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Choosing a new laptop...


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#1
jtg22

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I need a little advice with selecting a laptop.

I've narrowed my choice down to two model types, but I'm not particularly sure which model to go with and which options would be most useful to me. I'm trying to get a laptop that would be good for general use and also for games. I'm in college, so "general use" amounts mostly to writing papers and installing/using the occasional mechanical engineering program (3-d modeling, MATLAB, etc.). As for games, I'm not an intensive gamer (mostly WoW if I have time for it), but I do want a system that could handle most things that are newly released.

http://h10010.www1.h...41-3369264.html

and

http://h10010.www1.h...41-3355679.html

are the two laptops that would work best for me. Other than the price and the video cards, I do not see any differences between these two (Unless I am missing something).

Basically, if the video card is the only difference between the two models, then how significant is the difference between these two cards?
In regards to system specs, what should I try to aim for? A friend recommended the following for me, but I'd like to make sure that these are reasonable specs to aim for:

"Having a dedicated video card as opposed to one integrated with the motherboard.
having 2 gb of RAM
large screen size
200 gb hard drive
64 bit dual core processor, at least 2.0 ghz
Vista Professional as opposed to home premium (more features with professional.
office 2007 professional."

Since both laptops seem to have options that go beyond what my friend recommended, I'm not really sure how far I should go with each option. If anyone has advice on this, it would be welcome.

Finally, are either of these two models known for being defective in any way?

I'm sorry if this is a somewhat stupid post; I really don't know much about computer specs.
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#2
zoneykid

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One bit of advice i know well is that, dont get vista.

Stick with xp pro, since vista will only slow down your computer(what with all the extra programs and such it has) even if your computer comes with vista i would reccomend getting xp pro on it anyways.(directx 10 is not worth it)

Also personally i wouldnt get anything from HP, i would seek a different site like newegg since manufacturers usually overprice their computers(a stick of ram from a company like hp could be upwards of $100 while on newegg its only $35)

As for what you friend says, a dedicated card is needed for gaming, 2gb ram is good, a 20" screen is overkill(17" is just fine), 200gb... find a laptop that has a less amount but a second hard drive spot so you can get a second 120gb drive or something, office 2003 is perfectly fine so theres no need to get 2007.

If you want to play the newest games(at mid-high settings) you're better off with a desktop(in my opinion).

Also today(jan 13th 2008) woot.com has a razer copperhead gaming mouse for 33$ + $5 shipping(if i didnt already have an logitech g5 i would get it)

Edited by zoneykid, 13 January 2008 - 08:12 AM.

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#3
james_8970

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Vista Professional as opposed to home premium (more features with professional.

There is no such version, there is only Vista Home basic, Vista home premium, Vista Ultimate.
You will not notice the difference between Premium and Ultimate unless you are a very advanced user, I really suggest you don't limit yourself to this OS as you will be limiting the amount of laptops you'll be interested in.

One bit of advice i know well is that, dont get vista.

If vista comes on the laptop, keep it. All the drivers for the laptop are designed for Vista (assuming the laptop will come with vista), so unless you want another headache to solve, stick with vista. They offer a downgrade option, in which case the driver issues would be less of a hassle, but I'd still recommend Vista.

Give us a budget and we'll be able to better assist you.
James
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#4
jtg22

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I don't really have a definite set budget for this, but I would like to try to keep the price below $3,000 if possible.

Edited by jtg22, 16 January 2008 - 07:16 AM.

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#5
james_8970

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What kind of games are you planning on playing?
Alienware/Dell might be the way to go as you can customize the laptop to your needs.
The problem with the laptops you suggest above is that they do not have a discrete GPU.
James

Edited by james_8970, 16 January 2008 - 06:47 PM.

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#6
jtg22

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The games that I play most often are either World of Warcraft or some RTS games (warcraft 3, starcraft, C&C, etc.). When starcraft 2 comes out, I will probbably also get that game as well. I`m not really an intensive gamer, but I would like a laptop that can handle current games and most new ones.

As a side note, I can`t really use a laptop with a screen smaller than 17 inches very well due to a visual impairment that I have. I would consider buying a pc instead of a laptop, but I move around a lot these days due to college classes and an internship.

The laptop I need doesn`t need to be a gaming laptop specifically so much as one that could be used for games if I wanted to.
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#7
james_8970

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You're going to encounter a few problem with a gaming laptop if you move around a lot.
1. They're heavy.
2. They don't have much of a battery life.

Whether you want a laptop or a desktop is completely up to you to decide. Let me know what you want and I'd be happy to assist you :)
James
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#8
jtg22

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The weight of the laptop doesn't really bother me too much. I also almost never use my laptop without plugging it into a wall outlet, so battery life isn't really an issue either.
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#9
james_8970

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I'd suggest the following, very good laptop and a decent price considering everything in this area is overpriced.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16834220255
Please note, the resolution on this laptop is extremely high. When gaming with it DO NOT play one it's native resolution.
I have picked out the best laptop that I could find to suit your needs. It has one of the best laptop CPU's on the market and a decent (but not the best) GPU. You shouldn't have any issues running any games, as long as you do not game at the native resolution.
James
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#10
jtg22

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Thank you very much for your help with this. I have ordered that laptop and am hopingit arrives soon (my network card broke the other day).
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