Looking for notebook PC advice...

I’m currently in the market for a notebook pc/laptop/turkey… whatever you call 'em these days.

I’m not really worried about gaming with it, but I want to be able to run my Photoshop and other photography programs fluidly, and then a lot of the word processing I’ll be needing to do for school this coming fall…

Anyway, I’m not in a hurry to buy one, so I was wondering if anyone new good places to look for them, or not to look for them. I’ve been frequenting on Newegg.com and tigerdirect.com for deals, and hoping a good one gets thrown on woot every midnight, but no luck so far. Does woot have them occasionaly?

(my only real criteria for it would be an intel core 2 duo processor, and a 15-17" screen, mayybe 14.1" or whatever’s the next size down… Anyway, thank you for reading.

I would advise you to look for one running windows xp if you’re going the windows route… because come june they wont sell that os anymore and you’ll be stuck with vista. I have a cheapie laptop I got from tigerdirect for school. 1.5ghx celeron, 512mb ram, and it will run the gimp (a photoshop type program) and several other things at the same time without too much difficulty. dual core is nice, but I advise you to max out on ram if you can, that will make more of a difference to how your programs behave lagwise than processor speed will.

It worked fine for about a year, then I got something in my boot sector corrupted. Discovered the hard way that they didn’t send me the install disk, just a repair disk, and after much headache and screaming on my part I installed a new harddrive and put ubuntu linux on it. easiest damn os install i’ve ever done. it runs open office, gimp and other stuff and its faster than windows. I’m so happy i’m not goin back to windows on teh lappy ever, but I will probalby send asus the $30 for the install disks for xp media center and see if i can reinstall on the old harddrive. then i’ll put it in an old box and actually build a media computer with it i think…

anyhoo, there’s my $0.02. Get XP before june, or get one without an OS and install ubuntu or other flavor of linux. Max your ram. Also check out www.geeks.com for good laptop deals.

Yep. I run Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, runs like a charm. Ive been running Ubuntu for about a year now. Linux is not hard, just different. Didnt take me long to figure out how to compile a program, navigate/become root/rename/etc. with terminal, stuff like that.

If you’re heading to college, I would suggest you look into getting a Tablet PC. They give you a lot more flexibility for taking notes, and the Microsoft OneNote software is a powerful tool for taking notes. It lets you use a keyboard when you want to (where I type faster), but frees you to use a pen-type input for those non-text notes you end up needing to take, like diagrams or in a math class. You don’t need to convert your handwritten notes to text; the program can search through them as they are, fairly accurately also. The new version also lets you “print” into it, and will run an OCR scan on the document, so those can be searched as well. Plus, for your Photoshop work, it means you have a built-in graphics tablet (though I wouldn’t trust the color reproduction of the monitor). I have a Toshiba, but wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. They come with a lot of crapware on them you have to uninstall, and I have had to take mine in for repairs once. The rest of my family got them after I got mine, and they’ve also had to take a couple in for some repairs. My dad used to have a Thinkpad back when IBM made them, and that thing was practically bulletproof. If Lenovo is continuing that reliability, I’d look into one of those if you can find one at a good price. As for OS, I’ve had Vista on a desktop that it came installed on and had no problems with it. Vista has all the tablet features built-in that were in the special XP TabletPC Edition. It also has some nice features that all work well with Office and OneNote.

I LOVE my Macbook Pro! Can’t diss the OS until you try it, very nice.

http://pooby5.com/woot.jpg

Vista has more holes than shot-up Swiss cheese. And Ubuntu can have installed a tablet function. But if you still want vista i would recommend at least 2 Gigs of ram, 3 if you can afford it. I would also recommend a 200 Gigabyte Hard Drive or more and a Core 2 Duo processor or better. Also try to get a graphics card with a GeForce 8600 GT and at least 256 MB of dedicated memory. Trust me you are taking this from a computer system builder (not as a job just a hobby) although i really have very little experience with tablet pcs. Remember, always try to get the best with the money you have.

Aha! I do have a solution to that post June. Dell, with a little known piece of wording in their agreement with MS, will pre-install windows xp pro in the factory as part of our downgrade rights as buyers. So if you buy a Dell they will still be able to downgrade your windows for you if you purchase from them after June.

Brands I would avoid. Acer, I don’t know about lenovo (maybe I’d buy one).

The well liked brands of course are the big ones like HP/compaq, Dell, Gateway (is getting better and I like mine so far), and Toshiba is actually a good option too.

Always, always dig up reviews if your seriously interested in a laptop. These I have found to be most helpful in searching for and making a final decision.

And to end it all don’t forget to check bestbuy.com, staples.com, etc. for deals that they offer. They sometimes have the best price.

edit:

visit komando.com and check out Kim Komando’s buying guide.