Laptop Under ~$1000 for college student?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by moss, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. moss

    moss Guest

    Ok, so I've been searching around for a laptop for school (to take to class and not have it die in class) and everything I've been looking for just doesn't seem right...

    So I need something with specs like this:

    System RAM: 512MB or better
    Hard Drive Size: 30 GB or better
    Monitor: Nothing WIDESCREEN 12" - 14"
    Processor Speed: 1.1 GHz or better
    Multimedia Drive: DVD ROM or CD-R/DVD
    Network: 802.11b(G preferred) 11Mbps Wireless Lan, 1GB Eternet LAN
    Battery: MUST last 3hrs or more! I have to take it to classes with me!
    Also, must be somewhat thin and lightweight.

    Only problem is that it needs to be below $1000, and I'd actually prefer it even less than that.

    Here's my problem... I bought this: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=3163026&sourceid=17933214092293303535 :
    Expecting it to be what I wanted, EXCEPT I didn't realize it only came with a battery that lasted 40mins, if that!(I knew of the 128mb of ram, I ordered extra) It's totally useless to me. I mean otherwise, its a decent laptop, but it doesnt last at all! It dies with in 20mins. The only upgrade batter is to an 80min battery and it's $109! At this point, I'm about to return my newly aquired doorstop to Walmart, it does me no good!

    I found a few on overstock I was interested in...
    Gateway:
    http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?PAGE=PROFRAME&PROD_ID=711283#

    Problem: 20gb HD and low memory... if they could be upgraded it wouldnt be a problem, but I dont know if they can be. (The HD i can deal with, the memory I can't, and can't find any info from Gateway.com :(. I tend to run alot of stuff at once and do a whole bunch of other crap).. No Wireless card.

    IBM:
    http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2.cgi?PAGE=PROFRAME&PROD_ID=736739

    Problem: low memory & no wireless card, same senario.

    So if anyones got any helpful suggestions, I'd really appreciate it :) I'm returing the ECS unless someone wants it for some desktop work :lol:
     
  2. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Links don't work, but I'd almost definetely go with the IBM over the Gateway. IBM laptops are excellent quality.
     
  3. skybreaker

    skybreaker Guest

    ever tried dell?
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    I own a computer shop, and I get a lot of laptops in for repair. I have also owned Gateway, Dell, IBM, Toshiba, Sony, ASUS notebooks.

    Overall, the Gateway has given me the best value. Screen quality is good. Brightness could be improved, but it's sufficient. Weight is on the heavy side, but that's due to my loaded-config. Performance is excellent. Overall, I would consider another Gateway notebook.

    Dell has always been the most popular notebook, it seems. It's also the one that I see most-often in my shop. Overall the quality is decent. Nothing really stands out as excellent with the dells, however. I would not consider another Dell because of their consistant poor hard-disk performance. They use IBM TravelStar drives (which are good) but they simply don't get good throughput through the IDE interface. I also have seen a high failure rate with their keyboards.

    Toshiba's are all-around poor notebooks, imho. They have configs in most categories (from budget to desktop-replacement) but none of them seem to hit the mark. Performance is decent. Nothing stands out as great or horrible -- so it's an average notebook.

    Sony has excellent screens, and decent performance. They, however, tend to be on the heavier side. Reliability isn't great, tho. Through warranty you're fine -- but don't expect much after that.

    Asus is what I sell in my shop. The M5N is the ultimate student notebook, but it is over $1000 (around $1200 for a great config). Reliability is un-paralleled with the Asus notebooks. Since I sell them, I do all warranty repairs for these, and I've never had a notebook go bad. After selling around 500 of them, the only repairs have been 1 faulty CD-RW/DVD-R drive... The rest is software-related. Battery life is also top-notch. My only complaint is horrible screen resolution (1024x768) in all models except the M6N.

    Fujitsu notebooks have the best screen, imho. I haven't worked with enough to comment on performance or reliability. They seem to be solid notebooks from what I've seen, however.


    In conclusion, I think you can't beat the Dell for a good student notebook. It's not going to be the power-house that a Gateway could be, but you can get a reliable and solid notebook for cheaper than any other manufacturer. If you can spend a couple extra bucks, you should look at a retailer near you for the Asus M5N. It's amazing.
     
  5. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Yeah, I forgot about the Asus ones. I know a guy who has one and I was very impressed with how solid it feels and how good the performance is.
     
  6. AbortionSurvivor

    AbortionSurvivor Active Member

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    Averatec 3200 series

    $700 for everything you asked for, but I got a 40GB drive.
    about 4.1 lbs
    G wireless
    2.8 hrs battery
    cd/rw & DVD
    AMD 2000+ CPU
     
  7. SL1200MK4

    SL1200MK4 New Member

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    :werd:

    http://www.averatec.com/notebooks/3200series.htm

    Trust me man... for budget stuff... They are one of the best that you can find. The only thing that you don't get is the battery life... I think it will only last for about 2 hours (depends on how you use though)...

    The keyboard actually feels pretty good to the touch and I am very picky when it comes that...

    Another issue is that it comes with XP Home instead of the pro... But I'm gonna run linux on it... (well some of the stuff might not work e.g. wireless but I will try)...

    edit: forget to say that the I would've rather have an iBook and pay a bit more for it though...
     
  8. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    :werd: I just thought of that too. Student price on a 12" iBook is only $950 US.
     
  9. beez

    beez New Member

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    If there existed drivers for my Echo IndigoIO card I would switch my laptop to linux without a second thought. I've done some research on wireless w/ linux since I have a multiport (modified usb) adapter and have found a bajillion sites with info on wireless in linux. Since you probably don't have a multiport wireless adapter, you might find http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Jean_Tourrilhes/Linux/Wireless.html helpful :).
     
  10. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    You can use pretty well any wireless card under Linux using ndiswrapper.
     
  11. SL1200MK4

    SL1200MK4 New Member

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    Thx bro that helped...
     
  12. SL1200MK4

    SL1200MK4 New Member

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    The iBook is pretty amazing... Fit my need very well but got problems of its own. It will cost a bit more when you throw 60GB HD, Wireless LAN, and extra RAM onto it. So, in reality even with educational price that I get. It will still cost a bit more than the Avertec which gets on sale every now and then in Canada.

    It will be a bitch to install Linux iBook, so far I think sound still doesn't work, nor wireless LAN. However, the good news is that I don't need linux on it... I can get OS X to run x windows code natively and get fink then run KDE. The fact that it's OS X makes it less likely to be attacked in public wireless enviroment as well. (e.g. campus netowrk)

    iBook is going to get a update soon, I suspect Oct, but likely before X'mas. That's when I will have to ultimately decide.

    I could've lived with the Averatec. But it's not as sexy as iBook (but actually thinner and smaller), could've probably install linux on it. But Cygwin under windows and VMware will probably do the job anyways... The battery life is 1/2 of what ibook gets usually, and runs HOT...
     

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