic but just for an instant... No, you wouldn't have to worry about the chargers. Just get a new power cord when using those laptops in New Zealand or Australia.

I just received a HP Mini Mi this morning, coming directly from the U.S. for review and I just plugged it. The same with other laptops I've received before.





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  Reply # 193504 2-Feb-2009 19:42
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I used to recommend Toshiba, but their quality doesn't seem to be what it once was, and the pricing is getting silly. I'm quite impressed by the current models of HP machines, and the amount of stuff on their support site is quite amazing. I haven't used any of the current crop of Dell or IBM machines so I couldn't comment there, the last Dell I had was a 1Ghz system which was solid at least! :)



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  Reply # 193505 2-Feb-2009 19:42
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I would personally pick the Hp Or Dell, 14.1" I think is too small these days. 17" could get annoying taking to school each morning, but could be good for Photo editing.

Wow thats good to know, cheers




Jordan, Auckland University.
“Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” - Paul Rand


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Reply # 193553 2-Feb-2009 23:06
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Yatey: Oh wow that is great pricing compared to NZ.
What would be the things to worry about? (Charger?)


I'd worry about the exchange rate, fine for this particular poster who is in the US, but NZ$1 = US$0.49 - take all those prices and times by 2.

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  Reply # 193554 2-Feb-2009 23:06
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I've had positive experiences with both Dell and HP.

Dell D series laptops do very well in my opinion, they use quadro cards for graphics.
Consider the D630.


HP's tend to be somewhat more expensive but look better I think.

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  Reply # 193559 2-Feb-2009 23:28
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stevenz: I used to recommend Toshiba, but their quality doesn't seem to be what it once was, and the pricing is getting silly. I'm quite impressed by the current models of HP machines, and the amount of stuff on their support site is quite amazing. I haven't used any of the current crop of Dell or IBM machines so I couldn't comment there, the last Dell I had was a 1Ghz system which was solid at least! :)


I'd always bought toshiba in the past but they had a bad run with motherboards a few years back so the last few i've bought were HP's.  My own HP has, in the past 3 years, had virtually every component replaced except for the LCS panel and the actual CPU.  Gotta love the 3yr warranty though!

I have also have some friends that fix HPs, Toshibas and Apples and the word is that failures are a lot less common in the last couple of years - they are typically more reliable than they ever were (of course they are just as afraid of a hot cup of coffee as they ever were though!).

I dislike IBM's because they put the Fn key where the Ctrl key should be, so i'd probably never buy one based on that minor 'feature'.

Dells used to have a great reputation but i get the feeling thats not the case anymore.

If you're buying as a school machine then check with the school first as many of them have contracts with laptop companies to buy certain models at pretty decent prices and you may be able to buy one through them.




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  Reply # 193561 2-Feb-2009 23:33
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Regs:  My own HP has, in the past 3 years, had virtually every component replaced except for the LCS panel and the actual CPU.  Gotta love the 3yr warranty though!


Here I was thinking that I put my HP through too much torture! My experience pretty much mirrors yours with my last HP (completely agree about the warranty).

I'm having trouble with the onboard NIC of my current HP laptop, hope this isn't deja vu.


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