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Hi there,

Looking for some recommendations/ advice and opininions that might assist me in buying a new laptop pc.

There are so many variations particularly in processors that I am quickly becoming confused.

Essentially, other sources have told me to forget about anything based on the celeron processor and to look for something with Pentium Mobile processor.

However that brings me down to, Pentium III Mobile Pentium 4 M and Centrinos....?

After much reading etc I have started to focus on Toshibas, ASUS and Dell units based on 1.5 or higher Centrinos, does this sound like a reasonable thing to do? I chose these three makes due to the relative value and reputation they seem to have.

Any experiences with AMD based laptops? ASUS seem to offer a good range in these...?

What about batteries, should i be looking at getting something with the higehest number of cells?

Any advice most welcome.

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Last Post by Bullwinkle
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Focus on the features provided, rather than on the brand is the best advice I could give. Almost ALL laptops are now manufactured by only 3 manufacturers. They are rebadged and sold as 'Brand name' units!

What is the purpose of the laptop? That should be the major determining factor, as it will determine the features you need. Is it to be fully mobile? If so then a Centrino solution is definitely the best alternative, because of the improved power management and battery life. Is it to be a powerful Desktop replacement? Then perhaps a Pentium 4 M or an Athlon64 Mobile solution would be better. Is it required to double up as a games system? If so, then nothing short of NVidia FX Go or ATi Radeon Mobility graphics should be considered.

And what of the other features and connectivity. If there are features included which you actually don't need, make sure you're not paying extra for them. If there are features you DO need which aren't present, then perhaps that laptop isn't adequate.

If the laptop is to have a short lifespan of actual use by yourself, and needs to retain resale value, then the perceived 'Prestige' and resale value becomes an issue. If it's to have a longer lifespan of use by yourself, then really the only consideration you need to worry about in relation to brand name is the quality of support services provided by the 'System manufacturer'.

Centrino notebooks are only a short distance behind the performance of their Pentium4M or Athlon64 equivalents (remember, those equivalents operate at much higher clockspeeds than the PentiumM processor in the Centrino). I have a Fujitsu Lifebook Centrino laptop here, with a 1.5GHz PentiumM processor in it, and the thing handles all the everyday computing tasks I need it for with ease.


Worry about brand name if you need to, as I said, but you can be pretty confident that the quality of just about any laptop is comparable to that of any other. Virtually all Centrinos are manufactured by either Compal, Quanta and Wistron, and the situation for non-Centrino laptops isn't much more complex!

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Thanks Cat

Agreed I won't be focussing on brand, tis probably more a fact the units I had seen with some of the features I was looking for were from those companies. Also led to believe those that I mentioned offered good support....don't know this for a fact though.

Interesting what you say about only a few manufacturers etc...

Mobility is the priority. Whilst it will be predominantly work i.e office applications I intend to allow for an independant video card to cater for the other uses.

Connectivity to dial up at this stage is neccessary but wireless connection in the home could be an option in the not too distant future. Dual layer DVDRW and a few USB ports and a serial/ parrelell port (for printer) and the tv connection for presentations would probably do it for me.

I intend to hang onto the unit (write it off on tax) so resale vlaue really isn't an issue as such.

I am using an AMD based desktop so am sort of interested in an AMD based lappie probably onle because the AMD desktop offered better value for me in comparison to the Pentium systems at the time.

Thanks again.

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Hmmm, just an update. I have decided to pass on the AMD based notebooks due to their greater power consumption. I am now trying to concentrate on units with the Dothan Centrino processor so that narrows my selction down to several hundred thousand configurations I guess!! Oh and of course a unit with an alloy or magnesium case will be a must.

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I just bought my laptop, and if I have any advice, its that you MUST configure the system online, rather than buying for a store. I saved almost $400+ on mine, with the same features (give or take a few minor ones)

Its an HP, P4 3.2Ghz HT, ATi 9600XT 128MB, XP Home, Brightview screen, CD-R, etc. Basicly loaded (minus the widescreen...I'm already eating enough power as it is). Anyways, I love it, battery life sucks...but I already assumed that. I just couldn't deal with a slow laptop just for the centrino processor/shared graphics. But anyways, Seriously...configure it to your liking online, you'll be much better off....and even better...NO TAXES! (unless your shopping at dell....cuz dude, you're payin taxes with them). HP, Compaq (same thing), Sony, Toshiba...all make great laptops, I just would shop around til you find the one that suits you...you'll be much happier in the end.

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I personally cannot stand HP's (not to offend anyone who does). I fixed an HP for my buddy one time I think it was a ZT1000 laptop. Machine wasn't even a year old and the screen was failing. I like my IBM T22. I like IBM. I would definently buy another one if i was given the chance. Very durable, Light, and has all the features I need (IE. TV out, external video, mouse/keyboard, printer ports and USB). I think IBM tends to be a little more in price but you get a much better machine for your moneys worth. My other friend has a Toshiba, the thing is wicked heavy, its fast but not really portable. Just my opinon but I like IBM a lot. IBM is also made for buissness (sp?) travel and stuff. IBM also offer a shock proof hard drive on some models (I believe its the newer thinkpad series correct me if i'm wrong). If you acidently bump it off a table or drop it the drive "braces for impact". Let me know how you make out.

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Thanks people,

Yes after much deliberation, I have settled on an ASUS (M6BR series) 1.7 Dothan Centrino, 60Gb HDD, the usual array of ports and connections, 512 DDR RAM...I was initially steering clear of anything with onboard graphics or shared RAM for graphics but after careful consideration accepted that the unit will be used predominantly for work and somewhat reluctantly acceped ATI Mobility up to 128 MB shared RAM.

Yep it is amazing what deals you can do online and have saved myself a few hundred bucks (Australian).

The LG units over here come packed with some good specs and at the moment are going at reasonable prices but the general consensus (here at least) is that LG make good fridges and TVs...how accurate that is I of course do not know. I have read however that LG in Aust have appalling after sales service.

I looked at getting a locally produced unit that is totally expandable and spillproof keyboard etc but at the end of the day the ASUS came with 2 year warranty and apparantly here they have good after sales service.

Will give you an update once I have used it for a few weeks.

Thanks for your comments

Rgds

Bullywinkle

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