h213

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Hi, I am so sorry to bother you guys with one of these "predental" questions.. :) But I TRULY need help. :)
I am thinking of purchasing a lap top this month and I was hoping
that you guys can provide me feedbacks on your experience with lap tops. I will be attending Penn next year. If there is a particular lap top that is useful at Penn, please let me know. Thank you. Have a nice spring break.~
 
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Serge718

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Qustion for Stony Brook students:

When i was at their school for the interview they said that the students can choose their own lap tops as long as it meets requirements. Of those of you who are currently students there, what kind of a lap top do you recomend. Also how badly would i need one. Because I would rather get a really good desktop and an ok laptop, if the laptops aren't really used.

Please let me know,

Serge
 

sxr71

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Without a doubt an IBM T41 with built-in wireless (everything else will be up to spec on a current model).

If you don't mind using an external DVD drive on the rare occasion that you actually need to use an optical drive I would consider the IBM X31 or X40. How many times do you use a CD/DVD drive anyway? You can copy the entire contents of a DVD to your hard drive and use it directly from the hard drive. This let's you have a small notebook that could weigh as little as 2.7 lbs and be as small as a thick magazine.

Everything depends on your preferences.

Even though I personally have no problem with a notebook that lacks an optical drive, I'd still have to say that most people will want to have one onboard.


I would consider an Apple powerbook also, but you should ask your school about their support for those.
 

UBTom

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I'm a happy owner of a Thinkpad X31 myself. Before that, I was stuck with a Apple Powerbook G3 which weighed nearly 10 pounds with all the attachments.

The weight difference is like night and day. That Thinkpad X31 with all the attachments (except the base unit with the DVD drive) weighs 3.5 pounds. BIG consideration when one needs to run around campus all day.

The Thinkpad T41 weighs a bit more at 4.5 pounds, but I think I like having a built-in optical drive better.
 

sxr71

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Originally posted by UBTom
I'm a happy owner of a Thinkpad X31 myself. Before that, I was stuck with a Apple Powerbook G3 which weighed nearly 10 pounds with all the attachments.

The weight difference is like night and day. That Thinkpad X31 with all the attachments (except the base unit with the DVD drive) weighs 3.5 pounds. BIG consideration when one needs to run around campus all day.

The Thinkpad T41 weighs a bit more at 4.5 pounds, but I think I like having a built-in optical drive better.

I love my X31 and I have it in the car with me all the time. It is very easy to carry all the time.

I had a hard time choosing between the T40 and the X31, but I'm glad I went with the X31. Sometimes I eye the T40 when I see someone using it, and I wish I could borrow one for a few days to see if it the size makes a big difference.


If you need an external drive for DVD/CD-RW I found a drive that lets you use it without an external power supply. It only cost me around $130 and it is slightly bigger than a CD, but about 0.8" thick. I don't carry it unless I'm on a long flight and I want to watch a movie (although you could also put the movie on your hard drive if you own the movie). The problem is that is a relatively unknown brand and it doesn't have the polish of a a top brand name product.

Here's a link to it:

http://www.ewiz.com/detail.php?p=BUS-DR8X24&c=PG

You can find it at a local Microcenter store if you want to try it and maintain easy return privileges, but it costs $200 there. They don't advertise bus-powered on the drive but I have seen that it works. The only thing is that battery life goes down from the 4.5 hours I get without it to about 3 hours while playing a DVD on it. (BTW the dimensions on the website are of the box and not the unit).


Panasonic has announced an official bus powered drive but I don't think it has hit our shores yet. A quote from www.pricejapan.com was around $330, and I didn't see the need to spend an extra $200 for a brand name. It should be cheaper when and if it comes here.

http://www.akibalive.com/archives/000363.html

IBM has a gorgeous external bus powered DVD burner of similar dimensions that matches the color and style of our machines, but it costs $500.

http://www-132.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/s...d=-840&langId=-1&partNumber=22P9163&storeId=1


I did quite a bit of research on these and I thought I'd share in case you or someone else finds it useful.
 

Mo007

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Any schools using Apple iBooks or Power Books?

In my opinion Apple is taking over the world - and by far more friendly to use than Microsoft operated Powerbooks.

I think X31 is pretty good too, but personally I would buy Apple Power Book with G4 processor. G5 Power Book might be on its way late this year - its a shame dental schools are not ready for this kind of technology.
 

aphistis

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Originally posted by Mo007
In my opinion Apple is taking over the world
I don't know about that. Even if they are, at 4% market share it'll take long enough that IBMphiles like me don't have to worry about getting crowded out anytime soon. ;)
 

UBTom

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Originally posted by Mo007
Any schools using Apple iBooks or Power Books?

For those students who want Mac, my school recommends students buy Powerbooks but not the iBook.

As a matter of fact, my school used to be all-Mac. But after the disasters my class experienced with the Powerbooks, my school decided to stop forcing Powerbooks on its students. Subsequent incoming classes were given a choice of either Powerbook or Thinkpad... Most students in the subsequent classes bought Thinkpad T40s instead.
 

sxr71

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Those G4 powerbooks are still pretty slow. Intel saw the light with their Pentium-M processors. They are both fast and power efficient. The interesting thing is that if you buy a powerbook you are getting an IBM processor, and if you buy the best Wintel machine you are getting an IBM Thinkpad. In either case IBM gets some of your money.
 

bob18

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G4 was motorola primarily while the G5 is primarily IBM. That being said, the G4 is still the fastest offered in the powerbook since they still havent figured out a way to put the massive G5 into a laptop without melting everything including itself. The problems with the old G3 line of powerbooks are for the most part gone in the newer G4 models.

Anyway, just trying to set some facts strait. The G4s are a bit slower than the IBMs in CPU speed, but they are different styles of processors, so you can't really do a one to one compairison. They really are not slower for most of the apps people use.

Reliability is MUCH higher software wise and hardware I think they are still rated just above IBM (number one and two).

Marketshare is another thing. Ever since the G4 more cs geeks have moved to the powerbooks, cause most of us hate dealing with windoz. That also being said, every apple os previous to OS X was worse than microsoft from my experience.
I saw another post saying the powerbook has no flexibility, ummm gotta disagree, but totally true with apple previous to OS X.

Anyway, get whatever your comfortable with. If you go Windows (really not a bad choice since almost everyone has and supports them) get an IBM (I really liked mine). If you go with apple the G4 powerbook is really nice (my current machine) and stay away from the used G3s.
 

bob18

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Ok, last piece of advice and then I'll shut up. When you buy, put extra money into the memory and make sure you have a minimum of 512Meg RAM. You can run with less, but a machine with a slower CPU (1.5) with 512M will run a lot faster than a faster cpu (say 2-2.5) with only 256M, ESPECIALLY if your running XP (I use that on one of my desktops).

And keep in mind apple software tends to cost a bit more.
 

Mo007

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Originally posted by bob18
And keep in mind apple software tends to cost a bit more.

Apple has educational discount (10-15%) on most of their products... (including the widescreen monitors). All you need is a college ID to get it. This means savings of $200-$300 on a G4 power book.

You can also get even better discount (20%) if you simply tell them that you are a programmer... for this you need to register on the Online Store first.
 
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