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  1. #1
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    Ca Basic laptop for writing

    I'm looking for a laptop which I will mainly use for writing. Writing is not my profession but I enjoy it. I don't want to sit at my desk at home so a laptop will be nice to go out to a patio or a local coffee shop and write for a bit. Not traveling with it though and no games. It would be mostly weekend use as I work full time. A comfortable keyboard is a must.

    I know desktop systems fairly well and built my own desktops, so hardware wise I'm not green or a noob.

    I'm soon getting a new high end desktop so I am not looking for a desktop replacement notebook.

    Budget = about $600 - $700 CAD w/ taxes (I've seen a few Dells around this price).
    Size = betw. 12 to 15"
    Brand = Don't care too much. I'm using a Mac desktop but I'm going back to Windows so Apple is out of question (and my budget too )
    Games = NO
    Battery = 3 hours max. I see myself using it mostly plugged into a wall.
    Buying Online = Don't care.
    OS = Windows XP. Don't want Vista. Likely won't use Linux on it.
    Screen = non-glossy, either XGA or UXGA. No Widescreen. Only for writing.
    Build quality - Very important. Style no. Probably get something that doesn't stand out if in a coffe shop.
    Durability = Important ... hopefully 3+ years.
    HDD = 640 KB ought to be enough . I'm probably looking for 40 to 80 GB. I can't write anymore than that and have a desktop to back up to.
    Optical - DVD-R minimum since many OSes and my discs are DVD now anyways (though this is often config choice.
    CPU = I'll go Intel prefeably. I find chipset quality has been better on desktops and caused me less problems. Looking for Celeron level performance. Core2 or AMD-64 is going to be too hot and kill battery I gather.
    RAM = 1 GB.

    Right now, I'm mostly stuck on manufacturer to choose from. I've heard good and bad from different companies. I would also very much prefer a 3-year warranty since when something goes wrong on a laptop - the screen dies etc etc, its very costly to replace.

    Again, I've seen Dell systems in my price range. The only problem is if I add 3-year warranty, it kills my budget and pushes over $900 ... I'm buying a new desktop soon anyways and don't want to spend more money then I have to. I'm quite hesitant of buying any computer or electronics at big-box stores as I know their sales staff and techies are mostly incompetent. HP Canada's on-line store is horrendous so I'm not sure I'll buy from them.

    A few local retailers with good reputations sell refurbs. But they're generally 30 day warranty. I'm quite aware of the Asus EEE PC and it would fit very well in my budget. I don't like using Desktop Linux and dredge using Open Office. I'm not sure if I like to use Windows XP on the EEE because I'm concerned of wearing down the Flash memory in the laptop. The on-board flash should have as high an MTBF as an hard drive, but my understanding it is not user replaceable (according to Anandtech unboxing). So even if I have a perfectly usable system 3 or 4 years down the road or whatever, I wouldn't be able to replace the on-board flash. I know there's SD expansion and USB (for USB HD enclosure etc could be used).

    Will probably purchase on boxing day on-line to take advantage of sales. Not much later than that though.

    Thanks for reading and hoping you have suggestions!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Basic laptop for writing

    A Dell Inspiron 1420

    DELL XPS 1530
    2GB RAM
    2 GHZ CORE2DUO
    8600MGT GDDR3

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Basic laptop for writing

    ...standard size screen is almost impossible to find in budget range nowadays...the only 4:3 ratio I know are the X61 and T61...which is obth over your budget...

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Basic laptop for writing

    Dell 1400/1420
    New Notebook: Google Cr-48 | Current Notebook: Dell Latitude E6400 | Retired Notebooks: Dell XPS M1330, Dell Latitude C600

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Basic laptop for writing

    The OP said no wide screen..........

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Basic laptop for writing

    If you're willing to use an external optical drive for the occasions you require a cd/dvd, I'd look at a lightly used x60 or x40 series. Light, non-glossy screen, durable, very nice keyboard. A T-series might also fit the bill.
    IBM Thinkpad T60

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Basic laptop for writing

    First,
    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    No Widescreen.
    really eliminates the bulk of notebooks out there now. Widescreen is the new standard. You might want to reconsider here.

    Several of your other requirements would put you in Thinkpad territory
    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    A comfortable keyboard is a must.
    and
    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    Build quality - Very important. Style no. Probably get something that doesn't stand out if in a coffe shop.
    But
    Quote Originally Posted by snowflake View Post
    Budget = about $600 - $700 CAD w/ taxes.
    is a little bit meager.

    Perhaps an R61, or a previous generation Thinkpad or HP or Dell business notebook ?
    Desktop problems ? Try DesktopReview.

    Questions about the forum rules ?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Basic laptop for writing

    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check them out. I'll either go with a barebones Dell, but based on my price range, I think I might stongly reconsider the EEE. For the few hours of use I'll put it through I'm not willing to break the $1000 barrier.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Basic laptop for writing

    the eee sounds perfect for the task. Reconsider, and find out if theres any suppliers in your area that have a floor model that you could get your hands onto. It would fit the bill nicely too

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Basic laptop for writing

    You said a comfortable keyboard was a must, so I'm going to have to reccomend against the EEE PC - a 7" notebook doesn't lend itself well to a full-sized keyboard, so it'll probably not be well suited to your needs. A low-end, 15" Dell would be better suited for you, and you can get one in your price range.
    ASUS U30Jc | Core i3 350M | 4GB | 512MB GeForce 310M | 320GB | 13.3" WXGA
    ThinkPad T61 | C2D T7300 | 2GB | 128MB Quadro NVS 140M | 160GB | 14.1" WXGA+
    Custom Desktop | Phenom x4 9850 BE | ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe | 6GB | 512 MB AMD RADEON HD 4870 | X-Fi Fatal1ty | 500GB + 320GB | 22" WUXGA
    Dell Inspiron 9300 | P-M 750 | 2GB | 256MB GeForce Go6800 | 160GB | 17.1" WXGA+
    Gateway 7422GX | Mobile Athlon64 3400+ | 1GB | 64MB Mobility RADEON 9550 | 100GB | 15.4" WXGA

 

 

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