Advice, please.

Laptops, PDAs, Cell Phones, and all other tech that you carry with you.

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Advice, please.

Postposted on Mon May 23, 2011 3:17 pm

I finally have a job that will allow me o purchase a new laptop. so let me first give you the run down of what I am looking to do with it, and then what is important to me. then with any luck you guys can help me find the perfect fit.

things I will be doing:
1.) writing code in various formats (Java, C#, Autoit, HTML, PHP, jscript, and so on), I don't need to use a heavy environment, I like eclipse, but I also use notepad++ from time to time.
2.) Web browsing. I would need the laptop to handle flash admirably, it doesn't need to decode full HD videos in real time. but playing either 480p or 720p streams would be nice. netflix would be great, but not a necessity.
3.) listening to music streamed via google music.
4.) connecting to a number of networks (VPN) and remote desktop.

things I will not be doing:
1.) watching DVDs
2.) Editing video
3.) storing music and large files locally
4.) gaming (aside from the odd flash game)

things that are important to me:
1.) chassis build quality, I am going to need this to last me a good while, upwards of 2-3 years of heavy use.
2.) comfortable keyboard, it doesn't need to be full sized (although that would be nice) just something that isn't cramped.
3.) screen pixel density, screen size isn't terribly important, something portable <15.4" but nothing smaller than 10" and vertical pixels are precious, the more the merrier, 720 vertical pixels is a minimum.
4.) a hardware configuration that won't give me fits of rage when I install a new distro of linux (which I like to do about every month, just to check out new distros and the like)
5.) upgradeable components, it would be nice if it wasn't too hard to swap out HDD or RAM.

things that don't matter to me:
1.) who made what is inside, green team, red team, intel, AMD, Microsoft, apple, Hp, samsung, dell, none of it matters, so long as I get the build quality.
2.) color / color choices
3.) warranty (chances are i will void it anyway)
4.) where i get it, so long as it works. ebay, craigslist, bestbuy, newegg, tigerdirect, cheap is king.

I would like to handle a similar model in person before I purchase, so it would be nice if someone like bestbuy did carry something similar (same manufacturer, same model line) so I could verify the build quality. I do plan to carry it around quite a bit, so it would be nice if it was fairly portable and had a decent battery. but I will probably have it near an outlet 70%-80% of the time. it doesn't need to be new, and it doesn't have to be fancy. I just want quality.

finally my budget... DRUMROLL....

MAX : $400 (USD)
PRIME : under $300
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diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
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Re: Advice, please.

Postposted on Mon May 23, 2011 3:55 pm

At that price point, you may want to move into a Fusion-based system.
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Re: Advice, please.

Postposted on Mon May 23, 2011 4:06 pm

Dig around on Dell Outlet for a decent system. It might be a bit older, but it might get you out of netbook realm into something a little faster. For that kind of budget, I don't think you'll be able to be too picky about build quality, or anything for that matter.
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Re: Advice, please.

Postposted on Mon May 23, 2011 7:02 pm

I am not picky about much besides the build quality, and my needs, at least form what I can gather, don't require much horsepower, so something from 12-18 months ago, would be fine. core 2 or equivalent from AMD. I don't know what brands or models have had noteworthy build quality in order to know what to look for. I am looking to scrounge around, I just don't really know what I am looking for.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
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Re: Advice, please.

Postposted on Mon May 23, 2011 9:13 pm

Definitely look at the outlets for Dell, HP, Lenovo. I personally love my ThinkPad for it's build quality, but it'll take a bit to make it fully Linux functional. I'd check the HCL for something that's only decently supported for the hardware to make sure it works. I now know I should've gotten the Intel wi-fi card for my laptop as the Realtek chipset (8188CE) in my ThinkPad doesn't play nicely with OpenSUSE. A new ThinkPad will also probably be out of your price range, but you may find one on eBay. They're also great with upgrades, and I love their keyboards.
Also, I rather like Asus laptops. If you could stand a Core 2 Duo ultra low voltage chip perhaps http://cgi.ebay.com/ASUS-UL50AT-X1-Core ... 2712wt_901 might work?
There are also a lot of cheap C2D IBM/Lenovo T61's and T400's that would fit the bill on eBay.
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Re: Advice, please.

Postposted on Mon May 23, 2011 10:09 pm

Thinkpad X120e, perhaps?
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Re: Advice, please.

Postposted on Tue May 24, 2011 3:48 pm

I like the idea of the older think pads, are any of them known to have hardware that plays especially nice with debian or fedora?
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
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Re: Advice, please.

Postposted on Wed May 25, 2011 2:55 pm

I have been looking into netbooks, do any of them have reasonable build quality and a nice big keyboard? Also, the Asus transformer look intriuging to me. 399 and I could get the keyboard dock for 40 or 50. a little over budget but I get much more because I get a tablet too.
Mathematics is not a language, it’s an adventure. Most mathematics is done with a friend over a cup of coffee, with a
diagram scribbled on a napkin. As Gauss once remarked, “What we need are notions, not notations.”
mthguy
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Re: Advice, please.

Postposted on Wed May 25, 2011 9:53 pm

mthguy wrote:I have been looking into netbooks, do any of them have reasonable build quality and a nice big keyboard?
If the main activity is coding, a typical netbook screen size sounds unproductive and unenjoyable. I assume you won't be using an external monitor when you're programming?
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Re: Advice, please.

Postposted on Wed May 25, 2011 10:33 pm

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