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Old 07-10-2009, 03:55 AM   #21
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Default Re: College-bound; Need to start looking for a laptop! Suggestions!

Well I don't know what else to contribute other than what others have said, and my suggestions. Good luck to you figuring out what you want.

If you are bringing your desktop to college as well, couldn't you do most of the extensive stuff i.e. editing on that, and maybe stick a midrange video card in there. Unless you really plan on doing editing on the road, and such.
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:57 AM   #22
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Default Re: College-bound; Need to start looking for a laptop! Suggestions!

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Well I don't know what else to contribute other than what others have said, and my suggestions. Good luck to you figuring out what you want.

If you are bringing your desktop to college as well, couldn't you do most of the extensive stuff i.e. editing on that, and maybe stick a midrange video card in there. Unless you really plan on doing editing on the road, and such.
Yup. All extensive stuff will be done on my desktop. I've noted what I'm using this for my first post. Thanks for your help.

Anywho...

Okay everyone, here's an update. Since my budget was upped, here's what I've come up with. This was posted exactly like this on notebookreview.com since they have a forum with a thread specifically for Sony laptops. I'm hoping to get my questions answered about the bolded topics. Right now, this comes to a total of $1270, but I'll be getting a service plan and 2 accessories so I'm eligible for the student discount thingy ($150 off I think for this model).

Still the Vaio FW-490:

* 320GB SATA Hard Disk Drive [7200 rpm] (I could upgrade this myself, but the savings would be minimal and I wouldn't any use for keeping the 160GB or selling due to warranty restrictions)

* No Fresh Start (which sucks; but I saw a link on here for the uninstall tool for the bloatware. )

* Microsoft® Works (I'll get free Office Student Ed. at my Univ.)

* WLAN (802.11a/b/g/n) with integrated Bluetooth® technology

* Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor P8700 (2.53GHz)

* CD/DVD playback/burning (I can't justify an extra ~$200..if you count increased tax on the price...for the Blu-Ray burner. I can just get one for my desktop when the time comes)

* Black

* 2GB DDR2-SDRAM (DDR2-800, 1GBx2) (I'll upgrade this to 4GB myself).


* Microsoft® Windows Vista® Home Premium 64-bit

From what I read on here and the Sony site, this should come with a free upgrade--yucky, but doable--for Windows 7 correct?

* 16.4" widescreen with XBRITE-FullHD™ LCD technology (1920x1080)

Is this worth it? I keep reading on here about how small the text is, but I usually work at 1024x768 (or something similar; won't be that since this lappy is 16:9), so I won't see that problem right? I mean, you CAN back down the resolution? From what people were saying, it sounded as if they were FIXED at that native res. At any rate, if I don't run at that high of a resolution, will I still see a difference over the ECO screen? And, will I lose battery life due to the dual lamp design of the FullHD? Will the loss in battery life (if so) outweigh the gain in screen viewing quality. I need a screen with enough brightness and contrast!

* ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD4650 graphics card with 1GB vRAM-great for games and movies

Obviously, if I get the FullHD screen, I have to go with this. But, if I get the ECO (in regards to the above), can I get by with the 512MB version, or should I still get the 1GB?

* Large Capacity Battery

This is the biggest item in question. I would love for this lappy to last 3.5+ hours doing normal tasks such as typing documents and browsing the net. I won't be watching movies with it unplugged or anything, and certainly won't be gaming unplugged. If anything, I might use photoshop when I'm on the battery alone, but don't factor that in. I'm looking for someone who owns one to let me know how their battery life is on the large cap. one. Sony claims up to 6 hours, but I'd be happy with 4.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:21 PM   #23
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Default Re: College-bound; Need to start looking for a laptop! Suggestions!

Dude, You can get a Dv5, With 500gb hard drive, 4gb ram, C2D For less than $700.

And if you want to be hardcore, you can get a HP Dv7 with a quad core, 4gb ram. I will link to these soon.

Also, if you have a student ID number, you can get discounts from HP for being a student.
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Old 07-10-2009, 01:28 PM   #24
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Default Re: College-bound; Need to start looking for a laptop! Suggestions!

I would consider that elite book that was linked earlier. I just finished taking one apart to document the procedure at work since school is getting the 8530 (which is very similar) for next year's freshman and Juniors and we need to know how to take them apart for repairs.

If you are curious, exact specs of what we are using here are available here: http://inside.msoe.edu/ccsd/models/8530w-09
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:01 PM   #25
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Default Re: College-bound; Need to start looking for a laptop! Suggestions!

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Dude, You can get a Dv5, With 500gb hard drive, 4gb ram, C2D For less than $700.

And if you want to be hardcore, you can get a HP Dv7 with a quad core, 4gb ram. I will link to these soon.

Also, if you have a student ID number, you can get discounts from HP for being a student.
Okay. Stop right there. If you read most posts, I need BATTERY LIFE, not power. I don't need a quad core; I can about imagine how much power that would suck. I have looked at HPs, but IDK what setup you're finding because the one that I found that was a 16" (basically identical to the Sony) came out more expensive for the same/equal-performance parts. I'll look again, but idk. I've also heard that HPs battery life isn't that great and that worries me. I'd HAVE to get the extended battery with that. No 'ifs' 'ands' or 'buts' about it.

BTW, I can't find that on their website for sale...? (the Dv5; but it looks like it's not a newer model...I'd like a P8600/8700)

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I would consider that elite book that was linked earlier. I just finished taking one apart to document the procedure at work since school is getting the 8530 (which is very similar) for next year's freshman and Juniors and we need to know how to take them apart for repairs.

If you are curious, exact specs of what we are using here are available here: http://inside.msoe.edu/ccsd/models/8530w-09
Can you comment on the battery life? I know it just could be a nasty rumor that HPs suck in this category, but I'd like someone to prove that wrong.
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Old 07-10-2009, 06:24 PM   #26
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Default Re: College-bound; Need to start looking for a laptop! Suggestions!

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Can you comment on the battery life? I know it just could be a nasty rumor that HPs suck in this category, but I'd like someone to prove that wrong.
HP business notebooks are different from HP consumer notebooks. Like I mentioned earlier, HP consumer notebooks aren't that renowned for excellent battery life. Their business line is another story.

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/pr...8/080908a.html
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:13 PM   #27
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Default Re: College-bound; Need to start looking for a laptop! Suggestions!

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Originally Posted by 01001010 View Post
HP business notebooks are different from HP consumer notebooks. Like I mentioned earlier, HP consumer notebooks aren't that renowned for excellent battery life. Their business line is another story.

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/newsroom/pr...8/080908a.html
Ugh. I know that you have to take sacrifices, but it just really downright confuses me that the biggest size screen you can get on the high-battery life notebooks through HP and Lenovo are freaking 14"s. It just really ticks me off. I'd be happy with HALF that battery life they boast for a 15.4/6". And a third of the batt life for a 16". Consumers always get sort of screwed. They give us everything shiny and fancy looking, but what good is it if it dies right away. I mean, the whole point of a laptop is PORTABILITY! Ugh. Maybe I should start a laptop company

Anyways, I'm looking to see where I can get a bigger student discount: HP or Sony. I found a coupon for HP where I can get ~$220 off, but it expires tomorrow. It's a $15% code I think. It also states a 10% student discount (edit: while typing this, this cannot be stacked with the previous so...). But I've heard through the grapevine that around the 15th of each month HP offers 30% coupons...?

Here's the HP setup I'm looking at. It's the HDX16t. Battery life has been shown to be about 3-4 hours while gaming (so I interpret this as heavily taxing apps) and 5-6 while typing docs and browsing--all this on the 12 cell battery; so that's definitely a must. Everything else is similar, but the graphics cards and I did select an extra battery with it since it was only $25 bucks more to get the 6 cell and 12 cell over getting just the 12 cell. And I did get the backlit keyboard since I thought that'd be a nice feature for in-class presentation times when the lights are off and such. I could save $50 by not getting that, so you don't have to factor that in.

-> Screen shot of HP build <-

It comes out to be $1340 with tax . That's pretty ridiculous considering it's basically the EXACT same thing as the Sony..minus the GPU, but they are still on par with each other from what I read. In fact, it's got a smaller screen than the Sony (not by much but still).

-> Here's the current Sony build <-

Comes out to $1168 with tax. IDK, this is just starting to seem like there really isn't anything out there that can compete with this Sony. I'd be really surprised if there was. I did find that Gateway P series earlier, but there's no extended batteries since you can't customize them (is this right? It seems like you can't even BUY from the Gateway site; is this how they are not?) and I can't find the model anywhere since apparently it's not released yet.

Ugh. This has been a long 3 days searching for laptops. But I'm not an impulsive buyer. Thanks to anyone who's still reading this

EDIT: Okie doke. I'm getting the Sony. I'll be getting the 1GB GPU and the HD screen. And I'm getting the extra capacity battery along with the 320GB 7200rpm drive. I'm getting the Sony because my mom wants me to get the 2 year warranty with the accidental handling damage protection included and with any warranty added onto the HP it really puts it out of our price point. With the warranty on the Sony, I can get two accessories (I chose the cheapest; two different carrying cases--ones a neoprene case, the other is a shoulder bag) and I get $150 off. So basically, it only comes down to paying $165 for the 2 year warranty and those two accessories, which my mom and I agreed is a really good deal. The total comes to $1432 with tax. This should last at least 2 years, which afterward, my mom said she'd take it and I could upgrade again. I'll upgrade the RAM to 4GB (this or this; can't decide) for my photoshop needs from Newegg..and probably get this wireless mouse which I think is the best out of the ones I could find.

Thanks everyone for your help. It was a lot of work searching for this, but I think I'll be more than happy with it. I'll be ordering this tonight most likely because it's back ordered till the end of the month.
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Old 07-11-2009, 12:41 PM   #28
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Default Re: College-bound; Need to start looking for a laptop! Suggestions!

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Can you comment on the battery life? I know it just could be a nasty rumor that HPs suck in this category, but I'd like someone to prove that wrong.
I dont' know about that specific model, but my 8510w got 3 hours with volume and screen brightness on max. With the buisness models you can buy a second "travel" battery (about$50 new on ebay) that plugs in addition to the main battery that can give up to 4 additional hours. It looks like your system won't be as intensive as mine so you should get better hours with the main battery.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:33 PM   #29
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Default Re: College-bound; Need to start looking for a laptop! Suggestions!

Thanks everyone for the help and suggestions. I'm thinking of doing a full review of it when I get it since I had so much trouble finding anything about it in my process; that way I can help others out. I'll be sure to post it here as well as on notebookreview.com. It really is a nice site if you are looking for a laptop. It's nice not to have to go by biased CNET reviews all the time!
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