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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a college student looking to buy a laptop. There won't be any gaming at all, so that'll calm the price down. I'm looking to just use basic things such as Microsoft Office, maybe Photoshop. Those are the main programs that could even somewhat push the limit of my laptop. On the computer it'll just be student programs, watching movies, listening to music, chatting, car tuning (tuning as in ECU, Boost, Timing and what not), constant web surfing, and downloading off of BitTorrent .

My desktop that I'm running is:

Intel P4 3.4 GHz
1GB of Ram
2 X 186GB Raptor Hard Drive
ATi All-In-Wonder 9800 128mb

Overall I think this computer is pretty fantastic! I'm hoping to have a laptop as nice if not better than that.

I was wondering if I should just build the laptop or if I should purchase a laptop from somewhere such as Dell, Frys, and etc.

Some things that I'm looking for in the laptop is:

Bigggggg Screen
Duo Core/Core 2 Duo ( I prefer intel)
120/160GB Hard Drive
2GB So-Dimm Ram
Good Video Card (I'm not too experienced in this field)

Anyone have any idea how much a laptop like this would cost? Should I build a laptop or should I just order one? Operating Systems aren't really a big problem for me. I haven't used Vista in awhile, but when I did, I didn't like it at all so I'm just running XP SP2 at the moment.

Thanks for taking your time to read all this!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, there are forums out there that show good deals on laptops and what not and Dell has a lot of deals all the time. A real popular one is the Vostro. Though, I've heard a lot of crap about Dells Customer Service, Products, and etc ... Anyone care to emphasize on this?
 

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just a word of advice from someone in the computer industry.

you BUY laptops.
you MAKE desktops.

make sure not to install all that crap that comes with the laptop though. a good rule i follow is if it isn't a system file or it isn't required to run a system function. ERASE IT! unless of course all that adware really just lights your fire.

however, you can get a decently equipped laptop for 1200-2200 dollars. my advice is just research research research before you buy. make sure to have seen the actual unit you are buying, that way you can get a feel for the build quality and see if its worth your money.

hope this helps!
 

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2006 or newer Toshiba Satellite is where it's at!

Mine has core duo, which is nice, lots of ram, and is incredibly fast even though I have a lot stored in this computer. You can find em really cheap at costco, office max, etc.
 

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Findout about the weight of the computer. Allot of people overlook that and buy something really heavy.

11 lbs laptop FTL.
 

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i just got a dell inspiron 15i.4n one with 2 gigs of ram, the 2.0 core duo2, the high res screen, a 7200rpm 160gig hd for 1200 out the door the shipping and tax. i skipped the video card and speakers because i dont want to game on it but i regret not getting a nicer video cars.
 

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i just got a dell inspiron 15i.4n one with 2 gigs of ram, the 2.0 core duo2, the high res screen, a 7200rpm 160gig hd for 1200 out the door the shipping and tax. i skipped the video card and speakers because i dont want to game on it but i regret not getting a nicer video cars.
I have the same model, and paid around the same - $1200ish last spring. T7200, 2GB 667 RAM, somewhat crappy X1400 video, but it definitely gets the job done. I don't game on it - that's what desktops are for :) With a 15.4" screen it's a little on the hefty side, but I like having a 1680x1050. It currently runs Vista (which sucks) but I'll probably switch over to XP in the coming weeks so I can install ArcGIS. I was looking at HP and Dell machines when I was in the market - they had the biggest student/faculty discounts.
 

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Having done this research when my kid went to college, the best thing to do is to check with the shcool you will be going to. They will provide infor on what they reccomend, and in most cases, the college also has tech support for those recommended computers. It would be easier and cheaper to get the schools tech support to fix your computer then have to deal with whom every you bought it from. FWIW
 

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I'd definitely go with a Dell. I still have a slightly older e1505, and it's fantastic. The screen is amazing...I'm not sure if they still use the same LCD manufacturer for the newer Vostro models. In all honestly, you can get a brand new 15.4" Vostro that meets your qualifications for <$700 pretty frequently.

If you want a 17" screen...probably be prepared to fork out the cash. Although there are some deals for some other brands' 17" models from time to time, they are generally quite a bit more expensive. And pretty hefty to deal with on a regular basis.
 

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I used to be an IBM dealer. Not anymore but I have some laptops left in stock. Special discount for IWSTI members to -60% off. Good stuff. ;)
 

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Having done this research when my kid went to college, the best thing to do is to check with the shcool you will be going to. They will provide infor on what they reccomend, and in most cases, the college also has tech support for those recommended computers. It would be easier and cheaper to get the schools tech support to fix your computer then have to deal with whom every you bought it from. FWIW
Some manufactures also have Student Discount programs available thru their websites. I bought my HP Pavilion about 1 1/2 years ago and 'bought' it under my son's name since he is in Grad School. I saved about 10% I think.
 

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One thing to look at is the Ram and the Harddrive. Be careful not to spend too much money on upgraded ram or a bigger harddrive. I only have 1gb of ram but It was something like 90$ to upgrade 2gb when I bought this.

I can buy 2gb new for about 60$ or so (dont quote the price but I think its close to that)

It was also expensive to upgrade my HDD from a 60gb but I just bought a 160gb for about 90$ and the install is super simple.

Get the model numbers and call the company and make sure there is room to upgrade after you buy it.

I also reccommend Dell.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Pantag, give me a PM with what ya got!

I was thinking maybe I could buy a quality laptop that has a good screen with a Core 2 Duo and upgrade the ram and HDD myself?

I can find 2gb ram for 60 and I can probably find a deal with HDD.

Is there a specific brand I should be going with? Like lets say Fujitsu is better than Dell or etc ...?
 

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I've only ever known one person with a Fujitsu laptop...and as pretty as it was, it only worked for a month before it was off to the factory to get it fixed.

I would stick with Dell. But look around and research. Check out www.abspc.com also.
 

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anything you buy new is going to come with Vista, so I am not sure if the tuning program you have in mind is yet compatiable. I would recommend a IBM Thinkpad, model number depending on your screen size, weight..etc, and save money if you can find a used on in decent condition
 
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