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Laptop advice

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by StoneGiant, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. StoneGiant

    StoneGiant

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    I need a new laptop for a 3-9 month consulting engagement in London.

    Thoughts on platform / operating system? I've got all the Windows2000 & associated application disks. Do I really want to accept XP as an OS? The application upgrades will be expensive.... or is XP backwards compatible with Office2000?

    Is the new Mac laptop with Intel chip a viable selection?

    Is Dell still the best for maintenance on the road?

    Thanks!
     
  2. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    It'll take you 3-9 months to get through to Dell's tech support.
     

  3. StoneGiant

    StoneGiant

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    My understanding is that if I buy a Dell through my LLC, I'll get "better" (i.e., US) support than that provided for the "home" laptop owner.

    Whether or not that translates to the UK is unknown. Given that most of the Dell support techs now seem to live in former British colonies in Asia, my guess is that I can kiss off decent support overseas.

    So, if better tech support isn't going to be achieved by going with Dell, then I need a reliable machine. I've had a Sony for 4 years, and other than poor battery life, it's been rock solid. Tech support for Sony sucks big time, however.

    I've seen bad things about Gateway and Compaq, and am leery of low-cost clones.

    That seems to leave Toshiba and IBM still in the running...
     
  4. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    Office 2000 will load fine on XP.

    Anyone can register in Dell's business section, and the tech IS better. Supposedly you have about a 1 in 4 chance of getting a US operator. Through Home/Home Office it's like 1 in 12 or 15.

    *shrug*

    If support is a biggie for you, and you're not looking to be able to field the issues yourself, then Dell's higher end Business class warranties work well, but are not cheap. They do seem to step it up when you paid a fortune for the service agreement.

    If you buy a Dell Latitude (rather than Inspiron) laptop, you should have very good reliability. It's a computer, hardly bulletproof, but the Latitudes (and some Inspirons spun off from them) hold up as well as anything.

    I don't know anything about Gateway, but I wouldn't own a Compaq/HP if you gave it to me.

    I don't like Sony, and they charge extra for their "style".

    Not sure how Toshiba is these days, they used to be pretty awesome, but the ones I've seen in the stores lately look chintzy. But that's strictly a first impression thing.

    IBM used to be the gold (plated) standard, but since they are now wholly Chinese owned, I'm not sure how that's going lately.

    I think you'd have the best chance of solid tech support from Dell, but it can take some patience. Any time I've called them and basically already figured out the problem, they just ship me the part overnight I do the swap and ship the broken part back on their nickle.

    Considering the nature of the device, you basically roll the dice and hope for the best. I think Dell is overall the best package for value, support and reliability. May not be the 100% best for everything, but for a low hassle setup, prolly the best choice.
     
  5. StoneGiant

    StoneGiant

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    Thanks.
     
  6. David_G17

    David_G17 /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

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    For dependability and durability, IBM Thinkpads and Sony Vaios are well thought of.

    Toshiba is settling out of court over one of their laptop models. can't remember which it is, but there were serious issues with the motherboard, hard drives, etc.
     
  7. Altaris

    Altaris

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    Complete Care is the only way to go on laptops. To many unknowns that can happen, and it's nice to have peace of mind and not have to worry about them. (yeah I know that sounds like a sales pitch, but it's true).

    Gold Tech Support will always get you to a US person, the regular business support has a chance to go to US or India(mostly India). Of course if you call me, I have the backdoor number to the US people for my good customers ;f

    And like Havoc said, I think like the latitudes a lot, and would get one myself if I actually needed a laptop.
     
  8. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    I have to admit that of all the laptops I have used, IBM (now Lenovo) Thinkpads were by far the most reliable and pleasant to use.

    This is just anectodal evidence, but a couple of my friends had problems with Vaio motherboards, and the Sony tech support drove them nuts. The swore not to buy them again, but it could have just been a bad batch.
     
  9. hwyhobo

    hwyhobo

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    Oh, as for Dells, I think they are very nice laptops, just that the keyboards on Lattitudes (I never used Inspirons) were way too stiff and springy for me and seriously hurt my hands after even a short use (I have CTS). I have no problem with IBM Thinkpads and can use them for hours without any effect.
     
  10. wanna19

    wanna19

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    I know I'm coming into this a bit late, but I have two dells I use. One is the one I'm on... An Inspiron 6000. And an older (like 5-7 yrs) Latitude CSx. The 6000 has given me no problems, neither has the latitude that I'm trying to update. However, I once had an Inspiron 5100 that had problem after problem. First the screen died that I had to pay 800 for, then the batter died, which cost me a hundy or so, then I had about 5 MB failures, replaced on Dell's dime, and 3 HD's that bit it. When I called for the 4th HD failure, which happened right after the 5th MB replacement, I told them to either fix my problem for good, Refund my money so I could buy something that WORKED, or send me a replacement of equal specs. That's how I got my 6000. DEll support is fine as long as you are frim with them and tell them what YOU WANT.
     
  11. m2hmghb

    m2hmghb

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    I have a 9100 inspiron, so far I have had to replace the audio jack/fan assembly, 2 defective hard drives(one went then the replacement went), had to have it cleaned by their technition since it was overheating(very poor design, take it apart you risk voiding your warranty and it needs to be cleaned about once a year), and have a new ac adaptor coming since this one is on the fritz. Oh did I mention i bought the laptop for 2300 dollars in September of 04? I'm going to avoid dell like they were the plague, aside from the compaq that had its motherboard blow I have never seen this many problems on a computer.
     
  12. StoneGiant

    StoneGiant

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    Altaris,

    Any comments? Does the 6000 have the same problems as the 9100, or is m2hmghb's experience atypical?

    Thanks!
    -SG
     
  13. wanna19

    wanna19

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    my 6000's been problem free as stated above.
     
  14. Altaris

    Altaris

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    I know that some of the notebooks from several years ago did have overheating problems due to design (that I what I heard, as it was before my time). I haven't heard of any of those kind of problems since then.

    The 6000 is a very popular notebook for home and business users.
     
  15. wanna19

    wanna19

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    My only concern is the HD. It's not sufficiently cooled and will get up to 60*C if I don't either put it on a flat surface or let it cool for about 30 mins while upside down...
     
  16. astrolux

    astrolux

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    i'm a bit late on this, so sorry. sounds like you have your eyes set on a windows based system, but let me put something out there.
    macs aren't nearly as suseptable (sp?) to viruses and security threats as a windows comp. why? macs are only about 4% of the world's comp population so why write a virus for it? there's no benefit. also, a mac ships with all its ports closed since it's a unix based system. this means that any time someone attempts to access your system it will ask for the admin password immediately. should you receive a virus for a windows system via email and you have a mac, you wouldn't even notice. it'd be like someone insulting you in chinese (assuming you don't speak chinese).
    the macbook pro won't be out until mid march. i wouldn't recommend getting one though. it's too new and there isn't much software out. in order for the new intel macs to run OS X, it has to have an emulator (rosetta) which is built into the OS. true speeds aren't really known yet since the OS has to churn through all the code before it will actually run. the powerpc is an awesome chip, so i'd stick with that.