PLEASE, help me pick a laptop! - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 06-06-2008, 02:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PLEASE, help me pick a laptop!

I'm looking to buy a notebook for my genealogy research use. It will not be my main computer and I wouldn't be doing anything that requires a high spec machine - mostly photos, data collection, internet, etc.. What I do want is a reasonably quick machine with good screen resolution. After spending several days reading every forum I could find. I concluded most donít give enough info for the experts to really help them.
I collected these questions. I hope with this amount of info, one of you can help me!

Questions I have asked myself!
1) Exactly why do I need a newer laptop/notebook! My 10 year old Sony VAIO is no longer useful. Iím told it canít be upgraded! Plus the batteries are a 100 bucks! I need a unit that I can take with me to the Library or County Clerkís office to scan wills, birth certificates, etc. I often take hundreds of headstone photos in a day. I fill several Media cards, then download them back at my truck, check the results and go out again. I often go to peopleís home and scan in family photos, which I can later edit and repair.

2) What is my budget?
Around $800 although am prepared to stretch to $1,000.

3) What size notebook would I prefer?
I like things big and heavy! Heavy duty and well built is always better than dainty and cute! 15.5Ē or larger screen!

4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
One that doesnít run so hot. No Macs. More interested in their customer service! One that has techís that speak English and know their stuff. A brand that will stand behind what they sell.

5) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook?
Email, surfing the internet, editing photos, often run several programs at once. (Like word processing, a genealogy research site, and a Google search all at once.) DVDs, and sometimes record a little music to CD.

6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places or leaving it on your desk? Mostly will be left in one place, but occasionally will take it in my truck to a cemetery or County Clerkís office, or with us in our recreational vehicle on trips.

7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games?
No games at all, well maybe some card games.

8) How many hours of battery life do you need?
The more, the better, and cheap enough that I can afford several!

10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
I'd prefer XP Pro. Or a notebook I can down grade to XP! Donít want to have to buy all new programs.

11) Would you prefer standard or widescreen?
Donít care as long as my old eyes can see it! Probably the standard XGA -1024x768 or SXGA - 1400x1050 Iím thinking of going for mid-range as I want something decent for my photos.

13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?
Donít really know?

Build Quality and Design

14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
Not at all, just not flimsy or delicate!

15) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?
Not be DOA and for 4-5 years at least.

Notebook Components

16) How much hard drive space do you want?
Oh, 75-100GB, Itís not important, as I always use my external hard drives to store my data, only have the actual programs on the unitís hard drive.

17) Do you need an optical drive?
DVD-CD/RW sounds like the most sensible option.

18) What other options?
Must have multi Media card reader, and must have wireless network, (Wi-Fi), also want USB2 Ports. Want to be able to easily shut off the touch pad.

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Old 06-06-2008, 01:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE, help me pick a laptop!

Just to let you know its going to be extremely hard to find a laptop now adays thats new and has XP pro on it. Now we can help you downgrade to XP pro but this laptop I'm recommending to you has Vista on it. - Gateway P-6832 NoteBook Intel Core 2 Duo T5550(1.83GHz) 17.0" Wide XGA+ 3GB Memory DDR2 667 250GB HDD 5400rpm Dual layer DVD Burner Intel GMA X3100 - Laptops / Notebooks

Most programs that run on XP run on Vista as well. I don't see downgrading as a necessity but if you wish it then we can help you

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Old 06-06-2008, 01:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PLEASE, help me pick a laptop!

Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5670 (1.8GHz/800MHz FSB/2MB cache)
Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition, SP2
1 Year Basic Limited Warranty plus 1 Year Mail-in Service
17.0 inch Wide Screen XGA LCD Anti-Glare Display
3GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 DIMM
8X CD/DVD+RW Read and Burn CD and DVD
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
120GB 5400RPM Hard Drive
Windows XP™ Sticker

that comes out to be 750 and is a quality system that will last you a while and will do what you want perfectly with one exception. The only thing you would need is a media card reader, which is cheap enough off of newegg, and its better to just have a dedicated one. most laptops don't have dedicated media card readers in them to my knowledge.

another thing is the deal to get these laptops with XP on them is running out soon so you'll have to decide quickly if you want one of the dells.

also this is a Dell Vostro if you want a pic of it.
A notice to EVERYONE who has posted here with a computer problem, I highly encourage you to keep current with the forums, even if it's browsing for 10-15 minutes during lunch, or before you go to bed at night. There are many things that you can learn and apply to future issues. My goal is to help people get to a point where they can use their own knowledge to help themselves, and others.

Also please use the search button. You've got a 50/50 chance that someone's asked your question and we've answered it.
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