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Topic: OT: Which Notebook?

  1. #1

    OT: Which Notebook?

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    I need some help guys.

    My dad - a technophobe engineer with a slide rule - has charged me (his favourite son who knows more than Bill Gates about computers) with buying a notebook for him.

    He\'s never had a PC - \"Why, I have a secretary!\"

    There are a few notebooks out there which look cool, but I definitely don\'t want to pick something up which is about to be superceded. On the other hand, it\'s time to buy, and waiting 6 months for the next big thing will see him go cold.

    He\'ll want to:
    Put Photos on the PC
    Burn music compilations
    Burn (maybe) home movies to DVD
    I don\'t think battery life is going to be a major issue - he\'ll usually have AC nearby.

    I\'ve looked at:
    the Sony Vaio GRV7P with DVD burner ($3000us) -the sales guys said it was a \'bit old\' - maybe because it wasn\'t a Centrino setup.

    Dell Inspiron 8500 - the reviewer said it had a sloppy keyboard.
    Dell Latitude 800.
    Toshiba Tecra M1 (just a Trident vid card)
    Acer 800 travelmate.

    Any of you gearheads out there able to point me in the right direction? Not necessarily from this list of course.

    BTW I\'ve seen comments about LCD screen native resolutions sometimes making text and icons too small. I would have thought this was user adjustable. Is it a problem?

    Taa friends

  2. #2

    Re: OT: Which Notebook?

    Hi Rick, I haven\'t had a great deal of hands-on experience with lap-tops (i.e. owned one), but I have bought a few for clients over the years.

    Generally I have found the Dell lap tops to be excellent. This is very much a personal observation but I don\'t find the Compaq or IBM lap tops (or desktops for that matter) to be much chop.

    In my contracting days in I.T. EVERYONE had Dell lap tops. They have good components, good screens and are generally cheap compared to the competition .

    About two weeks ago I purchased (for a client) an entry level Dell laptop with burner and the whole works for just over $2400 AUD straight off the site.

    For what your Dad wants to do, any lap top with a burner and Win XP should do the trick. It has the in built movie maker software and integrated CD burning.

    In relation to screen resolutions etc, you shouldn\'t have any problems these days. Win XP even has a \"clear type\" feature for lap top screens.

    Toshiba\'s are generally very good but also pricey. My brother in law once bought one through his business for $10,000 AUD. It is now a door stop in his sons bedroom. Honest!!

    Cheers, Scott.

  3. #3

    Re: OT: Which Notebook?

    A big consideration is the software. If you will be loading your favorite programs for him, then consider a notebook that isn\'t pre-loaded with a bunch of junk. If you want a PC that comes with the software pre-loaded, then get something with lots of bells and whistles already on board - but be aware that it may be a bit overloaded before you hit the power button.

    I\'m most familiar with Sony and Sharp (I work for the latter). The Sony\'s come with lots of pre-loaded apps. The Sharp\'s are very bare in the software department. Both compete well in the small and light end of the market. It\'s Sony, Dell and Toshiba in the heavyweight category.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Melbourne, Australia

    Re: OT: Which Notebook?

    Dell\'s are good... They are a good deal cheaper (about AUD$500) than the closest Toshiba with the same spec when I bought mine 3 years ago... The service is also top notch!!! One of the things that made me buy Dell last time was that over here in West Australia, we don\'t have any service centers for all other brands, which means a downtime of about 5 days for sending the laptop to the East where you are... Dell offered a next business day warranty in the first year... 2 months after I bought my Dell the screen crapped up... Phoned Dell at 3pm and next morning at 10am a technician showed up and gave me a brand new screen!!! If that was a Toshiba, it would probably still be on its way over to the East!!! [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    Delivery time is about 5 working days from the time the payment went through... I paid by BPay and told the customer service I needed it urgently for a presentation, so it came in 3 days...


  5. #5

    Re: OT: Which Notebook?

    Let\'s not discount Macs new notebook. Especially since, as a technophobe, it\'s a pretty damn easy OS to get a grip on.
    my two cents


  6. #6

    Re: OT: Which Notebook?

    Screen Resolution on LCD screens is a Problem. My Notebook has a 1600x1280 Resolution and the normal Font ist just to small for an old man like me. If I make the Font bigger, I have problems with the dialogs in some applications, if I run the notbook in a smaller resolution then his native screen, I allways feel like cleaning my glasses because everything is slightly out of focus...
    So: Go for big Disk and small resolution.
    Good Luck (and absolutely make your Dad SEE the computer first).

  7. #7

    Re: OT: Which Notebook?

    I second a Mac powerbook or iBook. If your father\'s not the tinkering type a Mac is so easy to use.

  8. #8

    Re: OT: Which Notebook?

    If battery life is not a big issue you should also check out Sager laptops (www.sagernotebooks.com, www.pctorque.com). Their bang for the buck value is unmatched. They\'re very powerful pc\'s (how about a desktop P4 3.06 with hyperthreading enabled and the latest ATI video chipset with 128 mb video ram).. but, they have average battery life, usually under two hours depending on what you\'re doing.
    You can also get more info and ask questions at www.sagerforums.com.

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