Lighter with more battery power is not always the way to go. Most of the times there is a limit to what you get with lighter weights. If yo are used to a tricked out ABS system, the integrated graphics performance of the S6210 or 7010 will leave you wanting more for anything more than word processing. For less money, you get a widescreen display, an Athlon 64, and an ATI Mob Radeon 9600, enough to play a round or two of FarCry or other games with the eMachines. Widescreen movies look better on a widescreen.
As for reliability, the parts used on the insides of the M6800 series are the same as on the Voodoo m680 series, a system that costs $3400. Exactly the same (except for the graphics chip-an ATI MR 9700). The machine has proven to be very reliable to a great many people. Most of the "bugs" you are reading about are from people attempting to install pre-certified software such as Service Pack 2 RC2 or go to XP Pro, a need that you probably don't have. In addition, the M6800 series is featured in PC World as one of the best DTRs around, and many other publications, such as PC Magazine and Laptop Magazine have it rated very highly.
When I was first looking around for a DTR laptop, I myself was weary of the eMachines brand. This was a low-end manufacturer, after all. Remember, though, that the brand was purchased by Gateway, and the folks there have put out a product to change the perception of many.
Powerbooks are great...if you want to pay double for the product and software. The availability of standard software, or the pricing of said products, should be a turn-off, especially considering the starving college student angle. In addition, Apples use their aluminum casing to dissipate heat...not a good thing if you are planning to place the system on your lap.
The Fujitsu and IBM offerings are more expensive for less performance. They are lighter and have longer battery life. Picking what is right for you is always just that...up to you. For the price, though, nothing packs more performance punch than the eMachines M6800 series. Period.
Check out these links:
Very convincing post for eMachines M68xx series. I checked out the links, they seem to have pretty good ratings. I was in Best Buy about two weeks ago and was checking out what kind of laptops they had there and I think I remember looking at an eMachines laptop. To my memory it seemed pretty big and bulky? Any thoughts on that? Also to add... on the PC Magazine site, there were a bunch of other laptops rated higher than the eMachines one. They seemed to like the one IBM laptop a lot. What do you all think about the IBM line of laptops?
Aside from my original post and all, I didn't mention anything about ABS laptops. I hadn't really looked into them in my recent searching, since not too many people talk about ABS or their laptops. However, I just was checking out their laptops on their site and they seem pretty pimp and at some pretty good prices, as well as configurable. As I mentioned earlier, I am currently using a pretty pimped out ABS desktop system (which I got in January 04') and I was completely pleased with the ABS service and staff. So let me know what you guys think about ABS laptops, or what you have heard about them.
My only suggestion would be to be sure you are buying what you need. Your original post was really focused on something light to carry between classes and do a few very basic functions. If that is what you will be using it for, then you do not need to pay for a lot of power and what you should be caring about is a decent display and light weight for easy portability (UCF is fairly spread out). Later discussions focused on high power machines that are more aimed at gaming. You'll need the CPU cycles and an ability to draw lots of polygons for high end games, but not for any of the things you listed in your original post.
Notebooks are all about tradeoffs. At a given price point, more power typically means less portability and less battery life. There is no right answer to what you should value in the tradeoff. For every person, that is different. But don't lose sight of what you'll be doing with the machine. If you have decided you really would like to play games on it then great, get the machine that can do that. But if the original list still holds, I personally would lean towards something a bit more portable instead of all that raw horsepower. Running word or burning a CD at 10% utilization isn't any more satifying than doing it at 20% utilization.
IBMs are quality, excellent machines...no one will take away the reliability or the longevity of the discreet black box. They are, however, priced expensively for the features, and they lean towards the corporate set. Flash is not amongst the IBM's strong suits.
Your original post stated a weight of less than 9 pounds. The eMachines M6800 series is less than 8 pounds. If that is too bulky, then you might be looking in the thin and light category, or less than 6 pounds. The suggestions of Fujitsu and IBM would be more to your liking in this case.
If you will notice, in almost every magazine and online reviewer, the HP nc6000 series is ranked the highest or near to highest. It will cost you more than the other systems at just under $2000 for a 1.6 GHz Pentium M, but the drives are modular, and the performance is spectacular, not to mention the near 6 hour battery life.
-JChastain, thanks for the comment, what your saying seems sensible. I think some of the guys that were leaving were thinking, 'why not get a stronger machine if you are in that price range?'. So from there, the want for a powerful machine just came in. [8D] What would be your recommendations for a fast, quality laptop that meets what Im looking for?
-Reverend, what do you mean when you say "Flash is not among the IBM's strong suits"?. Also, do you have any thoughts on the ABS laptops. Im still yet to find anything about the ABS laptops on any review sites. One of the main reasons I went with the ABS desktop I am running on now is because I saw some very good reviews for them. However, PC World, CNet, and PC Magazine don't mention anything about ABS laptops.
IBMs are not made to look or act flashy...they are very corporate in both looks and ability.
You can find several good thoughts on the Mayhem G1 and G3. Unfortunately, these are gaming notebooks (heavy on weight, light on batteries). ABS' other offerings are good, but are really generic in options and abilities. ABS in the midrange and light categories really have no outstanding features that would push them above another manufacturer.
For your needs, the only other machine in the ABS lineup that holds its merit in my opinion is the ZForce F2 with the following stats:
If you will take the dive to upgrade to 1.7 GHz, definitely pay the extra $6 to get a Dothan processor. It has a larger cache and does deliver better results. It also delivers better battery life. Whether those results are noticeable is up to debate. It's very much the same as upgrading clock speed. You know your computer is faster, but you usually can't tell a difference unless you are doing something intensive like image editing or movie making.
Question - You can't opt for a Pentium M 725? It's a 1.6 GHz Dothan processor. New, but it's popping up everywhere.
Suggestion - Check out the Sony S series instead of the V505 as suggested by some others. It's the successor the V505 series and you'll get more bang for your buck.
It's 4 pounds light, a little over an inch thin, has a decent processor, HD, CD-RW drive, decent graphics card in the base configuration. Sony sells it for $2000 but you can probably get it for $100-200 less somewhere else. Remember to get an academic discount wherever you buy it.
-Just checked out the Sony S series. They are pretty pricey as compared to the ABS laptop I was looking at. Also to add, the ABS has a bigger screen, better graphics card, and processor for at least $300 less than the Sony S series.
-Thats cool, I sort of like how the IBMs are black/business classy. Thats cool in my book
-When I was looking at the ABS site the other night, the ZForce F2 you mentioned really caught my eye. Plus, coming off from a good experience buying this computer, I am really feeling good on ABS. I like how you can configure different stuff with the laptops too. The specs on the ZForce F2 are really at the top end of what im looking for too, so it would fulfill my need for power at a reasonable price. Its also pretty light and has a good battery life.
-Let me know your thoughts
One more quick thing... They have the Intel Mobile Pentium M at 1.6 and 1.7, is 1.7 the one they call the "Dothan"? And I noticed they go from the Intel Mobile Pentium M 1.7 GHz to the Intel Mobile Pentium M 735 (only $6 more than the 1.7) and 745 (a lot more pricy than the rest) on-die 2MB L2 Cache chips. What is the difference between the 7xx series and the 1.x chips? Also, (if I had the money and hunger to upgrade to the 1.7 from the 1.6) would it make that much of a difference? (its a $51 upgrade). Or even to the 735? (a $57 upgrade from the 1.6).
-By the way, thanks a lot for all the help, insight, and comments you are leaving. They are really a bunch towards making a safe investment