Notebook advice please

realolman

Member
My daughter is going to college this fall and I want to get her a notebook computer.

The last 4-5 computers we have bought have been Dell. For reasons that I am not even quite sure of, I don't think I want another Dell.

Anyone have any suggestions of what brand to get?
Thanks
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Sony used to be the laptop king. Not sure if that is still true. How about one of the Apples with the Intel processor?
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
I just bought my son a Dell for college so my suggestion is out. ;)

But, I did want to tell you to make sure you check with your daughter's school and see if they can get some good deals on laptops. My son's school's bookstore can get special pricing on Dell laptops as well as some Microsoft Software so it might be worth a look.

Also, congrats on your daughter graduating and choosing to go to college!!
 

Rupp

Senior Member
realolman said:
My daughter is going to college this fall and I want to get her a notebook computer.

The last 4-5 computers we have bought have been Dell. For reasons that I am not even quite sure of, I don't think I want another Dell.

Anyone have any suggestions of what brand to get?
Thanks
Can you give us an idea how much you want to spend. You can get a decent laptop in the $600 range but if you want a power system you'll have to spend more in the $800 - $1000 range. Why not a Dell? I've bought 3 Compaq Presarios over the last 3 years (2 kids and me) and I really like them for the money. Brand new for $500 with 512mb ram and a 30gig hard drive. I run VS 2003 and VS 2005 just fine on these units.
 

pkshiu

Member
I am a big fan of IBM (now Lenova) thinkpads. I have owned 2 of them, and I have traveled about 300,000 (air) miles between the both of them. They are built a bit better, and are priced a bit higher, but they lasted thru all the travelling in my backpack, thru airports, and much more. One thing that you want to make sure she knows to do is to BACKUP her data regularly, to a USB drive would be the easiest if she manages her folders and backup selectively.

My own review is here: X31 review
 

Mike

Senior Member
I've gone through a lot at work and had the opportunity to swap them out fairly frequently.

While some may be older than others, I've used Dell, IBM, Compaq, and even Toshiba way back when.

I just turned in a dell, but if just looking at company I would also make my first choice IBM. It has been probably 2 years or so since I've had one, but had 2 differnent models for a while at that time.

Nicely made equipment.

A word of advice, try not to skimp on the warranty (where it makes sense). When things break on laptops it can be pricey. I've seen multiple hard drives for the dell fail, a screen, a motherboard, etc. Depending on the price range of the unit, while I would typically not upgrade any warranty for a desktop (assuming I was not building it) for laptops I would purchase the most reasonable level for cost/protection. If it is a $600 laptop though, this sometimes does not make sense...
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
If you want cheap/disposable, get a Dell, otherwise, I would go for IBM as well, I have had several Thinkpads, and they have never failed me. I am currently still using a T21 at work, and have refused upgrades because work wants to get me a HP or Sony, which just aren't that great in quality compared with the Thinkpads. I am not sure if the transfer from IBM to Lenova has changed the quality, but definitely worth checking out.
 

HoustonFirefox

Active Member
I like my HP Pavillion ZV6000 (about $1000) since it's widescreen and has a 2.0Ghz AMD processor. I would classify it more as a desktop replacement since its a little on the heavy side (8lbs). It is great for a power-user and plays DVDs with excellent quality. The screen is large enough to watch movies from several feet away. Battery life is excellent at 3-4 hours (a lot for a laptop this fast), although I carry a spare just in case.
 

Rupp

Senior Member
Man you guys are hard on Dell. My kids still use my Dell Inspiron 7500 daily and this behemoth is almost 8 years old and I've never had a problem. Here at work we use Dells exclusively for our development work and they work without fail. I just got a new loaded Dell Laptop with hidef 21" LCD monitor and I love it.

For a college student the Compaq they sell at WalMart are a perfect system. I wouldn't send my kid to college with anything more expensive not would they need any more power than these provide.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Hehe, I agree with Rupp! I use Dell Laptops in the field and they get bumped, kicked, dropped, etc... They see temps between 20 and 110 deg f. After the end of some days in the field you can feel the dust/sand grit on the keyboard keys as you type. At least once a day I have to wipe the dust/sand off of the screen in some work locations.

The only failure I had was with a floppy on one machine!
 

tech-home

Active Member
Rupp said:
Man you guys are hard on Dell. My kids still use my Dell Inspiron 7500 daily and this behemoth is almost 8 years old and I've never had a problem. Here at work we use Dells exclusively for our development work and they work without fail. I just got a new loaded Dell Laptop with hidef 21" LCD monitor and I love it.

For a college student the Compaq they sell at WalMart are a perfect system. I wouldn't send my kid to college with anything more expensive not would they need any more power than these provide.
This is what I would suggest.

Laptops are stolen all the time and most college kids are careless with stuff.

I've seen a lot of expensive bikes disappear because they didn't lock them up.
 

Rupp

Senior Member
tech-home said:
Rupp said:
Man you guys are hard on Dell. My kids still use my Dell Inspiron 7500 daily and this behemoth is almost 8 years old and I've never had a problem. Here at work we use Dells exclusively for our development work and they work without fail. I just got a new loaded Dell Laptop with hidef 21" LCD monitor and I love it.

For a college student the Compaq they sell at WalMart are a perfect system. I wouldn't send my kid to college with anything more expensive not would they need any more power than these provide.
This is what I would suggest.

Laptops are stolen all the time and most college kids are careless with stuff.

I've seen a lot of expensive bikes disappear because they didn't lock them up.
A friend who is in the office next to me, daughter was at Auburn for a week when her laptop was stolen and another friends kid dropped his and busted it beyond use. Cheaper is indeed better for college newbies.
 

realolman

Member
Thanks one and all.

As usual, much sensible, informed advice.

I have a compaq at work w. WIndows 2000 profess. O.S. I like it a lot. It seems really stable, if that makes any sense.

I have a lot of experience with Dell, and it just seems like they are cheapening up their support. Probably, so is everybody else.

I bought this same daughter a "refurbished" laptop about 7-8 years ago for Christmas. It didn't work out of the box Christmas morning. I figured nobody will be home, but I'll call up Dell.

I spoke to a guy in Texas who spoke english, who knew exactly what was wrong, and we fixed it. I'd have bought Dells from now till eternity with service like that.

I can't say that I haven't gotten service lately, but it's a lot harder.. It's like pulling teeth. They messed me around for hours / days over an 18 dollar modem.

I don't know why companies do that. Dell creamed everybody with the way they did business. So obviously the thing to do is change the way you do business?!? huh?

If Fisher Price made cars, I'd buy one sight unseen. ( although it would probably look weird going down the street ... great big blue plastic wheels )

I bought a washer, dryer, refrigerator, and stove from Maytag without even looking at anybody else's stuff, because I had a washer and dryer that lasted about 30 years. We finally got rid of it because it was so decrepit and ugly... still worked. Big mistake.. I don't like any of it. The stove is a joke, it's so junky.

Why would a company that has everyone eating out of their hand make their products or services crappy? Don't answer that I already know.

We might actually buy a Dell anyway... the school has a deal with them. :)

Anyway, thanks.
 

un-wired

Active Member
I didn't see it mentioned, but of course you should also check with other retailers and ask for a student discount (most software and hardware companies off student and teacher discounts).
 

unrealii

Active Member
I'd go with a compaq v1000 with an turion or core duo processor. Its small, light, has a good screen, and doesn't cost too much.

If you are looking for more higher end, I would go with an Asus laptop. I chose to go MSI because they are compatible with amd cpu's. I recently built myself an msi 1013. Its great so far minus the crappy keyboard.
 
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