Technical specifications of laptops

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Dear NG,

I want to buy a laptop (basically for work, email and probably watching
movies and playing a little old games like civilization). I guess I want
one that has a DVD burner and a CD burner, that can burn all formats of
DVD (+, - and dual in the future would probably be useful). A wirless
LAN and I think thats all there is (I'm not sure if firewire is even
necessary.. I'm not sure if bluetooth is even necessary.. someone should
help me here). The problem is that I know little about the modern
techno jargons. I don't know what it means when they say .. ok the
laptop is has a combo DVD drive, or some strange word DVD drive... could
someone please educate me on those.. And furthermore could someone give
me a short summary of what it means for a laptop/PC having firewire
and/or bluetooth... I have the impression firewire is some kind of
modern USB or something. And on top of that, maybe someone could
recommend me a laptop (in Europe, currently Acer is really popular and
cheap.. but I don't know, how good it is) and tips and tricks on what to
look after, when buying. Thanks in advance.

Jose Capco

Re: Technical specifications of laptops

I'm running an ASUS M6BNE, which is customizable from your local PC
retailer.  I think it's great.
Combo driver - usually means CD and DVD capable, now mostly with DVD
burner (+ and/or -) that can also burn CD's.
Firewire - an interface usually found on multimedia devices (external
drives, DV camcorders, other laptops and devices).  Good speed for
transferring data (400Mbit/s), and is PNP.

Happy shopping.


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Re: Technical specifications of laptops

Hi Jose,

I am using a Dell 700m and I recommend it highly! Cnet editor's choice.

First of all, I suggest that you read about the customer and editor reviews
at of any laptops you may be interested in B4 you make
the purchase decision.

Some branded laptops have been known to overheat etc.

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Such drives would be listed as DVD+-RW, DL (for dual layer)
Oh yeah, getting a region free software (after you get your laptop) like
"anyDVD" is a must! [All DVD drives after 2000 have a region lock setting,
which can only be changed 5 times, which can only play DVDs of a certion
region] The software will allow you to play DVDs of any region without any

As for the wireless lan, get a laptop which has the INTEL CENTRINO logo.
Intel has fixed certain industry standards and only laptops with wireless
capabilities according to their standards can have this logo. All the parts
for wireless networking will be there if you have a CENTRINO laptop.
Oh yeah, the buzz word is "Intel 2915 DUAL Band" wireless card. Try to get
this wireless card for your laptop.

Firewire:- is like a USB standard but not so popular. This is not a
necessity as long as you get a laptop with USB 2.0 ports (not the older 1.xx
ports). Unless you have a camcorder (especially Sony) which you wish to
connect to your laptop, you don't really need a 1394 port, altho' it doesn't
hurt to have one.

Bluetooth:- you can always add on bluetooth to your laptop with a "bluetooth
USB dongle". Some laptops have integrated bluetooth which means that the
chip is soldered onto the motherboard. This is pretty handy as more and more
bluetooth devices are coming out, e.g. bluetooth wireless mice etc. Try to
get bluetooth "version 1.2" if you can as 1.1 has been known to cause
conflicts with the wireless lan standards mentioned above. As for the range,
"Class 1" is about 100m whilst "Class 2" is about 10m.

Acer:- there are some posts about the bad service for Acer products so
altho' you may be getting a good deal (it is, I have checked), you run the
risk of facing lengthly delays if your laptop breaks down.



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