Torn between several laptop choices Dell vs HP vs Toshiba?

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Ill summarize here:

I am seeking to get a laptop that costs no more than say $1350,
ideally having 0% financing options for a year or more.  My usage will
be on my lap alot or on the road.. possibility doing video editing on
the unit and maybe rendering or just exporting the video to another
desktop to do the final render.  Possibly doing Maya8 creations on
here as well.. These video aspects will happen very rarely most likely
though.  I may play a game now and then, but mostly my PC/360 covers

I prefer minimally a 15.4" screen.. I like the weight of the 15.4s ..
generally maxing out at 6.7 lbs.  I've used the 17" zd8000s.. they are
nice screen wise.. but i think after having that on your lap for a
while it gets quite hot.. even this dell e1505 (temporary work laptop0
i'm using, with go 7300 video card is getting kinda hot.

I want this laptop to last 3-4 years, run Vista.  I like to have alot
of apps open at once, so memory is key too.. I was hoping for a unit
that could be expanded to 4GB, but most of the ones I've considered
only goto 2gb (or so they say).

Another big thing is wireless N.. i prefer the unit have wireless N,
as this is my network both at work / home.  I wanted this to be
integrated, to avoid having a PC card (dont pc cards consume more
energy than an internal?)  i have a pc card now for wireless N, which
i no longer use on anything, but most new laptops only have express
card, that would be an added expense.

It would be really nice if the laptop had a CF slot, but this isnt
critical.  Firewire port would be an 80% must i think.

Dual harddrive ability is nice, but i think i could get around it with
a very large single drive (this gets into the whole 5400 vs 7200
argument, 7200 might only be 5 MB/s faster?).

I would want the system with 2gb initially, but.. I have found 667mhz
ram for a total of $120 for two 1gb chips.. in many cases the vendors
want $200 to upgrade to 2gb, so I would just get 1gb to start i'm
guessing, then swap the chips.

I do like some cool features like finger readers and the web cams but
they arent essential.

So here are the units I am considering now (in all of these they are
core2 duo's minimal) (in most cases these are with 80gb 5400 rpm
drives, which i would just replace with say a 120gb or maybe as big as
200gb seperately).

Dell:  (3 month financing is the max i can get out of them):

e1505 $1092 for a 1.83ghz 15.4" SXGA with 256mb x1400 (or 256mb Go
7300), 80gb (1gb ram); wirelessn/bt   (coupon code)  $33 per month
*this laptop with go 7300 is around 670 in 3dmark06

e1705 $1216 for a 2.0ghz 17"  SXGA with x1400 and 80gb drive (1gb ram,
add $120 for 2gb later on) wirelessn/bt (coupon code)  at a mere $37
per month  ($124 more than the dell e1505)

e1705 $1416 with geforce 7900 (gs?) 256mb

HP:  (6 months financing) *hp states they will have 4gb support and n
cards in 2 months time

DV6000t:  $973 for 1.83ghz 15.4" WXGA laptop, abg only, maybe
upgradable to N (swapping card maybe??0, go7400 256mb card  30 per

Toshiba:  (360 day 0% financing!) 4gb support now A200/a135 ; A2xx
with N wireless

a200-ST2041  $1154 total for 2.0ghz 15.4" WXGA 1280x800 with 1gb ram
(1 chip), 80gb hd, wireless, go7300 with ONLY 128mb video; webcam; no
finger reader

a135-4487:  DUAL HD support.. 1.6ghz dual core2.. 15.4", integrated
intel graphics (like 250 on 3dmark06); finger reader; (comes with two
120gb drives i think)

Gateway: 4gb support, N, but only raedon 128mb graphics 945 chipset
(TFT activematrix over the Ultra bright tft)
1.83ghz, 1gb ram, 80gb hd, N, etc= $1476  (nx570x)

M9700 Laptop:  7900GS (no wireless N options) = 17" = $1700 (too

So I was thinking maybe the wirelessN internal cards that HP is about
to come out with might be able to be put in the existing dv6000t
series .. same thing with the A135 series.. maybe the A200 series
wireless n card could be put in the A135?

Still not sure how integrated video would perform for video editing
(and maybe rendering) .. maybe Maya 8..  i like the toshiba a135 with
its dual hd ability and 4gb ability, maybe the A2xx series can do dual

Will I find the 17" laptops to be that much more unbearable at
transporting or sitting on my lap than the 15.4s?

thanks for any tips

Re: Torn between several laptop choices Dell vs HP vs Toshiba?

In general stay away from:
- Dell : very cheap and low quality assembly.
- Toshiba : over priced and not as good as it used to be
- Averatec : virtual being that do not have any tech support
- MDG : cheaters (U get laptop with missing parts)
- Lenovo : the same as DELL

If U are going to pay in rates that BestBuy and FutereShop might
have 0% financing.
 From "brand names" right now HP is qood quality and reasonable pricing.
HP has redesigned their "higher shelf" laptops and recently there
are nice models with Core 2 Duo (below $1500CAD) and Turion64-X2
(below $1300CAD) with 12-cell battery which gives up to 7h of working.


markm75 wrote:
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Re: Torn between several laptop choices Dell vs HP vs Toshiba?

markm75 wrote:

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I'd stay away from Dell unless you go to the higher quality Latitude
line of business notebooks. The Inspiron quality of construction and
design is not great.

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This is probably your best bet.

For less than $1300 you can get Vista Business (32-bit), Core(TM) 2 Duo
T7200 (2.0GHz/4MB L2Cache), 256MB NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) Go 7400,
Microphone + Webcam, 2GB DDR2 System Memory (2 Dimm), 160GB 5400RPM SATA
Hard Drive, LightScribe Super Multi 8X DVD+/-RW w/Double Layer 802.11b/g

I'm sure you can upgrade the wireless somehow later on.

Unfortunately, this notebook has no CardBus slot, so forget about any
way for an internal CF slot, you'll be using a USB adapter. But on the
lower cost notebooks, you're not going to find a Cardbus slot anymore,
because with the switch from PCI to PCI Express, it's become a lot more
of an expense to include a Cardbus slot.

Re: Torn between several laptop choices Dell vs HP vs Toshiba?

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Price wise the DV6000T looked nice.. I'm not sure if the internal wifi
could be swapped out for a draftN version at some point or not?

HP has stated they will have more laptops supporting 4gb of ram and
wifi N within 2 months, so perhaps I should just wait.

I'm curious on everyones comments on Dell.. We at work, have an
e1505.. theoretically the screen resolution is better than the HPs (we
also have a few HP zd8000 units)..

The e1705 is rated better than the e1505 and only $150 more plus
7900GS card (vs 7300).. What makes the dell not so hot?  Granted it
doesnt have cool (but would i ever use them) features like webcam/
finger print reader etc..

I also liked the built in Wifi N and it has express card.

Any thoughts on 17" vs 15.4".. I mean the e1505 for instance weighs
6.7 lbs and the e1705 i think is about 8.1 lbs.  Would this weight
really matter.. I do short stints to the car and use it on my lap in
the evenings.. i've heard from others with 17's that this is fine,
they just end up putting something on their lap due to the heat?

I think I'd rather get the 17" for $150 more (if i did go dell, but i
am still leaning on waiting on hp).. But I dont know :)

Re: Torn between several laptop choices Dell vs HP vs Toshiba?

markm75 wrote:

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I've been using a heavy HP on my lap, but found a lightweight
foam board (don't know what it's called, but it's rigid, strong,
and doesn't conduct heat) to maintain airflow. It sticks out
past the laptop to the right to permit using a mouse. A very
slick arrangement.

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