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Leroy
07-15-2007, 12:19 AM
Oldest son is headed to college, and we are looking for a laptop for him.

Looks like features now are, 2048MB DDR2 memory, ~200GB hard drive, DVD/CD read/write, wireless, webcam and microphone, 15.4" screen, and vista home premium.

Seems like this is running $700-$850. Anyone see any bargains or things to watch out for? We get the Microsoft Office software for free from the university. Dell, HP, and Toshiba all seem to have something similar in that range.

Did you know if you get special USB flash stick, Vista will use it just like DDR2 memory? Sales guy said we could buy 4GB special flash stick and that adds to the DDR memory when you plug it in.

Hoosier Bob
07-15-2007, 12:20 AM
Try PT's and if you cannot find a good Lap there go to the Harem House across the street!:o

Maristar210
07-15-2007, 12:31 AM
http://www.apple.com/macbook/macbook.html

bcampbe7
07-15-2007, 12:35 AM
It looks like you have everything pretty much covered.
One thing I would recommend is to look at www.dell.com for your requirements to see what kind of prices they are offering.

I would also stay away from Windows Vista. I have heard more complaints about it there not being drivers available for certain peripherals as well as it being a major resource hog. Stick with Windows XP. ;)

bigmac
07-15-2007, 12:43 AM
Did you know if you get special USB flash stick, Vista will use it just like DDR2 memory? Sales guy said we could buy 4GB special flash stick and that adds to the DDR memory when you plug it in.Well, that's sort of true in that Vista's memory-caching scheme ("ReadyBoost") will allow using any flash memory in a USB socket as additional cache space. It's basically a variation of virtual memory schemes that virtually all OS's have been using for the last decade. But, it's nothing like DDR2 RAM. That RAM's advantage is speed and throughput. Off-chip memory caching is good in some applications but the data rate of non-volatile USB-based flash memory is pretty low. DDR2 will double-pump data at over 4 gigabits/second per DIMM, whereas the best you'll do with USB 2.0 is 420 megabits/second (minus overhead). It is a little better than using your hard drive for virtual memory, I agree.

This guy sounds like a pretty good salesman.


edit:

I agree with Beau about Vista. Drivers continue to be an issue. The other thing I'd mention is that a 15.4 WUXGA screen is beautiful, but usually only comes on a laptop that's kind of a behemoth for lugging around campus in a backpack. I know this from experience carrying laptops around on the road, and from my kids' own college experiences. Personally, I'd be looking at 13, or even 12 inch screens.

edit/edit:

I also agree with Steve. The MacBooks are amazing machines.

Leroy
07-15-2007, 01:06 AM
Good comments....its scary and fun sending your first off to college....

Bigmac
On the flash, it is some special memory, but I'm with you and doubt it's performance yet, I know the flash R/W cycles are really slow compared to RAM, I would like to see something technical on this.
We started at 17" and my work laptop is 14" screen, 55GB HDD, 1GB DDR and I am very happy, even running circuit and system similation tools.

Beau;
Vista seems to be the only thing out there unless you look at the close-out models from Egghead! I do like the media center, seen a good demo of that?
Just tonight we have an ad from Dell offering PC with these features for $769, before this I was not impressed with their prices

Steve;
We did look at a MAC and it was beautiful, but around $2k for these features and I could not understand any of the menus!

Bob!!!........thanks for the reminder, virus protection SW is provide by IU!

Time for bed...early out in the morning!

Workin' 4 Toys
07-15-2007, 01:38 AM
http://cgi.ebay.com/17-MacBook-Pro-Laptop-Duo-2-33GHz-2-GB-RAM-160Gig-HD_W0QQitemZ280134259625QQihZ018QQcategoryZ140065Q QrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem ???

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-15-Apple-Macbook-Pro-2-2-Core-2-Duo-FREE-IPOD_W0QQitemZ110148467240QQihZ001QQcategoryZ14006 5QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem ???

JimN
07-15-2007, 09:18 AM
Ask for the student discount on the computer now. Apple and most other brands do that if he's accepted, not just after he's in school and give a healthy discount on software. While he's in school, other software may have discounted prices, too. That way, if his dear, old dad needs any new stuff, he can get in on the deals.

What is he going to school for? That should determine what the requirements will be. Obviously, if he's not doing major crunching, he won't need the ultimate speed and HD capacity but for graphics and gaming (might be what he thinks he's in school for), he will.

Personally, I would wait on Vista. It's too new for me to want to be a Guinea Pig (first year user).

JimN
07-15-2007, 09:19 AM
Leroy- "Looks like features now are, 2048MB DDR2 memory, ~200GB hard drive, DVD/CD read/write, wireless, webcam and microphone, 15.4" screen, and vista home premium."

Holy crap! My desktop doesn't come close to that!

TMCNo1
07-15-2007, 09:25 AM
IIRC, Milkmania has posted in the past about www.tigerdirect.com in the past with some laptop deals. Not sure if they meet your needs, but I know he bought one and seems to be happy with it and you know what kind of IT guru he is.

uawaterskier
07-15-2007, 08:45 PM
I got a dell inspiron e1505 to take to college and have lots of complaints about it. First being that dell has sent me 2 chargers and both of them have broken. Second, I haven't had it a year yet and already the battery is shot in it. One thing that you should make sure it has is Bluetooth. Mine didn't have it and thats the only hardware complaint I have. As far as function, the machine is great. Its super fast compared to all of the other computers in our house. Dual Core is super speedy and I love being able to type notes in class. Another thing to look at is memory. I noticed where you said 200gb which should be plenty, but I filled my 50gb up 1 year easy. Hope this helps Justin

Farmer Ted
07-15-2007, 08:56 PM
I got a Dell Inspiron E1405 with XP for around $450,

you can still get Dell's with XP, look at the Small Business section in stead of the Home/Office

Leroy
07-15-2007, 09:36 PM
Thanks for the comments all!

WFT, the second one has bid up to $1975 now! Wow! Don't get me wrong I love MACs and IPODS and I'm sure I would love an IPhone or anything else Apple does!

Jim; He is undecided but taking courses for Pre Dental. and that machine is much more than my work PC! Way too much machine for now, but with any luck this should last ~4 years.

We ended up buying this HP Jason's PC (http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=184836&WT.mc_n=4&WT.mc_t=U&cm_ven=COMPARISON%20SHOPPING&cm_cat=GOOGLE&cm_pla=DATAFEED-%3ePRODUCTS&cm_ite=1%20PRODUCT&cm_keycode=4) from Circuit City, price was marked down $250 from $999, but when we went to buy it was listed as $699. Plus PC backpack, 4G USB flash and wireless mouse.

Among his friends they are all ranting about how neat Vista is. I played with it a little and lot of it is very similar to XP. THis son doesn't spend anytime on computers so it will be good for him to have something to play with. Middle son has had his own PC since he 8 or 9.

UAwaterskier, we looked at the Dell Inspiron 1521 for $769 and it looked pretty nice also.

JBaker
07-15-2007, 10:50 PM
http://www.apple.com/macbook/macbook.html

:friday: Cheers to that.

Also, he would get a discount and free iPod Nano.

parks_jr_55
07-15-2007, 11:29 PM
That was a good choice on the HP.... mine is very similar to that but was 1100 and is white instead of black.

I also will be taking Pre-Dental. Where is he going to school?

Workin' 4 Toys
07-16-2007, 12:38 AM
WFT, the second one has bid up to $1975 now! Wow! Don't get me wrong I love MACs and IPODS and I'm sure I would love an IPhone or anything else Apple does!
Sorry.............:o It wasn't near that when I posted it.
On occasion, some fleabayers would rather overpay than go to the store.

kurtr
07-16-2007, 12:43 AM
My daughter is working on her third year with a Gateway laptop she got for college and is happy with it so far. Alot of her friends with dells have had issues with the drives in them. We have dell laptops for work and have had a number of issues with them. Software loaded while in the docking station does not work properly with the hardware keys when the thing is not docked, didn't have this issue with the ibm the dell replaced. Try use the dell out in the cold during the winter and the thing takes 30 to 45 minutes to boot, again I didn't have the issues with the ibm it replaced.

Leroy
07-16-2007, 12:53 AM
He is going to Indiana University.

That was a good choice on the HP.... mine is very similar to that but was 1100 and is white instead of black.

I also will be taking Pre-Dental. Where is he going to school?

uawaterskier
07-16-2007, 12:55 AM
Thanks for the comments all!

WFT, the second one has bid up to $1975 now! Wow! Don't get me wrong I love MACs and IPODS and I'm sure I would love an IPhone or anything else Apple does!

Jim; He is undecided but taking courses for Pre Dental. and that machine is much more than my work PC! Way too much machine for now, but with any luck this should last ~4 years.

We ended up buying this HP Jason's PC (http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=184836&WT.mc_n=4&WT.mc_t=U&cm_ven=COMPARISON%20SHOPPING&cm_cat=GOOGLE&cm_pla=DATAFEED-%3ePRODUCTS&cm_ite=1%20PRODUCT&cm_keycode=4) from Circuit City, price was marked down $250 from $999, but when we went to buy it was listed as $699. Plus PC backpack, 4G USB flash and wireless mouse.

Among his friends they are all ranting about how neat Vista is. I played with it a little and lot of it is very similar to XP. THis son doesn't spend anytime on computers so it will be good for him to have something to play with. Middle son has had his own PC since he 8 or 9.

UAwaterskier, we looked at the Dell Inspiron 1521 for $769 and it looked pretty nice also.
it looks like you got a KILLER deal on a laptop. If he isn't a hardcore computer type it should do everything he needs it to and more. Plus Vista is pretty neat:cool:

edit:just noticed it has Lightscribe. Its a pretty cool feature that allows you to burn your cd labels onto the disc, thus they never come off or streak/make a mess, my new external DVD burner has it and is very useful.

Leroy
07-16-2007, 01:08 AM
The lightscribe sounded neat but takes more expensive disk true? Sales guy also said it takes ~30 minutes to do the scribing.

Is the graphics pretty good?

uawaterskier
07-16-2007, 09:10 AM
The lightscribe sounded neat but takes more expensive disk true? Sales guy also said it takes ~30 minutes to do the scribing.

Is the graphics pretty good?
no its pretty crappy on quality. If your serious about scribing you need to do it on the slowest time with the highest quality. Ive also heard you can re scribe a disc (run it more than once) but I personally haven't tried doing that yet.

mitch
07-19-2007, 09:11 AM
Leroy, Timely thread! I got a $200 Dell coupon from my daughters college, and when I apply it, the price goes up, at least on the Inspiron420. Seems you lose out on other better bundles when using it. Anyone have the 420? Comments? Thx!