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Looking for a new laptop...any ideas?

Hi all...I'm looking for a new laptop, and thought I'd see what kind of opinions you all had. Here are the things I'm really considering and wondering about:

1) 17" display...for those of you that have a 'big-screen', have you found it worthwhile, or has become a pain to lug around?

2) Processor...I'm thinking about an Athlon 64, but haven't had anything with one in it yet. Any of you guys use these, and what are your thoughts...any compatibility issues (I know it's supposed to run 32-bit stuff just fine)? If not, what kind of performance are you seeing out of the new Pentium M series (760,770,780)?

Any additional thoughts are appreciated; if you have a recommended make/model I'd love to hear it. By the way, I'd love to have one with a serial port. :)



  • vincenvincen Posts: 526
    Well just my two cents point of view, I do all my AMX stuffs with Powerbook 12" and 17". I use 17" when I'm doing some jobs on large touch panels but don't use all time as it's pretty large and less easy to transport. 12" for all other jobs as it's easy to carry and move with it on site ;)

    I just bought a USB-Serial adapter for Axcess stuffs and to be able to connect on NetLinx systems to enter IP adress.

    Virtual PC with Windows2K is running fine. Both are G4 1Ghz (two years old model), now they are in 1.6Ghz.

  • wcravenelwcravenel Posts: 114
    Dell Latitude (or Precision if you do a lot w/ AutoCAD). Both come standard with serial port. Both are supported in the US. Precision has less battery life.

    I realize this question will elicit a slightly different answer from each of us. I feel the flames licking at me already -

    My experience supporting Dell has been better over the last 10 years than any other brand, save IBM. Some brands are just consistently awful, and they are well known. IBM has been more expensive and difficult to configure, this may have started changing recently with Lenovo (Chinese company which aquired ThinkPad recently).

    A few points regardless of OEM: Under no circumstances load XP Home. XP Pro only. No Celeron. Pentium M has been excellent (including some AutoCAD, and plenty of the following going at once: all of Office, Project, Visio, MapPoint, etc). I think 1GB memory for most people reading this. And one of the key points for a laptop - fastest RPM speed affordable/possible on HD (7200), can always offload some data to another medium/machine.


    p.s. Microsoft Vista will release late '06 or early '07. Significant hardware requirements for all the eye candy. Assuming 6 - 12 month wait for shakeout and first service pack (& AMX apps to be verified), a laptop purchased today should be good for 2 - 3 years.
  • Thomas HayesThomas Hayes Posts: 1,164
    Depending on where you do most of your work a Panasonic 'tough guy?' is a rough and tumble laptop. Not the fastest but reliable and tough.
  • wcravenelwcravenel Posts: 114

    ...with very funny advertisements recently!
  • Chip MoodyChip Moody Posts: 727
    Been really happy with the past few Dell Latitudes my company has handed me. Current one has the 17" widescreen. My only complaint is that the native resolution of the LCD (1680x1050) - while sharp as a tack - just makes things way too small. I tried fiddling with non-default font sizes and other options offered by Windows XP, but some applications just looked crappy with anything but defaults.

    As a result, I run the display at 1280x800. Everything is a little "blurrier" because of it being non-native, but I've long since gotten used to it... (Bugged me for the first few weeks)

    - Chip
  • I agree regarding resolution, I have not ordered for internal or client any of the UXGA for that reason. Have been very happy with 15" wide running 1680 x 1050.

    I would be interested to hear anyone's direct experience with IBM/Lenovo.


    Bill Ravenel
  • JillJill Posts: 44
    I had an IBM laptop and mostly will never again. I paid top dollar for a commercial grade unit that still failed way before a friends consumer grade unit. Both had been used/abused about the same. :):)
  • jeffacojeffaco Posts: 121
    Just to offer conflicting opinions (did anyone expect anything else from this post):

    I'm a longtime IBM Laptop user, and have been very happy.

    Started with a T21 (wicked old), survived fine until recently replaced (with a T42).

    I've had the T42 for perhaps 5-6 months and have been thrilled with that as well.

    I'm happy with it, so I purchased a second IBM T42 for personal use at home.
  • Here also high praise for Lenovo/IBM T series. Never tried any other series so can't comment on those.

  • I haven't checked in a while, but I've been really happy with my HP unit with an Athlon (non-64).. It was surprisingly cheap with a built in serial port..

    Mine's the ze4600, not sure if the new models have serial's or not.

    Kevin D.
  • I highly recommend a wide screen display. The biggest benefit is allowing side by side editting windows in Studio.

    We have be using Dell laptops in our office for many years without problems. Windows XP Pro instead of XP Home is a must.
  • jjamesjjames Posts: 2,908
    Don't Get A Toshiba!!

    I've used three laptops - a Toshiba Satellite, Dell Inspiron and a Gateway. The Toshiba had a nice 17" wide-scren - which I agree with Brian, is a must; it also had a gig of ram, and a 3.1 Ghz processor . . . but was a piece of junk. Crashed three or four times in a period of a year, had to have the HD replaced twice. I wouldn't recommend Toshiba. The Gateway and the Dell have worked great, and would recommend either.

    As far as the serial port goes, it is a very nice - yet dying - addition to the laptop. If you can't get a serial port on it, I'd recommend a Keyspan USB-to-Serial adapter. Never had any issues with it . . .

    Just my opinion . . . .
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