Laptop choices

masterazn

Banned
Laptop choices

Well, the time has come for me to acquire mobility.

I have come down to the following choices and require some advice.
Firstly, I will be using this laptop most heavily over summer, where I will move around a lot so I will need to carry it in my bag here and there. Secondly, I don't play many breakneck graphics games anymore, I just listen to music, work, do internet stuff and whatnot. Personally, I have always liked IBM laptops over any other brand, simply because they are of good quality despite being a bit pricey. I refuse to get a Dell because my dad has a dell and his battery died two weeks after he got it, and just a few weeks ago, he accidentally dropped his PDA on it (from about 10cm above the keyboard) and then his screen wouldn't light up anymore. So yeah, no Dells.

I've looked at some Acers and Asus's computers but they didn't appeal to me too much. So I'm basically down to this:


IBM ThinkPad X40
Intel Pentium M 738 (low-voltage) 1.40GHz
IBM 11a/b/g Wi-Fi Wireless and Bluetooth
RAM: 512MB / 1.28GB
40Gb HD
12.1 1024x768 - TFT
CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo:24X/24X/24X/8X Max
56Kbps data/14.4Kbps fax

IBM ThinkPad X31
Intel Pentium M 1.70GHz
Intel PRO/Wireless Network Connection 802.11b
256MB / 2GB
40GB HD
12.1 1024x768 - TFT

IBM ThinkPad T42
Intel Pentium M 755 2.00GHz
IBM 11a/b/g Wi-Fi Wireless and Bluetooth
512MB / 2GB
80GB HD
14.1 1400x1050 - TFT
DVD Recordable:2X Max
56Kbps data/14.4Kbps fax

IBM ThinkPad T43
Intel Pentium M 750 1.86GHz
512MB / 2GB
60GB HD
14.1 - TFT
CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo:24X/24X/24X/8X Max
56Kbps data/14.4Kbps fax


So in big, the X series are considerably cheaper and much lighter. They don't sport such power CPU's. The T42 listed above is the most expensive. So what do you guys think? Any other laptops you would suggest me? Does a "low-voltage" CPU make a big difference with a non-"low-voltage" one? Is a DVD writer really necessary? Does a Pentium M 2.00GHz make that much of a difference in comparison with a 1.70GHz?

Thanks.
 

mhl12

Diabloii.Net Member
if you're not playing any games or doing any intense computer stuff (such as graphics and video editing) you dont really need a computer with the fastest processor speed and ram.

for you theres gonna be no difference b/w 1.7 ghz and 2 ghz. As for the dvd writer, only if you have a large movie collection or you are into movies, otherwise its not neccessary.

i would say go for the x40
 
I find 12 inch laptop screens to be horribly small. A 14 or 15 inch screen will give you better resolution as well as more screen space.

The T43 is a tempting buy if you can get it with wireless.


And you'll probably yell at me for this, but, have you looked into the iBooks? I have seen one fall down a flight of concrete stairs and still work perfectly. The battery life is over 5 hours and wireless range is great, especially when compared to the aluminum/magnesium cases.

If you aren't doing much gaming it is something to look into. If you max out the RAM in an iBook I have seen people top 6 hours. Tiger was just released and it has further optimizations for battery life, so that should go up a little bit.
 

masterazn

Banned
I was thinking about that but there's a few questions:

1) How fast can I adapt to using a Mac?
2) Will all my files from my PC now work on Mac?
3) Does Guitar Pro work on Mac?
4) How much are iBooks or PowerBooks?
5) How big are they?
6) How is file compatibility doing for Macs-PCs?
7) Is it true that Macs are only for geeks?
 

Ranger14

Diabloii.Net Member
My iBook is 4 years old and getting pretty beat-up, but it keeps on computing with no problems. Dropped it a few times. :D I am needing to get a new one someday soon, but I wanted to make sure Tiger was released prior to my looking to purchase.

Obviously, Kow and I are in the minority here, but based on what you are going to use it for, an apple would be most functional for you and comes with all the programs you need to enjoy music, internet, photos, etc. Plus you get the Tiger OS and Apples are sexay!
 

masterazn

Banned
How are..uh...programs for "acquiring" music on Macs?

And also, I'm probably looking at the powerbooks instead of the iBooks simply because with a mac, I think i'd rather get a large one than a small one. Am I making any sense?

Okay, so in terms of my network here at home, these are the conditions:

Currently, my router is in my basement and the LAN cables go through the walls and out some sockets. I have no spare sockets, so if I get a laptop, it will have to be wireless connection. So can I add a wireless router to my current router and have my network connected? I share internet through the router as well as the local area network. So if I get a Mac, will I be able to be on teh same network without needing too much tweaking and what not?


PS: Can I add RAM to a powerbook? Can I get the 128Mb graphics card instead of the 64Mb one in a 15" powerbook?
 
masterazn said:
I was thinking about that but there's a few questions:

1) How fast can I adapt to using a Mac?
2) Will all my files from my PC now work on Mac?
3) Does Guitar Pro work on Mac?
4) How much are iBooks or PowerBooks?
5) How big are they?
6) How is file compatibility doing for Macs-PCs?
7) Is it true that Macs are only for geeks?
1. If you can figure out Windows you can get used to a Mac in no time. If you have any questions about it you can PM/IM me and I will answer pretty quickly. I have switched a couple people on the forums and they had very few questions.

2. All your MP3/Word/WMA/AVI/mov files should work, if you have a specific file type you are wondering about ask.

3. Right now it doesn't the Mac release is due out in September.

4. iBooks start at 999$, PowerBooks 1499$. Take a few hundred off for student discount.

5. iBooks come in 12 inch and 14 inch, PowerBooks in 12, 15, 17. I have a Powerbook 15 inch, love it. I have also had an iBook 12 inch, it worked for web viewing and such, but I needed more power/screen to do Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. Right now the screen size is probably the only thing that is different from the iBooks and PowerBooks, they are pretty close in speed. iBooks are much tougher and have better battery and wireless.

6. As I mentioned above, word/audio/video stuff works cross platform. There is a Microsoft Office version for Mac, or you can get Open Office or iWorks(59$ w/ student discount). I have never had a problem.

7. Hell no. My mom, dad, and sister all switched. My dad went from hardly using the computer to ripping 4000+ songs to his iPod and checking up on news and email daily. My mom, while pretty savvy when it came to email and surfing didn't do much else, she burns custom CDs and has gotten into GarageBand to make music. My sister probably doesn't know the difference. I train her to what she has(my old iBook) and she is happy.
 

Ranger14

Diabloii.Net Member
masterazn said:
I was thinking about that but there's a few questions:

1) How fast can I adapt to using a Mac?
2) Will all my files from my PC now work on Mac?
3) Does Guitar Pro work on Mac?
4) How much are iBooks or PowerBooks?
5) How big are they?
6) How is file compatibility doing for Macs-PCs?
7) Is it true that Macs are only for geeks?
1) You should be able to adapt very quickly
2) It depends on what kind of files. Appleworks will translate over
Microsoft Office files, but your best bet would be to purchase Office for
Mac and then you won't have any translation problems. I have Office
and it is actually more visually appealing and easier to use on an Apple.
3) I don't believe it is. You get GarageBand, which is a sweet
music editing program with a new Apple.
4) Go to http://www.apple.com/powerbook/ for pricing on a powerbook.
Go to http://www.apple.com/ibook/ for pricing on an iBook
If you are a student you get...I believe a 10% discount
5) You can go with 12.1" or 14.1" for iBook or 12", 15" or 17" in powerbook
6) File compatibility is doing much better now, but it isn't perfect,
depending on what you are using and looking for.
7) Considering the reputation that Apples are more user-friendly, I would
think the geekiness factor would be less. Are you calling Durf a
geek? :eek:

Edit: Kow's faster than me! :p
 
masterazn said:
PS: Can I add RAM to a powerbook? Can I get the 128Mb graphics card instead of the 64Mb one in a 15" powerbook?
Yes and Yes, the RAM I would buy from Crucial its a bit cheaper than having it preinstalled. It isn't hard to do, four screws and then is slides right in.
The graphics card will also let you power a 30inch screen, other than that it will give you slightly better gaming. Unless of course you are going to do video/photo editing then it will really come into play with the next version of Photoshop and FCP.

Wireless networking first came out with Macs, Apple helped set the standard. So yes it will work. When I walk into a building and open up my PowerBook, if there is a network(secured or not) it gives me a little window saying, "A new wireless networked named "XXXXXX" has been found. Would you like to join?" I click yes and I'm on. So you can add your laptop in pretty quickly and easily.
 

masterazn

Banned
Okay, so how many hours would a 15" powerbook last (the 1.68GHz one).

Also, what's that about the ram? I can order a powerbook with no ram and then buy some myself and put it in? Can I get extra batteries (and easily change them around when one runs out)? Where should I buy this, from an Apple store or from any store or online? I live in China, it might be slightly tricky to get one of these.
 
My PowerBook lasts 3 hours with full screen brightness and airport(wireless) on with iChat, Safari(web browser), iTunes playing on full and Mail. If I turn the brightness down I can get 4 hours fifteen minutes.

Extra batteries are about 100$.


As for buying, http://store.apple.com/Apple/WebObjects/hongkongstore will be the cheapest.


Mac OS X uses RAM better than Windows does, the more you have the more it uses. If you max it our then your battery life jumps quite a bit. I have 768 mb RAM and I am going to take out my 256 stick and replace it with a gig stick this summer. General speed will increase(such as opening programs and having lots of programs open) as well as battery life. If I don't have to use my harddrive as much I save power.

I really only need it for photoshop, right now I can open 57 programs with little slowdown. That includes Photoshop CS, Freehand 10, and Dreamweaver, switching between apps isn't quite as fast but still not bad.
 

Ranger14

Diabloii.Net Member
Kow is much more knowledgeable about this than I am, but I would suggest waiting a little to see when they are going to deliver the new purchases with the new Tiger OS already installed. I would assume it should happen very shortly. Also, if you check some distributor sites like macwarehouse that give you a free ram upgrade, the Apple Stores will generally match the Ram upgrades that third party vendors offer.
 
Ranger14 said:
Kow is much more knowledgeable about this than I am, but I would suggest waiting a little to see when they are going to deliver the new purchases with the new Tiger OS already installed. I would assume it should happen very shortly. Also, if you check some distributor sites like macwarehouse that give you a free ram upgrade, the Apple Stores will generally match the Ram upgrades that third party vendors offer.
I don't think MacWareHouse ships outside the US and Europe.


Tiger is now shipping in every new Mac, it isn't installed, it just comes with the install DVD and you go from there. It will be installed in 2-3 weeks when the store stocks are depleted.
 

masterazn

Banned
So should I install Tiger straight away after getting the laptop?

And should I order it with 512Mb and then later add more by buying it myself?
 
masterazn said:
So should I install Tiger straight away after getting the laptop?

And should I order it with 512Mb and then later add more by buying it myself?

Yes, and Yes. Tiger is so amazing I can't even tell you.

512mb will be plenty for normal use. More than you'll need. I just mentioned getting more for the sake of battery life/speed. Your machine won't be slow, but it will blaze with more. Apple is just rebranded Crucial and a bit more expensive, order straight from Crucial and save a few bucks.
 

masterazn

Banned
Is the RAM in the powerbook the same as the RAM you find in desktop PC's? If so, can I get another brand or do I have to get crucial?
 
It isn't the same as desktop PCs, like all laptops it has the smaller RAM size. Otherwise RAM is RAM no matter what computer uses it.

The reason I recommend crucial as other brands (other than good brand names like Mushkin) are very dodgy. Laptop RAM is more likely to have flaws, some venders don't test as well as Kingston and it ends up costing you more time and money sending it back repeatedly.

Kingston also has a handy way for you to look up the right RAM for your system. The lifetime warranty is an added bonus. They really aren't that much more expensive.
 
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