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Advice On New Laptops


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#1 sokolnikov

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:52 PM

I'm new to bleepingcomputer,

I am looking for a recommendation for a new laptop. My current laptop is fairly old and the motherboard is starting to fail (I keep getting blue screens - I am going to post for advice on fixing it in another section, but I think it's time to give up on this thing), and I think it makes more sense at this point for me to buy a new laptop than try to fix this one, since my warranty has been up for a couple of years now.

So here's my situation: I'm a graduate student in Biology so I don't have much money, but I need a decent laptop. I use the machine for relatively intense data analysis as well as an interface with various data loggers out at field sites, so basically I'm looking for advice on what brands/models are durable with a good warranties. I also need a relatively fast processor and a lot of RAM. I'm not using this machine for gaming though, so I'm not particularly interested in good videocards or anything like that.

So my specific questions are:

1. what brands are known for durability and good warranties/customer service
2. does it make more sense for me to purchase aftermarket RAM, or buy a system with the specs I want
3. If I'm using this machine for simulations of biological systems that basically run lots of calculations in series, does it matter what type of processor I have (duo core vs whatever else is out there) -- or more simply, what are the advantages of the different types of processors that are out there.

I realize that I would probably be better off getting a laptop for field work and a desktop for data analysis, but the income of a graduate student doesn't allow for that.

Any advice is welcome, and I understand if it's not appropriate for people to suggest specific brands etc., so if you know any good review sites I would appreciate it. (I don't necessarily know which review to trust that come up on google, because I've been suspicious about the advice I've received in the past).

Thanks!

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 03:26 PM

I had an old IBM Thinkpad that was a workhorse. I like Dell's. The main reason is their support site. Not their phone support, but the site itself. Informative and easy to get around in. Whatever you choose, be sure to check for student discounts from either the mfg. or possibly the school

Edited by garmanma, 26 February 2008 - 12:35 PM.

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#3 sokolnikov

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 01:32 AM

I've been looking at the Latitude D630 and the ThinkPad T61. I'm leaning toward the ThinkPad based durability, but I'm somewhat concerned by the reviews I've seen of Lenovo's customer service. Durability is important to me, but so is getting the thing fixed if it breaks. I was quite pleased with the Dell support when my machine was still under warranty (I agree that the site is easy to navigate, and I was fine communicating with the techs via email). Is Lenovo's really that much worse? If so, is their construction and durability really that much better than Dell's?

Thanks in advance for any comments/advice.




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