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Posted by Tim B. [Email] (more from Tim B.) on Sat, 5 Jun 2004 05:44:42 Share Post by Email
In Reply to: OT: Laptops...., turrbo [Profile/Gallery] , Thu, 3 Jun 2004 14:50:46
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I also bought my first laptop when I went off to school two years ago. I do some web design and film work, so I wanted something speedy with a big screen. I ended up with a Sony GRX560 (which had the largest screen on the market at the time at 16.1") that weighs something like 8.5 lbs and is just big and gompy.

I LOVE the screen, but .. I'd go for smaller next time. I think Sony does some of the best LCDs out there, but the laptop is so big it's a pain to carry around. Go for something with a 14" or 15" screen that's closer to 4-5lbs. They're cheaper and more mobile. Really, if you need a huge screen, buy a CRT or extra LCD to go with it. Also, a 17" LCD will be VERY expensive to replace if it fails out of warranty.

DO NOT GET A full-blown Pentium 4. The thing will be *waaaaay* too hot, as others have mentioned, and you might have to deal with overheating problems. Face it, they're not designed for laptops. Only go with a MOBILE chip, like the Pentium 4-M or Centrino. I have a P4-M, thankfully, and I've heard many horror stories from people with the P4 desktop version installed in a laptop.

Heh, if you get this behemoth of a laptop, why spend money on a port replicator? You probably won't be taking the laptop anywhere... :) Seriously though, while I enjoy my computer, I regret having such a huge one and wished that I, too, like my roommate, could grab my computer with one hand and hoist it into my lofted bed.

Wireless is good, 60 gb drive is good (although what's the RPM? I recently upgraded my laptop -- due to a failing drive -- to a Hitachi 60gb 7200 rpm, which is the same speed as most higher performance desktop drives, and let me tell you, the difference over a 4200 rpm is simply amazing. More than the screen, processor, ram, etc, if you have a slow hard drive, the rest of your computer will be bogged down. Spend the extra money to get a faster drive, not a bigger screen, and you will be happier, IMHO.

Reality check: anything you get will be fine, but it's sort of a which is "more better," I'd say. I've heard of Gateways not being as reliable as others (like Dell), but Gateway has a history of A) great warranties and B) no-nonsense replacement policies, a combination that makes fixing or replacing your computer less of a hassle. Gateways were, for a while, less expensive than their Dell counterparts, too, but I'm not sure if that's true anymore.

Good luck!

Tim B.
89 900S 5spd HB 173k

97 900S 5spd 5-door 95k (sister's)
95 9000CS LPT 5spd 91k (Mom's)
92 900S 5spd HB 140k (other sister's)
87 900S 5spd HB 205k (Dad's)

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