Lightweight and Powerful options for a laptop (not Apple)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by wrgrant, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. wrgrant macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2005
    Ok so I read through the entire XPS vs Apple forum and the options brought up in there do not quite suit what I want to do.
    I've been looking around for the past 12 or so hours on possible computers, and to tell the truth I'd kinda just like to stay with Windows because I'm going to be building a powerhouse for video editing and stuff so I don't need it to be too peppy.
    So heres kinda my criteria.

    I really want it to be "thin and light" because my main use for this is going to be note taking in class and writing papers at school, so I don't think a 17" anything would suit me. Plus lightweight is just easier to manage.
    I don't care about the lifecycle because I'm sure that if the powerbooks coming out in a few years are what I want, then I'll just get one of those.
    I will be playing some games and such, so I don't want a built on graphics, except I've read good things about the SIS chipsets with AMD, but only like one company, Acer or ABS had one of those.

    So heres what I've been looking at.

    A Toshiba satellite m40 with:
    Intel Pentium M 760 (2.0GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 533MHz FSB)
    DDR2 533 (I'll add more later)
    15.4" Diagonal Widescreen XGA TruBrite display (1280 x 800) or 15.4" Diagonal Widescreen SXGA+ display (1680 x 1050) (its only like 50 bucks more, is it worth it?)
    NVIDIA GeForce Go 6600 PCI-E x16 128MB SDRAM theres also the ATI MOBILITY RADEON X600 PCI-E x16 with 64MB DDR SDRAM
    40-100GB sata hard drives
    cd-rw/dvd drive
    Bluetooth 2.0 and the wireless g card by Atheros.

    This, is by far the best thing I've seen, and I can make it with all of this stuff to be 1434.80
    It seems to be a pretty sweet deal to me and can be made cheaper by taking the processor down to 1.7 which would make it around 1273.00

    Do you think that this is a good deal?
    I haven't really looked into the specs enough of the Acer Travelmates or even the other toshibas yet, but my dad has a toshiba for his work and I really like the screen.
    I know its probably too much power for what I told you about, but trust me, of the power it has, I'll find ways to eat it up.

    Any other ideas? or companies that you've known about that makes a good lightweight with some punch computer?


  2. Chrispy macrumors 68020


    Dec 27, 2004
    That doesn't seem like a horrible system by any means. I am a big fan of IBM Thinkpads but they do cost more. If you wanted to go with an iBook, had them for $899 after rebate and I think 12" PowerBooks are running around $1350 on Amazon after rebate for the model with Superdrive. If you are looking for a larger screen you will probably want to sick with windows. The current 15" PowerBooks are pretty expensive and the screens are having some problems. Again, I am a big IBM Thinkpad fan but I'm sure the toshibas are good too. Best of luck to you in whatever you do :)
  3. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    Solid value...

    >>> sounds like it exceeds your needs at a good price point. I would definitely spring for the 1680 display with NVIDIA card, don't really *need* them. And again...for your needs, the 1.7ghz is plenty. Wow...that laptop kills the Apple PBs(!), for a LOT less $$. That makes OSX a VERY expensive OS. :eek: Merom, Merom, Merom... :)
  4. EJBasile macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    I love thinkpads too. I've had a few of them, T22, T30, and T42 I think. I'm now stuck with a Dell D600 from work. Its not bad but its trackpad is a POS. IBMs have really good build quality and do not look stupid like the dells and compaqs.

    They will cost significantly more though.
  5. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

    Mar 9, 2005
    Why not an ibook 12in. I know you dont want a mac but as your main use is going to be taking notes and you want portability and great battery life id go with an ibook 12in, plus you wont waste any time doing maitinance with a mac. The system above sounds fine but as a secondary computer I say mac Ill think youll love the system so try it. Or dont your choice really.
  6. wrgrant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2005
    Well, we have a mac mini, so I kinda know the os but its 10.3 as we've had it since like april or may.
    I'm not too worried about the windows os as I think I've encountered every possible problem there is with them; I'm good at breaking stuff and figuring out how to make it work again lol.
    I will take your suggestion and go play with the newer 'books at the local compusa's Apple Store, because what do you know, I may be suprised, but I've always been a sucker for power so we'll see what happens. I'll keep you informed on my desicion though incase I uncover some hidden power beast that is uber cheap.


  7. Oryan macrumors 6502a


    Apr 1, 2005
    Lincoln, NE
    I've been using a Medion Akoya LS for the past 3 months and so far I am very satisfied with it. It's 12.1" (1280x800), 4.4 lbs, 1.6 GHz Pentium M (533 MHz FSB), and gets about 3.5-4 hours of battery life. Other specs:

    Built-in wireless (802.11b/g)
    Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (PCI Express shared memory graphics)
    512 MB DDR RAM
    60 GB hard drive
    3-in-1 Card Reader: SD, MMC, and Memory Stick
    4-pin Firewire port
    VGA output
    3 USB ports
  8. pionata macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2005
    My advice would be to never use windows on a laptop, its just not stable enough and crashes all the time. Everyone I know that bought a laptop with xp have had crashed, and after only a few months or years disfunctional pieces (often the cd rom).

    I think its worth it to spend a little more for a powerbook. And 1.7ghz pentium is much slower than a 1.67 powerbook, Im sure there is benchmarks around to prove it. Its like the difference between AMD and pentium with the difference between osx and windows, its a huge (by more than 25%) difference and much worth the extra money.

    With a powerbook you'll have a stable computer with the best os and look, in other words, quality.

    Are you sure you dont want windows only to play games? lol
  9. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    It does sound like you like the notion of having a computer that you can bring along whereever.. why not just get a 12" PB and max out its ram?

    I don't like Windows on a laptop btw, it feels needlessly clunky.
  10. generik macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2005
    Have to add that I'm a recent switcher as well.. in fact now that you have finally decided on your needs (think and light, mobility, not so much heavy use) I am really puzzled why you choose to go along with Toshiba.

    I presume that laptop will be a fairly long term purchase, because I do not foresee you buying it, and reselling it 6 months later (PC laptops? Don't even expect to get 70% of original price back EVEN if it is still top of the line!)

    So let me ask you, why are you choosing to tie yourself to Windows further?

    Mac does everything you can possibly do on more, software exists for them.

    Unless you need to do very platform specific development, I really don't know what you need Windows for.

    PS: Even stuff like Mathematic, Matlab, Maple, etc are all on the mac platform. I've heard of plenty of scientific suites too. Now I don't know what you are intending to do, but if your field does require you to stay on Windows I strongly suggest you choose a new area :)
  11. CarloVonSexron macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2005
    I bought a Toshiba Satellite in the summer of '03 right before I started college. Awesome machine. Still runs about as well as it did new.

    For the original poster, I'd highly recommend Toshiba laptops. After I got mine, I've talked 3 other people into getting Satellites, and I haven't heard a complaint yet.
  12. wrgrant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2005
    Sweet man, thanks.

    See, to answer the question of why would I consider these.
    I feel like for a little more than an iBook, I'm like increasing my horsepower by a large ammount. And I like that. I'm really looking for power vs. value here, and like I said, I'll still check out the apple store and make sure I put it through its rounds as well as the toshiba I may get, but numbers this different usually don't lie. I mean, the Toshiba has pci-e.

  13. wiseguy27 macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2005
    I second the choice of a Toshiba - they make some of the lightest (and long battery life) laptops. I also presume they don't heat up too much - but that's just an assumption. I've seen Thinkpads, Compaqs, Dells, and they all run like OVENS!!! My next choice after Toshiba would be Sony for weight/performance - but they may be a tad more expensive.
  14. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    You have 3 posts here at MacRumors total, all of which are in this thread asking about Wintel laptops [​IMG]

  15. budugu macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Boston, MA

    Try hp business options like the NC6200 series 6220 (to be specific) they are thin and light and look beautiful. If you buy a refurb not hovering arrounsd (1000 - 1500) you can get a 3 year world wide warranty for free (all new models have the same warranty too) and better yet i think most of them have 128MB x300 GCs.
    link to the hp refurbs ( small business):

    link to the noebook descriptions
  16. wrgrant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2005
    Well I only thought of posting after I read through the PB vs. XPS thread and I realised that there were some people here who'd help me out a little vs. just deleting my posts and stuff like on the apple forums lol.

    Yeah man my dad has one for work and its nice.

    I'll let you know how it turns out when I get it.

    Thanks for the help.

  17. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Side Note

    AnyOne else notice more Mac vs PC thread were people are choice PC, at ).

    OR i'm i going crazy
  18. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005
    Utter Nonsense

    >>> Apple Cult member alarms are screaming! "MacFUD, MacFUD, MacFUD". You love Apple products..that's cool...but please..take the time to educate yourself. The pc laptop in question with the 1.7 ghz proc will absolutely KILL the PB in benchmarks...and I own a 17" PB! That's why Jobs has chosen to SWITCH...REMEMBER??? Windows PCs are the backbone of the VAST majority of businesses...and I can go on and on listing examples...Windows does NOT "crash all the time". Do I prefer OSX? yes...but I'm not so desperate to convert the world to my "religion"....that I knowingly or unknowingly...spew massive inaccurancies about the alternative OS. I use both XP on a 3d workstation...and OSX on my PB.
  19. jaduffy108 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2005

    If power is your prioirity....then forget Apple laptops. When merom based PBs come out in might want to check back:D
  20. wrgrant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2005
    I'll keep that in mind.
    Thats kinda why I'm not going like 2000+ on this one. I figure it'll last me till I go to college and then we'll pull out the stops...


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