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Old 10-05-2005, 05:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need some Laptop advice

Ok the family's put me in charge of finding a decent laptop computer for my brother. He's in the Army and is shipping out to IRAQ in November. He loves to play games and believe it or not there are wireless hotspots around Baghdad from what a friend who went over there told me. He also told me that having a laptop to play some games on really helped his sanity over there.

Now if he could get a desktop computer I'd build it for him but I have no clue what's good for laptops except to avoid integrated graphics and to go with a Gig of Ram.

Right now I'm between Dell and HP because I'm looking around the 1500 dollar range. Might be more because I'm going to go ahead and get accident insurance and a full warranty because of all the sand over there. Checking to also see if he can get a military discount on this.

Got some questions though...

1)Would the AMD 64, the AMD Turion, or Pentium Mobile processor be better? What's the target speed I should go for?

2)Is a dedicated video card with 128 megs of ram good enough or do I need to get a card with 256 megs of ram?

Side note: On HP I've seen the mobile ATI RadeonĀ® XPRESS 200M graphics with up to 128MB of dedicated video memory. It says you can configure it to also share an extra 128 of system for a total of 256 megs of memory if needed. Anyone have this card, and if so would this work?

3)How important is the hard drive speed. I've seen 4200 rpm to 5400 rpm?

4)Should I go with an 8 or 12 cell battery?

5)What else should I look for and what other brands are out there that I shouls look for?

Any help would be appreciated. I need to the laptop ordered before the 15th of Oct.
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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GO dell inspiron series

If you want high end check out the 9300 or the xps.

They have a great selection of mid range lappies also. If you want the slim style with a bit more power than the average M proc then you can customize it completely. Or check out alienware if he wants to save a few. Feel free to shoot me a pm if you need more specific details.

On a M proc 8 cell is fine. 12 cell is better ofcourse, more bat life for the go.

But played again back to the gaming aspect, you can customize a dell 9300 series to fit a xps series for less cost. Bump to 512 or a gig if you want. Through in the ATI or nvidia mobility GPU chipsets ect.
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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RangerX,
I would honestly consider a Dell Inspiron 600m. Its lightweight, decent speed and great graphics make for a great Laptop. I Have 7 of them here at my company, and i can vouch that they are exelent machines.
Thanks

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Old 10-05-2005, 05:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm liking that Dell Inspiron 9300 series. Looks like it will cost around 1700 bucks with the Geforce Go6800 card and pretty much everything he needs including the accidental damage warranty and regular warraties for 3 years.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 10-05-2005, 05:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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what games is he wanting to play?

I used to work at Gateway, the warranty's only covered for use inside the US, there are weird laws about selling a PC to be used overseas. I just don't want you to spend $350 on a warranty & have a laptop come back with dust & bullet holes on it and think they'll fix it. Make sure you know what your getting into before buying a big expensive warranty in this case.

For gaming laptops I'd want one with a 17" screen, go to dell small business, pick the Inspiron 9300, upgrade memory to 1 GB and pick the Nvidia 6800 vid card (best you can get on a lappy) and price is $1,548 w/o tax.

The same thing on the home site is $1,698 w/o tax but you get a $250 mail in rebate.

Check out www.fatwallet.com too and google up dell discounts also to see if you can find any other types of ridiculous deals.
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Old 10-05-2005, 06:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll call him up and ask him what games he plays.

The guy I talked to who went over there did drop his notebook and Dell fixed it because of that expensive warranty. I just talked to a sales rep about the warranty and being outside the US and he said "no problem".
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Old 10-05-2005, 07:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i think the 9300 with a 6800 and 1GB will be fine to play all the games for now... lol i got a bullet through the screen can you fix it?
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Old 10-05-2005, 09:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Get a sony Vaio. They have good battery life, and decent memory.
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Old 10-17-2005, 01:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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get the inspiron 9300, its great i can vouch for that. great 17 inch screen make sure and get truelife, the geforce vid card and 1gb of ram and 1.7-2.0ghz pentim m and well the accident warranty. great for movies also, coz of the subwoofer installed
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Old 10-17-2005, 04:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Interesting post as I am responding to it right now from Iraq. First, yes there are wireless hotspots in Baghdag; it can cost upwards up $70 to connect to them. Then there is the problem of your insurgent buddy outside the gate easedropping on it, would not be niced to be hacked. Secondly, I will assume that he will be stationed in Baghdag. I say assume as people pretty much speak of Baghdag, but the most are not actually stationed there. Internet is available but I would go with the satellite wired as I am using right now, and even expect back that to have it's ups and down's and DO NOT expect to have anywhere near the bandwidht that you you would have at home.

Now that I have your attention! Probably 90% of us have our personal computers here, best way to keep in touch with the rest of the world, just assume that somebody somewhere could be watching it. There is lots of sand in Iraq, but not necessarily everywhere, however; there is dust everywhere and that is what kills the computers. I am currently using a Dell Latitude and have a HP in my room. Both have held up very well after 10 months, BUT! I go beyond the normal means too keep dust out of them and dust them down every day, and cover them at night. I can say that there are many here that have experienced computer breakdowns due to the dust. You need to see that whatever warranty you get is covered against sand/all other kinds of stuff getting in the components as many places wouldn't consider that as normal wear and a fault of the equipment.

To be honest, most people buy an XBOX or Playstation for gaming here. XBOX plus chip is only $175 and games cost less than $5 each. Where I am at, they are $1.50 but I am not a gamer.

What I see, is that a lot of people buy cheap laptop computers for internet and normal use, realizing that there is a REAL GOOD chance that it will somehow become broken. The other thing, is that you have to realize that this is Iraq, and it would be hard to get a few people together at the same time for serious gaming. Yep Baghdag gets attacked just like eveywhere else you hear about.

Now, if you are still considering buying; The Dells and Toshibas tend to be what is in use mostly.

Today is the 17th for me (16ths still for you) so I will assume that you have already ordered.

Just my 0.02 cents
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