I was wondering if you guys can help me out. You see I want to buy a laptop but my CO Tech Teacher told us not to buy compaq laptops 'cause they're no good. Is that true? Which ones do you think are better IBM or Dell?:eek: and why?

I've never owned a Compaq, but I've heard the same thing. I think IBM might be a little better then Dell, but will probably cost more. Also, Dell's tech support is handled by people in India now (if that matters to you; it does to me because I like to be able to understand a tech when trying to resolve a problem). Not sure about IBM's support.

Nothing gets better than my IBM... :cheesy:

I think it helps to go someplace that has them all (like Fry's) and compare them in person. Things to look at:

- Does the keyboard have the right feel? Some feel scrunched or have poor tactile feedback.
- Does it have all the right connectors? Most have USB, some have FireWire, some have an old-style serial port, some have an old-style parallel port; some have an external monitor connector, etc. What ports do you need for your setup? I think FireWire is a must :-)
- Can you get an internal wireless card? Those PCMCIA wireless cards just beg to be broken when you set the computer down wrong.
- Cost of more ram? Some machines use specialty ram that is expensive. Figure in any potential upgrade costs in your total cost of ownership.
- Battery life? Availability of extra-large battery? Does that matter to you?
- Maximum screen resolution? If you're like me you can't see the tiny type at the highest res, but you can use large fonts with high res and it looks REALLY nice.

Battery life? Availability of extra-large battery? Does that matter to you?

I also have another question. The other day I went to best buy and one of the workers there told me that your battery runs out of power depending on what kind of processor you get. She said that if i get a laptop with Pentium 4 my battery will run out off power a lot faster than one with a Pentium 3. Is that true?

Thank you guys!!

From a contribution I made to another forum:

My vote goes to shedding the 'brand affiliation' from the outset. there's not much point to it anymore, because with so much production being outsourced nowadays, almost every Brand Name laptop is simply a rebadged OEM unit, and all are of a similar quality. All of the Centrino laptops available, for example, are produced by one of only three manufacturers [img]http://forums.pcpowerplay.com.au/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif[/img]

It's better to determine what you want to do with it, what configuration it needs to have, and what software/support bundle you need, then look at what's on the market that fits. Brand name is the LAST step in making the decision.

It's not a good idea to get your information from Sales people or personal contacts. Sales people are simply trying to sell you what they want to get rid of, and personal contacts often provide information which is personal opinion or outdated information.

Yes, it's true that some types of laptop are more conservative with power usage than others, but the P4/P3 comparison is a useless one. You simply don't find Pentium 3 laptops available for sale nowadays, unless you're buying a secondhand unit. All laptops use 'Mobile' processors. To date, they have been simply versions of their desktop processor equivalents which can run at lower voltage levels.

Recently, however, Intel has introduced a completely different processor series, and a form of laptop technology with it which uses power in a quite different way to earlier technologies. The PentiumM processor uses lower clockspeeds as well as power management to perform an equivalent amount of work, in an equivalent amount of time, with less battery consumption and longer battery life. The 'Centrino' laptop technology it's used in is a more expensive but more functional portable computer platform.

As I indicated in the quote above, work out what you need to use the laptop for, determine the features it needs to have, and then look at the available laptops to see which ones match your needs.

This belongs in the 'Hardware' section, by the way, so I'll move it there for you!

Cheers :D

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