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buzmeg
07-24-2010, 06:28 PM
I've never owned a laptop or for that matter have never even used one. That being said, I'm looking to purchase one and I tend to over shop and over analyze whenever I venture into an unknown area.

I'm looking for recommendations on something relatively inexpensive. I'm not interested in a netbook.

My requirements:
Hard drive as large as I can afford.
A DVD/CD RW installed.
Good battery life
Multiple USB ports.
Wireless connectivity built in.

Andy Freeland
07-24-2010, 07:21 PM
I spend a lot of time on sites like slickdeals and bensbargains. I'll let you know if I see anything cool. What is your price range?

BuckeyeRidley
07-24-2010, 07:48 PM
Best Wishes Buz!!

I suggest taking your reasonable time but I recommend a Sony VAIO.

It's a major purchase so I'd also recommend checking reviews online and seeing how Consumer Reports measured brands against each other.

---Or ask Andy for one of his! LOL! JJ!

GoBigOrGoHome
07-24-2010, 08:12 PM
If you are going with a Windows based system, avoid Vista like the plague. Most cumbersome operating system since Windows '95. Better to reach back in time for an XP machine or bite the bullet & get Windows 7. Everyone I know who has 7 really likes it.

Andy Freeland
07-24-2010, 08:15 PM
I didn't have a problem with vista, but win7 is definitely better, especially for a laptop.

GoBigOrGoHome
07-24-2010, 08:18 PM
Vista is probably OK for a serious computer jock. For us mere mortals, not so much.

BuckeyeRidley
07-24-2010, 08:23 PM
Windows 7 seems like an Awesome Choice. A Windows Upgrade that people agree with. I've seen Sony Style carry them & equip them in VAIOs.

FessJL0861
07-24-2010, 08:27 PM
Yeah I'm not a computer whiz, but Vista was a frickin' nightmare and 7 has been money. Vista=Jamarcus Russell (big build-up bigger letdown), 7-Aaron Rodgers (not alot of initial love, supremely lauded now).

GoBigOrGoHome
07-24-2010, 08:31 PM
Way to keep it about football. Fair assessment, IMO. I love how Vista has the "User Account Control" that asks for permission to allow Microsoft Windows Vista to open Microsoft Outlook. Dumbest damn thing about it.

Andy Freeland
07-24-2010, 08:32 PM
I still prefer dos 3.3, which is why my 1TB drive has 30,000 partitions.

Tinindian
07-24-2010, 08:37 PM
I still have a couple of pieces of machinery that run on 5.1.

I have Vista on my desktop at home and on a Toshiba laptop. I have never had any issues with the operating system on either.

buzmeg
07-24-2010, 09:53 PM
I spend a lot of time on sites like slickdeals and bensbargains. I'll let you know if I see anything cool. What is your price range?

Since it's going to be secondary to my desktop, I'm looking at something under $500.

bluestree
07-24-2010, 10:16 PM
I've had good luck with my dell notebooks. Haven't even caught fire.

Colts01
07-24-2010, 11:18 PM
I've had good luck with my dell notebooks. Haven't even caught fire.
A good quality to have in a computer!;)

DaBearsFan
07-24-2010, 11:20 PM
I've had good luck with my dell notebooks. Haven't even caught fire.

My Dell just died, but it was after 4 years of good use and I had very few complaints with it so a Dell is a good way to go. In looking for a new computer to replace said Dell, I found a good deal on a Compaq Presario. I can get you the specs if you'd like (just have to find them first) but so far, I've had no problems with it. Runs great, no problems in the first month of having it.

Pattrick
07-24-2010, 11:54 PM
vaio all the way. never had any problems with mine,

StarvinMarvin
07-25-2010, 12:03 AM
Count me as another DOS fan Andy... and least it worked, usually. As for laptops, I have an afinity for HP's. My 3 kids all have/had Vaio's and they were all POS gear imho. To each his own. In the long run, if ya find one with the features you need at your price point?... it's a decent deal.

Wordsworth
07-25-2010, 03:42 PM
I've never owned a laptop or for that matter have never even used one. That being said, I'm looking to purchase one and I tend to over shop and over analyze whenever I venture into an unknown area.

I'm looking for recommendations on something relatively inexpensive. I'm not interested in a netbook.

My requirements:
Hard drive as large as I can afford.
A DVD/CD RW installed.
Good battery life
Multiple USB ports.
Wireless connectivity built in.

If you weren't concerned with the DVD drive a netbook has all of those features. I just bought one in January and it is fantastic. It has a 1.7Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM, a 250gb hard drive, 3 USB ports, built-in wireless, and a battery life of 7+ hours per charge. Plus it weighs less than 3 pounds. It has been one of the best pieces of electronics I've ever bought, you should truly consider one. Mine is Asus brand, but HP, Gateway, and Acer all make quality models with varying specs.

I don't know about you but I rarely use anything on disc with my computer anymore. Everything is either downloaded or put on a flash drive.

buzmeg
07-25-2010, 04:08 PM
If you weren't concerned with the DVD drive a netbook has all of those features. I just bought one in January and it is fantastic. It has a 1.7Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM, a 250gb hard drive, 3 USB ports, built-in wireless, and a battery life of 7+ hours per charge. Plus it weighs less than 3 pounds. It has been one of the best pieces of electronics I've ever bought, you should truly consider one. Mine is Asus brand, but HP, Gateway, and Acer all make quality models with varying specs.

I don't know about you but I rarely use anything on disc with my computer anymore. Everything is either downloaded or put on a flash drive.

How about watching movies or loading software?

bluestree
07-25-2010, 04:52 PM
I still prefer dos 3.3, which is why my 1TB drive has 30,000 partitions.

I had an older toshiba laptop running Windows 98 that had crashed and I couldn't find the recovery disc. I ran msconfig and started farting around and yada yada I accidently erased the command that ran the cd-rom drive. When I found the recovery disc I couldn't do anything with it because the cd-rom wouldn't work. I looked all over the net and couldn't find the command line to type into autoexec.bat or whatever so I let it sit a few years. Decided I should do something with it so I took it to a local computer repair store and explained to the tech the problem and he said he didn't understand. So I repeated myself and said I knew what to do, but didn't know how to write the command in ms-dos. He gave me a blank stare, and went and got the owner. I told my story again and the owner of the computer repair shop said " What is ms-dos?" I kid you not!

bluestree
07-25-2010, 04:54 PM
How about watching movies or loading software?

Yeah, good point. I have software that requires a DVD drive to load.

Andy Freeland
07-25-2010, 07:08 PM
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Acer-15.6-Aspire-AS5251-1513-Netbook-PC-with-AMD-V-Series-Processor-Webcam-HDMI-Output-and-Windows-7-Home-Premium/14904290?dest=9999999997&sourceid=33159589870202465800&wmlspartner=lw9MynSeamY

Acer with 2MB ram, 250gb HD, 2.2ghz process, windows 7 for $298 from Walmart. Underpowered but decent system for a great price. Hurry if you want one, they won't last long.

Or if you don't mind spending a few bucks more:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+Satellite+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174;+Pentium%26%23174;+Processor+/+15.6%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+320GB+Hard+Drive+-+Black/1084741.p?skuId=1084741&ref=10&loc=01&id=1218217783969

Toshiba with 4MB, 350gb, 2.3 ghz, win 7 for $399 from best buy. Only 2 usb vs 3 for the Acer, but the Toshiba is the better machine, worth the $100 in my opinion.

buzmeg
07-25-2010, 07:57 PM
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Acer-15.6-Aspire-AS5251-1513-Netbook-PC-with-AMD-V-Series-Processor-Webcam-HDMI-Output-and-Windows-7-Home-Premium/14904290?dest=9999999997&sourceid=33159589870202465800&wmlspartner=lw9MynSeamY

Acer with 2MB ram, 250gb HD, 2.2ghz process, windows 7 for $298 from Walmart. Underpowered but decent system for a great price. Hurry if you want one, they won't last long.

Or if you don't mind spending a few bucks more:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Toshiba+-+Satellite+Laptop+/+Intel%26%23174;+Pentium%26%23174;+Processor+/+15.6%22+Display+/+4GB+Memory+/+320GB+Hard+Drive+-+Black/1084741.p?skuId=1084741&ref=10&loc=01&id=1218217783969

Toshiba with 4MB, 350gb, 2.3 ghz, win 7 for $399 from best buy. Only 2 usb vs 3 for the Acer, but the Toshiba is the better machine, worth the $100 in my opinion.

Thanks Andy, I'll check them out tomorrow in person.
BTW: The BestBuy link gives back an error.

Andy Freeland
07-25-2010, 08:10 PM
Thanks Andy, I'll check them out tomorrow in person.
BTW: The BestBuy link gives back an error.

So it does. Try the link in SD http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=71879&t=2146118

DannyMilk
07-26-2010, 02:05 AM
I'm not a computer guy, so I won't give my advice...but a site I like is http://www.newegg.com

GoBigOrGoHome
07-26-2010, 12:54 PM
If you want any support after purchase, stay away from Acer. My son has an Acer. The only 'support' they offer (and this is for even the smallest of issues) is to tell you that you need to reformat your hard drive (which causes all your data to become inaccessible).

Toshiba machines are very nice. Definitely worth the extra $100.

JUMPAROUND
07-26-2010, 02:07 PM
Last July I purchased a Dell Studio Laptop.
4 gb memory
320 gb hard drive
720p 15.6" monitor
HDMI video output

Got mine for about $750. This thing is a beast. The HDMI port allows me to play 720p high definition movies to my 46" flat screen seamlessly. The 4 GB of memory is a must. Hard drive prices continue to fall, so I would guess you could a 400 or 500 gb hard drive for the same price I got my 320 gb hard drive. I went Dell and have nothing but good things to say. Dell.com would be the place to go, if you looking for a machine that can do everything multimedia wise.

Resdog154
07-26-2010, 06:51 PM
I've had really great luck with ASUS I bought about a year and a half ago for $600. At the time it was definietly the most bang for the buck (memory & graphics capability were much higher than machines twice as expensive). I'm sure you could find something in your price range that covers your needs. Best Buy is where I bought it - I found better deals in the store than online as far as Best Buy was concerned. Plus there is nothing quite as satisfying as cash and carry!

FessJL0861
07-26-2010, 07:52 PM
My 5 year old Dell crashed before Christmas and I caught a Toshiba Satellite on sale at Best Buy. I love the bigger screen and full keyboard. It is a bit clunky, but I am very impressed.

gatlin4331
07-28-2010, 05:31 PM
The sony is good but I actually prefer the new i5 intel sold by dell good battery life and doesn't overheat. You get what you pay for so save if you can and get the best you can afford. Good luck.

HiloVulcan
07-28-2010, 07:08 PM
I would stay away from Acer in general, not just because of the lack of support on the back end, but because of the questionable build and vendors they outsource parts to. Under 500 is really tough for a laptop. IMO, that's probably a bit unreasonable if you want something decent. I own an new Inspiron 1564 with 10 touch numeric keypad, HD 720p on a 15.6 in screen. i5 processor with a 500 gb @ 7200 rpm/4gb RAM plus a dedicated graphics card with 1GB memory. 3 USB ports with 1 HDMI and a Blu-Ray combo drive. When I built it through the manufacturer a few months ago I paid a little more than a grand for it. You may be able to get one now for less than that if you take out the blu ray, or smaller harddrive or one at a slower rpm (but beware, those will fail faster than one with a higher rpm) and that kind of stuff. Plus they're always running specials. And I believe the 1545 has a more cost effective base price.

I would allocate out at least 750 bucks. All the Vaio recommendations come with a hefty price tag, and no one I know has been happy with theirs long term. Keyboards fall apart, harddrives corrupt after a year and a half or two etc.

buzmeg
07-31-2010, 01:22 PM
Thanks guys, for all your input. I found a great deal at my local Sam's Club and made a purchase.

brauneyz
07-31-2010, 01:38 PM
Thanks guys, for all your input. I found a great deal at my local Sam's Club and made a purchase.

So ....? Don't keep us hangin', man. What did you get? Like it so far? Yeah, this is a football forum, but clearly after 4 pages of comments you can see the interest.

Disclaimer: My trusty old desktop is acting funky this AM so I have a vested interest in the news to making the switch. Thx.

buzmeg
07-31-2010, 02:37 PM
So ....? Don't keep us hangin', man. What did you get? Like it so far? Yeah, this is a football forum, but clearly after 4 pages of comments you can see the interest.

Disclaimer: My trusty old desktop is acting funky this AM so I have a vested interest in the news to making the switch. Thx.

Thanks for asking. I bought an HP G71-448CL.

Here's the specs:


Processor and Memory:
Intel® Celeron® processor 900
2.20GHz processor speed
1MB cache
2GB DDR2 system memory (2 DIMM)
Accessible memory slots: 2

Hard Drive and Multimedia Drives:
250GB (7200RPM) SATA hard drive
LightScribe SuperMulti 8X DVD±R/RW with double layer support

Audio, Video, and Graphics:
Altec Lansing speakers
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M (shared) with up to 797MB total available graphics memory

Connectivity:
Integrated 10/100BASE-T Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 connector)
Wireless LAN 802.11b/g/n WLAN
High speed 56k modem

Ports/Slots:
5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader for Secure Digital cards, MultiMedia cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, or xD Picture cards
3 USB 2.0
1 Headphone out
1 microphone-in
1 VGA (15-pin)
1 RJ-11(Modem)
1 RJ-45(LAN)
HDMI

Keyboard, Pointing Device and Display:
101-key compatible with full size keyboard with integrated numeric keypad
Touch Pad with On/Off button and dedicated vertical Scroll Up/Down pad
17.3" Diagonal HD+ LED HP BrightView widescreen display (1600x900)
Webcam with integrated microphone

Here's the good part. It was an open box display model that was priced at $499. The battery was missing, but I bought it for $265. and purchased a battery on eBay for $39. Total cost with tax $324.

So far, so good!

Andy Freeland
07-31-2010, 02:40 PM
That's a good machine, but a really good price. You might want to see if you can go to 4GB Ram eventually, but overall you got a good deal.

buzmeg
07-31-2010, 04:00 PM
That's a good machine, but a really good price. You might want to see if you can go to 4GB Ram eventually, but overall you got a good deal.

Thanks, for your input, Andy.

BayouBoys
08-02-2010, 03:34 AM
I saw someone say they use their HDMI port to put their computer screen onto their tv screen. How much does that wire cost because I'm really looking forward to doing that. I spent the weekend at a friend's place and he had this set up on his big screen. After that I decided I have no idea why I am not doing this with my lap top especially if I can get a wireless keyboard (will that work with a laptop?) and a wireless mouse!

GoBigOrGoHome
08-02-2010, 10:44 AM
I saw someone say they use their HDMI port to put their computer screen onto their tv screen. How much does that wire cost because I'm really looking forward to doing that. I spent the weekend at a friend's place and he had this set up on his big screen. After that I decided I have no idea why I am not doing this with my lap top especially if I can get a wireless keyboard (will that work with a laptop?) and a wireless mouse!

If you go to ebay, you could get a 10 ft. HDMI (get a high quality one -- it's worth the extra $$) and a wireless keyboard/mouse for $40-60. I use the HDMI port on my laptop to stream Netflix movies to my TV. Picture quality is better thatn DVDs.

JUMPAROUND
08-02-2010, 05:32 PM
I saw someone say they use their HDMI port to put their computer screen onto their tv screen. How much does that wire cost because I'm really looking forward to doing that. I spent the weekend at a friend's place and he had this set up on his big screen. After that I decided I have no idea why I am not doing this with my lap top especially if I can get a wireless keyboard (will that work with a laptop?) and a wireless mouse!

The system that I have now is pretty slick. Like I said I have a year old Dell Studio Laptop. 4gb memory, 320gb hard drive, 720p 15.6" monitor. I download 720p quality hd movies and stream them onto my 46" lcd tv using a HDMI cord. I connect my surround sound to my laptop using a 3.5mm head phone to audio/video cord (this is only audio since I run the video through the HDMI port). Streaming movies at this high of resolution seamlessly uses ALL of the memory I have. If I ever have another program running at the same time while playing the movie, it tends to skip and is super annoying. I found that it plays the best when I: Have the A/C adapter plugged in, turn off my wireless adapter, all other programs off and windows sidebar off. I also usually restart the computer before playing a movie. None of these things matter when playing regular definition video files, but the quality when it plays perfect in 720p is well worth it.

If anyone has questions about this type of setup, I would be happy to answer them..I've spent many hours perfecting it.

GoBigOrGoHome
08-03-2010, 12:00 AM
The system that I have now is pretty slick. Like I said I have a year old Dell Studio Laptop. 4gb memory, 320gb hard drive, 720p 15.6" monitor. I download 720p quality hd movies and stream them onto my 46" lcd tv using a HDMI cord. I connect my surround sound to my laptop using a 3.5mm head phone to audio/video cord (this is only audio since I run the video through the HDMI port). Streaming movies at this high of resolution seamlessly uses ALL of the memory I have. If I ever have another program running at the same time while playing the movie, it tends to skip and is super annoying. I found that it plays the best when I: Have the A/C adapter plugged in, turn off my wireless adapter, all other programs off and windows sidebar off. I also usually restart the computer before playing a movie. None of these things matter when playing regular definition video files, but the quality when it plays perfect in 720p is well worth it.

If anyone has questions about this type of setup, I would be happy to answer them..I've spent many hours perfecting it.

You might be out-foxing yourself, here. HDMI sends both video and sound to your TV. Run the audio feed from the TV to the sound system. That will ease the burden on your CPU and will streamline the overall feed and be less taxing on your computer.

Andy Freeland
08-03-2010, 01:09 AM
You might be out-foxing yourself, here. HDMI sends both video and sound to your TV. Run the audio feed from the TV to the sound system. That will ease the burden on your CPU and will streamline the overall feed and be less taxing on your computer.

I'm not sure how much that would help the CPU, but it would make a huge difference in the quality of the sound. Using a headphone jack means that you are going from digital to analog and you aren't getting dolby 7.1, just straight stereo. Since both your laptop and tv have hdmi you can stay digital straight through, assuming you have either hdmi or, more likely, digital coax to your stereo.

For those looking to save a little money I've had good luck with this: http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Play-Media-Player-Black/dp/B002MCZJ3C
the Asus O!Play. It's not as good as a dedicated home theater pc, but is great for someone who doesn't want to spend that much money or effort. It will play pretty much any media type from a window share or attached USB. The remote is pretty bad and the menus are a little clunky, but for the price it's pretty cool.