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What Laptop to Buy??? July 20, 2006

Posted by Fast Follower in Uncategorized.

TI –

I need help with a decision. It’s time to replace the main home desktop Dell with something with something a little more powerful. I’m getting bogged down on the old Dell when multitasking – particularly with Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 running. I’ve been investigating replacing the Dell desktop with a laptop, but absolutely can’t decide what to buy. Assume $2000 is my ceiling, what would you do?

Here’s what I’ve been considering:

  1. Effectively work with Photoshop
  2. Multitask when Photoshop is running
  3. Vista upgradeable (unless I get a Mac)
  4. What about a cheap powerful desktop, AND an inexpensive capable laptop??
  5. I’m not a gamer by the way
  6. I may want some DVR-type capability however
  7. Bluetooth?
  8. Maybe something small and carryable with a nice 19″ monitor when at my desk


1. mikefeldstein - July 26, 2006

May I recommend a Dell XPS m1210 notebook computer? Properly configured with loads of RAM, the upgraded video card and a large HD it’s an awesome unit. Attach it to a 19″ monitor and you’ll have a great desktop replacement. When it’s time to travel, the unit only weighs 4.37 lbs. so it’s easy to handle. I love this unit.

2. Fast Follower - July 26, 2006

mikefeldstein – This Dell seems like a pretty good choice. My only problem is that it’s about $1200 without the video card upgrade (it comes with an Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950). It also only has a 60 Gig hard drive in it’s base format.
Now this may sound weird, but I was at BestBuy last night and found this laptop:

15.4″ WXGA TFT-LCD widescreen display with Ultrabright technology

120GB SATA hard drive (5400 rpm)

Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 with Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT) supports up to 128MB shared video memory; S-video out; Intel® High Definition audio

4-in-1 digital media manager supports Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick and Memory Stick PRO

This is a (hold your breadth….) Gateway. AND it’s only $850.
What am I missing??

3. Tell it like it TI is! - July 27, 2006

Hold your horses Fast Follower….Don’t fall into the technology marketing trap. First off… Do you want a new computer, or do you NEED a new computer. At least understand all of the factors. You are an electrical engineer…. you should be able to describe “bogged down” better. You sound like my wife and kids… “I am bogged down, therefore, dad I need some new equipment”. If mobility is not a key desire on this particular unit, ehy not, at least, look at your upgrade options? I know the big marketing and sales gods are calling you to the bright, alluring, Best Buy showroom, but at least make a rational decision. Here is a good website to look at as you are making your decision…. http://www.pcworldmalta.com/archive/iss48/upgrades.htm.

You have the same problem with your golf game, you have a few problems during the round and you immediately think that you NEED new clubs. Nine times out of ten, this is not the resolution, but you feel pretty good for a while, but you really haven’t improved much. Maybe a lesson or two would help? If you need new shoes…get em. If replacing the spikes accomplishes the same thing for less… do that or at least admit it to yourself …. I WANT A NEW COMPUTER! I understand, don’t be ashamed.

4. mikefeldstein - July 27, 2006

well you said you wanted to keep the price under $2000 and with the upgrades to bring the 1210 up to your standards would put it around there. I like the Gateway computer, it’s a solid machine. I don’t like the glassy screen, too much glare for my taste. But at that price, you can’t go wrong. A buddy of mine bought that very same Gateway laptop and he loves it.

5. trekker - August 6, 2006

Say, that info at pcworldmalta was really good. I think he is right in saying that you have to really ask yourself whether you need a new one. I mean why do you want to spend so much when you could either upgrade or buy a refurbished laptop for a lesser price. It is quite possible that you will get all the features you want.

6. Fast Follower - August 6, 2006

trekker – I might have to check into the upgrade or refurbish thing – but not because he is right 🙂

7. Fast Follower - August 8, 2006

Other than price, why wouldn’t I just suck it up and buy the new 13 inch iBook? Why is a PC better (other than cheaper)?

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