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Re: [NTO] laptop advice please

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  • Mike Breiding - Morgantown WV
    ... I have a Dell 17 Inspiron 9400 WinXP. Been my only PC for 3+ years and it has been very reliable. Recently bought a Toshiba NB 205 10 Net Book . I have
    Message 1 of 19 , Aug 20, 2010
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      Adrien Verlee wrote:
      > Hello,
      > Next week (Monday or Tuesday) I need to buy a laptop. No experience
      > with laptops. Wich brand is reliable on hardware level? What do
      > people think?
      > Good hardware is now for me the main thing.
      > Thanks, Adrien

      I have a Dell 17" Inspiron 9400 WinXP.
      Been my only PC for 3+ years and it has been very reliable.

      Recently bought a Toshiba NB 205 10" 'Net Book'. I have not used it much
      but it seems solid and no crapware installed.

      -Mike
      www.EpicRoadTrips.us/mich
    • Mike Breiding - Morgantown WV
      ... I have a Dell 17 Inspiron 9400 WinXP. Been my only PC for 3+ years and it has been very reliable. Recently bought a Toshiba NB 205 10 Net Book . I have
      Message 2 of 19 , Aug 20, 2010
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        Adrien Verlee wrote:
        > Hello,
        > Next week (Monday or Tuesday) I need to buy a laptop. No experience
        > with laptops. Wich brand is reliable on hardware level? What do
        > people think?
        > Good hardware is now for me the main thing.
        > Thanks, Adrien

        I have a Dell 17" Inspiron 9400 WinXP.
        Been my only PC for 3+ years and it has been very reliable.

        Recently bought a Toshiba NB 205 10" 'Net Book'. I have not used it much
        but it seems solid and no crapware installed.

        -Mike
        www.EpicRoadTrips.us/mich
      • edward
        I have had good luck with my laptop which is now 4 years + and still going, it is an HP and they have a very good and fast email responce when trouble does
        Message 3 of 19 , Aug 20, 2010
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          I have had good luck with my laptop which is now 4 years + and still going, it is an HP and they have a very good and fast email responce when trouble does occur, as it will with any computer, soon or later. I have a friend with a Dell and he likes it also. Among the top brands right now it seems which ever one that produces the most bang for the buck will be the best buy.
          Ed
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Adrien Verlee
          To: ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 8:56 AM
          Subject: [NTO] laptop advice please



          Hello,

          Next week (Monday or Tuesday) I need to buy a laptop. No experience
          with laptops. Wich brand is reliable on hardware level? What do
          people think?
          Good hardware is now for me the main thing.

          Thanks,
          --
          Adrien





          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • sisterscape
          If you re planning on dual booting with Linux, you need to be aware of this. Someone on the local LUG list bought a new HP only to find it had 4 primary
          Message 4 of 19 , Aug 20, 2010
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            If you're planning on dual booting with Linux, you need to be aware of this. Someone on the local LUG list bought a new HP only to find it had 4 primary partitions - system, rest of Win7, recovery and HP tools - and file system was set to 'dynamic'. So no way to manipulate the partitions without wiping the drive (which he did and only installed Ubuntu). Someone else who also got burned, just replaced the drive with a spare and kept the original intact should there be any hardware failures.

            I don't know whether other companies are adopting this scheme but it seems like a conscious tactic to prevent Linux from becoming more accessible.


            --- On Fri, 8/20/10, Adrien Verlee <adrien.verlee@...> wrote:

            From: Adrien Verlee <adrien.verlee@...>
            Subject: [NTO] laptop advice please
            To: ntb-OffTopic@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Friday, August 20, 2010, 8:56 AM

            Hello,

            Next week (Monday or Tuesday) I need to buy a laptop. No experience 
            with laptops. Wich brand is reliable on hardware level? What do 
            people think?
            Good hardware is now for me the main thing.

            Thanks,
            --
            Adrien





            ------------------------------------

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          • Axel Berger
            ... As often happens my advice differs from the others . HP and Compaq used to be very good until Carly Fiorina. IBM was very good, but Lenovo is not. Used
            Message 5 of 19 , Aug 20, 2010
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              Adrien Verlee wrote:
              > Wich brand is reliable on hardware level?

              As often happens my advice differs from the others'. HP and Compaq used
              to be very good until Carly Fiorina. IBM was very good, but Lenovo is
              not. Used machines from those times still are. Dell did not use to be
              the best but has not deteriorated and kept its quality.
              Secondly there is the bath tub curve for failure rate over time.
              Technical machines fail when new due to variable production quality and
              when very old for obvious reasons and in between there is a low flat
              bottom of reliability. So it is a very good idea to buy the used units
              the leasing firms get rid off. All the dodgy ones have been weeded out
              and leasing firms select for quality in the first place. You also tend
              to get good offers for accessories like docking stations at the same
              time.

              My daughter has just (i.e. a year ago) bought a new laptop for more than
              twice my upper price limit and it is off for repairs for the second
              lengthy time now. She did not heed my advice, that if she really uses
              and needs it, she must have one or better two backup units. The
              engineers in my aquaintence are proud to use elderly machines the
              management flacks smile at and to achieve much more with them that those
              will ever do, but she unfortunately takes her cues from the flashy allow
              wheels crowd.

              Axel
            • Scott Fordin
              FWIW, I ve been pleased over the years with several machines from Toshiba and Asus. We ve also had some HPs, but I ve found their reliability to vary across
              Message 6 of 19 , Aug 20, 2010
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                FWIW, I've been pleased over the years with several machines from
                Toshiba and Asus. We've also had some HPs, but I've found their
                reliability to vary across model lines; some very good, some not so
                good. Toshiba and Asus just always seem to be very solid. With Dell, you
                get the "parts du jour," and so quality can vary widely, and Dell's
                reliability, once very solid, has been trending downwards over the past
                few years, based on lots of different news reports.

                Scott

                Axel Berger wrote:
                >
                >
                > Adrien Verlee wrote:
                > > Wich brand is reliable on hardware level?
                >
                > As often happens my advice differs from the others'. HP and Compaq used
                > to be very good until Carly Fiorina. IBM was very good, but Lenovo is
                > not. Used machines from those times still are. Dell did not use to be
                > the best but has not deteriorated and kept its quality.
                > Secondly there is the bath tub curve for failure rate over time.
                > Technical machines fail when new due to variable production quality and
                > when very old for obvious reasons and in between there is a low flat
                > bottom of reliability. So it is a very good idea to buy the used units
                > the leasing firms get rid off. All the dodgy ones have been weeded out
                > and leasing firms select for quality in the first place. You also tend
                > to get good offers for accessories like docking stations at the same
                > time.
                >
                > My daughter has just (i.e. a year ago) bought a new laptop for more than
                > twice my upper price limit and it is off for repairs for the second
                > lengthy time now. She did not heed my advice, that if she really uses
                > and needs it, she must have one or better two backup units. The
                > engineers in my aquaintence are proud to use elderly machines the
                > management flacks smile at and to achieve much more with them that those
                > will ever do, but she unfortunately takes her cues from the flashy allow
                > wheels crowd.
                >
                > Axel
                >
                >
              • Chris Laarman
                Adrien Verlee on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 15:56:14 ... What do you intend to use it for? If you should want to be able to check your E-mail
                Message 7 of 19 , Aug 20, 2010
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                  Adrien Verlee <adrien.verlee@...> on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 15:56:14
                  +0200:

                  >Next week (Monday or Tuesday) I need to buy a laptop. No experience
                  >with laptops. Wich brand is reliable on hardware level? What do
                  >people think?
                  >Good hardware is now for me the main thing.

                  What do you intend to use it for?

                  If you should want to be able to check your E-mail while away from
                  home, any of these "netbooks" might do. Just add USB-hardware (like a
                  DVD-burner).

                  If you should want to do heavy graphics (video editing or 3D
                  Modeling), you 'd want a powerhouse with Full HD graphics, much memory
                  (and a 64-bit operating system to address it) and a fast and large
                  hard drive.

                  I have both, I love both.

                  --
                  Chris Laarman
                • Axel Berger
                  ... These are always spoken of as if they were somehow low power and unable to do much. My newish fully featured workhorse notebook is a PIII with a 80 GB
                  Message 8 of 19 , Aug 20, 2010
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                    Chris Laarman wrote:
                    > any of these "netbooks" might do.

                    These are always spoken of as if they were somehow low power and unable
                    to do much. My newish fully featured workhorse notebook is a PIII with a
                    80 GB drive. That said I do use the DVD ROM cum CD-writer from time to
                    time and 600 pixels of screen height is rather small. (But I also get
                    useful work out of a PI laptop with 800*600 screen.)

                    If I were to buy a new (new to me) notebook now, I'd probably make it
                    one of them. They are small and light, seem to be rugged, and have far
                    more power than I have now. The biggest problem would be, I'd finally
                    have to switch to Linux now and that's a big step I keep holding off.
                    But I wouldn't be able to get Win98 drivers and all later Windows are
                    far too virus prone apart from slowing even the most powerful hardware
                    to a complete standstill. My daughter's notebook feels slower than mine.

                    Axel
                  • Adrien Verlee
                    ... Thanks to all. And anyone have an opinion on Acer? -- Adrien
                    Message 9 of 19 , Aug 20, 2010
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                      Op 20-aug-10, om 18:39 heeft Scott Fordin het volgende geschreven:

                      > FWIW, I've been pleased over the years with several machines from
                      > Toshiba and Asus. We've also had some HPs, but I've found their
                      > reliability to vary across model lines; some very good, some not so
                      > good. Toshiba and Asus just always seem to be very solid. With
                      > Dell, you

                      Thanks to all.
                      And anyone have an opinion on Acer?
                      --
                      Adrien
                    • Chris Laarman
                      ... I bought my Asus netbook as an extra. But it s half the size and weight of my two Full HD notebooks, so it quickly became my commando equipment . To be
                      Message 10 of 19 , Aug 21, 2010
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                        Axel Berger <Axel-Berger@...> on Fri, 20 Aug 2010 22:56:33 +0200:

                        >Chris Laarman wrote:
                        >> any of these "netbooks" might do.
                        >
                        >These are always spoken of as if they were somehow low power and unable
                        >to do much. My newish fully featured workhorse notebook is a PIII with a
                        >80 GB drive. That said I do use the DVD ROM cum CD-writer from time to
                        >time and 600 pixels of screen height is rather small. (But I also get
                        >useful work out of a PI laptop with 800*600 screen.)
                        >
                        >If I were to buy a new (new to me) notebook now, I'd probably make it
                        >one of them. They are small and light, seem to be rugged, and have far
                        >more power than I have now. The biggest problem would be, I'd finally
                        >have to switch to Linux now and that's a big step I keep holding off.
                        >But I wouldn't be able to get Win98 drivers and all later Windows are
                        >far too virus prone apart from slowing even the most powerful hardware
                        >to a complete standstill. My daughter's notebook feels slower than mine.

                        I bought my Asus netbook as an extra. But it's half the size and
                        weight of my two Full HD notebooks, so it quickly became my "commando
                        equipment". To be brought wherever any computer is needed, to show a
                        presentation using a projector, for example.
                        Or to prevent me from printing documents for a meeting: I copy the
                        E-mail attachments and whatever to the netbook, and have them with me.

                        A 1024*600 screen is not suitable for quickly moving back and forth
                        through large documents, but it does allow one to have a useful
                        portion in sight. And one can have several documents open at once.

                        Mind the keyboard. It does have full-size keys, but probably less than
                        expected. On mine, the Home, Ens, PgUp and PgDn keys are emulated
                        through holding the Fn key while pressing the cursor keys. And Up and
                        Down are half-size keys.

                        These netbooks are designed for power efficiency. They do work on a
                        battery load for a couple of hours. But these Intel Atom processors
                        are less powerful than those of the Pentium line at the same speed.

                        Nevertheless mine seems to perform above my low expectations on music.
                        Not the mere playing of MP3 files, but playing MIDI files through
                        software synthesizers (which may be quite processor-intensive).

                        Using a small USB-adapter I can also use it as a television set,
                        either connecting to a wall outlet or to a small DVB antenna.


                        I have two different Viao notebooks that are Full HD. Like that Asus
                        netbook they are fitted with hard drives of the Seagate Momentus line
                        at 5400 rpm.
                        I have upgraded the older Vaio with larger Momentus at 7200 rpm. That
                        definitely improves performance.
                        I intend to do so (after the warranty period is over) with the newer
                        Vaio and that Asus netbook.

                        --
                        Chris Laarman
                      • Don
                        I have had three dells, a toshiba and a gateway -- with my middle dell I was glad I had the long term support with two new screens and a new keyboard/mousepad
                        Message 11 of 19 , Aug 21, 2010
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                          I have had three dells, a toshiba and a gateway -- with my middle dell I
                          was glad I had the long term support with two new screens and a new
                          keyboard/mousepad -- however I use a laptop hard.

                          On 8/20/2010 10:13 AM, Mike Breiding - Morgantown WV wrote:
                          > Adrien Verlee wrote:
                          >> Hello,
                          >> Next week (Monday or Tuesday) I need to buy a laptop. No experience
                          >> with laptops. Wich brand is reliable on hardware level? What do
                          >> people think?
                          >> Good hardware is now for me the main thing.
                          >> Thanks, Adrien
                          >
                          > I have a Dell 17" Inspiron 9400 WinXP.
                          > Been my only PC for 3+ years and it has been very reliable.
                          >
                          > Recently bought a Toshiba NB 205 10" 'Net Book'. I have not used it much
                          > but it seems solid and no crapware installed.
                          >
                          > -Mike
                          > www.EpicRoadTrips.us/mich
                          >
                        • Adrien Verlee
                          ... Thanks to all. And anyone have an opinion on Acer? -- Adrien
                          Message 12 of 19 , Aug 21, 2010
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                            Op 20-aug-10, om 18:39 heeft Scott Fordin het volgende geschreven:

                            > FWIW, I've been pleased over the years with several machines from
                            > Toshiba and Asus. We've also had some HPs, but I've found their
                            > reliability to vary across model lines; some very good, some not so
                            > good. Toshiba and Asus just always seem to be very solid. With
                            > Dell, you

                            Thanks to all.
                            And anyone have an opinion on Acer?
                            --
                            Adrien
                          • Greg Chapman
                            Hi Axel, ... You appear to be confusing Netbook and Notebook. As I understand it, a netbook, by definition, will not have an internal optical drive, and while
                            Message 13 of 19 , Aug 22, 2010
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                              Hi Axel,

                              On 20 Aug 10 21:56 Axel Berger <Axel-Berger@...> said:
                              > Chris Laarman wrote:
                              > > any of these "netbooks" might do.
                              >
                              > These are always spoken of as if they were somehow low power and
                              > unable to do much. My newish fully featured workhorse notebook is a
                              > PIII with a 80 GB drive. That said I do use the DVD ROM cum
                              > CD-writer from time to time and 600 pixels of screen height is
                              > rather small.

                              You appear to be confusing Netbook and Notebook. As I understand it, a
                              netbook, by definition, will not have an internal optical drive, and
                              while the term was invented for machines with small screens and solid
                              state drives, rather than magnetic disc drives, many do now have
                              conventional disc drives within.

                              However, I agree that "power" is not normally the issue, rather that
                              small screens and relatively low drive space, do make them impractical
                              for extensive graphics, video and audio work, and are best for email,
                              web browsing, and simple word processing, spreadsheet and similar
                              applications.

                              Greg
                            • Chris Laarman
                              Greg Chapman on Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:14:33 ... To *my* knowledge (but I m ready to stand corrected) power *consumption* is a design
                              Message 14 of 19 , Aug 22, 2010
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                                Greg Chapman <gregchapmanuk@...> on Sun, 22 Aug 2010 19:14:33
                                +0100:

                                >You appear to be confusing Netbook and Notebook. As I understand it, a
                                >netbook, by definition, will not have an internal optical drive, and
                                >while the term was invented for machines with small screens and solid
                                >state drives, rather than magnetic disc drives, many do now have
                                >conventional disc drives within.
                                >
                                >However, I agree that "power" is not normally the issue, rather that
                                >small screens and relatively low drive space, do make them impractical
                                >for extensive graphics, video and audio work, and are best for email,
                                >web browsing, and simple word processing, spreadsheet and similar
                                >applications.

                                To *my* knowledge (but I'm ready to stand corrected) power
                                *consumption* is a design feature, resulting in them being equipped
                                with CPUs from Intel's Atom line rather than Pentium etc.

                                The power adapter of my Asus HA1001 is much smaller (in size and
                                rating) than those of my Vaio notebooks.
                                However, it can power external drives (optical or magnetic).

                                As a result of that lower power *consumption* (at the same state of
                                the art) an Atom and associated chips offer less *processing* power.

                                And as I said before, my netbook appears to perform above my (low)
                                expectations even on sound generation.

                                And it was cheap (EUR 240 last February). Even its successors may be
                                cheaper than dedicated eBook readers.

                                --
                                Chris Laarman
                              • Axel Berger
                                ... Not confusing, comparing. And apart from the missing optical drive the netbook comes out trupms when compared to a not quite so new notebook, and that
                                Message 15 of 19 , Aug 22, 2010
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                                  Greg Chapman wrote:
                                  > You appear to be confusing Netbook and Notebook.

                                  Not confusing, comparing. And apart from the missing optical drive the
                                  netbook comes out trupms when compared to a not quite so new notebook,
                                  and that includes the twice as big hard drive.

                                  > do make them impractical for extensive graphics,
                                  > video and audio work,

                                  And how many people actually do any of those on any kind of machine
                                  except when gaming?

                                  > simple word processing, spreadsheet and similar applications.

                                  Quite, though TeX and big databases can be far from simple and in my
                                  case there is some radiocarbon dating, presentation, geographical
                                  information system, not to forget scanning, OCR and PDF-making.
                                  It was in the early seventies, when you could compare serious work
                                  computers and limited low power hobby home computers, today serious work
                                  is at the lower end of power requirements and gaming at the top.
                                  Around 1979 I wrote down the specs of the big central computer in the
                                  Cologne university computing centre. I can't find it right now, but I
                                  believe it was surpassed by about the 486 generation of PCs.
                                  As to data, yes I have 15 GB of music, 150 GB of radio plays, and 15 GB
                                  of family media, but my biggest serious database, the whole earth
                                  elevation from satellite data, is about 20 GB. So you need to have a
                                  strange frame of reference to call a hard disk limit of 160 GB small.

                                  Of course marketing will tell you otherwise ...

                                  Axel
                                • Axel Berger
                                  ... Absolutely, but even that power is way above anything you re ever going to need in real usage. Axel
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Aug 22, 2010
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                                    Chris Laarman wrote:
                                    > As a result of that lower power *consumption* (at the same state of
                                    > the art) an Atom and associated chips offer less *processing* power.

                                    Absolutely, but even that power is way above anything you're ever going
                                    to need in real usage.

                                    Axel
                                  • Jeffery
                                    I have all three types, Desktop, laptop, netbook. All are intensely used, the main issue being the lack of a disc drive in the netbook, recently remedied with
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Aug 22, 2010
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                                      I have all three types, Desktop, laptop, netbook.

                                      All are intensely used, the main issue being the lack of a disc drive in
                                      the netbook, recently remedied with an external DVD-RW.

                                      I use it for Photography, Genealogy and Website writing.
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