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Author Topic: which laptop?  (Read 12579 times)

TheFuriousWombat

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which laptop?
« on: 09 Jan 2007, 03:51 »

as a graduation present, i'm going to be getting a laptop for college. i've been looking around and i'm not sure what i should get. i only have about $1,300 to spend so i'm definetly not going for something high end. but i don't know if i should go with the old standby and get a pretty good dell with ok specs, or a slightly inferior (hardware wise) macbook. any suggestions?
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #1 on: 09 Jan 2007, 03:53 »

Go with Dell, and when you have a bit of spare cash (~200CDN) extend the warranty to five years and laugh.
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #2 on: 09 Jan 2007, 04:05 »

Aye, dell are good n cheap.

Warrenty though? Didn't bother with my laptop, because it would have doubled the cost - contents insurance is what I'm going for (or will do, when I get round to it =/)

Wow...just been looking at the US prices...your laptops are really cheap  :cry:....$1000 is enough to get you 17" of Core 2 Duo glory...
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Catfish_Man

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #3 on: 09 Jan 2007, 05:25 »

$1000 is enough to get you 17" of Core 2 Duo glory...

They had to skimp somewhere to hit that price. There is no free lunch.

Also, laptop warranties are (imo) overrated, unless as Mike says you get a 5 year one. I've found most manufacturers offer three year warranties, and stuff either breaks really early (within the default warranty) or after the extended warranty runs out.

Some other things to take into account:
Resale value (at the end of your intended span of use)
Virus protection costs (iirc there are some free virus protection things, but it's not something I've paid a whole lot of attention to)
Software cost and availability (there's a lot of free stuff available for *nix systems [including osx] that can keep costs down)

Personally I went with a macbook, but I had a developer discount and absolutely need mac-specific software, so my situation may be a bit different.
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #4 on: 09 Jan 2007, 05:37 »

Free virus protection all the way  8-)

AVG is excellent stuff, and for firewalls, Zonealarm is...OK...I mean its a good firewall but as a piece of software can be a little sucky

They are both professional products which are free for personal use...
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GirlwithaGun

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #5 on: 09 Jan 2007, 11:48 »

I've also been searching around for a laptop. 

How are macbooks inferior?  I got the impression that they were top notch, if you don't mind the whole Mac OS... 
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Jenno

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #6 on: 09 Jan 2007, 12:45 »

Keep in mind that as a (soon to be) tertiary student, you qualify for a discount on Apple stuff (I think it's 10%?) although you'll have to buy from the online store (go through the education section of apple.com to get to the education store) or an education specific retailer. I don't know if Dell offers this...
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #7 on: 09 Jan 2007, 13:38 »

if you don't mind the whole Mac OS... 

thats the point...if you don't need a mac, there is (or was for you die-hard mac fans, I know things are changing  :roll:) little point in getting one.

AFAIK Dell don't do student discount.
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Dimmukane

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #8 on: 09 Jan 2007, 19:46 »

check and see if your college offers something.  They'll sometimes set up laptops and computers with the required specifications for a major, and sell them for 300$ US less than a retailer would.  and whatever you do, don't get one with an ATI chip inside.  My drivers kept on randomly failing, switched to Omega drivers, not much different.
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Marauder_Pilot

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #9 on: 09 Jan 2007, 21:21 »

I'd recommend a Dell Inspiron. I own one and I've serviced* a few of them, and they're pretty damn nice machines for the price. Just make sure that you reformat and reinstall as soon as you get it, and you're golden.

*Serviced a whole pile of PBKAC errors, not issues with the computers. The only hardware problem I had to fix was a guy who's cat shredded his screen.
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #10 on: 09 Jan 2007, 21:53 »

Yeah, I have an Inspiron 600m.  Got it in 2003, under warranty till the end of this year.  I've replaced everything, some things multiple times.  Tis nice to have a four hour on-site warranty.
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Mnementh

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #11 on: 09 Jan 2007, 22:44 »

Replaced everything?  That's pretty shitty quality.
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Ladybug

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #12 on: 10 Jan 2007, 00:44 »

I bought a MacBook in August, and I'm pretty damn pleased with it. No problems what so ever, and the transition to OS X went smoothly, much easier than I feared.
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #13 on: 10 Jan 2007, 00:49 »

No, I just treat things badly, because I know I have the warranty to back it up.
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #14 on: 10 Jan 2007, 01:13 »

No, I just treat things badly, because I know I have the warranty to back it up.

Thats why everyone should get extended warrenties from Dixons on their MP3 players and cameras - it don't matter where you take them, or what you do, because provided its not an act of god you get a replacement...

^^ the above statement has nothing to do with my two years of employment at the aforementioned company  :lol:
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Valrus

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #15 on: 10 Jan 2007, 02:41 »

I'd think you ought to get a replacement if it's an act of God.
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mberan42

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #16 on: 10 Jan 2007, 03:16 »

Yeah, damnit, I want a new Grandfather! That heart attack was an act of god! Too bad my warranty didn't cover it.
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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #17 on: 10 Jan 2007, 18:50 »

i have had a powerbook for the past 3 years, with an extended warantee, and it's been pretty good to me. actually, i think macs are easier to use than PCs. i can actually find my files when i save them. the only think i miss is having a mouse with two buttons, but i could easily buy one if i actually had money.
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Mnementh

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #18 on: 10 Jan 2007, 19:59 »

I definitely abuse my laptops.  My previous one, was a Powerbook G4.  I busted the hinges on the screen about a year ago (after four years of use), and so now it's a server.  I can't imagine having to replace every part though, that's pretty unprecedented.
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Marauder_Pilot

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #19 on: 10 Jan 2007, 20:19 »

And, in all fairness, it's kind of hard to break EVERY part. I mean, the DVDRAMs the put in these things are built like a brick shithouse. I mean, you'd have tp stick...I dunno, a baby in it to break it.
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #20 on: 10 Jan 2007, 21:40 »

Not on the sony machines...about 40% return rate I'd say with the drives on the Sony Viaos
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #21 on: 10 Jan 2007, 22:32 »

Daniel, I am horribly abusive towards it.  And it has seen strange parts of the world.  Laptops don't handle hungover travellers that well, I guess.  I've busted the hinges, the keyboard, the bottom case, the HD has gone three times (never get Hitatchi), the motherboard went once because the GPU overheated, replaced the backplane because my constant connecting and disconnecting of the power cord caused the connector to come loose.  But I'm still using the same battery.
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mts

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #22 on: 11 Jan 2007, 02:53 »

we have 2 Hp laptops and are pretty happy with both of the,.  not too crazy expensive
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #23 on: 11 Jan 2007, 03:18 »

i was browsing the alienware site b/c i'm something of a masochist, it turns out, and i like looking at things i really want but could never afford, and i found the lower end area 51 laptops are actually kinda comparable in price to both decent dells and macbooks. for a fairly comparable system, the alienware is only a tad more. but i'm not sure if alienware's are genuinly as good as the hype suggests, or if it's mostly name brand hype surrounding a system that's not better than a dell. any ideas which it is? (not which it might be, no rants for/against name brandism ect are necessary).
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Unosuke

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #24 on: 11 Jan 2007, 03:46 »

me and two of my friends both have HP pavilions and we love them. They aren't really made for hardcore gaming but good for all around stuff.
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #25 on: 11 Jan 2007, 04:07 »

You do get quality, but you pay a lot of money for the name too...
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #26 on: 11 Jan 2007, 04:14 »

You do get quality, but you pay a lot of money for the name too...
Alienware area 51 laptop:
15.4? Widescreen
Genuine Windows? XP Home Edition with Service Pack 2
Intel? Core? 2 Duo Processor T5500 1.66GHz 2MB Cache 667MHz FSB
1GB Dual Channel DDR2 SO-DIMM at 667MHz - 2 x 512MB
120GB Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s 5,400 RPM w/ 8MB Cache
24x10x24 CD-RW / 8X DVD Combo w/Software MPEG2 Decoder
128MB ATI Mobility? Radeon? X1400
Intel? 7.1 High-Definition Audio

$1,259.00

not too bad......

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mberan42

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #27 on: 11 Jan 2007, 04:38 »

Yeah, that's actually a good price.
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #28 on: 11 Jan 2007, 07:09 »

shockingly i think so too. i didn't know alienware even sold such inexpensive systems. still, the dell has slightly better hardware and is slightly cheaper. odds are i'll end up going with that. oh, and it has a free vista upgrade. still undecided though.....
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Scytale

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #29 on: 11 Jan 2007, 11:49 »

I bought a MacBook Pro almost 12 month ago now, very satisfied with it. I mainly use it for Uni (setting up wireless networking in OSX is about 100*better then any other OS I've tried and that includes WPA encryption)  and Watching DVD's (remote control is also very cool it means I can lie in bed with laptop on my desk and control dvd's / music etc without moving).
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #30 on: 11 Jan 2007, 14:07 »

Wow...even I think thats reasonable value  :lol:

Quote
120GB Serial ATA 1.5Gb/s 5,400 RPM w/ 8MB Cache
24x10x24 CD-RW / 8X DVD Combo w/Software MPEG2 Decoder
128MB ATI Mobility? Radeon? X1400

Hard drive too slow - its only SATA I and it should ideally be 7200 RPM

I'm assuming the DVD combi is in fact an all in one

and the X1400....if you can upgrade that, you should, but only if you really need it.
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Johnny C

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #31 on: 12 Jan 2007, 00:56 »

8ilbo, sorry, but why is there no reason to get a Mac unless you're a dedicated Mac user? I was a dedicated Windows user until I bought this laptop and now I really prefer Mac.
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #32 on: 12 Jan 2007, 02:19 »

I never said anything about dedicated  :-P but yeah, that came out kinda wrong...

My point is that I don't use windows...I use programs that run on windows...therefore the OS that I use is decided largely by the programs I use. Primarily I'm a gamer, secondarily a Photoshopper, and I also do 'Internet'. So therefore, at the moment, the best choice is Windows. I assume that other people are lazy like me and do not want to learn how to use a new operating system (as effectively as I can use windows).

If you use programs that run equally well on both, then eithers good - without knowing what sort of thing you plan to do, its hard to recommended an OS. My assumption, although it may have been incorrect, is that the 'default' is Windows, which for a large proportion of computer users is true.
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #33 on: 12 Jan 2007, 06:07 »

I'm amused that nobody pointed this out yet: Alienware IS Dell.

AHAHAHAHAH
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #34 on: 12 Jan 2007, 08:44 »

alienware owns dell. saying alienware is dell is like saying gmc is chrysler. or wal mart is sams club. same company, different product.
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #35 on: 12 Jan 2007, 09:27 »

Uhm.  GMC doesn't own Chrysler.  Mercedes does.  And yes, there are quality differences, but raving about it as if it is another company entirely seems a bit much.
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #36 on: 12 Jan 2007, 09:48 »

damn, i knew my analogy felt weak, i just couldn't put my finger on why. now i know. but as per your comment, i don't see any ranting going on. i see some questions and some answers but no rants. i am aware that dell owns alienware since the merger was relativly recent. but like you pointed out, quality differences do exist. that's why i was asking for advice on whether or not the difference in quality actually did justify the difference in price over a standard dell system.
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #37 on: 18 Jan 2007, 06:35 »

The simple answer: no.

:)

Excuse my bad wording, I work.  It makes me crazy.
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Jenno

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #38 on: 18 Jan 2007, 06:53 »

Hard drive too slow - its only SATA I and it should ideally be 7200 RPM
7200rpm drives tend to have heat issues in laptops. Also, SATA 1 is irrelevant for a laptop, no single laptop hard drive is even going to come close to using the entire capacity of SATA 1.
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #39 on: 18 Jan 2007, 07:18 »

What about that new Seagate 15000k 2.5" drive that just came out?  2.9ms access time!

Still want solid state stuff, though.
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #40 on: 18 Jan 2007, 07:36 »

i've sorta broadened my search. i'm looking at stuff by aeoncraft and ibuypower (i've had ok experiences with the latters desktops) at the moment. i can get good configurations for surprisingly low prices. alienware is officially out b/c i think you're right, i can't really justify spending more for the name even if the name does guarentee a slight boost in quality. at the moment:
 Mobile AMD? Turion? 64 X2 Dual Core Processor TL-56 [1.8GHz, 1MB L2 Cache] w/Hyper Transport Technology   
1024MB(512MB X2) DDR2-667 PC5300
NVidia 256 MB GeForce Go 7600
100 GB 5400rpm Serial-ATA-150 Super Slim Notebook Hard Drive
 8X Dual Format DVD?R/?RW + CD-R/RW Drive [Craft-9012]
3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
15.4" 16:10 Wide Screen WXGA 1280x800 LCD screen
MS Windows XP Media Center 2005 Edition w/ Free Upgrade Coupon for Windows Vista? Home Premium

price: $1275
seems like a good deal to me....
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #41 on: 18 Jan 2007, 08:15 »

I'd get a 7200 RPM drive if you can, and a Core 2 Duo, but what you have there isn't bad in any way.
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TheFuriousWombat

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #42 on: 18 Jan 2007, 08:24 »

sadly for a 7200 rpm hd, on pretty much any model laptop, i'll have to pay more than i think it's worth. 5400 seems to be standard at the moment and i'm not sure i can justify $70 more for a 100 gb drive with 7200 as opposed to 5400.
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #43 on: 18 Jan 2007, 15:39 »

@ Jenno - I was refering to the slower data transfer rate of SATA I compared to SATA II

What about that new Seagate 15000k 2.5" drive that just came out?  2.9ms access time!

Still want solid state stuff, though.

You can get PCI extensions which take up to 4 DIMM modules...so an 8GB hard drive made of RAM....
Obviously pretty expensive.

But never fear, holographic storage is (should be) out this year!
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Jenno

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #44 on: 18 Jan 2007, 16:59 »

I know that. I was saying that it's pointless to have SATA2 on a laptop when even SATA1 is way more than will ever be needed.
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8ilbo

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #45 on: 18 Jan 2007, 19:02 »

Just been reading up on this actually...SATA II is not a specification....When the the SATA spec was changed to support 3GB/s (with backwards compatibility) the comittee was called SATA II and the name stuck to meaning 3GB/s....they now call themselves SATA-IO to avoid confusion but the damage is done...

Either way, look for a hard drive with a large cache (16mb is ideal, but generally only found on drives 160GB+) and the higher transfer rate of 3GB/s (this is comonly and as I now understand mistakenly called SATA-II). I had a look at an overview of the SATA spec and couldn't find anything reffering to capacity (I assume you mean capacity for storage not capacity for bandwidth - either way I'd have to disagree)

Of course with laptops its usually very hard to be that specific with hard drives, but its points to look out for....
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nihilist

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Re: which laptop?
« Reply #46 on: 19 Jan 2007, 00:24 »

The Flash-based HDs (32 and 64GB) are the solid state stuff I was referring to.  It isn't just about space, but speed.  Same with the hybrid Flash/SATA drives.
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