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Thread: Laptops

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Tabbyville, PA


    I'm going to need a laptop for my job. Its something I need but since the designer at company headquarters still using the old fashioned hand-drawing type and is completely computer illiterate, my boss won't pay for one.

    Anyway, I will be getting a raise as of July 1st and I'll be taking over my new position the same day, and I wanted to see if I could get a new 'puter sometime this summer for work.

    A laptop seems to be the best for various reasons. I have never shopped for one, so I have NO IDEA what to look for. All I know is I need one with a larger screen for the design work (and my photos) and something relatively rugged because I am the Queen of Klutzville... I'm sure I'll drop it at least a dozen times

    Soooo... what to look for? Are certain brands better than others? Do some have better warranties? Are some more "delicate" than others? Of course, I also want a great price (don't we all?). I know PTers will have lots of experience and suggestions for me. I've heard both good and bad stories about Dells, HPs, etc. Share your horror stories as well as your good ones.

    Oh, and one last question: would it be tax deductible since I need it for work purposes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Alaska: Where the odds are good, but the goods are odd.
    I have ZERO luck with Compaq Presario laptops. I have had 3. Everyone of them was a piece of crap that eventually fell apart (the monitor hinges are flawed).

    For Christmas we bought a Durabook Notebook that we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
    It is rugged -- even 14.5 pound Willy using it as a landing strip didn't cause a problem -- where it would have shattered the Compaq. We bought the N15RI - 15.1" LCP display, 533 MHz FSP, 2 GB memory, 100GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive, Optical Disc Drive (burns DVDs and CDs) You might also want to buy an extra battery if you're going to be out in the field for long periods of time.

    We bought it from We have not had any problems whatsoever!
    Rugged Designed Notebook - Drop, Shock & Spill Resistant Optical Disk Lock & Battery Protection

    Now for a little more, you can get their Military Standard -- supposedly a laptop that is so rugged it can be taken into battle -- but we didn't feel the need for a screen that cut down the glare of the desert sun!

    If you click on the photos at the top of their webpage, it runs a little video showing how it reacts to being dropped and water and coffee spilled on it.
    Last edited by kuhio98; 06-03-2007 at 01:11 PM.
    Ask your vet about microchipping. ~ It could have saved Kuhio's life.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    I bought my first laptop a year ago. Compaq. While I haven't had trouble with the hinges (yet; oh joy, something ELSE to look forward to), it does what it wants a LOT and I am not very pleased. I did realize that compaq is the low end and price was a huge factor for me at the time. But geesh come on, stop going into ALL CAPS for no reason whatsoever! And there is no way for me to get it OUT of ALL CAPS, I just have to wait for it to decide to bounce back. Rebooting DOES work, but who wants to keep doing that? And then when I click on a PT thread, it sometimes decides to open a whole new window, all by itself. Again, no reason, I did NOT hit any buttons and I can't get it back. When it is in this ALL CAPS mode, the numbers and punctuation don't work. SO< A SENTENCE WILL ( TIMES OUT OF !) COME OUT LOOKING REAL WEIRD<

    Ok, so I did that one myself. But you get the idea.

    I would spend a bit extra for the next quality up.

    I don't know what to say about the bouncing. I would just invest in a better bag, as I drop it when carrying it, not when working on it.

    Will you need certain software for your work? Check what that needs for space and make sure you buy one that can support the software.

    I got the widescreen and really enjoy that. Takes getting used to as it is still smaller than the desktop monitor. And I got a cheap mouse and key pad to connect to the USB ports, they work fine for my stuff.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    I highly recommend a MacBook. It comes with a 1 year warrantee and you can buy an extended warrantee (an additional 2 years, so 3 years total). They're reasonably priced and Apple offers a payment plan if that's easier for you.
    You'd probably want (and need) to add more RAM. It's much cheeper to buy RAM from an online store and install it yourself, and its really easy to install.

    Quote Originally Posted by catnapper
    Oh, and one last question: would it be tax deductible since I need it for work purposes?
    Yes- BUT if you use also use it for personal use then it won't be 100% deductible.

    EDIT- I forgot about the programs you'll be running. Check to see if they're Mac compatible before looking into a Mac. MacBooks can run Windows through Boot Camp. Both Justin and I have used Boot Camp though (Justin more than I) and neither of us like it at all.
    - Kari
    skin kids- Nathan, Topher, & Lilla

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    I don't have much experience with laptops, but please take my advice and DO NOT get a Dell laptop. Mine got a virus, even though I set the virus scan to do each day. My dad found out that it didn't do the virus scan and called up Dell, they EVEN TOLD us it was the computer. When we finally managed to fix the virus one of the screen hinges popped out and wouldn't go back in. Then that happened to my brothers, sisters, and my teachers dell laptop. Then I finally just gave up after my computer got a virus again. They may be one of the cheapest laptops out there, but trust me they aren't worth it if the break so many times. To conclude, in the long run, a more expensive and efficent laptop is better. It will last long.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    New Jersey
    Well, I have a tosbisha laptop. I have had it for quiet some time, since sometime when I lived in florida. I don't remember the year I got it but I have been using it more since I got back. So, I have been using it reguarly since 2005 now. It hasn't broken once, my desktop background once did dissapear but that was from a virus that once I tried a few other programs then the nortan antivirus I got rid it. But, tosbisha are really good.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Dells are not the cheapest laptops at all. Actually, they've been rated some of the best out there and price wise - DEFINITELY not cheap :P

    I've had great luck with my dell it's been dropped numerous times and nothing has happened. The screen is great, doesn't get scratched up easily. Their customer service is excellent too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I have a Compaq laptop and it works great! I have had zero problems with it and just love it!

    I will love you forever Bobo

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    SE USA
    In 1998 or 99, I bought a Toshiba Laptop and I LOVED it! I loved it so much when it was time to move up, I bought another Toshiba. I bought my new one only about a month before Eddie had his accident so I took it to Norfolk and left it with them at the hospital and that is how she did the updates on the internet on him.. Last I hear, he is STILL using it and there has been "0" problems with it. I would buy another Toshiba but I too, shun Compaq.. I have known to many people that have Compaqs and everyone of them have had problems. A guy I work with had one and swore he had NO problems with it.... then it crashed and couldn't be brought back... so he bought another one.. He has nothing but problem after problem with it and now swears he will never buy another one. The tech support for them is no help at all!

    Special Needs Pets just leave bigger imprints on your heart!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    St. Louis, Missouri
    HJ and I have a Compaq and it's pretty hardy. We've knocked it off the table, the dogs have walked by and snagged on the power cord and knocked it down... still works like brand new. The only problem we've had is the RAM it comes with needs to be upgraded to a larger amount, but we play games on it too so you may not even need to upgrade the RAM.


  11. #11
    I worked on computers for the Army for the last few years before dropping my retirement papers. The military replaces computers on a 3 year cycle (in theory) and has used several brands over the last decade. The ones that have held up the best are Dells (I own one) and Toshibas (I would have bought one, but the Dell was cheaper). Dells seem to be fairly hardy (the cases DO scratch easily, but that's cosmetic, not functional), and are easy to repair. Replacing the hard drive on a Dell or Toshiba is 2 screws and a clip, where with a Mac laptop it is a miserable job, and a hard drive is the most likely point of failure on a laptop.

    I would definitely get a carrying case for the laptop, especially if you are worried about dropping it. There are soft cases on the market which will put up with almost any abuse, even airport luggage handlers.

    A computer getting a virus has nothing to do with the hardware, it is almost 100% a software issue. A virus can get into a system many ways, and an A/V program is just ONE piece of the defense against a virus. Macro viruses are easy to write and difficult to defeat, and normally are handled by MS system and software updates (Office updates, etc). Spyware and Malware which are not normally stopped by A/V programs can also cripple a computer.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Killearn, Scotland
    I have used Dell, Toshiba, Philips and Vaio in recent years, I think. Never had a problem with any of them. Well, if you discount the one that my husband stood on. For some reason the screen was never quite the same after that.

  13. #13
    I have used Dell, HP and Compaq laptop computers. Compaq is awful (the screen
    hinge fell off and it was vvveeerrryyy slow), The HP one is great ( i still have it in one peice after 2 years of rugged treatment.), the Dell WAS great (I dropped it off of a two story building and it busted into shreads.) In all, I would recommend a Dell or HP Laptop, just stay away from Compaq laptops. Also, for online protection use Panda Antivirus + Firewall 2007 because it blocks Viruses, Spyware, and hackers. I am currently using the HP laptop, I also have a 4 Year old HP Desktop which is slow but it would speed up alot with an 256MG memory upgrade. Here is and . dont go to the Compaq part in the hp website because HP and Compaq are the same companies.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    If you consider dell, make sure you know what you want and what you need. There is currently a class action suit, just filed in the past month. they use the "bait and switch," advertising a low price model but, once you get all you want the price is 50% higher FOR THE BASE THEY START WITH to customize it for you.

  15. #15
    One thing I forgot to put in my post:

    If you look at Dells, make sure you look at the refurbs/returned but not opened section of the website. I purchased the laptop I have for about 70% of the original price simply because the person who originally ordered it refused shipment. (They have a monitor built into the startup routine which tells them if anyone has ever turned the computer on) This let me buy a much more powerful laptop than I would have gotten for the same price new.
    The one eyed man in the kingdom of the blind wasn't king, he was stoned for seeing light.

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