Looking for a new Notebook

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by tinytim, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Our notebook at church has been giving us fits within the last 6 months...

    As a matter of fact, it died on me the other night... The OS will not even load.. not even in Safe mode...

    I went ahead and ran diagnostics before I call Dell tomorrow, and it came back with 4 uncorrectable errors...

    Sooooo...

    Our chairman of trustees told me today to start looking for a new notebook....

    What would you all suggest... I wanna keep it under $700 if possible...
    I was looking at a Dell Inspiron 1521... 2G memory... 120G harddrive.. and alot of bells and whistles that I have been wanting like Bluetooth.. so I can download the pics off the church's cell phone and use them in presentations.... I do most of the church's work on the notebook.

    The only thing is, it is not available in XP... And I have heard horror stories about Vista...

    So what would all the great minds in BB suggest?

    And if possible, add a link.

    I have only used Windows... But am open to the idea of a Mac...
    But I would really, really have to be convinced I will like it better...

    Thank you...
    Tiny
     
  2. Magnetic Poles

    Magnetic Poles
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    A MacBook is probably over budget. If you are open to a new OS, perhaps download Ubuntu or Fedora Linux live cds and see if they run. Both load as easy or easier than Windows, but linux tends to be less notebook friendly on some machines and fine on others. If they work, you can try to install to the hard drive. Could end up saving the church that $700. The live CD route means no install...just make sure the BIOS is set to boot from the CD drive. Nothing lost if it fails.
     
  3. LeBuick

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    Not to thread jack but I think this will help the OP also. I've always wanted to try Linux but I heard you have to be a programmer to find drivers and compatible software. Do you run into a lot of that?
     
  4. rbell

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    IMO Dell quality has tanked in the last couple of years. We've lost 2 laptops to dead motherborards, and we've had (out of 5 dell laptops) 3 DVD writers fail, partially or completely.

    The dime-store reject parts they're putting in their Inspiron laptops are failing more and more. I've talked to 3 computer guys in the last 2 weeks that have said the exact same thing.

    Go with HP or something else. Dell (the Pakistani National Surplus Computer Company) will leave you stranded.

    Whatever you do, get an extended warranty. It's usually a bad buy on most items, but you'll get your life saved by doing so...especially if you buy a PNSSCC, er Dell, product.
     
  5. exscentric

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    Office Depot, Staples and Circuit city have been running specials at 400 or so off and on for a couple months.

    I'd suggest trying for 2 gig memory as Vist does better with that. If you buy one with 1 gig thinking you will upgrade to 2 by adding a chip be sure before you buy that the unit has an open slot. My wife's new Acer came with 1 gig but it was in two 512 chips and no upgrade capability, though two 1 gig was only 60 which really surprised me.

    For a churches main computer I'd go with a desktop personally. They are more durable over time as to keyboard etc. It will cost a fortune to change a laptop keyboard (though you could do a usb one if need be).

    256 video memory is the minimum for home premium vista so if you like the nice graphics be sure your unit has at least that.

    I'd suggest bigger than 80 gig hard drive as Vista and resotre partition takes a junk. (Again, you could always add a usb external drive.)
     
  6. tinytim

    tinytim
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    All may not be lost after all...

    I contacted Dell, and we are still under warranty... Praise God..
    because I could have swore the warranty ran out last month...

    It is one of 2 things... The OS or Harddrive, and they are sending the OS to me tomorrow, and if that don't work, a new harddrive...

    Thanks for your input...
     
  7. ccrobinson

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    Sounds like they should have just sent a new drive and saved time. Errors listed as "uncorrectable" sounds like hardware failure to me.

    I've never tried Linux, but yes, you'd have to find drivers for any peripherals. As I understand, Linux isn't plug-n-play like Windows.

    I haven't had any problems that were directly attributable to shoddy parts, but I agree with getting an extended warranty. I lost a video card and a hard drive recently, likely due to the system getting too hot (don't ask), and the warranty paid for itself.

    I strongly agree with all of this.
     
  8. Magnetic Poles

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    Not so much anymore. Most modern Linuxes auto detect the hardware just fine, unless you have some esoteric or new cards of some sort. I would use a Live CD first to see how it works on your machine. You can easily set up a dual boot for Windows and Linux almost automatically. It used to be a bit of a geekish OS, but honestly, it installs quicker and easier than Windows in most cases. It's free, so you can download and try it, and like I mentioned, a Live CD will not touch your hard drive or Windows installation.
     
    #8 Magnetic Poles, Nov 26, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2007
  9. Dale-c

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    If you ever do go with a Mac, check out the Mini, may be a more afforable choice if you need something small but don't plan to move it around.

    Oh, and are they ever better :)
     
  10. PK

    PK
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    I just bought a MacBook about 9 months ago and I love it. The only issue is my superdrive is not working correctly. It won't even read a disk now.
     
  11. Dale-c

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    Take it back to the Apple Store.
    I see you are from Indy so you can take it up to the Keystone Mall and they have an APple Retail store there.
    They should fix it for you.
    If you got it new then it is still under the 1 year warantee.
     
  12. tinytim

    tinytim
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    It was the harddrive, just installed my new one today, and it works like a charm.... still chasing drivers though!
     
  13. Trotter

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    If you do decide to go with a new lappy, check out Dell's Vostro line. you will find them in the Small Business section. Vostros are no-nonsense units without all the "crapware" that comes pre-loaded on most pre-builts. Both notebooks and desktops are available, and the prices are a little better than the Home lappys.

    Oh, and you can choose XP or Vista on them. :D
     
  14. reformedbeliever

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    I'll never buy another Dell. Had way too many issues with it. Still has two years warranty..... but its about useless too. They do not cover software in the extended warranty without a software warranty... which is of course extra money.
     
  15. rbell

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    Amen.

    Dell has gotten really, REALLY bad about putting parts in their computers that simply conflict with the system. The Sony DVD/RW drives that we have in 5 of our Dell computers...3 of them don't work (another one suffered a motherboard failure at 18 months). They all have the same problem (won't recognized blank disks).

    After firmware upgrades, uninstalling, reinstalling, system restore, virus scan, innumerable hours on the phone with "Bob" from Dell, and then his supervisor "Bob," and his supervisor "Bob," and their sister in Customer service, also named "Bob...." the junk still doesn't work. And the customer service....isn't.

    I tell everyone who asks me my disappointment with Dell. I send them emails every week updating them as to how many folks I have told of my difficulties. I'll quit doing that as soon as I get something other than a form letter.
     
  16. standingfirminChrist

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    I just recently bought an Acer Aspire notebook with Vista OS. It has a 160 gig hd, 2 gigs DDR memory, nvidea geforce video, wireless lan, lightscribe DVD burner, and a sound card i ain't figgered out yet.

    all works good for taping services, and sound is great for that, but...
    I cannot get my sound to work on Paltalk! Aggravating.
     
  17. Trotter

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    Odds are the program is not compatible with Vista. This is just one reason why many who are in the know are avoiding it.
     

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