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Thread: If you own a laptop, post here
02-02-03, 02:20 PM #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2001
- Augusta Twp, MI
If you own a laptop, post here
OC-Forum Members Laptop Review
If you own, or have used a laptop (more than just the displays you were drueling over at best buy), please tell me how good it was (or how bad).
If you have time, please help me out and post a short review of your laptop.
If you don't know what to write, you can include some of the following:
- Preinstalled Software
- Preinstalled OS
- Processor (upgradeable? sodered?)
- Video (and MB of VRAM)
- Hard Drive
- Screen Size (image quality, resolution)
- Weight/Size (fully loaded, bare bones)
- Price (at time of purchase and what you would pay for it now)
- Tech Support/ Warranty
- General Comments
(I need one for school and play, and thought that the forums would be the best place to inquire about them. Then if anyone else is looking for one, they can look here too. I don't like some of those review sites, because they are sponsored by these laptop manufactorers- and there may be some exchanging of favors there.)
Last edited by diggingforgold; 02-03-03 at 12:35 PM.
02-02-03, 02:31 PM #2
02-02-03, 02:51 PM #3
Toshiba Satellite S171
Intel Celery 1.5ghz (P4 Celeron)
S3 Video - 16mb dedicated VRAM
DVD/CDRW combo drive
15" screen (TFT Active)
Weight I think it was 6.7 or 6.8 lbs...rather heavy though
Size - a bit wider than the screen, and about 1.5inches high
Age -- currently 4-5 months old (bought in August 2002)
Price -- $1049 (in August 2002, after $100 toshiba rebate)
Cheap! At the time, it was one of the cheapest available that still had good feature.
Good features for the price! Came with a 15" screen, DVD/CDRW drive, and 30gb of HDD space. Back in August 2002, this rivaled many more expensive laptops.
Gets the job done -- Does everything I need it to do, but isn't the greatest gamer...does most strategy games fine (like Civ III) and even Unreal Tournament (NOT 2k3) is fine on it. But it's quick enough to do anything else, I've even done Bryce renders on it (although they are considerably slower than on my Athlon rig)
Battery life is decent...on one battery, I can get about 2 hours if I'm just typing or browsing the net.
Support: Toshiba supports other OS's than XP home...Win2000 and even limited Win9x. I also know Linux drivers are available if you search hard...
Heavy. You don't think much about this, but I'd definitely consider a small 12" laptop next time. It's a trade off definitely...I love the bigger screen, but I end up walking about a mile a day with it on my back with the power cords, and my books. I know the books make up a lot of weight in the bag, but the laptop itself is an extra 8lbs (with accessories) to carry around with you.
S3 Graphics: Can't seem to handle games that use DX8...I tried Dominion Wars on it, and everything was yellow. Oh well...it's not a gaming laptop anyway.
Tech support/Warranty: 1 year warranty, not sure about tech support, to be honest, never used/needed it with this laotop.
I do like this laptop alot...it's my first one, but I've used others in my time that other people owned. I do like this one. The screen is particularly nice...REAL sharp, nice colors and contrast, and the tools toshiba gives really let you adjust the screen levels to get it just right if you're picky like me.
Their support for other OS'es besides XP home was great. The first thing I did when I got it home (besides make sure it worked), was to purchase a copy of Win2000 pro oem for it. I put it on, and to my surprise, the Toshiba website had Win2000 drivers AND version of all their add on software ready for download!
I recall doing something similar at work with an HP laptop. HP would not support Win2000 on their laptop, did not have drivers on their site for Win2000 for that laptop (it had XP home), and offered no help tech support wise. I hate them! I HATE THEM! Their idea of tech support was a forum in which customers answered other customers answers, and if you were good at answering questions, you got a sepcial rank to let everyone know how you were a smart customer.
Anyway, on that laptop, it took me all weekend to find the right drivers for the hardware. HP can in hell.
Anyway, setting up Win2k on it was a breeze.
It's been working great since.
My only complaint is that the harddrive seems to click every now and then. Like its idle, but accessing, you hear an access rythimically, like once a second. It'll do that for about 30 seconds before chilling out...it's a tad annoying.
Anyway, it's also very quiet.
As for cooling, I've heard people claim that toshiba used desktop processors, and they'd throttle. Well I've monitored that using CPUID and even at full tilt there is no throttling.
I'd definitely recommend this laptop based on price and what you get. Just don't expect to be fraggin' in UT2k3 with it.
PS Don't buy an HP!System: Epox 8R3DA Pro/2500Barton@3200+/1024mb Patriot RAM/ATi (BBA) 9800Pro 256mb/
250GB Seagate HDD/Home-modded case (Not pre modded!) - Running Ubuntu Linux 8.04
"It must be said that genuine compassion is not like pity or a feeling that others are somehow lower than you. Rather, with genuine compassion you view others as more important than yourself." -- Dalai Lama
02-02-03, 03:02 PM #4
Toshiba Satalite T2135CS
12 mb ram
500 mb hd
2 pcima slot
Cost paid: nothing (it was worth $2000 at one point though)
Pros: cheap, can do word procsesing, play old dos games.
Con: slow, not enough hd space, no cdrom, its not a P4
I like it and I take it on trips so I can do some school and and play games.
Would I buy one? No.
02-02-03, 05:46 PM #5
Model: Tecra 8000
Preinstalled OS and Software Package: What?
Video: NeoMagic 8mb
DVD/CDROM/CDRW: CD 24, DVD 4
Hard Drive: 10.8 gig (built-in)
Screen Size: 14.1
Weight/Size: 5.6 lbs
Age: It's pretty damn old.
Price: It was given to me as a present, but it is resellable on ebay for $400. A New one will run $650
Pros: Decent Processor (opens up programs fast), Runs Linux beautifully. Has USB, Serial, S-Video line out and light weight. Fits easily in most carrying cases and looks sharp. Good ram too (256 dimm). Nice big HD. The perfect WP (word Processor) unit. Good sized screen and an overall nice design.
Cons: Has that pesky mouse button in the keyboard instead of a touchpad (As it grows old, the button becomes harder to use because it peels out), Not ungradable friendly (new chip and ram can be put in, but too expensive to upgrade for just a pinch more of power), No Midi (Arg.. Can't use it as my music-making workstation). Can definatly use more processing power.
Recommended: Not for the price. You can do MUCH better with a little saving up.
Tech Support/ Warranty: Toshiba has fantastic Warranty plans and tech support (Mine is no longer under warranty).
General Comments: I had this laptop for a year now (given to me from a friend who got a Sony Vaio). I always wanted a laptop but I simply can't shell out the money for a high-end one (which is really what i want). But this laptop is perfect for me because I use it for work. All I need is something to run my spreadsheets, reports, check e-mail and other various this-and-that. I figure in the world of laptops, there are two varieties.
i. The low-end units that cost ya' a couple hundred bucks (usable for WP, WEb browsing, e-mail, office work, etc.)
ii. The high powered one that are faster than most people's desktops (capable of playing the latest graphic intense games and running high-proccessing software)
Other Notes: The Tecra series also has 2 PCIMA slots, built in 56K modem, and... OMG.. Firewire.
Would I buy one? No..............
02-02-03, 06:02 PM #6
make - NEC
model - Versa Note
preinstalled os - windows 95 (i formatted the hd and put win2k pro on it)
processor - intel mobile pentium 2 @ 233 MHz
video - 2 mb neomagic magicgraph 128xd
cd-rom - teac 24x cd-rom
hard drive - 3.02 gb ibm
screen size - 13 inch
weight/size - i would guess about 7 pounds?
age - probably a good 5-6 years i am guessing
price - free (got it from my dad's work)
pros - works great for word processing, internet, secondary machine
cons - battery is dead due to how old it is; i keep hitting the freakin touchpad mouse when i am trying to type!!!!
tech support/warranty - very little tech support & no warranty due to the age of the machine
Last edited by mbentley; 02-02-03 at 07:45 PM.intel i5-750 -- msi p55-gd65 -- 4 x 4gb ddr3 1600 -- msi gtx550 ti cyclone oc 1gb -- antec p182 -- ocz fatal1ty 750w -- windows 8.1 x64
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02-02-03, 06:18 PM #7
Model - ibook 4177
preinstalled OS- win98SE/works 98/quicken/windvd
CPU- Celeron 500 mhz soldered to the board, no upgrade
ram- 64mb sdram
video- ATI Rage Fury Pro 4mb
cd-rom- 12x sony DVD
HDD- 5.8 GB
weight- about 6-7 lbs
age- 2 1/2 years
price- $600 after rebates
onboard modem, 2 USB ports, PC card slots, printer, audio-out
Pros- good for everything but gaming and other heavy-weight apps, warm but never really hot in the lap
Cons- limited upgradeability, battery life 2 hours, one bad pixel on screen
Warranty/Tech Support- 90 day, option for more if you pay... tech support helps me via live chat when I have questions for free
Current state- Win2k/Redhat 8 dual boot, 192mb sdram, folding since last April, used for SSH and VNC to work from anywhere.
02-02-03, 06:48 PM #8
Dell inspiron 8200
P4 1.7 Ghz
384 mb DDR SDRAM (It came with 256)
30 gig hd
Geforce 4 440 64mb
cd rw fixed drive
modular bay (dvd and floppy drives)
2 usb, 2 pcmia, printer, audio out, firewire, optical, com, serial, ps2, svideo out, onboard modem and ethernet (10/100)
win xp pro
3 year warranty at home service
8lbs, came with decent carrying case
got it in july 2002 for about $2000 (have a family member who works at abbott, got 15% off)
she is beautiful!! works great, never had any problems. a little exspensive, but dell is great quality. i use it for online gaming( aa, both UT's, bhd, quake, wolfenstein...etc..), programming, cad, mathematica, music editing and web design.... performance has never been an issue.
02-02-03, 08:59 PM #9
- Join Date
- May 2002
- san jose, CA
Make : HP Pavillion
Model : ZT1000
Preinstalled OS and Software Package: XP homes, Corel Package, Norton Anti,
Processor : Intel 1.6 PIV
RAM: 512 Mb DDR 2100
Speed: 1.6 Ghz
Video: Mobility 7500
DVD/CDROM/CDRW: Toshiba combo DVD and CDRW 8x4x32, USB floppy drive
Hard Drive: Toshiba 40Gb
Screen Size: 15'
Weight/Size: 6'8 / 1'5 inch think
Age : 4 months
Price : $1500 after $150 rebate
Pros: Mobility, enough power to do anything.
Cons: Power drain too fast with default battery, last around 1.5+ hour with heavy use.
Tech Support/ Warranty: Very good, recently the DVD CDRW was for some reason went out on me, called tech support, described the problem, went through some basic trouble shooting with them. After 15 mins, was given a FEDEX number so I can ship it to them, they fixed it and returned to me within 48 hours after received.
General Comment: Overall a decent Laptop, nice interface, easy to access, since the scroll pad is right next to the mouse screen, TV out was cool. But if you want something higher than 1078 resolution, this is not it, max it can do is that.Asus P5Q Deluxe
Intel Q9550 @ 3.4 Ghz
4 Gbs Kingston 1066
Saphire 4780 1Gb version
1 Raid 0 for scrap (2)
1 Raid 1 for OS (2)
1 Raid 10 for data (6x)
02-02-03, 09:22 PM #10
- Join Date
- Apr 2001
- Augusta Twp, MI
Excellent job you guys. Very useful info. Keep em coming!
02-02-03, 09:40 PM #11
Re: If you own a laptop, post here
Model: Inspiron 8200
Preinstalled OS and Software Package: XP Home and Works
RAM: 512mb PC2100
Video: Geforce4 440 Go 64mb
DVD/CDROM/CDRW: 8xDVD, 8xCDRW combo drive
Hard Drive: 40gb(4500rpm I think)
Screen Size: 15" UXGA
Weight/Size: Around 9lbs with both batteries in.
Age: 6 mos.
Pros:Lovely screen. Great performance. Plays games very well. Tons of ram(512mb) so multitasking is bliss. Just a tad slower than my 1.4ghz Tbird desktop. 3 1/2 hours of battery life with both batteries. Integrated wireless. Firewire port. Has both a touchpad and pointing stick. Its speakers fire sideways so you don't obstruct the sound, and btw, for lappy speakers, they sound great!
Cons: Its heavy, but I knew that going in and am fine with it. Its not something to drag around everywhere, but its portable and goes with you. No USB 2.0. Unless you have Dell at home or something service, you ship to dell for support(but they send back next day air, and guarantee a turnaround of 3 days, so its not so bad).
Tech Support/ Warranty: 3 years, mail to dell service. No accidental protection.
When looking for laptop it came down between Gateway 600XL and Dell's 8200. Both desktop replacement notebooks. Toshiba's notebooks are loaded, but have very poor battery life(the good ones don't have mobile CPUs). Plus three year warranty from Cusa or Bestbuy. The gateway had a bigger screen(15.7" SXGA) but the Dell had a UXGA. Went for the higher quality screen. I kind of wish I had gotten one a little lighter, but not enough to give this guy up. I take him everywhere for computer repairs and all. The CDRW on the go is great, even if its 8x. Tremendous battery life. Keyboard feels good(no problems typing on it). The touchpad and pointing stick work fine. It looks good. In general, I love it. It was pricey when I got it, and this was with some freebies. Had I been looking in sub $2000 market for al laptop, I probably would have gone with a Toshiba. Definately consider weight. And don't worry about the review sites like zdnet. Their reviews are dead on with the 8200, and for the ones I went to test drive at stores(including the Gateway since we have one of their Gateway Country stores). Be sure to factor in warranty costs at retail stores.Cameron: Are you crazy, House? You can't divide by zero! The server is almost overloaded as it is, despite us having pumped it full of matrices!
Foreman: He was right about that infinite sequence last week... maybe we didn't consider this could be an asymptotic problem.
House: This is the only way! Sometimes solutions are NP complete and there's nothing anyone can do about it! Foreman, sneak into the physics department and reroute their servers to ours, we need the extra processors if we don't want this equation to go quadratic on us. Chase, patch the memory leak and install Matlab 9.3.
Chase: Shouldn't we be using Mathematica for potentially asymptotic functions?
House: When I want your opinion, I'll do an affine transformation to get it. I'm off to see Cuddy. Those parabolic eigenvalues of hers must be good for something.
02-03-03, 12:14 AM #12
p4 2.0ghz (not mobile)
384mb pc2100 DDR
32mb ATI Mobility Radeon
20 gb hd
2 months old
(the original config only had 128mb of RAM so I added another 256mb which cost another $100)
I love it! it's excellent to have a powerful mobile machine. i got a good deal on it. It'll run castle wolfenstein and ghost recon (with an occasional blip in performance) but for $999 i can't really complain. It starts up faster than my XP 1700 machine. The screen is okay, although the only resolution that works is 1024 x 768, if you try to change it to a higher resolution you have to scroll down to see the toolbar. I didn't opt for a CD-R because i have no use for it (both my desktop machines have burners). I do web design for the local chamber of commerce, so I usually have IE, fireworks, and dreamweaver (and sometimes photoshop) running at once, without any real performance issues. It has a VGA out on it, so at work I hook an external monitor up to it for a second screen.
I haven't used the DVD player much, and when I bought it there were several options i should have added (if you buy at a gateway store you have 15 days to come back and get any upgrades for the price listed on their website.) it would have been an extra $25 for a 30gb HD (instead of the 20) and another $20 for a high capacity battery. it'll run for about 90 minutes on a fully charged battery. the RAM i added i bought at best buy, although i've seen it at amazon or techbargains for as little as $54, and gateway wanted $199 for the same amount. It took a fair amount of bravery for me to put the ram in myself....but i saved a lot of money and had no problems with it.
the only issue i really have with it is the actual case is a bit clunky. the keyboard/touchpad area is completely flat and the edges aren't really rounded. in that respect the dells are much more ergonomic and also quite a bit thinner i believe. It has a pc card slot, and i've used wireless with it and had no problems. I did a lot of shopping around before buying this machine, and i'm very happy with it. there was an option for a 15" screen ($100 i believe) and also a 2.4ghz p4 ($150 i believe) but really most mobile computing solutions don't need 2.4 ghz of cpu power. the 15" screen would be nice but it's not a necessity IMHO. it's nice to be able to store all my data (school, work, etc) in one location.
the fan is a bit loud but it's not on all the time, and it's also the price i'm prepared to pay in order to have an extra bit of performance.
all in all it was a great buy and it's great to use.
I should also note that i bought this in-store, so there was no shipping but i got the website price, and i didn't have to wait for it. if i would have had any upgrades, all i would have had to do was bring it back to the store (after they ordered the parts and they arrived) and they would have done the upgrade for just the price of the hardware...although it would have taken about 48 hrs. I would have had to order the upgrades within 15 days of purchase to get the lower price though. the day after i bought it the price went up to $1099. it's similar to this machine here
Last edited by h20link; 02-03-03 at 12:19 AM.
02-03-03, 12:41 AM #13
o Inspiron 4000
Preinstalled OS and Software Package
o Me- changed to XP
o Celery 600 / now P3 850
o 64MB cas/cl 3 PC 100 // 512 Kingmax cas/cl 2 PC100
o 8MB ATI agp rage
o CD 24X / DVD swap / CD-RW by USB 2.0
o 6GB Hitachi ATA 66 / 20GB IBM FDB ATA 100
o 12.5 X 10 X 1.5
o weight ??
o 3yrs +
o $1050 w/ nextday // add about $50-100 for the upgrades I did (after I sold the old parts)
o Very easy to work on / powerful enough for most things / built in TV out / good size screen loads of options for upgrading (CPU, HDD, mini-PCI, ect.) / the mini-PCI was set up for a combo (intel pro100 combo )
o Dells cost more than most / I dont like the cover catch the one on the 3000s was better / the batteries dont last as long as I would like but for me I plug it in 99.9% of the time and have an AC adapter at work and home
o Yes all the Inspirons are well built
Tech Support/ Warranty
o Pricy but worth it (the screen died on me, and it was fixed next day)
o Good over the long haul / buy a striped down one and go to eBay and max it out for a third of what Dell would charge but do research first on components
02-03-03, 07:34 AM #14
I have a Dell Latitude XPi with a Pentium 100. Someone at work brought it to me to fix. I did and gave it back to them. The battery does not work and it did not have a CD-ROM or modem. That person decided it would not work for them and gave it to me. I aquired a modem an use it to check email on vacation. Not bad for free. The original problem was that the pins were bent on the power cable, other than that it has not had any problems.Forum Moderator
02-03-03, 10:39 AM #15
- Satellite 1115-S103
Preinstalled OS and Software Package
- Windows XP Home Edition, MS Works, Quicken, Norton AV, Toshiba utilities. (removed XP and installed 2K, works fine)
- Intel Celeron
- ATi M6-C
- 20GB IDE ATA-5
- 14.1" TFT
- Purchased brand new at BestBuy in December 02.
- $1000 at BestBuy - $500 in rebates = $500 + Tax
- Cheap (assuming I get my rebates) does the job I bought it for. Has modem, nic, 3 USB, vga & tv out, 2 x PC card slots, 256MB SDRAM expandable up to 512MB.
- It's not top of the line, no floppy drive, battery lasts about an hour.
- I would recommend at the price I got it at, probably not for at the full price though.
Tech Support/ Warranty
- Don't remember, I'd have to dig up the information at home.
- It's a cheap laptop that works for me. Not the best but I don't need the best for what I use it for. Pretty light to carry around too.It's not so much about knowing all the answers, as it is about knowing where to get them.
02-03-03, 12:22 PM #16
- Join Date
- Apr 2001
- Augusta Twp, MI
How did you get a $500 rebate?!?
02-03-03, 01:28 PM #17
Re: If you own a laptop, post here
- Make: Dell
- Model: Inspiron 3800
- Preinstalled Software: I've forgotten if any
- Preinstalled OS: Win98SE
- Processor (upgradeable? sodered?): Stuck w/ what they give ya
- Speed: P3 600MHz
- Video (and MB of VRAM): ATI Rage mobility - AGP 2x, 14.1 inch screen.
- DVD/CDROM/CDRW: media bay so you can buy what you want
- Hard Drive: 4.6GB HD - still in there
- Screen Size (image quality, resolution): I think it's just fine. 1024x768
- Weight/Size (fully loaded, bare bones): It's not to bad except for when both batteries are in. Not something you can hold out by the edge
- Age: 2.5 years
- Price (at time of purchase and what you would pay for it now): With all the accessories, warrantee it was a whooping $2300
- Pros: Probably the coolest thing is that it has both the touchpad as well as the mini joystick, so you wouldn't have to complain about which one it had
- Cons: I can't really say that it has any big cons besides the normal laptop ones (poor sound, gets hot)
- Recommended?: It was great in it's hayday
- Tech Support/ Warranty: I have yet to need any support
- General Comments: This thing has been one workhorse of a laptop. I've used it at school all the time, even became my main rig when my desktop was down with problems for up to months at a time. The HD is a bit small, but that's easy enough to upgrade if it was absolutely neccessary. Another cool thing is that this was when laptops were first exprimenting with color and I have an awesome dark cranberry color that's visable when you open it up. And at this point, the two batteries I got for it are just starting to show their age. I always kept it plugged in if possible and in general pamper those bats. I can't believe they've lasted this long though.
Also I think a few problems have popped up since it recived a pretty good fall (damn cat). the modem cable has to be pulled tight and down to make a connection and one of the RAM slots is buggy. I'll probably send in the laptop in the next month or so to see if I can't get that fixed.
02-03-03, 01:34 PM #18
I have owned and used tons, so here goes.
Dell Inspiron 8100
Geforce 2 Go 32mb vram
15" XUGA+ (1600X1200)
About 8lbs. (This thing is huge)
About 1yr old
Free from work.
Warrenty: 3yrs on site (Costed extra)
Tech Support: Dell tech support is good if you are a company, but as an indivudual it sucks.
Pro: Huge screen & huge resolution. Great for playing games. With two batteries installed it has about 8hrs of life. It is highly customizable, if you don't mind paying for it.
Cons: Heavy, but that's what you get with a screen that big. This first came in my company as a laptop for a sales manager, but with 4 calls to tech support in 3 months, and a week in the shop, he got a new one, and I "inherited" the old one. From what I can piece together from Dell support this thing has always had problems, thank goodness for the warrenty.
Recommend: Yes, despite the technical problems, it is a great laptop. Very versital, and powerful.
Toshiba Portege 300CT
Pentium 133Mhz w/ MMX
1.6 GB HD
Chips & Technology (B65554) w/ 2MB VRam
10.4" Active Matrix Color (1024x600 max resolution)
Must have come with Win95, but I have Slackware Linux 8.1 on it now
Age: Super old
Price: Free from a friend, he works tech support of a big law firm and they gave him a pallet of 20 of these.
Pros: Light and small. Great for running Linux, or Win98. Cheap, you can get these on ebay for like $30-100. All in all a nice little laptop, I have spent hours and hours on this little guy.
Cons: No CD-ROM drive installed, you have to buy a separtate dock, thank goodness for NFS installs.
Recommend: Yes, if you can get it cheap, ie sub $50.
Compaq Presario 1650
Cirrus Logic someorother 4mb Vram
12.1" TFT (800x600)
Price: Free from work. But ebay has them for about $80-150.
Pros: Not much, I wasn't happy about this one. It doesn't like Win2K, and it doesn't like Linux. The only good thing that I could find was the fact that you could get an old PII mobile proccessor off ebay for cheap to upgrade.
Cons: Big & bulky. No Bios options. Max screen resolution is 800x600, yes you can have higher, but then you get into virtual screens, and that sucks.
I have two other older, 486, laptops a home, but they are so old and obsolete that I won't even mention them.
I also used a Dell Latitude C640 for a few days, and have to say that I would recommend those laptops whole-heartedly. The have the preformance of the high end Inspirons, but weigh half as much. This one had a P4 2.0GHz, 512mb RAM, 40GB HD, ATI 7500 mobility, DVD/CDRW, etc. very nice machine. I think the price was about $1500. If you have the cash that would be the way to go.
02-03-03, 02:58 PM #19Originally posted by diggingforgold
How did you get a $500 rebate?!?It's not so much about knowing all the answers, as it is about knowing where to get them.
02-03-03, 03:03 PM #20
- Join Date
- Nov 2002
Make: Sony Vaio
Model: PCG gr370
O/S: Win XP home edition
Processor: Pentium 3, 1.13 ghz.
Ram: 256mb pc133
Display: 15.1" XGA
CD: dvd/cd-rw combo
Onboard 10/100 lan, 56k modem, Firewire, Sony memory gate, 3 usb 1.1
very light excellent performance.. good software package too...