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Me2
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Computer brands

#1 Post by Me2 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:29 pm

If you had to choose a computer from the following brands what would it be?? Gateway vs tosiba vs hp vs dell. And if there's a reason you are against any of those let me know why. Thanks!

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Re: Computer brands

#2 Post by sysiphus » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:07 pm

Difficult to say without more specifics. Dell has some very fine business-class machines, but their consumer-grade stuff is generally junk (speaking from experience)--I.E. the Precision/Latitude lines can be quite good, the Inspiron not so much (laptops). Gateway is generally unimpressive. HP business gear is quite good, but not all of its consumer-grade stuff is bad (my sister still has a HP/Compaq X1000 which has exceeded every expectation since new). My experiences with Toshiba are limited, but my general impression is that they make some cutting-edge stuff that can be quite nice, albeit at the expense of reliability/durability.

If I were buying a laptop from one of the aforementioned companies, I'd probably get a Dell Latitude/Precision or HP Elitebook. More specifics are needed to give real guidance, though.
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Re: Computer brands

#3 Post by pianowizard » Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:17 pm

Definitely Dell Business (and almost definitely NOT Dell Home). All of the Dell Latitudes, while probably half a notch below the Thinkpads in terms of quality, include 3 years of warranty by default. And this applies to not only the new units on the regular Dell site but also the refurbished ones on the Dell Outlet site. Even with this 3-year warranty, the Latitudes are still significantly cheaper than 1-year-warranty Thinkpads with comparable specs, so the Latitudes offer better values IMO. Not surprisingly, in the business world, Dell Business is the best-selling brand. It's a pity that most average computer users only know about Dell Home's laptops.

You didn't ask about Sony but that would be my second choice.
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Re: Computer brands

#4 Post by Me2 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:12 am

Specifics:

--CDRW and DVD drive (The Dvd drive does not have to be able to write dvds but that would be nice.)

--Numeric keypad.

--Trackpoint type.

--2-3 usb ports

-- A good size hard drive for storing lots of songs, pictures, etc.

--B/G/N wireless

--I do like the sleep and music capability on some of the tosiba machines.

--Hard drive impact sensor.

--Also the screen needs to be at least 15"

That's all I can really think of at the moment. I do have to say that I have had bad experiences with Dell Home.
Last edited by Me2 on Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Computer brands

#5 Post by HACCP76 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 1:20 am

I definetly agree with you on this one. Dell home I have heard a lot of complaints from ue to service elements, send backs and equipment issues which took a while to resolve. To be honest I have had not much dealing with Gateway so cannot comment. hp and toshiba are well renowned in my books with toshiba in jack of all technologies. It is definetly for me a toss up between two obviously depending on specs and prices.
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Re: Computer brands

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:17 am

I have seen several of each of the above brands.
My choice (if limited to those 4) would be Toshiba.
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Re: Computer brands

#7 Post by Tasurinchi » Wed Jan 12, 2011 7:45 am

I don't see Lenovo on your list :wink:

We work we Dell's in my company. And my experience with my 3rd notebook within 3 years goes from "neutral" to "bad"... :?

I had first a new D620 with several quality issues (keyboard flexing, loose hinges, cheap plastic everywhere, loose LCD bezel), it got broken and got for two days a D600, which was the worst computer I ever had. Luckily my replacement arrived soon in form of a D630, which had the same issues as the D620 but slighlty improved. It's hard disk got broken two days ago and I have now a brand new Latitude E5410.

It has a "low spec" LCD (14" with 1280x800) and it looks very nice but it's still full of plastic. There is still some flexing in the keyboard, but the build quality is definetely better than the D630. Hinges are tight, yet. Let's see how long it's stays in good shape, I have a fair amount of travel, but I always try to baby my notebooks as much as I can.

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Re: Computer brands

#8 Post by Marin85 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:14 pm

Is there any particular reason why no one has mentioned the business line of HP so far? :)
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Re: Computer brands

#9 Post by pianowizard » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:38 pm

Me2 wrote:I do have to say that I have had bad experiences with Dell Home.
Even though I said "definitely not Dell Home" above, I actually haven't had any problem with Dell Home. I bought two Inspirons from them in 2002 (the 8200) and 2004 (the 700m) and both worked flawlessly. But now that I know more about the differences between Dell's Business and Home laptops (e.g. 3-year versus 1-year warranty, weight, material), I am no longer interested in the Home laptops.
Tasurinchi wrote:got for two days a D600, which was the worst computer I ever had.
Prior to the D620, the Latitudes were mostly garbage. I serviced a friend's D610 a couple years ago and I too thought it was the worst computer I had ever come across. But I like my current D820 very much. I am fully aware of its not-so-durable hinges, and so I always open and close the lid carefully. Some may find that inconvenient, but I don't mind at all.
Tasurinchi wrote:I have now a brand new Latitude E5410. It has a "low spec" LCD (14" with 1280x800) and it looks very nice but it's still full of plastic. There is still some flexing in the keyboard, but the build quality is definetely better than the D630. Hinges are tight, yet.
The E5410 is the budget version of the E6410. Think of it as Dell's equivalent to the R-Series or SL-Series Thinkpads. The E6410 and E6510 use less plastic.
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Re: Computer brands

#10 Post by ArtShapiro » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:54 pm

pianowizard wrote:Prior to the D620, the Latitudes were mostly garbage.
I'd like to respectfully disagree with this statement.

I currently have two C610s, which I use very sporadically (because I just hate to jettison laptops) and still keep XP up to date with the monthly Patch Tuesday updates. I also purchased another one for a relative, and it is still running fine after a few years.

I still think the screen image is unusually good. The machines have been reasonably solid over the years, and disassembly and repair instructions are readily available, although by no means as good as the Thinkpad HMM. They're not the lightest things around by any means, but are seemingly well-constructed. Of course, the XGA resolution is preposterous, but I guess that's what one got back in 2002 or whenever these guys were current.

I don't know the general opinion of this older model, but it was fine with me. My company currently uses Dell laptops and desktops and aside from the usual bulging / failing capacitor issue on 4-5-year-old desktop motherboards they've seemed decent.

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Re: Computer brands

#11 Post by pianowizard » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:03 pm

ArtShapiro wrote:I'd like to respectfully disagree with this statement...I currently have two C610s
We aren't disagreeing at all, because I did say *mostly* garbage. Believe it or not, when I was typing "mostly", I was specifically thinking about the C610 as one of the few exceptions. I don't think it's a great laptop, but I do think it was significantly better than the D600 and D610. I also like it more than its Thinkpad counterpart, the T23.
ArtShapiro wrote:Of course, the XGA resolution is preposterous, but I guess that's what one got back in 2002 or whenever these guys were current.
Actually, the C610 had 1400x1050 and 1600x1200 options. As far as I know, the C610 and the Inspiron 4100 remain the only 14.1" laptops to have ever offered 1600x1200.
ArtShapiro wrote:My company currently uses Dell laptops and desktops and aside from the usual bulging / failing capacitor issue on 4-5-year-old desktop motherboards they've seemed decent.
I am a huge fan of Dell desktops -- look at my signature -- and so you don't need to convince me of this at all. Dell Business laptops have been not as consistently good, but like I said above, they are still worth buying because of their relatively low prices and 3-year warranty.
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Re: Computer brands

#12 Post by Me2 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:16 pm

Tasurinchi wrote:I don't see Lenovo on your list :wink:

The reason for that is I currently have a R61e running Windows XP SP3. I have had it for 2-3 years and already am seeing issues. I realize some issues are normal but the backlight or inverter or LCD is having issues.

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=89226 That's a link to where I have posted about the issue. I also didn't list Sony because of the price. And Sony charges a lot more to install software than hp for example.

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Re: Computer brands

#13 Post by ThinkRob » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:31 pm

Me2 wrote: The reason for that is I currently have a R61e running Windows XP SP3. I have had it for 2-3 years and already am seeing issues. I realize some issues are normal but the backlight or inverter or LCD is having issues.
Failure of one of those components after a couple years isn't really indicative of a quality problem, IMO. Two or three days or two or three months, sure. But after a couple years, stuff like that starts to hit the other side of the bathtub curve.

Also, the plural of anecdote is not data. ;)
I also didn't list Sony because of the price. And Sony charges a lot more to install software than hp for example.
I could be missing something, but why not just license the software and install it yourself?
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Re: Computer brands

#14 Post by Me2 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:50 pm

Isn't it cheaper if you purchase the software with a new laptop?

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Re: Computer brands

#15 Post by Me2 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:23 am

Me2 wrote:Specifics:

--CDRW and DVD drive (The Dvd drive does not have to be able to write dvds but that would be nice.)

--Numeric keypad.

--Trackpoint type.

--2-3 usb ports

-- A good size hard drive for storing lots of songs, pictures, etc. Probably at least 320 GB.

--B/G/N wireless

--I do like the sleep and music capability on some of the tosiba machines.

--Hard drive impact sensor.

--Also the screen needs to be at least 15"

That's all I can really think of at the moment. I do have to say that I have had bad experiences with Dell Home.
Knowing these specifics is there a laptop that you would recommend?

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Re: Computer brands

#16 Post by ThinkRob » Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:07 pm

Me2 wrote:Isn't it cheaper if you purchase the software with a new laptop?
Depends on the software, but my experience is generally that the reverse is true.

That said, I haven't needed preloaded software for a couple years now, as I can get licenses via my workplace.
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Re: Computer brands

#17 Post by pianowizard » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:52 pm

ThinkRob wrote:Failure of one of those components after a couple years isn't really indicative of a quality problem, IMO. Two or three days or two or three months, sure. But after a couple years, stuff like that starts to hit the other side of the bathtub curve.
I agree with you 100%. Over on the Notebookreview forum, there is a subforum where people ask for laptop recommendations, and many of them say they want the laptop to last for at least 3 years. I always tell these people that there isn't a single laptop in the whole world that can be guaranteed to be free of problems for at least 3 years, regardless of brand, model, or price. The best thing one can do is to get a laptop with at least 3 years of warranty. And the cheapest way to get a decent laptop with 3 years of warranty is getting a Latitude from the Dell Outlet.
Me2 wrote:Knowing these specifics is there a laptop that you would recommend?
Get a Latitude E6510 from the Dell Business Outlet. The E6510 has a free fall sensor built into the motherboard. For the Latitude E6500, there is also a free fall sensor but it's in the hard drive rather than the motherboard.
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Re: Computer brands

#18 Post by NorrisCell » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:28 am

Until Toshiba learns how to properly cool their laptops, I will not own another. I've had three different models, all of completely different generations, and all three had cooling problems. Toshiba recently recalled more models from their new line for heat problems.

Dell makes solid, affordable laptops, provided you skip the majority of the entry level. Their XPS models are excellent multimedia machines and offer a good balance.

HP would be my top pick overall. I've only owned one personally, but have seen a lot of friends with them and they've been reliable on all levels.

While not in the original list, I don't feel Sony hardware is worth the premium price it demands. I think HP makes similar quality laptops, at a substantial savings.
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Re: Computer brands

#19 Post by TTY » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:11 am

Me2 wrote:Knowing these specifics is there a laptop that you would recommend?
You might want to consider a Lenovo ThinkPad SL510. Take a look at it at

http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/cont ... e=Features

http://shop.lenovo.com/us/products/prof ... index.html

It doesn't have a separate numeric keypad, but a numeric keypad which is embedded in the regular keyboard, same as on the R61e. From the second website, you can configure hard disk size, amount of memory, pre-installed software, and warranty, amongst other things. The models offered in Lenovo's online shop when i last visited have anti-glare screens. In my opinion, such displays are preferable. If you get Windows 7 Professional x64, i would recommend you order 4 GB of memory.

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Re: Computer brands

#20 Post by mediasponge » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:55 pm

My wife's current Sony Vaio is a nice unit, 15", numeric keypad, DVD-RW, etc. Her previous HP Pavilion dv6000 machine was a total disaster. After 5 dead motherboards, it is awaiting scrap disposition.
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Re: Computer brands

#21 Post by pianowizard » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:17 pm

mediasponge wrote:Her previous HP Pavilion dv6000 machine was a total disaster. After 5 dead motherboards, it is awaiting scrap disposition.
That model, along with many other HP laptops, used defective Nvidia video cards. So it was Nvidia's fault, and you really shouldn't blame the problem on HP. It will take HP many years to fully recover from the bad publicity this fiasco caused.
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