View Full Version : OT - i have to buy a computer... NEW Q on pg 2

08-04-2006, 07:52 PM
Ick.. i need to buy a computer (laptop)... It's time.. my old one has had it. I had a Gateway but i wasn't too keen on it.. so i'm looking for other options...

I HATE researching computer crap and seeing as i haven't had to do this in a while i'm really crappy about it... Is there a big preference for Dell over HP or vice versa? What about IBM?

What kind of laptop do you have and do you like it?


08-04-2006, 08:44 PM
I love my Dell. I waited until they put them on sale for $499 and I didn't do any upgrades. After shipping, it was less than $600.

Jan in CA
08-04-2006, 08:45 PM
My two daughters and I have Dell laptops. My dad, two brothers and I also have Dell desktops. They've been great!

08-04-2006, 08:47 PM
:thumbsup: My desktop is a Dell, too, Jan!

08-04-2006, 09:11 PM
I've been doing IT work for about 10 years and I only buy from Dell...they have definitely earned my loyalty. IMHO, when/if you have a problem, they resolve it. I've bought over 30 of them, most of them refurbs, and have only had issues with a handful, and they've always resolved things to my satisfaction, and quickly. No one's perfect...I had one pretty harrowing experience with tech support, lol...but overall I'm a huge fan. :thumbsup:

08-04-2006, 09:40 PM
(I have personal issues with Dell. One being that they outsource their tech and customer support. :? )

A lot of companies do that now, it's not just Dell. I've had to get customer support from Dell due to a monitor issue. The call was answered promptly, he spoke english and was unable to resolve my problem so a new monitor was sent and received within 36 hours. Excellent service IMO.

08-04-2006, 10:12 PM
It really depends on your personal taste and your budget. If you don't mind spending a little more and you carry your laptop a lot, I would go with an IBM. Otherwise Dell is very cool.

08-04-2006, 10:22 PM
I have an HP that I bought last year. It's great.

I saw a commercial for laptops that you can write on the screen and they have all these cool "sharing" options.

08-05-2006, 12:25 AM
I have a Dell desktop and have had Dells ever since I dumped my HP way back when. Before that it was Apples and Macs and I miss them still, but can't afford them. My Dad has a HP Pavilion laptop - it's been great, no problems.

08-05-2006, 06:24 AM
I love my Dell. I waited until they put them on sale for $499 and I didn't do any upgrades. After shipping, it was less than $600.

I've been looking at this laptop. We just bought a Dell desktop and got a great deal. Eventually, we want to buy laptops (1 for me and 1 for dh), but we're saving for the next Disney trip right now.

08-05-2006, 08:32 AM
candice sitting in her living room typing on her 12" Mac PowerBook. convert everyone... convert.

08-05-2006, 09:14 AM
I'm going to have to go against popular opinion here and urge you away from Dell. Here's my story:

I had a Dell Inspiron notebook that I bought it in 2004 for University and I've regretted it ever since. This summer I finally sold it to someone and bought a new Presario. I don't know what they're like now, but when I ordered from them $900 was the least expensive (no add-ons like more space, wireless, memory, etc) and so that was I bought.

Anyway, I hated it because of it's size (the cheapest laptops they sell are very heavy) and general service crappiness. I used the Dell for two and half years (essays, internet, downloading) and took very good care of it, but for no reason that I could detect, it just stopped working one day about a year after I bought it. I had to have the motherboard replaced and had to ship it to Dell to do that. Which meant I was computerless for about two weeks. And when I finally got it back, they didn't include the adapter (which they asked me to ship as well) and so had to wait another few days for them to send me a new one.

Also, and this shouldn't be a problem to anyone but me, but still... My grandmother actually purchased it for me as a graduation present, so they would only ship it to her. She lives with us now, but at the time she was moving from one apartment to another and, of course, it got sent to the wrong one. This is also where they decided to send my power cord (I was away at school in Halifax, a province away).

To this day, the laptop also overheats easily. I keep it clean and everything, but certain desk surfaces tick it off and it will decide to shutdown on me.

Also, never a buy printer from Dell because you have to order ink online. No one I brought the cartridges to would refill it, either. They said they weren't able to, but I'm pretty sure it's a Dell Conspiracy. ;)

I'm sure I'm in the minority, but that was my Dell Horror Story (I have heard quite a few of them from others).

08-05-2006, 09:24 AM
My laptop is a Dell, and while it's heavier than I'd like (actually, it's a friggin brick, if we're going to be honest), it runs well and I don't really take it with me. It's more for use in the living room when I have papers to write and don't want to hog up the office. I can't really say anything about their customer support as I've never had to use it - anytime I've had a problem, DH has always been able to fix it (he's an IT guy, so that helps tons.)

We're looking into buying a new one now that I'll be starting school again soon and I've been eyeballing a Mac. They're more $$$, but I hear they're totally worth it.

08-05-2006, 09:53 AM
I just had to buy one for #1 son for college. I had some pretty tasty price reductions through the University of Michigan or through the AICPA, so I was looking at Dell's and IBM's. Truthfully I would have prefered to get the IBM for him, although I have a Dell at work and it is wonderful. I just hate dealing with their help desks. The IBM machine seemed to be just a bit sturdier.

We ended up with a Dell Latitude. For what he was looking for, it was better than the Inspiron. He got loads of memory, because the new office product that is coming out in the next year or so is supposed to be memory hog.

I have had good and bad luck with the refurbs. Good news is if it is bad, they fix it immediately.

Keep shopping for a good discount! Their deals change daily and they may have another new student special coming up!

08-05-2006, 10:59 AM
Oooh, i'm loving all of this information!! Right now i'm leaning towards the Dell but i am pricing out an HP model...

This weekend is a No Tax weekend in North Carolina for school-type items (clothes under $100, school supplies, electronics such as computers etc.. ) so i'd like to purchase it this weekend while i get this special break...

Everything you've posted is helping me... Thank you!!

Oh, does anyone have one of those new "Ultrabright" or "Brightview" screens? I've read in Consumer Report that they're great for graphics and movies but can cause a glare... anyone have a problem with that?


08-05-2006, 11:05 AM
We've had Dell's forever...no problems.

My DH recently got a laptop for work from them and it is soooooooooooo light. There have been serious improvements in that area. Dell gives you options from lightest to large screen etc.

08-05-2006, 11:08 AM
My two knuts worth:

Computers are my job. Nothing ticks me off more than bad service and bad builds. I am, you might say, ferociously picky about the laptops I buy. As for my desktop machines, my husband and I build them all. If I could, I'd build my own laptops too.

In terms of performance and sheer longevity, I have had much better luck with IBM overall, and Compaq/HP over Dell, in spite of their proprietary models (Compaqs are notoriously difficult to fix by anyone not trained in how to repair them).

Dell service has, for me, been polite but inconsistent. It's like pulling teeth getting a machine back when I've sent it along for repair. And they ALWAYS seem to need something major done on them after a year out of the box. I won't buy them for my company anymore.

My first choice in terms of quality: IBM. I used to recommend Compaq/HP as a second, more affordable option, and though I don't know who handles their service contracts now, it might still be a good way to go.

Here's the thing: Dell has some really excellent sales going on right now. If you decide to get a Dell, I strongly urge you to buy the Gold level tech support contract. You will (hopefully) receive faster and better returns on any repair work you may need done in future.

08-05-2006, 03:23 PM
While I am a dyed in the wool PC user and Dell owner, my DD who is 22, is mad for the Apple. Apparently, they do everything a PC does and there's no cross over problem with applications. It's pretty light-weight, too. If I was going the laptop route, it would have to be light, light, light.

08-05-2006, 04:52 PM
This is my two cents. I have a Dell and was pretty pleased with it until I had to deal with customer service. I understand that they have outsourced customer service (and I don't agree with it) at least I should be able to get a person that speaks english. That is the frustrating part. We had to have our DVD burner replaced and they made us do 9 or 10 different things to make sure that was the problem. They did send us another one quickly but the hassles of customer service will probably make me shy away from a Dell again.

08-05-2006, 09:48 PM
The prices on Macs have come waaaaay down, and you just can't beat the quality!

I got an iMac G5 (desktop) after Katrina ate my old pc. This has been my first Mac and I was worried it would be hard to learn the ropes. Noooooo. I ADORE this machine. I haven't had a SINGLE problem. Not a one. And it's so much easier to use. It's never crashed, ever. No drivers... God bless this machines.

The new mac laptops are fantastic. My only regret is that I can't have one of each!

08-06-2006, 01:15 PM
It's done.. i went with the Dell because the university discount that i received and the No Tax Weekend made it a very attractive deal. I also got extended coverage thanks to what you've posted and what i've heard previously about it being a necessity (and i've spilled on a laptop before - won't be without accident coverage ever again!)

I feel good.. but i feel poor... but it's done...
I'm now off to CompUSA to get the accessories like a bag and wireless mouse (much cheaper there!)

Ooof... 2Gb RAM - i'll be flying soon!!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!! :notworthy: I am absolutely grateful for all of your sage comments. You really have helped me a bunch with a big decision.

I love this place! :heart: :heart: :heart:


08-14-2006, 04:11 PM
Thank you all... The computer is up and running and i got a VERY snazzy wireless laser mouse that ROCKS. I'm pretty happy for the most part... but there is one glitch.

The monitor in my computer is a widescreen - great for watching DVDs but not so good for browsing the internet. It seems that Microsoft Internet Explorer isn't really good at dealing with widescreen resolution because it does't "get" that some people have widescreen monitors and it tries to scale everything up. The net result is that pictures and some fonts are rather blury. NOT GOOD. I mean, how on earth can i live if i can't see WIP/FO pictures or KP/WEBS yarns??!! :pout: :!!!: I've been trying to research how to fix this - i mean they can't be selling this IE stuff to be this crappy, right? - but changing things around just make the fonts much smaller.

I can deal with smaller fonts in exchange for clear piccies... no problem. But i also bought a computer for my parents' house and their eyes aren't that great (in fact my poor lovely mother has cataracts that are really affecting her vision :() so i'm really worried that when their computer gets here today (with the behemoth 17" widescreen monitor) they won't be able to read anything on the web as it'll either be too small or too blurry. ARGH!

Some people say that they simply don't use IE and instead choose to use Mozilla or Firefox or Netscape. Do any of you use these as your default browser? I'm familiar with Netscape having used it until about 4-5 years ago but i know NOTHING about the others. Help!?!


08-14-2006, 04:16 PM
Try holding down the control button and hitting the + sign to make things bigger.

I use Firefox a lot, no real learning curve and does display things better on certain sites where layout is a problem or designed for browsers that render better.

08-14-2006, 04:40 PM
I use Firefox exclusively. I love :heart: :heart: :heart: tabbed browsing!

08-14-2006, 04:59 PM
Firefox is my boyfriend :heart:

08-14-2006, 06:11 PM

With an IE browser window open, click on 'Tools' in the toolbar.

Click on 'Internet Options'.

Click on 'Advanced' tab.

Scroll down to 'Multimedia'. Try checkmarking 'enable auto image resizing' and 'smart image dithering'.

If these don't help, it could be the way your monitor resolution is set up.

Then you have to go to 'Control Panel' on your computer. Then select 'Display' and click on the 'Settings' tab. You'll have to play around with the screen resolution and maybe the 'advanced' tab.

I know how frustrating this can be!

08-14-2006, 10:02 PM
I have changed my avatar in answer to your question. ;)

08-15-2006, 07:24 AM
on my work computer i'm forced to use IE, but on my home puter, i use Firefox exclusively.
I also have a widescreen laptop.

08-15-2006, 07:35 AM
One more thing to consider. Do you have any of these problems when you're doing anything else besides surfing the internet?

All LCD monitors have a native resolution that they were meant to run at. If you're running at anything other than the native resolution, it usually looks bad. blurry and bad.

If running at the native resolution makes the text too small, you can increase font size in IE by going to
View -> Text Size and setting it larger.
You can also make your font size larger in Windows by right clicking on the desktop and going to Properties -> Appearance -> Font Size and picking larger.

08-15-2006, 03:31 PM
I have changed my avatar in answer to your question. ;)

"My browser program eats your browser program for breakfast!" :thumbsup:

:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

08-15-2006, 10:33 PM
Firefox rocks!