Choosing model for Father

Discussion in 'Laptops & Notebooks' started by drwngflies, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. drwngflies

    drwngflies Maha Guru

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    Ok, I would like to ask opinions on a choice of Laptop for my Father.
    I am 100% Desktop, and know a fair amount (enough to choose components) but know not of laptop do's and don'ts.
    Here's the situation:
    He's a beginner in Computers so ease of use is a must.
    I'll be showing him the basics of surfing, email, setup, antivirus, running appls., etc.
    This will not be a gaming rig, but good graphics are wanted for future use, if the need arises. I feel after he learns the basics, he will add a CAD program for his work: (steel pipe welder/industry). So, the graphics will mainly be for 3D appls.(Photoshop, AutoCAD, or similar)
    I want a system he won't need to add anything major, for at least two years.
    Wireless connectivity (WAN), and bluetooth capable, for headsets, and/or mouse, plus I want to add a cellular card from Cingular, since most of his work is away from major cities where DSL connection is rare if at all.
    He is into Saxaphone playing, so downloading tabalature (sp*) and sheet music is a known Yes. Also, mp3's of his music he wants to learn/play. But, I also want the capability to add a nice audio editing program (maybe Sony Soundforge) for future use. So, a nice audio output is wanted as well.
    I will add external speakers later, so the supplied speakers aren't that important.
    I want at least 1GB RAM, faster the better.
    The HDD should be at least 80GB, since I plan to add an external HDD (120-250GB) to split into half, half saving just music and videos, and half for backup purposes.
    Also, his eyes aren't in the best shape, after staring at a welding arc for 40+ yrs, so a bright, or very nice display is desired. I am thinking at least a 15" screen.

    Price: under $1500 with best batteries, no docking station unless someone feels this is worth the extra cost.

    I am weary of Dell, (except the 2yr warranty) from the trouble I've read from others with accessing BIOS features and such, and all the bloatware they force upon a buyer, but he won't be overclocking anything, so if my fears are unfounded here, please let me know. (I'm used to fiddlin' with my rig, but he won't be needing more that stock speeds)

    What I found so far, short of ordering a custom build from Powernotebooks.com, I have narrowed down to three.
    So, please provide input as to these as (in my curve) or suggest another model, or changes I need to address.
    I'm looking at purchasing this in the next two months.
    Thanks Guru's...
    Peace

    Models I am seeing as close to my needs/wants so far:
    1.) ASUS A6Jc-Q062H $1,298.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834220032
    2..) ACER AS5672WLMi-120 $1,349.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834115224
    3.) DELL E1505 Dual Core $ 1,537
    http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&oc=E1505S3&s=dhs
    With these options, makes it the upper limit for budget, @ $1537
    CPU: Intel® Core™ Duo processor T2400 (2MB Cache/1.83GHz/667MHz FSB)
    OS: Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005
    Recovery CD: Windows® XP Media Center 2005 Edition re-installation CD
    Remote: Remote Control for Windows XP Media Center Edition
    Display: 15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA Display with TrueLife™
    RAM: 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm
    HDD: 80GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
    Optical Drive: 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R
    WAN: Intel® PRO 3945 and Dell 350 Bluetooth Internal Wireless Cards
    Gfx: 128MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1300 HyperMemory™
    Audio: Integrated Sound Blaster® Audigy™ HD Software Edition
    Battery: 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
    *** 4.) I considered the DELL XPS M1210 @ $ 1,642 (with options) but the screen is small.
    http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=19&l=en&oc=M1210S2&s=dhs

    PS: All the Norton crap will be immediately unistalled (thnx ACER...) and I use Zone Alarm for F/W, and thought of using it on this notebook. Is there a more preferred option specifically for WAN I should try? or is ZA enough?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2006
  2. Hackez

    Hackez Master Guru

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    In my past experience dell is overrated, though their prices are reasonable they are no where near the best, though they do have nice optional perks, like the long warranty.

    I prefer Asus computers personally and for what you need I would propably go with the Asus over the Acer, but if warranty is of concern, then perhaps Dell is the way to go.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  3. Infested Nexus

    Infested Nexus Ancient Guru

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    Acer Aspire AS5672WLMi - $1,069.99

    - Intel Core Duo T2300
    - 15.4" WXGA
    - 1GB DDR2
    - 120GB
    - DVD Super Multi
    - ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 (128MB)
    - 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN
    - Bluetooth

    And once you purchase some high quality speakers:

    Audigy 2 ZS Notebook Sound Card - $89.95

    Total Price: $1159.94

    With regard to the ability to add a cellular card, its uncessary as he should be able to connect his phone to the computer via bluetooth or a cable to use the cellular internet service.
     
  4. scoutingwraith

    scoutingwraith Ancient Guru

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    i would also suggest the Aspire series because they are reasonably cheap and you get a very good conigured system for the money. I for one thing am very satisfied with mine. Runs everything no problem.
     

  5. drwngflies

    drwngflies Maha Guru

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    Thanks for all the replies.
    I believe I will go with the ACER Aspire.
    I wasn't too keen to try DELL either Hackez, but the service he would have if I wasn't available, was their only strong point.
    Thanks for the better link, I-Nexus... that saved $300 for less RAM and better Gfx, and I can get that Audigy card and a case as well.
    I can't see where he would need 2 GB, I believe 1GB will be plenty.
    Thanks Wraith for the second on the Acer.
    Guess I better call Newegg and get the ball rolling.
    I'll prolly be back after it arrives, since I've never used a laptop...
    Peace, All.
     
  6. scoutingwraith

    scoutingwraith Ancient Guru

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    my friend try www.Buy.com as they have it cheaper and i got it there no problems. and as a opinion i have bought quite a lot of stuff from them and no problem so dont worry about it.
     
  7. drwngflies

    drwngflies Maha Guru

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    Just wanted to reply to those who assisted me in my search.
    I did buy the Acer Aspire 5672 WLMi
    I was about to order it from Newegg, ( 1GB RAM) for the $1,049, but I went to CompUSA to grab some DVD's, and saw they had it for $1,199, and was considering the carry out purchase. I waited a week and went back to grab a USB Bluetooth dongle, and saw it was discounted to $799.49, (with 2GB RAM) and broke out my VISA.
    So far, so good, I am pleased with the performance except for it not having a restore CD with unit. However, I did create the CD after I booted it the first time, as well as using Acronis True Image to make a backup after installing the basics, as FW, AV, etc.
    Thanks again, all, and peace.
     

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