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Question about laptops

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have never had a laptop before and I've always really wanted one. Recently I've been thinking about buying one but I don't know what optional equipment I need. It will mainly be used while on the road...away from home while at my new student rad tech job (work on homework), on vacation, out of town, etc. I would like to be able to access the internet while away ie directions, places to eat, shop, etc. I don't know anything about laptop batteries, chargers, etc. Can anyone help me with what equipment I would need to get started?
post #2 of 10
The laptop ought to come with a power cord, which is the 'charger'. Look for one that's wireless enabled but also has an ethernet port, that way you can also plug it in to the internet, if need be. Bigger harddrive, faster speed, bigger screen/resolution, etc is all good. Remember that they usually don't get that much time off the power cord, a couple hours, maybe, so plug it in to charge when necessary.

I prefer the laptop touchpad, some people like the mouse-'nub', some people prefer to get an additional mouse to use. Try some in the store to see what you like.

Really the only 'accessory' I have for my laptop is a fan-base. After a while on the counter or my lap it gets really hot, and the fans keep it cool (not that I can use the fan-base on my lap, but you get the idea.

Look around, you can find some really good deals out there.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Any brand recommendations?
post #4 of 10
I say Dell they have excellent customer service and they customize your lap top to exactly what you need. We've had nothing but good luck with them.
post #5 of 10
There's a really good laptop forum (similar to this one) that you can search for online and get a lot of info from. Unfortunately, I don't have the link with me right now, but you should be able to Google it. Also, cnet.com is a great place for reviews. If you want access to the internet while traveling, make sure you get one with a wireless card - they're built in to almost all laptops now though, but if you do a 'build it yourself' type (like with Dell, where you can choose all the options), you'll need to make sure you're getting it. And even then, it will only get you online if you are in a place with wifi - sometimes free, sometimes you have to pay for it. If you want, you can also get an adaptor for your cellular network (t-mobile, verizon, etc), but the service fee for that is usually at least $30-40 per month, so unless you need to always be able to get online while on the road, not worth it in my opinion.

You may want to check reviews for how long the battery charge lasts. Different models vary quite a bit, and for some computers you can be an extended life one vs. the one it normally comes with. My laptop only goes for about an hour on the standard battery and some will go up to 6 hours on a charge.

Other than that, what features you look for aren't really any different than what you look for in a desktop. If you plan on doing any video editing (like from your camcorder videos for instance), you may want to make sure the harddrive is a 7200 rpm version instead of a slower one. Usually in laptops, the faster harddrives are an upgrade. Can't think of anything else though.
post #6 of 10
I love mine!. Mines wireless so i can sit anywhere in the house with it.

This is mine

post #7 of 10
I have an Acer Aspire and I love it! This is the 2nd Acer laptop that I have had and I have had no complaints with them. Just don't buy anything from Walmart.com (where I got my laptop)-- they *ahem* screwed me over pretty good when it came to paying for shipping.
post #8 of 10
I have a Compaq and my previous laptops have been HP (which means, all the same, I suppose, since they're joined up now). I've had decent experience with Dell, Sony, and even the rare iMac or two...
post #9 of 10
We have a Dell... and absolutely do not recommend it. Anything but Dell would probably be great. We've had nothing but bad luck with ours.
post #10 of 10
I am on my second Dell laptop. I had purchased the service plan, which turned out to be a great deal for me and bad for Dell. They replaced my 2 1/2 year old computer in January. I got a reconditioned one, but it is working out wonderfully.
I also bought Dells for my college kids this summer - required for their classes. Get the larger battery and a backup.

The Dell offers repeat every three weeks or so. There are also discount coupons availabel online.
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