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

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by D. H. Slocum, Sep 16, 2003.

  1. D. H. Slocum

    D. H. Slocum Guest

    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!
    D. H. Slocum, Sep 16, 2003
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. D. H. Slocum

    DarkScience Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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!
    DarkScience, Sep 16, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. 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!
    Barry Watzman, Sep 17, 2003
    #3
  4. 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:...
    > 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" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > 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!

    >
    >
    Stephen Rabinowitz, Sep 17, 2003
    #4
  5. D. H. Slocum

    DarkScience Guest

    "Stephen Rabinowitz" <> wrote in message
    news:RgQ9b.23791$...
    > 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!
    DarkScience, Sep 17, 2003
    #5
  6. D. H. Slocum

    DarkScience Guest

    "Barry Watzman" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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!
    DarkScience, Sep 17, 2003
    #6
  7. 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" <> wrote in message
    > news:RgQ9b.23791$...
    >
    >>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.
    >
    Barry Watzman, Sep 17, 2003
    #7
  8. 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" <> wrote in message
    > news:RgQ9b.23791$...
    >
    >>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.
    >
    Barry Watzman, Sep 17, 2003
    #8
  9. D. H. Slocum

    Nobody Guest

    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/Art...DVD Media Format Compatibility 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 $85 (don't ask, the deal is no longer available).
    >
    > DarkScience wrote:
    >
    > > "Stephen Rabinowitz" <> wrote in message
    > > news:RgQ9b.23791$...
    > >
    > >>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.
    > >
    Nobody, Sep 17, 2003
    #9
  10. D. H. Slocum

    DarkScience Guest

    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" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > 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 $85 (don't ask, the deal is no longer available).
    >
    >
    > DarkScience wrote:
    >
    > > "Stephen Rabinowitz" <> wrote in message
    > > news:RgQ9b.23791$...
    > >
    > >>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.
    > >

    >
    DarkScience, Sep 17, 2003
    #10
  11. D. H. Slocum

    Bum Leg Guest

    Anyone ever get any more detail about the October Toshiba announcement of a
    replacement for the P25 S507 and similar? I am on the point of buying one
    of these as a desktop replacement, with the idea that i could occasionally
    move it (like when going to the beach for a few weeks) but mostly it would
    sit on desk at home.

    I've seen them in person and like them, they are reported to be very fast
    and pretty completely outfitted--the only thing that's slowing me down is
    the idea that Toshiba is about to come out with something significantly
    better!

    Thanks--


    "Stephen Rabinowitz" <> wrote in message
    news:RgQ9b.23791$...
    > 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:...
    > > 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" <> wrote in message
    > > news:...
    > > > 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!

    > >
    > >

    >
    >
    Bum Leg, Sep 30, 2003
    #11
    1. Advertising

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