Need help choosing first laptop

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Hey, I was pretty sure I was going to get a Dell e1505 or e1705 but I
read so many really negative reviews and 'i will never buy a dell
again' comments on cnet that it got me wondering if maybe there wasn't
a better laptop.. about 20% of reviewers either had hardware failures
of some kind or serious problems with customer service.. or both. light
leak at the bottom of the screen seemed to be a common complaint, as
well as cheap feeling keyboard, etc..

I'm not a gamer, I'm not a hardcore graphic designer/video editor, i
surf the internet, watch videos, listen to mp3s, do some lite photoshop
and audio editing/multi tracking from time to time, but i generally do
many things at once. i want a laptop thats fast (the dells had 1.66 ghz
duo centrino's), with 1 gig of ram, 100 gig hard drive, 8x dvd-rw, and
either a 15.4" or 17" display, as well as all the standard stuff, usb,
firewire, s-video, wireless, etc..

i could get the dell 15.4" for about $750 or the 17" for $850, is there
any in this price range from other manufacturers with comparable specs
that might have more consistently positive reviews from customers? also
im getting a laptop because i live in three different cities throughout
the year so i have little interest in dragging along a whole pc.. its
not for taking on the bus or coffee shops or doing work on the road
everyday etc.. basically it'll be used on my desk, in bed, and on my
couch.. so i was leaning towards the 17", just curious, is it overkill?


Re: Need help choosing first laptop

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Nope....I also prefer the large screens,,,desktop replacment systems

Re: Need help choosing first laptop

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I bought a Dell Inspiron 9300 (which has been replaced by the 1705 I think)
last June and it is just awesome!  It's heavy, of course, so I wouldn't want
to haul it around on a daily basis.  I would look at Dell, HP and Toshiba.
You can get some great deals at Dell right now, by the way.  And look on
sites like for coupons you can use on the Dell
website for serious savings.  That's how I bought my Inspiron for only $912.
It was configured at $1499.

Look for built-in wireless, at least 512 MB of RAM and, if you can afford
(or need) it, a dedicated graphics card.

Re: Need help choosing first laptop wrote:
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    I actually recently worked on one of these (e1705) for a friend
and was not impressed.  The thing felt like it weighed about 15lbs just
for the laptop and the power adapter seemed about the same weight as my
entire IBM Thinkpad X31!  Really cheapy feel to the whole thing, the
screen latch seems like it might last for about a month and the screen
hinges were so tight every time I opened/closed it I thought I heard
plastic cracking.  Also, the pre-loaded software (which, we removed) was
crashing and giving the "windows error reports" straight out of the box!
It seemed to have some potential hardware problems as shipped, brand
new, I did not deal with it long enough to know for sure though.

    That same night I worked on an Inspiron 8600 a bit for him that
refused to boot without the power adapter because it said it was
"docked" and running on battery only.  Well, apparently this was a huge
problem with many Dells due to defective motherboard design, see here:

    They seemed to shaft quite a few people on the warranty
"service" as well.  It looks like things are only going to go downhill
from here also, check this out: /

    I had an old Latitude CP (about 7 years back), it felt cheap and
eventually broke but it wasn't as bad as the new junk they're producing.
I'm in the "will never buy Dell again" camp as well.  If you want a good
machine check out the IBM/Lenovo, you'll spend more money but if you
need to depend on your laptop it's worth it.  If you can't spend that
much extra then, whatever you do, I'd suggest looking at other brands
besides Dell.  Go look at some in person if you can, it's hard to tell
how well (or poorly) these are built without actually trying one out.

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