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H20skeefreek
11-09-2005, 09:05 PM
hey guys, I'm thinking about getting me a laptop and i've never had one before.

if I want to hook up a real monitor/keyboard/mouse, do I need some sort of docking station or should there be enough connections on the comp? I'll be keeping the desktop computer for now, but if it craps out, i'd like to be able to hook up without any problems.

Leroy
11-09-2005, 09:19 PM
H20skeefreek;

You'll need a docking station or keyboard/mouse with USB interface. On every PC I'm aware of there are USB connectors and a video connector for a monitor.

bigmac
11-09-2005, 09:31 PM
hey guys, I'm thinking about getting me a laptop and i've never had one before.

if I want to hook up a real monitor/keyboard/mouse, do I need some sort of docking station or should there be enough connections on the comp? I'll be keeping the desktop computer for now, but if it craps out, i'd like to be able to hook up without any problems.If you get a laptop with a VGA connector and USB ports, you wouldn't need a docking station. You can plug your monitor, USB keyboard and USB mouse directly into the computer. The docking station isn't the only way to do it, just the most convenient.

RickDV
11-09-2005, 09:59 PM
Something to consider is the the number of USB ports on the laptop. Many models will have only 2 USB ports. If you use these for a mouse and keyboard you have nothing left for connecting your digital camera, memory stick, printer, etc. Pay attention to how many USB ports are on the laptop.

A docking station or port replicator is very convenient and often will provide additional USB ports. It can also reduce the cable strain on the jacks from frequent plugging and unplugging.

Some port replicators come with their own power supplies and some require you to use the power supply that comes with the laptop. I recommend getting one with the power supply so you can keep one in the laptop bag all the time. It is a hassle re-running the power supply cord every time you go portable and every time you return to the desk.

Good luck on your hunt.

ShawnE
11-09-2005, 10:02 PM
I just bought my son a Dell Inspiron 9300 off the Dell site. Wait for the discounts and you can get a great deal. If possible use the student discounts as well. This laptop has plenty of power and is built quite rugged. Put out the extra cash and put XP Pro on it and bump the ram to a gig and you can most all tasks.

happy hunting.

BriEOD
11-09-2005, 10:17 PM
If possible use the student discounts as well.


Could you please elaborate on this. Is their a link, info, etc. I did a search on the Dell site and didn't see anything. Thanks.

milkmania
11-09-2005, 10:25 PM
I just bought my son a Dell Inspiron 9300 off the Dell site. Wait for the discounts and you can get a great deal. If possible use the student discounts as well. This laptop has plenty of power and is built quite rugged. Put out the extra cash and put XP Pro on it and bump the ram to a gig and you can most all tasks.

happy hunting.

I just got my Dell circular in the mail today......

VERY tempting

I'll be using MY XP Pro;)

milkmania
11-09-2005, 10:26 PM
Could you please elaborate on this. Is their a link, info, etc. I did a search on the Dell site and didn't see anything. Thanks.

I would assume he's talking about the Microsoft Student/Teacher discounts:confused:

google "microsoft student select"

OhioX14
11-09-2005, 10:51 PM
The docking station isn't the only way to do it, just the most convenient.

I agree with this 100%. Assuming the laptop has enough USB ports, you could get away without a docking station or port replicator. With that said, I wouldn't be without one, or have one without its own power supply. They're just way too convienient.

I've always purchased the Dell Latitude's which are their business class model's. Supposedly their MTBF (mean time before failure) spec is much higher. I'm not sure how much truth is in this but I can say they've been bullet proof for us and for my brother's company who have at least 200 of them deployed.

Just my two cents.... :) :)

bigmac
11-09-2005, 11:07 PM
I agree with this 100%. Assuming the laptop has enough USB ports, you could get away without a docking station or port replicator. With that said, I wouldn't be without one, or have one without its own power supply. They're just way too convienient.

I've always purchased the Dell Latitude's which are their business class model's. Supposedly their MTBF (mean time before failure) spec is much higher. I'm not sure how much truth is in this but I can say they've been bullet proof for us and for my brother's company who have at least 200 of them deployed.

Just my two cents.... :) :)

I have had, and currently have many laptops. Mostly Latitudes, a few Inspirons. Latitudes and Inspirons are equally well-built and have the same failure rate. The difference is that the specs on the Latitude series are held more constant so business IT managers don't have a wide variety of peripherals etc that they have to support.

If you go Dell, one thing I do recommend is buying the machine through their small business division, and make sure you get their three year on-site support. When that's bought through the business division (Latitude or Inspiron) it's pretty cost-effective AND, your support personnel are located on THIS continent. My partners and I have had occasion to use Dell's on-site upport on a number of occasions over the years. I've had repair techs come to my office, my home, and even hotels on the road. Now, you may ask, "if Dell's so great, how come they needs so much service support". Good question. Suffice it to say, I currently use an IBM X-40 and IT has been utterly reliable.

Cloaked
11-09-2005, 11:10 PM
IBM X-40 is an excellent machine. We use them exclusively at work.

Cloaked
11-09-2005, 11:10 PM
IBM X-40 is an excellent machine. We use them exclusively at work.

bigmac
11-09-2005, 11:14 PM
IBM X-40 is an excellent machine. We use them exclusively at work.

You can say THAT again...


:D

I've been getting little unresponsive glitches from TMC all evening too...

H20skeefreek
11-10-2005, 09:18 AM
well, I just ordered me an inexpensive Dell Inpsiron Laptop. Using your input, based on the fact that it has 3 usb ports, I did not get the docking station yet. I couldn't see purchasing a $100+ docking station on a $500 computer. With 3 usb ports and a usb expansion hub, i should have no problem adding a full size keyboard and mouse and the free printer (don't need it, I'll sell for $40). it also has a monitor port, so adding my 17" flat screen won't be a problem.

I got the wireless network card, but forgot to order the wireless router. I should be able to add a wireless router to my DSL system without any problems right? I think I can just add the router to my DSL modem and have no problems right?

Leroy
11-10-2005, 09:44 AM
Good job H2O!

Yes, just get a wireless router/hub and install it into your DSL modem. Also, no need to pay the service provider for multiple PC's either. I have a wireless 4 port and it handles Xbox live, 2 wireless PC's and two PC's connected via ethernet. Only pay SBC for one PC $29.99/month.

Danimal
11-10-2005, 09:49 AM
Ben's Bargains (http://bensbargains.net/) usually has some good online coupons to use towards your Dell purchase. He has other good deals on computing stuff also.

H20skeefreek
11-10-2005, 09:51 AM
Ben's Bargains (http://bensbargains.net/) usually has some good online coupons to use towards your Dell purchase. He has other good deals on computing stuff also.
lol, since i've already placed the order, I don't think I'll look at that link. I may check him out for accessories later though, thanks!

mitch
11-10-2005, 09:53 AM
I have had, and currently have many laptops. Mostly Latitudes, a few Inspirons. Latitudes and Inspirons are equally well-built and have the same failure rate. The difference is that the specs on the Latitude series are held more constant so business IT managers don't have a wide variety of peripherals etc that they have to support.

If you go Dell, one thing I do recommend is buying the machine through their small business division, and make sure you get their three year on-site support. When that's bought through the business division (Latitude or Inspiron) it's pretty cost-effective AND, your support personnel are located on THIS continent. My partners and I have had occasion to use Dell's on-site upport on a number of occasions over the years. I've had repair techs come to my office, my home, and even hotels on the road. Now, you may ask, "if Dell's so great, how come they needs so much service support". Good question. Suffice it to say, I currently use an IBM X-40 and IT has been utterly reliable.


Huge fan of the Thinkpad. I'm on my 4th (T40), and we're running 3 in our house right now. ZERO tech support calls, and ZERO issues. Nuff said. I know IBM does not own it anymore, but they're built to last.

Danimal
11-10-2005, 09:54 AM
Oops.. sorry. I guess I should read the thread more carefully. It's still a good place to pick up more RAM and better vid and sound cards though. Good luck with your Dell. My first computer was a Dell and it was very good to me. I splurged on my last computer and got an Alienware (http://www.alienware.com/). A little over priced but it just a speed demon and work horse.

H20skeefreek
11-10-2005, 10:04 AM
really all I needed was a basic machine for running a ton of spreadsheets and orgainzing data, and of course surfing team talk, so I figured the $500 Dell was the way to go. My desktop is a Dell that I've had for 2.5 years and still runs great (need to update my virus protection though, think I've got some kinda bug) previous computer was a Comcrap Presario. What a junk
!

east tx skier
11-10-2005, 11:28 AM
Could you please elaborate on this. Is their a link, info, etc. I did a search on the Dell site and didn't see anything. Thanks.

You can also get govt. employee discounts of about 12% (at least when we bought ours) from Dell.