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Help me pick a new laptop

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Sep 27, 2005
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Okay, so first of all sorry to y'all since this is the THIRD thread I open to ask stuff about laptops. Right now I pretty much picked the four models I'm the most interested in, in my price rance (that is ~€1200).

As with everything, all of them have their good points and drawbacks. Some are bigger and have less battery life but have more stuff packed in while others are lighter and have a longer battery life but less shit inside. So it's kind of a hard choice. Something important to note is that I'm not interested in PC gaming. I'm more interested in stuff such as hdmi/tv outs or bluetooth but they aren't musts.

So here they are:


Dell XPS M1330. Price: €1,216



Specs:

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7250 (2.00 GHz, 2 MB L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB)
Windows Vista® Home Premium original (32 bits)
Webcam 2 megapixels
CCFL Screen (220 nits) WXGA (1280 x 800) 13,3" UltraSharp™ w/TrueLife™
SDRAM DDR2 2048 MB @ 667 MHz double channel [2x1024]
HDD SATA de 120 GB (5.400 rpm)
nVidia® GeForce® 8400M GS, 128 MB
DVD+/-RW a 8x
6 cells Li-Ion battery (56 WHr)
HDMI out
Bluetooth Dell™ TrueMobile 355 (extra)
Intel® Pro Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g
Weight: 1.8 kg
Media remote control

+Light, slim
- Not that sexy, less powerful than the rest


HP Pavilion dv6597. Price: €1,199



Specs:

Microprocessor 2 GHz Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T7300 featuring Intel® Centrino® Duo processor technology
Microprocessor Cache 4 MB Level 2 cache
Memory 2048 MB (2 x 1024 MB)
Memory Max Up to 2 GB DDR2
Video Graphics NVIDIA® GeForce™ 8400M
Video Memory Up to 895 MB (128 MB dedicated)
Hard Drive 160 GB (5400 rpm)
Multimedia Drive Lightscribe Super Multi DVD Writer (+/-R +/-RW) with Double Layer support
Display 15.4” WXGA High Definition BrightView Widescreen (1280 x 800)
Fax/Modem High speed 56K modem
Network Card Ethernet 10/100BT integrated network interface
Wireless Connectivity Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g Integrated Wireless LAN

Bluetooth® wireless networking
Sound Altec Lansing® speakers

3D Sound Blaster Pro compatible sound 16 bit integrated
Keyboard 101 key compatible keyboard
Pointing Device Touch Pad with On/Off button and dedicated vertical Scroll Up/Down pad, volume control, mute buttons, 2 Quick Launch Buttons
PC Card Slots One ExpressCard/54 slot (also supports ExpressCard/34)

External Ports 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 HDMI connector
1 VGA port
1 RJ-11 modem connector
1 RJ-45 ethernet connector
S-video TV out
2 headphones-out
1 mic-in
1 IEEE 1394
remote control infrared port (w/remote control)
cable docking connector

Dimensions 35.70 cm (L) x 25.70 cm (W) x 2.54 cm (min H) / 3.96 cm (max H)
Weight 3.10 kg (6.87 lbs)
Power 90 W AC Power Adapter
6-cell Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery

+Lots of stuff, very sleek
-Heavy, somewhat big


Apple Macbook. Price: ~€1,199



Specs:

Microprocessor 2.16 GHz Intel® Core™ 2 Duo processor T7400 featuring Intel® Centrino® Duo processor technology
2 gigs RAM @ 667 (upgraded from 1gig)
Bluetooth
Wifi 802.11a/b/g + n
120 Gb HDD
13,3 1280x800 glossy screen
8x slot-loading SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
iSight Camera
Intel GMA 950 graphics processor with 64MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory
Apple Remote
MiniDVI-VGA adapter (extra)
Weight: 2.3 kg

Note: If you are a student and order before November -> Free iPod nano (mine died a while ago)

+MacOSX+Windows, sleek, the most powerful one, free iPod, great battery life (5-6 hrs)
-Lacking in some stuff such as video outs (svhs,hdmi), crappy gfx card, never used MacOSX really so don't know what to expect


Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21M. Price: ~€1,250



Specs:

CPU Intel Core 2 Duo
CPU clockrate 2GHz
Display 15,4"
Resolution 1280x800
HDD 200 GB
Spindle speed 5400 rpm
SSD No
Memory 2048 MB
Max. memory 4096 MB
GPU NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT
Dedicated GPU RAM Yes
· GPU RAM 256 MB
USB ports 3
FireWire ports 1
PC Card No
ExpressCard Yes
DVI No
HDMI ? Yes
S-Video Yes
BlueTooth Yes
WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n
LAN 100Base-TX
Optical drive Blu-ray
Mem. card reader
Weight 2,8 kg

+Packed of stuff, not that heavy, Bluray (even if i don't care that much), biggest HDD
-Less powerful than others, could be sleeker, no remote

Your comments will be very appreciated ;)
 

Lhadatt

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Jun 26, 2004
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The only one in that group I can recommend is the Macbook.

Stay away from XPS. The same factory making the Inspirons and Vostros makes the XPS systems, so the quality is likely crap. Get a Latitude - they're made by a different OEM and have higher quality standards.

EDIT: Oh, and Latitude is supported in North America. XPS is not.
 

Futureman

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You say the Dell is not sexy, but honestly I think it's the best looking one out of all those (unless you got the Black MacBook, which is a hot piece of ass).

Kind of a biased opinion, but I'd go with the MacBook just because I think OS X is a much nicer experience overall compared to Windows.
 

tokkun

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Jan 29, 2007
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There's no way a Dell and HP should cost you around the same as a Macbook or Vaio with similar specs. In the US at least, those are budget brands.

Also, I'd venture that the Mac is actually the least powerful one because of the Intel GMA950 graphics chip.

The biggest choice is what screen size is the most important. If you want 13.3", I'd pick the Mac over the Dell (unless graphics is important). If you want 15.4" pick the Sony over the HP.
 

Futureman

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tokkun said:
There's no way a Dell and HP should cost you around the same as a Macbook or Vaio with similar specs. In the US at least, those are budget brands.

Apple has consistently dropped their prices over the past few years, so that argument isn't so true anymore.

In the US, the Dell he has listed there starts at $1,299, while the US MacBook starts at $1,099.
 

tokkun

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Lhadatt said:
The only one in that group I can recommend is the Macbook.

Stay away from XPS. The same factory making the Inspirons and Vostros makes the XPS systems, so the quality is likely crap. Get a Latitude - they're made by a different OEM and have higher quality standards.

EDIT: Oh, and Latitude is supported in North America. XPS is not.

XPS is an enthusiast laptop. Latitude is business-class. They don't really target the same audience in terms of price and features.

Also, I don't know what you're talking about RE: XPS not being supported in North America...
 

tokkun

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Jan 29, 2007
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Futureman said:
Apple has consistently dropped their prices over the past few years, so that argument isn't so true anymore.

In the US, the Dell he has listed there starts at $1,299, while the US MacBook starts at $1,099.

Yeah, you hear that argument from Apple all the time, however no one with half a brain buys a Dell at list price. They are constantly offering deals of ~30% off using coupon codes.
 
Sep 27, 2005
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StrikerObi said:
If you are going for the Macbook for the love of god wait a few weeks. They are due for a refresh and all estimates point to Leopard launch or very shortly thereafter (my mid Nov).

That's the idea. I hope they announce them at the Leopard launch in late october. Else it'll suck cause I wanted to buy it before november to take advantage of the free iPod promotion :/ Thanks for the heads-up ;)
 

tedtropy

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Jun 10, 2004
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Futureman said:
Apple has consistently dropped their prices over the past few years, so that argument isn't so true anymore.

In the US, the Dell he has listed there starts at $1,299, while the US MacBook starts at $1,099.

The Dell also has a decent discrete graphics adaptor, HDMI port, weighs a little less, and considering the amount of discounts and coupon codes out there, you very rarely pay listed price for a Dell if you're willing to do five minutes of searching. I'm not saying the Macbook is a bad deal, and certainly if you're willing to give OS X a go it's your most economical option.
 

DrM

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Jun 6, 2004
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Bought Dell Inspiron 1520 last Saturday, and i have questions regarding battery.Otherwise, i'm very satisfied with this laptop. Battery is 9 cell Li-Ion.

1) Is it true, that constant charging up (for example: battery is on 50% and i connect my laptop to AC adaptor) can mess up battery life?
2) What is all the fuss about taking out main battery,when using AC adaptor for longer time periods?
 

Yixian

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StrikerObi said:
If you are going for the Macbook for the love of god wait a few weeks. They are due for a refresh and all estimates point to Leopard launch or very shortly thereafter (my mid Nov).

Correcto.

Get the MacBook, it's the perfect balance between power and form at that price.
 

Animal

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Not sick of windows and you don't care about what's popular: HP
Otherwise, get MacBook.

HP's new laptops are top quality stuff.
 

joedan

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Mar 26, 2007
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DrM said:
Bought Dell Inspiron 1520 last Saturday, and i have questions regarding battery.Otherwise, i'm very satisfied with this laptop. Battery is 9 cell Li-Ion.

1) Is it true, that constant charging up (for example: battery is on 50% and i connect my laptop to AC adaptor) can mess up battery life?
2) What is all the fuss about taking out main battery,when using AC adaptor for longer time periods?

can someone answer this.
 

vultureparade

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Jan 20, 2007
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The only bad things I can say about the Macbook are the glossy screen (personal preference) and the integrated graphics.

It's more than fast enough for surfing/word processing/light photoshop work, awesome for portability, the battery life is amazing, I doubt the wifi signal strength can be beat by any other laptop on the market.

It's already been said in the thread, but they are due for a refresh soon -- maybe November. That said, the refresh might be to aluminum enclosures -- this will most likely drop the wifi strength by some degree.

Also, Leopard comes out on the 26th. But even if you decide to buy the Macbook right now, you can get Leopard for $10 using Apple's Up To Date Program. This might actually be a wise option since you'll have Tiger to fall back on if your Leopard upgrade turns out to be buggy.

If you need it now, I see no reason not to pick up the Macbook. If you can wait to November, it might be a good idea just to see what the possible refresh brings. You can always buy a last gen Macbook in November, save some money, and still get Leopard.

Hope this helps.
 

vultureparade

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Jan 20, 2007
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1) Is it true, that constant charging up (for example: battery is on 50% and i connect my laptop to AC adaptor) can mess up battery life?

2) What is all the fuss about taking out main battery,when using AC adaptor for longer time periods?

It is true that constantly using your AC Adapter instead of just your battery can mess up battery life. The best thing to do is to run off your battery until it dies and then charge it up to full with the AC Adapter, then repeat.

Why would you need to take your battery out? Just use the battery until it dies, then charge it back up. I don't know if leaving your battery sit can hurt battery life or not.
 

Lhadatt

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tokkun said:
XPS is an enthusiast laptop. Latitude is business-class. They don't really target the same audience in terms of price and features.

Also, I don't know what you're talking about RE: XPS not being supported in North America...
He said he wasn't into gaming. Why pay enthusiast prices for something that's not to be an enthusiast machine? There's nothing wrong with a "business" laptop, it's built to last. Longevity > whiz-bang features where laptops are concerned.

You don't have to be vague about the North American support on XPS, just confirm that I'm dead wrong. :D
 
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