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Thread: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic* Silviron's Avatar
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    Default What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    The LCD on my laptop just went to "pixel heaven" Or pixel hell.

    I can get by running it on an external monitor for a while, but I think I'll probably want to replace the whole machine in the next month or so.

    Looking for something pretty powerful and big display...

    Currently it is a SONY GRV550 with a 2.4 gig P4 and 512MB ram, 32 MB ATI Radeon 7500 video and the display WAS 16" diagonal LCD. I've been quite happy with this Sony; it has been trouble free for several years (until tonight, anyway).

    Wouldn't want anything slower processor-wise, a gig of ram (at least upgradeable to a gig...) 64M + of video would be better, and at least a 15.5" size screen.

    Most important use would be field editing of photos, so it needs to be pretty decent at accurate color reproduction.

    But it will need to do all kinds of other stuff pretty well too.

    Any suggestions?

    (No, I can't go to a Powerbook, (as much as I'd like to).... I can't afford new Mac software too.)
    Last edited by Silviron; 08-15-2006 at 02:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic* ACMarina's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    My personal favorite is the Thinkpad, but I've set up several of the widescreen Dell Inspiron laptops in the past couple of weeks and found them to be pretty nice..
    I love my Al-PD

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    Flashaholic* chesterqw's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    something from fujitsu?


    off topic: anyone plays with the customise it option on those sites?

    i get way way way past my small budget
    Last edited by chesterqw; 08-15-2006 at 08:06 AM.
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    Toshiba Satellite series is good... I have M70 ... it's over 1.5 yars old now...

    1.7 Ghz with 2 MB L2 with XP Pro
    60 GB, 512 MB RAM
    128 MB Video Intel
    Super Drive
    Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, SD,XD,MMC reader
    WSXGA (1280x800) 15" wide screen...
    best of all... cheapest ... at around $900 something...

    I am sure newer models will be better than this at around same cost... especially the CoreDuo ones running around 2.xx Ghz

  5. #5

    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    It all depends on what your going to do with it. Will it be sitting on a desk or carried around? Be careful on buying based on processor speed also, Inlet has two different lines and some of the slow clock speed processors are just as fast as the high clock speed ones.
    What is wrong with your current laptop, LCD's don't just die, they might get a stuck pixel or the backlight might go out

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Silviron's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene
    What is wrong with your current laptop, LCD's don't just die, they might get a stuck pixel or the backlight might go out
    Good point... I didn't think of the backlight (Pretty dumb considering I spend so much time around here). It very well could be the backlight.... I was thinking more the driver board, but backlight does seem quite likely now that you mention it.

    It flickered several times over a period of several minutes, then went black. Turned it off and let it cool off to see if something was overheating, turned it back on, got a couple of flickers out of it and went black for good.

    The another thing that surprised me (but shouldn't have) is that after just taking the LCD completely off, the whole computer is only about 1/4 as loud.... The fan must be controlled based on how much power is being drawn total!!! I really like that part because that tiny fan was normally pulling so many RPMs that it sounded like a vacuum cleaner.

    Here is a specific question: I've been wondering why NOMINAL laptop Pentium CPU speeds in most medium to low end computers seem to have gone down from when I bought this 2.4 ghz several years ago (although this was a pretty high end comp when I bought it.).... Does a core dual Intel CPU running at say 1.83 or 2.0 ghz have more or less potential computing power than my old 2.4 ghz CPU??

    Key use for the laptop is as a storage and sometimes photo editor for 'photo safaris' It usually stays in the truck or motel or cabin when I'm in the field, so weight and size doesn't matter.

    But it is more often used for web surfing, multi-media and office type tasks. (My desktop computer is primarily setup for heavier and more precise graphics work... I don't even have it firewalled or anti-virus running because I don't want that stuff slowing the system down, And I can ge away with that since I don't use it on the internet or open files on it that I didn't originate myself)

    Actually, (If I can't fix the LCD myself) what I'm thinking of is getting a regular LCD monitor (one that runs off a 'brick' power supply... (seems like most of them set up that way are 12V - 2 to 3 A,) and use vehicle power or a battery pack to run it when I'm out in the field. Only be a little bulkier and a little more hassle than what I have now, and save me a a good chunk of change until I can afford a more high end laptop.
    Last edited by Silviron; 08-15-2006 at 08:37 PM.

  7. #7
    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Popcorn Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    sounds like you need a high proformance multimedia / entertainment station rather than a laptop for business applications.

    Toshiba or IBM, Toshiba has always been a remarkable machine ...for the speakers part. IBM is by no means a powerhouse, but will last you a loong time with no hardware problems provided you werk in a clean [not dusty] enviroment and try not to game on it.

    There isnt really a "best laptop" since each company has its flaws: recalls, file errors, driver crosslinks, hardware durability, suppert system bug, etc.


    Reviews for notebooks...
    http://www.notebookreview.com/

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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    The Dual Core processors and the Centrino technology is a whole 'nuther ball game compared to the straight Pentium CPUs that you were dealing with, but to make a long story short (presuming you don't want to read a bunch of stuff off of Intel's site), yes, the CPU will run faster and will probably have better battery life than your current system.

    That being said, go out and do a little shopping, the price on laptops has taken a pretty dramatic drop of late. Something comparable to yours, except faster, more memory, and more disk space, can easily come in at less than $1K. Seems that Toshiba has lost the market lead that it held for so many years with the Dell and HP now leading the field though Toshiba is still a contender.

    In any case, get out a look around a bit, but don't rely soley on what you see in stores, or what you read off the web, use both and then mix it with a little common sense to filter out the BS from both and you should be able to make an informed decision.

  9. #9

    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    I'm not going to recommend a particular model to you, but I do recommend Centrino laptops. They have Pentium M's, which, while have slower processor speeds, are very powerful processors, and can compete with P4's of higher speeds (up to about a full 1ghz faster). For example, I have a 1.3ghz Pentium M processor in my Gateway laptop, which some people say is about the equivalent to a 2.3ghz Pentium 4. My laptop is about three years old, so speeds have increased since then. The second generation of Centrino technology is widely available these days.

    Good luck!

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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    hi there.. if old 2.4 GHz CPU is not an HT, same 2.4GHz HT will make it almost 2 times as fast. (works like dual processor, called Hyper Threading, old technology yet still very powerful)

    a core duo processor 1.8 GHz could be up to 4 times faster than your old 2.4 Ghz because of the technology used L1 & L2 Cache RAM's. and up to 2 times fast as 2.4 GHz HT Processor

    seeing your needs as mentioned above.... i know you are not interested, but you still......seriously got to visit http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/ yeah.. MAC... very stable and nice.... very very fast too.... good Speakers and good multimedia possibilities. very fast in processing graphics and video... yes it could be $500 more than your budget .. but it would be worth to have a total peace of mind...

    MacBookPro's will have features that NO OTHER windows counterparts will offer...

    what's more.. is it can run Windows XP NATIVELY!!! (no virtual pc .. nothing !!!) Imagine this fact
    http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/ (apples own version)

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* chesterqw's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    A mac is hugely defined as : " fisher price: my first computer"

    i think that is why most people don't want it...

    don't trust the new adverts they have on their site...
    Last edited by chesterqw; 08-16-2006 at 04:47 AM.
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  12. #12

    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    Since you do travel taking it to hotel rooms and such you probably don't want one of those high MHz cpu speed desktop replacement. I'd stick with a business model, examples would be Dell Latitude, HP/Compaq Evo, etc. Most of the major brands make two lines, the home user which may have better sound and such and the business line which have better hinges, stronger case, etc designed to take the wear and tear of traveling.
    Turn it on and shine a bright light at an angle on the lcd and see if you can see the normal images/text that should be there, thats how you can tell the backlight went and yours sounds like it. The inverter for the backlight can be had for under $50 and the bulb for under $20.

  13. #13
    *Flashaholic* CLHC's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    Other than the BIG Name laptop manufacturers, there's Pixel USA ASUS Notebooks which are right around $1500.00 or so. . .

    Hope you find what you're looking for and Enjoy!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    Check out Asus W3J or W7j (I got that one)

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    Flashaholic* Silviron's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    Well, thanks everyone for your input.

    It was just the backlight,

    Unfortunately, getting the CCFL out, one of the conductive tabs for the LCD came off (adhesive just 'let go' ) and I can't figure out how to reattach it, so the bottom 1/3 of the screen is dead

    So, on to plan C... No point in

  16. #16
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    The Intel Merom core laptop chips have started to ship with the laptops equipped with them becoming available in a few weeks. DON'T get a PentiumM or Core Duo unless it uses teh Merom core. Why? The Merom uses 20% less power and is 20% faster and can be had with a 4MB L2 cache. The Merom is also a 64 bit chip for upcoming Vista so you will be ready to go.

    As far as GHz speeds go, the P4 ran as fast as possible wise but a lower GHz speed Athlon64 would kick it down the street in performance and power consumption (desktop chips) Intel had to dump Net Burst/Hyper Threading 125 watt P4 CPUs because AMD was killing them with the faster, cooler running slower speed processors. They went to the PentiumM laptop division and created the Core Duo processors which are based on the laptop chip. Just as IBM, Sun, AMD, Mac and other other processor makers have said, Intel is now saying "MHz don't matter...throughput matters" Rating a CPU with GHz is like rating an LED with watts. Would you rather have a 10 watt LED that produces 80 lumens or a 3 watt producing 100 lumens?

    The new Merom 64 bit dual core processors eat less power and produce less heat which is a good thing for those overworked lithium-ion batteries. I am in the market for a laptop myself and will either go with a Macintosh Macbook 15.4" screen (with bootcamp Mac and Windows XP) or a HP dv2000 with 9 cell lithium-ion extended range battery. Either way, a Merom dual core 2.0GHz processor with 4MB L2 cache will be inside to keep it running nice and cool (and quiet with long battery life)
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    You can get a screen on ebay for $250, it's debatable if putting money in it would be smart or just ivesting in a new laptop, probably would be a matter of personal opinion. If I had a laptop I liked and it was worth it, I would probably invest in a new screen.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silviron
    Well, thanks everyone for your input.

    It was just the backlight,

    Unfortunately, getting the CCFL out, one of the conductive tabs for the LCD came off (adhesive just 'let go' ) and I can't figure out how to reattach it, so the bottom 1/3 of the screen is dead

    So, on to plan C... No point in
    Oops

    Remember when searching for a replacement lcd you can search for the actual LCD brand as well since many laptops from different brands use the same LCD made by sony or sharp or whomever. Sometimes I see LCD's got for under $50

  19. #19
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    Apples os is far superior to any pc system

  20. #20

    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    What ever mac you can get for that money. bar none. if you think otherwise you are wrong......

    they work. all the time.
    no virus's no rebooting. no problems.


    name one PC that can say that

    ok now going back under my rock in my flame resistant suit.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    HP
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  22. #22
    Flashaholic* senecaripple's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    mac pro. get bootcamp, then you wont have to lose your winblose software. and you'll you the best of both world!

  23. #23
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    Default Re: What's the best laptop in ~$1500 range?

    I convinced at least 3 people to get the macbook. In my opinion, the macbook lineup is great but there are some fundamentals that apple still hasn't gotten right. First of all, it is HOT HOT HOT. I don't understand why apple doesn't turn on the fans more to keep the heat out. They want a totally silent laptop but that means suffer the heat consquences.

    Secondly, they advertise windows support but IT IS NOT. Until recently, they have a new version of bootcamp that finally supports the camera and mic in windows. For the longest of time, people were without proper support in windows.

    For what the macbook is, it is a great laptop to run osx but because of proprietary hardware, it will be hard for windows to run completely smoothly on the mac products.

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