Want to buy a new laptop, help me choose
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Thread: Want to buy a new laptop, help me choose

  1. #1
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    Want to buy a new laptop, help me choose

    Laptop shopping really ****s, it's all about finding the best comprimise. There are such few options available it's very fustrating. I checked the Dell site to configure a laptop and the deals ****, way over priced for IMO. The Alienware configured much better than the Dell but no AMD offering, and I was looking at over 3,000 Cdn. Specs below:

    Area-51m 7700
    • Processor: Intel® Pentium® 4 531 Desktop Processor w/ HT Technology 3.0GHz 800MHz FSB 1MB
    • Operating System: Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional with Service Pack 2
    • Warranty: 3-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support with Onsite Service Bundle with AlienAutopsy and Respawn
    • LCD Display: 17" WideSXGA+ 1680 x 1050 LCD Clearview Display with Built-in Camera
    • Motherboard: Intel® 915P PCI-Express Chipset
    • Memory: 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 533MHz - 2 x 512MB
    • Video Card: Alienware® 7700 NVIDIA GeForce™ Go 6800 with 256MB of DDR3 memory
    • Hard Drive: Single Drive Configuration - 80GB 7200 RPM ATA100
    • Primary CD ROM/DVD ROM: 8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24X CD-RW Combo w/Software
    • Sound Card: Intel® High-Definition Audio (24-bit, 192Khz) with 7.1 surround sound
    • Primary Battery: Alienware® 7700 series 12-cell Lithium-Ion Smart Battery Pack
    • Additional AC Adapter: Alienware® 7700 series 220 Watt Auto-switch AC Adapter
    • Communications: Integrated 10/1000Mb Gigabit Ethernet & 56K V.92 Modem
    • Floppy Drive: USB Floppy Drive
    • Alienware Exclusive Offers: Gamespot Complete - Free 90-day Trial (a $20.85 value)
    • Alienware Exclusive Offers: 10% off your next EB Games online purchase
    • Free Alienware T-Shirt: Free Alienware® T-Shirt - Black
    • Desktop Enhancements: Exclusive AlienGUIse Theme Manager
    • Free Alienware Mousepad: Free Alienware® Mousepad


    Then there's the off the shelf offering the Acer Ferrari 4005WLMi, which has almost everything I want for a decent price;

    Acer® Ferrari 4005WLMI-XPP Mainstream Notebook
    • Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional
    • Mobile AMD Turon™ 64 ML-37 2.0Ghz
    • 1GB DDR
    • 100GB HDD
    • DVD±R/RW
    • 15.4in. WXSXGA
    • ATI® MOBILITY™ RADEON™
    • 802.11g, Bluetooth™, V.92 modem.


    $2344.99 special offer

    It's more my price range, and I'm a Ferrari fan so this obviously appeals to me. I'm trying to find reviews on this laptop as well, if you can point me to any I would appreciate it.

  2. #2
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    What about this HP ?
    It's about the same price as the Ferrari.
    Looking intelligent takes more than looking coool.

  3. #3
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    It's more my price range, and I'm a Ferrari fan so this obviously appeals to me. I'm trying to find reviews on this laptop as well, if you can point me to any I would appreciate it.
    What? A Ferrari fan? ...but they have been creamed this year by Renault and McLaren in F1.

    Their only consolation is in Indianapolis..

    Anyway I found a review of the same model with a 1.8Ghz cpu instead of 2.0Ghz.

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/article.aspx?art=1733

    What about this HP ?
    Yes, but does it come with a free USB Ferrari Mouse?
    "Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!"
    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratt
    What? A Ferrari fan? ...but they have been creamed this year by Renault and McLaren in F1.

    Their only consolation is in Indianapolis..

    Anyway I found a review of the same model with a 1.8Ghz cpu instead of 2.0Ghz.

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/article.aspx?art=1733



    Yes, but does it come with a free USB Ferrari Mouse?
    Yes...let's not forget the 6 straight constructor's and 5 straight driver's titles before that

  5. #5
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    Alien is a bit pricey, so Acer, definitely not SOHO HP for that much money (if any ), choose HP business class instead: NC/NX. The latter would be my first choice BTW.

  6. #6
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    Thanks a lot, the HP's look much better. Why the hell are laptops not offered in more configs? I mean I can guess why but it's just fustrating tis all.

  7. #7
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    I moved you over to mobile tech. We're hoping to generate more interest over there so there are more threads helping people decide on notebook purchases.
    Give what you cannot keep to gain what you cannot lose.

  8. #8
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    NC8230 is a pretty good lappy.

    Id go with 2.13 GHz P-M (faster then both of the fore mentioned CPUs), WXGA screen (1280x800) and X600 128MB (nowhere near the speed of "7700 NVIDIA GeForce™ Go 6800 with 256MB of DDR3 memory", but then this is a laptop, whereas Alienware can hardly be considered even a DTR, it is a desktop )

    Now if you can fork out for Acer Ferrari 4000 series with X700 and get one with WXGA not that rather ridicules WSXGA+ screen, X700 should do just fine with most of the games out there today at that screens native resolution. Just dont expect the same kind of battery life as HP I linked to above would offer you, but it should beat 5 minutes Alienware is capable of
    Last edited by F_A_L_C_O_N; October 21st, 2005 at 07:24 PM.

  9. #9
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    And exactly WHAT is wrong with WSXGA? It's a great resolution - from 14" away there is NO pixelation at all, lines are completely antialiased by the resolution of the screen itself. I I had to spend several hours a day looking at WXGA, the blurr would have distorted my vision long ago! The only thing that doesn't work for gaming is that these mobile GPUs don't have the raw performance to support these resolutions in complex scenese (but that's changing)...

    Now, WUXGA on a 15.4" screen is probably amazing... but I'm guessing the added clarity would be meaningless unless you were within 6" of the screen. That too, even adjusting your screen fonts, things might be a little hard to read.

    Anyway, I agree that the NC8230 is a VERY good laptop. The NX8220 is a great model as well. The Turion-based NC6125 is a good performer too, if you were wondering, but I'd skip it in your case on account of the less capable graphics.

    Anyway, the Acer 4000 would probably serve you very well indeed... and it's a bit more outspoken, design-wise. That's a minus if you're a business user, but otherwise probably a good thing.

    Anyway, all things being equal there is no reason to settle for a P4. The only thing that they will do better than Turion and Pentium-M is heat your house.

    If you can find a good Ferrari 400 confing, just try to avoid that "Crystalview" "feature" that Acer loves to tout. Making a laptop screen spectral looks great when it's off, under glass, or in a perfectly dark room. Otherwise, you can't see much past the reflections. Biggest bad idea going right now, IMHO. We've used some Acer Aspires in the office for some of our lower-level management... nice little laptops - except that I've come very close to taking a 500 grit sanding sponge to those highly reflective displays.
    We all Think Different too.

  10. #10
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    WSXGA+ resolution on such a small screen is stupid because I can guarantee you prolonged eye strain will couse damage to your eyes, speaking on account of friends expert opininon, hows that.
    Reason being its almost impossible to have all the fonts changed to desired size so you will constantly have to look at ridiculously small fonts.

    I definitely agree Crystalview" "feature" is a no,no.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for your input guys.

  12. #12
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    WSXGA+ resolution on such a small screen is stupid because I can guarantee you prolonged eye strain will couse damage to your eyes, speaking on account of friends expert opininon, hows that.
    Urban myth. You can't physically damage any part of your eyes by trying to discern something that's too small to make out. You'll tire several muscles and perhaps give yourself a headache, but it's not possible to cause permanent damage to the eye that way.

    But, you'll never be comfortable, and if your screen fonts are too small you could well damage your back leaning forward to get closer. So, if you're predominantly using your PC for text/reading functions, then you should try a few resolutions and find one that works for you. Your visual accuity plays a big part in this.
    We all Think Different too.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoyle
    Urban myth. You can't physically damage any part of your eyes by trying to discern something that's too small to make out. You'll tire several muscles and perhaps give yourself a headache, but it's not possible to cause permanent damage to the eye that way.

    But, you'll never be comfortable, and if your screen fonts are too small you could well damage your back leaning forward to get closer. So, if you're predominantly using your PC for text/reading functions, then you should try a few resolutions and find one that works for you. Your visual accuity plays a big part in this.
    well then I guess this one was myth busted, couse obviously someone working in the field knows nothing about it
    anyways, even if you think it ONLY comes down to "you'll tire several muscles and perhaps give yourself a headache" this is reason enaugh not to use it.
    BTW just to give my own input, this is not from the friend I mentioned before, why do you think so many of the older programmers who used to work on 50-60Hz CRTs wear glasses, eye strain maybe, nah it has to be urban myth, no glasses there, just imagining, move along, move along

    Oh and I will give you this, some of the prolonged damage, but usually not all, can be reversed, with time, talking yeas here, but only when one stops with the activity that coused the situation in the first place. This is my personal observation, on some people around me and what they said about the glasses they had to wear and wear now.
    Last edited by F_A_L_C_O_N; October 22nd, 2005 at 06:35 PM.

  14. #14
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    Ok, my sig has the specs on my new Laptop, or rather my desktop replacement. Anyway if you have been reading my post then you know how I feel, but it really depends on exactly what you plan to do with the laptop. For me, I wanted a portable system that I can game with as well as I can game on my main system. That is what the 7700 provides. A word of caution, they do run hot, but then that should be a no brainer. I am using a Vantec Lapcool 2. It is smaller than the base of the 7700, but it fits nicely centered and provides a nice airflow into the intake fans. Anyway It is all what you want in a laptop.

    Just my 2 cents,

    SJRACER
    Gaming System
    ASUS A8N-E Motherboard
    Athlon X2 4200
    MGE Viper Case (Blue)
    Aspire 600W Power Supply
    2Gig PC3200 (OCZ)
    2 Wester Digital RAPTOR 74Gig (Raid 0)
    1 Maxtor 300Gig SATA
    EVGA 7800GT 256MB PCI Express
    Viewsonic VG720 17" LCD
    Plextor PX-716A DVD Burner


    Main System
    ASUS A8V Deluxe
    Athlon 64 3500+
    Aspire Super X-Alien (Blue) Case
    1Gig PC3200 DDR
    Maxtor 100Gig SATA
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    XFX 6800GT 256MB Version
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  15. #15
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    A word of caution, they do run hot, but then that should be a no brainer.
    If heat is a big concern just get an A64 or (better) Turion or Pentium-M based model.

    well then I guess this one was myth busted, couse obviously someone working in the field knows nothing about it
    No, I'm not an optometrist. I did spend two years here though. I'm not just making this stuff up.

    even if you think it ONLY comes down to "you'll tire several muscles and perhaps give yourself a headache" this is reason enaugh not to use it.
    IF(F) your visual accuity is not high enough. If you have no trouble reading a cheap paperback at 18", you should have no reason to suffer eye-strain 24" away from a laptop monitor (which boast a MUCH higher constrast ratio than black ink on recycled paper). I, for example, have no such troubles. I know people who do, and for them I would NOT advise people to use 15.4" WSXGA unless they were intending to use if for graphics ONLY.

    For the record, I can't even imagine working on a 15.4" WUXGA... unless it was JUST CAD/Photoshop work.

    why do you think so many of the older programmers who used to work on 50-60Hz CRTs wear glasses, eye strain maybe, nah it has to be urban myth, no glasses there, just imagining, move along, move along
    Eye strain is HARDLY the only possible reason why so many of these folks wear glasses. First, our argument was primarily about text SIZE. Those old VGA Green-screens actually were displaying fairly large text.

    HOWEVER, they were also assulting the eye in any number of other ways.

    First, keeping your eyes at a fixed focal distance for too long DOES effect their ability to change focus. Hence, people who spend a lot of time reading BOOKS suffer a similar fate. As you age, the lense itself becomes less flexible (it calsifies). This usually results in far-sightedness. However, keping your focus at one fixed distance can accelerate this process.

    Second, the old CRTs were CONVEX AND SPECTRAL (glossy). The result was that they tended to reflect their surroundings - causing the overlay of a vieling reflection that reduced the contrast of the image and also created a second conflicting image at a seperate focal distance.

    Third, those old VGA monitors were not particularly crisp. This is the worst thing you can do to your eyes - give them something that will NEVER come into focus. A part of your brain called the Superior Colliculus controls 'focus' and staring at something blurry long enough will cause it to learn to make mistakes. In truth, over time, it will naturally correct, but most people (while still going to work and focusing on a blurry CRT all day) would go to the "eye doctor" and fail a vision test. They would then be given glasses that would, over time, permanantly destroy their vision.

    Fourth, refresh rate. Working at a low refresh rate is extremely stressful. The human eye percieves color and pattern information very slowly - 10-25 Hz, but percieves brightness and contrast on a much more narrow (in terms od bandwidth), but high-speed (50-80+ Hz)s ection of the retina and optical nerve (called the Magnocellular layers and channel). So working on a screen that blinks it constantly sending contrasting signals to your retinal and confusing the neural-chemical process that allows your eyes to adapt to different light levels.

    Finally, dark backgrounds. Your eyes adjust their photochemical sensitivity (by a factor of about 1 MILLION actually). This allows you so see thing in bright daylight as well as on a starlit night. However, because your photoreceptors are made vulnerable by dark adaptation, it's possible to do permanent damage to exposing them to bright light. Try it some time... step from a dark room into mid-day sun and see if it's not accutely PAINFUL. Reading GLOWING text on a dark background is not a great thing. Your eyes ADJUST to the dark background, but the high constrast of the text is much too bright to be comfortable on the area of the retinas on which it finds focus.

    So... there is more at work here than squinting after text that is too small.
    We all Think Different too.

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