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 01-15-2007, 23:05 Post: 138837
hardwood

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 New Laptop

I an quite aware we are trying to get TP back to a more tractor oriented board, but we all are communicating with each other by computers, so here goes. This relic I'm using has something going wrong, the disc drive has gone from a gentle humm to more of a rock crusher sound so I think it's time to head to the computer store, I would like a laptop to be able to take it along on week ends. I'm barely computer literate enough to E-mail, get tons of information from company websites, print things of interest, and that is about it, I don't know a giga bite from a mosquito bite. I looked in the Sunday paper, all the big stores have laptops from 350. to 2500. what do I need for the things I do?






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 01-15-2007, 23:23 Post: 138838
kwschumm



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 New Laptop

Here's my long winded opinion. I have a five year old Dell Inspiron 4000 that is a 1.3 gHz Pentium 4 (older processor) with 512MB of memory. I don't play games or much streaming video but do just about everything else with this computer, including software development, and it works just fine for me. I think most people just have to have the latest and end up overbuying for their needs. You can easily pay double to get an extra 20-30% in performance, so there is definitely a sweet spot of price/performance. What I'd recommend first is to get a name brand machine that has decent support - Dell, HP/Compaq, Lenovo, etc. You probably don't need a dual-core processor. I'd recommend a processor the 1.5-1.8 gHz range. AMD or Intel will work, AMD is a bit less expensive but Intel tends to be a bit more compatible. Don't spend a bunch extra for fancy video but do get a nice display. Get at least 512MB of memory, I'd recommend 1GB if you can swing it. Maybe an 80 gig hard drive. Are you on dial-up? You'll need a built-in modem or at least a real serial port (harder to find on notebooks these days). Here's the wildcard - the new Microsoft OS called Vista is imminent and it will require more processor power, more video, better video, etc. Do you need it? My opinion is no, it will be a few years before it takes over the market. I'm still using Windows 2000 and it works just fine. You can spend a lot more to run Vista now and my opinion is five years from now you might end up buying a new machine all over again anyway.






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 01-16-2007, 05:14 Post: 138841
hardwood

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KW; Thanks for your reply. Yes we are on a dialup, and I'm assuming that at the motels that offer free internet hookup I will be able to plug the wire at the motel into a laptop and e-mail. etc. just like I was home, please correct me on my assumptions, because I really don't know. I have no need to print things when we are on the road, we only go away for two or three days at a time anyway. One of our sons did tell me to check how my hands fit the keyboard before I buy anything, guess I would'nt have thought of that either. I go into the hospital on Wednesday morning for a couple days of minor sugery, and Doc. says I will be fully mobile when I come home but not to do anything heavy for a week or so, so I thought computer shopping might pass the time and still accomplish something. Thank's again. Frank.






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 01-16-2007, 05:55 Post: 138842
AV8R



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 New Laptop

Frank, most laptops now have a "wireless" internet capability. While traveling (staying at hotels) most places will have a wireless hookup available. Its very easy to do, the computor does it itself.

For use at home a laptop is fine, I would suggest getting a mouse to use in addition to what ever "touch pad" or similar the laptop come with built in.






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 01-16-2007, 08:57 Post: 138852
Oliver



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 New Laptop

I just bought a laptop -- a Dell 1405. I wanted a small, very mobile laptiop to bring to and from work. But, I really don't like the laptop keyboard. What I did was buy a docking station. Now, my printer, Internet connection, regular keyboard and mouse can be plugged in with just a single connection via a USB port. When I want to go, I unplug one connection (and the power cord) and I am off. This set-up works great for me






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 01-16-2007, 09:08 Post: 138853
kthompson



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 New Laptop

hardwood, what Oliver did works well for me also. My only suggestion is be sure to see the laptop working. My dell has a very fine setting for the screen (1280 X 800 pixels) and it is a bear to read some things. Dell does not allow any options on the settings for my model. This is a problem for me on some web sites. Yes, verified it with their to me terrible customer service.






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 01-16-2007, 09:19 Post: 138855
yooperpete



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I chose the Sony Vaio route which is available through Circuit City and Best Buy stores. Mine has the big screen (16"Wink yeah right. My particular model of the Vaio series is more powerful than you need but has been very reliable over the past couple of years. I do engineering drawing with it and take it everywhere I go. It may be a little more bulky than some but the picture sure is nice and you can watch DVD's too when you are traveling.

Dell's have always been known to be good, but they got under my skin on my last PC purchase. I vented on a previous post about them. With a direct purchase like a Dell and others, you can't touch and feel 'em first.

I don't feel that you need that big of a hard drive as Ken has indicated unless you are doing allot of extra stuff. A 30 GB hard drive would seem ok to me for your needs.






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 01-16-2007, 09:28 Post: 138856
DennisCTB

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If you are going to have just one machine the docking station (about $75) is terrific. I have one for my Lenovo IBM Thinkpad, have a keyboard and 19" flat screen monitor ($288) hooked up to it. I am much faster on a regular keyboard and mouse and the LCD monitor is easy on the eyes.

I have had about 6 Toshiba laptops, which had alot of problems with the screens. Since I switched to the Thinkpads I have had no problems. The Thinkpad is targeted more for business customers rather than retail. I always thought they were stodgy and overpriced, but after having 2 of them with no problem and heavy use, I am going to stick with them.

A laptop always lags desktops in performance, and desktops are more durable and repairable. I consider having a laptop a must though, we have 4 laptops and one desktop computer in the house, so I guess we are computer centric this house Wink yeah right

Many hotels have ethernet wired connections as well as wireless broadband connectiviy, but most of them charge a fee of $9.95 per day, though some percentage include it for free, or its free if you are a points member. Dialup from a hotel is expensive as hotels usually charge onerous rates to guests, unless you have 800 dialup access.

If you really don't know much anout computers some of the wireless connections can be challenging. I go through this every time I talk to my brother about computers, I tell him how easy it is, and he tells me how it just ain't working on his end.

Years ago I was giving instructions to someone over the phone about how to access a system. I told him exactly what to type, and it just wasn't working. Turns out when I said to type in your userid, space, then password, he literally typed the word S P A C E as well, too funny. Easy for me not so easy for you.

When I get involved with technology and my brother he usually wants to toss the technology in the garbage, and or blows up into the incredible HULK!

Anyway have fun Laughing out loud.

Dennis






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 01-16-2007, 20:31 Post: 138878
cutter



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My last "work" laptop was a Dell; it was preceded by two Compacs, one good and one a POS. I liked that machine and it was very easy to plug a remote keyboard and mouse into it when traveling. So I had the docking station at my desk and the extra stuff I carried in my vehicle, made life easier on the hands when typing.

Not being a laptop expert myself I am not certain if my opinion can help you but I was in the Mac store last weekend and they have some really nice looking machines in there. Price seemed decent too. You may want to take a look at the Apple site.

My newest machine is due to be handed over to me tomorrow, but I am not sure what it is but most likely a Dell. I have a Dell 8200 here at home which has been OK but the company upset me over other issues so I will not buy another one. I plan on trying a Mac.






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 01-17-2007, 21:44 Post: 138892
cutter



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Man was I mistaken. I was handed a custom-built Nexlink laptop, additional Blue Tooth mouse and keyboard and a new Linksys wireless router to network at home. I must have moved up on the food chain.






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