Buying a laptop

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I am in planning to buy a laptop. My application are primarily those of
financial engineering.

I am stuck between two options ... used laptops on ebay and new
laptops. The difference between the used and new laptops is about
200-250 US$.

Now to the question. The option in front of me are:

1) Used laptops

3-3.8 Ghz (Intel Pentium 4 processor or AMD Athlon), 1 GB RAM (333 Mhz
to 533 Mhz), 60-80 GB HDD

2) New laptops

1.2 - 2 Ghz (Intel Centrino Duo and AMD Turion), 1GB RAM (533 Mhz),
60-80 GB HDD

Would appreciate any thumb rules that I need to follow. I am basically
looking for speed, clarity and portability. I am OK with average to
good sound i.e not a big gaming or movie freak with the laptop.

Please advise.


Re: Buying a laptop

Unless you are looking for an extremely low end and low priced product,
you want to consider only laptops with either an Intel "Pentium M" or a
"Core" based processor.

My recommendation would be to get a new Core Duo or (better yet, but
more expensive) Core 2 Duo.  You can get one absolutely loaded, new, for
about $800 or so.  A Core (solo) should run around $600-$650 (but they
are disappearing fast and are already hard to find).

There really are no AMD processors that you should consider.  Neither
should you consider any Intel Celeron or any of the older ("Netburst")
Intel Pentium 4 processors.

My personal opinion is that when you can get a new machine, fairly well
loaded with an Intel Pentium M or Core Solo processor in the $600 range,
you can't save enough in a used machine to make any used machine a good
value unless a MUCH older used machine in the $200 range will meet your
needs (which I think is unlikely).

My specific recommendations would be a Dell E1505 (which is the same
hardware as the Inspiron 6400, but with Windows Media Center OS), or
SOME models of the Toshiba A105 (of which there are over 5 dozen
variants .... watch the configuration and wait for a good sale).

Also, don't buy anything before October 27th.  Machines bought after
that date will apparently qualify for a free or reduced cost upgrade to
Vista next year.

santosh kumar wrote:

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Re: Buying a laptop

make sure the minimum ram is 512 meg.
Pentium M or Core Duo
If you are going to use the machine a lot get an extended warranty/
If the brand you want doesn't offer it walk away.

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