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  • Need laptop advice

    This is for a friend....really :sly:

    A friend living in another country, who's daughter is in the US, wants some advice for laptops. His quote:

    She study architecture and using adobe and autcad. So she needs 15" screen, good graphic card, 320GB HD, 4 Gb RAM, etc.

    Reliable and good performance

    Good support

    Under 1000$
    Good support is one of the killers. I'm checking the bigger companies - Dell, Toshiba, HP, etc. - as they will likely have the best warranty (in-home, maybe after remote support).

    But when I look to config a not-too-much-plastic system with decent power and decent video, it's always over $1k, sometimes by a few hundred.

    I've seen some lesser-known names out there (Cyber Power, and a few others in the back of Maximum PC magazine). But I'm leary to recommend them, in case of lesser-quality support.

    I thought of looking to the cheaper systems and just max it out (if possible). Having owned or worked with several Toshiba's, for example, I know the Satellite series worries me about reliability. The Satellite Pro series is what I looked to config, but it came up pricey. The Tecra series will definitely be pricey. And Qosmio STARTS over $1K.

    I also did similar things with Dell and HP. I haven't yet looked at what I consider second-tier brands, like Acer or Gateway. Are they (or similar) reliable enough quality and service-wise?

    Any other thoughts or suggestions?

    Thanks,

    Todd - skullguise
    What if the Hokey-Pokey really IS what it's all about?!

    Kinky Tom!

  • #2
    search for coupon codes on google. You should be able to get a Dell that will do the trick for $1000. I have had excellent support from Dell in the past, but I must admit it was always under a business account.

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    • #3
      Well autocad is best used with a professional grade video card, which means a desk top. Desk tops tend to disappear less as well. Going desk top is the best advise but if she really wants that lap top then and if she won't be doing anything too complicated, then one of the gamer video chips will work. An external mouse or better yet drawing pad is good for photoshop with a big screen, so a 17" with plenty of USB ports.

      Here is a good one to look at:

      http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834147919

      a bit cheaper here.

      http://www.amazon.com/HP-Pavilion-DV.../dp/B001NPDKU8

      I have the 14" version of this comp, minus the video chip. I perfer my laptops to be small and light. The bluray drive works well and the video has no problems running my 52" tv. It would be great as both an entertainment computer and work. It can push a few pixels and triangles around but it simply won't compare to a well set up profession autocad work station. It will do all the word processing and photoshoping for school just fine. My came with MS Works and a trial of Office. She can get the cheap edu verion of Office and photoshop at school. This is better than paying full OEM price from Dell or HP. Works is more than fine for putting out a papper or two, so maybe full blown Office is not needed.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mep
        Well autocad is best used with a professional grade video card, which means a desk top.
        Or a serious notebook like a Dell Precision, but those aren't inside the $1k limit.
        With a shovel...

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        • #5
          I prefer HP's metal touchpads, but I usually stick with Dell. I've had some off brands and some have been good and some have been terrible. I currently own a Dell netbook and an HP laptop.

          Make sure you check out sites like techbargains.

          http://www.techbargains.com/laptopco...bookreview.cfm

          Edit: I owned an MSI and a Compaq years ago and thought they were fine for lesser brands. I was never a fan of gateway, but it was only one computer and that was a long long time ago.

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          • #6
            Todd,

            The HP EliteBook (8530w) would be perfect but as you noticed with the others, it will be > 1K. I bought this a few months ago and love it. Powerful, full-featured, and quiet. The HDXs might work as well. You can get 10% cashback via bing.com with HP right now. It was 25% but I think it ended. That coupled with a few days watching slickdeals for a coupon might get you close.

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            • #7
              Not being all that techno-savy, this HP Pro-Book seems like it's fairly well loaded and meets the budget easily at $900. Maybe that leaves enough to upgrade the graphics (if needed). Not sure if the new Circuit City is buying up last year's gear or what, but it is listed as new, not a refurb. They also have several 64 bit machines available if that's somehow needed for the AutoCad stuff.

              http://www.circuitcity.com/applicati...&sku=H24-17026
              John W.
              Indy

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              • #8
                I've always been a fan of Sager notebooks. They aren't one of the big guys, but other companies rebrand them. You can get a lot of computer for under $1000.

                http://www.sagernotebook.com/categor...id=&lcdsize=15

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                • #9
                  Macho Grande, ALL great responses, thanks!

                  I've been checking some of the deal sites, and have tecbargains permanently linked in favorites. Didn't actually see their notebook-only section though!

                  Thanks again, much appreciated! (Oh, and keep them coming if you have additional ideas).
                  What if the Hokey-Pokey really IS what it's all about?!

                  Kinky Tom!

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