Help Buying Laptop for less then $1200

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by schmalfeld, Jan 19, 2004.

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  1. schmalfeld

    schmalfeld Notebook Geek

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    I am pretty knowledgable with desktops, however I feel liek Rain Man when it comes to all this laptop stuff. I am a college student about to start graduate school in civil engineering.
    I need/want a laptop that can smoothly run AutoCad 2004, Microstation, and Photoshop. I would like to also have the ability to either contect my tv/camcirder (non digital) to the machine if possible to do minor video uploading and editing. I have looked at Dell and have been scared off by some of the quality issues. I would appreciate any and all help/advise.
    Thanks
     
  2. srdhkl

    srdhkl Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Hello,

    I think you are going to need a desktop replacment type notebook versus pure mobility type notebooks. And really Dell makes the best desktop replacements as far as performance in my opinion. I agree with you, Dell has had a few quality issues as of late, which is why I strongly suggest anyone getting a Dell to get a multiple year warranty. But I don't think it's too the point that you should write of Dell. Honestly, for what you are looking for Dell would probably be the best way to go.

    So if you want to consider Dell here are some suggestions. If you are looking for something around $1200, you would want to look at the Inspiron 5100. The only problem is, they have a weak 32 MB ATI 7500 Mobility Card, which is pretty old, and may make grahpically intense programs hard to use. So, I'm not sure if that would be the best. But that is an option for a fairly quick notebook.

    If you can afford to spend a little bit more, I would recommend the Inspiron 5150. This has a super fast processor, great battery life, and a much better video card. It's a bit on the heavy side (about 8-9lbs) Try looking at one with an SXGA screen (saves some money over the UXGA and still get a decent resolution) and getting the processor without Hyperthreading, you might be able to get one close to your price range.

    Probably the best desktop replacement is the Inspiron 8600 but that can get rather expensive, so that might be out of your range. This computer combines mobility with power.

    Anyway, hope that helps. I am sure Abaxter and Brian, the other adminstrators on this site will give some good suggestions.



     
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