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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Laptop died: Want recommendations (PC) on a replacement
Andy Mead, Photographer, Photo Editor
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 3:18 PM on 10.11.05
->> If you've got something Mac/Linux/non-MS to recommend, please don't bother. I'm not a big "Windoze" supporter, but I've got a need to stay with the platform beyond photography - and I don't want a Mac/MS war here.

My old laptop was a 3.06GHz Pentium 4. Do I want to stay with something like that or move to the power-saving 1.8Ghz "Centrino" processors?

I has WinXP Professional, and was quite happy with that.

My old laptop had 1400x1050 display, and I'm not finding many laptops with that kind of resolution. Is that amount of detail really necessary on the road? Are folks happy with less?

I had 1GB of RAM and a 40GB HDD. Both of those seemed fine, and I think I'll opt for an increase in RAM than an increase in HDD if necessary.

I had a CD burner/DVD reader, but I think I need to be able to write DVDs with the new one.

My old one had USB 2.0, but it had the unpowered 4pin IEEE 1394 port as opposed to the 6pin powered "firewire" port.

Do ANY PC laptops have the powered "firewire" ports? All the ones I've found have the four pin ports.

If anyone has a relatively new laptop that they've used on the road and liked it, please let me know.

I'm pretty hard on equipment, so the ability to take some abuse and keep working is a must.
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jeff martin, Photographer
wellington | OH | usa | Posted: 3:36 PM on 10.11.05
->> Andy, I have a dell 700m. Small and light. It has a small screen and seems to be sturdy; however I treat it as gently as I can. 1G RAM 40 HD. 4pin IEEE 1394 but I use an adapter that plugs in the PC slot when I need the 6pin hook up, like changing settings on my 1D. With the 1G ram and the DVD burner I'm guessing about $1300. Jeff
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Delane B. Rouse, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington, DC & Seattle | WA | US | Posted: 4:46 PM on 10.11.05
->> Andy...I could be wrong but I think that PeeCees all use IEEE1394 (firewire) that has 4 pins (non-powered), I've never seen a PeeCee with native Macintosh-like (powered/6 pin) firewire.

Delane
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Gary Rather, Photographer
Santa Cruz | Ca | US | Posted: 4:53 PM on 10.11.05
->> My two cents.

Two laptops ago I went for a Desktop replacement.
This was rwally a work horse.

But heavy and went through battiers like it owned stock in PG&E (Power copmany here)

So I just went through the same thing.

This time I got a smaller machine.

13 inch screen,
1.8 Pentium M
1 Gig Ram ,
100 gig harddrive.

Not quite as fast as my prvious laptop.
What I found is I need to download the cards and do a quick edit.

I found I am not using the performance as much as having a faster disk drive helps.

SO you really need to answer what you do with the laptop.

Lots of photoshop you might need the higher performance and larger screen.

The small is much easier to lug aroung, and use in smaller places like airline seats and car seats.
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Randy Janoski, Photographer
Washington DC & Nashville | TN | USA | Posted: 5:16 PM on 10.11.05
->> Andy,
I'm on my second Toshiba and love it. I've used both PC and Mac at a former position and at this point I would not go back to Mac.

My first Toshiba was a Portege I carried it in and out of country into some harsh environments and never had a problem. I upgraded to a Satellite with the 15 inch super high definition screen (whatever it's really called) a P4 3.85 processor and 2GB of ram. It also has the super combo drive DVD/CD. For the 6 pin firewire I use a card when I need to. As with the first one, I have had no troubles what so ever with this one and for all my critical editing I use it over my desktop.

There is so much out there to choose from...good luck!
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Randy Janoski, Photographer
Washington DC & Nashville | TN | USA | Posted: 5:25 PM on 10.11.05
->> Andy and all,
One thing of note;
If your firewire needs are for Canon cameras, Canon does make a connecting firewire cord with a 4 pin on each end for the MKII's (IFC-200D44 or the optional IFC-450D44 cable). And if you have an older 1D the MKII's cord (6 and 4) will work reversed.
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Craig Peterson, Photographer
St. Petersburg | FL | US | Posted: 5:50 PM on 10.11.05
->> If all you're using a laptop for is editing and transmitting, look into refurbished IBM thinkpads on ebay.

I got mine for $300......Installed the OS I wanted (XP which I already owned) and ONLY the software I needed to get the job done.....All of which I already owned and was no expense.

The only thing I added was a burner ($45) more ram ($50)
and PCMIA cards for wireless and hard-line internet, fire-wire and PC card, all which I got on ebay.

It works great, and I saved a hell of a lot compared to a new laptop with a bunch of software I wouldn't even use.
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Landon Finch, Photographer, Assistant
Colorado Springs | CO | USA | Posted: 8:42 PM on 10.11.05
->> While the PC slot is an option, it has been my experience that the PC slot/card option does not give you same transfer rate as the real deal. For instance, I use a firewire PC card to connect with my external hard drive and can only transfer at 60 Mbps whereas I think a "real" firewire connection should give me somewhere around 400 Mbps.
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Geoff Miller, Photographer
Portage | MI | USA | Posted: 9:30 PM on 10.11.05
->> I'd recommend a Sony VAIO with an XBRITE screen. Mine's sharper than my monitor!
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Jody Gomez, Photographer
Murrieta | CA | USA | Posted: 12:25 AM on 10.12.05
->> I have the Gateway 4530GZ - it's got the fancy screen that looks like a TV, CD/DVD Driver, 55gb harddrive, 1.6 ghz Pentium Processor. It was cheap too. It's my second Gateway, and I love it. Works great for editing my photos.
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Michael Chansley, Student/Intern, Photographer
Oxnard | CA | USA | Posted: 1:03 AM on 10.12.05
->> Andy...I have a HP Pavilion wide screen PC laptop. It does not come with a firewire port, but I got a 2-firewire port card that inserts quickly into the side of the laptop. It works great and I have no worries. Hope this helps
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Tucson | AZ | USA | Posted: 1:39 AM on 10.12.05
->> Andy ... My step-daughter purchased a Toshiba at the beginning of the school year at Comp USA. It's a Pentium 4, 60G HD, 256 RAM, 15 inch screen, DVD, CD burner, wireless card, the usual software and had a mail in rebate of $200 which she received just today. Her final cost was $1,049 after the rebate. It's a beautiful machine. It wouldn't cost that much to upgrade the RAM. I thought it was a sweet deal considering it came with the Pentium 4 and had a great rebeat.
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Ronal Taniwaki, Photographer
Torrance | CA | | Posted: 12:12 PM on 10.13.05
->> Andy, I'd check out http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_series.do?series_name=d...
The screen is FANTASTIC and there's lots of ways to configure this machine.
I upgraded to to a M770 (2.13ghz) 2gigs of ram, 100gig drive, and a dual layer DVD.
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Tony Scavo, Photographer
Lemoyne | ohio | USA | Posted: 3:00 PM on 10.13.05
->> I have a Toshiba satelite with pentium4 processor 3.3 ghz 1 gig of ram, 100 gig HD CD/DVD burner and 17 inch monitor, its plenty fast to do all my processing, my G/F the computer geek has the same unit with 2 gigs of ram, hers isn any faster until she opens pshop Cs2, illustrater, Cute FTP, corel and macromedia dreamweaver and flash...Then she is still the same speed as me with less applications i have running, pretty amazing and the screen is VERY bright.

Im hard on stuff too and these units have held up to constant abuse on the road, hotels, racetrack ( lots of dirt ) and keep on going!

good luck
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Greg Bartram, Photographer
Dublin | OH | USA | Posted: 12:25 AM on 10.14.05
->> I've got a Toshiba Satellite as well, but I went for the Centrino. S'posed to be better on battery life.
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Paul W Gillespie, Photographer
Annapolis | MD | USA | Posted: 11:14 PM on 03.04.06
->> Rather than starting a new thread I figured I would resurrect this one.

Does this look like a good deal for a PC laptop?
http://tinyurl.com/fpbgd I want to get a 15 inch PC that I can both use in the field and at the home/office. I want one that can process D2h RAW files in PS CS2 and wonder if this will be fast enough. The budget is 1200 or less.

Any other recommendations?
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Francis Specker, Photographer
Riverside | CA | USA | Posted: 1:19 AM on 03.05.06
->> I'm also thinking of a new laptop. But I'm going to wait till Microsoft rolls out its new Vista O/S and buy something with a dual-core intel processor. 1 gig of ram is not enough on my current laptop, I think 2 gig ram with 80 gig hard drive as the bare minimum. 2 USB ports is not enough either and I had to buy a hub, but 4 USB 2.0 would be great too. Launch time for Vista will be in Nov. so its a long wait, but I can make do with what I have now.

With Photoshop, get lots of RAM and a fast hard drive. The D2H doesn't have the huge files that the D2X has, so you might be okay for now, but eventually your needs will grow.
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Jan Langsner, Photographer
Lloydminster | AB | Canada | Posted: 2:36 AM on 03.05.06
->> Paul this unit is a little more than $1200.00 but it is one serious machine. Duo Processor, 2GB of ram, 120 GB hard drive, DVD burner, wireless ABG, a five in one card reader and all the other goodies you could expect.
http://us.acer.com/acereuro/page4.do?dau22.oid=14537&UserCtxParam=0&GroupCt...

There is also soon to be this little unit which sounds very interesting if it has the power.
http://news.com.com/2100-1041_3-6043755.html
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Robert G. Stevens, Photographer
Halifax | NS | Canada | Posted: 9:56 AM on 03.05.06
->> Paul:

It will be fast enough. With the pentium M processor, you need to double its rated speed to get a P4 equivalent speed. The one you linked should be about the the equivalent of a 3.8ghz P4.

I don't know if you noticed, but the one you linked to weighs 6.5 pounds, which is a ton. I have found you need to stick to the 4lb laptop or they are just too heavy to carry around. For a laptop used daily like you intend, you are also better off sticking to the corporate brands like HP, Toshiba, Dell, or Thinkpad. They can stand the abuse better and also tend to have three year warranties. A laptop gets a bit flakey after two years when used on a daily basis. This corporate quality laptop will usually cost almost twice that of what you have linked to, but includes a three year warranty in the case of the Thinkpads.

I just checked the Lenovo/Thinkpad site and under Clearance deals they have $650 off a Z60T for a price of $1,399 including three year warranty.

http://www-131.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/PromotionDisplay?promoName...
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Jonathan Castner, Photographer
Longmont | CO | USA | Posted: 10:10 AM on 03.05.06
->> I picked up at Dell XPS140 and love it. With the 1.83G processor and 1gig ram it cost me $1009. It's a 14" wide screen but I got that for the portability. The screen is excellent and it processes my RAW files just as fast as my 2G 64bit desktop. Oh, and the battery life is tremendous.
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Chad Engle, Photographer
Barbourville | KY | USA | Posted: 10:15 AM on 03.05.06
->> Dell currently has 18 months interest free on all of their XPS notebooks. I just ordered an XPS M140 with a Pentium M 740 and a gig of ram. Size is 9" by 13" and 1.5" thick weighs 5.5 pounds. It has not shipped yet but I thought it was a great deal.
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Paul W Gillespie, Photographer
Annapolis | MD | USA | Posted: 10:47 AM on 03.05.06
->> Thanks for all the input. I will add a few more facts to the equation. Odds are that this laptop will not be for everyday use at my job at the paper. It is more for my freelance work that I occasionally get. I may take it on the newspaper job every now and then. This is to be more of a in between desktop and easily portable machine. Sure it would be nice to have a super light machine but I don't want to have the screen so small that I hate using it. I currently use a 21 in monitor at home and 19 at work.

Is 6.5 lbs heavy for a laptop? Robert if that is true about the doubling of the processor speed for the Pentium M than this laptop will be faster then my 2.8 desktop. Also Robert what does that Thinkpad weigh? I did not see it on the site. I like the three year warranty but the 14 inch size has me worried. I want a DVD burner too so that would make the price $1400.

The main reason I am going with a PC laptop is that I have a PC desktop and want to use my current copy of CS2 on it. That and I want both my desktop and laptop to be the same OS. I currently own a Powerbook G4 Ti 500 and it churns very slow when I try and do RAW work on it.

I will have to look at the Dell XPS systems, 18 months no interest is a good deal.

Keep up the suggestions and remember I am trying to keep this down to 1,300 or less.
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Andy Mead, Photographer, Photo Editor
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 10:54 AM on 03.05.06
->> Just for an update.
I got a Dell Inspiron 6000. I think I got the 2Ghz one with an 80GB HDD, 1GB RAM (1 Simm to make it cheaper to add memory), the CD/DVD burner, and XP professional. The LCD widescreen monitor resolution is 1920x1200.

This is my daily computer. I have a desktop file server that's pretty robust, but I mainly use it for archiving and desktop publishing. The laptop is in use anywhere from 6-16 hours per day.

I couldn't be happier with the purchase.
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Robert G. Stevens, Photographer
Halifax | NS | Canada | Posted: 11:14 AM on 03.05.06
->> Paul:

Warranty is one of the more important items if it is for personal use or you are self employed. The three year warranty helps a lot. IBM is also very good at warranty work. I had the little plastic insulator part of the USB port go missing so just the bare wires were showing. When I called IBM, they just opened a service order, sent the courier to pick it up and three days later I had my laptop back with a new motherboard. I had expected them to say it was not covered under warranty. I think you will find buying an extended warranty on laptops can be quite expensive. The Thinkpad and some of the other corporate type laptops offer three years already in the price of the laptop.

You also might want to note that Sports Illustrated uses Thinkpads for the PC laptops.

Here is the web page on the IBM model on sale. It shows 4.97 lbs.

http://www-131.ibm.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=4...
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Randy Janoski, Photographer
Washington DC & Nashville | TN | USA | Posted: 11:41 AM on 03.05.06
->> Paul,
Since this tread started awhile ago, I picked up another laptop that for me is phenomenal. An Itronix GoBookIII.


I hade mine made up with an upgraded Pentium 3GHz processor, 2GB of ram, 2 firewire ports (full size 6), 4USB's plus the regular connections that come with it.

They have a removable shock mounted hard drive and the best part...built in multi wireless, Simultaneous support of up to 3 RF Modems (Bluetooth/802.11 b/g and CDMA/1xRTT or GPRS/EDGE) Plus Integrated GPS.

They are not inexpensive, but for me well worth it. Check them out at
http://www.itronix.com/products/notebooks/gobookiii.asp
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Thread Title: Laptop died: Want recommendations (PC) on a replacement
Thread Started By: Andy Mead
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