HP/Compaq 14 inch widescreen laptop computers

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by bousozoku, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #1
    I've been trying to figure out how to afford a 15.2 inch PowerBook and can't really com up with a way. It's just too expensive and getting AppleCare service is dodgy in Floriduh, since saying that you use a computer doesn't mean that they'll believe you and fix the machine under warranty.

    The latest lines from HP and Compaq are light and reasonably powerful and inexpensive. There are two drawbacks--that they run Windows and that the graphics hardware is decidedly pathetic.

    Considering that I need to run graphics software to do some light photo editing on location and print some photos, I think the graphics hardware is not a problem.

    I've run a WinXP Professional machine in the past and it was acceptable. I think with the right software to keep it secure, I won't have to worry too much.

    Anyway, the warranty options on the Compaq version are better and it comes with the media card reader. Either way, they're the same machine:

    http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/s...otebooks/hp_pavilion&storeName=computer_store

    http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/s...ooks/compaq_presario&storeName=computer_store

    Thanks for any help/insights! Flaming me is unnecessary.
     
  2. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

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    #2
    If you go PC go HP. It's a shame that you are cutting corners in buying your computers. I would just wait a little longer to raise money are see if there is a price drop at MWSF Tuesday.
     
  3. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

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    #3
    Well, have you considered the iBooks? They're great machines. I use my iBook (see sig) for light image editing (and sometimes not-so-light) and even light iMovie video editing occasionally. And it actually works great. The G3 is starting to show it's age, and with the coming of Tiger I'm looking to get a new machine, but the new G4 iBooks, they're gonna eat your needs for lunch. Don't dismiss them :)
     
  4. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    #4
    I couldn't disagree more. I've had absolute wretched luck with HP and with Compaq.

    My vote goes for Dell.
     
  5. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

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    #5
    Go easy on him, he is a long time Mac lover.

    I didn't get a hard look at either of the comps, but i would get a cheap ibook. Its your call though.

    It also depends on your needs. It seems as a small windows comp just might be what you want (maybe for a year til g5's come out)

    kyle


    p.s we will talk soon. (this is too bousozoku)
     
  6. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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    #6
    You pay for what you get, try Fry's if it is available, they have excellent hardware warranties. Maybe you can order online. Online outlets offer a new dimension. Applecare has been lacking in my opinion, when I needed a CDRW changeout they wanted me to pay an extra $50 to back up my hard drive. Maybe cause it was Newport Beach and they thought I wouldn't mind the extra expense, I was a little disappointed. After that I went with an Apple comp from a third party retailer (Fry's) that while not meeting my software advice needs covered the hardware requirements completely. Complete replacement with the latest matching model if they cannot fix the problem. I am relying on sites like this and others when it comes to software advice. Though one of the benefits Apple claims is not needing as much software support.

    You may save some bucks on a PC model but will it be usuable for as long? Not to mention the PC related plagues of Spyware and the virus scourge.
     
  7. mms macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Like others said, check out the iBooks first, but I've heard that the ThinkPads are among the best of the PC notebooks. Any aversion to that?
     
  8. fuzzwud macrumors regular

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    #8
    I do not recommend Compaq products. They're a pain to upgrade and fix. I had a friend with a broken Compaq laptop screen, and I had a Presario that was incredibly limited to only 128 MB RAM (it was many years ago, a K6-2 AMD processor). The logic board of the desktop fried too. If you get a PC laptop, I'd recommend Dell, IBM, or Toshiba. I had a Dell M60 Precision line; it was fast but it was almost twice as heavy as my Powerbook G4. I do not have personal experience with IBM or Toshiba laptops.
     
  9. budugu macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Try IBM R51 series that should be cheap enough... otherwise in 15" there is no good offering from DELL. ASUS/Sharp(AMD stuff) also make reasonably light laptops in 15" segment. If weight is not an issue sony's DTRs might also make the cut. fujitsu books are little difficult to get but they are also very good, they are actually my second pref (i am not sure of the support!).
     
  10. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #10
    I appreciate the useful comments. (CaptainCaveMann, evolve!)

    I have an aversion to Dell. At a recent job at a company of 50,000 people, 3 of 5 brand new Dell machines were returned as defective.

    I wonder about IBM's PC business now that it's been sold.

    The iBooks are interesting but then, I don't want 1024x768. I want a widescreen so I can locate the tools away from the photos. Obviously, with small displays, there isn't enough visible work area and I've been working with 1024x768 on a 15 inch LCD for the last 4+ years.

    I really don't want an x86 machine but I was impressed with the HP/Compaq model as I have been impressed with PowerBooks and it relates to the 15.2 inch model in many ways, except the graphics hardware. Besides that, there are times when I need Windows compatibility and Virtual PC doesn't always do it right.

    I'm hugely undecided. Why would I ask MacRumors members about this? MacRumors members have been everywhere and have seen everything and I knew that I could get some really intelligent responses. :)
     
  11. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

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    #11
    I understand the problem with you and the 12" screen.
    I personally don't mind. But my eyes are young. I really don't know what to recommend to you, my obvious first choice (with your photo work) is a Mac, Just to steer clear of the x86 side of the fence.

    kyle
     
  12. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #12
    A Machine is a machine. If the man needs a PC to do his work, then there yah go, get the PC. Many PC users post here about PC questions, this is a primarily Mac forum but these things are common now a-days. I have a PC for games, I hope I don't get burned at the stake! :eek: :D Haha
     
  13. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    It's more that a 12 inch display has a resolution of 1024x768 and a widescreen display makes life with Photoshop so much more bearable. If the 15.2 inch PowerBook were $400 fewer, there would be only a question of warranty, which is a sore point with me.

    Most of the x86 machines are too heavy, considering that my backpack already has 10 pounds or so of photo equipment. The Centrino combination weighs in at 5.33 pounds--very PowerBook-like. I'm sure I'll be weighing the options for a while.
     
  14. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #14
    Since they're essentially the same computer, I'd say go with the HP. A friend of mine has had both, and she says her HP was much better. She doesn't know a lot about computers, but at least her opinion isn't biased.

    Here's a question:
    How has CaptainCaveMann survived so long here with no social skills?
     
  15. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #15
    We've had nothing but grief from various Dell laptops at work. I would probably go HP personally, since at this price point I don't know what (if any) machines are on offer from Toshiba or IBM.

    The crappy integrated video hardware is balanced out by the good screen, and the screen is more important for video editing in any case. I vote HP.

    Captaincavemann's name is rather a propos considering his behavior, eh?
     
  16. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #16
    Well to get back on topic. I'd see what happens at Macworld, the rumored speed-bumps don't look too impressive unless they do something with the price. After Macworld then you can safely choose the machine you want, that HP one does look nice. Hope it doesn't get too hot like my friend's HP laptop. :)
     
  17. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #17
    I would suggest, as have others, that you either consider a 14" iBook (great machines by the way) or consider saving, or look for a Refurbed machine from Apple.

    I have always had trouble with photos on Windows, problems with cameras, drives, printing, not to mention poor color calibration. Furthermore, Dell, Compaq and HP all make fairly dodgy machines: Dell has a significant DOA rate and unless you are a business client you're second class while HP and Compaq continue to be the Dweedledee and Deweedledum of the IT industry.
    I would suggest, if you must go to Windows, that you entertain either Fujitsu or IBM who make good machines. Sony's used to be decent, but their VAIOs have reached the craptastic level of Dell in my opinion.

    Again, I've used Win9x-XP SP2, IRIX, Linux, and OSX and I can't imagine using a Windows machine at this point. This morning, Walter Mossberg, noted columnist for the Wall Street Journal, said on NPR that using Windows amounted to being your own IT department, and most people spent more time keeping the machine going than actually "computing."
     
  18. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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    #18
    I've had good luck with Sony Vaios. We have several in our family, and they have not given us any problems. My mom owns a Toshiba, its big and heavy but solid as a rock. Sony makes a widescreen 13" notebook, but last time I checked it was more expensive than a Powerbook. I owned a Sony TR3A for awhile (the small 10" widescreen notebook)... it was a solid product.
     
  19. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #19
    I find this happens with every brand, someone always gets a good one and someone else always gets a lemon—although this hopefully happens less with apple;)—and I always wonder why?
    The VAIO we bought at work for some guy was a total crapbag, buggy, flaky, with an odd firmware problem we could never sort out. It was big, heavy, thick and I think the purple is an odd color, but your VAIOs may have been great. The Toshibas are tanks, I agree.
    I guess, my point is for bousozoku: everyone has their favorites and their lemons, take our anecdotal evidence with a grain of salt.
     
  20. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    Thanks for the continued support and suggestions!

    I hope that by this time tomorrow, Apple will have released or announced upgraded PowerBooks with somewhat lower prices and I won't have to consider a bump in the road called Windows.

    I really do want a widescreen PowerBook/iBook. While the 14 inch iBook has screen volume, it also has the same 1024x768 of the 12 inch, which doesn't get the tools away from whatever current image under edit. Maybe, Apple will introduce a 14 inch widescreen iBook to satisfy my need. It would be nice to have an iBook to match the iPod in so many ways. :)

    The reliability aspect always bothers me about laptop computers in general. None of them have impressive reliability. My IBM L40SX and my PowerBook G3/233 were both reliably boring and poor performers but didn't break down. However, I see a few complaints, even about Apple but I hold them in high regard for great, if sometimes conservative, hardware.

    Maybe, that Ferrari-branded Acer notebook, if only iGAV would approve. ;) :D
     
  21. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #21
    Now to get back on topic (once again). I think you'd like the 12" PowerBook for something that's very portable. I'm extremely happy with mine, sure it's the old 867mhz model but I love it. But, since you mentioned the widescreen the 15" PowerBook may be for you. I like the 15 inch screen to but, I like my 12 inch screen fine and I wouldn't like carrying around a bigger computer with a bigger chance of more pixels going dead. The iBooks are nice but I think you'd be happy with the PowerBook, knowing the work that you do you'd enjoy all the speed and power you can get your hands on.

    We'll see what Apple does *crosses fingers* :D
     
  22. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #22
    Well, still no PowerBook/iBook updates. I expect they'll be coming in a couple of weeks but who knows?
     
  23. TheMac19 macrumors regular

    TheMac19

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    #23
    I might be kickign a dead horse, but...

    If the make or break on a new powerbook is really only a few hundred bucks for you, is that factoring in edu pricing? If not, do you know any students/teachers/gov't workers, etc who could order a pb for you? That'd just about make up the price difference and you'd have the machine you want.

    Of, if you need the powerbook to be $400 cheaper than the edu discount, have you though about joining the ADP program (that is what it's called, isn't it?) That would get the price down dangerously near where you're aiming. And yes, of course there's always the ol' refurb and previous generation machines, not to mention used ones.

    If you've gotta go pc, then I guess go pc, but with 10lbs of photo equipment in your bag, it sure smells like you want/need the powerbook enough to justify it. for what it's worth, I think those 14" widescreens do look good, if not a little mac-inspired... My experience doing heavy photo editing on XP machines has been somewhat touch and go. Photoshop is fine enough, but when it comes time to print, things never seem to print quite the right size, when being exact counts. (I tell a photo to print 2" by 2" on my powerbook, and it does exactly that, but on XP it's comes out about 15% off, very annoying, and that's using the same printer...)
     
  24. bousozoku thread starter Moderator emeritus

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    #24
    Thanks!

    I looked at refurbished units first. Considering how many I've seen and how many people have complained about trouble, I'd rather start with a PowerBook that's been repaired once to avoid having to let go of it right away. Also, the state of AppleCare in Floriduh means I don't trust Apple to take care of the machine anyway. :( ADC does have discounts, too.

    I knew that there were some inaccuracies with Windows but I wasn't really too sure about what they were since it's been so long since I used anything but Acrobat on that side. Of course, I wonder about how well it handles the photos when they're the same size as standard paper. If it does better with 13x19 or 11x17 or 8.5x11 or 4x6, then I'm set.

    A local friend who owns a PowerBook was out with me yesterday and we were passing by CompUSA and decided to stop. As usual, they had no new Apple stuff but we kinda compared the two machines and he considered that the Compaq version seemed quite nice, other than the graphics hardware and the fact that it's running Windows. :D
     
  25. TheMac19 macrumors regular

    TheMac19

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    #25
    Actually, i found the sizing of pictures printed through Windows XP hugely troubling, regardless of my intended size. I first noticed it when printing 4x6 boarderless photos on 4x6 glossy paper, the image filled the paper, but was cropped. For a snapshots here or there it might not matter, but it's a huge hinderance when doing exact work. Later I was working on a project that required ten pictures to be printed various smaller sizes, to be mounted on multiple layers of glass within a frame, so they had to be exact. It was like pulling teeth, I was working in, and printing from, photoshop. It's not like I was using some shady software in between. Yet regardless of what size i was trying to print, it wouldn't come out right. This was on a new dell pc & hp printer this fall, and after two days of work, things simply wouldn't print the size I set the images at. It was close-ish, but not right. I finally measured the descrepancy and came up with an approximate error ratio to resize the images to, what a pain in the arse, and still not exactly perfect. A few days later, powerbook in hand, I hooked up to the same printer and everything printed perfectly, first shot.
    I couldn't possibly understand why everything was off with the pc, but just attributed it to another pc issue that we'll never understand.

    This has happened to me on various xp machines, maybe there's an easy solution in windows someplace, (aside from working out the error ratio on paper...) but i sure couldn't find it. I thought it might be a printer issue, but the powerbook printed everything perfect. I haven't tried the newest version of photoshop for the pc, so hopefully that'll be better.

    Best of luck either way! I agree, it'd be perfect if the 14" ibooks were widescreen. Hell, they'd all be widescreen if it were up to me. Although I can only imagine a 14' widescreen iBook would start to inch into the 15" powerbook sales pretty hard, especially with the superdrive...
     

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