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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My boss and I each have desktops at work...But he may be in the market for a laptop that we can trot back and forth between us when we are not at the office. He, on the weekends, me for the month-end figures.

I've never owned a laptop and know nothing about them; yet, he said if I do the homework; he will buy one, as he trusts my judgment. I didn't tell him that I know nothing about them...Hence my problem:

1. Mac or PC
2. Would need to hold lots of pics (we take before/after of each job)
3. Is $800-900 enough?? I don't want to go overboard and make him think I'm picking the cream of the crop
4. Best place to purchase...your recommendations
4. Your help is appreciated...THANKS
 
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If you just using it for picture storage and typical business apps, you wont need an exceptionally powerful lap top.

Check out the specs on this one and see if you need it to do more.



Of course I picked the one they don't have but they have the samething in other colors than black. I just used it because it's for a business.

Good luck, and be sure to pay attention to the specs because they do vary. different HDs memory configs and battieries.
 

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1. What are your two desktops? (Brand and Operating System)

2. How many pictures is a lot; 1000? 10000? 1000000?

3. I'd only recommend staying away from Best Buy...they're expensive. $800-$900 is fine for a Toshiba or Acer or HP...not enough for Mac...only enough for a low end Sony.

4. I wouldn't get a laptop that had Vista 64 bit installed. Too many other programs still have conflicts with it.

5. I'd look for a laptop with Vista Home Premium, a separate graphics card (very important for overall speed of operations with Vista and even more so if you work with a lot of pictures), 250 gb hard drive and a 14.1" screen. Any processor on the market will run just fine unless you do a lot of live video editing or hardcore gaming. Bigger screens make for way too heavy a laptop to lug around...

Just some thoughts from somebody who sells these for a living..

Scott
 

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I bought a Sony Vaio last March and love it. It basically has all the specs that Scott outlined in item 5 although the hard drive is only 180 GB. I paid $799 at Office Max.

L
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Vamp & Scott: Thanks
We both have Dells he's running XP (lucky)
I have Vista (basic) hate Vista but I am getting used to it.
Pics...about 1500 per year we have about 6000 currently (I suppose we could just pop them onto discs and save them that way)
 

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I'm not an expert, but I've owned/used a number of laptops and purchased a new LT for my wife for Christmas, so I have recent buying experience.

my opinions on your questions.

1. Depends on your desktops - I've always found it easier to stay with the same formats/versions/etc.  The one caveat is Mac's are expensive and your budget may not stand a Mac LT version.

2. A few things to consider.  Lots of pictures demands lots of storage space.  Most new LT's come with a pretty substantial HD - a couple of hundred gig or so.  This is less important as you can get a portable HD or USB drive with several gig to make the transport of pictures easy between the machines.  I've alwyas tried to buy the biggest HD I can afford in any machine I buy - you'll need it in the long run.

3. Maybe.  The LT I bought my wife was more than that, but I also bought the extended warranty and accidental damage protection.  I had a bad experience with my son and his laptop and a glass of orange juice - it worked out OK, but I've bought the accidental damage protection point forward for LT's.

4. You will get as many opinions on this as you get answers.  I'm a Dell person.  I've bought a number of computers over the years and I've tried the low end brands, the big box store brands, the cheapest deals, the build-it-yourself versions.  I've ended up back with Dell for the last eight or ten machines purchased.  I like the ability to configure a machine to fit your needs, the support, and the relative assurance they may be around for awhile - although who knows about that in the current economy?  There are, of course other choices and each has their pros and cons, I prefer Dell but that's an opinion.

Good luck with your project!
 
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No problem. Here is one of the many Sonys found at amazon. It's a little more than Leslie's but it has different features than hers.

 

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If your desktop at work is a pc, then youll want a pc. 900 is more than enough for what your looking for. The one that Vamp suggested is a good choice.
 

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sjc said:
1. Mac or PC
Agree with the others, if you already have Windows, don't get a Mac. They're more expensive, anyway. Also agree to look for 32-bit, not 64-bit, if you get Vista. There are some manufacturers still selling XP, if you really want that, but Vista handles photos better, IMO.

sjc said:
2. Would need to hold lots of pics (we take before/after of each job)
Just get the biggest hard drive in your price range. They seem to be starting at about 120GB now, which is quite a lot. As you said, you could always archive some of them on an optical disc, external hard drive, your desktops, etc.

sjc said:
3. Is $800-900 enough?? I don't want to go overboard and make him think I'm picking the cream of the crop
Shop around. That's may be enough if you just want something basic. Now is a good time to buy, right after the holidays.

sjc said:
4. Best place to purchase...your recommendations
I bought a Lenovo last year that I just love. Their business-oriented line is the ThinkPads, but if you're just looking at a basic computer without a lot of business applications, their new consumer line is IdeaPad - check out the Y series. (That's what I have.) They are good computers and reasonably priced. Dell has gotten a bad rap in the past (justly), but they've improved, and their new laptops are good.

For some comparison help, I like to use cnet.com for reviews. And PC Magazine (pcmag.com) does a reader survey every year of consumer satisfaction. You should be able to find the most recent one by searching on their site.
 

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Two comments:

1.  My husband has been really happy with Tiger direct sales and customer service.  Avoid buy.com even if the item seems cheaper.

2.  Shop around Best Buy, Office Depot, etc because you can look at them and touch them and ask questions and get brochures about them.  Doesn't mean you have to buy it there.

3.  Many off-the-shelf-computers come with a bunch of crapware.  . .automatic aol, trial versions of MS Works, Money, etc.  (They list it as a feature, but it's a bug.) :)  You probably don't want that so see if you can get it with just the OS and maybe the specific programs you use.  Dell will do this, I believe, but you have to ask.  Lenovo may as well.

okay, it was three comments.  :)

Good luck!

Ann
 

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I agree what what has been said here, we order a couple of laptops each week for people at our company. 

If you have PCs stick to that don't try to move to Mac, there are compatibility issues.  You need to get the largest hard drive you get, if you are storing pictures on it you will need it.  If you run out of space at some point you can always buy a portbale hard rive that attaches via USB.  I've had Dells, HPs, Lenovos, Sony, IBM back in the day, and some no  name build your owns.  Stick with a major brand and don't worry about which one.  You can get a good feel for them at Best Buy etc. then search for the best price on the one you want.  As for all the crap wear they will load on it you can remove it all.  If you have an IT department talk to them, they may be able to order you one and image it with out all the add ons.  You might want to wait a little longer as I understand that they will be offering free upgrades to Win7 for computers bought this summer with Vista.

Good luck.
 

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One thing that I haven't seen anyone here mention is RAM.  Bargain PCs often don't come with enough RAM as far as I'm concerned, especially if you like to have several windows open and at least one is a graphics program.  Unless it already comes with 2GB or more, I'd upgrade it, so check to see how much it costs to add extra RAM if needed.

Betsy
 

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Betsy the Quilter said:
One thing that I haven't seen anyone here mention is RAM. Bargain PCs often don't come with enough RAM as far as I'm concerned, especially if you like to have several windows open and at least one is a graphics program. Unless it already comes with 2GB or more, I'd upgrade it, so check to see how much it costs to add extra RAM if needed.

Betsy
Good point, Betsy, especially if she is looking at "bargain" PCs. RAM is cheap, so it shouldn't be much to upgrade from 1GB to 2. 4GB would be even better, if you're going to be editing or manipulating pictures a lot (as opposed to just storing/viewing them).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OMG!! You guys humble me...thank you so much for your responses. Awwww ::) I was running around all day for my mom (you know her situation....tomorrow is her 74th birthday) and to come home to this response...nice. Thanks.

I am going to shop at Sams, Best Buy, Circuit City and BJ's tomorrow...any other places I should check out? Any I should avoid?

ALSO; The little bit of searching that I did get to today(though not much): Most had the Vista 64 bit....exactly how bad would that be? and...Is there a fix?? Because, if I could score $$; and it had the 64 bit... should I still avoid?
 

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I had Gateways for years and a couple of HP computers, but in the last 8 years I have bought strickly from Dell. I have had really good luck with them and their customer services is wonderful.

I have 3 laptops at home and 1 for work. All are Dells. I have 2 latitudes, which seem to be best for work if you travel a lot. 1 of the Latitudes is my company laptop and the other we just bought for my husband. 1 is an Inspiron 17" which is my personal laptop. I do a lot of photos and have several graphic programs on it. I bought it for that reason. We also have an older Dell that my husband uses when he travels, but will probably retire it soon. On the last 2 we bought I had Windows XP put on them instead of Vista, but they did come with a Vista installation cd. I have bought 2 Dell laptops, one for my 16 yr old grandson and one for my daughter that had Vista on them and they have had some minor problems, which is why I decided to go with Window XP.

We are shipping our Dell desktop to one of my daughters for her children to use. It was replaced by the new laptop. As you can see I like computers and with my husband working out of the house the laptops are just easier to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Kathy:  Thanks...Both of our work computers are dell...  I am leaning in that direction...
 

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I got  a Dell Latitude a few months ago and have had no issues with it. At the time they would put XP on it, don't know if they still are doing that, but I do know it had to be ordered through a business acccount. Nice thing is  you can put what you want on it and in it, so mine did not come cluttered with all the extra stuff. It did cost more than the 800-900 you were aiming at, but has a extras for gaming on it!

Lynn L

 
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Personally, I don't have a problem with Vista.(32 or 64 bit).  If your main focus is photos, there shouldn't be too many problems. 

As a rule, it's probably best if your OS is the same as your desk tops but as long as they are windows(microsoft) there shouldn't be too many problems.

It is true that everyone is different and we all have our likes and dislikes.  No two people will answer these questions the same way.
 
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