New to Forum, Need a new laptop

Discussion in 'Laptops, Tablets and Smartphones' started by mmmmmbarb, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. mmmmmbarb

    mmmmmbarb New Member

    Messages:
    4
    I need a new laptop now that I broke the ac port to my inspiron 600 and don't want to spend $100 to fix a crappy comp.

    So I need it for school pretty much, since I've been taking notes at UCSD lectures, and I think I'm going to sign up as a lecture note taker for a course. I want decent gaming features, but I won't be doing that much playing cuz of school. I want great multimedia features since I do spend a lot of time watching videos and playing audio.

    My budget is 900-1400. Pretty broad, but I'd prefer to spend < 1200, if I can. I've seen several deals on techbargains, but they're kinda old now. Just trying to camp a good one out. Anyone know of any good deals?

    So the most important features to me are in this order:
    Lightweight, perferably < 5.0 lbs. not including the block.
    Good Battery life, preferably > 3 hours w/o an addition.
    14-15 inch screen. Don't want anything too small.
    1.66 gb processor and up.
    2.0 gb memory. (Is this easily upgraded on your own? I've seen a lot of cheap DDR ram, and the upgrade to 2.0 gb from a 1.0 gb is like $150 from most manufacturers, so should I save money by doing it myself?)
    Decent video card
    Decent Sound Card
    Vista not necessary
    60gb or greater hard drive, don't need too much because I have an external. Preferably 7200 rpm, if it doesn't cost too much extra.

    I guess that's it. So far I've been looking at the Dell lattitude D630s and the Lenovo T61. Not sure the difference between T61 and T60. Those look like the best, and have received the editor's choice on CNET. Customized on their own, the dell comes out to 989 and the lenovo to 1139 with the normal site discounts. They only have 1 gb of ram.

    So... after my long wish list, here are the questions:
    1. Is it suggested to forego the $1xx increase for the ram upgrade to 2.0 gb and just install one myself? If so, should I start at 1gb, and install another 1gb chip?
    2. Are my specs reasonable? Is there anything I should change with what I want? (Eg. Faster processor speed)
    3. Dell D630 or Lenovo 61? Any present owners that want to let me know the pros and cons of both, and which to choose from?
    4. Reasonable alternatives? Anything around this price range and with these features that I should consider as well?
    5. Where can I look for good deals?
    6. Timing: Is this a good time to buy or should I wait until the end of summer so I can capitalize on the college student discounts?

    Sorry for the long post, and hopefully some of you got to the end. Thanks in advance for any help, and I hope I'm not violating any forum rules. Thanks!
     
  2. computerhakk

    computerhakk VIP Member

    Messages:
    3,626
    1. A better choice, yes.
    2. If you were able to get the t61 for that price, I'd say go for it. If you can post the link to the item, it'll be much easier as the configuration your looking at and the one I googled may be different.
    3. Dell has come a long way on their laptops as opposed to the desktops, however if I had the choice and the price was just about $140 different, I'd go for the IBM. However, the Dell wouldn't be a bad choice either.
    4. Narrowing down the field to your specific needs such as <5lbs, etc.. most of the deals are 12000+, so I'd say if you got those specs for those prices, it's a pretty solid deal on both.
    5. Newegg.com Tigerdirect.com Buy.com Outpost.com and also look at deal sites such as http://www.notebookreview.com/deals/
    6. If you dont have summer school and can wait, yes it will be better. By that time, what you currently want may of gone down a couple hundred dollars.
     
  3. mmmmmbarb

    mmmmmbarb New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks for the info computerhakk. I recalculated what I wanted, and it unched out $1107 dell lattitude d630 vs. a $1319 Lenovo T61. They have almost the same exact specs.
    Same 2 gig processor, 1 DIMM 1 gb ram, 7200 rpm harddrive (ibm has 100 gb vs. 80 gb from dell), 6 cell battery, and 128 mb nvidia quadro mds (135 vs. 140 M, not sure the difference). It seems like the dell has the similar specs, but is cheaper. However, the dell is 4.47 lbs vs. the 5.0 lbs from the ibm, and it comes with a 3 year limited warranty vs. the 1 year warranty from ibm.
    To me, it seems more worth it to go for the dell.

    Also, are these decent graphics cards? And how come they never offer different sound cards? I'm thinking of purchasing the logitech z2300s or a 5.1 system, but I'm not sure if these laptops will have a limiting sound card. Anyone know about this?

    Not sure if my customized specifications will be translated from these sites, but here they are:
    IBM:
    http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/...000150:&smid=F2F5363C71FA4D61B176AD5FB80FA5D8

    and
    Dell:
    http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W300&l=en&oc=blcwj1s&s=bsd
     

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