I want to buy a notebook/laptop. Got ideas?

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I'm looking at Dell notebooks. I used to have a Latitude...maybe looking at Inspiron (I'm relatively broke).

Anyone have any current experience with:

1) Laptop? 2) WiFi or ? 3) High Speed internet access (any flavor)?

Or whatever! Thanks. I get frustrated when I want to upgrade to something and then get all confused when there's so much to chose from and when I don't know how close the next technology is for upgrades!!

Any suggestions for researching, if nothing else?


-- Anonymous, July 09, 2003


Don't want to scare you off but I ordered a Desktop from Dell yesterday and ended up being very, very frustrated. After I hung up from ordering, I decided to change something and just couldn't get back through. The automated phone kept sending me where I didn't want to go, even telling me I called the wrong number. I spoke with at least 6 different people and left messages on 4 machines. Finally, a really nice man called me back to tell me he contacted who I needed to talk to. He had nothing to do with the ordering and didn't know how I got him but he felt bad about the run around I was getting. I was ready to cancel the whole order but someone did finally call me back. I'm getting ready to write the corporate office now to let them know about the incident. I probably would cancel if I didn't know that Dell was such a good product. As a matter of fact, the tech support for my Hewlett Packard uses a Dell. Ironic, isn't it?

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2003

Hi Dee,

Yeah, I've experienced that with Dell, too. They have great peecees and terrible customer service! We bought a new desktop about 6 months ago, and I like it (and loved the price). Mr. S. mostly hogs it all the time for school, though. I'm thinking about a laptop, and I'm thinking wireless somehow (although I don't know much about it yet), because I'm away from home a lot. I thought about a PDA but I am too much of a keyboarder.

Anyway, what desktop did you finally get to order?

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2003

Hi sheepish. I'm gonna hand the keyboard over to Bren to give you her two cents. Tah dah.............

Hi. I use a laptop as a consultant exclusively and carry it around in my backpack so I'm quite familiar with the brands. I also don't like Dell. I had a Gateway for awhile (in fact I still have it in the closet). It has periodic problems with the keyboard and is too small to support Windows XP. I also have a Toshiba and it is a fine machine but too heavy to carry around all day. It also came with Windows ME which is very buggy.

I now have a Mac Powerbook which I really like. It is easier to use, much lighter, and the wireless is incredible. Just walk in where there is wireless and it automatically connects (if there is no fee or sign on). There are two Mac laptops and I bought the powerbook which is more expensive because I use it over 8 hours per day and needed something that could run some programming languages. The Mac iBook is also excellent if you're not programming or needing to run large spreadsheets.

Some things I'd suggest you be aware of when looking for a laptop:

first, make sure it has enough memory and cpu speed to support the latest operating systems. Some do not.

Get a large of a hard drive as you can afford.

Weight is important if you carry it around alot.

Another big thing for me was getting away from Microsoft. I can't stand their bullying tactics. The Mac was as much a political statement as it was a decision for buying a great machine. Buying a Mac is a risk because not all software is available for Macs but I have Virtual PC that runs Windows XP on a Mac and have only used it once for Visio.

It's weird because I orginally started with an Apple II and used Macs when they first came out. Then I went to PC's because all my clients had IBM's and now I'm back to Mac and realized how much I missed the Mac feel and ease of use and just plain fun.

I would suggest you think about a used laptop that supports the software you want and invest in software. The big problem may be feeling assured the used laptop works okay. There are many off-brand laptops on ebay also that are new.

Good Luck!

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2003

I ended up getting a Dimension 2400. I was ordering the 2350 but it got upgraded between the time. I also got an upgrade on MB and a 15" flat screen monitor all at no addition cost. 256MB Shared DDR SCRAM, 40GB Value Hard Drive. Intergrated 3D, Audio, Networking and fax. Windows XP and WordPerfect. I paid extra for a CD burner and 4 year extended warranty (by the way, all this stuff I'm telling you I'm not sure I really know what it means) I'm getting $210 back in rebates. One from AOL which I don't want but $150 is still $150. Tried to get free shipping but I missed that promotion.

I got a call back from the corporate office this morning. She appologized and offered to redo my computer since it was already being built. I asked if I would get a refund for the monitor since that was my orginal question. She said she would look into it and call me back but would I be interested in a printer or digital camera if not. Well sure. The printer is also a scanner and is XP compatable which it appears my old printer wouldn't be (also, I don't have a floppy drive with the new and the old printer is installed with a floppy...fate?) I tried to get her to give me both but she said she couldn't. Gary said I should have asked for an optical mouse. Like I would know that.

I also kept stressing the frustration and asked if something would be done for future customers (doubt it but) I asked her if I could call her in the future if something is wrong and she said no to call the customer care, that she only handles the upper office stuff (I sent the mail right to Michael Dell, tee hee)

My point, they did call me back. They did make some restitution. And I think I got a good deal. We'll see.

-- Anonymous, July 11, 2003

Thanks folks! Hi Bren. Nice to meetcha. I have a friend who's a Mac freak too. He's an architect and uses his notebook all the time (I mean literally. He has folks drive his car for him if he has to be on the road, and he plugs into the cigarette lighter and works while he travels!). The Macs must be great; they have such a following.

Of course, Microsoft is in my backyard here, so I've grown up with their products, have friends that work there, etc. I even interviewed with them a few times (and from that perpective, I can verify the bullying!!!). Nevertheless, I'm familiar with all their stuff, so I'll probably stick to their products.

Bren, you have a good point. Maybe I'll look into a used one. Dell's prices are pretty compelling, though.

So do you use WiFi? or?

thanks all.

-- Anonymous, July 12, 2003

Bren does not read this forum, I just asked her if she would post something since she knows a bit about laptops and such. She and Ali are now on their way to Pittsburgh, where Ali will be dropped off at her good friend's, and then Bren will continue on to Hamilton, ON, to spend a few days with her Mom. I was actually gonna go with them this time, and visit with Tren, but now this building purchase is in the works and needs my attention at home.

I am guessing that a WiFi is a wireless thingy? Please don't laugh too loud if I am way off! :) Anyway, my understanding is all the new puters have both options, and she uses wireless when she's on the go, which works great on the Mac. We had a wireless system installed in this house when we first moved here (an idea I strongly opposed, BTW, mostly for concerns about increased EMF's). Well we struggled with the thing for a year and finally gave up and now have high speed internet cable, which is like the difference between the sunshine in Seattle and Los Angeles! There was always something going "wacky on the wireless", but we're quite sure something electronic in the house or neighborhood was just interfering all the time and we could never track it down and it was a constant irritant, plus something serious since Bren often works at home and has to have internet access at any given moment.

We still have the wireless system sitting here in boxes; we have had frequent conversations with their very good support people, and they are convinced there's nothin wrong with the system, it's just that some places don't do well with it, and we gave it our best shot. (bren says it's MY negative feelings about it that caused the problem, and she may be right!) I'm supposed to be selling the system on ebay but have not gotten around to it yet. Know anyone who might be interested in a LINKSYS system setup for 4 computers, give me a holler. I have no idea yet how much they cost, so I'll take any offer.

I don't care for laptops cuz I just cannot type on the keyboards; they just don't feel right. I'm going to take Bren's old Gateway to the new business and add a regular keyboard. I do like the fact that they don't have those huge, 'radioactive' :) monitors. Bren replaced all ours with flat screens and they are wonderful, but geez they cost a mint.

-- Anonymous, July 12, 2003

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