Laptop to help?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking that I might buy two laptops. I know ABSOLUTELY
    nothing about them except what they look like and that they are
    mobile and that you can buy a little case to carry them in. That
    is it!

    These are the two goals:
    1. difficult child wants a laptop for schoolwork and for his own internet
    use. I am eager for him to be OFF our computer.
    2. husband wants a laptop to use for his community service work. He
    is Chairman or President of two organizations and wants to do
    grant research have his e-mail available wherever he goes AND he
    wants to learn how to do powerpoint presentations.

    difficult child is 17 (going on 12 or 22 depending on the day) and husband is 75
    (acting 50 somedays and 90 on others).

    I am looking at:
    1. 1GB Presario Laptop, 1GB memory and 60GB hard drive, builtin wireless b/g, Windows vista, burns and plays DVDs&CDs on sale for
    2. 1 Satellite Laptop with AMD Athlon 64x2 dual core processor,
    1 GB RAM, 120 girlfriend hard drive, wireless, dvdrw. $ 399.

    Does either one seem to be OK for my "men"?? I know that more
    memory and hard drive space is better. I have no idea about the
    rest of it. by the way, do these things come with a built-in mouse?
    Do they attach to any printer, scanner machine or do they have to
    be programed to work with a specific one? H e l p, please. DDD
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    I would look at if they have Vista home basic or advanced (whatever the next step up is) I am not familiar with vista, but have heard basic is not so good. I do not know why. Lap tops have a "mouse pad" it is a touch operated pad near the bottom of the key pad, you run your finger over it to move the mouse. I do not like these, and have a wireless mouse for my laptop. They can be attaced to any printer/scanner by a USB cord as long as they are compatible, which most should be.

    I know the processor in the second one 64 x 2 dual core AMD athlon is a better processor.

    I love my laptop, I have used it for many classes and print quite often from it. I like the satelite, but that is just my preference.
  3. WhymeMom?

    WhymeMom? No real answers to life..

    Well, laptops have the ability to hook into printers, scanners, other "peripherals" the same way a desk top would. Check the back of the laptop for access to these connections. I don't know the track record for the models you have described, but for laptops in general here is what I would look for....the most GB in hard drive I could get, more than two USB ports to hook into. Many devices would hook in by USB and if you only have two ports it means you can't do three things at the same time, for example, I like to use my own trackball instead of the built in touch pad (mouse), so I have that plugged in a USB, if I wanted to print something from my laptop I would plug in a printer using the USB port and if I wanted to print something from a flash drive it plugs into a USB too, so I would need three USB ports to do this or would have to unplug something....
    Do get a wireless card.....this means you can easily hook up to any place that has wi-fi: Starbucks, some McDonalds and most public libraries are going with wi-fi......

    Vista is the pits.....if you can get Windows XP, it's much better or at least more reliable. Until the glitches can be worked out of Vista I think you will have problems putting other programs or nonMicrosoft programs on your laptop.

    If you are looking for a gaming computer, laptop is not the way to go, not enough power or screen graphics. Laptops are great for portable info and email. It would be great for PowerPoint presentations. The other thing I would recommend is a backup hard disk drive. This loads everything on your computer in case the laptop dies.....I wouldn't expect this to happen to a new laptop, but you never know when it will happen so better to be safe than sorry. Kids have a tendency to overload a laptop with junk from the internet so it may not be a good thing to share with kids who are not responsible. Laptops are not indestructable either, so if they get dropped could be history. Also they are easier to steal, so make sure they are included in your homeowners policy.

    I hate to say it, but I wouldn't get a laptop to share. It's sure to get messed up by someone and the others would be irritated, so just not worth the trouble.
    Also keep in mind the minute you buy a new computer it becomes "old". A new model will come along every six months or even sooner, so the longer you can "stall" off the purchase, the better a computer you can get. Good luck shopping!

    /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/throwpc.gif :checkwriter: /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/money.gifmoney/forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/money.gif
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    My advice would be to be certain that they contain wireless cards. Since difficult child is younger, try to get an internal wireless card. External cards hang out the side an inch or so, and I am always worried that I will accidentally bang it and break the card and/or the internal connection it goes into. They're more expensive, but worth it.

    I couldn't tell you more about the differences between the computers, themselves. I would want to be sure that you can add memory and peripherals.
  5. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    I'm not a laptop expert by any means. We just got a Dell about a month ago for our difficult child. He uses it right now primarily for gaming (World of Warcraft)and IM, with some schoolwork on the side LOL. We also got it to get him off of our computer. Laptops are fine for gaming, if you put the extra money into it for a better processor, more ram and graphics/sound cards. The ones you listed wouldn't really be good for games. Both, however, would be fine for internet and school/business work. I sent the specs for the one I was considering to a friend of mine who is an IBM analyst and got his nod of approval LOL. Right now, difficult child's laptop is a more powerful/faster computer than our 3 year old desktop. He's loving it. I too got him a wireless mouse as the touchpad mouse, well they :censored2: LOL. I do think you will probably also have to get a wireless router so that the laptops will connect to your internet at home. I don't know much about them either, but the Netgear router I got with difficult child's laptop set up very easily, set by step instruction wizard was good.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911


    As far as your Operating System - almost ALL of the new computers you are going to by anymore will have windows Vista in it. The reason is because Vista does not allow you to take the disk and put it in "any" other computer. Once an OS is registered you will not be able to take the disk and use it anywhere else unlike Windows which you "could" insert the disk in your drive and download it into a new computer. That is the only advantage for Microsoft.

    Yes, get Wireless card AND if there is a need network card.

    Depending on what each of them do "one may do more graphics, computer games etc and the other just want it for writing letter, and email accounts) If that is the case then you need how much they use it for and for what. I do a lot of picture taking/graphics so I would want a better graphics card and HUGE storage capabilities.

    As far as hooking stuff up like printer or external drives for more storage - later on you could get a USB "hub" it's like an extension cord for christmas lights -in theory.

    If you get a deal - and you want to send me the in depth details of RAM, monitor, internal blah blah blah , I'll have my geeky guy look at it and tell me to tell you if it's a good better best deal.

    Also you MAY want to check with any local computer stores where the guys actually build & service them because we get ours built with MORE goodies in them for cheaper and if something ever goes wrong - they are local to fix it, although we've had very few problems most problems we've had were PEBKAC problems (PROBLEM EXISTS BETWEEN KEYBOARD AND CHAIR) go figure.

    I'm not an expert either, but I do know I have had slow runners due to the fact that I didn't spend or know to spend extra money for photo and music share use.

    Hope this helps
  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Another idea is to buy the one for your son used. I got an awesome 2003
    Sony VAIO from Craigs List for only 200.00. It had XP on it, which is better than Vista in my opinion, as well as all the other bells and whistles the new ones have now. New it was probably a 1500.00 laptop, so it was a steal in my opinion. I bought it from a nerdy couple who literally had 5 laptops, and this one was barely used. Just a thought.
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I second The Loan Ranger with the suggestion of a USB hub. Most laptops don't come with more than 2 USB ports, and most peripherals rely on them now. I have a little portable hub with 4 ports that I carry around with me, and a bigger one with 8 ports that sits on my desk at home.

    I would also suggest getting a wireless router for your home. Wireless G is the current standard, and both of the models you mention seem to have wireless G as an option. A wireless router will let you set up a "firewall", essentially a barrier to protect your computers from viruses and other nastiness floating around on the internet. I think some of the newer ones are very easy to set up...I will check with my husband, who is a super-tech-dude.

    As for the models, I have had 2 or 3 different Satellites and I was always pleased with them. My current laptop is an IBM ThinkPad T30, and it's near indestructable. I have knocked it off my desk, dropped it on the floor (inside my computer bag), spilled tea on it, and it just keeps on working. (I used the Satellite as a tea strainer a couple of times too, and it survived)

    If you're buying a new computer, you will likely be stuck with Vista. Microsoft releases "Service Packs" every once in a while that include repairs for all of the glitches.

    That's all I can think of off the top of my head.

    All the best
  9. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmmmmm....I hadn't thought about new used. There's an idea.
    I'm trying to find a friendly computer guy who can guide me along
    the tech road. I've been using the computer daily for probably
    fifteen years but all I know is how to turn it on, how to turn it
    off, how to defrag and clean up the disc. That's it. DDD
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I guess I am just in the minority here. I really like Vista Home Premium. I did not care for Vista Home Basic and have not tried others.

    I like my touchpad. With the hand issues, I find it very easy to use (but only if you know NOT to drag your thumbes across it. It does take some getting used to.

    One thing to think of. Are you planning to replace either on in a year or 2? If yes, you may want to make one set of decisions (not sure which), if no, another.

    But it is OK. I like internet explorer over Mozilla firefox too.

    (please don't hurt me!)

  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: DDD</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
    I'm trying to find a friendly computer guy who can guide me along
    the tech road. I've been using the computer daily for probably
    fifteen years but all I know is how to turn it on, how to turn it
    off, how to defrag and clean up the disc. That's it. DDD </div></div>

    You probably can find a friendly computer guy on Craigs List too. (Just look in the correct category, if you know what I mean :wink: )
    No, seriously, Craigs List has a whole category of people in your area that offer services of different types.
    We also, here in Dallas, have a few companies that are mobile easy child companies, that will come to your home and help. I love them, and they are pretty affordable.

    Good luck.

    PS, before my Sony VAIO I had purchased a brand new Dell, and I really liked it. Unfortunately, I was taking my son to a class at a college, and it got stolen there. Basically right out from under my nose. Another reason I went with a new/used one, because the theft rate at schools for these laptops is seriously high.