Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Calling all techies

So I am buying a new laptop this summer, and I need some advice from anyone who cares to give some. I have just been comparison shopping Dell, Gateway, and HP, and it seems that HP has the best deal. I've already been told to go for speed in the laptop itself and relegate things like DVD-R/RW and bigtime memory to external devices. This seems like a very reasonable thought. Ideally I would like to get the fastest cheapest most portable laptop possible. I will primarily be using it for video and music editing/watching/listening, internet, Office, that kind of thing, just general use stuff, but I want it to be as fast as lightning and last for a long time. I'm looking to spend around $1,400 including external drives, excluding scanner and printer, which I will buy once I get a job. I am looking for any useful thoughts, especially basic things that I haven't considered. What do you say, am I walking into a minefield? Am I missing a crucial piece of information? I did notice that HP strongly recommends that you get 2gigs of DDR memory with Vista Home Premium for $100, even though I know you can get a USB flash drive that will do the same thing for much cheaper, so clearly there are monkeyshines to be avoided.


KristinKC said...

No specific advice, except that I question whether the savings you'd gain from buying external devices to meet your needs would be worth the loss in convenience. I can't imagine you'd save more than a hundred dollars getting a laptop with a fast processor and enough RAM but without the drive you want. And it would suck carrying and setting up the external devices to somewhere with wireless like Starbucks, Barnes and Noble, or the library if you're into that. I would just get everything integrated into the laptop itself.

I recommend using dealnews.com to check out some current laptop deals if you haven't already. Its the best website listing online deals on the web right now.

Jeff said...

For everything except the video editing you don't really need all that much "speed". I've never done video editing but Carol has done some with a laptop that's older than mine. I've ceased to be an expert on this stuff but I always recommend going lower end, as 90% of the stuff you want to do isn't that intensive. My impression is that you should pay for memory over paying for CPU since it is probably more common to have a dozen programs open than to have a CPU intensive one running.

Also, from what I've heard, you should not, under any circumstances, get Windows Vista. I don't know how you go about getting a laptop that lasts a long time. Maybe your best bet is to spring for an extended warranty.