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Author Topic: A little computer purchasing advice requested
Lyrhawn
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I'm in the market for a laptop at the moment. I have a monstrous 17 inch laptop that I just can't lug around campus anymore, so I'm looking to get a smaller, lighter, more battery efficient laptop that I can actually get around campus without killing my back and that will actually make it through a four hour class.

I think I found it with this HP. It has a 13.3 inch screen, which I thought would be too small, but it didn't seem too bad in the store. Even the 12 inch screen seemed fine, and it has a ton of free upgrades, etc, and the battery life is impressive.

But my question is, should I wait until the fall for Windows 7? I'm leery of Vista, based on what I've heard, but a friend of mine that works in computers said it's not a big deal and I should just go ahead and get Vista, especially with 4GB of ram and a dual core processor, the slowness issues swirling about Vista wouldn't be a problem, I'm told. But I was wondering what anyone else would do. I'd like to have the computer soon for class for the rest of summer semester and fall semester, but if it's really that big of a deal, I'd wait, since I need this next laptop to get me through grad school as well.

So what would you do? Get the laptop now while the deal is pretty good, or wait for Win7?

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lem
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I got the HP 2133 mini. and I love it! I am duel booting xp and fedora on it.

It is tiny! However, unlike the ASUS minis, the keyboard amazingly feels like a full sized keyboard. I hate the cramped feeling on the ASUS minis. The screen is a a tiny "8.9," but I have never had a problem.

I works good for me with meetings and needing to connect up with a switch or some other device. It is also very durable.

Your pick is probably better for you, but I wanted to give my recommendation for this one mini that is very portable.

Here is a review.

EDIT: I got the 6 cell battery and lasts usually 3 hours, the 1.6 GHz processor, and 2 GB of ram. Skype works great as do DVDs with my external DVD player. The review is for the less powerful unit.

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c01443770&lang=en&cc=us&taskId=101&prodSeriesId=3687084&prodTypeId=321957

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lem
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quote:
So what would you do? Get the laptop now while the deal is pretty good, or wait for Win7?
Many hardware vendors will give you a certificate for a free upgrade to Windows 7 if you ask.
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breyerchic04
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I adore my pink asus eee pc, 10 inches, no cd drive, has XP. But I don't think it would be exactly what you'd want. If you are waiting till fall you can try it out.

The keyboard doesn't feel cramped at all, my 6'3 cousin typed on it and had no problems. Some people don't like the location of the right shift key but I never use it so it doesn't bother me.

[ July 04, 2009, 02:22 PM: Message edited by: breyerchic04 ]

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Orincoro
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Get a MAC OH!!!
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Sterling
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I expect you can still get a good deal in a few months, if you're worried. The computer market is in a slump right now, and if the release of the i7 line didn't cause much of a perk, good deals should still be available in a few months.

That said, I've been running 64-bit Vista with minimal problems. I can't say I have any fondness for the most recent versions of Internet Explorer or Windows Media Player (how can you take so long to just get an MP3 playing on a quad-core system?!) but the OS itself has been a pretty smooth ride. And upgrading from Vista to 7 is supposedly quite easy and painless, or so we've been told, and I do note your link says HP will upgrade you to 7 for free. I'd take them up on that.

The one thing I'd do is, if you're planning on porting over any software or hardware (scanners, etc.) from an older system, check out the Vista compatibility page. It would be unfortunate to find out something you were counting on for class work wouldn't work any more.

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lem
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quote:
And upgrading from Vista to 7 is supposedly quite easy and painless, or so we've been told, and I do note your link says HP will upgrade you to 7 for free. I'd take them up on that.
Be sure to get the certificate for upgrade from HP. I have heard personal stories from friends who did not get it and expected Microsoft to upgrade for free (XP to vista). They long since lost the opportunity to get the upgrade from the dealer and Microsoft doesn't do the free upgrades.

To make matters worse, one of them ended up buying Vista back when it was really buggy.

How is 64 bit Vista with flash?

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by lem:
I got the HP 2133 mini. and I love it! I am duel booting xp and fedora on it.

It is tiny! However, unlike the ASUS minis, the keyboard amazingly feels like a full sized keyboard. I hate the cramped feeling on the ASUS minis. The screen is a a tiny "8.9," but I have never had a problem.

I works good for me with meetings and needing to connect up with a switch or some other device. It is also very durable.

Your pick is probably better for you, but I wanted to give my recommendation for this one mini that is very portable.

Here is a review.

EDIT: I got the 6 cell battery and lasts usually 3 hours, the 1.6 GHz processor, and 2 GB of ram. Skype works great as do DVDs with my external DVD player. The review is for the less powerful unit.

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?objectID=c01443770&lang=en&cc=us&taskId=101&prodSeriesId=3687084&prodTypeId=321957

My requirements aren't very high, but I did want something more in the 12 to 13 inch range for a screen. I need something light, portable, in that size range, relatively quick, with extremely good battery life (something in the 4+ hour range), and I want a backlit keyboard. The current deal gives me 4GB of ram for cheaper, and with a bump to a duo core processor, I'm hoping it'll run MS Word pretty well.

I'm only going to really use it for web browsing and note typing/paper writing/misc school stuff. It's amazing how fast the price jumps though when you add in extended warranties and virus protection though. I'm waffling over Norton or McAfee.

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breyerchic04
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Can't you just go to Norton's website after you buy it and get a year subscription for less than $100?

Also if you see this now, I have a michigan question, could you get on aim?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'm waffling over Norton or McAfee.
I'm a fan of Avast!, which is considerably cheaper.
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Scott R
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:dittos Tom:
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DarkKnight
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You can also try AVG which is free
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Corwin
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:second-dittos Tom:

By the way, Tom, what firewall do you use?

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Kwea
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Avast is free if you are a personal user not a business. [Big Grin] I used both AVG and Avast, and Avast works a LOT faster and catches more, IMO.
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Sterling
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quote:
Originally posted by lem:
How is 64 bit Vista with flash?

Here's where I begin to sound superstitious.

Flash works just fine on my computer, at least in the Flash-using games and sites that I've visited... But. After downloading a set of updates from Microsoft, I found (it seemed to me) Flash to be chugging and losing some frames, something it certainly shouldn't have been doing on my computer. Rolling back and then not installing "Microsoft .NET framework 3.5 Service Pack 1" seems to have brought back the original speed, but I can't say with absolute authority that that particular update is the culprit. I find myself somewhat unwilling to run the update just to double-check. Thus the "superstition."

I have not (as yet) actually tried creating Flash on this computer, so I cannot vouch for any of the creation programs.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I'm waffling over Norton or McAfee.
I'm a fan of Avast!, which is considerably cheaper.
4th'd. I'm very happy with Avast + Spyware Doctor.
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solo
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I'm waffling over Norton or McAfee.
I'm a fan of Avast!, which is considerably cheaper.
And bogs down your system considerably less than Norton or McAfee in my experience.
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Belle
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Just purchased Avast due to this thread and so far am very happy with it.
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Kwea
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Why buy it? I got it free because I am a private user, I think.

I love it.

BTW, I love Vista, it runs everything faster than XP did, and it seems seamless from application to application. It was a little hard getting use to it after using XP for so long, but they are close enough that it wasn't traumatic.

I have a decent laptop with 4 G of RAM, and it runs great on Vista, no problems at all. I bought a Toshiba laptop with a 14.1 screen on it based on Lyrhawn's recommendation on screen size......I had been looking at 17 inch and 19 inch laptops before I posted a thread here....and I am VERY happy with it. It's small enough that it isn't crazy heavy, but big enough that I don't feel like I am squinting to look at the screen.

And it has a full size keyboard, so my wife is happy. [Big Grin] She's a touch typer, and was afraid that a smaller keyboard would throw her off. As she types about 80 wpm, that was a significant concern, even though it is primarily MY computer for school.

If you are married, you know what I mean. [Wink] [Evil] [Evil]

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
I have a decent laptop with 4 G of RAM, and it runs great on Vista, no problems at all. I bought a Toshiba laptop with a 14.1 screen on it based on Lyrhawn's recommendation on screen size......I had been looking at 17 inch and 19 inch laptops before I posted a thread here....and I am VERY happy with it.
If only I could go back in time and give that advice to myself, I wouldn't be in my current bind. [Grumble]

I'm glad you like your laptop though. And I'm glad to hear that about Vista.

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