Need a basic, reliable laptop
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  1. #1
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    Need a basic, reliable laptop

    My Mom's Inspiron 2500 laptop died, more accurately the hard drive did. I'm not happy that a 4 year old lightly used HD crapped out so I'm looking for something hopefully more reliable. I'll be replacing the HD but want to get her a completely new Laptop. I know very little about laptop specs so I'm looking for some advice. This will be used for email and photo editing mostly. Requirements are under 1200 bucks, CD burner, uncluttered with software, good reliability, preferably with an AMD, and preferably not a Dell.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Depends on her eyes, but a 15.4" widescreen or even a 17" Desktop Replacement notebook should do the trick. Such notebooks are relatively quiet and powerful, with full-sized keyboards and plenty of USB ports. HP, Compaq, Acer, and even Gateway would do nicely.

    Core Duos are the best notebook CPUs at this point:
    15.4" Gateway
    17" HP (Core Duo or Turion64)

    Just to get the ball rolling.

    BTW, 4 years is a good run for any hard drive, especially a notebook drive!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. I've been wondering, is it worth looking for something with a 7200 RPM drive over a 5200, will there be a noticeable speed difference?

    Core Duos are the best notebook CPUs at this point
    Is the Core Duo an intel only CPU? If so, how much better than AMD's offerings?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dood
    ... is it worth looking for something with a 7200 RPM drive over a 5200, will there be a noticeable speed difference? ...

    The trade off would be increased heat.
    I expected increase in speed/performance
    but
    Did not notice any increase in speed in real world use.
    Notebook tested were two Dell Inspiron 6400.

    Whichever brand/model of notebook selected,
    Suggest at least 1 GB of memory.
    "I know nothing."
    Cheers.

  5. #5
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    To replace the hdd in the old one, I'd recommend a Samsung 5400rpm. Cheap, cool, and quiet. I have two of the 40G running, but wish one was an 80G.

  6. #6
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    7200RPM drives aren't all that much faster, really. A good 5400RPM drive is good enough.

    Yes, Core Duos are Intel only, and they are dual-cored CPUs, so they can be considerably faster than AMD's mobile CPUs, unless you find a Turion X2 setup. It's a bit overkill for a basic notebook, but if it's in your price range, why not?

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up

    Thanks for all in suggestions. I'm replacing the old HD to get her up and running and give me more time to research all the info for a new laptop.

  8. #8
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    I'm a big fan of the Seagate Momentus drives. Seem to be tied for the top in terms of performance, and my top pick for reliability.

    As far as the whole laptop, the Core Duo is a good performer, but it's not "basic" in the least (neither is a Turion X2). Both would mean a lot of extra expense, and probably with no real upside for you Mom (guessing she's not using CAD/CAM or a hard-core gamer!).

    I've been running into the HP/Q V5000z everywhere lately. It's a medium-sized, mid-range laptop with a nice build, good keyboard, screen and sound, that can be had for around $500. It's definately a comprimize... there are smaller, faster, lighter, fuller feature systems available, but this is a very well-rounded system that comes in at a very low price point.
    We all Think Different too.

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