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Old 02-16-2009, 12:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Desktop enthusiast buying 1st laptop *HELP!*

I've been around computers for many, many years and have always used a desktop. I enjoyed the larger screen, relaxing in my chair and the better performance.

A laptop was never even a thought for me until the last few weeks and my job required me to be more mobile.

I will have to bite the bullet and purchase a laptop.

Today, I saw the Dell Mini 9 in BestBuy and gave it a try. Online, it was under $200 with 4gb drive, ubuntu, 512 etc.

I was about to buy it and and realized, after upgrading ram and ssd by myself, I'd still be around $300.

So I looked in Dell Outlet and with my coupon, could have gotten an inspiron with a Celeron, 15 inch, 80 gb, 1000 ram, etc. for a tad over $300.

Basically, I am looking for a laptop for cheap that can do the following:

MS Office
CorelDraw 4
Basic Internet

What is a Celeron? I've always bought the top of the line Pentiums and never even came across or tried this line before.

What do I need to look for?

What brands should I go with/models, and what should I avoid.

I'm guessing I will need just a little bit better than a netbook.

What about a used on on craigslist? Are there any guides to buying a used laptop?

What type of chips will give better performance than the atom 1.6? (I'm guessing it will be Celeron given my price range.)


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Old 02-16-2009, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Desktop enthusiast buying 1st laptop *HELP!*

Celeron is basically a lower end version of a Pentium. For a while, it meant that it just had a little bit less L2 cache, but now it is basically a Core 2 Duo with a slower FSB and less cache. All in all, even a crippled core 2 duo is more than enough to do anything you seem to be going for.

Go for craiglist, but like always, watch out for scams.

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Old 02-16-2009, 12:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Desktop enthusiast buying 1st laptop *HELP!*

Originally Posted by zabak80
So I looked in Dell Outlet and with my coupon, could have gotten an inspiron with a Celeron, 15 inch, 80 gb, 1000 ram, etc. for a tad over $300.
You probably meant 1GB of RAM. No such thing as 1000 RAM unless you were talking about megabytes.

OK, on to the questions.

Celerons are one of the processor lines of Intel that cater to the lower end market, while the Pentiums are more towards the mainstream. Pentiums are not the top of the line. Top of the line would be their Core 2 Quad mobile processors I think. (aaronkupen got this covered)

You should look for what suites your needs best. It looks like the purpose of what you'll be using the laptop for, isn't demanding. So most recent laptops today can handle that. But most people looking for a laptop, usually consider portability, weight, and size.

In my opinion, the good brands to look for are HP, Toshiba, Acer, Samsung, Asus, etc..

For what you're doing, yea, I would agree that you need a laptop more than a netbook.

You can check craigslist, but make sure you deal locally. If it's out of state or country, don't consider it. And read carefully on what the listing is offering.

Atom processors are usually intended for netbooks/ultra-mobiles. So basically any laptop will give more performance. Such processors would include the Pentium Dual Core or Core 2 lines.
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, I am very familiar with Intel's newest Quad line (using one right now) and have built numerous desktops.

I just have absolutely no experience or knowledge of Celerons.

Sorry about the ram error, I meant 1, not 1000.

Also, what about Intel M's? I'm guessing stay away?

What about buying a used laptop? What should I look for?
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Desktop enthusiast buying 1st laptop *HELP!*

The Intel Pentium Ms are old and outdated, as well as single cored.

Used laptops are fine as long as they work. Obviously you should look for the condition of the laptop, that the screen works, everything.

What is your budget for a laptop anyway?
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Desktop enthusiast buying 1st laptop *HELP!*

Think of Celerons as Core 2 Duos with only 1 core and half the cache. They still perform very well, but in my opinion, the Pentium Dual Core (basically a Core 2 Duo with stripped cache) is a much better value these days.

If you wanted something similar to the Dell Mini 9 but didn't want to invest in upgrades, consider the ASUS Eee PC 900HA. I have one and I love it. It's got an Atom N270, 1GB DDR2, 945GSE chipset, 160GB 5400RPM HDD, 0.3MP Webcam, and a 8.9" screen at 1024x600. Don't get it if you aren't after a small and portable size. There are other full size laptops that are much more capable (just not as portable) for around the same price. But I love the small size and light weight.

You can pick up a 900HA for $299 Newegg: - ASUS Eee PC Eee PC 900HA XP - Shiny Black Shiny Black Intel Atom N270(1.60GHz) 8.9" WSVGA 1GB Memory 160GB HDD Netbook - Netbooks

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