Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22

Thread: Laptops

  1. #1
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,386
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Laptops

    I may need to buy a laptop and I am concerned about:

    1. Ease of adding/replacing components such as modem, memory, hard drive and CD-RW/DVD drive.

    2. Whether system comes with OS on CD, or just a recovery CD.

    3. Best brands/models for reliability and support.


    Recommendations?
    Pointers to sources of information?

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Quedgeley, Gloucester, England
    Posts
    5,333
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Laptops

    <post#=392271>post 392271</post#> might be a good starting point?

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    12,107
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Laptops

    John's suggested link IS a good place to start, but I don't think you'll find the answer to your second question in there, regardless of whether you're talking about laptops or desktops. All the print, television and internet advertising I ever see ALWAYS say what OS a system is supplied with, but they NEVER tell you whether it's a MS-branded, "normal" copy of the OS or some other kludged-up mechanism. You've seen right here in The Lounge the number of people who say: "... I didn't get a CD with ..." meaning that the OS, such as it is, may be "stored" somewhere on the hard drive. I think YOU're going to have to make it a buying criteria with whomever you decide is the best supplier. I too hate laptops! (see John's link)

  4. #4
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,386
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    The problem with notebooks is the proprietary drivers that may be needed for some devices.
    I do believe that this has become less of a problem, but if one purchases from the "name" brands, one may be stuck with whatever they are willing to supply.

    At a minimum, I'd want to be able to upgrade the OS, so if I were to purchase a system with Win XP, how would I be able to upgrade to th next OS. No vendor is going to commit to that. Indeed. most, if not all, do not even commit for desktops.

    An alternative is to purchase a no name notebook that does not come with an OS, but that presents other issues, so we are stuck with whatever the name vendors throw at us.

    AFAIK, IBM does have the best support at their web site in terms of documentation and software downloads.
    The only other notebook I've ever purchased was back in Oct 1992, and I didn't even think of such issues. Of course, that notebook has long since remained unused, indeed, the battery cannot even hold a charge anymore, but it is 386 and is really just a paperweight now. It does have Word 2, but I doubt very much I'll ever use that.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    As others have said, the issue with notebooks is that they always have lots of proprietary components. This has a number of disadvantages
    <UL><LI>You invariably have to get custom drivers, because the ones that ship with the operating system never seem to support what you've got
    <LI>You are dependent on the vendor for maintenance and repairs because you can't use generic spares
    <LI>Your upgrade uptions are limited to external (USB/Firewire) and vendor supplied parts[/list]I hate laptops - except when a laptop is the only tool for the job in hand. Since I travel a lot and often have to work from customer sites and hotels that means I choose to use a laptop for my main PC!

    The best advice I can give is to pick one of the really big name brands and then compare what's available this week. The danger with smaller companies is that they may well not be there when you need support.

    StuartR

  6. #6
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,386
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    I'm getting a notebook ONLY for travel purposes.
    Otherwise, they are cost ineffective critters.

    My choice of notebook may also be influenced by whomsoever is footing the bill for my services, as in this particular case, they are Japanese companies, including, perhaps, at least one of the biggie notebook vendors. So, I might end up with extra avenues of support to which other mere mortals do not have access.

    If the timing is right, and I get lucky, I might even be supplied with a notebook.
    But, I have to plan on not being so lucky and the first meeting is scheduled for Feb 2005 in Tokyo, so there's not so much time to fiddle around.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Renton, Washington, USA
    Posts
    12,560
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    We have had real good luck and service with the Sony VAIO series.
    I do most of my "Beta testing" on a PCG-FX150, it came with Me and is now running BOTH Me and XP Pro SP2. Sony provides update to the software and drivers for a OS up grade.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Brantford, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,391
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    I use an IBM Thinkpad for work - and I love everything about it, EXCEPT for the missing "Windows" and "Menu" keys (you know, the extras on the 104 - 107 key, desktop keyboards. I hate using mice, so the touchpoint (little joystick) in the centre of the keyboard is great. My hands almost never leave the keyboard.

    At home, I've got a Dell SmartStep 200 desktop replacement notebook. It's great for home use, and for the various meetings I attended for the different boards and clubs I've been associated with. However, I don't like the touchpad, and the display is only XGA, when I really, REALLY, meant to get an SXGA or UXGA display. Sure, I can put it out to an external display, but then I'm adding a mouse and keyboard to "make it sensible".

    The IBM has the "recovery" system on a hidden partition, where the DELL was shipped with a recovery CD. Neither is perfect because they're not MS direct software media, but it is the choice of the maker, how to provide you the means of re-installation. I'm not respossible for the OS upgrade on the thinkpad, so I'm not worried there, and the DELL will eventually run an Open Source OS when I require an upgrade due to software functionality.
    Christopher Baldrey

  9. #9
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,386
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    I've heard good things about the Sony notebooks, but they are pricey, and nothing outstanding for support, but then who does have adequate support these daze?

    I just want hardware that works for several years.

    The Compaq notebook I purchased in Oct 1992 had a few dead pixels.
    Compaq sent out a techie to verify, then sent a replacement.

  10. #10
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,386
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    I've not been using the Windows and Menus keys on my desktop, perhaps I should.
    Would those be more important on a notebook?

    I'm a TERRIBLE typist and I use the mouse and very few keyboard shortcuts.
    I'd likely finish (near) last in any typing speed contest.

    I would expect that any notebook could be upgraded to a new OS as long as the device drivers were available.

  11. #11
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bellevue, Nebraska, USA
    Posts
    569
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Laptops

    All of the above. Note that it is not just proprietary drivers that are an issue. But physical connections and characteristics too! If the 3rd party drive won't even slide in the bay...

    One thing to consider is warranty. Now I am going on a 4 year old Dell so they may have changed. This actually happened to us. The display fried when the system was just over 2 years old so we called Dell. This was about 9:00AM Nebraska time. At noon, Airborne express was there WITH a custom designed box. He waited for us to put it in the box, and slap a label on! The very next day, shortly after lunch, we had a fixed laptop with a new display!

    You can't argue with that!


    BillB
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

  12. #12
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    10,550
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    Whilst we are all naming our favourite vendors - I've been very happy with a series of Compaq and HP laptops.

    StuartR

  13. #13
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,386
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    I won't get anything with less than a 3 year warranty.

  14. #14
    Gold Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    3,386
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    As with desktops, one can always find folkes happy with particular brands/models.

    I was perfectly happy with my Compaq Deskpro while lots of folkes moaned and groaned about Presarios and poor support.
    Even for those with high rates of repair/return, some folkes were lucky enough to not have such problems.

    There's just no right answer to my questions.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Renton, Washington, USA
    Posts
    12,560
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Re: Laptops

    We now have gone through 4 Sony's, NOT because of failure but our needs out grew what we had. We have NOT had any hardware problems and all software issues were with the operator.

    Well worth the few extra $$ spent

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •