Best Laptops of 2006Of course, everyone is entitled to bias when it comes to picking their laptop. I have bought and sold laptops and work as an IT professional. Here are my take on buying a laptop in 2006. Believe it or not, there are currently about a dozen primary laptop groups that are suitable to various people. I've seen many people frustrate over their laptop performance, it is usually because they bought the wrong one to begin with.
First thing on most IT professionals' minds in 2006 is Windows Vista. The much anticipated new version of Windows from Microsoft that is rumored to revolutionize Windows computing (it took them about 6+ years to produce it versus the 2 to 3 years between the previous Windows). We are all skeptics about Vista's performance on current hardware, if I can put it in layman's terms: don't wait. Just buy a solid machine today while the sales are going on. Here's why you shouldn't wait: the new releases of Windows are always buggy and not refined, it took Windows XP a few years to mature. Technology gets cheaper by the day, if you keep waiting, you don't have anything to use, just buy something and don't envy new technology. Vista is far away from being the best.
Second thing is eBay, with a big decisions like dropping 2 grand on a laptop, spend a little extra to make sure you're buying from a reputable seller with some sort of buyer protection. I've been ripped off on eBay many a times. Don't let it happen! No one will hear your cries.
Now let's get down to business and talk about brand names:
There are many brands to begin with, most of them offer similar specs.
Most popular laptop brands are (in no particular order): Dell, Apple, Lenovo (IBM Thinkpad), HP, Fujitsu, Sony, Gateway, Alienware, Acer, and Toshiba.
Believe it or not, I've bought or used all of these laptops brands. Others I have used include: ASUS, Compaq (part of HP), Panasonic, and Averatec.
What my recommendation in terms of brand:
If you are a just a beginning or intermediate user with light to medium tasks, don't waste your money on expensive brands such as Alienware and IBM just because they are expensive, you'll just make tech professionals envious.
Buying from these brands will satisfy the moderate needs: HP, Fujitsu, Dell, Acer, Sony, Apple.
There are laptops which I would say steer away from.
What I would not recommend:
- Gateway (the cow thing is not so cute anymore, design is bad, clunky laptops).
- Compaq (I don't know why, HP laptops are just better designed, even though they are the same company now)
- Averatec (they just aren't putting out the latest technology)
- Toshiba (I know they have potential to put out good stuff, they aren't, they're flooding the market with cheap crap)
For the mainstream college student or just student:
I would recommend, in order of best:
5. Lenovo (IBM)
Try to look for a laptop with Core Duo (Centrino Duo, Dual Core, it's all the same) technology, but don't squander money on the highest clock speed (2 Ghz performs about the same as 2.16 Ghz), no need to spend the extra $200-400.
For the graduate/professional student:
2. Lenovo (IBM)
For the business professional:
2. Lenovo (IBM)
For the IT professional:
(you can probably pick out your own laptop, but here is my list anyway)
1. Lenovo (IBM)
For the designer/geek/power hungry gamer:
1. Alienware (or other boutique computer makers: Voodoo PC, Falcon NW, Overdrive)
4. Dell XPS
For those who want an all purpose, cooking, cleaning, and just about do anything laptop:
For those who wants to wow the world with their laptop's visual style:
3. Lenovo (IBM) - chic for business at least
4. Voodoo PC
5. Acer Ferrari
For small business, people who need a running laptop desperately, and those who are on a budget:
1. Ealier or used models of IBM, Fujitsu, HP Compaq, and Dell - these last a while, you probably will get a good used one.
*A note, I recommend Apple's current line of laptops, not the earlier types such as the iBooks or Powerbook. I recommend the MacBook and MacBook Pro as they are able to run both Windows and Mac OS and they are just well designed and built on solid Intel platforms.
I will not be recommending processor speeds to start because these change all the time and you'll need to determine what you're going to be doing on the machine.
Look for Core Duo, Pentium M, AMD Turion 64 X2.
Don't try to best your buddies by buying the fastest chip, it'll cost you a fortune to do so. the next fastest is usually a lot cheaper and performs just as well.
Don't settle for anything less than 512 MB of RAM. In fact, with the onset of 2007, I would say do not settle for anything less than 1GB of RAM. But 512 MB should be the bare minimum.
In addition to RAM amount, look at its speeds. (400 Mhz, 533 Mhz, 667 Mhz, etc) I dont' recommend Dell alot of times because they skimp out on RAM speeds to lower costs.
Don't settle for less than 60 GB. It is the minimum nowadays, even if you don't need all that space.
Don't worry about insane independent graphics if you are a mainstream user, you can play games on the Intel Graphics 950 with 128 MB shared. But if you have the money, don't wimp out on graphics cards either.
Look for Wireless A/B/G, but B/G should suffice as well.
Try to find a laptop with a DVD burner, sometimes referred to as a DVDRW, that is not the same as a DVD/CDRW combo, so be careful.
THE DISPLAY, ah the display:
How big the display depends on what you will use the laptop for. I, personally, find no use in a 17 in laptop, but you might.
A good display proportion for a all purpose laptop is 14.1" SXGA. If not, other good proportions are 15.4", 13.3". It's just good viewing sense.
Glossy or matte depends on your taste, glossy give more contrast, matte gives beter lighting and lower glare.
It's that simple really, just rely on the brands I have selected for 2006 and you'll be set.
Here are my choices for service, and this depends on a lot of things, for one, the person who answers your call can be an arse or an angel, it all depends, I polled my IT buddies and here's their ratings:
Remember, any computer is as fast or as good as its worst components. Try to get a laptop builder that minds the little things, to make sure quality components go into your investment.
Good luck on your notebook hunt, if you want to contact me or have other questions, contact me via the message service on eBay. or route to guide<>/\at/\<>aqua-cs<>/\dot/\<>com
UPDATE: So I found out I can't reallly respond to your questions if I'm not engaged in a bid with you.
for mysteryman1418: My answer is Yes, the HP specs are great for that price and the buy is recommended.
To answer your other questions, please see guide<>/\at/\<>aqua-cs<>/\dot/\<>com.
Another note: please do not attempt to spam me, don't think about spamming me, don't even smile at the idea of sending me "second chance offers". I sincerely HATE all those do send spam and unwelcomed crap into my inbox.
Do not use the email message service anymore, since they do not allow people to message without bidding or selling.