Recommend a laptop

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Recommend a laptop
« on: February 16, 2009, 03:24:55 AM »
Well, my PC is doing the same silly ass thing it did this time last year--some ridiculous hard page fault thing which every minute or so halts everything to search for something somewhere or something, somehow, somewhat... I dunno, it just freezes every minute or so.  Last year I "fixed" it by buying a new hard drive.  This year I'm thinking I might shoot this horse in the head and get something new.  And I might as well try to be a little more personally flighty, so... a laptop

What I use a 'pooter for:

Internet surfing, watching movies, playing music, word processing.
I use Firefox, uTorrent, DivX player, Media Monkey, and Word a lot, all of it on WinXP, and that's about it.
Sometimes I'll get a hankerin' for a first-person shooter game.  Currently, I like Halo.  I can live without it.

Pretty much anything with 2Gb RAM and a reasonable-sized screen would work, I think.  But it'd be nice to buy quality.

Something that can be bought in China, maybe.

Any suggestions?

oh, and, because of uTorrent and other stuff I'm prone to leaving computers on 24/7.  Not counting blackouts and last year's excursion to the computer market, this current donkey has been "up" for more or less two years straight.  Can laptops tolerate that kind of treatment?
« Last Edit: February 16, 2009, 03:35:41 AM by Calach Pfeffer »
when ur a roamin', do as the settled do o_0

Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 04:01:11 AM »
Holymariner has HP 520 and it is light and quite good. It is capable of whatever you said above. It is also quite affordable (his model cost around 4,000rmb 1.5years ago but should be cheaper now - PM him if you want for details).
I have DELL and I am starting to despise it. Don't buy DELL.

Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 04:24:48 AM »
Go with an Apple.  Yes, you'll pay a lot more, but they don't bug up, especially when you go online.  I once lost 6 months of writing because of a virus.  ananananan

Computers are aggravating enough without system crashes and the like.
And there is no liar like the indignant man... -Nietszche

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. -William James

Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2009, 05:36:36 AM »
So far I'm seeing Toshiba and Lenova recommended.  HP, and possibly Acer, too.  Some cranks and weirdos are talking Macbooks too.

(And Dell positively not recommended...:))

And I thought of things I need:
CD/DVD drive, USB ports, ports for a normal mouse and keyboard.  Probably some other things I'm forgetting.  Light weight would be nice.
I don't too much care about keyboards, except that they still work on the rare times I'd not be using an external.

Monitors?  I like 'em big, I like 'em wide.

And one big, big requirement is the ability to leave it turned on 24/7.

I've gotten used to that as a useful uTorrent thing (and scheduled virus scan thing too).  Years ago I had a crappy Toshiba that ran hot, so I'm really interested to know what the better lapidoptera fare left turned on.

And man, I am really starting to dislike the way my PC freezes... the hard drive doesn't spin, just everything stops while something mysterious goes on with the Memory\Pages Input/sec register spikes (says Perfmon).  I'm beginning to wonder if it's not winxp somehow bloating itself.
when ur a roamin', do as the settled do o_0


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Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2009, 06:20:14 AM »
I'm happy with my MacBook.  Lightweight, does the stuff you ask for, bugfree (already mentioned) and if you need to you can use Bootcamp to toss Windows in as well.

Mate has an MSI (??) and has loaded both Windows and Mac operating systems on it. Tiny and useful if you take it to class.



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Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2009, 06:49:55 AM »
I recently went Acer Aspire. No complaints. It handles everything the original poster mentioned. I have it running at 3 GB ram (if you want to exploit tis 4GB potential you have to use Vista or one of those wacky OS's that aren't fucked by Microsoft). I use it for video work on the go, and as a portable home theater PC. I used to own an HP and thought it sucked. I used it as the original poster did, often leaving it on for days at a time. It barely lasted two years. It did use a reliable Hitachi hard drive, which I recycled once the laptop shit the bed. In fact, I still use that hard drive, externally, to this day. To their credit, HP's customer service in America were actually pretty good, and its external case was solid and well designed. I do prefer this Acer over it. Before HP swallowed them whole, I used to own a Compaq and it was pretty well designed yet didn't survive two years. The HP had suspiciously similar issues.

I've had such a good experience with my Acer that I'm thinking about grabbing another laptop to use it exclusively for production and design work so I can use the ACER for what I had originally intended: as a portable home theater PC. I may go for another ACER, but MSI impressed me as well. My only problem was that the local computer shops only carried MSIs with INTEL chips. I wanted AMD. The various shop keepers were being total cunts and said they couldn't get me the AMD supporting models, which is China speak for the fact they were too lazy and couldn't be fucked to make a buck. Good on them because I took my hard-earned cash elsewhere. That's how I ended up on my path towards the ACER.

I must say, I would get a different model, though. I didn't get it for wireless service and I rarely ever run it from the battery. Its portability was important, but not in the "work wherever you are," sense that many laptop users require.  I use it in a, "I can jack it into this YV, or that TV, or this projector, or that monitory" fashion. For internet work I simply plug it into the ADSL box. Having just arrived from holiday, I can say I wish I had wireless capabilities. I had some good time in a few airports and wished I had the ability to exploit their wifi, but did not have that ability.

I have wondered about the local brands. I heard Hassee had bad after-service, but they did have some decent pricing for loaded laptops, and their guts are not made from the bottom of the barrel hardware I would have thought. I haven't been able to get any solid opinions on Founder computers, either. No positive nor negative feedback, which is weird. My ability to read Hanzi is desperately poor, so I couldn't go online and chat with locals on BBS about the computer.

To be perfectly honest, I have never had a problem with Lenovo computers, and I actually like them, but I only use their desk tops. I have used some students' Lenovo laptops, and while they worked fine, I find them overpriced and pretty basic. Their desktops are at least explorer-friendly and I have juiced up, tinekered around with, and repaired a few for colleagues and students, unlike the proprietary screw shitboxes like Compaq.*

I hear Lenovo's after service is decent, but that is second-hand and not something I experienced myself.

* I ended up building my parents a new computer using some of the Compaq parts I salvaged (naemly: DVD drive, Western Digital hard drive, the ram and processor). It was hell on earth trying to get anything out of the machine because of the stupid, user-contemptuous, proprietary assembly of the machine.
"Most young people were getting jobs in big companies, becoming company men. I wanted to be an individual."
Haruki Murakami



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Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2009, 09:55:49 AM »
I second buying an Acer Aspire. I have one and it works great (I just hate Vista llllllllll).
Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try. Homer Simpson



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Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2009, 10:07:11 AM »
I'd be sure it has built in wireless connection capabilities, it's great to just log on in the now Many places that provide free access...

I'll be lookin for a new laptop soon myself so am watchin this thread too  bfbfbfbfbf
me pappy sayd... 
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Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2009, 12:32:03 PM »
I'm currently using an Acer Aspire and am impressed with it. I'd recommend getting a real keyboard and mouse (cheap) for home use; I like resting my hands on the surface and it seems to cause the Acer Aspire some problems.

I'd be careful buying a Mac in China....make damn sure you have the repair/parts/software infrastructure available locally to support it. Dr. Con is conveniently forgetting the year of rectal bleeding he underwent trying to get his Mac repaired and connected in Suzhou, and Xian...well, Xian just has everything under the sun and lacks for absolutely nothing. This may not be true in the wilds of Hunan.'d be a Mac. You never seemed gay when I met you, but I suppose anything is possible. uuuuuuuuuu

However, if you want a computer that you can leave running 24 hours a day, I'd strongly consider a desktop instead. Desktops still seem more robust and better able to handle such punishment than laptops. You could still pick up an inexpensive laptop that could dock with your desktop, and handle the functions you really need the portability for.
"Vicodin and's a great combination!" (Anthony Bourdain, in Harbin)

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we're building the corrupt, incompetent, baijiu-swilling buttheads of tomorrow!" (Raoul F. Duke)

Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2009, 03:27:10 PM »
I've got a 15.4" Dell AMD 64 Athlon X2 (running Ubuntu 64 8.10) and I really like it. Light, powerful and reliable. I often leave it on for days at a time and no heat or noise issues. Wireless, bluetooth, DVI, DVD Burner all work great and lots of USB slots and great sound. I bought it in a hurry and didn't get a built-in webcam, which I miss. About 4500 in Suning about 8 months ago.
You have to care for it to matter. - All About Harbin

Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2009, 06:26:50 PM »
Hmmm, three votes for something I could call "The Ass Pyre".  I can't not like it.

What turned you all onto the Aspires?  Which one?  How much?  Any issues?

And, do they have to come with Vista?  I could live without Vista.

In theory, I'm probably looking for a desktop-replacement laptop.  Not too much carrying around.  But able to fold up and move from house to house, or continent to continent every so often.  I know it's not a really good reason for choosing laptop over desktop, but I'm not particularly taking advantage of having a desktop--not building it up in any way, not accessorizing, it's just a big oblong brick I have to transport some time in the future.  I could be convinced about notebooks too.

I could be convinced about ubuntu too. 
when ur a roamin', do as the settled do o_0

Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2009, 10:28:06 PM »
make it 4 for the aspire. I picked mine up this summer when i was back in Canada and I love it. I got the top of the line one with the 16:9 video display and home theatre system and it is great for watching dvd and downloaded movies. Unfortunately I could only get it with vista, but I have actually not had any problems with it and am getting used to it now.
I also have a tendency to leave mine on 24/7 as i am using it for other programs that take considerable time to run but i also purchased a cooling pad that just plugs into the usb port and have had no problems with heat build up.
And it sure does look purty ababababab

It will definately do everything that you need it to do and then some, although I have not really seen them in China for sale, and not sure about servicing it here. I just keep my fingers crossed that it doesn't need anything major.

Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2009, 10:33:35 PM »
I have/had an Acer bought it Canada.  When I had trouble I could NOT get it fixed in China even though I bought an International warranty.

I like the laptop but was afraid of viruses which is what killed it the first time. It only took a little while to get fixed (back in Canada), but I left it in Canada and bought a new desk top instead.
Be kind to dragons for thou are crunchy when roasted and taste good with brie.



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Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2009, 01:09:15 AM »
I agree about a USB cooling fan for under the laptop. That will give your notebook some much needed assistance and prolong its life. I have one jacked into my Aspire (4520 model number, for the record - and I purchased it in China).

There's a reason some folks call laptops, "lap warmers."

I second the recommendation for an external keyboard and mouse (and monitor) for home use.

"Most young people were getting jobs in big companies, becoming company men. I wanted to be an individual."
Haruki Murakami



Re: Recommend a laptop
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 01:38:56 AM »
Got an IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad, Centrino Duo (3.86), 15" screen, wireless, fingerprint scanning, 160 gig, 2 gig RAM, XPpro etc. Couldn't be happier - cost me about $700 cdn - I priced them up on TaoBao(??) too.......about the same - but I got legit software, and an international warranty, direct from IBM Canada.
Lusted after a Toshiba though.......pity they only come with Vista (which I wouldn't touch with a 10' pole - been there, done that...)