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Old 01-28-2007, 03:01 PM
 
257 posts, read 1,000,652 times
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Time for a new computer here, was thinking about getting a laptop since they seem to have come down in price a bit. Are there any huge Plus's or minus's to having one vs the other.......besides being portable?

Also where could i get the best deal for my money on one? Has anyone bought a refurbished one?

Thanks
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,423,085 times
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I love my laptop! I'd recommend it instead of a desktop unless you don't go anywhere.

There are 4 different types of laptops:

Ultra-Portable (less than 13.3 in. screen)
Portable (13.3 in. or 14.1 in.)
Mainstream (15.4 in.)
Desktop-Replacement (17 in.+)

The cheapest ones are usually mainstream but portables are coming down in price. For an Ultra Portable or Desktop Replacement your usually looking at least $1500-$2000 for a basic setup.

But sorting through different brands, processors, etc is complicated and can be frustrating for a newbie. There are 5 basic brands that will give you the best bang-for-your-buck:

Dell
HP/ Compaq
Apple
Gateway
Sony

I currently have a 13.3 in. Sony Vaio SZ model. It's a great notebook with a small, sleek, and portable design. But it is beginning to become a bit outdated (especially since the new Core 2 Duo processors came out). However a new one would run be nearly $3000 so I guess I'll have to live with it.

But back on topic.

The two largest producers of computers are HP and Dell. Both have a wide range to chose from and these are also the ones that will give you the best prices. You CAN get a great laptop for $1000 (and sometimes less).

The other 3 brands I mentioned offer great laptops but usually you need to compromise on the specs in order to get the price. A basic, non-customized Apple will run you $1100 while you can get a much more customized Dell for the same money.

I generally wouldn't recommend a refurbished laptop. I've had friends who found this "great deal" on a refurbished and they turned out to have a ton of problems. And with the price of a new one being fairly inexpensive, I'd go new and not have to worry.

Desktops are nice but you can take them anywhere, they're bulky, and it's mind-boggling to hook them up!

Go for a notebook and I assure you you'll be very happy you did.
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,618 posts, read 7,922,093 times
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There are pluses and minuses to either choice. The big computer stores almost give away "compact desktops" these days, which is what I use at home. I don't carry around a PC so don't really need a laptop. I can see how they would be handy at times though. Keep in mind that a laptop packs a ton of electronics into a tiny space, and many of them can heat up like a little oven. If you go for a laptop, heat is the #1 enemy that can cause early component failure, so get one with a good quality cooling fan.
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
4,486 posts, read 15,423,085 times
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Quote:
There are pluses and minuses to either choice. The big computer stores almost give away "compact desktops" these days, which is what I use at home. I don't carry around a PC so don't really need a laptop. I can see how they would be handy at times though. Keep in mind that a laptop packs a ton of electronics into a tiny space, and many of them can heat up like a little oven. If you go for a laptop, heat is the #1 enemy that can cause early component failure, so get one with a good quality cooling fan.
Most laptops nowadays have a very good cooling system and you can also buy a fan that you set the laptop on. But unless you are doing memory-intensive applications, the cooling system should provide enough ventilation.

If you could provide more information as to what you are planning to use the notebook for I could give a better recommendation.
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Old 01-28-2007, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Northern Colorado
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We have both. The laptop can go anywhere, but you don't have access to a printer. And, don't forget to take the power cord for the laptop, the battery for a laptop has to be charged sometimes. And, also remember, if you do take your laptop somewhere, don't forget to grab it when you leave whereever you go. If you take it to a library and have to go to the restroom, remember to take it with you!!!!!!!!
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Old 01-28-2007, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Vermont / NEK
5,775 posts, read 12,435,082 times
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How I agonized over this choice three and a half years ago. It was my first computer purchase and I wanted to get it right. I bought a laptop and....it worked out perfectly. I use it daily for several hours and it still works well. I unplug it for about 25% of its usage and the battery still works like new. I would highly recommend doing this to maintain a useful battery life. The fact that its portable made all the difference to me.
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Old 01-28-2007, 11:12 PM
 
Location: West Central Florida
278 posts, read 734,889 times
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I just bought a new laptop and I love it. The portability is great-I can go anywhere in the house and go outside in the summer while I'm watching the kids in the pool. We have a regular desktop in the house and a broadband cable connection, so after setting up the router, I'm good to go anywhere on the premises. It's cool!
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:24 PM
 
Location: NC
136 posts, read 549,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyAZ View Post
Most laptops nowadays have a very good cooling system and you can also buy a fan that you set the laptop on. But unless you are doing memory-intensive applications, the cooling system should provide enough ventilation.

If you could provide more information as to what you are planning to use the notebook for I could give a better recommendation.

Good info never heard of the fan that you can set your laptop on. I will have to look into that my laptop is a little older around 2003 0r 2004. I have always thought of buying a docking station or something to prop the laptop up so it won't get hot as fast. I agree the laptop overheating or heating very quickly is a major MINUS for laptops. The BATTERY LIFE another MINUS the battery is usually good for a few years then it is time to replace it. Once they go out they are kind of expensive to replace. Another minor thing is the NUMERIC KEYPAD some laptops come with a numeric key pad its separate from the other keys like a regular pc keyboard and some don't. It makes a difference for persons used to using the pc keyboard's numeric keypad.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:29 PM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,098 posts, read 8,405,209 times
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Quote:
Another minor thing is the NUMERIC KEYPAD some laptops come with a numeric key pad built into the keyboard like a regular pc keyboard and some don't. It makes a difference for persons used to using the pc keyboard's numeric keypad.
The numeric keyboard being on the side is typical of the 17+ inch models. I have an HP 17 inch and LOVE it but it is heavy. I also have an external hard drive to extend out the amount of storage I have on it. Liz
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Old 10-03-2007, 04:16 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 2,947,337 times
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Go with a laptop. Desktops are pretty much a thing of the past - not nearly as convenient. With a laptop you can and will bring your computer everywhere. Laptops usually have very limited upgradeability so you just need to ensure that what you get has good enough specs that you'll be happy with it for a few years as is. I recommend going with the fastest CPU available and buying as much RAM as you can afford since that seems to be the big performance enabler and spec requirement for most applications these days.

Given a choice, I would get a Macbook Pro, if I didn't have that option then I would go with one of the top rated PC Notebook computers... something lightweight and from a reliable brand.
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