Hi guys, been researching for a while and still can't seem to find the total package. Here's the general configuration I'm looking for at a price somewhere around $1500 -- will pay a little more for the ideal unit:
Dothan 1.7-2.0 (Need the good battery performance)
512MB RAM min.
60GB 5400 or higher RPM
Bluetooth (not a dealbreaker, but would be nice)
8X DVD Writer (a must)
Anything else on top of that is gravy. I don't play a lot of games, so video card isn't that important... but I will watch a lot of movies and have multimedia presentations, so the screen quality is important. The closest thing I can find in my price range is the ASUS M6N series, but I can't find anywhere to configure it with the DVD burner and I'm not sure if it supports Bluetooth. It's not much in the stylish department, which is slightly important. Any suggestions on what I should be looking at?
for that price i don't think you'll find what you want in a notebook, first off, 8x dvd writers are rare if they even exist. They just recently came out in desktops and things are slow to come out in notebooks, esp. since spinning that fast, esp.writing uses a lot of power. another that may kill that price is the 1.7min, not sure though.
I know you can get the HP zt3000 for around 1250 (w/ 50.00 mail in rebate and 6% APP), but that is with the 1.5ghz, 512 ram, 15.4" wxga, 60gb hd, 802.11g and bluetooth, and dvd/cdrw
Right now, I don't think an 8x DVD writer exists for notebooks. I might be wrong, but I have not seen one, even with the boutiques. If you can find one, please let me know who is selling it for laptops.
Dothans generally come with standard screens (14.1"/15") to reflect their business-oriented nature. 15.4" WXGAs are rare.
Otherwise, the configuration you are asking for is nearly impossible for the price point you want. You might be able to get this price after mail-in rebates, but otherwise, it will be nearly impossible.
I have a dothan with a widescreen in my dell inspiron 8600. The Inspiron XPS and 9100 are available 8x dvd burners.
I configured a Dell 8600 with those specs, and it came up to $1800 after rebate and coupon code. You are going to have to lay down a lot more cash. You could save $25 by buying the extra RAM from crucial. Taking out Bluetooth would cut the price $50. This is with a 1.8 ghz processor (it doesn't come with a 1.7) and a 7200 RPM drive. Those money-saving things would bring it to $1725. That's $225 over budget. That 8x drive upgrade cost $200. You should get an external and save $60 by buying from newegg.
GPU cooling (100°C->75°C)
Mods in progress:
8600c to 8600 keyboard swap (to get the eraser head).
Tweaks: Radeon 9600 pro (337/242) at 400/300
I priced out the 8600 myself and couldn't even get it down to the $1800 level. What are the coupon codes you mentioned? I'd be willing to pay a little extra to get the 8X burner based on the amount of burning I do so $1800 doesn't sound too bad....Anyone have a major dislike of the 8600 for any reason?
The design isn't very well thought out and they are a little bit plasticy. There has been some quality issues with Dell but if you get a bum machine you can just send it back in the 30 day return policy and reorder.
Andrew also had some problems with heat when he upgraded to the higher video card but you can look at his thread in the Dell forum on a cheap fix for that (if you get a radeon 9600).
Check out the ABS ZForce F2- it has most of the specs your looking for. Also check out the HP zt3000, it also has most of the specs and if you are a student or a teacher, you can get some mad savings so it'd be right in your price range