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  • Laptop.....??

    Hey everyone, im looking in to buying me a laptop. Im just curious what manufacturer/specs i should look for in one. do i want a mobile desktop?? I really want to get it to experiment with WiFi and wireless networks and stuff like that. Of course, i want to play my games on there too =P In the owrds of Monty Python in The Quest for the Holy Grail, "Any help would be....ehhhh... well, helpful!"

    Gen

  • #2
    Originally posted by Gen0cid3
    Hey everyone, im looking in to buying me a laptop. Im just curious what manufacturer/specs i should look for in one. do i want a mobile desktop?? I really want to get it to experiment with WiFi and wireless networks and stuff like that. Of course, i want to play my games on there too =P In the owrds of Monty Python in The Quest for the Holy Grail, "Any help would be....ehhhh... well, helpful!"

    Gen
    First, use the DC Forums Search to search for keyword "laptop" in all open forum titles. You should see several older threads with help on buying laptops and threads on what works well with wardriving.

    Next, consider what questions you still have left, which are not answered in those helpful threads, and try asking questions about those things.

    As for my opinions on laptops, here goes:
    Dell business-line laptop: like big bricks- reliable, take abuse well, but heavier weight, bigger and bulkier.
    IBM Laptops (ThinkPad): reliable, more expensive, smaller size, standard hardware, good for Linux (in many cases)
    Sony Laptops: often high-end, high-tech, riskier for less stable hardware (more bleeding edge), less standard hardware (problems with non-windows OS working with all devices), often ultra-small, and ultra-lightweight. When these work with your OS, they are often very sexy.

    No Experience with: AlienWare

    I have not liked:
    HP laptops, Hitachi Laptops, Gateway Laptops, Compaq Laptops, Dell Home Market laptops, and older Toshiba laptops.

    (*Note: Many people I know today say they very much enjoy their Toshiba Laptops, so something must have changed within 5 years)

    If you plan to run an OS other than Windows on an x86-based laptop, check the HCL for the bugger before buying. (e.g. Linux: see if others have it working, and how much is working for a particular model: linux-laptop.net.)

    HTH

    [Edit: added content below here]
    If wardriving: consider checking battery life, power consumption, brightness of screen, and reliability in extreme weather (hot/cold).
    If playing graphic intensive games: CPU and Memory as well as accellerated graphics card.
    Last edited by TheCotMan; December 23, 2004, 22:43.

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    • #3
      Many laptops these days come with a built-in wireless chipset and antenna. If you are going to be experimenting in the WiFi world, you may wish to look for a laptop that allows to add an external antenna. I don't believe there are any laptops with built-in wireless that allow for this kind of expansion. Your options then would be to check around for antenna hacks or you could plan on using both the built-in chipset and an expansion card (depending on the situation). (Of course, you could sacrifice convenience for cost by avoiding embedded WiFi chipsets.)

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      • #4
        And then there is WalMart?

        http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...e=19&dept=3944

        Has anyone had any experience with one of them?

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        • #5
          Ahhhh thank you very much Voltage and CotMan. Very Helpful. Ill take your advice of searching the forum for laptop information. Im very appreciative of the information you provided me with. =D

          Gen

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          • #6
            I bought a "desktop replacement" laptop a few years back when I started college and I've regretted it. I found that I'd much rather have a desktop to do desktop things, and get a more portable laptop that I can easily throw in my bag and carry around. If I were laptop shopping again I'd be getting a Thinkpad T-42 myself. In my personal experience the couple extra hundred dollars they cost is more than worth it.

            -zac
            %54%68%69%73%20%69%73%20%6E%6F%74%20%68%65%78

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            • #7
              Well, if you're a big gamer like me, you can never make a laptop a desktop replacement. The thing with the LCD monitor in the laptop is that your refresh rate is a lot slower than that of a CRT monitor on a desktop. I know I may get flamed for saying that, but it's true. The growth of LCDs has significally changed over the years though, as they seem to be handling even the most fast-paced First Person Shooters extremely well, but that still cannot compare to the desktop... and money wise, CRTs are still cheaper.

              But besides that fact, I love laptops for portability. I own a Compaq Presario 2100. (I'm actually typing this post on it.) I'm run the SuSE 9.1 Linux operating system on it, which is a beauty. Wardriving with this baby is an extremely fun thing to do, since the laptop itself weighs about five pounds (and has some good specs; 2.6 Ghz processor, 512 mb DDR ram, 60 gig harddrive). But besides this, I can just give a general opinion of laptop brands that I've used and liked -- Compaqs have always been very nice to me (laptops only though); besides a small LCD problem I've seen in a few HP laptops after awhile, they seem to be okay, and Dell laptops have always been very sturdy. As someone said earlier, they can take a good beating also. That's something I wish my laptop could take. I take good care of it though. I leave it in the DefCon sleeve a lot. Hah. IBM ThinkPads, as mentioned above, are also pretty well known to be great laptops. If I had to go back and get another laptop, I would probably get one of these. Well, besides getting an Apple iBook. If you're into Apple or the Mac operating system at all, I'd go with a nice iBook. I still have an old one from my childhood that still runs... so the hardware with Apple stays around for quite some time. =)

              And I strongly dislike any Sony computers for various hardware problems I've always had while using them.

              Well, despite my rantings here and there (my apologies), I truly hope this information helped. Some of it may have been just elaborated repeats of what was said earlier, but I posted it as if I read no other comments after reading your question. Good luck in finding a good laptop if you haven't already.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Gen0cid3
                Hey everyone, im looking in to buying me a laptop. Im just curious what manufacturer/specs i should look for in one. do i want a mobile desktop?? I really want to get it to experiment with WiFi and wireless networks and stuff like that. Of course, i want to play my games on there too =P In the owrds of Monty Python in The Quest for the Holy Grail, "Any help would be....ehhhh... well, helpful!"

                Gen
                I use an HP with the 15.4" wide screen. It's the SUV of laptops. When I travel with it, I'm very aware that I'm lugging around a big machine. No problems after a year. I like it better than the Sony Viao it replaced or the Dell that the Sony replaced.

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                • #9
                  I love my HP laptop with a 17" screen. Number pad too. It replaced a Sony Vaio U-1 with a 6" screen. So many choices!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by astcell
                    I love my HP laptop with a 17" screen. Number pad too. It replaced a Sony Vaio U-1 with a 6" screen. So many choices!
                    Eh, maybe as a second laptop, but I wouldn't want my primary laptop to have that big of a screen. My 15" screen is perfect for me -- it's the best kind of portability around. And I have no reason to have a number pad. I wouldn't want one on it either. I have a desktop computer for that reason.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MidnightViper
                      Eh, maybe as a second laptop, but I wouldn't want my primary laptop to have that big of a screen. My 15" screen is perfect for me -- it's the best kind of portability around. And I have no reason to have a number pad. I wouldn't want one on it either. I have a desktop computer for that reason.
                      I'll second this. I've got a Toshiba Satellite 1905-S301, and it's about as large as I'd want to go on the size-to-portablity ratio (though a 16:9 aspect ratio screen would've been nice). The main reason I say this is that most laptops with a 15" screen can be used while sitting in an economy-class airplane seat, but most larger ones are anywhere from difficult to impossible to make work in that situation.

                      Other things I've found: I can sling a 15" laptop across my back with no overlap on either side, making it easier to get through turnstiles, doorways, etc. while carrying it; it fits better through x-ray machines; just having that much less bulk (not weight, but rather acreage) is a bit easier to deal with when carrying it.

                      Not that I'm knocking the larger-screen laptops by any means; personally, I love 'em. Just pointing out a few things to consider on the practicalities side if you do go for one.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gen0cid3
                        Hey everyone, im looking in to buying me a laptop. Im just curious what manufacturer/specs i should look for in one. do i want a mobile desktop?? I really want to get it to experiment with WiFi and wireless networks and stuff like that. Of course, i want to play my games on there too =P In the owrds of Monty Python in The Quest for the Holy Grail, "Any help would be....ehhhh... well, helpful!"

                        Gen
                        The best is (I Think) Toshiba Satelite 2410 laptop or other model .It is good and not so expensive and it have a good grafic card and wifi :) inside :) .

                        Already working NVIDIA, TV-OUT, DVD, USB, FIREWIRE, IRDA (also LIRC), APM, SOUND, PCMCIA, MODEM, LAN, WLAN (internal MiniPCI), ACPI. ADDITIONAL KEYS.
                        Special Workaround KEYBOARD
                        Not working yet SD-CARD
                        "There is no patch for human stupidity"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by astcell
                          I love my HP laptop with a 17" screen. Number pad too. It replaced a Sony Vaio U-1 with a 6" screen. So many choices!
                          I had one of those PCG-U1's. Cool little item, but I got really annoyed with the whole thumb-keyboard thing after a while. Now I just have a Armada m300 and a powerbook.
                          When you draw first blood you can't stop this fight
                          For my own piece of mind - I'm going to
                          Tear your fucking eyes out
                          Rip your fucking flesh off
                          Beat you till you're just a fucking lifeless carcass
                          Fuck you and your progress
                          Watch me fucking regress
                          You were meant to take the fall - now you're nothing
                          Payback's a bitch motherfucker!

                          Slayer - Payback

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                          • #14
                            About a year ago I bought a T41. I run Gentoo Linux on it and with 2.6.10 everything works great. I really think highly of IBM laptops, old or new, I knew the first time I pulled mine out of the box that it just felt like quality. Dell's and toshibas just feel so ... plastic. Sometimes you do get what you pay for, and I think with laptops this can apply. Buts its hard to judge.
                            I recommed buying a smaller laptop, not some huge 17 incher. I've seen some suprizingly light 'desktop replacements' but they are still huge to carry around. Laptops are made to be moble, the more moble you are, the smaller you laptop should be. So buy your size accordingly.
                            I would NOT go with a compaq or HP or unknown brand. Look into buying a used T40 for cheap and throw a new battery in there, or if you want to play games more and use winblows more, then go with a sony. They are just really clean looking and nice. Everyone else did a fine job replying and I think you have plenty advice......thats ehhhh well, helpful!
                            The only constant in the universe is change itself

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                            • #15
                              I dont havce much experience with any of the laptops talked about so far in this thread becuase i have always been an alienware fan and that is all i own is alienware.

                              Currently i have an Alienware Ares-51m 7700. It has a 17in. display and a full size keyboard with a number pad. It has a built in microphone and 4 USB 2.0 Ports & 2 IEEE-1394 Ports. For a processor it has an IntelĀ® PentiumĀ® 4 Processor 560J w/ HT Technology 3.6GHz and 1MB Cache. I have 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 533MHz. for a graphics card i have the Raedon x800 with 256m of DDR3 memory. I have 120gig of hardrive space that spins at 7200 rpm. (2-60gig hardrives) and i have a 8X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW / 24X CD-RW. As for the os i run redhat linux 9.0 visual interface, text interface, and 2000pro. i also have a External Wireless 802.11a/b/g PCMCIA Card. The down side to it is it ways 12.5 pounds with the batery, but it doesnt bother me to much becuasse i cary it in my backpack. and i get better performance out of it then alot of desktops that i have seen, although my desktop does perform better but i have 4 gig of memory, 2 amd athlon 64bit chips. 2 30in. lcd displays, and 800 gig of internal hardrive space and a 1.6 terabyte external hardrive. MY laptop is extremely durrable too, i have accidently dropped it twice and it hasnt harmed it at all, and i made a mount for it on the center console in my car and it fits perfect. It is a bit expensive for a laptop like mine (4,521$) but if you can afford it it is well worth the money and wont let you down ever. So as for my opionon i would highly recomend the alienware area-51m 7700
                              before asking a retarded question, google it. google knows all.

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