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  1. #1

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    Laptop Shopping Advice

    Wise, computer savvy FSU-ers, I need your help.

    I'm looking to buy a new laptop this winter, around Christmas time. I'm a PC person, and not interested in going for a Mac. I'm really interested in a Sony Vaio, since they have good reliability and seem well-made, by what I've researched; everyone who owns one seems to love it and they come in pretty colors (a big draw, not going to lie). Specifically, I was looking at the E series. The EA 14" inch is my first choice at the moment, but I'm open to other options.

    I guess my real questions are:

    1. What laptop do you have and do you like it? Especially if you have a Sony, but I'm open to other options, particularly interested in Toshiba & Asus. Do you like their customer service?
    2. What do I really *need*? I tend to get carried away when I get all the options. Do I really *need* 500 GB of hard drive? Do I need the more expensive graphic cards? For reference: I only use my laptop for FSU, Facebook, homework, iTunes and so forth. The only game I ever play is Sims 3, so I'd like my laptop to run that (but my current laptop runs it fairly well, so not too worried on that front).

    I currently have a Dell. I've been a Dell costumer for pretty much my entire life, but I'm very frustrated with my current laptop. It's so cheaply made, and overheats easily. It's literally splitting open. I've had great customer service from them, though. But I'd rather not get another Dell.

    Thanks for reading

  2. #2

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    I have a Mac now, but I had a Toshiba before and a Dell before that. I wouldn't recommend a Toshiba. The one I had before I got my macbook pro froze constantly and would take upwards of five minutes to load up. It also overheated quite a bit. I can't comment on a Sony, but I would not recommend a Toshiba.
    Logic is in the eye of the logician --Gloria Steinem

  3. #3

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    I've heard great things about Sony and am considering them for my next computer. I had a toshiba for 3 years, and my only complaint was the fan which was very loud and overheated, but in spite of it being very hot and noisy, the computer worked fine. I replaced it 2 years ago and had heard the newer toshibas were better, but I don't know.

    I currently have an Asus. It's about 2 years old, and for nearly 2 years it worked like a dream. A month before the warranty was up, the dvd drive stopped working. This is a generic part that has nothing to do with Asus and could happen in any computer, so even with that broken I would have still recommended them. BUT - I'm not in the US. You need someone in the US to advise you on the service there, because the sevice I got in Europe was AWFUL.

    They took 6 weeks to replace my dvd drive and 6 other parts that were fine when I sent it, and when I finally got it back the dvd drive was new, but defectie, and they'd broken the mic trying to get the new parts in. I'm still furious about this.

    It would seem that Asus in Europe outsource their repairs to another company, so I've got an apology out of Asus but my only options for fixing it are to send it back to the repair centre that ruined it, or wait 2 weeks till I move to the UK to get it repaired there. I've chosen option 2. I don't THINK the UK service centre can be worse than the one I've just encountered, but I can't be sure...

    Point being, service is everything. Asus has a 2 year international warranty, comes with an extra battery, bag and mouse. All of that is pretty impressive, but if the service in your area isn't good then it's not something you want to buy.

    Then again, Mac service in Europe isn't great either and it is in the US, so you really need to find out more about Asus service in the US. If they do their own repairs there then I don't think you can go wrong.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  4. #4
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    I have a Sony Vaio CW. I actually, when determining what I needed, talking to a customer rep for a long time. I would suggest that. They really know their machines and are honest and easily able to help you find what you want. I was convinced I wanted an E series, but I do a lot of graphic design for my band program and the CW was better for that. I also got Photoshop bundled into the laptop and increased various things like RAM to give me more control and abilities. I freaking love this laptop. Plus it's indigo

    I would talk to a representative. They're really helpful.

    Are you a student?

  5. #5
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    I've never owned a laptop. It took years to get a blackberry, I hate traveling with electronics. But I'm being forced to acquire one....

    I don't need anything but email, ITunes and the ability to access word documents and edit them. I'm thinking of just getting the next generation IPad. (Sorry to hijack Oleada's thread but I'm in need as well.)
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    I've never owned a laptop. It took years to get a blackberry, I hate traveling with electronics. But I'm being forced to acquire one....

    I don't need anything but email, ITunes and the ability to access word documents and edit them. I'm thinking of just getting the next generation IPad. (Sorry to hijack Oleada's thread but I'm in need as well.)
    How about a netbook? You can get an Asus Eee PC for $219 (Win XP) if you keep your eyes open (usually at TigerDirect or NewEgg.) I have one and love it. If you use OpenOffice, you can also save yourself the price of MS Office.

  7. #7
    aspiring tri-national
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbny View Post
    How about a netbook? You can get an Asus Eee PC for $219 (Win XP) if you keep your eyes open (usually at TigerDirect or NewEgg.) I have one and love it. If you use OpenOffice, you can also save yourself the price of MS Office.
    I don't know what that is....
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    I have a Mac now, but I had a Toshiba before and a Dell before that. I wouldn't recommend a Toshiba. The one I had before I got my macbook pro froze constantly and would take upwards of five minutes to load up. It also overheated quite a bit. I can't comment on a Sony, but I would not recommend a Toshiba.
    I've had the exact opposite experience with my Toshiba Satellite notebook. It's not my primary computer but I've had to use it for some high-stress work meeting situations...it was ridiculously easy to get started with, boots up about 1000 times faster than my Dell desktop and has never frozen up on me.

    Would definitely *not* recommend a Dell laptop.
    Disclaimer: The post contained herein represents the opinions of a fan and may or may not bear any relation to reality.

  9. #9

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    I have a dell and love it so that doesn't help you! My brother had a Toshiba and had lots of problems with it. had to go back to them not long after he bought it and they took ages to send it back, not to mention the problems with collection and delivery. It played up all the time and dies recently after not much more than a year. He now has an acer which he seems to like even if I don't!

  10. #10

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    I'm looking to get a laptop for my mom, and she has her eye on an Acer. I've heard from a couple people that they're not really ideal machines. What about HP laptops?

    I'm surprised there aren't more "get a Mac" folks in here. Anytime I make noises about replacing my dying Dell, that seems to be the main response I get. I'm sure they're amazing computers and I could adjust, but I don't find them especially user-friendly myself.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andora View Post
    I'm looking to get a laptop for my mom, and she has her eye on an Acer. I've heard from a couple people that they're not really ideal machines. What about HP laptops?

    I'm surprised there aren't more "get a Mac" folks in here. Anytime I make noises about replacing my dying Dell, that seems to be the main response I get. I'm sure they're amazing computers and I could adjust, but I don't find them especially user-friendly myself.
    Well Oleada specifically said she didn't want a Mac, so...

    My brother is a computer technician, and he has an HP. He thinks it's the best. I would have got one but the Asus best met my needs at that time.

    I was using an Acer while my Asus was being "repaired" and found it okay. It was a netbook and it was all in French, but I had no problems!

    PRlady, as well as my laptop, I have a samsung netbook and it's great. If you need to edit documents then I don't know how good an ipad or any tablet computer would be because they don't have a normal keyboard and I find that REALLY frustrating.

    OpenOffice is a program which allows you to view and edit word documents - but without buying word. On that note, the Samsung NC10 netbook comes with office, the old version that's easy to use
    One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by *Jen* View Post
    Well Oleada specifically said she didn't want a Mac, so...
    It's true, but in my experience, it hasn't stopped some Mac fans.

  13. #13
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    I don't think ipad has word documents does it? At least not the most commonly use ones. Ipad is mostly for fun.

  14. #14

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    You can get an app for editing word docs (there's an app for that! ), as well as powerpoint and excel.

    As for laptops, I have an HP and I love it. Now, I got some big behemoth, because I wanted widescreen and the separate numeric keyboard, but they have smaller options. I've had it for 3 years at this point, and it's been very reliable.

    As for what you need, I doubt you need the more expensive graphics card if the system you have now can handle your gaming. I probably would NOT skimp on hard drive space tho. A hard drive can fill up pretty quickly if you store music and pictures and movies on it. It's hard to believe my first hard drive was 40 meg (with an "M"!) and the sales guy said that I'd never fill that up. Ahh... good times.
    Erm.... I got nothin'

  15. #15

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    Thanks all for the advice, I appreciate you guys taking your time to answer to my thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by michiruwater View Post
    I have a Sony Vaio CW. I actually, when determining what I needed, talking to a customer rep for a long time. I would suggest that. They really know their machines and are honest and easily able to help you find what you want. I was convinced I wanted an E series, but I do a lot of graphic design for my band program and the CW was better for that. I also got Photoshop bundled into the laptop and increased various things like RAM to give me more control and abilities. I freaking love this laptop. Plus it's indigo

    I would talk to a representative. They're really helpful.

    Are you a student?
    Thanks for this, I hadn't thought of contacting a rep; it's a good diea. I haven't checked out the CW, but I will now. I am a grad student, but I don't use anything really, aside from the Office Suite, which will be cheaper to get through my university anyway. And yes, the colors are a big draw

    Quote Originally Posted by Andora View Post
    I'm surprised there aren't more "get a Mac" folks in here. Anytime I make noises about replacing my dying Dell, that seems to be the main response I get. I'm sure they're amazing computers and I could adjust, but I don't find them especially user-friendly myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andora View Post
    It's true, but in my experience, it hasn't stopped some Mac fans.
    Heh, I was expecting "get a mac" responses even with me posting that I didn't want one.


    Quote Originally Posted by AYS View Post
    I've had the exact opposite experience with my Toshiba Satellite notebook. It's not my primary computer but I've had to use it for some high-stress work meeting situations...it was ridiculously easy to get started with, boots up about 1000 times faster than my Dell desktop and has never frozen up on me.
    .
    The Toshiba Satellite is the other one I'm looking at; though most people seem to either love or hate Toshiba.

    I read a couple of bad reviews on HP laptops...and they don't come in purple

  16. #16

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    I have an Asus and love it. I hadn't looked at them at all until the Manager of our desktop services department recommended checking them out. FWIW, we're a Dell shop.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRlady View Post
    I don't know what that is....
    A netbook is an ultra small and lightweight laptop (no larger than a 10" screen) that is optimized for web surfing and travel. They don't have any optical drive, so you would need to buy a USB DVD burner, which can be had for under $40 these days. The Asus Eee PC series are top rated.

    Re Macs - I have a friend who is a super IT professional (PhD included) and has his own micro computer, etc. He finally got so disgusted with laptop quality issues (even Toshiba, which used to be THE laptop,) that he caved and bought Macs for his wife and daughter. That way he didn't have to be involved in their care and feeding. It's what made me cave and get one for my younger DD also.
    I'm still a PC person, myself, but I'm considering an iPad so I can do app development.

  18. #18
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    I have a Sony Vaio and like it. It's not that fast but I've had no major problems with it.

  19. #19

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    I lurve my red Sony Vaio. I have had it almost a year and had no issues with it. I think it's plenty fast, but I don't have a ton of stuff loaded on it.

  20. #20
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    I have a Dell, son has a HP other son has a HP, husband had a Sony Vaio, (still has I suppose) daughter has a Toshiba, other daughter has a MAC, DIL has a Dell, grandson has a HP.

    Crappiest of them all....the Toshiba. Best besides the MAC ( ) the HP's.

    One person's opinion.

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