View Full Version : Laptop buying tips???

01-16-2008, 12:49 AM
Hey there. I was thinking of purchasing a laptop and I was wondering where I could get an inexpensive one. Also is there anything I should be looking out for??? Thanks for any help.

01-16-2008, 02:14 AM
Here are some tips. Pick a laptop that suits your needs. If all you do is email, browse the web, and chat on MSN, than a $500-$600 laptop will do just fine. If you want to do more, plan on spending about $1000+taxes. Also pick a good brand name aswell. Acer is really strong right now and are showing alot of improvement although HP laptops are usually the best in my opinion. I've also heard that Dell's new Inspiron line has improved aswell.

Name brands and money aside, get a good warranty. Laptops are very prone to damage, especially when used outside the home. With laptops, the screen can easily be damaged and 9 times out of 10, the standard warranty wont cover the replacement. Get a warranty that includes accidental damage protection, or ADP for short. This covers any damage as a result of an "accident". Usually a 3 year warranty will do just fine.

As for specs of the laptop, you'll probably never find a new laptop with XP on it anymore unless you buy a business class laptop, and those business laptops get very expensive. With Vista, I would recommend atleast 2 GB of RAM. This will ensure that it runs rather efficiently. If you choose a laptop that has Vista Basic on it, then 1 GB will do fine. If you store alot of pictures, music, or movies, you will want a decent size hard drive....probably somewhere around the 120 GB+ range. Anything else beyong RAM and hard drive space is basically your choice.

All that aside, some good places to get a laptop here are Future Shop and Staples. They are pretty good with pricing and from what I have heard and experienced, they are very knowledgeable about their products. Although these guys generally work for a commission, they are not really pushy and Staples is really good at matching your needs with a laptop that will meet them. In any case, Good Luck!!

01-16-2008, 03:53 AM
I'll second canadians comments especially regarding ACER. I bought one last october and am sooo happy with it, its got 1 gig of ram but it's 2ghz intel duo and runs vista home premium very nicely. There are celeron processors out there and there inexpensive but limited and I wonder if amd would run to hot.

\m/ Rich \m/
01-16-2008, 04:05 AM
i would nevr buy a celeron, especially in a laptop.. a friend of mine is learning this lesson right now.

01-16-2008, 07:41 AM
You can buy a dell X2 1.8ghz dual-core Athlon Business class laptop Vestro 1000 for 499.99 and after adding one thing a truelife LCD panel it = 549.00 plus tax, Free Shipping right now on it.. totals $620.xx

The 6th Member Of AC/DC
01-16-2008, 07:53 AM
From past experience I would never go with Acer again because of trying to find replacement parts for it. Seems to be that Dell provides better customer support than anyone these days..

01-16-2008, 12:43 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: The 6th Member Of AC/DC</div><div class="ubbcode-body">From past experience I would never go with Acer again because of trying to find replacement parts for it. Seems to be that Dell provides better customer support than anyone these days.. </div></div>

6TH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I didnt know you knew about laptops?

01-16-2008, 01:55 PM
I am extraordinarly happy with Dell laptops and would recommend them over (my limted experience) with other brands. THey are realativly inexpensive and you are able to choose what warrenty suits your needs. This is why I would by direct from Dell instead of purchasing at a store.

Let us know what you intend to use the laptop for and your budget and we can help you out more.

01-16-2008, 08:01 PM
hmm...well I'm looking to spend no more than $600. Pretty much just plan on using it for the internet...making some spreadsheets...and maybe playing games/watching movies. I don't want to spend too much since my spouse is going to hit the roof as it is! : )

Also what about buying off of ebay??? and comments???


01-16-2008, 09:04 PM
discontinued but $597 on line at staples.
I looked on ebay for months and by the time bidding was over price was pretty much retail.

01-17-2008, 07:09 PM
I would recommend one of the Dell Vostro series personally, you can pick one up with XP, AMD Turion X2 (1.8 dual core), 1 GB memory, and integrated graphics for $500


Note: you'll have to go higher to play any stressful games

01-18-2008, 02:27 PM
If you buy this upgrade to the stronger battery pack, the one that comes with it doesn't last very long.

01-18-2008, 05:53 PM
I just got a Lenovo through school and it is AWESOME!!! I'm in love with it!!

01-22-2008, 05:52 PM
hey guys...yet another question. If the laptop is running Windows Vista is 1 gig enough or do I need 2 gig??????

01-22-2008, 06:12 PM
Depends on which version of Vista you will be running. Personally I would go for 2GB. That will let Vista really show off what it can do.
Another option would be to go with the 1Gb of RAM and use a USB flash drive to offset the difference. You can get a decent 2Gb thumb drive for around $30-40. You can set Vista to use that as RAM as well. You could store some stuff on it, and let your system use the leftover space to boost your system performance as well.

01-22-2008, 06:46 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Axalon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Another option would be to go with the 1Gb of RAM and use a USB flash drive to offset the difference. You can get a decent 2Gb thumb drive for around $30-40. You can set Vista to use that as RAM as well. You could store some stuff on it, and let your system use the leftover space to boost your system performance as well.</div></div>

What he's reffering to is Ready Boost. Vista will use the available space on the USB drive as if it were RAM. Although this is slower than having real RAM, it still helps. You would need atleast a 2 GB USB drive to notice a difference.

Personally, I would go for both the extra memory and the USB drive. You can never have too much RAM.

01-24-2008, 10:38 AM
I'm going to put my two cents in as well... I own a computer store but don't take this post as a sales pitch cause I can't come close to Staples, Future Shop, Walmart, Zellers, Home Depot when it comes to laptop prices.

So... My own opinion is that Acer has the best customer service out there and the easiest warranty department to deal with. We get laptops by the dozens to fix, and Dell is good most of the time but sometimes, you end up having to call the Philippines to get a person that can help you. I can't stand that. Acer is far easier to deal with and they've never hassled us about any replacement parts or customer's warranties - they just replace whatever we want them to replace or in the worst cases, we ship the laptops back to them and they fix/ship them back very quickly.

Toshiba has the worst customer service going. They don't stand behind their warranties at all. Brand new laptop had a bad motherboard and no matter how we argued, they refused to replace it and wanted close to $800 for the new mobo for us to change it. That's just one of about 20 rotten situations we've had with them though, they really suck.

HPs are durable machines...they seem to be able to take a lot of punishment and still work properly. We've not had to deal at all with their customer service as the laptops have rarely needed parts.

As for Vista vs. XP - if you have the option, I would go with Vista and a lot of RAM. I agree about the USB drives but also, if upgrading the inital RAM is an option, I would go for that too. DDR2 RAM is so cheap right now, I would max that out if you can.

01-24-2008, 12:33 PM
I just bought a Dell Laptop 1501 that had Vista Basic on it and it was slower then molasses so i decided to put XP pro on it and it is MUCH faster now and can handle what ever i need it to do.

I had to find certain drivers for the XP version of this model and all is fine except some of the FN keys don't fucntion which is no big deal as the ones that i use do work, like the CRT/LCD and a few others.

Surfing the net on this thing with XP is like a FAST end PC does, click, click, no pauses at all. Access time is slower then a PC HD and Memory, but that is a given on low-mid range laptops.

The model i have comes with 1GB of memory, but soon i will upgrade it to 2GB to utilize the 256MB hyper memory on the video card which is a ATI 1150 Express, but with 1GB installed it only uses 128MB. The added 2GB will also allow for even faster response times if it is faster latency.

I am typing this using my PC keyboard and mouse and my 19 inch CRT monitor. I required a PS2 to USB adapter to hook up my PS2 keyboard, but my mouse is USB already. I purchase the adapter locally at wal-mart. I also have my 5.1 speakers with sub working just like i had when i owned my Xbox 360 and it is loud.

Vista is a good OS, but you will need at least 2GB to get it to run at its best perfromance.

When running a PC Vista is awesome with 2GB or memory, but if it is a low-end laptop then i recommend staying with XP home or pro.

I may try vista on this laptop again with 2GB of memory installed, but i don't require or need Vista on a laptop and i like XP pro for such a usage instead, but who knows i may run Vista.


This model also comes with a WI-FI G 54mps card and it works awesome for wireless, but i like wired better for certain things.

01-25-2008, 08:19 AM
Update i managed to get all FN features working Dell which i did not se at first has a program called Quick Set and this makes the FN kys function.

Cool now i can be lazy and hit FN F10 to eject my rom unit door.... /ubbthreads/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

01-25-2008, 09:24 AM
Acer all the way, have always liked their product and service. /ubbthreads/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif