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I Got $1700 for a Laptop...suggestions?

 
 
D. H. Slocum
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      09-16-2003, 04:29 PM
I have been given a $1700 "scholarship" that must be spent on a laptop
and I would appreciate any suggestions as to models.

Portability is not a terribly significant factor to me, so I suppose I
would be more inclined to a desktop replacement. I don't have any
great demand for business applications, but I do want to be able to do
the basics (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.). I would
like to be able to play the latest games, so a decent system in that
regard would be nice. I need to connect to the internet, but really
do not know what wifi entails (i.e. what I need outside of the laptop
itself), nor if that is really all that significant to my needs.
Screen clarity resolution is important and I would prefer a larger
screen.

I was initially leaning towards something like the Compaq Presario
x1010 or the Dell Latitude D800, but after some helpful people in here
answered some Q's, maybe those focused more on mobility and battery
life then the optimal performance I was seeking. I don't know much
about the models or the companies, but Cnet has helped my ignorance.
Lately I have been looking at the HP Pavilion ZD 7000 (about $1700
thru Costco.com). So what would be your suggestions and why, please?

Thanks in advance!
 
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DarkScience
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-16-2003, 07:35 PM
If you're OK with the size/weight of the zd7000 (16" x 11" x 1.8" and 9lbs)
and the short (about 75 minutes) battery life, then go for it! However, I
recommend buying direct from HPshopping.com right now... The same mail in
rebates ($100 for the system, $50 for free floppy drive, $50 off an HP
printer) apply and their list price is only $30 more than what Costco.com
has before the rebates. But through HPshopping.com, there's a coupon code
for an additional 10% off and free shipping for custom configured notebooks.
Code PC9018 -- they also have a 30 day money back guaranty if you don't
like the thing. I just ordered mine. :-)

And for a powerful system, these HP's (the zd7000 or their ze5xxx series)
are about the best you're going to do for your $1700 budget. Centrino is
pretty well out of the question at that price point, but it's a huge
sacrifice in power anyway for longer battery life and greater mobility.
Centrinos perform very well though and even faster than P4 chips with
certain applications --- like Word. ;-)

Sony and Toshiba also have some offerings that may fit your budget.
Toshiba's P25-S507 is very similar to the zd7000, but more expensive and has
slower RAM. It has been discontinued though as Toshiba is replacing it with
a new model here in a couple weeks. I'm going with the zd7000 for now, but
may return it if I end up not liking it or if the Toshiba is a much better
deal... I doubt the new 17" Toshiba will be much better than the zd7000 and
it definitely won't be cheaper.

I can recommend some other good notebooks too, but none that I can think of
that are more powerful than the zd7000 and in the same price range.

Jeff


"D. H. Slocum" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> I have been given a $1700 "scholarship" that must be spent on a laptop
> and I would appreciate any suggestions as to models.
>
> Portability is not a terribly significant factor to me, so I suppose I
> would be more inclined to a desktop replacement. I don't have any
> great demand for business applications, but I do want to be able to do
> the basics (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.). I would
> like to be able to play the latest games, so a decent system in that
> regard would be nice. I need to connect to the internet, but really
> do not know what wifi entails (i.e. what I need outside of the laptop
> itself), nor if that is really all that significant to my needs.
> Screen clarity resolution is important and I would prefer a larger
> screen.
>
> I was initially leaning towards something like the Compaq Presario
> x1010 or the Dell Latitude D800, but after some helpful people in here
> answered some Q's, maybe those focused more on mobility and battery
> life then the optimal performance I was seeking. I don't know much
> about the models or the companies, but Cnet has helped my ignorance.
> Lately I have been looking at the HP Pavilion ZD 7000 (about $1700
> thru Costco.com). So what would be your suggestions and why, please?
>
> Thanks in advance!



 
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Barry Watzman
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Posts: n/a
 
      09-17-2003, 03:03 AM
That's actually a lot of money and will buy a nice laptop. In fact, you
can get good laptops starting at about $1,200 or so.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that if you queried
experienced users on this board, most of them would say that the best
laptops are made by IBM and Toshiba (noting here that we are talking
about "real" Toshiba models, and not about the Toshiba models made for
Toshiba by Compal). In my view, both Dell and Compaq are well down in
quality from either of those choices.

You asked, and those are my recommendations.


D. H. Slocum wrote:

> I have been given a $1700 "scholarship" that must be spent on a laptop
> and I would appreciate any suggestions as to models.
>
> Portability is not a terribly significant factor to me, so I suppose I
> would be more inclined to a desktop replacement. I don't have any
> great demand for business applications, but I do want to be able to do
> the basics (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.). I would
> like to be able to play the latest games, so a decent system in that
> regard would be nice. I need to connect to the internet, but really
> do not know what wifi entails (i.e. what I need outside of the laptop
> itself), nor if that is really all that significant to my needs.
> Screen clarity resolution is important and I would prefer a larger
> screen.
>
> I was initially leaning towards something like the Compaq Presario
> x1010 or the Dell Latitude D800, but after some helpful people in here
> answered some Q's, maybe those focused more on mobility and battery
> life then the optimal performance I was seeking. I don't know much
> about the models or the companies, but Cnet has helped my ignorance.
> Lately I have been looking at the HP Pavilion ZD 7000 (about $1700
> thru Costco.com). So what would be your suggestions and why, please?
>
> Thanks in advance!


 
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Stephen Rabinowitz
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-17-2003, 03:10 AM
I was also looking aat the zd7000 but want a dvd writer with -r & hp only
has +r.


"DarkScience" <Jeff at Applied Visual dot Com> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> If you're OK with the size/weight of the zd7000 (16" x 11" x 1.8" and

9lbs)
> and the short (about 75 minutes) battery life, then go for it! However, I
> recommend buying direct from HPshopping.com right now... The same mail in
> rebates ($100 for the system, $50 for free floppy drive, $50 off an HP
> printer) apply and their list price is only $30 more than what Costco.com
> has before the rebates. But through HPshopping.com, there's a coupon code
> for an additional 10% off and free shipping for custom configured

notebooks.
> Code PC9018 -- they also have a 30 day money back guaranty if you don't
> like the thing. I just ordered mine. :-)
>
> And for a powerful system, these HP's (the zd7000 or their ze5xxx series)
> are about the best you're going to do for your $1700 budget. Centrino is
> pretty well out of the question at that price point, but it's a huge
> sacrifice in power anyway for longer battery life and greater mobility.
> Centrinos perform very well though and even faster than P4 chips with
> certain applications --- like Word. ;-)
>
> Sony and Toshiba also have some offerings that may fit your budget.
> Toshiba's P25-S507 is very similar to the zd7000, but more expensive and

has
> slower RAM. It has been discontinued though as Toshiba is replacing it

with
> a new model here in a couple weeks. I'm going with the zd7000 for now,

but
> may return it if I end up not liking it or if the Toshiba is a much better
> deal... I doubt the new 17" Toshiba will be much better than the zd7000

and
> it definitely won't be cheaper.
>
> I can recommend some other good notebooks too, but none that I can think

of
> that are more powerful than the zd7000 and in the same price range.
>
> Jeff
>
>
> "D. H. Slocum" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) om...
> > I have been given a $1700 "scholarship" that must be spent on a laptop
> > and I would appreciate any suggestions as to models.
> >
> > Portability is not a terribly significant factor to me, so I suppose I
> > would be more inclined to a desktop replacement. I don't have any
> > great demand for business applications, but I do want to be able to do
> > the basics (word processing, spreadsheets, databases, etc.). I would
> > like to be able to play the latest games, so a decent system in that
> > regard would be nice. I need to connect to the internet, but really
> > do not know what wifi entails (i.e. what I need outside of the laptop
> > itself), nor if that is really all that significant to my needs.
> > Screen clarity resolution is important and I would prefer a larger
> > screen.
> >
> > I was initially leaning towards something like the Compaq Presario
> > x1010 or the Dell Latitude D800, but after some helpful people in here
> > answered some Q's, maybe those focused more on mobility and battery
> > life then the optimal performance I was seeking. I don't know much
> > about the models or the companies, but Cnet has helped my ignorance.
> > Lately I have been looking at the HP Pavilion ZD 7000 (about $1700
> > thru Costco.com). So what would be your suggestions and why, please?
> >
> > Thanks in advance!

>
>



 
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DarkScience
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-17-2003, 04:40 AM
"Stephen Rabinowitz" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:RgQ9b.23791$(E-Mail Removed) hlink.net...
> I was also looking aat the zd7000 but want a dvd writer with -r & hp only
> has +r.



I kinda felt the same way, but couldn't pass it up for the price right now.
Besides, +R is just as compatible as -R (+RW is another story). Newer DVD players
and DVD-ROM units will read anything anyway, so it's more of a political issue to
choose one over the other. I'd prefer to have -R/RW as it's the DVD Forum's chosen
format and my other DVD burners are -R/RW (one is both +/-), but I'm not going to
let one little format issue ruin everything.

--
- Jeff Kilgroe
- Applied Visual Technologies | DarkScience
- www.appliedvisual.com
- Have a multiprocessor Windows system? Download xCPU, it's free!


 
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DarkScience
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-17-2003, 04:53 AM
"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> That's actually a lot of money and will buy a nice laptop. In fact, you
> can get good laptops starting at about $1,200 or so.



Yeah, there's some decent laptop deals out there. The eMachines M5310 is $1200 and
is quite a nice little unit for the price. I would have to disagree with those who
say IBM's are top in quality, I have never had good luck with them holding up to
regular abuse compared to other brands and I've owned many laptops and equip a few
of my employees with them. As far as durability is concerned, I've had the best
luck with Toshiba and Dell Latitude units. Dell's Inspirons seem to be on par with
the notebooks from HP, Compaq and Sony and some of the newer Toshiba units. IBM is
about on this same level too - I like their designs, but don't care for a lot of
their configs and their prices are a bit high. Although, Dell's prices lately have
bordered on rediculous. HP sells the same config as Dell for $1K cheaper on
average and the quality is about the same - not bad, but the keyboards are mushy
(both on HP and Dell). IBM has the best feeling keyboards and I like some of the
Toshiba keyboards, but it seems that each model is different from any other whereas
IBM is consistant. My biggest fear about the ZD7000 I ordered is that it will have
a mushy keyboard. The Toshiba P25 had a pretty decent keyboard for the feel of the
keys, but the palm-rest area was terribly uncomfortable and unlike most other 17"
notebooks, it didn't have a separate numeric keypad, just lots of wasted space.
The HP ze55xx units are actually pretty nice (except for the horribly mushy, flexy
keyboard) and with current rebates direct from HP, can be had fully loaded for
$1500 or less, most nice configs shipped for around $1350.

--
- Jeff Kilgroe
- Applied Visual Technologies | DarkScience
- www.appliedvisual.com
- Have a multiprocessor Windows system? Download xCPU, it's free!


 
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Barry Watzman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-17-2003, 03:59 PM
I'd have to take issue with your statement that "+R is just as
compatible as -R". Recent studies and tests suggest that -R is more
compatible in set-top DVD players (the numbers had "-" playing on about
86% of devices, while "+" played on only about 72%, if I recall).

However, that said, both are "mostly compatible" and neither is "totally
compatible", so no matter what you do it's going to be "hit or miss",
and while I prefer "-", the difference probably isn't great enough to
justify rejecting a laptop (or even a desktop DVD burner) for that
reason alone. As an example, I prefer "-", but I recently bought a
desktop HP 200i "+" drive because I got it brand new, full retail with
warranty, software and accessories, and a package of ten blank DVD+R
media, for $85 (don't ask, the deal is no longer available).


DarkScience wrote:

> "Stephen Rabinowitz" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:RgQ9b.23791$(E-Mail Removed) hlink.net...
>
>>I was also looking aat the zd7000 but want a dvd writer with -r & hp only
>>has +r.

>
>
>
> I kinda felt the same way, but couldn't pass it up for the price right now.
> Besides, (+RW is another story). Newer DVD players
> and DVD-ROM units will read anything anyway, so it's more of a political issue to
> choose one over the other. I'd prefer to have -R/RW as it's the DVD Forum's chosen
> format and my other DVD burners are -R/RW (one is both +/-), but I'm not going to
> let one little format issue ruin everything.
>


 
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Barry Watzman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-17-2003, 03:59 PM
I'd have to take issue with your statement that "+R is just as
compatible as -R". Recent studies and tests suggest that -R is more
compatible in set-top DVD players (the numbers had "-" playing on about
86% of devices, while "+" played on only about 72%, if I recall).

However, that said, both are "mostly compatible" and neither is "totally
compatible", so no matter what you do it's going to be "hit or miss",
and while I prefer "-", the difference probably isn't great enough to
justify rejecting a laptop (or even a desktop DVD burner) for that
reason alone. As an example, I prefer "-", but I recently bought a
desktop HP 200i "+" drive because I got it brand new, full retail with
warranty, software and accessories, and a package of ten blank DVD+R
media, for $85 (don't ask, the deal is no longer available).


DarkScience wrote:

> "Stephen Rabinowitz" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:RgQ9b.23791$(E-Mail Removed) hlink.net...
>
>>I was also looking aat the zd7000 but want a dvd writer with -r & hp only
>>has +r.

>
>
>
> I kinda felt the same way, but couldn't pass it up for the price right now.
> Besides, (+RW is another story). Newer DVD players
> and DVD-ROM units will read anything anyway, so it's more of a political issue to
> choose one over the other. I'd prefer to have -R/RW as it's the DVD Forum's chosen
> format and my other DVD burners are -R/RW (one is both +/-), but I'm not going to
> let one little format issue ruin everything.
>


 
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Nobody
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-17-2003, 05:02 PM


Barry Watzman wrote:

> I'd have to take issue with your statement that "+R is just as
> compatible as -R". Recent studies and tests suggest that -R is more
> compatible in set-top DVD players (the numbers had "-" playing on about
> 86% of devices, while "+" played on only about 72%, if I recall).


See the test report at
http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Arti...Tests&Series=0
and here are the results:

DVD-R=96.74% versus DVD+R=87.32%

If anybody knows of any other tests, please post the links.

> However, that said, both are "mostly compatible" and neither is "totally
> compatible", so no matter what you do it's going to be "hit or miss",
> and while I prefer "-", the difference probably isn't great enough to
> justify rejecting a laptop (or even a desktop DVD burner) for that
> reason alone. As an example, I prefer "-", but I recently bought a
> desktop HP 200i "+" drive because I got it brand new, full retail with
> warranty, software and accessories, and a package of ten blank DVD+R
> media, for $85 (don't ask, the deal is no longer available).
>
> DarkScience wrote:
>
> > "Stephen Rabinowitz" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:RgQ9b.23791$(E-Mail Removed) hlink.net...
> >
> >>I was also looking aat the zd7000 but want a dvd writer with -r & hp only
> >>has +r.

> >
> >
> >
> > I kinda felt the same way, but couldn't pass it up for the price right now.
> > Besides, (+RW is another story). Newer DVD players
> > and DVD-ROM units will read anything anyway, so it's more of a political issue to
> > choose one over the other. I'd prefer to have -R/RW as it's the DVD Forum's chosen
> > format and my other DVD burners are -R/RW (one is both +/-), but I'm not going to
> > let one little format issue ruin everything.
> >


 
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DarkScience
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      09-17-2003, 05:34 PM
I agree with your point of view... As for compatibility, I've seen so many
studies and every one is different. When I said +R is just as compatible, I
guess I was referring to most currently shipping DVD players. All current
name brand DVD players available in the retail channel (that I'm aware of)
will play both. Even secondary brands like Apex, SVA, KLH etc.. do.

On the other hand, I still feel safer handing someone a -R disc than a +R if
I need them to view what's on the disc.

Jeff

"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I'd have to take issue with your statement that "+R is just as
> compatible as -R". Recent studies and tests suggest that -R is more
> compatible in set-top DVD players (the numbers had "-" playing on about
> 86% of devices, while "+" played on only about 72%, if I recall).
>
> However, that said, both are "mostly compatible" and neither is "totally
> compatible", so no matter what you do it's going to be "hit or miss",
> and while I prefer "-", the difference probably isn't great enough to
> justify rejecting a laptop (or even a desktop DVD burner) for that
> reason alone. As an example, I prefer "-", but I recently bought a
> desktop HP 200i "+" drive because I got it brand new, full retail with
> warranty, software and accessories, and a package of ten blank DVD+R
> media, for $85 (don't ask, the deal is no longer available).
>
>
> DarkScience wrote:
>
> > "Stephen Rabinowitz" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> > news:RgQ9b.23791$(E-Mail Removed) hlink.net...
> >
> >>I was also looking aat the zd7000 but want a dvd writer with -r & hp

only
> >>has +r.

> >
> >
> >
> > I kinda felt the same way, but couldn't pass it up for the price right

now.
> > Besides, (+RW is another story). Newer DVD players
> > and DVD-ROM units will read anything anyway, so it's more of a political

issue to
> > choose one over the other. I'd prefer to have -R/RW as it's the DVD

Forum's chosen
> > format and my other DVD burners are -R/RW (one is both +/-), but I'm not

going to
> > let one little format issue ruin everything.
> >

>



 
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