Laptops~How Do I Know Which One To Get?

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Old 01-08-2010, 04:47 AM
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Wish Laptops~How do I know which one to get?

Here's the deal. I take college classes and am constantly fighting over who needs the computer with my 5th and 9th graders! I would love to have a laptop so I can go sit wherever I want and work. I don't have a lot of money to spend, but I want to get something decent. I don't need "fancy".....I just want the basics.

Any comments or help would be greatly appreciated.

If you have a particular one you have had success with I would love to know!

Also, I read that the end of January is the best time to get one cause the new models come out, making the ones in the stores "old". Any truth to this?
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:42 AM

RE: Laptops~How do I know which one to get?

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The new models come out all the time but most of them come out right before the end of summer for the back to school rush and then right be for christmas that times of the year that most consumer purchase. I have seen that many different companies have been doing blow out sales this time of year because they have some old models to sale. If you tell me your price point I can look an see what the best deals are. My dad is in IT and I use to work in retail sales at a computer store.
Or if you have seen on that you are looking I can tell you if it has good specs.
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:21 AM

RE: Laptops~How do I know which one to get?

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I just got one from best buy for under $400 before tax. It is a Gateway NV53. Here are the stats:
AMD Athlon II X2 M300
15.76" 16:9 HD LED LCD
320 GB HDD
4GB Memory
DVD Super Multi DL Drive
Webcam
Multi in 1 card reader
Windows 7
Dolby sound room

Everyone at my DH office that saw it could not believe I paid what I did- thought it was worth at least $500-I just bought it a week ago. I absolutley love it- BTW the guys ion my DH office were the IT guys- so they know something about computers, unlike me. I kind of shopped for more memory and a higher number on the hard drive (sorry for lacking technical terminology). The sound is fine on it and my DH and I can both be on skype and video chat each other while I am surfing the web- that is great to me!
HTH!
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Old 01-08-2010, 09:01 PM

RE: Laptops~How do I know which one to get?

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Most of the dirt cheap laptops (around $300 Black Friday prices) have Celeron processors which are the older, slower processors that I don't recommend. You are better to save up a bit & spend a little more to futureproof your purchase as laptops are difficult to upgrade.

Laptops have been dropping in price recently and you can get a lot of machine for around $400-450. Sometimes it will require a rebate to get the best pricing. You probably missed the actual best time as there were some smoking deals a few weeks prior to Christmas. However, there are still good deals periodically if you keep your eyes open. Some good deals come around at Frys, Microcenter, CompUSA & Tigerdirect with reasonable frequency.

I would suggest that you get a Core2Duo level processor and whatever other niceties that you might like (DVD burner, etc). 2GB RAM as a minimum - 3-4GB can be a big improvement depending on what you are running but 2 will serve for most applications. Hard drive capacity is not all that critical to me but is more important for some. I've found 160GB to be plenty but more is always better if the price is about the same.

My machine (bought about 7-8 months ago) is a Compaq CQ60-220US 16" lappy with Core2Duo processor, 250GB harddrive, 3GB RAM & DVD burner for about $400 after rebate from Microcenter. If you will carry it around for school all the time, you may want a smaller one that is lighter. 16-17" laptops have a nice large screen but can weigh around 7# & carry like a brick.
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:35 PM

RE: Laptops~How do I know which one to get?

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I wouldn't go with Dell. I have had two of their laptops and they're not wonderful. Customer service has been difficult to deal with as well. By the time you do all your 'add ons', they get pricey.

The first laptop, I had to replace the ac cord 4 times. The computer itself was ok. It lasted two years. (Inspiron 1501 - I think)

The second has been bad right out of the gate. It's slow, freezes up quite a bit, find myself using the good ol' 'control, alt, delete' trick ALOT - 4 times minimum a day. My keys have started to stick a bit (nothing has been spilled on it). My DVD/CD drive quit functioning. The sound is not great. This laptop is less than a year old. On the bright side, I haven't had to replace the ac cord yet, however, electrical tape is holding it together. (Inspiron 1525)

My FIL and MIL have an HP and it's been a great computer for them. They got it at Big Lots.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:09 PM

RE: Laptops~How do I know which one to get?

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HP is a great computer for the price -- I love my friends' HP computers.

I have a mac, but it was waaay expensive. I got it when I graduated high school with a scholarship I received so it wasn't such a hit.

Didn't I just see a hot deal/amazon deal on an HP laptop on here???
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:46 PM

RE: Laptops~How do I know which one to get?

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Thanks for your help! I will use all of your advice!
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:07 PM

RE: Laptops~How do I know which one to get?

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I would ONLY buy a Dell. Stay away, very far away from HP unless it is a printer. Dell has great customer service. Between my 2 offices and my home I deal with 4 desktops and 6 laptops that I use all the time. They are all Dells and are pretty sturdy. Power cords are a problem on most all laptops. I would suggest purchasing the replacement cord when you buy a laptop no matter what brand. The one I am using right now I purchased about a year ago it has 4 gigs of ram and 320 gig hard drive and was about $ 600.00. I would definitely get the 4 gig of ram it makes a huge difference especially when online. The biggest expense is really software. I have a old version of MS Office that I use so I didn't have to put $ 450.00 program on it when I bought it. I do agree with kvilledrummer go with the Intel core2duo processors the cheaper models will have Celeron processors and they are just not as reliable. Good luck and if you order a computer on line - put it in your shopping cart and call the sales number - there are usually upgrades that you can get added on through the sales department like upgrades on memory or ram or free shipping.
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Old 01-10-2010, 07:08 PM

RE: Laptops~How do I know which one to get?

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Wanted to add - you might want to watch the sales and get a wireless mouse and keyboard. I hate typing on a laptop keyboard I end up hitting the back key more than typing sometimes.
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