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Buying New Laptop, need advice/recommendations


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#1
Sk0rch

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I live in America. My price range is 800-1100. I don't want a Mac, and I don't want overheating to be an issue.

I will not be using it for gaming.
I want it to have great processing power, ram, etc. (so I can multi-task).
I want it to have a fairly high battery life.
I want it to be compatible with Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.

Size and resolution isn't a great concern, portability would be nice. I also want it to be durable, don't want to replace it in 2-3 years.

Nothing else is really of any importance, at least not that I can think or right now.

Please let me know if you need more info.

I need advice on which laptop to get, and where to get it. Money is an issue, I just want the biggest bang for my buck.

Right now I'm just looking at some on Newegg.
I am looking at a "business" laptop, the HP probook - it has a great battery life, and I don't really care about high quality audio. What do you think of this?
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#2
makai

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The problem with getting opinions on what to buy is that everyone has different requirements. Personally, I only use IBM/Lenovo business laptops.
THIS is a good site to visit to read up on laptops. On the right side of the page, you can even specify different parameters... including price range.
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#3
Sk0rch

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I am deciding between the Lenovo Thinkpad T500 and the Lenovo Enhanced Thinkpad T500.

The enhanced is more eXpensive but from what I gather, the only difference is that the enhanced has the business version of Vista, dvd burner, and a different wifi card. The business version of Vista is irrelevant because I am going to get Windows 7 Pro 64 bit from my school. The dvd burner I can live without. And the different wifi card.. I think the Thinkpad Wifi is better even though the Intel one costs more. Therefore I'm going with the the regular T500, which is 160$ cheaper.

Here is a link for the model:

http://shop.lenovo.c..._menu_area=true

It is 939$ - but I am thinking about doing a few upgrades, I put my justifications in parenthesis below, let me know if you think the upgrades are a good deal:

+ hard drive upgrade from 160 5400 RPM > 320 GB 7200 RPM (+50$) (faster and larger HD)

+ 15.4" WSXGA+TFT, w/CCFL Backlight (+75$ - this is so I can get 1680 X 1050 resolution and a better screen)

+ 4 GB DDR3 SDRAM (32.50$) (this is so I can utilize a 64 bit operating system)

+ 9 cell - Li-Ion Battery (70$) (much better battery life)

So after doing all that, the total comes out to:

$1,166.50 cents

After a coupon code (USPSEARCH), I save 175$, so it goes down below 1000$. After tax, it is back up to $1053.50 - that is the total after everything. This coupon code is very nice! It expires in two days though.


Is this a good deal? Any customizations that I included that are not worth it? Any additional customizations that I should consider?


One other concern I have is that in the customization screen, it says the current version of vista for this laptop is not eligible for a Windows 7 Upgrade. I'm pretty sure this means that they will not provide a free upgrade to Windows 7, which is fine because I get one through my school anyway. But I just wanted to make sure that by "not eligible" they do not mean that it is impossible for me to upgrade because of hardware limitations or something. This is not the case right? If I upgrade to Vista premium for 50 more bucks, then I am eligible for a free Windows 7 upgrade.
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#4
makai

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I'm not familiar with this laptop, but I also belong to the THINKPADS forum. This forum has very good information about the T500. The site is dedicated to IBM's/Lenovo's, so join up and visit the T500 sub forum. I'm sure you'll find a lot of answers from T500 users. Surely their opinions and advice would be better than anything from me! :)
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#5
Sk0rch

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I missed that the WSXGA+ had CCFL backlighting and not the LED. LED screens supposedly improve battery life and offers screen clarity, but the 1680 by 1050 resolution is also great, and only the + has that. I'm not sure which one to get anymore, based on this thread of people analyzing which one is better, there are mixed reviews of either choice. Some people think the LED screen is washed out.
http://forum.noteboo...ad.php?t=320218

I am leaning towards sticking with the WSxGA+ just because of the resolution, and I do not think I will be that picky about a CCFL vs LED screen.

For the warranty, I'm considering getting the "Mobile 1Yr Depot to Total 2Yr Depot Warranty" - which adds 69$

The return policy is not great - they charge a 15% restocking fee.

Also, I'm going to add the bluetooth incase I need to sync my contacts or something like that, and the camera in case I ever need that (total of +50$ for both)
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#6
makai

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:)

Typical buyer's dilemma! I've gone through it so many times myself. No matter how much you read, there will always be varying opinions on anything you can buy. I would stick with what you know about the screen and go with that. Heaven only knows that if you went with something else and you're not satisfied, you'd be stuck.

When I bought my last Thinkpad, an X61s, I had such a hard time dropping the cash because I was torn with just staying with my X31. I'm happy with my X61s, but then I still use my X31 too, so I didn't lose either way. All the Thinkpads are great machines, but they do have problems of their own. Whatever you go with, I don't think you'll be dissatisfied though. Then again, you may! See... always varying information!

Added warranty is good. Lenovo repair is excellent as long as the problem is covered. I've never had a problem with them... and they're quick... at least that's my experience.

Bluethooth... is not my favorite thing. I either removed the BT card, or killed the startup on several laptops I own. BT tends to integrate into too many applications to where it actually slows down launching the apps. It also eats battery time if left to start up on its own.
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