Which new notebook? Opinions pleaze!
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  1. #1
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    Which new notebook? Opinions pleaze!

    Going to get a new notebook for use while traveling. Only need to run MS Office appz and the occasional viewing of CAD files (using eViewer). Will also be surfing net and e-mailing but not much else.

    I am an avid AMD user and have narrowed my hoices to 2 low cost budget Acer units:

    Acer Aspire AS3003WLCi NoteBook
    Mobile Sempron AMD3000+
    15.4" Wide XGA
    256MB 40GB 4200rpm HDD, DVD/CD-RW Combo
    SiS Mirage 2
    $630

    or

    Acer Aspire AS5002LMi-XPPro NoteBook
    Turion 64 AMD ML-30(1.6GHz)
    15.0" XGA
    512MB DDR333 80GB 4200rpm HDD, DVD±R/RW
    SiS Mirage 2
    $830

    I have been thinking of getting the lower cost Sempron unit and changing the HDD to an 80GB 5400rpm 8mb cache unit and upgrading the RAM to 1GB. It has Win XP home on it so i would change to XP Pro as well. By the time I finish the upgrades, I will be over the cost of the Turion rig, but I think the performance would be better.

    Is it worth the extra cash to get the Turion? I won't have any budget left to upgrade it if I pop for the Turion.

    What would you do? Opinions please!

    Thanks!
    Main DVD MM Rig:
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    Western Digital 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Samsung 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Western Digital 1.0TB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    LG 20x DVDRW-DL "SuperDrive"
    PNY GeForce 9800gt 1024mb w/Samsung 245BW 24" LCD
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  2. #2
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    If you intend to use it on the battery, beware the supplied battery in the cheapest Acers. It's only a 4-cell, as opposed to the 6 or 8-cells found in most budget models.
    I'd get the Celeron M myself, and I'm not an Intel fanboy. Recent tests have shown they have an edge in battery life against the Semprons, even though the Cels have no speedstepping and the Semprons have PowerNow. None of those tests had the SiS chipset that Acer uses in both the Cel and Sempron budget models. With both on the SiS, perhaps the Sempron gains back the advantage.
    Check out Anandtech's test on four $600 notebooks. The HP NX6110 looked good in that one. Even though I've been a bit of an Acer fan, I'd get the HP if the prices were close.

  3. #3
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    If I were in your shoes, I would also opt for another laptop. I have to give all my employees laptops and I have never been let down by IBM. They have a relatively new Z60 Series which looks very interesting and is fairly cheap.

    Check the link: http://www-131.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/st...catalogId=-840

    Also, another brand I like very much is Sony but not too many people here will agree with me so look around some more.

    I would really stay away from an AMD based laptop becuase the Centrino has really proven itself in portable platform.

    I hope this helps and sorry to be one of the bringers of bad news.
    ? Quantum Physics ? Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

  4. #4
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    Also consider HP/Compaq's line of 14" widescreen notebooks. They are selling for less than $1000, and that's after you upgrade to 512mb RAM, a 5400RPM hard drive, DVDrw drive, and 12cell battery.

  5. #5
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    I just got an HP nx6125. AMD Turion, 512 Mb RAM, XP Pro. Plus a three year warranty from HP-$939 at Newegg. Am very happy with it. I don't game-pure business machine, plus a little (okay, a lot) surfing.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834147254

    Nothing fancy. But I really wanted the three-year warranty.

  6. #6
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    I agree with the other posts here that you really should look around more before buying.

    When you are talking in that price range you REALLY need to be careful what you buy.

    If you think about the range you are looking in, there are Video cards on the market that are in the same price range ($600)..

    Something to think about, you really get what you pay for when it comes to Laptops.

    Also Laptops are very picky in general on upgrades and when things go wrong they can be a real nightmare to deal with, the cheaper ones are the worst.

    Intel I5 750 @ 2.67 Ghz, 4gb GSkill DDR3 1600, GB P55M-UD2, XFX Radeon 5850. , Seagate Constellation ES 1 TB, Seasonic Gold 620w, Win Vista Ultimate, Toshiba 32" HDTV


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  7. #7
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    I would also like to add:

    What ever laptop you finally buy get the extended warranty!!!!, at least 2 years, better 3 years, more than likely you will need it.

    If the warranty isn't avaiable for that model don't buy it, get something else.

    Laptops are VERY expensive to buy parts for with motherboards costing around $500 and more, replacing an LCD can be very costly too.

    Intel I5 750 @ 2.67 Ghz, 4gb GSkill DDR3 1600, GB P55M-UD2, XFX Radeon 5850. , Seagate Constellation ES 1 TB, Seasonic Gold 620w, Win Vista Ultimate, Toshiba 32" HDTV


    E6750 Core 2 Duo, 2GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 800, GB P35C-DS3R MB, ATI Radeon X1950XT, Seagate 7200.9 320GB, Win XP Pro SP2, Enermax Liberty 500w


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jankerson
    I would also like to add:

    What ever laptop you finally buy get the extended warranty!!!!, at least 2 years, better 3 years, more than likely you will need it.

    If the warranty isn't avaiable for that model don't buy it, get something else.

    Laptops are VERY expensive to buy parts for with motherboards costing around $500 and more, replacing an LCD can be very costly too.
    And just to add to what Jankerson said-Check on who provides the extended warranty. Lots of them are not through the manufacturer but may be with the XYZ Laptop Servicing Company or something. Get one with the manufacturer if you can or at least with a company that you have confidence in as to solvency. Companies go out of business, and the warranty is then nothing more than a nice looking piece of paper.

  9. #9
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    To add something I forgot earlier, the two reviews I've read recently on budget notebooks were consistent in mentioning poor quality displays, with poor colour quality and insufficient brightness (difficult to read in bright/outdoor lighting) being the most common comments. The HP in the Anandtech test had a better display than the others.
    I've just acquired a 2 1/2 year old budget Toshiba that was sold because of a dead hard drive. The cdrw/dvd installed W2k from a burned slipstreamed disk, but is now having trouble reading files on its own XP recovery disks and one from a Compaq. These are just examples of what can die.

    Consider also whether you get a proper XP install disk and a second driver disk (HP and Compaq) or recovery disks full of extra crap with no options to remove them while installing (Toshiba and apparently Gateway).
    You're a computer guy. Do you want a laptop that assumes you're an idiot who has no business in the bios? (Toshiba)

    There are quite a few other factors you may not consider at first.

  10. #10
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    I agree with SOME of what's been said here.

    First, the Acers aren't bad machines, but the batteries they use are simply pathetic. The displays also tend to be "brightview" which means glossy and you'll see your own reflection. They tout "brightview" because the unbuffed finish allows them to achieve a higher contrast ratio with the same LCD. Of course, when they test contrast ratio they don't do it with background lighting or glare, which will wash out the image on a brightview display.

    I'd also look towards the HPs. Their nx6125 is a very good machine, but even their little ze2000 model looked pretty nice when I checked it out at CC. The DV5000z is more similar to those Acers, though, but with better graphics, dispays, and batteries.

    As far as the Celeron-M options, I'd look into them too, but for the small battery life advantage you'd get it's usually hard to justify the price. Personally, all things being equal, I'd take a Pentium-M over a Turion, but usually things are unequal by 10-30% of the price of the laptop, which I wouldn't choose to pay except in very specific instances/applications.

    As far as Sempron vs. Turion. I think the Turion is not very much more expensive in the lower ranges, and I'd rather have a 1.8 GHz 512k L2 cache chip than a 2 GHz 128k L2 chip for the $20 price difference.
    We all Think Different too.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the info guys!
    I have did more shopping and am now considring the Pentium M but still leaning toward the Turion.

    I really like the HP NX6125 Jimbo1763, thanks for the heads up. More money, but seems to be better all around choice.

    Thanks guyus, this is the info I was looking for, I think I will shop a bit more and set my budget a bit higher...
    Main DVD MM Rig:
    CoolerMaster Storm Scout
    AM3 Phenom II x4 955BE @ 3.6 ghz
    Corsair H50 Watercooling kit
    4.0 GB AData DDR3
    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P Mainboard
    Western Digital 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Samsung 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Western Digital 1.0TB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    LG 20x DVDRW-DL "SuperDrive"
    PNY GeForce 9800gt 1024mb w/Samsung 245BW 24" LCD
    Corsair 620w Modular Power Supply
    Logitech z-640 5.1's
    Logitech Wireless Mouse
    Win 7 Ultimate........

  12. #12
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    The more I look at it, the more I am leaning toward the HP NX6125..
    Main DVD MM Rig:
    CoolerMaster Storm Scout
    AM3 Phenom II x4 955BE @ 3.6 ghz
    Corsair H50 Watercooling kit
    4.0 GB AData DDR3
    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P Mainboard
    Western Digital 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Samsung 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Western Digital 1.0TB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    LG 20x DVDRW-DL "SuperDrive"
    PNY GeForce 9800gt 1024mb w/Samsung 245BW 24" LCD
    Corsair 620w Modular Power Supply
    Logitech z-640 5.1's
    Logitech Wireless Mouse
    Win 7 Ultimate........

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMDnut
    The more I look at it, the more I am leaning toward the HP NX6125..
    Where did you find it? The best local prices are on Acers from the local smaller shops, as opposed to Future Shop or Best Buy. HP only show up occasionally at the latter two.
    If you're buying by mail or online, out of province could save you the PST.

  14. #14
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    Found it on NewEgg, but looking elsewhere too!

    Also researching the dv500 and ze2000 series HP notebooks, they look very nice as well.
    Main DVD MM Rig:
    CoolerMaster Storm Scout
    AM3 Phenom II x4 955BE @ 3.6 ghz
    Corsair H50 Watercooling kit
    4.0 GB AData DDR3
    GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P Mainboard
    Western Digital 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Samsung 750GB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    Western Digital 1.0TB 7200rpm w/32mb cache
    LG 20x DVDRW-DL "SuperDrive"
    PNY GeForce 9800gt 1024mb w/Samsung 245BW 24" LCD
    Corsair 620w Modular Power Supply
    Logitech z-640 5.1's
    Logitech Wireless Mouse
    Win 7 Ultimate........

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMDnut
    Found it on NewEgg, but looking elsewhere too!
    In the past they didn't ship to Canada.

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