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In the Market for new laptop.


shonen
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Hey Peoples of Hak 5,

I recently acquired some funds and I am in the market for a new laptop for school (annoyed with the school's slow piece's of shit and am anal about desktop layout etc). So I figured I would consult the all mighty guru's in here.

My budget: Is around the $800-900 Aus mark, however I am prepared to go to $1000 if the features are worth it.

CPU: Not to fussy as long as it is speedy and can handle Visualization software smoothly, while doing some slight multi tasking.

RAM: roughly 1gig min but more is always nice.

HDD: 80 gig min but preferably 120 GB.

GFX Card: Not to fussy seeing as it will largely be used for word processing and internet use.

Screen Size: Something around the 15 inch mark, not fussy if it is slightly smaller just as long as it is no asus EEE.

I would also like a PCIMA slot so I can chuck in a new wifi card that supports a RP-SMA connector down the track. A MMC/SD card reader would also be nice but this is not a must for me (just an extra that would be handy).

I have noticed that most come pre-loaded with windows vista and would like to downgrade to Win XP. So something that has easy to find XP drivers would be really helpful seeing as I wont have to much time to stuff around with it due to assignments getting on top of me.

It will also be a added bonus if it virtually supports ubuntu out of the box, I am contemplating a dual boot.

P.S: I was look at the HP 550 15.4" Core 2 Duo NOTEBOOK but figured you guys will have better suggestions.

Link: http://www.shoppingsquare.com.au/p_5571_HP..._2_Duo_NOTEBOOK

Thanks in advanced to all who reply.

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youre not going to find any new laptops with the older cardbus (pcmcia) card slots, additionally you wont find any cardbus or express cards with an sma or an rp-sma antenna port. as for the rest of the specs you shouldnt have a hard time finding exactly what you need on any of the big box makers sites hp, dell, etc will have something for you, you can customize your own specs on your new computer.

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Ah thanks vector,

So how do you go about chucking in a new wifi card that supports a change/better antenna in the newer fan dangled things?

ok so it depends. you can get an express card there are only 2 that i know of with external antenna ports one of them i own its the ubiquiti srx 300 and it has one mmcx connector. you could also add an internal mini pci express or half mini express card and get U.fl to sma pigtails and run those to the outside of your case to hookup any antenna you choose.

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Ah ok coolies, I guess they call the slot on the laptop an expansion card slot then? (54mm slot)? or does it have a specific name (may be a dumb question) but a lot has changed since I last purchased a laptop. XD

its called an express card 34/54. express cards are the newer, cardbus are the older. and the internal card slot is called mini pci express

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I like Dell Latitudes, the D430 was possibly the best laptop I've ever used. I have a E6400 atm and its a very nice machine (display port, eSATA, awesome keyboard...) , and the D630's weren't bad either. Get the next day, on site warranty though, its a life saver. If anything goes wrong with the hardware you call dell, and they send someone out to fit the part on the next business day. Beats having to take it back to the store or send it away for weeks on end, and if you get a business laptop from Dell the support people actually know a thing or 2, unlike consumer Dell support which is staffed by Indian script monkeys who are customer support people, not techies.

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I personally have always liked Gateway laptops. Affordable with lots of power, great high res screens, and all the options I need to get work done.

http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529...5.php?tab=specs

Gateway MD2614u: $649.99 @ Best Buy

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I personally have always liked Gateway laptops. Affordable with lots of power, great high res screens, and all the options I need to get work done.

http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529...5.php?tab=specs

Gateway MD2614u: $649.99 @ Best Buy

MPC (the company that is Gateway) just declared bankruptcy in the past couple of months, so I thought. I'd be very hesitant to buy one of their computers due to the uncertainty of getting warranty service/replacement parts in the future though. Just something to think about..

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I like Dell Latitudes, the D430 was possibly the best laptop I've ever used. I have a E6400 atm and its a very nice machine (display port, eSATA, awesome keyboard...) , and the D630's weren't bad either. Get the next day, on site warranty though, its a life saver. If anything goes wrong with the hardware you call dell, and they send someone out to fit the part on the next business day. Beats having to take it back to the store or send it away for weeks on end, and if you get a business laptop from Dell the support people actually know a thing or 2, unlike consumer Dell support which is staffed by Indian script monkeys who are customer support people, not techies.

i second vote for dell. i'm a little partial to dells they have nice designs, ive never had one break on me. i know basically on the inside it dosnt really matter what company you buy from because none of these companies dell, hp, gateway etc actually manufactures any of the internal components. tech support can be a bitch like VaKo said so most of the time i just DIY my shit. but if you think youre going to need any type of tech support then one of the business class dells or xps are going to get you much better service. if i need to talk to a live agent via the dell online chat, i just put in my service tag number from one of my xps's and i never have to wait in the queue.

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LoL at gateway going belly up (thanks for the heads up foo).

I did have a look at the gateway for the price it looked ok but with that send I rather pay a little extra and get a brand I am a little more accustomed to.

I personally can't say to much about dells seeing as I have never purchased one, however I have had a compaq once before and it died within the first six months. It was a really sod dropping it off to save on the 80 postage fee and waiting 3 weeks to get it back.

I have heard nothing bur praise for Dell product and the way the handle damages under warranty. I had a look on their site and I have taken a fancy to the Dell™ Inspiron™ 1525 T4200 at $999.00 (I think I will order it later on).

One in the middle XD

http://www1.ap.dell.com/content/products/p...;l=en&s=dhs

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hate to hear what you will all say about this, but you ever thought about compaq? I have had mine for about 6 months now and it's been nothing but great.

Ill give you the rundown:

Model= Compaq Presario CQ50-215nr

Paid $550 (that is w/the 2 yr geeksquad warranty[yes dont tell me about it... i got it for the parts side not the assistance])

Processor = AMD QL-60 (athlon x2 64)1.9ghz - it's fast, maybe not near as fast as the amd z series proc's but hey, thats due for a desktop replacement.

Video card = Nvidia 8200mg it does have shared memory, but also dedicated memory, and it sure has blown the

shit out of everything in a > $1200 laptop range that I have seen.

hard drive = toshiba 160gig 5200rpm, good enough

dvd+-rw = slow but good and stable

monitor=15.4" = good enough, not too big, not too small

resolution = 1280x800 = good enough. clear and bright

weight = light as hell for this notebook *and skinny and sleek too*

you can see some pictures in another thread.

network card = nvidia stock nic. works fine

wireless card = atheros 5002x = great for vista, sucks ass in linux as of yet, and xp drivers are buggy (also windows 7)[but it's getting better soon w/ the newest kernel :D]

Battery=6 cell stock = about 2 hrs use @ a time.

the only issue I have had with the thing is the atheros card, but dont get me wrong you CAN get it working in linux, AND you CAN get the card to do packet injection, and if needed you can still change it out, it's not integrated.

For the price you just cant beat it.

oh btw/yah, its a fingerprint magnet. Put it to ya this way, if you were to use it to hak something, and you got busted with it... theres no way it wouldnt be yours.

oh.. one more thing. no pcmcia or mini pc bus slots. sry. thats the only thing it's missing in a wellrounded laptop.

And in virtualization, it beats the piss out of the intel core 2 desktops[not core 2 duos] at school w/ same memory config (2 gigs)

and to give a heads up on what it can do, i can simultaneously run win2k3server and 2 xp clients, and use yod'm 3d at the same time with no hickups at all. It will do full speed visuals with emerald in linux, and it plays farcry1 @ full settings @ about 110fps. This is no overclocking of any sort, but i have to tell ya.. Reload the f*&ker as soon as you get it and wipe all the shovelware off it. After that, it's a damn fine machine.

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Actually I don't hate Compaqs, The one that I mentioned in the above didn't die on me per say. The first problem was the locking mechanism that keeps the monitor lid closed got jammed and wouldn't open. Yeah I was annoyed that they took their sweet time on it and the mailing fee but when I got it back they did a really good job. New keyboard and mouse pad where added due to slight ware and tear and they fixed the initial problem (I was expecting them to just replace the reported damaged part).

After warranty expired the pin for the AC plug got damaged but this was more than likely due to excessive use from me. All and all I can't really complain seeing as I do put my gear through its pacers. For the record this posting is done on a Compaq persario f500 that I purchased some time after the above. Works great and have never had an issue.

I will agree with ya on the XP driver thing, I had a great deal of headaches caused in trying to locate the correct drivers or non buggy ones to roll the F500 back to win XP. Seems compaq are not so friendly with this unlike Dell.

I did some reading on the ubuntu forums and I also found that athero's wifi chipsets require a lil more fiddling around with. But thanks for the heads up.

I ended up ordering the more expensive Dell 1525 with 250gb HDD seeing as I will have to keep a few virtual machines on it and wanted the dual boot (hopefully ubuntu wont cause this Linux nub a great deal of grief on the new laptop *fingers crossed*). MMM once I get it I shall have to check out Moonlit's Windows cube desktop to solve some of my VMware headaches.

I must say $550 is a really good price and running Windows Server and a couple of xp clients is rather impressive.

Oh and thanks to everyone who helped out. XD

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Ah awesome thank you very much for the conformation on that Swathe.

I was considering PMing you directly and asking seeing as you work in IT and are a fellow Aussie hence you would be in the know a whole lot more than myself. Thankfully great minds think a like and we both have excellent taste.

Sooo when are we going to Thailand to sus out a couple of mail order bride's? not that we could get much with only two dong between us =P

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lols this is a funny convo. but anyways I'm glad you found what you were looking for. I wasnt trying to say that you would say anything bad about compaqs, and dont get me wrong I despised it till I bought this thing, and honestly, I got it (w/o warrany price) for 450 link here. but I started thinking about it too, you may not have best buy in your country (i dunno)

but there is many peoples that hate on compaq and with their previous reputation I cant blame them, but it's obvious at least their laptops got alot better.

Only thing that I really find annoying (and it's this way with alot of cheaper laptops) is how the keys bounce (i.e. you hit the key once, and it makes your finger bounce a little and makes it type a char. twice) I have found I am not the only one, but it works great. I take care of it the best I can so I'm happy with it.

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Nah mate i'm happy being married with kids

Did you get the custom lid on your lappy?

I got the racing stripes

lol You know I would really be keeping a close eye on what meds your missus is chucking into your food, you certainly don't sound like the typical husband. Oh wait how long have you been married that could explain a few things =P I kid I kid.

I got jibbed for the options on the lid, they only supplied black, puke green, poohish looking brown and metro sexual pink. So obviously I went for the PINK.... actually it was BLACK XD (now I want racing strips to make my comp run FASTER!)

lols this is a funny convo. but anyways I'm glad you found what you were looking for. I wasnt trying to say that you would say anything bad about compaqs, and dont get me wrong I despised it till I bought this thing, and honestly, I got it (w/o warrany price) for 450 link here. but I started thinking about it too, you may not have best buy in your country (i dunno)

but there is many peoples that hate on compaq and with their previous reputation I cant blame them, but it's obvious at least their laptops got alot better.

Only thing that I really find annoying (and it's this way with alot of cheaper laptops) is how the keys bounce (i.e. you hit the key once, and it makes your finger bounce a little and makes it type a char. twice) I have found I am not the only one, but it works great. I take care of it the best I can so I'm happy with it.

Well all the bad reports on compaq's started to flow in from fellow mates shortly after I purchased the first one. They do have a bit of a bum rap sheet but for the most part they are pretty solid and reliable for the average home user. Thankfully they no longer do that stupid lock thing for the monitor when it is closed either (I bet they had a few send backs with that bright idea).

I was previously of the opinion Dell where not to crash hot either, but after using the desktops at school and recommendation's/doing some research they seem to have taken customer feed back on board and have made some improvements on the latest lines.

lol YES!!! I hate keyboards that do that shit too, still after using the asus EEE for forum postings and what have you for a year nothing will ever shit you up the wall as much as the 701 keyboard!

And yes NO best buy down under yet *wonders what the aussie equivalent to best buy would be* GOOGLE TIME!

So far I am happy with my decision, you would be hard pressed to find a better laptop for the same price as the Dell 1525, still final verdict will not be in until I format the sucker and put it to work for couple of weeks.

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i bought my Acer Aspire 6935G for $469.99, dicounted from £1079.

it has the best specs and blows the shit out of any laptop in either price range

it gets a 6.1 on Windows Vista :)

its has 16" widescreen 16:9 crystalbrite screen

crystal eye 1.3mp webcam

5.1 surround sound speakers with TUBA bass speaker at the back

CineTouch Media Touch panel controls

Fingerprint reader

Multitouch Touch Pad

Bluetooth

320mbps Wireless N

4 USB ports

ATI Radeon 3570 graphics with 512mb Dedicated DDR3 RAM (plays FEAR 2 on high and crysis on high)

500gb harddrive

Express Port 54

2.56ghz Core2Duo

4gb DDR2 1066mhz RAM

Blu-Ray Writer Drive with Lightscribe

HDMI out

its a great laptop :)

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I will agree that for cost and specs acer do provided the best deals, however I repair a fair few desktop's in my spare time and as far as prefab manufactures go for dying just after warranty or during it Acer are by the worst offenders. Most common issue is cpu fan or the GFX card.

I also have 2 mates who are more techie than myself who purchased acer laptops, both cracked the shits with em and ended up putting their fist through the screen out of frustration *lol dick heads*.

My cousin and his friend also had an Acer laptop that was purchased a year ago (same model but I cant recall what it is exactly), The hdd drive died in my cousins and he lost a bit of work for school and his friends screen kicked the bucket shortly after his. In both case's its only a couple of weeks after the standard warrenty.

Unfortunately Acer are one brand I will never consider purchasing. But hey I hope I didn't Jinx your Acer *touch wood*

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I will agree that for cost and specs acer do provided the best deals, however I repair a fair few desktop's in my spare time and as far as prefab manufactures go for dying just after warranty or during it Acer are by the worst offenders. Most common issue is cpu fan or the GFX card.

I also have 2 mates who are more techie than myself who purchased acer laptops, both cracked the shits with em and ended up putting their fist through the screen out of frustration *lol dick heads*.

My cousin and his friend also had an Acer laptop that was purchased a year ago (same model but I cant recall what it is exactly), The hdd drive died in my cousins and he lost a bit of work for school and his friends screen kicked the bucket shortly after his. In both case's its only a couple of weeks after the standard warrenty.

Unfortunately Acer are one brand I will never consider purchasing. But hey I hope I didn't Jinx your Acer *touch wood*

you know i hear this type of thing from alot of people. people will say "oh dont buy this company cuz they make crappy hardware or dont buy this brand because they suck" etc etc. but what a lot of people fail to realize is that none of these companies actually manufacturer any of the hardware in their computers. dell, hp, gateway, acer, etc etc. if youve ever spent any amount of time inside any laptop or desktop youll see that none of the parts will say dell or hp or any of that. you get for example an asus motherboard, with an intel or amd processor, with a samsung optical drive, with a seagate harddrive, some kingston ram, and maybe an ati or nvidia gpu. and the same for all the companies. so for someone to say that any one particular company is better quality than any other is nonsense. dell is not better quality than hp, and acer is not crappier quality than any other. you arent buying parts made by these companies, youre just buying a package that they put together for you with parts from tons of different companies. all these OEM's are is a Value Added Reseller (VAR). when i said i liked dell thats just because ive owned alot of dells and i like their formfactors, also hp. they make good looking laptops and desktops. but as far as the internal components. its all teh same shit.

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