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Laptop for Middle School Student

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by zmeya, Nov 16, 2007.

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  1. zmeya

    zmeya Newbie

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    I need to get a laptop top for my daughter. The one she is using is older than she is, and is just too slow to be useful anymore. Right now she is just using it for word processing, researching topics for class projects, and, of course, play on the Webkinz site. I know, however, that before too long she will be putting greater demands on her laptop. No doubt she will want use it for music, photos, etc. I am trying to compromise between something inexpensive and sensible for her current needs, but something that she can continue to use for several years.

    I was looking at the Compaq Presario V6500Z, but then I saw that for about $100 more I could get the, HP Pavilion, Dell Insprion or Gateway M-150. And then I tried to find out something about the different processors and graphic options. And then I got a headache, and started thinking that red laptops looked cool, and realized that I was losing perspective. What do you think?

    Compaq Presario V6500Z
    AMD Athlon(TM) 64 X2 Dual-Core Mobile TK-55 1.8 GHz/512KB
    2GB Memory
    NVIDIA GeForce Go 7150M

    HP Pavilion dv6500t/Dell Insprion 1520/Gateway M-150
    Intel® Pentium® Dual Core T2310 1.46GHz/533Mhz
    2GB Memory
    Intel(R) Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
     
  2. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    A 15" notebook seems large for a middle school student.
     
  3. vespoli

    vespoli 402 NBR Reviewer

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    Will she be bringing it to school or is this more of an at-home computer?

    I doubt that it would be wanted or even welcome at school. When I was in high school (class of 2006), no one really brought laptops to school, and the administration didn't really welcome them, either.
     
  4. DeusEx

    DeusEx Notebook Evangelist

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    look at the 14 inch laptops those should suit her well. The inspirons are always good ot look at.
     
  5. CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Notebook Consultant

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    Hi, zmeya

    I wouldn't suggest Compaq Presario V6500z and Getway M-150 because of obvious reasons, on the other hand HP dv6500t is an ok machine, but has lower benchmark tests score than Dell's Inspiron 1520 (1420). So Dell's laptop would be the best option, especially because they are on sale with a $250.00 coupon or $400.00 coupon and $100.00 or $150.00 gift cards

    Just go to the Dell's web site, built the system with a Starting Price of at least $1299.00 and apply coupon code 8XGG8GL7Q$019B for $400.00 off that price. You'll get a powerful laptop for only $899.00 + tax, its going to save you at least $100.00 on the price of the HP's dv6500t, also this notebook will be with top specs making it great to use for many years to come. Also you will get a free shipping and a $150.00 gift card in 6-8 weeks.

    btw, welcome (Dobro Pozhalovat') to forum
    Hope I could help :)

    p.s. Dell's Inspirons come in 8 diffent colors :Alpine White, Espresso Brown, Ruby Red, Midnight Blue, Spring Green, Flamingo Pink, Sunshine Yellow and Jet Black.
     
  6. jetstar

    jetstar Notebook Deity

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    Perhaps the HP Pavilion dv2500z series is worth a look.
     
  7. zmeya

    zmeya Newbie

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    The reasons aren't obvious to me. What are they?

    Thank you for the information that HP dv6500t has lower benchmark tests score than Dell's Inspiron 1520.

    Finally, sorry for forgetting to say that the laptop is for at home use. She won't be hauling it to school. We like laptops, rather than a desk top, because it allows us to work in any room in the house. She can do her homework on the kitchen table, for example.
     
  8. ihavenofate

    ihavenofate Notebook Evangelist

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    personally, i feel as though you can get a better deal with the inspirons. my cousins and uncles have gateways, and every single one has keys coming off the keyboard (and so did one in circuit city), so personally, i feel as though the keyboards arent that great, but it could be that my relatives and circuit city don't treat their laptops well :p. but anyways, i root for the inspiron for a better deal and better benchmark scores, if what crash override said is true.
     
  9. CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Notebook Consultant

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    I wouldn't suggest Compaq Presario V6500z and Getway M-150 because they are low quality, rubbishly build and with AMD processors
     
  10. zmeya

    zmeya Newbie

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    LOL. Short and to the point. Thank you.

    ihavenofate, thanks for the info about the poor quality of the Gateways. Durability is an important consideration for a child's computer.

    So it looks like the Dell 1520 is the way to go. I may be back with some configuration questions.
     
  11. CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Notebook Consultant

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    пожалуйста :)
     
  12. CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Notebook Consultant

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    ok. here is for everybody who is comparing Dell's Inspiron 1520 to a HP dv6500t and for those who hate or don't know anything about Dell's machines, and about Inspiron 1520 (Vostro 1500) in particular



    the problems with HP dv6500t are those:

    Glossy chassis requires a lot of wiping to keep fingerprint-free

    Dedicated graphics option lacks true gaming power

    Moderate fan noise at high RPMs


    the problems with Dell's Inspiron 1520 are those:

    none

    the advantages of HP's dv6500t are:

    Looks that turn heads
    Outstanding display
    Good battery life
    Responsive keyboard

    the advantages of Dell's Inspiron 1520 are:

    Excellent performance with the right configuration
    Solid, inexpensive multimedia notebook with more basic hardware
    Good screen
    Wide variety of LCD resolutions, configurable by user
    Well built
    Nice appearance, with user-selectable colors
    Very good keyboard
    Good battery life
    Runs quiet
    Stays cool
    Priced better than HP's dv6500t
    Has better video card than HP's dv6500t
    Outperforms HP's dv6500t in all benchmark tests (PCMark05, 3Mark05, 3DMark06,etc)

    p.s I've read more than 50% of this forum before I made a decision to order Dell's Inspiron 1520

    Benchmark tests

    Dell's Inspiron 1520 vs. HP's dv6500t

    PCMark05

    4616 vs. 4079

    3Mark05

    5348 vs. 2288

    3DMark06

    2905 vs. 1334
    ________________
     
  13. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    Would a middle schooler care all that much about the benchmarks?

    If you are looking for something well built, the ThinkPad R61 sees like a solid choice.
     
  14. CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Notebook Consultant

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    I had heard the screen quality of a Lenovo is poor, not very bright, bad contrast.

    I heard there are random shutdowns from possible heat issues when playing games
     
  15. zmeya

    zmeya Newbie

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    What mom cares about is avoiding hearing -

    "Whine, whine, whine. My laptop is too slow. Let me use yours. Whine, whine."

    Actually, I think kids put greater demands on computers than the typical adult does. Kids use them for games, playing with photos, making graphics for projects, watching movie downloads, listening to music. Who knows what she will want to be doing with it in a couple years. Editing home video? Recording and mixing music?
     
  16. CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Notebook Consultant

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    just don't let her watch the movie Hackers or Stay Alive ;)
     
  17. E30kid

    E30kid Notebook Deity

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    You cannot with a straight face say that dells have no drawbacks to them. Customer Support for one, is simply abysmal, it fails in every way possible.
     
  18. CrashOverride

    CrashOverride Notebook Consultant

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    @ tmacfan4321
    I wasn't talking about Customer Support, only about the machine itself

    p.s. also I've never bought an extanded warranty, not for a computer or anything else. 1 year free warranty is good enough and if a machine won't brake in 12 months than its going to be just fine for many years to come (maybe because I put computers thru hell in the first 12 months).

    p.s. I still have and use a HP desktop I have bought in January 1997 (works flawless for almost 11 years so far), also I got a Sony Vaio desktop I've bought in August 2001 (works perfect for more than 6 years and 3 months now)
     
  19. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    Usually the two biggest contributing factors to overall slowness of a notebook are the speed of the hard drive and the amount of bloatware on the machine. Considering the fact you are looking at consumer machines like the Inspiron and Pavilion, there's probably going to be a lot of bloatware on them. If you want a faster machine you probably should go with XP which runs faster than Vista at moment. You may wish to look at the Dell Vostro 1500 which you can get with XP and without the bloatware if you wish. In a couple years, any notebook you buy now is going to be slow. It is the nature of technology. Also, the X3100 is not really a gaming card.


    While I think it's true if you are going to have an issue most likely it will happen in the first year, but things can go awry afterwards.
     
  20. Meowsley

    Meowsley Notebook Guru

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    IMO, Dells are quite bulky and feel cheap. I went through the whole decision process a few months ago when I was trying to decide on my first laptop. I went into a Dell store and picked up both the 1520 and the 1720. Then I headed to Costco and looked at the HPs.

    I decided on the HP, partly because it just felt right to me (had everything I needed) and partly because all of the complaints I was hearing about Dells, especially when it came to shipping dates and the bad LCD screens.

    My best suggestion would be to involve your daughter in the selection process so she can pick out something she really likes and then you're both happy. Good luck! :)
     
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