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08-13-2008, 04:56 PM   #1
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15.4 Computer

Well I need (need may be overstating it) - smaller computer. I think my eyes are just not good enough for a 13.x or 14.x so I am leaning towards a 15.4.

My current thoughts are Dell XPS or the newer Studio (which from I understand is between the Inpiron and XPS). I have configured a few and a decent one looks to be around $1.6k give or take.

I am in Canada - there is an HP at Costco for < $1k - I tend to over anaylze my needs. I want it small enough for travel - run work stuff (none of which is erally resource intensive). Probably lightroon or CS3 would be the most demanding app. Big Hard drive 4gb ram nice screeen is what I am after.

In all liklyehood whatever I get I will trash the factory set up and install XP as most of the stuff I need for work is iffy on Vista.

So thoughts ? Suggestions ?

thx.........dy

08-13-2008, 05:07 PM   #2
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Toshiba laptops are also very good, as it's price. And are mostly better equipped than HP (in term of hardware installed). And they have great screens as far as I saw few models, compared to HP (just my oppinion)
But with any brand you can't miss, as long as Core 2 Duo is inside
08-13-2008, 05:24 PM   #3
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Oh yeah one more criteria build like a rock - I am not very gentel at times not worried about drop technology just built well as I tend to grap it with one hand kinda thing.
08-13-2008, 05:29 PM   #4
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I have a last years model HP laptop Dave, and I really hate to say this but I won't use it for any processing
It's nice and fast, but whenever I've tried the pic's look awful on a calibrated screen, and I haven't discovered a way to make it's screen any better

If I was to buy one again today I'd look elsewhere, although HP is my brand choice for home computers.

08-13-2008, 06:33 PM   #5
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I find most laptops are actually pretty good now, though I do recommed plugging a good monitor into the laptop for fine tuning images
08-13-2008, 06:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
I think my eyes are just not good enough for a 13.x or 14.x so I am leaning towards a 15.4.
Be aware most laptop screens aren't suitable for accurate photo proofing due to poor colour accuracy / compressed dynamic range. You'll probably be wanting to attach an external monitor for photo editing.

QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
My current thoughts are Dell XPS or the newer Studio (which from I understand is between the Inpiron and XPS). I have configured a few and a decent one looks to be around $1.6k give or take.
I have an XPS M1530 and love it. It cost me the equivalent of about $1.5K CAD, for a 2.5GHz processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB hard drive. I understand the Studio is basically a 'cheapened' version of the M1530. You may also want to look at the Dell Vostro and Latitude lines, in the small business section of their site.

QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
I want it small enough for travel - run work stuff (none of which is erally resource intensive). Probably lightroon or CS3 would be the most demanding app. Big Hard drive 4gb ram nice screeen is what I am after.
15.4" laptops are really getting too heavy for travel. I used to regularly fly between Auckland and London (about 22 hours flight time all up), and I would not carry a 15.4" laptop with me in a shoulder bag. I used to carry a 14.1" then, and it was much lighter. If you're talking about just taking it with you in a shoulder bag on a car trip that's probably okay.

4GB of RAM in 32-bit laptops (e.g. all consumer laptops today) is, for all intents and purposes worthless. You'll only be able to use about 3.2GB of it, depending on the other hardware in the machine. It isn't worth the purchase price, unless it's included in a package with other upgrades.

QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
In all liklyehood whatever I get I will trash the factory set up and install XP as most of the stuff I need for work is iffy on Vista.
If possible, I'd rethink that. I really like almost everything about Vista, and I use it daily. Using XP at work feels like a step back for me. Also, most manufacturers aren't supporting XP with their newer models, meaning they offer no drivers for XP. You can sometimes scrape them together yourself from various sources, but honestly it's not worth the pain.
(The Dell M1530 is an example of this)
Vista is a lot better following Service Pack 1, and some compatability issues are resolved. Many vendors have also fixed their software. Most people forget what XP was like pre SP1, and it was at least as bad.

QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Oh yeah one more criteria build like a rock - I am not very gentel at times not worried about drop technology just built well as I tend to grap it with one hand kinda thing.
You may want to look at business laptops then, the M1530 is fairly solid, but it's still a consumer laptop and therefore not as well built as many of the business models. Take a look at Dell Latitudes. You can also usually get XP preinstalled.
08-13-2008, 07:18 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies - I will have a look at Toshiba's read good things about them

I currently have a HP 17" it's fine for processing a little slow now - I am not a color perfectionist as a lot of you guys are , in fact I have a red green deficiency so I just want a decent monitor don’t need professional grade

I used to own latitude (C80) - it was built like a rock and lasted a good 4 years until I gave it to the kid’s ha-ha. Don't want to say what it cost back then, let's just say I could get 3 laptops today.

The problem with today’s latitude is once you upgrade the memory, hard drive it's getting over $2k - don't need to spend that much money for the benefits as you say the XPS is pretty well built.

I have travelled with my 17" I am not a road warrior but do get traveling 4 or 5 times a year , airports , hotels. I do use a backpack so I think 15.4 would be fine. My daughter has a 15.4 (last year Insprion model) think it would work well.

Leaning towards the XPS - I will re-look at vista. I run a lot or Oracle products and I think there is support now for oracle and vista. Business or ultimate. I dual boot Vista here now just have not run it for a while (pre SP1) originally ran into way too many issues (oracle, SSH clients, sftp clients, a plethora of VPN clients (Cisco, Citrix, Sonicwall, etc...)

I think the XPS is the leading candidate for now - I can give Vista a shot and always go back to XP not that big a deal (4 or 5 hours to rebuild from scratch)

As for the 3 GB vs. 4 GB you are correct 32bit OS can only address a little over 3 but I thought an application like CS3 could take advantage? It's a pretty cheap upgrade ($100) to go from 3-4 and if I decide to go to a 64 bit OS at some point (be it Linux, Vista or if released before the machine becomes a boat anchor) Windows 2008.
08-13-2008, 07:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cpopham Quote
If possible, I'd rethink that. I really like almost everything about Vista, and I use it daily.
If possible, I'd rethink that rethink and stick with what you are planning to do. Use XP now and wait for the next version of Windows beyond Vista.

Everything you mentioned will work with XP and the overall experience will be much quicker than with the standard Vista bloat.

08-13-2008, 08:15 PM   #9
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Dave, I'm in the same boat. I also want a laptop so I'm really glad to see that you've started this thread. I want a 15" like you, but for some stupid reason my wife is insisting on a 17".

The only thing I'm curious about and wonder what the masses think is whether onboard basic graphics card is fine or should I spend the extra money for a dedicated graphict card? I don't intend on using the laptop for games, and it will only get photo use while out of town.
08-13-2008, 08:17 PM   #10
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HP Shopping has a new $400 off $1299 coupon NB6997 for most laptops available.
08-13-2008, 09:59 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Leaning towards the XPS - I will re-look at vista. I run a lot or Oracle products and I think there is support now for oracle and vista. Business or ultimate. I dual boot Vista here now just have not run it for a while (pre SP1) originally ran into way too many issues (oracle, SSH clients, sftp clients, a plethora of VPN clients (Cisco, Citrix, Sonicwall, etc...)

I think the XPS is the leading candidate for now - I can give Vista a shot and always go back to XP not that big a deal (4 or 5 hours to rebuild from scratch)
Ah, Oracle, say no more. What I'm saying is that you should be aware that laptops like the M1530 have no officially supported XP drivers - you either have to cobble together your own set, or use one of the various unofficial sets floating around forums. Personally, I would find that more hastle than it is worth.

If you're tied to XP by specific applications, then check out the Dell Vostro range - they're business machines so you can buy them with XP preinstalled.

QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
As for the 3 GB vs. 4 GB you are correct 32bit OS can only address a little over 3 but I thought an application like CS3 could take advantage? It's a pretty cheap upgrade ($100) to go from 3-4 and if I decide to go to a 64 bit OS at some point (be it Linux, Vista or if released before the machine becomes a boat anchor) Windows 2008.
No, applications cannot take advantage of that memory. Even the operating system cannot. The rest of the address space is being used for IO mapping. The only real benefit you are getting is the extra 0.2GB of RAM.

Note that the PM965 chipset used in the M1530 doesn't actually support more than 4GB of RAM, even for 64-bit OSes. You'd be able to benefit from the full 4GB however.

QuoteOriginally posted by troywhite Quote
If possible, I'd rethink that rethink and stick with what you are planning to do. Use XP now and wait for the next version of Windows beyond Vista.

Everything you mentioned will work with XP and the overall experience will be much quicker than with the standard Vista bloat.
Vista isn't bloated, it performs just fine on decent hardware. I totally agree it is not worth purchasing with anything but a new computer, but only because hardware becomes obsolete so fast, and the cheaper OEM copies are tied to a machine. The only real reason not to use it is existing applications which won't work (9 times out of 10 the fault of the application vendor, too). Having said that, if you're required to use applications which don't run well, sticking with XP is the prudent choice.

QuoteOriginally posted by dws1117 Quote
The only thing I'm curious about and wonder what the masses think is whether onboard basic graphics card is fine
Given that you specifically mentioned not playing games, then no, a dedicated graphics card is not really essential.
08-13-2008, 10:44 PM   #12
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the new PUMA processors from AMD are amazing. You can configure a few with 3gb of ram a nice hardrive and doodads for $900 or so. I'll check for them tomorrow...
08-14-2008, 01:07 AM   #13
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My vote would be for either a IBM or HP business line notebook.
IBM just refreshed their line up and have some very nice machines with some nice prices up for grabs.

I bought a IBM T61 14.1 a few months back and have only good things to say about it.

Bob
08-14-2008, 02:54 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by vroom_skies Quote
My vote would be for either a IBM or HP business line notebook.
IBM just refreshed their line up and have some very nice machines with some nice prices up for grabs.

I bought a IBM T61 14.1 a few months back and have only good things to say about it.

Bob
Don't you mean Lenovo? IBM has quit the laptop manufacturing business. Lenovo takes care of that now.
08-14-2008, 06:50 AM   #15
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clear desk top

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use the drop down menu to increase your system font size

apply

ok

restart

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