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Choosing a Laptop

NewtonNewton Registered User regular
edited March 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So I'm looking to buy my first laptop and I'm more than a little lost. I used to be fairly comfortable selecting desktop hardware, but I haven't even been keeping up with that over the last few years and now I'm confronted with all sorts of specs and I don't know what is good and what isn't.

It will mostly be used for internet usage, a little bit of gaming (stuff like Pharoah and Empire, nothing with real high requirements) and watching movies. I want it to be easily portable with decent battery life. I really don't know what is normal for laptop batteries, but if it could get through 4 hours of playing movies while unplugged, I'd be pretty happy. I'm also looking for a pricetag of under $900.

I've found a few in my price range, but I don't know which is better. The main difference between them seems to just be the processor and video cards, so with the prices listed here, which of these laptops would best fit my needs (or feel free to suggest something different):

HP Pavillion DV6226US $749
Pentium Dual Core Processor T2060
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
1GB ram, 120GB HD

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4467 $899
Pentium Core 2 Duo 5200
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950
1GB ram, 120GB HD

Dell E1505 $749+
Pentium Core Duo or Pentium Core 2 Duo
Customizeable Specs

HP Pavillion DV 6253C $899
AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual Core
nVidia GeForce Go 6150
2GB RAM, 120GB HD

Gateway MT6704 $849
Intel Dual Core T2060
1GB RAM, 160GB HD
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950


They all come standard with a 6-cell battery and the Dell has the optional 9-cell for an extra $50. How much time would I get out of a 6-cell battery?

Newton on

Posts

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited February 2007
    Don't buy anything with Intel Graphics. They don't support hardware transform & lighting, which means quite a few games won't run on them at all.

    Nothing is going to give you four hours of watching movies (which requires that the DVD-ROM is spinning) on a single battery. Two hours is more reasonable, if you get a 9-cell battery. If you're not watching movies and you're just checking your email or doing other minor tasks (which don't require powering an optical drive) then 3 hours is reasonable out of a 6-cell battery.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • blanknogoblanknogo Registered User
    edited February 2007
    For laptop processors go with Intel and preferably Core2Duo. Those chips will give you the best battery life and power.

    blanknogo on
  • gneGnegneGne Registered User
    edited February 2007
    gneGne on
    pasigcopyox6.jpg
  • NewtonNewton Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Thanks for the replies so far. I have it narrowed down to either the Dell E1505 or the HP 6253C. For the same price I can either get a Pentium Core 2 Duo with 1GB of Ram and ATI Radeon x1400 with the Dell, or the HP which has the Turion 64 x2 with 2GB of Ram and nVidia GeForce Go 6150. Other than that, all the specs are the same. So would I be better off getting the pentium processor with less memory (which could eventually be upgraded, although not cheaply), or the AMD with twice the memory? Does the amount of memory have a significant affect on battery life and will I notice a big difference between the processors while doing normal computing stuff? I'm leaning towards the HP just because I can buy it locally from costco, and I'm sure that if something were to go wrong with it I would get better customer service from costco than Dell, but I don't know if that is a good enough reason if there is going to be a large difference in performance.

    Newton on
  • LondonBridgeLondonBridge __BANNED USERS
    edited March 2007
    I'll just say you're in the right direction for not looking at a Sony. I've used IBM for work though they are expensive as gold plated shit.

    LondonBridge on
  • kingmetalkingmetal Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Don't buy anything with Intel Graphics. They don't support hardware transform & lighting, which means quite a few games won't run on them at all.

    this is not true, I have a GMA 950 and Dawn of War: DC runs great. I even can sort of run Company of Heroes (it's just a bit below what I would consider the playable threshold). some games complain about not having hardware T & L, but I've never run into one that just straight up doesn't work.

    needless to say, the 950 won't be winning any performance awards, but for ultra-light gaming it works fine, they're cheaper and I've been told they are significantly more energy efficient.

    kingmetal on
  • redimpulseredimpulse Registered User
    edited March 2007
    I'm going to put my vote in for the Dell. You'll be pleased with its performance as far as what you're looking for, and the 9-cell optional battery really comes in handy.

    Also they're easy to fix if anything goes wrong.

    redimpulse on
    rbsig.jpg
  • kingmetalkingmetal Registered User regular
    edited March 2007
    redimpulse wrote: »
    I'm going to put my vote in for the Dell. You'll be pleased with its performance as far as what you're looking for, and the 9-cell optional battery really comes in handy.

    Also they're easy to fix if anything goes wrong.

    in what way are they easy to fix?

    kingmetal on
  • redimpulseredimpulse Registered User
    edited March 2007
    Okay, maybe it's easy for me as it's what I do for a living.

    But the cases are easy to crack open and the chipsets/mobos are Intel, so parts are plentiful.

    redimpulse on
    rbsig.jpg
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