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Purchasing a new computer

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hey, Ive had my decrepid pc since 1998 and its high time I purchased a laptop. I plan on doing this purchase withing the next six months and have a budget of $1500 give or take a few banjamins.

I think the brands Im interested in are: Apple (to leave windows mediocrity behind me), Toshiba, IBM, Gateway and (maybe) HP.


You think I should wait for the new windows O/S to come out (so that my pc isnt obsolete three months after purchase or go ahead now? or go with the Apple which are relatively overpriced and still such a niche product?
post #2 of 32
Embrace mediocrity.

The Thinkpad series has always been a good bet. I still plan to get a T43p or whatever they have at the point that my current Dell craps out, but it keeps chugging along.

I don't suggest getting a computer with a new OS (or upgrading to the OS itself on a computer you care about) until it's been out for at least 4-6 months. Give everyone else the chance to find all the bugs and deal with the viruses and random incompatibility at first. Meanwhile, XP Service Pack 2 with all the latest updates runs very solidly.
post #3 of 32
Can't comment on Apple, but I'll back J on Thinkpad T series. Until about an year or so ago, I wouldn't have a considered a machine from that wasn't T series laptop. They are pretty solid in terms of stabilty and build quality. If you're interested in widescreen, you might want to check out Z series as well, but I haven't seen one up-close, so I'll leave that up to you.

I was also quite impressed with the quality of HP/Compaq laptops as of recently. I bought a Compaq 4000T for my mom last year and it's a georgeous laptop.

Toshiba's ok. I usually stay away from Dells and Gateways.

One word of caution, don't get a desktop replacement type laptop. They're bulky and a pain to carry around. Also they run very hot, and will burn through your selvadge jeans.
post #4 of 32
I have been a very satisfied Apple user for years. During that time, though, I have been forced to use PCs for reasons beyond my control. I am pleased with my current Macintosh (a roughly 2 year old PowerBook G4), but my recommendation to you is to buy an IBM with an extended warranty primarily because of the disparity in customer service at Apple and IBM. Apple makes a product that is great to look at and easy to run but an absolute nightmare to service. Their customer service by phone is staffed by people that are unhelpful (the stock response is to take it to a Genius Bar at an Apple store), and getting service at an Apple store is next-to-impossible because the stores are flooded by people with problematic iPods. I once had to wait for over two and a half hours to have my laptop charger replaced (the chargers for PowerBooks are poorly made and have a tendency to short out, by the way) because the Geniuses were busy unfreezing other customers' iPods. IBMs run great, are solidly built, and boast wonderful customer support. Go get one of those. ETA: IBM is in a completely different class than Dell and Gateway. Toshiba is okay, but they're bulkier than IBM's T-series and IBM's support is much better. Absolutely do not buy a Dell, Gateway, or HP.
post #5 of 32
I rock the IBM X-series. I'd highly recommend it. The build quality is the best.
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jodum5
I think the brands Im interested in are: Apple (to leave windows mediocrity behind me), Toshiba, IBM, Gateway and (maybe) HP.
With a well-designed computer now, you don't have to leave Doze mediocrity behind you; modern Macs are capable of running it natively, too. Obviously, if you buy a beautiful new machine you won't want to do the equivalent of shooting it in the foot unless you need to run some proprietary Windows program, but the option is there now. The flexibility of running anything, coupled with price-performance (does anyone else offer the Core Duo in an $1100-$1300 laptop), design, and so on, makes the MacBook a no brainer. Get the middle (Superdrive) MacBook and add RAM/HD to taste. That'll be the quickest, cheapest way into one. Unless you want a black one, then you'll spend your whole budget. That said, I can't tell you anything about Apple tech support, for the simple reason that despite owning several Macs myself (MacBook Pro for general use, Mini core duo for home theater, G5 tower that's in my office, and titanium PowerBook that was my only machine for half a decade and is still a worthy reserve machine) and being indirectly responsible for maintaining a few others I have never had to avail myself of it. And if you want to wait for Vista, you're expecting your new computer to last until what, 2015?
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by metaphysician

I am pleased with my current Macintosh (a roughly 2 year old PowerBook G4), but my recommendation to you is to buy an IBM with an extended warranty primarily because of the disparity in customer service at Apple and IBM. Apple makes a product that is great to look at and easy to run but an absolute nightmare to service. Their customer service by phone is staffed by people that are unhelpful (the stock response is to take it to a Genius Bar at an Apple store), and getting service at an Apple store is next-to-impossible because the stores are flooded by people with problematic iPods. I once had to wait for over two and a half hours to have my laptop charger replaced (the chargers for PowerBooks are poorly made and have a tendency to short out, by the way) because the Geniuses were busy unfreezing other customers' iPods.


How do you screw up an iPod? I have 2 and neither has ever given me any problems.

Jon.
post #8 of 32
I have an IBM T43 now, it works well and never gave me crap. Every final exam I've had during the last 2 semesters, there were at least one person with problems. I did an informal survey recently, and more than 60% of my classmates have Dell laptops and a few have Apple. Keep in mind that many proprietary softwares do not support Apple, as the case for our exam taking software. Even though an IBM is never as sexy as an Apple or a Sony machine, I wouldn't think twice about buying another IBM. The current T60 can be had for under $1500 directly from Lenovo. Check out fatwallet.com for deals on those. This is a good one: http://www.buy.com/prod/Lenovo_Think...202314415.html Just upgrade the RAM to 1gb and you're good to go.
post #9 of 32
Never trust electronics named after perishable food.
post #10 of 32
DO NOT BUY A DELL...

In fact if they give you one, donate it. To someone you really don't like.
post #11 of 32
I've had three generations of T-series Thinkpads and would recommend them without reservation. They do cost more than the other brands but it is worth it.

Note that they are now made by Lenovo and not IBM.
post #12 of 32
What do you plan on doing on your computer? That makes quite a big difference.
post #13 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptChaos
Note that they are now made by Lenovo and not IBM.
Has this made a difference? I know Lenovo built the ThinkPad for years before they bought out IBM's manufacturing concern, but have the products changed or suffered without BigBlue's oversight?
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota rube
Has this made a difference? I know Lenovo built the ThinkPad for years before they bought out IBM's manufacturing concern, but have the products changed or suffered without BigBlue's oversight?

From what I can recall, Lenovo bought the entire division, as is, with staff and all. I don't think they'll screw up a company they've just spent a few billions on. At least for now, the quality stays the same.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
How do you screw up an iPod? I have 2 and neither has ever given me any problems. Jon.
I honestly don't know. I have had my current iPod since 2004 and have not once had a problem with it, but other people seem to be doing things that cause the iPod to stop working.
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