View Full Version : Laptops

07-17-2005, 04:47 AM
It's back to school soon, and I want to buy a laptop - but I've got a few questions. Here I go.

1) Is Wireless G enough - or should I go for something that has G and A or B? What do most people/places use?

2) What would be better - A graphics card that has 128mb of memory that is shared - or 64mb dedicated?

3) Are tablets worth it? I mean, they're cool, but do they offer any functionality that's really worth the extra cash?

Thanks. There's more if you're interested to continue. I have composed a chart of 4 laptops, 1 of them is the one I will buy because I have to get it at best buy. (I have a very large gift certificate to spend) Please tell me which one you think is best, keeping money in mind. Thanks. Image attached.


Oops, I forgot to unbold stuff. FIXED.

07-17-2005, 12:10 PM
I'm leaning towards the gateway on this one only because of the dvd burner. I have heard some stories about the quality of gateway computers/laptops. If you take care of it though you probably won't have too many problems. Wireless G is most of the backwards compatable with 802.11b and a. Dependent upon what you want to do with the laptop, that is play games or strictly for browsing and the everyday college stuff, but seeing as how since I'm a college student myself, games are like everday college stuff. The gateway also is a plus because it has 4 usb ports all the others you compared have 3. However the toshibia m40 and m60 both have more card readers than the gateway, but I'm not sure how much media you would be using. The .13ghz difference in processor speed you won't really notice. I myself have an Athlon 2200+ Mobile 1.8ghz processor on my 40gb presario 2140 laptop.

07-17-2005, 12:16 PM
I'd probably also swing towards the Gateway one, however Tablet PCs are good but are damn expensive, so I'd stick to a normal laptop unless I had real need for a tablet pc.
The graphics on the Gateway are disappointing tho - 64mb dedicated compared to 128 on all the other laptops. Personally I have 64mb dedicated ATI Graphics in my Athlon-M 2600+ laptop :)

You might want to do a bit more research into the battery life of the Gateway, as it isn't stated there...

07-20-2005, 01:03 AM
The Tablets suck - they have such incredibly limited functionality (well, not really, the speed and lack of peripherals makes for this) that I felt like throwing the one I was testing through the window and at a passing bum.

I recommend the 128MB shared, and B and G use the same basic principle, so whatever card you have that has G access, also is capable of B. A is obsolete, the next step is N, but it's not commercially viable yet.


07-20-2005, 02:23 AM
Here are my thoughts. When purchasing a laptop there are three key things to focus on:

Mobility, Battery Life and Functionality.

On the Mobility front, I usually look for a laptop that offers both a wireless interface as well as a land line RJ-45. Along with mobility I look for one that is light (I can tell you that lugging around a laptop on campus can be quite grueling when you add in your books and supplies for classes).

Battery Life is self-explanatory. While not always the case at my school, you will sometimes find yourself needing to use the internal batter more than the AC power source. The more the better. Usually things that can help improve battery life are the ability to dim your screen, whether or not the memory is shared with your video card (shared memory is never a good thing because it gives you overall less memroy).

Functionality deals with will the laptop do what I want it to do and will it do it quickly. Faster processors mean faster application access but do add more drain on your power consumption. Also, while a DVD/CD Burner sounds good, if you have one on your home computer there is really no need for one on your laptop (however with the price of most of these peripherals it really doesn't matter). The more hard drive space the better.

For me I would go with option one cause it seems to give the best bang for the buck.

As for tablets sucking, I personally do not think so. They can be great in a class environment where you often times ditch your laptop in leui of pad and pen to jot down your notes. I really have not had any problems with any of the tablets that I have tested in the past save one. As with any writing recognition software, it really pays to take the time to configure this as if you were just jotting something down.