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River Wood

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I need to purchase a laptop....have no experience with them at all.

Basic is all I need....will mostly be used for emailing and will need to support a webcam.

Some have recommended mac..... I have no clue and no idea about models etc.

Info would be great if you have experience with laptops/brands/costs etc.

Thanks
 

kaykay

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My advice is do not buy a dell. I have a new one that still doesnt work. I recently bought my son a toshiba for 700.00 and its awesome.

The main thing with a laptop is make sure you get a big processor and a lot of ram. Its worth the extra cost or you can have many windows open etc and programs run really slow
 

Jill

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I don't think there's much difference between the brands anymore. It used to be that Gateway and Dell probably were better, but now, I think they're all pretty equal within similar price brackets. I wouldn't buy a Dell or a Gateway probably either, as they usually are dollar for dollar more expensive than other brands for equal "power".

What I do usually is get a new laptop every 2 years. Not because they've broken, but just to get something more current.

Between what I buy for myself, employees and dad (business partner), I have probaly purchased 15 laptops the past 10 years.

What I generally do is go into Circuit City, pick the least expensive Toshiba, and buy it. Usually I will buy an extended warranty through Toshiba (NOT Circuit City).

This has worked great for me and my business...

Also, though it's bashed left and right, I've been using Vista for nearly a year now without any problems with it. It's also now on all of my assistants' computers.
 
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Irish Hills Farm

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I have a DELL and absolutely LOVE IT. I was one that could not stand to use a laptop but I finally needed to break down and get one because of my classes. The only thing I wish I would've done differently is to have ordered Windows XP for the operating system. I was talked into getting Vista, which is okay - slow to load and shut down but no problems running several programs at once. Actually I'm going to see about having Vista removed and XP installed.

We also have 2 DELL desktops and have had no troubles with them either.
 

dgrminis

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I have a dell and I love it -- but I like HP as well. I am not familiar with the toshibas personally but I know alot of people like them.. My best friend from college had an HP and she loved it -- really didnt seem to be much difference in it and my dell.

I know people say Mac's are a little different. My brother is a graphic designer and he will ONLY use a MAC.. But I havent ever used one....

Oh so many choices
Good Luck!
 

nootka

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My Dad's been looking into one.

We both have Thinkpads and love them. Mine, however, has lost the ability to type on the upper row of keys. Mine is nearly 3 years old.

His is like four or five...not sure.

HOWEVER, I have never used Vista on his recommend. He says he has not liked it until now, when they've released the latest service pack. He says it works much better, now, and he actually likes it.

Liz
 

RockRiverTiff

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I invested in a higher end Toshiba a couple years ago, and it still meets all my needs. We got a brand new but cheaper HP for the office this year, and it's still slower than my Toshiba. Go with Toshiba!
 
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JourneysEnd

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Do you want to mess with Vista ? Then just about any new laptop will do.

I'd go with Mac. Costs more, less problems.
 

garyo

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Eventhough many people have recommended Toshiba, I have had terrible luck with them. I have to have a fairly high end laptop to run a cad program for cabinet design for my business. When the Toshibas work , I love them, however my first one quit working within six months and was replaced with another ,which died quickly also. Toshiba refused to do anything to alleviate the problem so Circuit City refunded my money as long as I purchased another computer from them. I now have a Sony Vaio running Vista. I like the computer, hate Vista. I will never buy another Toshiba as their customer service is terrible.

Gary
 

targetsmom

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I have had good luck with Toshiba laptops and have been using them almost since they first came out and had only 3 1/2 " floppy disk drives! My latest one came with Vista (I don't think you can get a PC without Vista these days) and for almost the first year it was awful! It is so bad that it downloads updates almost daily (at 3AM), but the latest service pack installation (which does NOT happen automatically) seems to have really helped. I can even post photos on the forum now, which I couldn't do for almost a year.

I was also told NOT to try to replace Vista with XP, because the drivers won't work.
 

Alice

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I would go with Mac. I have used Mac for the last 12 to 15 years. I have a MacBook also a desk top Mac.

They are very easy to run. Alice
 

FoRebel

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I haven't read all the responses but wanted to put my 2 cents in. Go Mac. Very user friendly, less chance of viruses, they're worth the money you'll spend. If you go to Apple.com you can click on the store and see refurbished ones (lower left corner). It's the same product, cheaper price though because of an open box... They even come with the same 1 year warranty that the brand new ones do.

Once you go Mac, you'll never go back!!!
 

crponies

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I have a Sager that I got from powernotebooks.com I have been pretty happy with it. I did have to get the part replaced where the power cord plugs in but the service was very good from Sager.
 

LGahr

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I have two laptops -- Sony and Dell. I found their tech support very adequate for any issues I have had.

The Sony is quite old and still runs like a top and the Dell is over 3 years old and I have never had any

real problem except slow dial up. No actual repairs requiring service. I am contemplating buying another

laptop just to update the system. I have NOT had the same results with Toshiba. I do some in home tutoring and application training for people and have had more set up problems with the Acer and Toshiba than any other.

Whatever you chose......just be sure you keep the 800 number handy when setting it up. Everything is free then and the IT people will give you lots of very valuable tips on operation. Dell also has excellent long term financing -- there is a laptop with a ton of ram and huge harddrive for only about 499. Look at 12 months same as cash and you can't hardly beat that. If you are expecting to run high graphics, lots of games, or large programs such as Paradox, or a drafting type AutoCad program a laptop is NOT for you. If you wanna surf and chat and get info from the net, word processing, Quick Books or consumer type software a laptop is perfect. Always keep in mind to burn CDS of your pictures and do not store them on your system -- that will slow you down tremendously. Have fun!
 

Feather

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Lets see, where to begin... Its very little about the laptop but where do you get it fixed OR how the repair parts are gotten. Dell contracts world wide with at least three of the largest repair service groups in the world. ANY LAPTOP OR COMPUTER can become a LEMON. With DELL it seems to be who the repair person you get to do a repair...

ALL laptop screens & MOST components come from Twain or Japan.

Tosiba, you find a PLATIUM dealer(means they must carry a very large parts inventory & only 5 or 6 in USA) to buy from & get it repaired. $ for $ a great buy.

IBM StinkPad(Thinkpad) is almost bullet proof BUT their 3rd party repair has always been extremely POOR!

Compaq & HP are the same; they seem to always have a "10 cents part" mess up the works & it becomes hard to obtain to get you back up & running.

MAC's are graphics wizards but not very compatible with any windows products(90% of computer world) They are a wonderful machine but lack compatiblity you may need.

Other brands are also good, BUT the Question is, "Who has the parts to fix them?".

All computers are out of date within 3 months after purchase "rule of thumb". The newer = quicker, cheaper, & newer tricks it can perform. So look at your wallet, see what fits your need the best & buy it; do not look back, move on with it.

Computer = three parts: Display, Storage, Processor, period!!!

You look at the data, change it, & then store the data for later recall; thats all.

What you pay for:

Display = lighter, brighter, better angles view, more pixels(better picture)

Storage = Giga bytes, NO less than 80g and hopefully 160G or better

With all the available "Flash Sticks" etc; storage can be supplemented easy

Processor = SPEED!!! Best is INTEL Duel Core or Quad Core processor

Basically, it is how many task/jobs your computer can be doing at one time.

AMD, Intex Centronix, etc processors are good also but just not as fast.

MEMORY is internal to your computer & comes in several forms.

There is memory to hold data while processing it(RAM & ROM), video memory to enhance your pictures, etc.

Memory adds cost to the computer.

That you get you started...

Happy hunting...
 

HGFarm

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I agree, go with Dell. I have found their customer service awesome and I love the computer. ALL of our pc's at work are Dell's (thousands of them) and they are great. I know folks who have old Dell's too, that still run like new and have been very reliable.

I got a Dell Inspiron- with XP- I have heard too many crummy things about Vista, so didnt go there. Make sure you get a pc that you can make cd's and all on.

Mac might be great for graphics, but is not compatable with any other stuff, so you are really limited if the product you want doesnt have a Mac version. I dont even know anyone who owns one, and my BIL is a computer wizard- he hates Mac.

See feather's notes posted! Those are important when deciding what you want to buy!
 

LGahr

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Was just surfing and found this............

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopi...&lid=782986

The 549 deal is really a good price......

Probably won't see this again until next year......... Technology is changing everyday and they will bring out new models for school time and Christmas so they are probably dropping price on this model to clear some inventory. I wish I needed one....I would buy it in a heartbeat.

Best of luck.

One issue that ALWAYS seems to be a problem for new computer users is the laptop mouse. Don't beat yourself up....don't get frustrated.....just get a regular mouse and attach it to a usb port or serial port in the back--every laptop has ports and you will save yourself lots of frustration. If you need to be on the move with your computer you can learn the feel of the touch pad later but in the beginning it is really hard for newbies to get used to it......so just wanted to add that thought. I am in my helpful mode today.

Best of luck.......
 

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