Common Laptop Purchase Questions
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Thread: Common Laptop Purchase Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
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    Lightbulb Common Laptop Purchase Questions

    Q. What Laptop should I get?

    A. Ask in the Forum and do your research on the top brands like Dell, Toshiba, Sony, Acer etc. Try to have some idea of which laptop market you want to be in:
    • Ultra-portable: very light, very minimal (small screen, no integrated optical drive etc)
    • Mid-size
    • Desktop replacement: powerful, heavy
    Q. What price range should I be looking in?

    A. That depends on you budget, looking in the Lower Mid range and up is usually a good price point to start, try and stay away from the low end laptops.

    Q. What Resolution should I get?

    A. Laptops usually have 14~17" Screens and Wide Screen displays. It really depends on your personal preference and eyesight, as well as the weight you're willing to deal with. Bigger screens make heavier laptops.

    Examples:

    15.4" Wide screen

    WXGA (1280 x 800)

    WSXGA+ (1680 x 1050)

    WUXGA (1920 x 1200)


    Q. I want to play games on my Laptop, what should I get?

    A. That depends on what games you want to play. For the newest games like HL2 you need a laptop with a dedicated graphics card. Most Mid range and lower come with integrated graphics (Built into the motherboard). Look for dedicated graphics cards like the GF 6800, ATI X700, etc. Try and stay away from the low end cards like the ATI X300 etc for gaming.

    Q. Should I get a wireless network card?

    A. Yes most of the newer laptops have the option of an internal wireless network card, you should get that option when ordering.

    Q. Should I get the extended Warranty?

    A. Yes, always buy the extended warranty as laptops are more prone to problems by design than desktop computers. They are also very expensive to repair with motherboards costing over $500 on ave.

    Mods feel free to update and add to this post. Anyone else, post the question and answer below and we'll merge and delete the post.

    Contributors: jankerson, Tuttle

    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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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    27,205
    Another post of reference dealing with laptops,

    Quote Originally Posted by DanceMan
    Found a website with some free downloads of laptop service manuals. It's not all-inclusive, but for those who might be interested:

    Service Manuals here.
    "I know nothing."
    Cheers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    7
    I found this article helpful in my recent purchase: http://www.oreillynet.com/databases/..._a_laptop.html

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    1

    What Laptop should I get?

    The one area, on purchase of a laptop, that I missed out on was memory: I felt comfortable that 512 was enough not realizing that 128 of this was going to be "shared" by my video driver. SOLUTION: order another 512 memory card from HP - It came but when I opened up the back of the laptop I found that the original 512 of memory was made up of two sticks of 256 (not one of 512 which I was expecting). Having only two slots for memory I ended up with 768. If I was to do it again, I would have upgraded to a meg on purchase - I found it very frustrating that HP Canada shipped with two "256" vs one 512 stick.

    Other than that, my research on price, make, wgt., hard drive size, screen size, etc. paid off;

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    27,205
    That practice is common with all the manufacturers.
    "I know nothing."
    Cheers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by steepbank
    The one area, on purchase of a laptop, that I missed out on was memory: I felt comfortable that 512 was enough not realizing that 128 of this was going to be "shared" by my video driver. SOLUTION: order another 512 memory card from HP - It came but when I opened up the back of the laptop I found that the original 512 of memory was made up of two sticks of 256 (not one of 512 which I was expecting). Having only two slots for memory I ended up with 768. If I was to do it again, I would have upgraded to a meg on purchase - I found it very frustrating that HP Canada shipped with two "256" vs one 512 stick.

    Other than that, my research on price, make, wgt., hard drive size, screen size, etc. paid off;

    Good Advice. My Toshiba A135-S2389 came with a single stick of 512MB, which is shared with the video card. I upgraded to 2 MB. If you are ordering online, maybe best to max out the memory.

    If you make a list of software and their hardware requirements before buying your machine, it will help weed out laptops. Also make a list of your peripheral devices (printers, MP3 players, external storage, etc.).

  7. #7
    It is obvious to first see what your requirements are if design or simple chat and mobility. You need to know what make you wish to get and if you fancy specific makes. Check the availability of parts and support and most of all if your laptop needs to be sturdy and resist weathering. What screen size and type and overall if you need a specific Operating system

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    Location
    North Carolina
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silverlady9 View Post
    Where can I find comparison table with types of graphics cards? How should I understand which is more powerful?
    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2...marks,123.html

    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


    HWC Folding@Home Team -- Learn How to Join the Team Here ---Detailed Stats

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