Upstate looking for a new laptop--any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Life After Brown' started by UpstateNYUPSer, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I am in the market for a new laptop computer. I currently have a Dell Inspiron B130 that I purchased more than 5 years ago. I am not having any major problems with this one but I have noticed that the battery, which I recently replaced (they don't give those things away, do they?) is not lasting as long as it did when I first bought it and, rather than replace it again, I am thinking of getting a new system. UPSers get discounts at Dell and hp and I am leaning toward hp but I would appreciate any suggestions that you guys may have (pertaining to the laptop only, please) keeping in mind that I would like to spend $800 or less. My computer use is fairly basic, mostly office-type work and going online. Thanks in advance for your help. Dave.
  2. PT Stewie

    PT Stewie "Big Fella"

    Check out the Toshiba Sattellites. I have 2 . First 1 was about $700.00+ and just got a back up for $400.00. Had to have the first one serviced it was back in 5 days ! Service people were great. They also used the UPS store as a shipping point.
    I primarily use the less expensive one for my use. I have link to my office (other job )go into our sales system to quote projects @ home and check e-mails.I bought office home and student 2010 and loaded it on for spread sheets etc. All works great. It's a Toshiba C655 with Intel Celeron and is pretty fast.It was on sale @ Best Buy but you can shop on the net for best pricing.For 400 beanies it was a steal !
  3. Nimnim

    Nimnim The Nim

    I have an apple ][ you might be interested in. Not really a laptop, but it is small enough that if you get your own tv screen that you don't mind carrying around it'll work close enough. It doesn't have a GUI, but it does have a modem, I think it's a 14.4kbps modem, but it should do the trick. I think I have the modem software on a 5.25 floppy around too so that saves the trouble of having to buy a new modem and hoping it works.

    It's free if you want it, just c'mon and meet me sometime and I'll give you everything.
  4. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    I bought a Toshiba at Office Depot for $408 back in March of this year and I am happy with it except screen quality during graphic/photo editing.
    I bring up Office Depot because, once you get your Office Depot card via, you get an 8% discount and pay no tax (at least I did not pay tax and I'm not sure that was what it was suppose to be).
    Also Office Depot has really good prices when (when is important) they have their sales.
    Dell is good and HP is good (stay away from Compaq and Gateway) ASUS has started making laptops and they have good performance and reliability from what I have read. Of course, there is Lenova which makes the IBM laptops - they are good solid performers.
    Sounds like you don't need much in the way of high-end chips but the i-3 chipsets are at a good price point right now in your price range although there are cheaper ones. It appears you use the laptop as your only computer so maybe the 9300 chipset. Those are Intel but AMD is just as good and cheaper (I have AMD) . Just make sure the speed starts with a 2 ghz.

    Cache memory of 2 mb minimum 3 is better.

    Unless you are gaming or photo editing or video editing, there is little need for the power or RAM. Windows 7 and the newer applications are memory intensive so an absolute minimum of 2 gig RAM - 4 would be better.

    There are several models out there with 6 hours battery life - those are the smaller screens and not doing anything such as watching DVDs. Intensive analog devices such as DVD, Hard Drive, etc will eat up batteries and processing intensive applications (gaming, graphics will eat up battery).

    And of course, you can always use Google and as I remember Jones is a bit of a Geek Squad type guy ... he may have some ideas.
  5. cosmictrucker

    cosmictrucker counting the months

    I'm one of those guys at work people come to with questions and help with their computers. I should make a business of it. :happy-very: I do it for the love of them.

    I'm a huge fan of Dell. I've had very good luck over the years. Not one has failed or let me down. ( I know my sampling is small compared to how many systems DELL makes, but it's still a positive record since the year 2002) I recommend checking out Dell's outlet store. I've purchased a number of laptops and monitors from there, and I've been pleased with each purchase. So have co-workers and friends.

    Here is a 20% off "code" you can use till 09-10-10 or until 10,000 uses of the code have been cashed in. Dell 20% off code 9RJ5SV0QB$$GTM

    Dell's outlet website...

    I highly recommend you stay with an Intel processor. I know the AMD's are cheaper, but they are so for a reason. I've built a few AMD systems, and everyone had dependability issues. I've also worked a few Toshiba's with AMD, and they too had poor performance. If it's my money, I shy away from AMD. It's my personal experience, I'm sure there are those who've had very good luck, but it's not what I've seen.

    Acer is now the number 2 computer manufacture in the US market second to Dell. I like the Acer units I've worked on or used.

    HP also makes a fine computer, and has good backup and restore functions built in.

    Bottom line, DELL is still top of my list when shopping for a laptop. Especially when you score one of these 20% coupons. 10% or 15% is more common with Dell.

    Good luck in your search
  6. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    I left Dell out by mistake ... I agree it is a good choice. Always in the top 3. Acer I overlooked as well - solid product and one of the largest manufactures of laptops in the world.

    Intel is a safe choice (but always more expensive for the same performance).

    Toshiba has mixed recommendations ... it all comes down to personal experience - as I mentioned Screen resolution for graphics or gaming is unacceptable and sound is pitiful. This is my first Toshiba and the performance is OK - certainly good enough for surfing web and Office applications.

    Looked up the reliability of laptop by manufacturer in the June edition of Consumer guides and Toshiba was ranked highest (16) and Dell was second from the bottom (21) with Lenova coming in last with (22). Keep in mind that people's expectations may come into play in these surveys. One's expectations for a $450 Toshiba versus a $750 Dell for essentially the same laptop are going to be different.

    Still caution you look at the specifications I gave you if you go on the Dell Outlet site - a lot of the laptops out there are leftovers and have older technology (such as Vista O/S). Still, a 20% discount will help in bringing them down from their stratospheric prices (reason I usually don't wind up buying Dell or Sony or Apple ... I would choose these 3 brands if the prices were the same as all others but that is not how the world works).
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  7. cheryl

    cheryl I started this. Staff Member

    I love Dell laptops too. Been using them for years. My current laptop is a studio xps. It's great.

    If you go with a Dell do not pay the retail price. I'm not sure if UPS still has an employee discount for Dell but it is worth checking to see if they do. You can get them through Costco too. Compare prices...
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  8. klein

    klein Für Meno :)

  9. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Here is one from the Dell Outlet site ($729) that with a 20% discount would be ~ $575.
    Inspiron 1720 Laptop: Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 (2.4GHz/800Mhz FSB/3MB cache)
    Genuine Windows Vista Business
    320 GB SATA Hard Drive (5400 RPM)
    4 GB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz (2 DIMMs)

    the other thing I noticed about the Dell outlet site is they all seem to have MS Vista on them which is an absolute dog of an OS (one of those obsolete technologies). Windows 7 is not perfect but much better, especially for laptops. So I forgot that as a specification but an absolute must - Windows 7.

    Maybe they include the Windows 7 upgrade but did not mention ... never hurts to ask.
  10. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    I just placed my order:

    Inspiron 17-1764 $489 less 20% free shipping plus 8% state tax $422.50

    It has the new Intel Core i3-350M processor which will allow me to use my laptop wirelessly with my HD TV as the monitor (with separate adapter) and Windows 7 Home Premium.

    It is certified refurbished.

    I will bring my current and new laptops to Staples and have them transfer files. I am their daily P/U driver so hopefully they will hook me up and do this for free.

    cosmic, thanks for the tip on the coupon. Saved $100 which will pay for the adapter.
  11. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    does refurbished mean 'used' ??
  12. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Refurbished means the unit has been returned to the factory, inspected and brought back to original specs. Yes, it means used, but it is certified and comes with a 1 year factory warranty.
  13. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Just wondering. Hope they removed all the porn from it.
  14. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    Just as long as there is room for mine.
  15. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    That is indeed a great deal UpState and much better features than the Toshiba Satellite i bought 6 months ago.
    You'll like the built-in numeric keyboard (if you did not have it on your last laptop).
    With that processor, RAM, cache and Windows 7, you should be set for another 5 years or more.

    That's probably less than you paid for your last laptop 5 years ago ... aren't technology products great!
  16. Monkey Butt

    Monkey Butt Dark Prince of Double Standards Staff Member

    Thanks for the info Cosmic.

    I'm thinking about replacing my desktop so I happen to have been looking at specs over the last week.

    I am now looking at getting at desktop through the outlet Dell site. That 20% discount on top of the refurbished price really is a good deal ... so thanks to you to.

  17. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    Are you saying that it will transfer wireless video to your HDTV? What adapter are you using for that?
  18. klein

    klein Für Meno :)

    I don't quite get that one either.
    Thats awesome if it can do that.

    I think he means HDMI cable.
  19. UpstateNYUPSer

    UpstateNYUPSer Very proud grandfather.

    It is called Push2TV. If your latop has one of the newer Intel processors (i3 or higher) and has built-in Wi-Fi, you simply hook the adapter up to your HDTV with a HDMI cable and whatever you are doing on your laptop will be displayed on your TV. I have seen the commercials for it and saw it at Best Buy this morning. Pretty cool stuff.

    Push2TV is built by Netgear. You can read more about it on their website or by Googling "Push2TV".
  20. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    At least on Amazon and BestBuy's website, the customer reviews on Push2TV don't seem too promising. I'm always on the lookout for a good streaming solution so I can cut down on the wires I have running everywhere but I'm gonna wait a bit on this one, see if they can get some of the bugs worked out.