Request for Comments: Laptop Computer for my Sister

If you were some kind of humanities student who doesn’t need computing power at all, what would you get?

For example, how about this?

My main questions:
1. Brand: which brands are the most reliable? Here’s how I see it: IBM/Lenovo, Sony, and Toshiba are first-class, then maybe HP, then Dell. (Apple’s not really in the game, because their basic iBook or whatever costs over $1000, and we can get one of these other brands for cheaper)
2. Celeron vs. Core 2 Duo: I’ve always been wary of Celerons, but I’m not sure why. Should we spend the extra $50-100 for the mainstream Core 2?
3. Windows XP or Vista? (anyone who says anything about Linux will get pounded, even though I sort of might agree with you)
4. Anything else I (she) should know?

Any input you have would be great!


Gerrit -

As far as I know, laptops don’t ship with XP anymore, you always get vista. Ask will haines for more about that.

Humanities people like big keyboards so that we can type a lot! Or at least I do. It frustrates me when I use a laptop with tiny keys and I mess up a lot.

While computing power is not necessary for the kinds of things humanities people do, it often becomes so because we don’t know how to optimally use our machines. For example, I have way more stuff installed on my computer, but my machine is way less burdened than any voice major’s, because they manage theirs like an asshole.

Gerrit -

also waht about teh linux
need moar linuxs
ubuntu is teh best ftw!!!eleven!

Beltonius -

First off, I’d recommend a Lenovo R-series. I have a T-series that’s top-notch and the R series comes with a slightly bulkier case and the ability to get cheaper components.

I’ve been OK with my old Dell, I think their cheaper machines are fairly solid.

I had terrible experiences with HP. Their hardware was unreliable and the tech support was criminally bad. That being said, a couple of my friends just got new dv2000 series laptops and they’re pretty awesome. The screen’s great and overall it seems well-built and responsive (they came with Vista, obviously).

Next I would highly recommend getting a mainline Core 2 Duo. Overall it’ll be much snappier (esp with Vista), which is something anyone will notice (not just people running CAD software or games). Similarly, get the most RAM possible within your price range. Vista really wants to have 1+ GB. Less than that and it isn’t very cooperative.

Best of luck with your laptop search!

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