WTB: PC laptop, please help.

GorillaPaws

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2003
930
6
Richmond, VA
Ok, so I've failed. My girlfriend wants to buy a new PC laptop (but doesn't want to spend more than like $700). I've tried convincing her to get a Mac, but she won't hear of it. She's stubborn, and I think she just wants to spite me at some level.

Anyways, she wants to get a cheap laptop (new) and I know next-to-nothing about PC laptops, except getting a cheap one is a horrible idea. She's still in college, only has like a year left, but plans on becoming a middle school math teacher, so she's not going to be doing anything heavy-duty. A used iBook would be perfect for her, but she wants what she wants.

So, I guess my question is: if you had to buy a cheap new pc laptop in the $700 range, what would you get? Thanks for your help guys.
 

opusthe2nd

macrumors 6502
Sep 5, 2005
426
0
I have seen a bunch of Dell 600m's in that range. I have heard they are pretty decent too. Even better, you can get something better at the Dell outlet.

I am talking Centrino too, not Celeron.
 

stonyc

macrumors 65816
Feb 15, 2005
1,257
1
Michigan
GorillaPaws said:
Ok, so I've failed. My girlfriend wants to buy a new PC laptop (but doesn't want to spend more than like $700). I've tried convincing her to get a Mac, but she won't hear of it. She's stubborn, and I think she just wants to spite me at some level.

Anyways, she wants to get a cheap laptop (new) and I know next-to-nothing about PC laptops, except getting a cheap one is a horrible idea. She's still in college, only has like a year left, but plans on becoming a middle school math teacher, so she's not going to be doing anything heavy-duty. A used iBook would be perfect for her, but she wants what she wants.

So, I guess my question is: if you had to buy a cheap new pc laptop in the $700 range, what would you get? Thanks for your help guys.
Just get her a used iBook, then buy some intel inside and sony vaio stickers, maybe a windows xp sticker for a final touch and she should be set. :)

J/K.. I'd say go for a Dell or Toshiba Satellite?
 

ericssonboi

macrumors 6502
Mar 15, 2005
342
0
If your looking at good price points.. Go Dell or Toshiba.
Acer has come out with some entry level laptops.

But i would recommend IBM or Lenovo (sister company)
They may cost a little more.. but they're definitly worth the extra dollar.
Have a look at these videos and maybe you'll understand.
http://www.pc.ibm.com/ca/thinkpad/community/legends/index.html

And yea.. you got it going..
Centrino = good
Celeron = bad

Another thing to look for is battery life and built in wifi.
These are pretty important on a laptop and built in wifi should be a standard.
All centrino processors should have built in wifi on their laptops.
 

Cfg5

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2003
203
0
California
MacRumorUser said:
What don't you get by them?
The ability to play any 3d game.

Integrated graphics aren't "bad," it's just that they don't really have the ability to play games.
 

Mord

macrumors G4
Aug 24, 2003
10,091
21
UK
they use up main memory and tax the cpu slowing the whole system down, simply put they suck.
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
GorillaPaws said:
Anyways, she wants to get a cheap laptop (new) and I know next-to-nothing about PC laptops, except getting a cheap one is a horrible idea. She's still in college,
dell gets the best reviews in every category, including low priced laptops

i would try and find something that price range in a toshiba, which is a better laptop, but i rarely see such a product

dell, compaq, and hp in the $700 dollar range all seem the same with inexpensive integrated graphics and a lower cache processor and less ram

is she a poor college student? if she is then she is like most college students and for pc users who are students, ibooks and powerbooks seem to be priced a couple hundred dollars more for the same thing

but us mac users know that while a mac on paper looks to be expensive compared to a similar pc, it's os x and better integration which gives us the edge in easy, day to day computing and not worrying so much about viruses
 

opusthe2nd

macrumors 6502
Sep 5, 2005
426
0
True, but if she is just going to be an 'average user' I think the Dell would be the way to go. Likewise, I dont think you are going to find a Toshiba in that price range.

Centrino=yes
Pentium M=yes
Pentium4=no
Celeron=no

But then again, if she is just going to use it for school work, a Celeron would work for her. It wont handle games or anything too intensive. Also, once you buy a Celeron, resale is shot out the window...it is worthless.

Dont be forced into buying this or that. Use your head and decide what you actually NEED.

Another note, Apple products hold their value better than anything else.
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
opusthe2nd said:
True, but if she is just going to be an 'average user' I think the Dell would be the way to go. Likewise, I dont think you are going to find a Toshiba in that price range.

Centrino=yes
Pentium M=yes
Pentium4=no
Celeron=no

But then again, if she is just going to use it for school work, a Celeron would work for her. It wont handle games or anything too intensive. Also, once you buy a Celeron, resale is shot out the window...it is worthless.

Dont be forced into buying this or that. Use your head and decide what you actually NEED.

Another note, Apple products hold their value better than anything else.
nothing is wrong with the celeron for her uses, unless her school is set up as a wireless hub and she needs that capability

i don't think technology has brought the wireless thing down to $700 dollars yet, but that time is coming soon enough...the cheapest centrino laptop i have seen is around $900 dollars but with the christmas season coming, maybe someone may have a rebate special

with rebates, it may take some time to get your money back, but in the end, one can save money with rebates
 

buryyourbrideau

macrumors 65816
Mar 1, 2005
1,212
0
Chicago
i used to work at circuit city and i know that the acer series sold more than any other laptop out of our store

plus they kinda look like an ibook :rolleyes:

all white

anywho, they are pretty cheap but you still have to worry about XP for the time being
 

jefhatfield

Retired
Jul 9, 2000
8,803
0
buryyourbrideau said:
i used to work at circuit city and i know that the acer series sold more than any other laptop out of our store

plus they kinda look like an ibook :rolleyes:

all white

anywho, they are pretty cheap but you still have to worry about XP for the time being
i briefly worked for office depot during the christmas season of 1999 and compaq/hp was our top followed by toshiba...we phased out ibm thinkbooks and sometime in 2000 or 2001 replaced that line with the acers

are they good laptops compared with toshiba or compaq/hp?
 

GorillaPaws

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 26, 2003
930
6
Richmond, VA
Ok, so here's an update:
She ended up getting this thing(or some variant thereof): http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Acer-Aspire-Notebook-PC-AS3009WLCi-/sem/rpsm/oid/139311/rpem/ccd/productDetail.do

from Circuit City, without first talking to me. I went over to her place on Friday, and saw it on her lap. Apparently she got a pretty good deal on it with an open-box + rebate putting it around $600. But she was on the phone w/ tech support for like 4+ hours trying to get MS Office to install. And I just kept thinking "told you you should've gotten a Mac" (of course if you knew my girlfriend, you would know why I kept my mouth shut). It turns out that part of her problem was that she had SP2 on there and needed some updates.

Thanks for all of your help, and I'm sorry it all turned out to be in vain.

On a side note, can any of you recomend the best security software for XP?
 

stevep

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2004
875
2
UK
GorillaPaws said:
On a side note, can any of you recomend the best security software for XP?
Hardware firewall is best (as in a DSL modem/router)
Zone Alarm
Norton Anti Virus (or a freeware alternative maybe)
Windows updates (at least twice a day......:D )
Norton Ghost - so you can take an image of your hard drive on day one and reinstall it easily - about once a week should do it .....:D )

To be serious, the program suggestions are for real, and should keep you out of trouble. Thats what I run on my XP box, and I haven't had any problems with virus (virii???) or spyware.
 

jadekitty24

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2005
1,369
0
The poor section of Connecticut
stevep said:
Hardware firewall is best (as in a DSL modem/router)
Zone Alarm
Norton Anti Virus (or a freeware alternative maybe)
Windows updates (at least twice a day......:D )
Norton Ghost - so you can take an image of your hard drive on day one and reinstall it easily - about once a week should do it .....:D )

To be serious, the program suggestions are for real, and should keep you out of trouble. Thats what I run on my XP box, and I haven't had any problems with virus (virii???) or spyware.
Yeesh...no Norton...IMO Norton is a waste of money and such a hassle to uninstall. It embeds itself into your system like some type of tumor. Not to mention it misses viruses that cheaper (or sometimes free) programs caught. Use Lavasoft Ad Aware and (my personal recommendation) Trend Micro for anti-virus. Do some research on Norton...you'll be surprised at what you find.
 

stevep

macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2004
875
2
UK
jadekitty24 said:
Do some research on Norton...you'll be surprised at what you find.
I did - it came out as one of the best for the pc platform in terms of not missing potential infections in the 2 magazine reviews I read. And yes, I know there are some good free ones out there, which is why I suggested that as an alternative. And yes, I know that Norton has a bad reputation amongst many Mac folk, but that's irrelevant in this case.
Just passing on what I've found from my own experience - running XP for nearly as long as its been out and not having any virus problems since installing Norton.
 

tuartboy

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
750
13
ericssonboi said:
All centrino processors should have built in wifi on their laptops.
Centrino = Wifi + Pentium M

So yes, to be centrino, it must have wifi.
 

tuartboy

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
750
13
GorillaPawsOk said:
On a side note, can any of you recomend the best security software for XP?
I have to say it:

Seriously consider running Ubuntu or even Fedora on it. It seems like she has no real Windows-specific needs and would be fine using the Firefox/OpenOffice team. The ease of use is really there these days (especially with Fedora's Yum functionality that I feel may even beat OS X) and hardware compatibility is pretty decent. You likely will have no problems and in the case you do, just reinstall windows.

It's worth a try.
 

tuartboy

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
750
13
Sorry for the multiple posting, but I keep seeing things to write about.

jadekitty24 said:
Yeesh...no Norton...IMO Norton is a waste of money and
such a hassle to uninstall. It embeds itself into your system like some type of tumor. Not to mention it misses viruses that cheaper (or sometimes free) programs caught. Use Lavasoft Ad Aware and (my personal recommendation) Trend Micro for anti-virus. Do some research on Norton...you'll be surprised at what you find.
Coming from someone who owns a PC repair shop, I agree with the comments on Norton's removal process. We do not recommend Norton products due to the hassle of uninstalling botched Norton configurations (thanks for the business Geek Squad) and the likeliness of such bad installs and configs.

As far as freeware: Avast Antivirus Home Edition is easily the best free antivirus solution and better than many pay ones.

Best of luck.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
1
Minitrue
GorillaPaws said:
Ok, so I've failed. My girlfriend wants to buy a new PC laptop (but doesn't want to spend more than like $700). I've tried convincing her to get a Mac, but she won't hear of it. She's stubborn, and I think she just wants to spite me at some level.
I would get a new girlfriend, maybe one who is a mac user :p