Mets
  •  Mets
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2005-08-09T22:16:06Z
Well, like usual, I'm down to the wire in deciding about my laptop for college. My problem is, I have a fairly new laptop (1 year and a few months) that I'm not really sure if I should bring away with me, or if I should buy a new model. It's a Dell Inspiron 5100 with the following specs:

Intel Pentium 4 Processor at 2.4Ghz, 533 MHz front side bus
256MB Ram at 266MHz
ATI Mobility Raedeon 7500 video card with 32mb of memory
XGA Display (15 in., seems kinda dim compared to my LCD on the desktop)
8x DVD (no burner)
30 Gigs HD (about 22 free)
Sigma-Tel Audio
12-cell battery
1 PCI card (filled with 54g wireless)
Firewire, two USB 2.0 ports, video port, etc.

I'd be interested in hearing what everybody thinks. I'm an engineering student, and I use my computer a lot. My only hesitation is that with a new version of Windows coming out next year, and Intel getting involved in 64-bit processing, I feel like I should just wait, if not a year than maybe until Christmas. If I did get a new one, I'd be looking at something that's going to last at least two years and make it through Microsoft/Intels new upgrades, so any recommendations as to a nice performing laptop under $1500 would be appreciated. Since I have a really nice desktop at home, I barely used this thing (feel a little guilty). That being said, given that it's going to be my only computer next year, I'm not sure if I should get a new one or stick with it.

Some upgrades I'll be making if I keep this computer include more ram ($70 at crucial.com for a 512mb dimm), Win XP Pro ($15 through school), and maybe a few others, like a better optical drive.

Technology can change too quickly sometimes
Bothware
2005-08-09T23:27:35Z
That sounds like its a desktop CPU rather than a mobile one - right?

I suggest that you upgrade your memory now, then upgrade to a 64bit laptop (using a mobile CPU) sometime after the release of Windows Vista (probably late next year) - mobile CPUs should all be dual core by then aswell

As for your current screen: I have an older Dell laptop with a 15" 1400x1050 screen, and the brightness on that goes high enough to use it outdoors on sunny days, it's still not as bright as modern desktop TFTs though
Mets
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2005-08-10T00:14:15Z
Nope, that's a laptop (I guess I don't spec out good mobile computers lol)

What do you mean by dual core? Hopefully Vista will be out before fall 2006.
Dev
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2005-08-10T09:21:44Z
go with a mobile cpu such as pentium M ,these have gotten great reviews and are much more efficient on powe rso....more battery life .will you be playing games ,if yes thats graphics card will not cut it im afraid try to get a nVidia ge force go 6800 seires card .(if dell even sell it)
SilentSpectre
2005-08-10T09:32:29Z
Yes, that's a lower voltage version of the desktop cpu, but it's world less efficient than the Pentium M. I'd go with a pentium m or a turion based set up.
AKU
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2005-08-16T10:40:21Z
Even with dual cores, I would perfer single core at this point. It's really hard to say what the power requirements of Yonah are going to actually turn out to be. Besides the point, single core for what most mobile users is fine. There is still a world of difference between the general mobile PC user and the one concerned about gaming on a mobile PC.
totot
2005-08-16T11:22:00Z
I would just stick to what you have right now - if it does the job - memory upgrade is always good thing to do, as for the screen XGA doesn't sound too good....see if you can find some tweak for display / there are some to enhance text/fonts viewing etc....never used it though on my laptop.
AKU
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2005-08-17T14:09:28Z
There is only so much you can do about the screen. Part of the problem is going to be that the display has a native resolution. That you cannot change.