Laptops: What About Yours?

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Laptops: What About Yours?

Unread postby James » Sat Jul 22, 2006 2:39 pm

I was wondering what people’s thoughts on laptops were, at least as far as it goes with the people here who own or have owned one. What do you use? What have you done with it? What would you do with it if you could? Do you like it, or would you rather have a different one (and if so, which)? If you could own one, what would it be?
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Unread postby James » Sat Jul 22, 2006 3:06 pm

For the longest time I used to use an Apple Powerbook G3 (Firewire Edition). I have had it for nearly six years, and I never stopped loving the thing. It, of course, began to show its age, but because of how popular the model had become it was easy to upgrade basically everything inside it but the video card. I did just that, and soon it was running OS X. Finally, the logic board [mother board] died, and I decided to finally move one.

- - - - - - - - - -

About a week ago I purchased a Black 13" Apple MacBook, then upgraded it to 2GBs of RAM and a 7200 RPM hard drive. Some of the new design features are absolutely wonderful in my eyes. I like the way in which they did the keyboard (the keys are part of the case, which will be awesome until there is a problem with the keyboard), used magnets to connect the AC Adapter and latch the lid, and most of all, I like the value for the price. I spent around $1800 and got the following computer:

Apple 13" Intel MacBook
2.0 GHz Core Due w/ 2MBs L2 Cache/Core
13.3-inch widescreen display
1280 x 800 resolution
2GBs PC 667 DDR2 RAM (2x 1GB)
80GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA HDD (Seagate)
SuperDrive (DVD±RW, CD-RW)
AppleCare Extended Warranty

I wondered if I should buy a MacBook Pro instead, but now that I have used the computer for a while I don’t regret the choice in the slightest. Nice thing about these computers? They can all run Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X on the same computer, all natively. I don’t have to think about buying a traditional ‘Windows’ computer anymore.

- - - - - - - - - -

My wife has an HP ze5700 Pentium 4 Laptop, which turned out to be a truly horrible computer. I have been fixing these things for two years, and if anything they have proven themselves to be computers that can’t last more than two years without hardware problems (overheating, dead battery, fails HDDs with surprising regularity, motherboard failures). My wife’s also has gone through nearly all of these problems, and I’ve spent around $400 keeping it <i>usable</i>. This, unfortunately, is what has come to scare me about HP.

I think the trick is to never buy laptops with adapted desktop processors.

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On the other hand, I have had a chance to use some of HP’s new dv6000z and dv200z, and I must say, both are very well designed computers in terms of case, appearance, and usability. I don’t think I have ever seen HP computers that were as nice to handle. They use cheaper parts, of course (as is the case with nearly all laptop manufacturers these days), and I wouldn’t buy one until I was sure the series isn’t riddled with flaws, but if it turned out well (and I suspect it shall) it would make a wonderful and affordable Windows companion.
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Unread postby Rhiannon » Tue Jul 25, 2006 1:46 am

I've got an iBook G4 (and had it now for about a year, I believe); affectionately named Zixiao. Thanks to the unreliability of my PC, it has been my personal computer all this time, and has been my lap-dog for all things: internet, web and graphics work, school work, a novel writing competition, and months worth of World of Warcraft.

Through all this time, it's done pretty well. My power cord has gotten a little loose and probably could use replacing sometime in the near future; my n, l, pg up, and c keys have faded. You can see heavy wear from where my palms have rested by the touchpad. I often stare at the keyboard and ponder how best to clean underneath the keys, as they are not designed with the removability of a standard keyboard.

Using a laptop this exclusively for such a long time has trained my fingers to be more nimble with a squinched laptop keyboard than a standard USB keyboard, and ergonomic keyboards? You can forget it. And even though I have a trackball attached when at my desk, I still reach for the touchpad. I have to force myself to try to use an external mouse, simply because it feels out of the way.

Alas, my laptop was bought and designed for "office" work, so to speak. I never intended to use it as a gaming system (besides, perhaps, Diablo II), but circumstances forced that upon me. As a result, I often feel the pangs of only 1.33 GHZ, 768 MB of RAM (although it's good RAM), and a graphics card that doesn't render as beautifully but has the most gorgeous color I have ever seen. I tolerate this, however, because I have fallen in love with the portability and comfort of a laptop, aside from one flaw: hot hands. That, I intend to fix by attaching a cooling system to the bottom of the laptop, once I have a job again and can afford little accessories like this.

If it was reasonable for gaming, I would upgrade or replace this precious baby. But, after deliberation, I've decided to return to the world of owning a desktop computer. Supposedly my parents are giving me one for my birthday, alas, they have to decide what to do since the one they planned to give me is now ka-put. Irony, at its finest.

However, I'll continue to treasure Zixiao and use the computer passionately for the written, graphical, and internet world - it's opened up possibilities to me I never felt really capable with a PC. In years' time, I'll replace it with a better laptop - a mac, fully designed for the same line of work - and it will remain my favorite, even if a clunky PC tower is sitting forelornly at my desk.
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Unread postby Kongming's Prodigy » Mon Jul 31, 2006 8:06 am

I just bought a laptop while on vacation in China, lol. It's a Sony Vaio VGN-FE15C. Here are the specs:

Intel T1300 (1.66GHz)
15.4" screen (WXGA: 1280x800)
NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400 with NVIDIA TurboCache (256MB)
DVD±RW
60GB Serial ATA 5400-rpm
S-Video
Motion Eye Camera
2GB (x2 1GB) DDR2 Memory [Originally 512MB (x2 256MB DDR2)]

To compensate for the lack of HD space, I bought a 60GB portable HD too. In total, I spent 13,830 RMB, which is $1,728.75.
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700W Cooler Master UCP
Cooler Master HAF 922 Chassis
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Unread postby HuangGaiTheGreat » Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:51 pm

Lap tops are very handy indeed. However, for a gamers needs, they're just not the way to go. Respectively looking at an HP Pavilion, they are nice little working machines. But for gaming, I would take a desktop over a laptop any day for a few reasons; one being that desktops will always have better high end hardware built for them simply because of space issues. Another is because laptops just aren't practical for stationary gaming. If you're a LAN gamer, your better off with a micro atx or btx tower. Alas, with size being the point of conflict here, laptops are much harder to upgrade as well. Dont get the wrong idea here though, laptops are in many ways VERY useful and better for college needs, bussinesses and what not, but the "Banana for the best little gaming machine" will always go to desktops.
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Unread postby James » Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:38 pm

HuangGaiTheGreat wrote:laptops are much harder to upgrade as well.

This is the real reason why laptops won’t ever be the best gaming platform. These days you can find some super-powerful laptops that can handle everything out there and more, just as many of the desktops do, and their portability does provide an on-the-go gamer with many options, but <i>they will not be as upgradeable when they become obsolete</i>.

Not that this matters much for a true hard core gamer, who will build a new machine down the road anyway, but for nearly everyone else this means no video card upgrades when they are needed most.
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Unread postby HuangGaiTheGreat » Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:34 am

Well said, and this kinda goes back into the space conflicts with laptops, but laptops really aren't all that great at cooling which hinders performance capabilities of the parts built for them.
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Unread postby Jordan » Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:41 am

Mine is really hella bad. Don't know what kind it is, but the processor is horrible, the graphic card sucks and in general it has very little disk space, runs slowly and provides me with numberous problems. Given though, that I basically didn't have a working computer till I was in 9th grade, it's a lot better than nothing.
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Unread postby HuangGaiTheGreat » Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:02 am

May I ask what laptop you are running SlickSlicer?
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Unread postby Jordan » Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:06 am

Uh...dunno. If I knew I would have stated it in my previous post. :?
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