$1600 laptop for College/some gaming/photo editing

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by !RocknE30!, Jul 19, 2007.

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  1. !RocknE30!

    !RocknE30! Notebook Enthusiast

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    Right now I've been looking at the HP DV6500T's, Dell 1520, Asus C90S and Sager 2090. I'm leaning towards the Dell or Sager, because of the 8600GT card in case I get into gaming. I'm going to be using this for college and also a lot of photo editing on CS2 and Lightroom.

    1) What is your budget?
    I want to stay at about $1600

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?
    15"

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    I'm trying to stay with brands that are fairly popular and have (at least) decent tech support.

    5) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook?
    All of your normal stuff for college, maybe some slight gaming (CS, etc nothing crazy), and photo editing in PS CS2 and Lightroom.

    6) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places or leaving it on your desk?
    Brining it to college

    7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games?
    Just FPS games like CS, etc.

    8) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    At least enough to make it through a class or two.

    9) Do you mind buying online without seeing the notebook in person?
    Not really.

    10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Vista
    Screen Specifics

    11) Would you prefer standard or widescreen?
    widescreen
    12) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer?

    Widescreen
    d. WXGA or WXGA+ - 1280x768/800 or 1440x900; Wider viewing version of XGA, good for movie viewing or spreadsheets.
    e. WSXGA+ - 1680x1050; Wider viewing version of SXGA, good for movie viewing or spreadsheets.


    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen?
    glossy

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
    I want it to look normal, but nothing extremely flashy that draws attention to it (I dont want it stolen)

    15) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?
    I'm buying it within a month and I want to last through college.

    Notebook Components

    16) How much hard drive space do you want; 40GB to 200GB?
    At least 100GB

    17) Do you need an optical drive? If yes, a DVD-ROM, DVD-CD/RW or DVD-RW drive?
    DVD-CD/RW or DVD-RW

    Thanks!
     
  2. tsunamifury

    tsunamifury Notebook Consultant

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    As a professional photographer and a recent college grad, I'd heavily re-think using a laptop if you are doing a lot of photoshop editing and digital imaging. Laptop screens are just not good enough to do this accurately. A desktop with a large screen (20") will be infinitely more useful, much cheaper, and a better choice for someone taking photography seriously.

    If you must have a mobile solution, look towards a super cheap solution coupled with a dell desktop and dell 20" monitor.

    Other than that, the m1210 or m1330 are great machines as well.
     
  3. Syntax Error

    Syntax Error Notebook Deity

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    Check out the Sager NP2090. The Sager resellers are also well known for their great customer service, as well.
     
  4. odin243

    odin243 look at all the colors...

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    Well, you're really going to need a great screen to do what you want. I'd look into the Lenovo T60p with the IPS Flexview screen. It's widely regarded as being the best and most accurate notebook screen ever made.
     
  5. ldiamond

    ldiamond Notebook Evangelist

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    Definitely the NP2090 is your best bet, however, dont buy it from sager's website, check other shops online.

    The sager NP2090 is actually a Compal IFL90, which you can get as barebone as well. So look for both NP2090 and Compal IFL90, get the 8600GT vid card.

    As for photo editing... you do need a large monitor, but you can have a LCD or CRT on your desk at home and plug it in your laptop. That solves the Monitor problem.

    If you raise your budget a bit, check out Clevo M570ru, its a great gaming machine with nice features and decent pricing.
     
  6. !RocknE30!

    !RocknE30! Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the screen input! Like it's been said, I can always buy a 20" monitor and hook it up to the laptop, so that won't be too big of a problem.

    Okay cool. I'm looking into the Compal as well, so I if I were to go Sager/Compal it'd just be a name preference.


    I've got a question regarding MS Office

    I've got the Office Professional 2003 cd along with a few others, would those work with Vista? Or would I need the 2007 version? I'm still running XP, so I don't know much about Vista other then what I've learned from my friend talking about his vista equipped HP. I don't want to spend an extra hundred bucks or so on Office if I don't need to..

    Thanks again!
     
  7. ldiamond

    ldiamond Notebook Evangelist

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    Sager/Compal is just a brand name... they are the same notebooks. If you buy a compal IFL90 from xoticpc.com, it might be written Xoticpc on it, or nothing... I doubt compal laptop are branded at all... Compal is just an ODM, they sell laptop to resellers who rebrand them.

    As for Office/Windows... Office 2003 will work just fine on Vista, however, I suggest that you stick with windows XP for a few months... wait for Service packs for vista! It's not quite enough matured yet...
     
  8. !RocknE30!

    !RocknE30! Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah, the Compal seems to be having some issues with shipping certain screens and I found out it doesn't have an HDMI port, which kind of sucks. The Sager seems to be the option and I'm also looking into the Asus G1S-A1. Apparently you can find the Asus at best buy, so I'll go there tomorrow and check it out.

    Hmm..just built this up on Dell's site. Apparently it's got some static issues with the headphone port (I guess a usb based headset works fine), so I'll keep an eye on that. Anyhow, I just built this up for $1,479. Quite the deal if you ask me:

    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7500 (2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB/4MB cache)
    Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium Edition
    2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
    High Resolution, glossy widescreen 15.4 inch display (1440x900)
    256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® Go 8600M GT
    160GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
    Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
    CD / DVD writer (DVD+/-RW Drive)
    Creative Labs Express Sound Card
    Intel® 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card
    85Whr Lithium Ion Battery (9 cell)
    1Yr Ltd Warranty and Mail-In Service
    Accidental Damage and LoJack Theft Protection to 1 Yr Warranty
    Built in Bluetooth
    Black - Logitech V200 Cordless Notebook Mouse

    Right now that's looking pretty good to me. It's the 256mb card instead of 512, but I don't plan on gaming much so it should be plenty.
     
  9. kahlel7

    kahlel7 Notebook Consultant

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    Check out an inspiron 1520 from dell or a sager.
     
  10. spexc31

    spexc31 Notebook Evangelist

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    ill recommend the sager np2090/compal ifl90 also
    whatever choice you make though..i definetly recommend upgrading your hd to a 7200rpm to meet all you photo editing demands =)
     
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