Wanted: laptop advice

Okay, all my tech-savvy readers. I need to buy a new laptop. My two-year-old Gateway laptop (model 4520GZ, purchased at Best Buy) is out of commission due to a melted DC jack. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the rest of the machine, but the genius squad at Gateway soldered the jack to the motherboard. Thus, if I want to replace the jack (a five dollar part) I have to get the whole motherboard replaced. And that, for those of you who watched Family Guy last night, “really grinds my gears.”

So I am looking at some new machines and would like to buy one this weekend. I would ideally like to spend under 1K on this thing. Here are my list of ideal specs:

  • sufficient RAM to run multiple programs at once that use lots of graphics (web developing apps, Photoshop, poker games)
  • reasonable hard drive space
  • “TrueLife”/”HD BrightView” whatever it is they call that nice, crisp display, 15 inches
  • CD burner
  • wireless capability
  • outstanding customer service for more than a year
  • realistic warranty options
  • must be a PC (for both poker and NYU reasons)

I don’t travel with my laptop often, but I do work in various rooms of the house and often for long hours.

Here are some machines I’ve been looking at:

  • HP machine on sale at Staples
  • Inspiron machine at Dell
  • Compaq at P.C. Richard

Thoughts? Anyone know of other machines that might fit my needs? Any help would be much appreciated.

2 replies on “Wanted: laptop advice”


When I started grad school last fall I picked up a Dell Latitude D610 that has performed flawlessly since. 2Ghz process, 2GB of RAM and run a gazillion things at a time. The only thing I skimped on is getting a CD burner instead of a DVD.

Only two downsides. Battery life is below average (I get about 3 hours per charge) and you have to have the batter inserted to run the computer on AC power. Given the recent “computers blowing up thing” it is better if you can find one that disables the battery entirely when you run on AC.

I paid about $2000 for the laptop above, I’m sure it can be had for $1500 or less by now.

FYI, some of the new MacBooks let you partition the hard drive into two sections and run the Apple OS on one and Windows on the other.

The Macbooks are very nice computers. I’m strongly considering one for my next laptop a few years down the road.

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