Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Looking for a laptop

I'm thinking of buying a new laptop. We have an existing HP unit that my siblings and I share, and which I occasionally lug to the office and business functions from time to time. It used to function well enough, but now it's begging to be reformatted because it takes about 10 minutes to start up. The hard drive is littered with our numerous personal documents, photos, music, movies and programs, and our company's presentations, training slides and other files are scattered within that mess. I would prefer to keep all work-related files in a separate laptop, not only to avoid the inadvertent transfer of viruses which might contaminate our personal files, but also to avoid scheduling conflicts, like if Bens needs it for school on the same day as a meeting with SM. Besides, it's not exactly professional having the Leasing VP see whatever undignified wallpaper is in use (currently featuring Remy from Ratatouille, previously the main characters from Heroes).

Since mainly I'll be using it for work, my requirements for a laptop are pretty simple:
  • fairly light and portable (in case I need to bring it on a business trip)
  • decently long battery life (for longish presentations)
  • WiFi-enabled
  • CD/DVD drive with a burner
  • multiple USB ports (our HP unit has 5)
  • memory card slot a plus (our HP unit has this too)
  • operating system is NOT Windows Vista
  • price ceiling: P35,000
  • NOT a Mac (won't fit under my price ceiling anyway)

Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Once I've decided on which laptop model to get, my friend and personal shrink Maddy, who is now based in Singapore, has kindly offered to buy it for me, since prices are cheaper in Lah-lah Land. Her mom will be visiting her in October, so I need to make up my mind by September, leaving her enough time to search for and purchase the laptop before her mom arrives. So help me out, my bloghounds, and let me know your recommendations. Thanks in advance. :)


At Wednesday, August 22, 2007, Anonymous jenica said...

I agree with the "NOT Windows Vista" comment. I've had to switch back to XP because of the compatibility issues with my Vista. My friends from MS don't quite agree with me though. :) I also agree with the "NOT a Mac" comment. Mac machines are very slick , but I find that they're not really for business (more for games, graphics and such).

Light and portable - Lenovo models are very light, but I haven't really tried using one. My friend who has one says that the battery life degrades after a year. I have a Dell XPS M1210. It's fairly light-4.4 lbs at 12.1 inches. I guess maybe you could get something lighter for that size.

Long battery life - My Dell can last for 2.5 hrs on Windows XP when it's fully charged. If you want a really long battery life, you can order a bigger cell. Tradeoff for that will be an increase in the weight of the laptop.
I think most, if not all models have battery options.

Price ceiling - for 35000 pesos, you could probably get an HP or an Acer. I've heard that HPs are the most reliable, followed by Dell. I had an Acer once. The battery doesn't last very long, but other than that, I didn't have any problems. Some friends have HP and they've been very happy with it. Maybe you should look into the HP models and read some reviews. :)

Hope that helps you get started on searching for the right laptop. :) I'm in CS but I'm really not very knowledgeable in hardware specifications so sorry if this wasn't of much help. :)

At Wednesday, August 22, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Thank you so much for your comprehensive feedback! I'm leaning towards either HP or Toshiba, and your comment just tipped the scales slightly in favor of HP. I'm also glad to hear someone agreeing with my reservations against Vista, and surprisingly, you're one of few who aren't pushing for a Mac! Really appreciate your input Jenix. :)

At Thursday, August 23, 2007, Blogger Athene said...

I'm a stalker! Because I just got to your blog via the Fernandez controversy! But I'd recommend a Lenovo/IBM x-series. I use it for work myself and its fairly sturdy, the wi-fi is dependable, it has cd/dvd. Just don't expect the graphics to be stunning because its not created for gaming. You can fit it with a 1 GB memory card if I remember.

If you're a tech-savvy person I'd recommend Linux running on the laptop instead of Windows, especially if its just for work. No problems with viruses, no blue screens of death. Not as pretty or as user-friendly at the moment but Ubuntu and Fedora are becoming prettier by the second. The learning curve just gets a bit steep if you're not tech-savvy.

The Mac I would recommend only if you're running it at home. (I run a Mac G5 at home because I draw and play MMORPGs) Its user-friendly and easy to use PLUS it has a BSD backend which means it does not have as much viruses as Windows. Its also bloody expensive :(

Its very pretty though *shot* and for tech!hos like me, I love the fact that I can use the terminal to tweak it just a little bit.

At Thursday, August 23, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Athene, thanks so much for your recommendations (and for stalking my blog, haha). A friend just told me she got a Lenovo in Singapore for a really good price, and it came with lots of freebies too. I once owned an IBM ThinkPad which survived about 5 years of misuse and abuse, so I guess I should consider a Lenovo this time around.

Linux is way beyond my limited technical know-how, so I'm sticking to Windows. And yes, a Mac is way beyond my budget. :)

At Thursday, August 23, 2007, Anonymous jenica said...

Haha no problem. Don't listen to my comment regarding the mac. I'm a biased MS supporter. I'm sure a mac's great but I'd prefer a PC anytime (uhh I think). :) Let me know what you end up getting! I'm curious.

At Thursday, August 23, 2007, Blogger sugeina said...

i'd recommend a lenovo for durability (since apparently you'll be carrying it around from one mall to another). it also looks the most professional of all with its plain, box-type (slightly boring) design. it's just a bit heavier compared to other brands, and i'm not sure if there's one that fits your ceiling price.

from experience, acer is not as durable as ibm/lenovo or hp, but i just came across this model -> http://www.cooltoyzph.com/viewitem.php?iid=482
which is priced fairly good with its specs. you can at least use it as a price-guide to check if a certain model you're interested at is expensive or not.

At Thursday, August 23, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Hi Sugeina, thanks for your input. I'm now looking at Lenovo models and considering them too. IBM laptops do tend to be heavy though. I had to lug around my ThinkPad all over campus when I was in college, and it gave me shoulder pains. Thank goodness for guy groupmates. :p

I was interested in a Fujitsu Lifebook but the price turned out to be way too steep. Sigh.

At Tuesday, August 28, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Jenix, I'm now considering a Toshiba Satellite M200-A411, priced at about P48,000. My dad's friend says it's a good buy, but I'll have to consult with my own tech expert friends first. :)

At Thursday, September 20, 2007, Blogger sugeina said...


At Thursday, September 20, 2007, Blogger Ailee Through the Looking Glass said...

Errr... yeah. Thanks, but no thanks. I've never been a Hello Kitty fan. :p


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