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Purchase Advice Needed

Discussion in 'CAD' started by Jim Thompson, Jun 16, 2007.

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  1. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    I'm pondering purchasing a new laptop... my old Vaio is absolutely
    ancient, heavy, and slow (800MHz).

    Specifically I'm looking at the ThinkPad X61s notebook.

    Anyone experienced with this product?

    Alternates?

    Thanks!

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  2. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Sorry, I am not. Just used a new Lenovo at a client which is ok but the
    plastic case appears too flimsy for my taste.

    I've got the predecessor (D14RA) of this one:
    http://usa.twinhead.com/PRO/D14RY/

    Absolutely love it, so far. But it is certainly not light and it may not
    have enough horsepower for what you need. Although mine finished every
    compile run about 30% faster than all the others during a Cypress
    session. What I really liked was that it came with some non-announced
    goodies such as an RS232 port.
     
  3. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    A new Vaio!

    John
     
  4. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Do they come in a light-weight version?

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  5. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Mine is the midweight version, about 4 pounds, but it has a 4+ hour
    battery life, enough to watch a DVD and get some work done on a plane.
    I got it a couple years ago for about $1400, but they're cheaper and
    have bigger screens now. They have a really light version, but it's
    more expensive.

    John
     
  6. Rich Webb

    Rich Webb Guest

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Description=nc6320&x=0&y=0

    HP's nc6320 series is still available at NewEgg with XP Pro. Not as
    petite as a Vaio but shouldn't make your arm grow longer with carrying
    it, either. A possible plus is that they include actual "legacy"
    parallel and serial ports in addition to the newer stuff like WiFi,
    Bluetooth, USB, Firewire, etc.

    This may be about the end of that model series; used to be several
    more on the higher- and lower-end. If you'd prefer an XP machine,
    you'd better hustle.
     
  7. Nico Coesel

    Nico Coesel Guest

    Whatever you buy, buy something that is being advertised as 'for
    professional/business use'. Computers come in two grades: el-cheapo
    consumer grade and professional/business grade. If you want a computer
    that doesn't crash all the time, pay more and get the professional
    version.
     
  8. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Would you care to elaborate on that ?

    Just which components are different and what differences do they make ?

    Graham
     
  9. JackShephard

    JackShephard Guest


    Factory floor, engineering test lab perspective... get a tablet PC with
    a touch screen input capacity.

    Business, sales, design engineering... get a wide screen wi fi/
    blutooth capable CAD station type laptop.
     
  10. JackShephard

    JackShephard Guest

    **** Sony.
     
  11. JackShephard

    JackShephard Guest

    Things are actually getting bigger and heavier as screen sizes get
    larger.
     
  12. JackShephard

    JackShephard Guest


    Yes... I too think he is full of shit.

    He could be thinking of one brand, but most makers make one line of
    gear for any given form factor, mini, notebook, laptop, etc.
     
  13. Chris Jones

    Chris Jones Guest

    There is definitely a wide variation in the quality (cost / reliability
    trade-off) between different laptops. I don't know the best way to
    identify the good ones prior to purchase.

    Batteries for one thing - Mine has a battery pack that is supposed to have 8
    cells in it, but actually it is the "consumer" version that has six real
    cells and two plastic cylinders that have no electrical function but look
    approximately like lithium cells. Of course to get the same power out of
    the battery, the cells get run at higher current and will fail when the
    series resistance reaches a lower value that wouldn't have stopped the
    8-cell version from working.

    If you will use the laptop for long periods in a place where AC power is
    available then I strongly recommend getting a laptop which will run off the
    AC adapter with no battery fitted and which allows the battery to be
    removed easily (mine requires a screwdriver). If you take out the battery
    then you can avoid cooking the battery at 50 degrees C (which is the
    temperature reported by my hard drive if I take the home made fan tray out
    from under my laptop.) My battery pack is dead now but I don't feel like
    paying another hundred pounds ($200) for a new pack that won't get used
    many times and will get killed by the heat in another year or so. I'd
    rather get / build a 12V to 20V inverter and run the thing off a lead acid
    battery - much cheaper and won't get cooked.

    Chris
     
  14. Nico Coesel

    Nico Coesel Guest

    In consumer grade equipment usually the hardware is cheap and crappy.
    Bad design practise of critical components like the motherboard result
    in timing errors and thermal problems (crashes / strange behaviour).
    Also a lot of stuff is handled by the CPU which makes the system
    slower than it ought to be. Support is lacking and drivers are hardly
    tested.
     
  15. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Make sure you don't get one of these:
    http://www.techtickerblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/06/delllap.jpg
    (Sony battery packs.)
    http://www.google.com/images?q=sony+Laptop+flames+OR+burning+OR+fire+OR+exploded
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site...OR+intitle:Recalls+-inurl:rss&num=20&filter=0

    There's always
    http://www.google.com/search?q=site...OR+intitle:Ubuntu+-inurl:rss&num=100&filter=0
    ;-)
     
  16. qrk

    qrk Guest

    The guys I worked with always found the IBM laptops to be more rugged
    than other brands. These are folks who spend 25%+ of a year on travel
    to unpleasant places on the globe.
     
  17. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Tell me who makes these crappy hard drives, memory, display contollers, LCDS,
    CPUs and heck knows what else for the consumer market ?

    Where can I buy them ?

    Why would I want to ?

    Graham
     
  18. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Rugged. Sure. Titanium shells etc.

    Nico said most laptops are 'crappy'.

    So, does Hitachi for example have a 'crappy' range of hard drives that are
    cheaper than their others ? And how does one get a 'crappy' Intel or AMD CPU ?
    Is someone selling them out the back door ?

    Graham
     
  19. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    I prefer women, to be honest.

    John
     
  20. Nico Coesel

    Nico Coesel Guest

    Any manufacturor. This is a well known example from the automobile
    industry: Mitsubishi and Hyundai both produced a van with an identical
    diesel engine from Mitsibishi. Well, almost identical. The engine for
    the Hyundai van (H100) was produced faster with less accuracy and
    cheaper components. The Mitsubishi van (L200) used engines which where
    produced slower and more accurate with more expensive parts. The end
    result: the engine for the Hyundai usually didn't last 100kkm (62k
    miles) while the engine used in the Mitsubishi vans easely lasted
    300kkm (187k miles). Even though something comes out of the same
    factory and looks the same doesn't mean it is the same quality.

    It is like electronic components rated for commercial and industrial
    temperature range. The design is the same, the die is the same, the
    factory is the same, the packaging is the same and still the quality
    (MTBF) is different.
    Any computer shop around the corner.
    To 'save' money (NOT!). When I was still studying I made quite a lot
    of money by taking the crappy parts out of people's computer and
    replacing them with proper hardware in order to get a stable computer
    system.
     
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