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Recomendations on a new laptop?

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KYLECODY

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Im looking for a new laptop. Primarily for appraising and other internet use. I dont do games or anything else. Plan on being a little more mobile this year and need a great wireless system built in which most now have.

I do want the best processor(Fastest) which I think is the Dual Core 2. Believe I want a 17 inch screen as I like to open lots of windows at once.

Dont want to spend more than 1k and really cant see much of a difference between an $800 puter and a $2000 unless you are into gaming and need extra graphics.

Anyways just hoping for any input/advice. Thx.
 

RSW

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
Consider buying a tablet PC. It gives you some options for using it as a notebook or use out in the field to do your inspections. I have a Gateway tablet which I paid under $1,000 for last year. It is heavy but I use a cary case around my neck to carry it when I take a measurement. I think Dell has a lighter tablet and Hitachi has one too. There are several around. Google tablet pc's to find out more.

Good Luck!
 

incognito

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Florida
Personally, I do not see the tablet PC as ever being effective. Clearly RSW (and others) like it, but I just can not see lugging around this thing on every inspection.

Having said that, I believe HP makes great laptop computers. I have bought 2 in the past year, one for me and one for my daughter for college. I wouldn't necessarily buy one from a big box store, UNLESS it is exactly what you want.

HP has an academic purchase program. If you have any kids in school, or even if you are taking CE which could require needing a laptop (like report writing), you should qualify, and the pricing is VERY low.
 

James R

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Texas
Tablet is great for the indoor/outdoor screen for times where you might want to sit outside and work if you live where the weather is nice.
 

BOB PADRICK

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Florida
I think the main point with laptops is their longevity, more so than their feature set. I've had several laptops over the years, most of which typically lasted between 3-5 years and were retired only when they could no longer run the programs I typically use.

Way back when, I like the Toshiba's-but that seems to have gone by the wayside. My current laptop is an older Sony subnotebook, and I've had great service out of it.

I've enjoyed the durability of the Sony-anyone else have any good hands on recommendations for laptops with good durability? Or lack thereof?

One way to get a better class of laptop would be to look to the business class laptops-many have 3 year warranties, and most have either winxp pro or the vista equivalent. Not sure if that would stay under your 1k price point, but there may be some.
 

Metamorphic

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2008
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
California
MHO on lap tops is that you dont want to be cutting edge. The price premium for cutting edge in laptops is generally VERY high (2-3 X something a step or two down), the newest stuff commonly has heat dissipation and battery life issues, and when you amortize that across the short, marginally upgradeable life span of a lap top, it turns out being a very expensive way to go. Plus, if you actually take them in the field regularly, you'll find their effective age will quickly outstrip their actual age.

My plan is to get into a groove where I'm buying a new mid/bargain-priced lap top every 12 months or so, using the old lap top as a daily back up for the new lap top so the old one will be a current ready-to-walk-out-the-door-with backup to the new one, and passing the 2-year old old laptops on to the kids. I think getting a new middle-edge lap top every year will leave you net more cutting edge, than buying cutting edge and milking every last bit of life out of it for 3 or 4 years and will probably cost the same over the years.

I'm intrigued by the field tablet data entry thing, but that's a different working scheme from just having one to do MLS searches in the field and filling in comp grids over lunch at In-N-Out Burger.
 

RSW

Elite Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Tennessee
If you haven't tried using a tablet in the field, you can't complain. I also use a cheap $400 notebook in my car for my GPS. I have had that one for several years.
 

OSU Beavers

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2007
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Oregon
If you plan on opening the laptop up in your car, don't get a 17". I have a 14.1" widescreen which is quite portable, but too small for large spreadsheets. I bought a loaded Dell Vostro 1500 15.4" widescreen with a 900 x 1440 resolution that is just right. The Vostro 1500 has a black metal shell that is about 50% heavier than most other notebooks and mine is nine and a half pounds with video card and the large battery installed.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W300&l=en&oc=bqdwksd&s=bsd

Dells XPS and Vostro 1510 are lighter but spendier http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W300&l=en&oc=bqdw52z&s=bsd

If you get Vista, then you are going to want a graphics card. Remember June 18 is the last day to buy Windows XP from Dell!
 

Scott Kibler

Elite Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Illinois
Two points.

1. Never buy the latest and greatest technology, it's way too expensive and immediately obsolete anyway. Buy middle of the road, assuming it has enough firepower to run what you need to run. Of course, in laptopland, a grand won't even get you close to latest and greatest so I guess the point is moot.

2. Forget the 17" screen. At that size the machine is hardly mobile. Get a 15" or less and consider buying a separate monitor for a dual monitor setup when in the office. I have an LG 24" LCD that i connect with my Dell Latitude and it works great. Make sure your video card can run dual monitors.
 
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