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Author Topic: Have you bought a laptop recently?  (Read 867 times)
KW3F
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Posts: 8




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« on: July 07, 2006, 08:14:11 PM »

My old laptop recently bit the dust and I'm looking for recomendations.  I'd like to stay under $1000 and would like to run all digital modes, logging, and rig control.

The old Dell that just died was noisy in the receiver.... I suspect the new machines have better shielding?

I see these ads at CompUSA for some real bargains but I'm just curious if anyone has purchased a new one lately that they particularly like for hamming.

Tnx es 73 -

Bob, KW3F
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W3JJH
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2006, 12:14:57 PM »

All of my *reliable* laptops have come from this company:

http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore/

Scroll down to the red tag on the lower right of the page, click on the link, and you can usually find refurbished laptops sold with as new warranties for under a kilobuck.  BTW, the new one's can mutliboot OSX, Windows XP, Linux, and X86 Solaris.
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KE4DRN
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2006, 06:43:26 PM »

hi bob,

My thinkpad (IBM not Lenovo) works great,
but it was used model, must have sat on a desk for a few years as it looks and feels like new.

You can't go wrong with any of the name brands,
we had ibm, toshiba and dell at field day, all fine.

I run the signalink SL1+, no usb or serial ports
are needed.

73 james
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K7PEH
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Posts: 1125




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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2006, 08:29:12 AM »

I have two laptops.

My preferred laptop is my 3-year old Apple Powerbook which I will be replacing next month with a new Apple Macbook (duo-core intel).  I highly recommend the new Apple MacBooks.

My other laptop is a Fujitsu NSeries Lifebook which I bought because of the superior screen display quality.  Everyone who sees it spends a few moments being wow'd by how nice it looks.  This is a Windows machine which mostly use for work.

No, you cannot get them new for under $1000.  But, who knows, you might change your mind about your budget.
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KA4HWX
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Posts: 28




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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2006, 08:47:16 PM »

Go to www.tigerdirect.com

This company sells everything at a discount.  I have ordered from them before and they are reliable.  They also have rebates on a lot of the stuff they sell.


John
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KE4DRN
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Posts: 3714




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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2006, 05:15:30 PM »

hi,

here is a link for IBM desktop/laptops just off lease,

http://www.ibm.com/products/specialoffers/us/icue.html

73 james
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K7ZP
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Posts: 12




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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2006, 12:03:46 PM »

Good afternoon Bob...

Several have posted here..... however if you have been using an older Laptop, be aware that the newer units due to there small size DON'T have serial ports available. Now that is not a problem unless you utilize one or more serial devices. Yes, there are several options available but be aware WIN XP handles serial port data differently than WIN 98, ME and 2K and many programs that worked well on the earlier OS are very picky on XP. My solution is the Edgeport 8, a 8 port 9 pin RS-232 to USB. It also buffers the external device that also functions correctly with XP.
OBTW several new Laptops are small enough they do not have an internal floppy, you must use an external USB drive.

Cheers... Frank, K7ZP
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12667




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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2006, 06:37:52 PM »

I've purchase a number of Dell laptops. I think you can get some models for under $1000. I've never had a problem with Dell. The last one was a present for my daughter last Christmas and it was right at $1000 including built in wireless.

USB ports are not generally a problem for the newer USB to Serial converters. I have had driver stability problems with some of the cheaper ($15) units on WindowsXP. Stick with converters that use an FTDI chip if you want to be sure with Microsoft certified drivers.
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N8AUC
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Posts: 75




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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2006, 11:46:34 AM »

Yes. I recommend Dell Latitude. This is their business line of laptops, whereas the Inspiron is their consumer product line. The reason I recommend the Latitude, is that they still come with serial and parallel ports. The consumer units do not.

And if you check the Dell Outlet Website, you can get a really great deal, but you have to take them "as configured". Watch for one setup like you want, then move quickly, because it might not be there for long.

I got a Latutide D510 from the outlet site, nicely configured, for only $649 and that included one year of on-site warranty.

73 de N8AUC
Eric
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WI8W
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Posts: 5




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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2006, 05:32:13 PM »

Never buy a laptop from HP/Compact

I bought a 17 inch widescreen HP laptop new less than 2 years ago and the built in video on it has already failed.  The laptop is totally useless now and I am out the money.

This happend with no warning and HP would not honor the warranty because they stopped making that model.
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KI6LO
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« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2006, 12:37:40 PM »

Hopefully you have obtained a replacement laptop by now. If not, there are lots of things to consider (or at least in my book).

Mainly questions I would ask of myself if I were buying a laptop (used or new) would be:

What is the main purpose of the laptop?
Is it just for terminal use in digital modes?
Is it going to be stationary or moved about from place to place?
Type & number of ports I will need for the identified tasks?
Speed of processor for handling data processing?

The reason I bring up these questions is to give impetus for thinking about the problem. I can't see shelling out a grand for a new laptop when I can get the same task done for under $200. I like the feel of $800 in my pocket.

I use old IBM Thinkpad 600 series laptops for my ham shack use. These are readily available for less than $200 from eBay (some for under $50 if you take the time for fix them) and for another $50 or so, I can usually fill them to capacity on RAM and a decent HD should they need one. These older laptops run Windows 2000 just fine and suppose they may even run XP but have never tried since I don't use XP. And you can buy broken ones for parts if needed.

I run all the digital modes with my setup and have had no problems (so far). The only limitation I know of with the IBM Thinkpad 600 series is the USB is v1.1 vice v2.0 but not a problem for me.

Just my 2/100 of a saved buck!

Gene KI6LO
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K8AG
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Posts: 348




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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2006, 07:56:53 AM »

Just bought one a couple of weeks ago.  Priced around and ended up at the Dell outlet store.  I waited until just the computer I wanted passed into the system.  Saved a little less than half over new and the computer was new in the box.  A lot of the outlet stuff is actuall new, never opened, returned or never even delivered condx.  Haven't seen anything to beat the price/performance of what I got.

Be careful if you want serial ports and parallel ports nowadays.  They are rarely included anymore.  Like floppy drives.

My 2 cents.

73, JP, K8AG
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