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Need New Desk&LapTop Advice

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Hi Forum! New User Here.

I'm an OTR Semi-Drvr & I'm looking @ purchasing a laptop/tablet pc for my truck and a replacement desktop or laptop for home use. My family already doesn't keep up with security issues (they have not updated any security tools I have installed & thus I'm working on removing spyware, repairing registry, etc since I've been home for the holiday). Since Microsoft no longer supports WinME & I don't believe my computer may be worth upgrading...I'm looking @ Vista or compatible. On-the-road I'd like to use the net as cheap as possible, email, talk to family using net, basic gaming, gps system (i.e. streets & trips), drivers log software, etc.

@ Home - I Have An HPXT858 Desktop
1GHz Intel Pentium Processor
192MB SDRAM Memory
60 GB Ultra DMA Hard Drive

A Few Questions:

1. Is there a list of much needed components I might want to consider, available in this forum (or others) or any suggestions on what & where to purchase? I haven't brought a PC since 2000. I know PC terminology just enough to get by, but not what's best, or what I really need. I hear about all these different cards & motherboards & processors (i.e. stay away from Celeron?)...well honestly now I'm just confused.

2. How concerned should I be about warranties for problems on the road? Dell for instance is said to have a good warranty/recovery (i.e. product gets dropped or something) package but is it really worth it? I've never built a PC? Can I build my own laptop too? I would love to be able to know my laptop from the ground up so I could feel comfortable making my own repairs.

3. Are there places to recycle or trade-in old PCs?

4. What do I need to make sure I have when going wireless? Especially security wise. I get the concept of WiFi & Wireless Cards, but what's best? Is there a way to connect to the internet no matter where I am in the country (HotSpot or not) cheaply?

OK, I'll stop here for now...mainly I just want to make the right decision - keep my home PC (WinMe) or move on to new - Is there a difference btwn a laptop & tablet (other than that tablets swivel)? I hope you don't mind I really wanted to get some expert help on what to look &/or watch out for. I Thankyou All In Advance For Your Advice &/or Comments. Happy New Year!
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    motto - Just get-er-done

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Welcome to Geeks to Go, pcinfo4me.

Lets take each question one at a time.

1. This depends on what you want to do with the computer. Do you want to play videos and movies on it? I would think about getting a Intel Core 2 Duo computer to start with. Here are the basic spec's i would go with.

The brand does not matter in my opinion. Just so the computer has this hardware in it.

Intel Core2 Duo E 6400 CPU
Intel 965 chipset motherboard
Minimum 1 gig of memory( 2 gigs is better)
DVD - burner drive( i like NEC drives)
DVDrom (optional)
Evga Nvidia 7600GT PCI-E video card
( unless you want to play games)or get a Nvidia 7950 or 8800
Sata 250 gig Hard Drive
Sound blaster Audigy sound card
(If custom built) a 500 watt enermax or silverstone power supply

The cost for this will be close to $2000 but it will last for a few years.

2. It's tough to build your own laptop. Much better to buy a decent one. Dell does have what is necessary. Look at the XPS series if you want hi-perf. A good Inspirion would do just as well on the road. Its nice to be able to watch dvd's on the laptop while on the road. What i do like about dell's is lots of places service them.

look here for spec's.


3. It called selling your old computer for whatever you can get for it. I see them for sale for $100-150. Or you could give it to your local church. I give old trade-ins to a couple of churches in my area and they do appreciate it.

4. Going wireless! There Dell has the matching hardware needed to hook up wherever you are. A simple Wireless G setup would be nice for now, as soon there will be a wireless N setup with faster speeds and better conections. You might read this on Wi-Fi. At the same time Hewlett Packard, Compaq, Toshiba, Lenovo(IBM), and others can match anything Dell offers.


You might look at this site on using a cell phone to hook a laptop to the internet.


The difference between laptops and tablets is tablets are built lighter and with lesser hardware usually. Most come with 12 inch screens. Most tablets are built for businesses rather than home use.

Hope this helps.
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    Retired Staff

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I, for the most part, agree with SRX660. To me if you are only using the internet and email. Running a business application every now and then, you could get by with a entry level notebook. Most every notebook comes with Wifi built in. If you are looking for free hot spots that will do what you need considering everything is standardized.
If you are going to require internet everywhere you go then this will entail a subscription to a nationwide ISP. Except for mountains that will almost have to be a satellite connection. The cheapest I know of it $50\mo, plus $200 for the equipment. If you want internet while moving you will need to invest in a auto-tracking rotodome. The start at $1,500 and go up.


You can find the auto tracking antenna at RV shops.
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Special Thanx Acklan & SRX660,

I have been looking @ various laptops since last here (which I can't believe I've been logged in since :whistling: :blink: can't believe I forgot to logout). But, I did check out WildBlue - they are not a mobile satelite supplier, only homes & businesses @ this time. I will continue my search. I've come across some good deals on laptops & have found through a friend-someone to build one for me @ $650 with everything, including titanium case (or something). I hope it works out, but I trust their judgement & they also already have one built by the same person for at least 2 years now...I will come back & post on what I find concerning net access anywhere...I'm sure there are others that could use that info 2. Thanx again.
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