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Old 02-21-2011, 09:00 PM   #1
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Default So I'm looking at lappy toppys. Help me spend my moneys!

OK so I think my laptop has finally aged to the point of needing to retire. It's an old Compaq NX7000. While I've loved the large 17" screen and OK performance (1.4 Centrino, 2g RAM, 200gb HDD), it's come to my attention this it's now SLOW....it's 7 years old. So I want you guys to help me out. I can look at numbers and whatnot, but hearing suggestions from other people is better for me. Here are some of my stipulations-

-Price no more than $550 or so.
-17" screen
-Decent graphics card
-Good battery life

I plan on the usual web surfing, YT videos and whatnot. I do plan on attending school and school work will be performed on it as well. I do plan on getting CS5/Lightroom and expanding my knowledge of photo editing so graphics card and screen quality will be priority. I'ver personally dealt with HP/Compaq and Toshiba with good results, so preference is on those brands.

One that has caught my eye is the HP G72-B60US (http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...-With/?cm_cat=) and the Toshiba Satellite® L655-S5157 (http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...ptop-Computer/). Thoughts on those?
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:24 PM   #2
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Do you have the desire to do exactly what the Company wants you to do with the laptop OR are you going to want to change stuff? If you want to change stuff, you probably dont want Toshiba.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:37 PM   #3
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I don't think I'll do anything more than add more ram. I won't be overclpckimg or anything like that.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:17 PM   #4
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If you want to change stuff, you probably dont want Toshiba.
Because???? Are you saying it is impossible that I have customized my Toshiba?

FWIW, Toshiba laptops are all that I buy now (for at least the past 10 years). I buy my wife whatever she wants and her **** always dies.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:28 PM   #5
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I have a HP DV6-nice laptop- the only downside is that the battery life isn't the greatest.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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Do you have the desire to do exactly what the Company wants you to do with the laptop OR are you going to want to change stuff? If you want to change stuff, you probably dont want Toshiba.
I usually do a clean install onto a wiped hard drive, from new. Gets rid of a lot of the bloatware they load onto laptops from the factory. It also speeds up the thing too. Why wouldn't this work on a Toshiba? Do they come pretty loaded up with the bloat?
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
-17" screen
Seriously?

Don't you really want a desktop instead?

Honestly, since I started using 11"-12" machines a few years ago, I would never go back.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:50 PM   #8
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Seriously?

Don't you really want a desktop instead?

Honestly, since I started using 11"-12" machines a few years ago, I would never go back.
There's always the 18.4"…or even the rare 20.1". The latter comes with it's own microwave oven attached. Kinda hurts the battery life though.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:08 PM   #9
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Seriously?

Don't you really want a desktop instead?

Honestly, since I started using 11"-12" machines a few years ago, I would never go back.
It's going to be at my house primarily and not travel...so I'm not worried about size all the much. Mobile desktop....yes. Most of the time it will sit on a table and might even travel from one room to another.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:21 PM   #10
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In that case, the world is your oyster. Big, heavy laptops are cheap and easy to find.

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv...749-1R&cat=NBB
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv...7010-R&cat=NBB
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv...02SB-R&cat=NBB
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv...010-5R&cat=NBB
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...027&CatId=4965
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...311&CatId=4938
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...848&CatId=4938

etc.

For what it's worth, so long as you stick to major manufacturers, I wouldn't get hung up on one brand vs. another. I've had about a dozen laptops over the past decade- Toshiba, Dell, Sony, Fujitsu... They all have different design languages- different styles of touchbad, keyboard, port configuration, etc. But there's really no major difference in quality from one to another. You might avoid the bargain-basement brands (Asus, Acer, MSI, Gateway, etc) but don't think that a Dell is "better" than a Fuji (or visa versa). They're just different. Hell, I'm typing this on my new Dell E4200, and until a few weeks ago I was a die-hard Vaio guy.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:36 PM   #11
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From personal experience: Avoid Toshiba.

If you want a big, heavy, sturdy, functional laptop, look at things that are traditionally considered business laptops. As stupid as it sounds, I avoid shiny laptops. From the hundreds of laptops I've owned and worked on, shiny laptops tend to be the least sturdy. Idk what it is, just relaying my opinion.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:14 AM   #12
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I have a HP DV6-nice laptop- the only downside is that the battery life isn't the greatest.
I have one of these (not used for tuning) and it's great. The battery life is good if you aren't playing games and it's the best dvd player we have. Mine is an i5 2.45Ghzx2 (or 2.85Ghzx2 in power hungry turbo mode) 4gb ram 500gb hd 15.6" screen machine that does a good job with hd movies games etc, it was $550 on boxing day.

With the hdmi port it's useful when you rent a dvd that turns out to be scratched as this most often doesn't bother the laptop.

Avoid ACER, my ACER is relegated to tuning laptop duty because it lost it's wireless networking and dvd drive functions, it is an 06 model though. A netbook would be the best tuner IMO.

Off topic: Anyone know how to turn the hdmi ports on laptops from just an outie to both input and output or is it not reasonable / possible to do so? I'd love to use it to play xbox on at the cottage where there is no tv.
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Old 02-22-2011, 12:31 AM   #13
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I have a HP DV6-nice laptop- the only downside is that the battery life isn't the greatest.
Which DV6?
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppelgänger View Post
OK so I think my laptop has finally aged to the point of needing to retire. It's an old Compaq NX7000.
Props to you! I've gone through two of the those so far, and the last one is still going strong (I gave it away to my mother, the elderly don't seem to think slow is a bad thing).

Your price tag of $550 is too low for anything decent, unless you are looking for a second hand laptop. You can't have a 17", a decent processor, decent RAM and a decent graphics card in this price range. You are looking for something that costs at least $800.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:44 AM   #15
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Dont forget to have both power and USB on the right side. Much more manageable in the car. Although if youre not using a dc-ac adapter the power isn't a problem.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:41 AM   #16
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When tuning, I usually leave the laptop on the passenger seat facing me...that leaves the USB and power ports facing the seat's back, not good.
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:03 AM   #17
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That's true. It seems fine on the seat, I was thinking about when it's sitting on my lap.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:17 AM   #18
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I'm not too worried about the location of the various ports..it wont't be used for tuning...I have a dedicated old *** Dell C400 for that..tiny little thing but it works great.

I know $550 seems kinda low, I can go up a little from that if the features are worth it. Oh and the other thing is it must come from Office Depot (rewards FTW). I know that kinda narrows things down, but it could make things easier because I don't have 2,361 laptops to choose from. One of the Gateways Joe listed had the specs that sounded good, but I can't go with Gateway (the last one on the list he posted).

Goddamn too many processors among these things though...but I don't have a preference between Intel or AMD. **** it, I don't even know what I really need for what I'll be doing. I would prefer a quad-core and 512mb of dedicated graphics and a 7200+rpm SATA HD....but do I need it for surfing the web and editing pictures? I know I want a fantastic screen and I need to remember that I'm coming from a 6-7 year old computer.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:43 AM   #19
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A year ago I picked up a dell d630 (core2duo off-lease on eBay for $300 with a year remaining on the Dell warranty. That included XP dell disk. Dual boots OSx/XP nicely and is tolerable for bigger photoshop/illustrator/finalcut files.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:05 AM   #20
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If you are buying at Office Depot you might want to go in store and check out what they have. The first thing I always check on are the keyboards. I can not stand crappy feeling keyboards. My Dell has one of the worst keyboards I have ever used in my life.
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