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Suggestions on buying a good laptop for appraisal work pleas

Discussion in 'Technical - Hardware/Software' started by David R. Jensen, Apr 5, 2002.

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  1. David R. Jensen

    David R. Jensen New Member

    0
    Mar 14, 2002
    I am an appraiser trainee and will be taking a second shift job soon. I will have time to get through some reports if I had a laptop. I would like to know what all you appraisers use. Any particular brands i should consider or stay away from, and what bells and whistles i need and dont need.Any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.


    D.Jensen
     
  2. BigBlueGA

    BigBlueGA Junior Member

    0
    Mar 13, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Georgia
    Hewlett Packards are moderately priced, and overall good computers (but mine just had the harddrive fail last night and it's not too old, so maybe there are some substandard parts in there).

    E-Machines is borderline generic and cheap, but they seem to be very reliable and most bang for the buck as long as you don't mind the loud fan noise.

    Gateways are pricey, but are excellent computers.

    Dell I believe makes a pretty good computer from what I hear, and they have some moderate deals going in their catalogs they send out once every three hours.

    As for any others, I don't have any experience with... I would recommend an E-Machines if you are on a budget, and an HP if you have some way to back up your harddrive every once in a while. If you are looking for the top of the line, go with Gateway.

    - Brandon
     
  3. BigBlueGA

    BigBlueGA Junior Member

    0
    Mar 13, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Georgia
    Almost forgot about the Bells and Whistles...

    Get a Pentium 4 processor, don't settle for anything else.

    Get plenty of RAM, it's the most important thing you can spend a little extra on. Get as much as possible.

    You shouldn't need a supersized harddrive.. mine on this computer is 20 gigs and it has been MORE than enough for two years now.

    Skip on a high end video card - You don't need it.

    Large monitor is a must.. monitors on laptops are small enough as it is.. get the biggest one you can find.

    CD Burner would be a good thing to have, see if you can get one of them in leui (spelling?) of a DVD or highspeed CDROM drive.

    Make sure whatever you buy has one or two USB ports - They will come in handy at one point or another for cameras, scanners, etc.

    Get one with a network card in it (NIC card). This will probably come in handy at some point if your office or house has DSL service or a small network setup (makes transferring files a breeze).
     
  4. Nancy in Friday Harbor

    Nancy in Friday Harbor Junior Member

    0
    Jan 16, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Washington
    I agree with all the suggestions above.
    I got my Gateway at a large discount from the "re-conditioned" site @ Gateway.com. Although sold as used/re-conditioned, it was obvious the computer had never been out of the box or turned on. So check around. There are deals from reputable companies who will also stand behind and guarantee their products.

    I couldn't change the configuration but was able to buy separately an internal ZIP drive that you can change for the CD. I also got a mouse because the little touch pad (not a track ball) is such a pain to use.

    Good luck,
    Nancy
     
  5. Roger

    Roger Junior Member

    0
    Jan 24, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified General Appraiser
    State:
    Missouri
    I have had two Toshiba's that died within a week after the warranty expired.

    Have an H-P now. It has lasted well over a year after the warranty, and seems to be working fine.
     
  6. Russ

    Russ Sophomore Member

    0
    Feb 25, 2002
    :D I have a Micron Pentium II (266 Mghz, Transport Trek) with a 15 inch TFT display, Windows 95 (SR2), Windows Office, CD, PCMIA modem, and 2 GIG hard drive that I will let go for $300.00. This is a very good computer and will save you alot of time on the road! I use Bradford's Toolbox and it works just fine with NO tweaks at all! A couple years ago this was the "flagship" of notebook computers! Micron is good stuff and you will get many years of use from it!

    $300.00! with case, external keyboard and mouse, and all support documentation! The computer is in "perfect" condition.

    (p.s. I used Corel Draw Suite with this computer and it worked fine, Corel would lock up my 750 Mghz AMD desktop. Corel is a very graphic and resource "user" program, if it runs Corel it will run anything!)
     
  7. Jeff Horton

    Jeff Horton Senior Member

    0
    Jan 15, 2002
    Professional Status:
    Certified Residential Appraiser
    State:
    Alabama
    I use a Dell Inspiron and very well pleased with it. I opted for Windows 2000 and love it!! Beats the heck out of W98SE. More stableand faster too.

    15" monitor is good investment!! I opted for a ZIP drive so I can transfer files from desktop to laptop (a sneaker Network). Going to network them soon.

    Best suggestion is try one before you buy it. Keyboard and layout are not the same from brand to bran. They feel different. Make sure you like the way it feels. How the point device works/feels. The display is to you liking.

    BTW dont expect to use it on the hood of the car on a sunny day. You can't see the monitor!
     
  8. Jim Payne (SD)

    Jim Payne (SD) Sophomore Member

    0
    Jan 19, 2002
    :) Dave:

    I agree with Nancy, I too have a Gateway (5150) that I bought USED from a Beer Distributor here in Yankton. He had purchased it for $3000 in 1999 and I purchased it 2001 for $900.00. I use it quite a bit 'on the road'.

    The only thing that I don't like is--the fact that you have to buy batteries directly from Gateway at $99.00 A Crack...

    Please let all of us know on what you purchase!

    Jim Payne (SD) :)
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I use an HP w/ ME2000 - awful operating system, XP is mucho better, but some older programs will not run. Printer drivers will have to be revised.

    I hope you are a slow typist because laptops are not the speediest thing in town for a speed typist, but I found that a remote keyboard is just the ticket. If I can stuff the laptop somewhere eye level then I can sit back in the easy chair and type in my lap with a remote. Before the Repetitive Stress injury to my right hand got so bad, I could type 100 wpm and doing that on a laptop was not possible and now regardless the machine is not possible for me.
     
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