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Buying A New Notebook--help!


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#1 isolde88

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 11:52 PM

Hi all. I'm sorry if this is a silly question, but I am woefully inept when it comes to computers. I'm a college student who is buying a notebook for an upcoming semester I'll spend in DC. This will be my primary/only computer during that time and I want to make sure I'll get something I won't crash/break/throw out my window in frustration (Trust me, if its bad and it's possible it will happen to me--I've had people suggest that my desktop and I go into marital counseling). I've read all the reviews I could come across and asked all my tech savy friends, and I'm now down to two options and was wondering if any of you fine, knowledgeable people have a preference.

The First Contestant:

A Gateway MT3707 with a 14.1" screen, 1.6GHz Pentium Dual-Core T2060 with 533MHz frontside bus, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB on the hard drive, ATI RADEON XPRESS 200M graphics with up to 256MB HyperMemory, Vista Home Premium, double layer DVD±RW/CD-RW, some USB ports, a PCMCIA Slot but no Firewire port and all that extra jazz they load onto 'em.

The Second Contender:

An HP dv6000z with a 15.4 inch screen, 1.80GHz/512KB Mobile AMD Sempron™ 3500+, 1GB RAm, 120 GB hard drive, NVIDIA® GeForce® Go 6150, Vista Home Basic, double layer DVD±RW/CD-RW, some USB ports, a Firewire port but no PCMCIA slot, some other slots/ports/holes to collect dust, a webcam and microphone, and even more bloatware than the first.

I've been told that HP is a better computer maker, but my desktop is an HP and . . . well, we won't get into that. After rebates, student discounts, tax and shipping there's about a $20 difference between the two (the HP being more) so I'm not really concerned about the price differential. I really just want a basic computer for word processing (lots of this) and the internet. I do have a rather large music collection to store and wouldn't mind watching a DVD now and again. I don't really game or edit film or anything, so I don't need a souped-up contraption with so many bells and whistles it looks like it could facilitate time travel. Any advice as to which to choose?

Anyway, sorry this was so long winded and thanks for your time and two cents.

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#2 JohnWho

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 09:08 AM

As long as the programs you'll want to run are Vista compatible, the compatibility shouldn't be an issue.

However, I'm not a fan of Vista Basic. At a minimum, I'd recommend Vista Premium, which the Gateway has.

I believe the Gateway's CPU clocks out faster, too.

If you can, I'd suggest you get a look at the two screens. Is the size difference very important to you?

If you are going to store a lot of files, including that music collection, maybe the larger HD will be the determining factor.

I have a Gateway notebook, and so far, it's been fine. I believe they've improved their build quality, although we may need someone with more experience working on notebooks to weigh in on this. So, from what I've read, the dependability may be about equal between the models you've listed.


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#3 usasma

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 10:55 AM

Also, take a trip down to the major computer stores in your area and "test drive" the different laptops. That way you'll have a good idea of what you like/dislike about them.

Your best bet is to get a service plan if it's offered (since money appears to be an issue). A laptop gets knocked around alot, and if you get a service plan with accidental damage coverage you'll be all set even if you decide to use it as a boat anchor! Service plans will cover hardware issues, we can cover the software issues here if you'd like.

We sell both Gateways and HP's where I work - and I believe that the HP has a very slight edge in reliability (but that's a subjective opiinon). That being said, the Gateway has more of what you'll need except for screen real estate - and that can be very irritating over the long term.

A few more bucks for a bigger display or a better OS?
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#4 isolde88

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 10:07 PM

Thank you both for your response. I had actually looked at both in the store before I checked them out online and thought both were okay for "value" computers. I actually went ahead and bought a Gateway--but not that one. I got one with a 15.4" screen.

Edited by isolde88, 28 May 2007 - 10:08 PM.


#5 JohnWho

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 08:22 AM

Here's wishing you well on your new purchase.

:thumbsup:


I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!





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