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Old 09-10-2009, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,622,150 times
Reputation: 11390

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I am in need of a new computer, well two actually, one for me and one for my high school son. We both want laptops but I am at a loss on what we need.

I would sincerely love to see advice on what I need to get. Let me first say that I am not looking to buy a Mac.

Son needs one to check out his facebook account, itunes etc as well as the all important school work. He also needs it to be wireless internet so he can move about the house with it, and he will need a printer at some point for it.

I am sure I will install Office on it so he can use it for school.


I work from home so mine will not only need to have office installed but also a good accounting software, both of which I already have!

I just need a computer large enough not to bog it down when I start loading these large programs onto it and that will still have room enough for my other work.

I've waited till the newst windows came out as I did not want Vista. I just need to know a little or enough to be able to find what I am needing. If I go Dell, I would like to be able to build each one, or my oldest has Alienware computer and loves it...

Thank you all for any good advice you can swing my way.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:03 PM
 
25,602 posts, read 37,115,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiangel_writer View Post
I am in need of a new computer, well two actually, one for me and one for my high school son. We both want laptops but I am at a loss on what we need.

I would sincerely love to see advice on what I need to get. Let me first say that I am not looking to buy a Mac.

Son needs one to check out his facebook account, itunes etc as well as the all important school work. He also needs it to be wireless internet so he can move about the house with it, and he will need a printer at some point for it.

Most laptops come with wireless, the only question is speed. If you get wireless N you should. It is still in it's infancy, but will become more prevalent over time. It is fast!

Unless he is planning on games most laptops will handle what you list. The bottom of the line will do so, but the price difference makes moving up a notch or two well worth the money. If he is going to get into high end gaming then you need to get a dual core CPU and as much RAM as the laptop will handle, and that depends on the OS. I honestly don't know if the "standard" version of W7 will handle more that 3+MB of RAM. It's something to look into. You will also find the hard drives in most new laptops are large enough to hold all his homework, etc. A good idea for both of you would be an external USB drive for backups. Him for schoolwork and you for the accounting. Cheap insurance.

I am sure I will install Office on it so he can use it for school.


I work from home so mine will not only need to have office installed but also a good accounting software, both of which I already have!

I just need a computer large enough not to bog it down when I start loading these large programs onto it and that will still have room enough for my other work.

My comments above hold true here. One thing to be aware of: You will probably start seeing comments about quad core CPUs and how great they are. You don't need one, and neither will your son. They are overkill for anything you are going to do. Spend the extra money on RAM. If he is going to be taking math classes you want to consider (you too for accounting) a laptop with a separate keypad for data entry. This is a really nice feature.

I've waited till the newst windows came out as I did not want Vista. I just need to know a little or enough to be able to find what I am needing. If I go Dell, I would like to be able to build each one, or my oldest has Alienware computer and loves it...

Do you have a dollar amount or limit in mind?

Thank you all for any good advice you can swing my way.
I need to add something outside the quote to save this. Here 'tis!
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,622,150 times
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Well of course I want to buy what I need at a good price, not overinflated! But I also do not want to get something and find out after I bring it home that I should have gotten something better.

Hmm, I have not put a price limit on mine, since it is for our business I can go more for it than for my son's. I would say max for mine needs to top off no more than 2500.00.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:14 PM
 
25,602 posts, read 37,115,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiangel_writer View Post
Well of course I want to buy what I need at a good price, not overinflated! But I also do not want to get something and find out after I bring it home that I should have gotten something better.

Hmm, I have not put a price limit on mine, since it is for our business I can go more for it than for my son's. I would say max for mine needs to top off no more than 2500.00.
How many are you buying? LOL You can buy a top of the line gaming machine for that.

Edit: After checking Dell I now realize that it has been a while since I priced their laptops. My opinion has to change on what they cost.

I'll do some Dell snooping, and I'll wager others will show up to help.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:19 PM
 
3,123 posts, read 7,749,108 times
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As long as you're not doing gaming or video editing, the bottom-of-the-line laptops should do nicely. I have a 4 year old laptop that handles Office and iTunes quite well.

Agree with Tek_Freek that there's no reason for quad-core and you should get more memory if your budget allows. As for separate keypad, you can always get a USB keyboard or keypad and connect it if the keyboard the laptop comes with is inadequate.

$2500 for one is way overkill in my opinion. You should be able to get both laptops combined for half of that.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:42 PM
 
25,602 posts, read 37,115,215 times
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Looking at home PC at Dell and assuming (!) you want a 17" screen I found only one with a duo core CPU.

http://www.dell.com/home/laptops#subcats=&navla=55474~0~866164&navidc=LT:%2 0Hard%20Drive&navValc=160GB&a=55474~0~866164,55846 ~0~879658,55103~0~857204&page=1


So this is the same laptop but I went through and customized it.

http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k315/Tek_Freek/Dell1.jpg (broken link)
http://i91.photobucket.com/albums/k315/Tek_Freek/Dell2.jpg (broken link)

This priced out at $864.00 before shipping.

The processor/FSB combination is the fastest one offered for this laptop and is very fast. Not a screamer by fast desktop standards, but I think you will find it to be more then adequate for Word, Excel, email, and accounting needs. The 64 bit Vista qualifies for the W7 upgrade. This allowed me to increase RAM to 4GB. I upgraded the battery. I left the drive at 160GB as I have one and have my business and every picture and video I have ever taken on it and it's less than half full. Upgraded to wireless N, but did not add the router option. One of my clients added wireless N and went from 54mbps to 130Mbps. Remember these are maximum throughput numbers, not always what you will see. He is very happy with it. It does require a wireless N router.

If you are concerned about weight there is probably a smaller laptop that has similar specs, and if the screen (13" or 14") would be too small there was an add on during customization for a 20" LCD monitor for $120.00.
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:46 PM
 
10,681 posts, read 16,630,791 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcity View Post
As long as you're not doing gaming or video editing, the bottom-of-the-line laptops should do nicely. I have a 4 year old laptop that handles Office and iTunes quite well.

Agree with Tek_Freek that there's no reason for quad-core and you should get more memory if your budget allows. As for separate keypad, you can always get a USB keyboard or keypad and connect it if the keyboard the laptop comes with is inadequate.

$2500 for one is way overkill in my opinion. You should be able to get both laptops combined for half of that.
That pretty much sums it up
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
3,927 posts, read 7,622,150 times
Reputation: 11390
you guys are pretty amazing. Thank you for your input. Now I don't feel like a dummy, well I do but I won't sound like one!
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Old 09-10-2009, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Cicero, NY
625 posts, read 1,585,156 times
Reputation: 221
If you arent stuck on Dell--which you shouldnt be checkout
TigerDirect.com - Computers, Computer Parts, Computer Components, Netbooks & Electronics
Newegg.com - Computer Parts, PC Components, Laptop Computers, Digital Cameras and more!
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Home
1,483 posts, read 2,649,197 times
Reputation: 620
Avoid Tiger though. If you can, I have heard many having problems with ether customer support and some rebates.....

Laptops can be gotten relatively inexpensively through Newegg, but I would read their reviews before buying. Also, realize Windows 7 is coming, with a true 64 bit OS (meaning you can address more memory). Vista is a bit of a resource hog, and I would either go XP or 7. If you do get a Duo core, 64 bit, you can go above the 3.28G memory cap with a 64 bit OS. Something that would be handy for running several programs at one time.


the only other thing I would recommend looking for, so long as you are not planning on carrying your machine with you all over (on vacation, etc) is a LARGE SCREEN WITH HIGH RESOLUTION!!!! One of the most frustrating things I see on my wifes 5 year old Dell 700m is the small 1280x800 screen she has (pretty high res for a small machine though!).

GL!

Last edited by Ninjahedge; 09-11-2009 at 08:02 AM..
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