A few basic questions on getting a new laptop

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Thunderdog, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. I have been putting this off for as long as I could, waiting for a better deal, lower prices, new features, etc. Although my notebook computer still functions admirably for its age, it is on the verge of being hopelessly obsolete.

    Therefore, I am looking at getting a new notebook computer. With this in mind, I have a few questions that I hope those far more knowledgeable than I would take a few moments to answer.

    Presently, I am considering a Dell Inspiron 9300 with a 17-inch screen. The reason I favor Dell is because my present computer is also a Dell and I have gotten great service over the years. Further, Dell is the only company I know that provides next business day at-home service. That's a big thing for me. Unfortunately, no Dell notebooks have a full-size keyboard, including the numeric keypad at the right of the keyboard as some other brands do for their larger laptops.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Any comments on my favored brand and model?

    2. Are there any hardware issues I should be aware of so as not to order any soon-to-be-obsolete features? (Processors or whatever. I'm out of my depth here.)

    3. May I assume that 1 gigabyte of memory will serve me well for a few years?

    4. Dell has the unfortunate policy of only supporting machines using operating systems originally installed on the machines. This will invariably be XP Pro in my case. However, I understand that Windows will be introducing Vista in the "foreseeable" future. If I lock into XP because of the Dell policy, how long do you think I will likely have before I am obsolete once again? I realize I am asking for a guess. But your guess is almost certainly better than mine.

    And since I have a have your attention, I have a somewhat unrelated question. With this "wi-fi" thing where you can access the internet from coffee shops and such, do the providers offer some sort of firewall protection? Not that I would ever trade in a coffee shop, but I would like to know if I would make my computer unduly vulnerable by using it for other purposes in such locations. The reason I ask is because I cannot have firewall software installed on my computer for the order entry software to work properly. Therefore, I use a router at home which also serves as a firewall. However, I would not be using my router at the wi-fi locations. And although I understand that XP has a built-in firewall that does not interfere with order entry software, I understand that it, alone, is not a very robust firewall. Any thoughts?

    I would appreciate hearing from a few knowledgeable folks out there.
  2. chud


    I have the Dell 9300 and am very happy with it. I'm trading from a coffee shop as I type.
  3. I bought a Latitude X1 after demo'ing a friends for a week. It's the US ver of the Samsung sold only in Asia. I love it. You can load Vista and simply format the drive should you need to send it back to Dell.

    Re: wifi hotspost such as Starbucks/Tmobile. No, they do not offer any firewall per se, but it's an encrypted connection. I don't know what they use, but it's at the very least WEPped.
  4. bighog

    bighog Guest

    1 gig of memory will depend on your apps, etc...:)

    Now i have read, ( i try to stay up on what is coming down the pipeline of new goodies for pc since i put my own together), the new Microsoft os code named "Vista" rather than longhorn, might like to find 2 gig of memory in the box. ...But since memory of another full gig is cheap and can do nothing short of helping any pc or operation system. Hey, why not? Fly with a full tank of gas in case you get lost.....:eek:

    PS, the latest i heard about "VISTA" release is toward END of 2006. Probably third qtr to get it out before the Holidays.
  5. Thunderdog,
    If you are buying something to last for a few years, you better hedge a little bit. Make sure you can run linux on it. Running Vista? Very doubtful if you read about hardware requirements. Nothing definite in fact. Safer to plan on buying another laptop for it.
  6. bighog

    bighog Guest

    Speaking of hardware i bought a Logitech 518 gamer mouse. Love it!!!!!

    Is regular cheese good enough for this fancy mouse or do i need to feed it imported french cheese?......:D

    just having some fun, but i really love the mouse, looks sexy to boot....
  7. (1) Make sure your hard drive supports DMA. (I got a notebook from Dell where the hard drive was PIO only... too bad I didn't figure it out in the first 30 days.)

    (2) Get UXGA screen.

    (3) Don't plan on WinXP now and upgrading to Vista later.... likely won't be able to get drivers for it.
  8. I bought a HP 17 inch widescreen- complete piece of shit, battery life of 2 hours and the motherboard already burned out. less than 1 year old. HP SUCKS!!!
  9. Could you please briefly explain what DMA is, as compared to PIO, and what the implications are?
  10. you don't need vista.

    if it works, why fix it?

    my friend has that 9300 w/17inch LCD

    don't plan on travel with you on a daily basis, that thing is heavy.

    it's a desktop replacement, take it as is.

    6000 is a much lighter laptop but with a smaller screen.
    #10     Nov 3, 2005