Best Laptop computer under $1000 for college

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24,382
Location
Central Florida
Whats the best laptop ($1000 or less) for my wife that goes back to college fulltime this August ?? [I dont know] She doesn't need a super computer....just something with good battery life and a nice, clear screen. Any recommendations? Dell, Gateway, Compaq, HP, Sony, Toshiba....etc,etc. THANKS
 
Messages
40,736
Location
Great Lakes
Just got a Lenovo N100 for my sister (a college student as well). For $1069 from Newegg it was actually quite well equipped (Intel Core Duo 2 GHz, 100 GB HDD, 15.4" WXGA+, DVD burner, fingerprint scanner, etc.) However, I'm not sure that the battery life will be something to write home about...
 
Messages
3,398
Location
Midwest, Illinois
Dell. Often you can get a decent Dell lap for 2/3rds of your price range. Factor in on site service, and it may be your best bargain. Compaq Presarios and HP's are now the same thing, and Sam's wholesale changes prices about every eight weeks. I picked up an 1100. Presario for 749. about 2 months ago, and really like it.
 
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4,872
Location
MN
Stay away from Celeron Processors. My Mom bought a cheap Dell and it stinks. The Celeron doesn't get the integrated Centrino chip, nor the power saving features. Make sure you get at least 512MB of RAM. The Core Duo or any of AMDs offerings will do much better. We got a great deal on our Compaq over a year ago from CompUSA. Athlon64, 512MB RAM, CD/DVD burner, bug battery and wireless for about $750. You'd be hard pressed to find a better deal.
 
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3,558
Location
SE Pa
No offense, but IMHO Dell laptops are a bit flimsy and tend to physically break easily compared to the best out there. Too many bells and whistles and toys going on. And they come a little too loaded with cranky bloatware on top of it. If you want a durable, sturdy machine that is going to hold up when used on the go (as a true mobile laptop system), there are two choices: A Toughbook or ThinkPad. Consider a centrino model. If they're a little more, stretch to get one of those two. You'll not regret it, especially after a year or two of use. Opting for a smaller, slower HD but adding extra RAM will favorably adjust the performance/power balance for best results.
 
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9,283
Location
Fayetteville, NC
sort of OT: I think I'll be getting a Lenovo Thinkpad equivalent of the IBM Thinkpad R52 (which my wife has) from Pharmacy school soon...I wonder how it will be...The IBM ThinkPad R52 has been great, which my wife got when she got into Pharmacy school (you have no choice, you just get what they give you for "free" [Roll Eyes]
 
Messages
11,284
Location
Spring HIll
Dell Inspiron E1505 was given top-nod by PC Mag recently. Go to TechBargains.com or slickdeals.net for coupon codes that will save you hundreds off the retail price.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,146
Location
New Jersey
watch out for manufacturers that cheap out with a 90 day warranty... last I checked Dell is only giving 90 days. Lenovo customer service seems to be pretty decent. A few folks at work have sony laptops and are real happy with them, but they are pricier. Toshiba and HP make some decent laptops. Be sure to get extra RAM, get a celeron architecture or pentium M procesor. Dont scrimp on a good screen, even if it puts you over the price range. Its not worth it to scrimp and hurt the eyes... JMH
 
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11,284
Location
Spring HIll
I just checked out a Gateway MX6455. Nice case and all, but was SLOW. He said it was under $500. Not a bad price, but what kind of performance can one *really* get for $500?
 
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23,904
Location
CA
I'd consider a Dell Inspiron E1705 notebook. It has the Intel Centrino Dual-core processor (T1300). Though its a lower-end CPU, they're currently offering a free 1GB ram upgrade. The model also has a standard 17" LCD, which is a huge plus, considering that Dell is only charging $949 for this model right now. An alternative would be to purchase the Apple MacBook for about $1000. They have a promotion right now (up until Sept) that gives you $150 off an iPod, so you can essentially purchase a free iPod Nano after MIR.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,146
Location
New Jersey
IMO, before going to a 'widescreen' laptop, hit up best buy or similr places that have good laptop selections, and look at the size of a 15" widescreen or 17" especially. They are QUITE unwieldy. I have a 'traditional' aspect ratio laptop - one with a 15" and one with a 14.1" The 14.1 has a really top notch screen - 1400x1050 - its very clear. I will stick with traditional aspect ratio 14" screens with this type of clarity/resolution. !5.4 widescreeen and 17" laptops dont fit easily into smaller bags, and dont fit easily under airplane seats. JMH
 
Messages
3,558
Location
SE Pa
quote:
Originally posted by JHZR2: I will stick with traditional aspect ratio 14" screens with this type of clarity/resolution. !5.4 widescreeen and 17" laptops dont fit easily into smaller bags, and dont fit easily under airplane seats. JMH
Exactly. If you want a widescreen and eleven built-in speakers to watch videos and play games, you're better off with a desktop system. Most of these widescreen "laptops" wind up planted at home with only occasional forays into the field (usually for show and tell with friends). I think the correct industry term for a machine that you can genuinely take places is a notebook. I don't know if it's still made, but I just love my trusty T42. Powerful, small, light, and built like a tank. A clumsy former housekeeper once tossed it into a wall so hard it tore out a chunk of drywall. Picked it up, powered it on, and it didn't miss a beat. Try that with a Dell or HP and you'll be back online buying another one after it shatters all over the room.
 
Messages
34,215
Location
NJ
I just ordered a Dell 1505 last night. 1GB of Ram. Price came to $800. I couldn't find a better deal. They have some huge rebates right now.
 

JHZR2

Staff member
Messages
46,146
Location
New Jersey
quote:
Originally posted by Volvohead: I don't know if it's still made, but I just love my trusty T42. Powerful, small, light, and built like a tank.
Im using a T42 right now!!! It is a great computer. JMH
 
Messages
7,256
Location
USA
quote:
Originally posted by JHZR2:
quote:
Originally posted by Volvohead: I don't know if it's still made, but I just love my trusty T42. Powerful, small, light, and built like a tank.
Im using a T42 right now!!! It is a great computer. JMH

I just received a brand new t42 w/2GB ram from my employer in the mail randomly and LOVE IT. No request, apparently my trusty t30 with w2k and 1GB does not cut it. They do pay me by the hour I guess.
 
Messages
335
Location
Colorado
I'm in college right now. We own a Dell and Averatec laptops. The dell has been in the "shop" several times in the past 2 years. The averatec has been 100 percent reliable. I will never buy a Dell again. Overprice, overrated flimsy junk.
 
Messages
11,284
Location
Spring HIll
If you buy a new Dell, be sure to get the most out of it by using the Dell [email protected] No joke. There's a TON of useless software on the machine from the factory that slows it down. This utilty removes all of it. Here's the download link: http://www.yorkspace.com/dell-de-crapifier/ Of course, reinstalling Windows XP at the point of purchase is the "cleanest" way to go for those of you with the patience and know-how to get the most performance from your new Dell system. [ June 28, 2006, 05:07 PM: Message edited by: ToyotaNSaturn ]
 
Messages
651
Location
la jolla, ca
Speaking of Dell, we just picked up a new Dimension E510. Got it with the Pentium® D Processor 930 Dual Core 3.0GHz, 2gb memory, 256mb video card, 250gb hard drive and a few other goodies. I was amazed on how much extra junk came on it which I spent yesterday deleting. Seems to run pretty quick!
 
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