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Old 05-18-2008, 01:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is this a good laptop?

It is a Dell XPS M1530. Going to be using it for school and also for gaming. Total shipped/taxed is $1632 with student discount. Anything that I could take out to save some money or anything that I need to add? Also, Do I need bluetooth and the wireless N card?

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Old 05-18-2008, 10:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this a good laptop?

Did you check with the school to see if you need to join the computer to a domain? If so, Home Premium wouldn't do the trick. Bluetooth is for connecting certain devices wirelessly (PDA/phone, mouse, etc.). An 802.11n wireless adapter isn't necessary since the protocol is not widely implemented. An 802.11g adapter would be fine.
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Old 05-18-2008, 10:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this a good laptop?

N is going to be used more widely soon enough, there are vast improvements over G so it makes sense to get the N card.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this a good laptop?

First off Home Premium will be just fine. It has the netowrking abilties of XP Pro. So if you can connect to a school network with XP Pro you can with Home Premium.

N ives you more range. While it is not widely used just yet doesnt mean you shouldnt get it.
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this a good laptop?

Should I get 4GB or Ram or 3? I heard that Vista doesn't allow for 4GB or is it over 4? I would hate to spend more $$$ for Ram that I won't ever be able to use. Also, going to go with a Inspiron 1720 instead since I can get all the same specs (except larger screen) for cheaper.

Also, anti-glare or glossy screen?
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this a good laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleHelix View Post
Did you check with the school to see if you need to join the computer to a domain? If so, Home Premium wouldn't do the trick. Bluetooth is for connecting certain devices wirelessly (PDA/phone, mouse, etc.). An 802.11n wireless adapter isn't necessary since the protocol is not widely implemented. An 802.11g adapter would be fine.
That is a g adapter too.
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this a good laptop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Millenniumtiger View Post
Should I get 4GB or Ram or 3? I heard that Vista doesn't allow for 4GB or is it over 4? I would hate to spend more $$$ for Ram that I won't ever be able to use. Also, going to go with a Inspiron 1720 instead since I can get all the same specs (except larger screen) for cheaper.

Also, anti-glare or glossy screen?
If the OS says 64bit version then it the RAM amount isnt limited. If it doesnt say assume its 32bit and try to go with 2-3gigs. And id say go with glossy, i prefer them and they look newer.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this a good laptop?

I'd get 3 gigs (I did in my new laptop, it's an HP but very similar to yours in terms of system specs) because usually they overcharge you for memory. In a year or so, a 2GB stick will probably only cost $50 as opposed to the $100 that system manufacturers usually charge just for upgrading the 1GB stick to a 2GB stick. Changing the RAM in a laptop is really easy too.

When I design a laptop, I make sure to get the best "permanent" components (ones that I can't easily change) like processor, graphics, screen, wireless, etc. You can get by with not upgrading RAM and hard drive because you can always upgrade these later.

I would go with the Wireless N and Bluetooth card (I have one in my laptop).
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is this a good laptop?

If you can, I'd ditch the camera, finger print scanner, and as much ram as you can. Buy your own ram off of newegg for like 1/4 of the price they charge you at dell.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Is this a good laptop?

I got the fingerprint reader and webcam free when I got an HP computer...I looked at Dell and their systems were overpriced compared to HP. My dv9700t has a 1680x1050 17" LCD, T9300 (2.5GHz), 3GB RAM (though you could save $50 or so by cutting it down to 2GB), an 8600M GS (with HDMI, VGA, and S-Video out), full keyboard with number pad, webcam, fingerprint reader, HDTV tuner (expresscard), remote control, Vista Ultimate 64, and WiFi a/g/n and Bluetooth for around $1800 to $1900.

To cut the cost, you can save money by cutting:

HDTV tuner (save $100)
Vista Ultimate 64 (get Home Premium 64, save $100 or so)
T9300 (cut it back to a T8xxx [2.3 or 2.4GHz or so] and save $200 or so)
1GB RAM (stick with 2GB, save $50)

In all you can save near $500, bringing your cost to around $1200 to $1300 for a 17" HP laptop rather than a 15" Dell laptop. It also has a 512MB 8600M GS as opposed to a 256MB.
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