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Windows XP Professional vs. Windows XP Media Center?


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#1
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I am about to buy an inspiron or latitude Dell laptop, which will be fairly trciked out. I can only get a TV tuner in the inspiron, and subsequently, the operating system would be XP Media Center. I was wondering whether that operating system is just XP professional with a few boni or if it is completely different and inadequate for a college student. Thanks for any advice you can offer.
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#2
gerryf

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it is actually windows xp home with a few extras...IF you are going to college and if your college requires you to join its domain, you MUST get windows xp pro

Media Center cannot join a domain.
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#3
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Thank you for the quick response! I was wondering if I buy the latitude with the XP prof Dell doesn't offer a tuner option, to your knowledge can a tuner be added later?
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#4
gerryf

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you can buy a third party one, but they are of limited quality and intended more for capturing video than watching tv
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#5
warriorscot

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You could get it with media center then purchase pro yourself and upgrade that way you would get the TV tuner.
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#6
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Will the TV tuner work the same after Professional has been installed?
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#7
†Gladiator†

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yes and no, you won't have the media center.... for recording and watching tv. But you will still have the software that comes with tuner so yes it will be the same. However, you would be wasting a bit of money by upgrading to professional considering Vista's gonna be out soon. So a third part tuner card might be the most plausible method.
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#8
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Do you all suggest that I, as a new college student, buy the Inspiron with Media and later change it to Professional (which I have already) or Vista, OR buy the Latitude?
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#9
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Also, when does Vista come out; will it be out in time for me to get a computer with it before mid August.
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#10
gerryf

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Vista is planned for early 2007, though OEMs will have it earlier, like October/November

Vista is pretty, but it is not functionally different from XP at an OS level, but featurewise it has more of a whiz-bang factor

The real determining factor here is what does your school require? Have you checked with them? If you want a laptop for homework and surfing the internet and playing games, xp home, pro, mediacenter are all pretty much the same

If you can connect to your school's network for the purpose of sharing resources (network shares, printers), then you need Pro.

Please note, even with home and media center, you can hook up to the network for surfing the net...the key is "network resources"
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#11
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My school requires (or would prefer XP pro)! Btw, thank you for all your help thus far. I just want to confirm the facts before I make such a large purchase.

If I bought the Inspiron with Media Center and then changed to Professional, what would act differently? Would I still be able to use a tuner and all of its features? Would making this change alter anything that I might have bought the Inspiron for in the first place?

In your opinion, do you believe it pays to buy a latitude which supposedly doesn't change as often as the Inspiron, being that I am a college student?

Thanks again for your continued advice!
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#12
gerryf

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I would not buy a latitude as a student because latitudes are intended for businesses for the reason you stated--the hardware included is less likely to change and so IT folks have an easier time supporting them.

The drawback is that the hardware tends to be a little behind the inspirons--every student I know wants to be able to play games and Latitudes are not a good platform for that.

In your case, I would buy XP pro and a third party tv tuner mainly because I think you will regret MCE later due to the network at school.

Which specific laptop were you looking at? How much were you going to spend? Are you committed to a Dell?
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#13
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I am not stuck on Dell; in fact, after watching a dell laptop burst into flames today on the news, I began questioning them, haha. I was going to buy the Inspiron E1505 with a dual core processor, DVD burner, 15.4 inch screen... The total bill would have come out to be about $1700 and change. My school offers discounts on some computers and Dell happen to be one of them, but in the past their service hasn't been great, I am not against giving another braond a try!
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#14
gerryf

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do you know if that cost was with the integrated graphics or with the upgraded video system (ati 1300, ati1400 or geforce go 7300?)

I'd be steering way clear of it if it is integrated video, as that means it takes system memory. You really want one with its own discrete memory

And what CPU was it? it comes with any of 3 t2050 (no) t2400 or t2500 (ok)

Why 15.4? Why not 15 or 17 inch lcd?

I really think you will be better off with Win xp Pro

What university
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#15
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These are some of the specs that i was considering:



Inspiron E1505:
Intel® Core™ Duo processor T2400 (2MB Cache/1.83GHz/667MHz FSB) KD18HN [222-1327] 1


Operating System (Office software not included):
Genuine Windows® XP Professional WPXP [412-0689][412-0706][420-4770][420-4830][420-5460][420-5476][420-5769][420-5924][463-2282] 11


Operating System Re-Installation CD:
PC Restore recovery system by Symantec PCR [464-5503] 135


LCD Panel:
15.4 inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen SXGA+ Display with TrueLife™ 15SXGAS [320-4652] 2


Memory:
1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm 1G2D [311-5776] 3


Hard Drive:
100GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive 100GB [341-3109][420-5449] 8


Combo/DVD+RW Drives:
8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability 8XDVDRW [313-3959][420-5775][420-5901] 16


Wireless Networking Cards:
Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Mini Card (54Mbps) IP3945 [430-1626] 19


Video Card:
256MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1400 HyperMemory™ 256ATI [320-4655] 6


Sound Options:
Integrated Sound Blaster® Audigy™ HD Software Edition SBAHD [313-4218] 17


Primary Battery:
85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery 9BAT [312-0403] 27


Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed):
Microsoft Office Basic - Includes Word, Excel, and Outlook email IBASICC [412-0452] 22


Network Card and Modem:
Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem



I am used to a 15.4 screen, its a decent mix for visual and wieght affects. I wouldn't mind too much shrinking the screen a bit if it were to be really light. Do you have any suggestions on other brands or systems in particular?

University of Delaware

There is no doubt, I am going to go with Pro; now just to find the right computer!
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