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Please help me choose a laptop comp!!!!

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by DocGibby, Jun 17, 2000.

  1. DocGibby

    DocGibby Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 1999
    I know I've posted this before, so for those of you that have responded previously please bare with me and respond again if you'd like.

    Let me first start by saying I am going to purchase a laptop. Secondly, I don't want to spend much more than $1500 max. However I'm willing to bend a bit on that criteria. I'm basically looking for best bang for the buck on a budget. I'm utterly torn though, on expensive qualitly vs cheap trash.

    I want a system that can handle current
    and future applications with relative ease for at least the next 4 years. I realize this stuff goes obsolete before I get it out of the box. So, I figure a system with a minimum of 500 mhz should do the trick. What do you think? I could go bigger, but remember I'm watching the budget.

    So here's my request:

    Please sound off on your rants and raves of the various brands you've had the fortune or missfortune of owning. I want this thing to last worry-free for at least 4 years.

    Those of you with the AMD processors, do you find that they are as competent as Intel's Celeron?

    For those that know, would you recommend holding off on purchasing for another month (ie do you expect prices do start droping off considerably)?

    I heard nothing but raves for the Sonys and the Dells. However, we're getting closer to school and neither of these rather expensive systems seems to be dropping in price. They've been pretty stable for months. Is the extra cash really worth it? I they that much better in quality?

    I've heard a considerable amount of Compaq bashing, with only one person defending it.

    I'd also like to here from the toshiba people as well as the HP people. I've heard nothing about these systems or any others such as Acer, IBM ect....

    I know this is a mouthfull, but I'm really pulling my hair out over this. I'd appreciate any comments you might have to any of the above questions.


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  3. cholecalciferol

    cholecalciferol Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2000
    Any processor around 400 mhz will run the software you will need to for the next couple of years at least. Getting anything faster and you are wasting your money. I am still using my pentium 233 mhz desktop and it is still fast enough to do what I want it to do.

    Get as much ram & harddrive as you can afford

    There is very little difference between Intel & AMD processor especially on a laptop platform.

    Get a TFT (thin-film-transitor) or active matrix if you can. Your eyes will thank you because the displays are sharper but will drain the batteries faster than passive matrix displays.

    Acer makes alot of laptop parts for IBM so you may be able get an ACER laptop for a bit less. However, getting a brand name will mean better support i.e. warranty repairs etc.. but you pay for it.

  4. miglo

    miglo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 20, 1999
    Im still using my old compaq p120! you really dont need anything >400mhz like the previous poster unless you plan to play games. You're machine will spend 99% of its time IDLE...i guarentee you. [​IMG]

    If I had the opportunity to purchase my own laptop (instead of having to buy it from the university), my minimum standard would be : 400mhz+, 64megs, 6.4gigs, CD, and TFT. I would probably get an ethernet/phone card as well.

    If you wait a month, it will PROBABLY go down since AMD will be releasing their "mobilon" serious i think. K6's will perform just as well as celerons, and cheaper too.

  5. DocGibby

    DocGibby Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 1999
    How about screen size? Will I be kicking myself a few months from now if I settle on the 12.1 in screen? The screens seem to dictate the overall price more than anything.
  6. miglo

    miglo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 20, 1999
    if i remember correctly, you need at least a 13"+ for 1024x768+

  7. DrSRBS

    DrSRBS Member 10+ Year Member

    May 22, 2000
    Lansing, MI, USA

    As a fellow MSUCOM '04 person, I thought I'd mention what people have told me--there's a one-time $3000 budget allowance for purchasing a computer which you can obtain at any time from the financial aid department. I am excited about this, because I am going to use it to buy as nice a laptop as I can.

    I am choosing to wait until August to make the purchase, probably shortly before the orientation, so I buy the most current hardware. (Probably wouldn't make too much of a difference between July and August, but I'm going to stick it out.)

    I am also interested in hearing everyone's thoughts on the options out there. Am considering buying a copy of Computer Shopper magazine, but then it might just be better to go through the big companies straight off.

    I think I am going to go for a 600 MHz processor with as big a color display as possible (maybe even a computer which will support a monitor when docked at home). I want at least 136 MB of RAM and a CD-ROM, floppy and ZIP drive; 56.6 bps modem (but also eyeing the DSL connections available). I think I will go for as active a display matrix as possible, but probably will not go for the DVD option. Also, I want a Lithium/Zinc battery.

    I am not sure whether to go for the systems which have interchangeable components or to go for it all built into one. I have some reservations about the reliability of a removable component system because of the potential for damage and shorts caused by dust, etc. (Any advice?)

    Also, I am a little clueless about PC cards.

    As complex as this selection process is, it still is awesome to be shopping for a piece of really choice equipment!

    MSUCOM Class of 2004
  8. Susan

    Susan Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 20, 1999
    New York
    Is anyone using a mac laptop? I need to buy a laptop for NYCOM next fall and I'm considering a mac because that's what my husband has at home already. Mac will read pc formatted zip disks and Quicktime/MediaPlayer/Realplayer files from CD and web. Any compelling reason other than cost for a med student to have an IBM compatible PC? Thanks
  9. miglo

    miglo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 20, 1999
    136megs? sounds like a pretty weird number

    lithium/zinc? do these EXISTs? current standard is lithion ion i think, and the latest/greatest is lithium polymer. i could be wrong

  10. DocGibby

    DocGibby Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 1999
    Sorry can't stand those Macs. There're like a foriegn language to me.


    Yes I'm aware of the 3000 allowance, however I guess there's two schools of thought on that.

    A. If I'm already in the hole $120,000 (not including interest), what difference will adding another $3000 grand make?

    B. My God I'm $120,000 in the hole I have to cut corners where ever possible.

    Any thoughts people?
  11. DrSRBS

    DrSRBS Member 10+ Year Member

    May 22, 2000
    Lansing, MI, USA
    Sorry, 128 MB of RAM.
    And Lithium Ion Battery.

    I am just getting back into the lingo. I did my research a while back and the details were a little fuzzy.

    I am now leaning toward the Compaq Presario:

    Presario 1600
    Intel? Pentium? III Processor - 650MHz
    192 MB SyncDRAM
    12.0GB UltraDMA Hard Drive
    CD-RW (4x/4x/20x)
    14.1" XGA TFT Active Matrix
    Microsoft Office 2000 Professional Bundled CD
    56K ITU V.90 Modem PCI
    Trident CyberBlade hardware-accelerated 3D graphics
    with 8 MB video memory
    AC Adapter Included
    High-Capacity Lithium Ion Battery
    JBL Pro Audio System with Bass Reflex
    3.5" 1.44 MB diskette drive
    Microsoft Windows98 (second edition)
    3yr parts/ 3yr labor/ 3yr mail-in/ 3yr carry-in
    Compaq IJ300 Printer

    A pretty good deal for $3335.00.

  12. miglo

    miglo Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    May 20, 1999
    DRSRBS: Sweet god that is an insane machine! Do you really want to spend THAT much on a laptop? Personally, I would not spend more than $1.8k on one, but thats just me :p

  13. DrSRBS

    DrSRBS Member 10+ Year Member

    May 22, 2000
    Lansing, MI, USA

    Bought it last night! Yes, I wanted to get the best machine I could get (which I didn't--I could have gotten a 750MHz system from Dell, but that would have added about 800 bucks). I want it to be current for as long as possible. I pared it down a little by 86-ing the Office bundle--I can get that from work for free. Now it's under 3K.

    MSUCOM Class of 2004
  14. Cellpathology

    Cellpathology 2+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2013

    I bet you wish you hadn't spent that much money on that piece of crap now!! lol
    tankster1 and libertyyne like this.
  15. Yadster101

    Yadster101 7+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2010
    Ehh you mock but the jokes on you. Their generation made it in medicine when the hours, salary, student debt, and job satisfaction curves all intersected at the optimal point. I'd rather have that than all the gigabytes of ddr4 USB C's in the world.
  16. OnePunchBiopsy

    OnePunchBiopsy General Surgery 2+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2014
    Buy a refurbished Mac laptop. Got a refurbished macbook air from Apple for about $680 2 years ago.

    I'm a PC guy and I still recommend them to everyone. I got burned too many times with crappy laptops lasting 1-1.5 years (and we're talking good brands like ASUS and Lenovo here). A core i7 with 6-8GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD does little good when the motherboard fails or your screen-to-motherboard connectors go bad after a year and you're out of warrenty.

    Don't let all the lower specs of Macs fool you. My macbook air only has a 1.4GHz i5 processor and 4GB of DDR3, but it runs smoother and has outlasted my old laptops with higher specs.
    Mr Roboto, 3member and Akiera like this.
  17. The Knife & Gun Club

    The Knife & Gun Club MS - 2 2+ Year Member

    I was reading the first few posts ready to comment and was like "who the F**k is buying a compaq these days" then realized this is a thread that was written when I was in 1st grade.

    If anyone's curious though...Mac Book 11" + a auxiliary cheap monitor + 1TB Dropbox storage for all those giant textbook PDFs...comes in well under 1500 and is a superb setup
    Mr Roboto, TheFutureFatMan and Akiera like this.
  18. TheFutureFatMan

    TheFutureFatMan Faking it till I'm making it

    Apr 8, 2016
    What I CAN tell you is stay away from the Windows Surface Book Pro's at all costs. We have them at our school, and I literally leave mine on the shelf except for exam days. It is single-handedly the most worthless laptop I have ever used.

    Edit: I use my MacBook pro from 2014, love it, and god forbid something happens I will be purchasing another mac.
  19. hallowmann

    hallowmann SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    Sounds like they got a decent medicine and peripherals for back in 2000.

    Dude this thread is like 17 years old.

    Also the truth of the matter is that for 95% of med students, pretty much any mid-range processing and RAM combined with an SSD will be fine for the next 4 yrs and beyond. A modern (pretty much anything from the last couple generations) i5 or even an i3, 8GB or more RAM, pretty much any size SSD combined with a portable HDD or large flash drive is going to work well for some time.

    Alternatively, you could buy a cheap laptop and upgrade it, which is what I do most of the time. Still running on a 2011 PC laptop. First upgrade was from 3GB of RAM to 4GB, then 8GB. Next was from the dual-core Pentium that was in it to an i5 (pretty much the highest that could go in it). Next was the 256GB SSD. Runs everything I've needed it to through my post-bac and med school.
    FCMike11 and popopopop like this.
  20. popopopop

    popopopop 5+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2011
    Bravo, you should copy the bolded into every laptop/computer threads on sdn. I wanted to say something similar, but just don't have the energy. My main laptop has a fanless m-5y10 processor. At one point in undergrad, I was primarily using a tablet with an atom processor for powerpoints and word processing. I loved it and plan to use it in some form or another in medschool. I know hardware can fail even from the best company, but the higher end laptops being recommended so commonly are not needed for normal everyday use.
  21. Oh_Gee

    Oh_Gee 2+ Year Member

    what don't you like about the surface?


    Feb 29, 2016
    Can anyone recommend the surface book?
  23. TheFutureFatMan

    TheFutureFatMan Faking it till I'm making it

    Apr 8, 2016
    It's the glitchiest machine I've used in awhile. I'm not crazy about windows to begin with (heavily Mac biased), but...this thing crashes all the time. I have problems switching in between tablet mode and laptop mode. Tons of wifi connectivity issues (this is consistent with everyone in our program, thought it was the schools wifi, literally never had a problem with my MacBook).

    the screen is nice, and mac needs to step up their game and get a touch screen interface on their laptops, but I wouldn't purchase this computer again. The understanding is that our school is switching to a different PC for next year because of all the problems.
    Mr Roboto and getfat like this.
  24. CatsAreFunnerThanDogs


    May 5, 2017
    a bit late to the thread.. but i really would recommend the surface 2. it'd be worth waiting for.
    TheFutureFatMan likes this.
  25. BorntobeDO?

    BorntobeDO? SDN Bronze Donor Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    Lol someone is talking about a pre'sorryio' I had one of those my freshman year of highschool. Which consequently was when this thread was started. Clearly these guys didn't know what they were doing tho, I don't see any of them advocating a dedicated 32mb graphics card from GeForce or talking about half-life.

    I admit I laughed pretty hard at whoever necrobumped this to troll the guy. Its so funny to see real names and people talking normally. I feel like this thread is a time capsule.
  26. Mr Roboto

    Mr Roboto 2+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2013
    A galaxy far, far away...
    How is this thread open but we can't have @Jalby 's? :(

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