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  • Help me find a laptop

    I used to have a Sony VGN-S360, and at the time I felt it was the ultimate notebook - small size, great battery life, stylish, good graphics card at the time (X1600 mobility), strong/durable feel. It was stolen about a year ago and I have been using a company notebook since. I recently got a position with a new company and I need to provide my own laptop. I was very happy with the Sony, but the 1280x800 resolution felt pretty cramped when developing software.

    I am looking for a modernized version of the S360 - a small-ish notebook with a decent video card and good battery life. Although I loved the portability of the 13.3" Vaio, I am willing to move to a 15.4" screen to get more screen real estate - a resolution of around 1680x1050. 1440x900 would probably be acceptable, too. I was all set to buy the Compal IFL90 which is a 15.4" available with 1680x1050 and a 512MB nVidia 8600M GT, and was waiting for it to become available "mid-june." The release has now been pushed into July, but I need to buy a notebook this week! I would consider the Asus G1S if it didn't have the horrible styling and lights.

    Whatever I get, it needs to be able to play source engine games and BF2142, though not necessarily at 1680x1050. It should also be able to hit around 8 hours of runtime with a spare battery or optical-bay battery. I would prefer to stay at or under $2000, but it isn't a big deal if I go over budget.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  • #2
    Re: Help me find a laptop

    Checked out Alienware's laptops? I think they have several models that are $2,000 or less although I don't know what their battery life is like...

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    • #3
      Re: Help me find a laptop

      Alienware does make some pretty fancy notebooks. I've got a Dell Inspiron 9300 and it ain't too bad after you get rid of the bloatware that'll come with most retail PCs. I'd check out Acer and HP, always have heard good things about them. HP seems to be a pretty good deal from the few I've seen that my friends have, just watch out for heat.

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      • #4
        Re: Help me find a laptop

        Originally posted by DigitalAssassin View Post
        Checked out Alienware's laptops? I think they have several models that are $2,000 or less although I don't know what their battery life is like...
        alienware was purchased by dell. The XPS is basically a alienware machine but cheaper, which are great machines. But if you need one quick, toshido have always been nice. Acer has some good models but do some looking before choosing one of those.
        that sounds like a good idea trooper.
        -Vulcan

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        • #5
          Re: Help me find a laptop

          Alienware seems to cater to the 17"+ crowd. Their only 15.4" model isn't really very high-end and is only has a GeForce Go 7600 @ 1280x800.

          Dell XPS jumps from 13" to 17". The 13" is 1280x800 with a 128MB 8400M GS. Not quite what I'm looking for, but still an interesting option.

          I am considering a 15" macbook pro, but it has some deficiencies: single button trackpad, only 2 usb ports, no flash card reader. The 8600GT is "only" 256M, but that isn't a huge deal and I could live with the 1440x900 resolution.

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          • #6
            Re: Help me find a laptop

            Check Asus. They have a new line of Santa Rosas.

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            • #7
              Re: Help me find a laptop

              if you want to stay with XP you'll have to go with a business model. after Dec 2007 XP is out and it's all vista baby for both consumer and business's.
              That said I just gone though hell with Dell over canceling the latitude 9400. I made a ordeing mistake on.Their customer service sucks and I jumped though so many hoops and phone tags it was not funny. I finally got the dam hold taken off today so my CC should be credit back by end of the week, or so Dell small business finncial told me. been almost a month now waiting.
              Edit: spelling
              Last edited by sgt fetterman; 06-26-2007, 08:03 PM. Reason: Spelling
              {Once again, Fetterman wins "Grumpiest Pirate of the Week" award.} "Axis of Eeevil"

              Proud Member of "TG-IRR" Since 14 Sept 2007.

              Never give up, never give in. Fight until you die, or until you win. Failure does not come from a lack of knowledge or skill... It comes from a lack of will.

              "Bittersweet Symphony"

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Help me find a laptop

                Originally posted by Zoopy_T View Post
                Check Asus. They have a new line of Santa Rosas.
                Yep, and the G1S is exactly what I want, but it is just too ugly to stomach.

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                • #9
                  Re: Help me find a laptop

                  Hey, I am also looking around notebooks, just to get something which deserves saving money for so I think I can help you out :)
                  I have found this company which makes awesome notebooks, but they're Dutch and their delivery time is very long. (it's practically the same as Compal, it's just called different, BTO)
                  The specs you need are: Intel T7200+, 2 Gig's of RAM (1 gig is also possible but not recommenable), and a GeForce 8600M 512mb. Watch it, there is a big difference between the 256 and the 512 version, especially on higher resolutions.
                  So if you wouldn't have to have it within a week I'd strongly recommend a compal/BTO. You can configure these yourself and offer specs. from the T7100 to the X7800, from 1 gig to 4 gigs of RAM and all of them have a 8600M. But let's look at the alternatives:

                  Dell:
                  for ~$2050* you will have a 13,3 inch XPS M1330 with these specs:

                  Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 (2,2 Ghz, 4 mb Cache)
                  2 Gig RAM
                  GeForce Go 8400M
                  120 Gig Harddisk

                  So you pay far too much for something which not even comes to your needs. This one is no option. Let's look at the other models;

                  The Inspiron 1520 for example, I didn't look at the other XPS' because these are 17"+, which is too big for you. The Inspiron is also alot cheaper than the XPS'.

                  These are the specs you'll get for $1750*:

                  Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 (2,2 Ghz, 4 mb Cache)
                  2 Gig RAM
                  GeForce Go 8600M GT (256 mb)
                  160 Gig Harddisk

                  This model is a good option, because it looks good and has some nice specs, altough the screen resolution is 1280x860 and it doesn't carry the 512 mb version of the 8600M.

                  Asus:
                  Since you find the Gaming models pretty ugly I decided to look around Newegg for some other neat Asus models and found this one:

                  ASUS G Series G1S-A1 NoteBook
                  For $1,918.99 you'll have:

                  Core 2 Duo T7500 (yes I'm a fan of these)
                  2 Gig RAM
                  GeForce 8600M GT (256 and 512mb)
                  160 Gig Harddrive

                  15.4" WSXGA+ (1440x900)

                  ASUS F3 Series F3SV-B1
                  Another good Asus. This one's going for $1,598.99 but note that it only has 1 gig of RAM and you'll probably need to put 1 gig more in it. I'm not sure if this one has more than 2 memory slots and if it's using 1 of 1 Gig or 2 512mb sticks.

                  Specs:

                  Core 2 Duo T7500
                  1 Gig RAM
                  GeForce 8600M GT (256mb :()
                  160 Gig Harddrive

                  15.4" WSXGA+ (1440x900)

                  Conclusion:
                  Plenty of choice, altough I'd definitely consider an Asus. Just look around the Asus notebooks found on Newegg.com and you'll probably find what you want.

                  *Prices took from Dell.com
                  -Sorry for the long post by the way...took me like 45 minutes to write.. oh well..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Help me find a laptop

                    IBM Thinkpad (now managed by Lenovo)
                    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
                    I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
                    Feel free to quote me. ~

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                    • #11
                      Re: Help me find a laptop

                      I don't think the Asus G1S will have much battery life. The Asus A8SC has about 2.5 hours battery life on a 4800 Wh battery.

                      I vote for a Thinkpad as well. They have a ton of options for extra battery slots and extended batteries. You might be able to get 8 hours from it. They're expensive but they have the new Santa Rosa chipset.

                      Although, this sounds a lot like a work laptop. Do you really need a 8600 in it? A 8400 may be good enough if you can cut out gaming. It should help out with battery life too.

                      It may be even better to get a workstation replacement with nice specs. Order an extra AC adapter to keep at work and jack in every morning.

                      - It's who you game with.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Help me find a laptop

                        My nine-cell battery gives me eight hours of use if I turn the brightness down. My only complaint is the ATI video card.
                        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. ~
                        I have a tendency to key out three or four things and then let them battle for supremacy while I key, so there's a lot of backspacing as potential statements are slaughtered and eaten by the victors. ~
                        Feel free to quote me. ~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Help me find a laptop

                          I am typing this message from my new MacBook Pro. I went down to the apple store this afternoon and fell in love once I got to see one in person. The fit and finish is exceptional. It is definitely on par with my old Vaio, and blows away the Asus my old job provided. I haven't had a chance to get boot camp setup, but it should do quite well in games (256MB 8600GT). Although this laptop will be used for work, it is still my personal laptop. Besides, I end up in some strange places on business trips that don't always have a lot exciting things going on (factory provided housing and such) and it is nice to have a diversion.

                          Thanks for the suggestions, they were all appreciated very much. I posted a similar request over at notebookreview.com forums and they didn't offer anywhere near the amount of input. TGers rock

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Help me find a laptop

                            Originally posted by HgMaDHaTTeR View Post
                            I am typing this message from my new MacBook Pro. I went down to the apple store this afternoon and fell in love once I got to see one in person. The fit and finish is exceptional. It is definitely on par with my old Vaio, and blows away the Asus my old job provided. I haven't had a chance to get boot camp setup, but it should do quite well in games (256MB 8600GT). Although this laptop will be used for work, it is still my personal laptop. Besides, I end up in some strange places on business trips that don't always have a lot exciting things going on (factory provided housing and such) and it is nice to have a diversion.

                            Thanks for the suggestions, they were all appreciated very much. I posted a similar request over at notebookreview.com forums and they didn't offer anywhere near the amount of input. TGers rock
                            Be sure you get the applecare. I'm sure you heard the pitch but I worked for Apple as a technician and if any hardware piece goes out it WILL be replaced free of charge. I was a portable specialist and worked on many powerbooks, ibooks and macbooks and after dealing with so many people having to spend $1,000.00 and more because they didn't get Applecare, I will never purchase another Apple without it.

                            Gratz on your macbook! It's really a solid machine.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Help me find a laptop

                              A quick note about my bootcamp experience. I set up vista last night in about 30 minutes - it was quite painless. The drivers provided by apple are very well done, all the hardware works flawlessly under windows. Little details like the style of the "volume up/down" onscreen indicators are perfect matches to the osx side. The "geniuses" at the apple store told me I would have to get an external mouse to right-click in windows, but it actually works just like in OSX and I can right-click by putting two fingers on the trackpad. Very slick and quite easy to get used to.

                              I am getting 154fps in the CS:S video stress test at 1440x900 with everything maxed (except AA is off). I am damn impressed with the power this laptop is packing.

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