DELL v. SONY LAPTOP

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by VEROLOPEZ143, Jan 20, 2004.

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  1. VEROLOPEZ143

    VEROLOPEZ143 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I'm a College Student looking for a laptop, it will mostly be used for Word Processing/Excel & Power pt & internet access

    I am not sure how much of what I should get - I have no clue about computers

    1. Is Pentium 4 ok, or should I go for Pentium M?

    2. How does the Wi-Fi work, is it like a cel phone where I can pay a subscription & get the wireless internet?

    3. How large of a HD, & RAM & MB and all that other good stuff?

    4. What do I ask for if I want to be able to use it w/ a DSL connection

    Thank you for any assistance
     
  2. VEROLOPEZ143

    VEROLOPEZ143 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I also wanted to add does the DVD-CDRW combo act as a CD Rom?
     
  3. srdhkl

    srdhkl Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    1) If you want to save money, Pentium 4 is the way to go. They run fast but will have a shorter battery life. Pentium M is better if you want longer battery life, but generally is a bit more expensive than Pentium 4. Keep in mind that Pentium 4's are actually Desktop chips, and Pentium M's were made specifically for notebooks. If you want an in between you could get a Mobile Pentium 4 (this is different than Pentium M)but this chip is only found in a limted number of computers

    2)Wi-Fi (Abaxter and Brian may want to help here) is pretty much wireless access to internet, computer's, etc. For a computer that is Wi-Fi ready, you would have a wireless card that would detect a wireless access point such as a wireless router (which connects you to the internet, via Cable or DSL that you pay a subscription for) or "Wi-Fi" wireless hot spots such as airports and coffee shops that have access to the internet (that are sometimes free).

    3)For your needs, either 20 GB, 30 GB, or 40 GB HD is fine...no need to go higher. It all depends on how much you want to spend. Either one of those sizes should be okay, I would say 30 GB is fine.
    For RAM, I highly recommend at least 512 MB
    You would probably only need a 32 MB video card if you aren't going to play games.

    4)If you want a wireless DSL connection, you would need first, a wireless Router which your DSL/Phoneline plugs into. Then for your computer, you would need a wireless mini PCI card.

    If you don't need wireless, then most notebooks come with a ethernet port built in, in which case you would plug a standard network cable from your DSL modem to your computer

    5)DVD-CDRW: Plays DVD's (doesn't not record DVD's)
    Records CD-R and CD-RW
    Plays CD-R's and CD-RW's

    For you I would recommend checking out the Inspiron 5100. This uses a Pentium 4, runs fast, somewhat decent battery life, and you can pick and choose what you want on it. And they are pretty cheap in price. But get a warranty extension if you are going to by from Dell.

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. zhukeeper

    zhukeeper Notebook Enthusiast

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    yea nesbo pretty much summed it all up.

    centrino is really a laptop with a pentium m processor, an integrated 802.11b wi-fi connection, and an 855 chipset (which really is too complicated for most people).

    the pentium m processor gives you longer battery life so if you are on the go a lot or if you want to use your laptop in lecture halls and/or classrooms, you will most likely need a pentium m processor. a pentium 4 processor just eats away at the battery and is normally for those who don't move around a lot.

    when you are on campus and you are at a known "wifi hotspot" i.e. the library for example, then your wireless connection should automatically detect it. you don't have to do anything. if you don't want the wireless internet at that time, you just turn off a button (most laptops should have one). on campus, it should be free, as part of your tech fee or whatever they charge you.

    i agree, at least 512 mb ram for the laptop because of windows xp

    and yes the dvd-cdrw drive also acts as a cd-rom. so you can read music cds, mp3 cds, data cds, games. since it's also a dvd drive, you can watch dvds. it's also a cd-rw drive so you can burn cds, and rewrite cds. the only thing YOU CAN'T DO is burn DVD.

    i also agree 30 gb is fine for your hard drive. it just depends on what you want to do with your hard drive. do you download a lot of mp3s? if you do, then maybe 40 gb, but 30 gb is fine.
     
  5. VEROLOPEZ143

    VEROLOPEZ143 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for your replies

    How would you compare the Sony Vaio vs. the Dell?
     
  6. srdhkl

    srdhkl Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    I would defintely go with Dell over Sony Vaio, mainly because with Dell you have much more flexibility in what you can put in your computer. Sony's tend to be more limited in what you can get.


    I highly recommend Dell over Sony. Both actually have some quality issues from time to time, so I also recommend getting an extended warranty.
     
  7. Brian

    Brian Working at 486 Speed NBR Reviewer

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    I concur. There is little that would make me want to buy a Sony notebook at the moment. They tend to be overpriced, with features that they charge you for that offer little value in return. Sony also faces compatibility problems and service issues that Nesbo pointed out.

    Editor in Chief http://www.bargainPDA.com and http://www.SPOTstop.com
     
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