Lap Warmer

October 9, 2006 at 5:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

My home desktop computer is still humming along ok (knock on wood), but after four years it’s about time I supplemented it with something both more powerful and more mobile. Would anybody out there care to help me find the best laptop brand and/or line for my needs? Some notes:

  • Sorry, no Macs. It’s possible I may venture over to the fruity side in the future, but the switch just isn’t going to happen right now.
  • I’m looking more for a desktop replacement than a lightweight, ultra-mobile device. I value power over portability.
  • My rule of thumb with these sorts of purchases is to go for something that’s above the midline, but doesn’t cross into premium territory. I don’t need top-of-the-line right now.
  • Big monitor = good.
  • I’m not leaning toward (or away from) any particular brand. I have always had good luck with Dell, but I know that experience isn’t universal.

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The Comments

beerorkid October 9, 2006 at 5:24pm

I have built many a puter for myself and others.
I used to part them out by myself, newegg is well worth the 1-2% higher cost considering the return policy and speed.

The real deals are in your best buy / circuit city ads.  Possibly dell/HP/gateway.

My current main rig is just a compaq that I got for $500.00 and then threw another gig of ram, an uber graphics card, and some more hard drives in it.  If I built the same on my own it would of cost more.

I am sure you are aware, but do not settle for the lower level chips.  Go atholn or pentium, no sempron or celleron.  The lower chips have part of their L1 & L2 cache disabled which sucks.

Karin October 9, 2006 at 5:57pm

I remember around Christmas last year, there were some amazing deals on notebooks, so you might want to wait until then to buy, if possible.

I’ve never liked laptops as main computers- too hard to expand, plus there’s just not as much to choose from. I wouldn’t mind having a cheap laptop just for word-processing and the like, though.

4 years? Wow. My husband and I have bought, between us, 4 computers, or the parts to make them, in 4 years. We’re currently running 3- one for me, one for him, and a Linux based video server (though I may switch back to windows as I can’t find drivers for everything I want. sigh)

beerorkid October 9, 2006 at 6:09pm

drivers eh?  Is it a capture card?  ivtv drivers work pretty well.

Christopher October 9, 2006 at 8:42pm

I love my Dell laptop I have. The trick to getting a good deal is wait until you can find online coupons that offer great discounts (30% off,$750 off x amount, etc). Plus you can also venture over to eBay and buy a $50 off coupon to add on for $1 to save even more.

Karin October 9, 2006 at 9:21pm

I don’t have a capture card for that computer yet, right now I still have to transfer files over.

I need a driver for my tiny little keyspan remote, although I’m looking into getting a new remote anyway.

jwiltshire October 10, 2006 at 3:51pm

Well I was going to say Mac until you put up your first stipulation.  I can’t in good consience recommend anything else (partly because I’m so behind on what’s out there for non-Mac laptops), but until you do decide to make the switch, we will be sitting here in our black turtlenecks and shiny white machines watching smugly, and waiting for you to come under our wing.

Also, keep in mind the Macbook Pro, which is kick ass, and can run XP very well on it.

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