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Slicker
02-24-2007, 05:34 PM
I've got a laptop here that I was gonna fix up to take to Japan. I took it to the Geek Squad and told them what was wrong and they said it's most likely the motherboard and that only Dell can fix it. No biggie since it's almost 3 years old.

I'm looking to get a new one to take to Japan. I basically only need it to play movies and maybe a simple game or two. Nothing too major. I was looking at this one (http://www.dell.com/content/products/results.aspx/notebooks?%7Eck=anav&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&a=9323%7E0%7E49300&navla=9323%7E0%7E49300) on Dell.com. It's kinda cheap, which is what I want, but that's kinda scaring me. If any of the tech nerds *cough*VynorDar*cough* could check it out and see if it's any good that'd be awesome.


Also, if anyone wants to buy my old one just let me know. It's pretty powerful (3Ghz processor, 1Gb RAM, 60 or 80Gb hard drive (can't remember), and I think a 15" screen). The only problem is that it won't stay on unless you put ALOT of pressure on the lower left hand corner.

sith_killer_99
02-24-2007, 11:05 PM
It's not a bad little machine. 802.11g wireless included.

Here's what you really need to consider...

The machine comes with Vista Home Basic preloaded. Vista Home Basic is worthless, especially if you want to run multi-media (play DVD's, listen to music, etc). What you really want for entertainment is Vista Home Premium, it come bundled with Windows Media Center. For that you will need more RAM. Luckily, Dell has the solution, if you opt for 1GB of RAM you can get the Vista Home Premium as a free upgrade, this bumps the price up $65.00 for the Memory upgrade, but pays for itself with the free Vista upgrade.

That's really your best option as far as price and performance goes.

I honestly wouldn't go with anything less than what I just mentioned.

So, when you configure the computer, under "Memory" click 1GB of RAM, but also be sure to check the Vista Home Premium upgrade under the Operating System options.

HOWEVER, and this is kind of a big one.....

You really are going to want more memory. The integrated ATI graphics chip set uses "shared memory" which means that it relies on your system RAM for performance. Keep in mind that this is an expensive upgrade ($250), but well worth it! On one side you can always wait to upgrade your memory and it is a very simple operation. On the other side, doing so may void any warranty with DELL.

Now, here is a complete list of available upgrades that SK99 recommends:

Display: Glossy $10
Memory: 2GB RAM $250
Hard Drive: 120GB (5400RPM SATA) $90
Optical Drive: Double Layer DVD burner $40
Battery: 9 Cell Lithium Ion $50
Power Option: 90Watt Duracell adapter $90

Of course this pushed the total up to like $1,129! That's almost twice the original price of $599! I only recommend the battery and power adapter because you will be on the road. I personally like glossy displays and for $10 why not, but that's just me. The Hard Drive is only really handy if you want to store digital pics from your visit and music. The optical drive was just a no briner for me. Why settle for a CD burner/DVD player, when you can burn double layer DVD's for the low price of $40. As for the memory...the more the better.....always always always!!!

Anyway, those are my recommendations.

Final analysis, spring for the 2GB of memory, it's really worth the extra dough! Especially if you want to watch DVD's without any hick-ups. The integrated graphics chip set will need the extra horsepower!

Dar' Argol
02-24-2007, 11:06 PM
For that price Its not bad at all. 15.4 widescreen, 512Mb Ram, 1.8Ghz AMD, 60 GB HDD, a CR-RW/DVD Rom and a ATI 256 video card . . . . for under $600?? That's a steal! I'd say for what you want it for, its perfect.


Final analysis, spring for the 2GB of memory, it's really worth the extra dough! Especially if you want to watch DVD's without any hick-ups. The integrated graphics chip set will need the extra horsepower!

I don't agree with that. The lappy I have has a ATI 256 video similar to the one slicker's looking at. And all I have is 512MB RAM and I have never experienced any "hick-ups" while playing DVD's. I say for the dough he doesn't want to spend, the stock will do him good. Maybe upgrading the Vista but that's all I'd really do.

Kidhuman
02-24-2007, 11:12 PM
I looked at a new laptop and said, maybe later this year I can afford it.

Dar' Argol
02-24-2007, 11:14 PM
I looked again and you can upgrate to Home Premium and 1GB of RAM without it costing you anything.

Slicker
02-24-2007, 11:19 PM
Thanks a bunch guys.

I had really wanted to upgrade the RAM and I was probably gonna do that anyways but with what you said, SK, about the Premium, it's a no brainer as you said.

As for the battery and such I don't think I'll need it. I'll be on the ship and always near a power outlet. It's not like you in the desert where the power hook-ups may be few and far between. It's a small savings but when spending this much (I personally call this a "major purchase") every little bit helps.

I really think I'm gonna get this when I get paid next. I didn't think it was too bad and, as I said, I really only need it for watchin' movies so most anything else if superfluous.

Thanks again and if you've got anymore input please let it go!!:thumbsup:

sith_killer_99
02-24-2007, 11:25 PM
I don't agree with that. The lappy I have has a ATI 256 video similar to the one slicker's looking at. And all I have is 512MB RAM and I have never experienced any "hick-ups" while playing DVD's. I say for the dough he doesn't want to spend, the stock will do him good. Maybe upgrading the Vista but that's all I'd really do.

If he upgrades to Vista Home Premium, which he will want to do, if he plans on playing DVD's then yes he will need more RAM. Vista Home Premium recommended RAM is 1GB...minimum.

ATI's Xpress 1150 uses "HyperMemory" which means that part of your system RAM is used to calculate the 256MB video memory, thus reducing your available system memory.

In any case, his best bet is still to go with at least 1GB of RAM and get the free upgrade on Vista.

sith_killer_99
02-24-2007, 11:31 PM
I also recommend buying a chiller pad for the notebook, as with all electronics, heat is the enemy and the number one cause of (non-mechanical) component failure.

Slicker
02-24-2007, 11:40 PM
That's another good thing SK. I had one but it burnt out so I'll have to grab another. They don't cost but a couple of bucks so it's not a big expense.

Dar' Argol
02-25-2007, 12:11 AM
Yeah, I got one of them for my lappy after I got tired of my legs sweating while I spend a while online. It works great!

2-1B
02-25-2007, 02:55 PM
I thought Slicker only had eyes for my laptop. :(

Slicker
02-25-2007, 02:58 PM
I thought Slicker only had eyes for my laptop. :(
Yours is outdated. If you update with some new RAM and get a harder drive then maybe I'd consider using it again.

El Chuxter
02-25-2007, 05:19 PM
Are you just looking? I was looking at one this lady was carrying yesterday. Couldn't help it. She was on the escalator in front of me.

Slicker
03-02-2007, 09:31 PM
Well, I just got done buying that lappy.

Here's the specs on it:

Module Description
(https://ecomm.dell.com/dellstore/chkout4_confirm.aspx?itemtype=CFG&s=dhs&l=en&cs=19&c=us&details=true&cc_auth=PAA&cc_type=VISA) Inspiron 1501 Mobile AMD Sempron™ 3500+ (1.8GHz/512KB) OPERATING SYSTEM(s) FREE Upgrade to Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium with 1GB of memory LCD panel 15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA Display with TrueLife™(glossy) MEMORY 1GB DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm VIDEO CARD ATI RADEON® Xpress1150 256MB HyperMemory™ (Integrated) HARD DRIVES FREE! 120GB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive Network Card and Modem Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 7.08 Combo/DVD+RW Drives 24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive Sound Card Integrated Audio Wireless Networking Cards Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini Card (54Mbps) Office Software No productivity suite- Includes Microsoft Works 8. DOES NOT INCLUDE MS WORD Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) McAfee Security Center 30-day trial Primary Battery 29 WHr 4-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery Warranty and Service 1Yr Ltd Warranty and Mail-In Service Internet Access Service 6 Months America Online Internet Access Included Miscellaneous Inspiron E1501 Dell Digital Entertainment Trial pack- Basic and trial products from Corel and Yahoo Labels Windows Vista™ Premium

I only ended up paying $728 for it. Not too bad if ya ask me.

Kidhuman
03-02-2007, 09:49 PM
I could have stole it for ya, and asked only 200 bucks

Slicker
03-02-2007, 09:58 PM
HA!!

I just realized that I clicked the wrong shipping option. My laptop won't get to Virginia til March 14th...I leave for Michigan on March 13th...


I just emailed 'em to see what can be done about that little oversight.

sith_killer_99
03-02-2007, 10:45 PM
HA!!

I just realized that I clicked the wrong shipping option. My laptop won't get to Virginia til March 14th...I leave for Michigan on March 13th...


I just emailed 'em to see what can be done about that little oversight.

Dude, I'm sure they will be able to help out.


Internet Access Service 6 Months America Online Internet Access Included

Say it isn't so!!!:eek: :frus: :frus: :frus: :frus: :eek:

AOL is nothing more than a big internet mafia company. They have terrible support, and numerous billing complaints have been lodged against them. I have personally had run-ins with the morons and I can't tell you how much money they have stolen from me, even after they were supposed to get me a refund, it never materialized. Not only that but I just got done reading a computer magazine article that rated companies, like AOL, on various areas (set-up, cancellation, trial periods, etc.) and AOL was hands down the worst company on the list.

Here's what I recommend, call AOL as soon as the computer arrives and tell them "no thanks" be sure to get a cancellation verification number (case number, etc.). Better still have 'em shoot you an e-mail confirming cancellation. Once that is done check your billing statements on all of your checking/savings/credit card accounts. Continue to do this for approximately 18 months to be sure they don't start charging you for services you never use.

If you do all of that you may be fine. However, there are no guarantees, as once they get a "glitch" in their system it's like pulling teeth to get them to return your stolen money.

My wife and I both fell victim to AOL, in my wife's case she was billed for services AOL's illegal transaction caused her account to became over drawn, which in turn caused her bank to charge her more money. AOL, had begun billing her as a regular customer exactly one year after she had canceled service!!!

I'm not even going to get into my horror story!:Pirate:

BTW, congrats on the new laptop, you made a smart more by upgrading the RAM and OS, and good call on the glossy display as well...just my opinion.:D

Slicker
03-02-2007, 11:18 PM
I really had no choice on the AOL. I don't need it but there wasn't any option to NOT get some sort of internet. It was either AOL or Netscape. I just went with what they had picked.

I've heard the horror stories about them and I'll be sure to heed your advice and cancel.

Thanks again for the help gents.:thumbsup:

Kidhuman
03-03-2007, 07:47 AM
Just check this thread slick for AOL stories

http://forums.sirstevesguide.com/showthread.php?t=22954

Slicker
03-08-2007, 02:37 PM
I just got my laptop in and it's going through it's startup things right now.

From the looks it's a nice lookin' rig. It's silver mainly with a widescreen. I'll have to come in in a bit to give my view of Vista.

Slicker
03-08-2007, 03:00 PM
This may be a bit soon but I'll say it right now, I hate Vista. My laptop is running ungodly slow and I think I found the reason why. Brand new out of the f-ing box I've got 74 processes running. Everything from Google search bars to useless paint applications is on here. It's gonna take me some time to get rid of the useless ****.


Does anyone know if I can use the XP disk from my other laptop to put XP on this one?

Kidhuman
03-08-2007, 03:43 PM
I dont think you could go backwards on any OS. I might be wrong though.

Slicker
03-08-2007, 06:54 PM
My initial post was based on me having the computer on for 5 minutes. Literally within the first MINUTE after having deboxed it and turned it on it froze. I let it do it's thing because I knew it'd take a bit for it to get going. I waited and it was done thinking so I simply clicked on the start window and it froze. I couldn't do anything so I had to hard boot it.

It came on and that's when I started house cleaning. I got the original 74 processes down to the low 40's already and I'm aiming to get it down a bit more as there are TONS of junk programs on here.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't like change. Therefore Vista was basically doomed from the beginning with me. It's just too flashy for me. I was happy with XP and would still like to get it on this one...

pbarnard
03-08-2007, 07:18 PM
Asked my wife, the computer geek of the family, and she says you can do it provided you reformat the hard drive. Now that may or may not violate any warranty agreements you have.

sith_killer_99
03-09-2007, 02:22 AM
Slicker, Vista seems to be hit or miss.

I have had no problems, as of yet, with the exception of iTunes. In fact Vista works much better for multi tasking. In any event, I did use the Windows control panel to shut down several of the programs that run in the background during start up. I hate those programs, they seriously slow down the system.

Anyway, you can uninstall Vista or re-install XP over Vista, but you should reformat the hard drive like pbarnard mentioned. Just to avoid any problems with the install.:)

CaptainSolo1138
03-09-2007, 08:05 AM
Nick, you CAN uninstall Vista and load XP. If you need help get at me before noon and I can put you in touch with someone who can walk you thru it.

Slicker
03-09-2007, 11:34 AM
I figured I could take Vista off but I didn't know if MS maybe put something on there that would blow the laptop up if I tried.

I'm not having any more problems...yet. I think those first ones were the initial bugs working out and, like I said, after I did some spring cleaning it runs a helluva lot smoother now.

Dar' Argol
03-10-2007, 11:36 PM
Slick, the only way you can use your XP disk from your other laptop is if you get another key number. When XP is installed on a PC/laptop it creates a checklist of sorts of the machine it is installed on. It records th Processor serial number, Motherboard info and a few other things. That way it kind "marries" itself to that machine. If you try using that Key Number on another machine it will not activate. Its their was to cut down on piracy. So unless it was on that laptop before, I don't think you will be able to do it Slick.

BTW, to thos who are concidering Vista . . WAIT!!! From what I have been hearing and reading its a big pain in the butt right now. As all of the Windows Operating Systems have been at launch. From what I have heard from a few IT guys I know, wait until the Service Pack update comes out to upgrade. It will be less of a headache then.

sith_killer_99
03-12-2007, 12:51 AM
Slick, the only way you can use your XP disk from your other laptop is if you get another key number. When XP is installed on a PC/laptop it creates a checklist of sorts of the machine it is installed on. It records th Processor serial number, Motherboard info and a few other things. That way it kind "marries" itself to that machine. If you try using that Key Number on another machine it will not activate. Its their was to cut down on piracy. So unless it was on that laptop before, I don't think you will be able to do it Slick.

Sort of...

Here's the thing. Yes, you can install XP on another machine that didn't come with XP. If you bought XP for one machine and de-install it, you can re-install it on another computer. Here is the deal.

1. You MUST de-install XP from the old machine.
2. Install XP on the new machine.
3. The product key will fail!!!
4. Call or e-mail Microsoft and explain your situation. They will then issue you a new product key to activate XP on the new machine.

It's a pain, but it can be done!

Slicker
03-12-2007, 01:39 AM
Meh! Doesn't seem worth the effort.

Just because it's different I still don't like Vista. But since I don't do anything too hardcore with my computers it'll be fine for net surfin' and whatever porn watchin' I'll be doing.

2-1B
03-14-2007, 10:42 PM
I saw the words "hardcore" and "porn" in the above...I'm pretty sure that identifies it as a Slicker post.

El Chuxter
03-15-2007, 12:59 AM
Just make certain to get Windows Eggs-P.

UKWildcat
05-16-2007, 12:28 AM
My turn! lol ;)


I'm looking to purchase a new laptop as well, and I am going with Dell. I've purchased all of my computers from Dell, both personal and for family and friends, and I have never had any problems with them.

I basically already have my system built, I am just waiting to check-out. I'm somewhat computer savvy, but I still wanted to get you guys' thoughts and opinions. I am a gamer but I don't plan to use my laptop for that much gaming, thats what my desktop is for. I would still like to run some of my favorite games though, if I should feel the need, like Doom 3, Half Life 2, Far Cry, etc.

So here goes:

Inspiron E1505, Intel Core 2 Duo processor T7200 (4MB/2.00GHz/667MHz)
-fastest/best processor available in the E1505.
15.4 Inch UltraSharp TrueLife Wide-screen WSXGA+
-best screen available for E1505
2GB, DDR2, 667MHz 2 Dimm
-Max Ram avail./not shared
256MB Ge Force 7300 Graphics card
-Mid-range graphics card
100GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
-fastest hard drive avail./largest for the speed
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium Edition
-not really stoked about Vista. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
24X Combo CD-RW/DVD
-didn't really need the dvd-burner, have one of those on my desktop.

Thats the basic run-down of the system. Some of the other noteworthy options included: Audigy HD sound, Extended 85 Whr battery, Wireless N card and Built-in Bluetooth 2.0.

This is going to be my first laptop and I think it should be a pretty solid rig. I'm not looking forward to Vista, but I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.

I'll be making my purchase tomorrow, because I have a $500 coupon that is going to take the system down to around $1500, and it expires tomorrow.

Thoughts? Opinions? Recommendations?

Thanks

Btw - how do you like your laptop Slick?

sith_killer_99
05-16-2007, 03:53 AM
That's not a bad little system.

I went to the Dell website and checked it out.

I wouldn't sweat the Vista OS. It's actually pretty nice, especially if you want Windows Media Center, which is great to have if your into movies, music, pictures, etc. Basically all your multimedia applications.

Yes Windows is resource intensive, but with 2GB of RAM, you should be good.

Vista also has their own scoring index built into the OS that let's you see what hardware is slowing you down.

My Toshiba laptop is running 2GB of RAM as well. My slowest component is the hard drive, I'm running a 5,400 RPM drive. You are making a good choice by upgrading to a faster hard drive.

The one thing I would recommend is a flash drive, preferably a USB 2.0 thumb drive, make sure it is "Speed Boost" compatible. Vista can use up to 4GB of flash memory to speed up your system. Vista gives you an option to allocate as much of the USB drive for "Speed Boost" as you want, again, up to 4GB.

What "Speed Boost" does is effectively use your USB drive as system RAM. It can store applications that are run on the USB drive to make them respond more quickly. Vista uses a neat little trick, it sort of tracks what programs you use and how often you use them, then it stores those apps in "Speed Boost" so that they are ready for use before you even open the program.

Soooo, with all that said, I recommend you buy a nice little 4GB-16GB thumb drive that is rated for "Speed Boost". Vista has a minimum data transfer rate requirement to use "Speed Boost" but most USB 2.0 drives should be fast enough to handle the job.

Other than that, there's really nothing more I could recommend. You seem to have all the bases covered. Processor, memory, hard drive, display, sound, graphics, DVD drive.

Personally, I would want a DVD burner, just because I would have a greater need to copy, burn and transfer data. However, now that I have soooooo much storage capability with my USB drives, I find less need to burn DVD's.:D

darthvyn
05-16-2007, 11:35 AM
how'd i miss this one??? weird...

well, i'm late to the party, but i gotta say, i'm really happy with my 17" macbook pro they got me at work.

and as for the vista or xp debacle... how about just wipe the hard drive and install ubuntu linux? ;)

UKWildcat
05-16-2007, 11:50 PM
I wouldn't sweat the Vista OS. It's actually pretty nice, especially if you want Windows Media Center, which is great to have if your into movies, music, pictures, etc. Basically all your multimedia applications.

I actually have Media Center on my Desktop PC, but I barely use it anymore. :( I could see my self using MC more often on my laptop though.



The one thing I would recommend is a flash drive, preferably a USB 2.0 thumb drive, make sure it is "Speed Boost" compatible. Vista can use up to 4GB of flash memory to speed up your system. Vista gives you an option to allocate as much of the USB drive for "Speed Boost" as you want, again, up to 4GB.

What "Speed Boost" does is effectively use your USB drive as system RAM. It can store applications that are run on the USB drive to make them respond more quickly. Vista uses a neat little trick, it sort of tracks what programs you use and how often you use them, then it stores those apps in "Speed Boost" so that they are ready for use before you even open the program.

Soooo, with all that said, I recommend you buy a nice little 4GB-16GB thumb drive that is rated for "Speed Boost". Vista has a minimum data transfer rate requirement to use "Speed Boost" but most USB 2.0 drives should be fast enough to handle the job.


Now this is very interesting; pretty cool. When I can pick up a 4GB or so thumb drive for pretty cheap, I'll definitely jump on it. Great idea, thanks sk99! I suppose there are instructions somewhere on how to get the thumb drive and OS to operate in this manner?


Personally, I would want a DVD burner, just because I would have a greater need to copy, burn and transfer data. However, now that I have soooooo much storage capability with my USB drives, I find less need to burn DVD's.:D

I debated the DVD-Burner but I figured my desktop pc will suffice. It'll be relatively easy for me to transfer info from my laptop to my desktop so I can implement the dvd-burner then, if I need to.


That's not a bad little system.

Thanks! I'm really looking forward to receiving it. I went ahead and ordered that exact system earlier (the one listed above) and the estimated build and ship time is about two weeks; it should arrive around the first of June. Needless to say, I can't wait. I'll be sure to let you guys know when I get it, and my thoughts. Thanks again for the input sk99! :)


Btw - I did check a list of Vista compatible games and Doom 3, Half Life 2 and Far Cry are all listed so I'm pretty stoked about that. :thumbsup:

sith_killer_99
05-17-2007, 12:10 AM
I suppose there are instructions somewhere on how to get the thumb drive and OS to operate in this manner?

It's all plug and play, once you plug the drive into the USB port "auto play" will start and one option will be title "ready boost". Just click the ready boost and your good to go.


When I can pick up a 4GB or so thumb drive for pretty cheap, I'll definitely jump on it.

Newegg.com has 'em for about $30.00 and up.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2013240522+1309421175&name=4GB

:D

UKWildcat
05-18-2007, 12:17 PM
Awesome!


Because Dell runs new promotions every week, I was able to make an adjustment to the laptop I purchased and save some extra money and get some better hardware. I had the graphics card changed from the NVidia 7300 to the ATI X1400. I researched the cards further and determined that the X1400 is slightly better than the 7300. I love NVidia, but the ATI card was FREE and it outperforms the NVidia card. When I built my system a few days ago the ATI card was going to cost $50 more, which is why I opted for the 7300. So I ended up with the exact same system as before, switched to the better ATI card AND saved $54! It was a win-win. :D :thumbsup:

UKWildcat
05-25-2007, 01:38 PM
This is my first post from my new laptop. :D Yup, it arrived today, more than a week ahead of schedule too. :thumbsup: So far I absolutely love it. I'm just setting up and cleaning stuff up now. Haven't encountered any problems yet. My first impressions of Vista aren't bad, they are good; can't wait to become more familiar with it and see what all it has to offer. I'll post more thoughts after I have used it for a bit...

El Chuxter
05-25-2007, 01:46 PM
It looks like you got a good grip on things, UK. Once you understand Vista, you'll be grinning from ear to ear. It's totally bizarro.

sith_killer_99
05-25-2007, 02:29 PM
Yeah, I like Vista too, it gives me this funny feeling, like when I used to climb the rope in Gym class.

I am also running ObjectDock

http://www.stardock.com/products/objectdock/

It gives Vista a unique MAC like feel.:D

Dar' Argol
05-26-2007, 10:45 AM
Yeah, I like Vista too, it gives me this funny feeling, like when I used to climb the rope in Gym class.

I am also running ObjectDock

http://www.stardock.com/products/objectdock/

It gives Vista a unique MAC like feel.:D

He he he . . I've been running Object Dock for years!! Really un-clutters your desktop. I kinda get confused for a bit when I'm on strange computers and I go for my dock and they don't have it. Takes a bit gettng use to not having it.

UKWildcat
05-27-2007, 11:03 PM
That ObjectDock looks pretty sweet, may have to check that out.

Can anyone recommend a good CoolPad?