Quantcast Looking for a Laptop, Computer Novice

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Us Looking for a Laptop, Computer Novice


    I've been reading these forums for some insight into what laptop I should buy and the information I've gleaned has been really helpful. However, I'm still at a stalemate as to what I should buy and have minimal computer knowledge so I thought you guys might be able to help a purchasing newbie like me. Thank you!

    General Questions

    1) What is your budget?

    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    b. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
    c. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen

    3) Please select your country's flag as a post icon and tell us what country are you buying this in.

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
    I am completely open to suggestion. My previous computer was a Sony vaio which worked wonderfully for me. I prefer known brands like toshiba or dell, something along those lines that have an established reputation for being good, solid machines as I don't have the expertise to wander into the tricky waters of lesser known models.

    5) What tasks will you be performing with the notebook?
    Basics, absolutely nothing the standard computer won't do. Word processing, listening to music, internet surfing, photo and music storage, the occasional dvd. No gaming, or multiple intensive programs running at the same time. In fact, my usual desktop snapshot has AIM open, iTunes playing, and me surfing the web or writing a paper.

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

    I'd love to have the option of both, portability with the ease of having this be my one and only computer to use at home for paper-writing. Somewhere between 3 to 5.5 lbs. would be ideal.

    7) Will you be playing games on it; if so, which games?

    8) How many hours of battery life do you need?
    At least 4 or 5.

    9) Do you mind buying online without seeing the notebook in person?
    Not if there's lots of pictures

    10) What OS do you prefer? Windows (XP or Vista), Mac OS, Linux, etc.
    Windows of some sort.

    Screen Specifics

    11) Would you prefer standard or widescreen?

    12) From the choices below, what screen resolutions would you prefer?
    Apologies, but I haven't the faintest idea how to answer this question. I read the article about screen resolutions and I think I prefer something with larger and easy to read text. But with so many option and not enough knowledge to answer it properly, I'd like to keep my options open.

    a. XGA -1024x768 - Large and easy to read text + graphics icons, but you fit less stuff on the screen.
    b. SXGA - 1400x1050 - Compromise resolution between XGA and UXGA.
    c. UXGA - 1600x1200 - Very small text and graphics icons, you can fit lots of stuff on the screen.

    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.
    f. WUXGA - 1920x1200; Wider viewing version of UXGA, good for movie viewing or spreadsheets.

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

    non-glossy (but this is not a deal-breaker if glossy is the only option)

    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?

    Somewhat, but definitely towards the bottom of the list of important features.

    15) When are you buying this laptop and how long do you want this laptop to last?
    In the next few days I hope, and I need to last around 4 years

    Notebook Components

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

    Around 120 GB

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



    Thank you in advance for your help. If some of my answers seem infuriatingly open-ended it's because I really don't know enough about computers to answer definitively. Please bear with me

  2. #2
    rotaredoM repudrepuS RBN
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default Re: Looking for a Laptop, Computer Novice

    Since your needs are pretty basic and you have a preference for matte(non-glossy screens, i recommend a 14in business class laptop like the Lenovo Thinkpad T61, Dell Latitude D630, or the HP 6910p.

    As for resolution, the higher you go the smaller the text becomes but you gain more "real estate" which can be beneficial in some tasks. You probably want to stick with the WXGA(1200x800) but resolution is a personal preference.
    Last edited by Kdawgca; 21st August 2007 at 04:26 AM.
    Latitude D410. 6 years old notebook that did not have a built-in optical drive when built.

  3. #3
    TG Lead Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Philadelphia, PA, USA
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    Default Re: Looking for a Laptop, Computer Novice

    I have the Dell Latitude D630 on my mind as well - it is an excellent business class notebook. Make sure you get the extended battery for the best life.
    Lead Moderator for TechnologyGuide Communities
    Brighthand | NotebookReview | TabletPCReview
    hp EliteBook 8740w - 17" DreamColor WUXGA, Win 7 Pro, Intel Core i5-560M, 8GB RAM, ATI FirePro M7820, Intel 320 Series 120GB, Hitachi 5K1500, Intel 6300 WLAN

  4. #4
    Notebook Deity
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Looking for a Laptop, Computer Novice

    I'll second the Thinkpad T61 recommendation above.



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