help my friend get a laptop (not a mac)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by thejadedmonkey, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #1
    My friend's in the US Navy, and he's looking to get a laptop today...

    he likes playing games on it, and wants to spend under $1000. he's going to get it from best buy or the like...

    everything that uses an intel CPU has an integrated GMA950 graphics card, or else they have amd cpu's with NVIDIA GeForce Go 6100 or ATI RADEON XPRESS 1150. Are either of these cards any better than the 950, and is the 950 (what 90% of the laptops have) any good?

    also, if anyone knows how reliable the brands are, or, since everything seems to come with a GMA950, would he be better off getting a $500 laptop and another $500 laptop in a year or two? Is there a model anyone likes you can pick up from best buy, circuit city, or radio shack?

    I guess I should let you know what he wants to do on it...
    games, internet, and I think that's it... so screen size isn't really important. he wants to be able to burn DVD's, but nothing special.. We've both lived off of 256mb's of RAM on XP for a long time so everything with 512,1gig or 2gigs is fine..
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    If you're in the under $1000, must use Windows, want to play games market, can you really avoid looking at Dell? Even though it's not available at a store like that? Is the issue that your friend needs to buy it on shore leave or something like that?
     
  3. thejadedmonkey thread starter macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
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    Pa
    #3
    He's still undergoing basic training.. A school I think they call it.. after boot camp but before deployment.

    And the issue is he wants to talk to a girl and would rather not wait to get the computer, although if dell is really the best choice then i could probably/possibly convince him to do that.

    where he is right now is from what I understand, is right next to a mall, and he's got another month and a half before he goes anywhere.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Mmm, I think wanting a low price computer with relatively good price/performance and not being willing to look at Dell is sort of like wanting luxury accessories but shunning Prada. :p

    The Inspiron 1505 starts at $799... you can get it under $1000 with a 128MB X1300 and a 1.83GHz C2D, or with a 256MB X1400, if you go for a Core Duo. It seems like those video options will be much better than the ones you've mentioned so far.
     
  5. thejadedmonkey thread starter macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #5
    Yeah, I just priced out a dell with an x1400 and CD CPU and it was sub $1000. (E1405 i think) Much better than the prices from best buy and the like, but also it means I'm going to have to convince him..
     
  6. Mac'Mo macrumors 6502a

    Mac'Mo

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  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    An X1400 is still a big step down from a X1600, so won't be able to run today's new games very well, though CS:Source etc. will run fine on it.
     
  8. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #8
    Dell's Inspirons are good. I heard that gateways are nice as well. Try em both out and see what you come up with.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    Is the X1600 available in any sub-$1k notebooks, though?
     
  10. macNEWBIEswitch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    #10
    If your friend's in the Navy, maybe he would like one of the Panasonic Toughbooks. Check out all the used ones on ebay for the features you want.
     
  11. CaptainCaveMann macrumors 68000

    CaptainCaveMann

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2004
    #11
    Seriously, why are you posting this in here? :mad: Go to a PC forum!!!!
     
  12. umiwangu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Malawi
    #12
    I wouldn't go with Gateway. Even though they might have good prices, the tech support stinks. I'm not saying that Dell's doesn't...

    Why not go with a Dell Inspiron E1505? I think a lot of the complaints are that they come loaded with a bunch of crapware. Just make sure that you purchase the OS & driver CDs (additional $10 or so) and then wipe the hard drive and do a fresh install (or have a friend do it if you are uncomfortable with that).

    Reminds me of the "Ready out of the box" Mac commercial... ;-)
     
  13. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    I suppose not, the problem is that laptops (especially cheap ones) aren't great for gaming, but I also can't see how you could use a Desktop on a boat, so it's difficult, the problem is that the computer is never going to be great for gaming :(.
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #14
    I do tend to agree with that, yeah....

    I think the Inspiron that you're looking at (E1405 with the 256MB X1400) will be among the best choices, though, in your price range.

    Also, one more piece of advice is to look at TechBargainsDaily and DealNews.com to look for incentive programs from Dell. They're *cough* insanely frequent.

    I received this one in the mail yesterday, although I have no idea if it's a good deal or not. You're welcome to it, though if you want it:

    20% off all Inspirons (and Dimension e520's) priced >$999:
    6?F3F4027$TVV? -- expires 1/30/07.


    I interpret that particular one to mean that you can price out a computer costing, e.g. $1200 and get the 20% off, bring it to 860, and back into your price range -- you'll have to explore and see which coupons are stackable and which are not.
     

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