Looking for help on next laptop purchase

I am looking for another laptop after having too many problems with my current Toshiba A75-S226 Satellite. I am curious what laptops you experts may suggest for someone like myself. I am a business person and use the laptop for heavy internet, email, excel, word, adobe, powerpoint, photoshop and need to be able to take it around with me to the office, travel, and home. I would prefer a laptop that will ba able to use a port replicator as well so I don't have to pack all the wires when leaving the house. Also, I like the bigger screen size since I currently have a 15" on this Toshiba. Please let me know what laptops you can recomend around $1000-1500 that will suit my needs. If you need any other info about what I need to answer this question please feel free to post a reply with the questions.
rattlemeAsked:
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David523Commented:
Sounds like you do a lot with this and broadly speaking I'd look at Dell and take advantage of one of their sales.  Obtan a Port Replicator, Flat Screen, Stand with a balance of Memory and Processor Speed.

Might want to start your search here:       http://slickdeals.net/#p7404

Hpe this Helps!!!
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mav7469Commented:
 The problem is the screen.  For that price, you are not going to find too many options.

  From the sounds of your applications you are running, I don't think you will have to get a high end CPU.  There are no real CPU busters in that list.  You will want as much RAM memory and as much Hard Drive space as you can get.  The RAM will halp the computer run faster and the Hard Drive space will allow you to store more files on the laptop locally instead of burning to CD or USB Drive.

  As far as models, My ranking would be HP, Toshiba, Dell, IBM (now lenovo).  HP and Dell have the best customer support but I have recommended Dell in the recent past and people have had to return them for MOBO replacments.  

Good Luck.. I hope this helps

Mav
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CallandorCommented:
Is long battery life more important to you than performance?  If so, I recommend laptops with Pentium-M cpus; otherwise, the Athlon64 or Pentium-4 will be a more powerful processor.  
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ECNSSMTCommented:
Don't mean to sound like a commercial for Dell, but go there.  Its almost May and they should be doing something for Dads & Grads.  Sign up for their email-ing list.  Only thing is to buy base builds with any freebies and then price out anything you want in terms of accessories.  You can cross reference with www.blackfriday.com

Regards,
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jamietonerCommented:
My personal suggestiong would be a Dell Latitude D810 (single core pentium m) or D820 (intel duo core), I have a D810 with docking station and i love it, Just make sure to upgrade to next business day (mail in sucks) and definetly complete care (pays for its self if its ever accidently damaged), and if yah have a little extra for a contract add gold support (its expensive but well worth it).
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shankshankCommented:
We recently purchased the Dell Latitude D810, and it is an awesome laptop. Now that Dual core's have come out for the latitude line (d820) and they are even better.
http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/latit_hi?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd

Word of advice, stay away from the inspiron line. If you can dish out the money, the dell precision laptops may be better for you.

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/compare.aspx/precn_m?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd
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jacobsstcgCommented:
Even with the 15" monitor requirement I wonder if the D810/D820 are not going to be a little overkill for your price/size requirements.  Don't get me wrong I have a D810 and I really like it, but if you are going to be travelling with it much I think that the D620 would be worth seriously considering.  The D620 is cheaper, allowing you to purchase a nicely configured system for around 1500 dollars with a docking station and it has some nice new options like: optional built in high-speed cellular card (Verizon and Cingular), optional finger print scanner for added security (if you travel a alot), and a built in WiFi locator on the side of the screen that is very handy.  We just got a couple of these systems in at the office and they are really fast with the new Dual Core chips.  If it was me I would trade in my D810 for a D620 as the weight/size savings is nice, and the 14.1 screen although smaller is still very usable.

If you don't have any preference for Dell's however which is sounds like you do not. I would also highly recommend taking a look at the HP/Compaq nx6125 which runs off of the AMD ML-37 processor.  It is extremely fast, cheaper then the Intel systems, has a docking station option, and has the larger 15" screen.  We only have a couple of these but the users really like them and we haven't had any problems with them yet.  If I was looking for a personal machine I think I would  be purchasing one of these.  Here is a PcMag.com review also... http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1830443,00.asp

Hope that helps
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jacobsstcgCommented:
Also worth noting is that if you plan on using Photoshop you are going to benefit from having at least 1GB of memory installed in your system.  If you purchase a Dell with 1GB of memory, and a docking station you are probably going to go over your $1500.00 price limit by a considerable amount depending on the other options.  With the HP nx6125 you should be able purchase a system with 1GB of memory, DL DVD+/-RW drive, and the smart productivity kit that has a Docking Station / Extra Battery / external keyboard and mouse (item PA286UT-KIT) for a little under $1500.00
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Matt LynchSystem AdministratorCommented:
I highly suggest a Think Pad as well.  They are now made by Lenovo, but are excellent laptops.  Very durable for travel.  Almost any coporate enviroment I've ever worked in uses Thinkpads.  I use to do contract work for HP and even a lot of those contracts used Thinkpads for their laptops and HP for the desktops.

http://www.lenovo.com/us/en/
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Visual3DMayaCommented:
I recommend you something ready 64 bit and only AMD does such things right now, Intel has to work on it.
Els, with the time you will discover more and more programs not working, as those 64 bit will take place those 32 bit.
Much more it's in your advantage to rull 64 bit programs, i already saw good games computing on 64 bit, where you can reach antil double of speed wo any oc and hit surplus.
Go to this page http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/RangeSearch.asp?N=2000260032&Subcategory=32 and check exactly what you like and you'll see the results.
I found this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16834147228
look what resolution, all it has is almost at a maximum! even the weight :)
After all it comprise wouldn't be such a big problem.
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jbarton221Commented:
I have a Dell Latitude D610 and love it.  I have 2GB of memory running 1.7GHz.  I was worried this wouldn't be fast enough, but I have not been disappointed.  

Just keep your eye on Dell for specials.  I have also had much better luck calling in and getting better deals, than ordering of the Internet.  Tell them what you want and what price you are looking for and they will get you there.  Don't skimp on memory and warranty.  Warranty is essential for notebook PC's, because you just can't take them to any computer repair person and get them fixed.

Stay with the Latitude line, especially if you want to use docking stations.
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nobusCommented:
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the input. I know the basics about computers and know to load up on RAM and hard drive. I don't need much of a warranty or online/home tech help since I know alot about fixing these things and so does a good friend. I never owned a Dell Laptop, but had many Dell desktops. I have owned 2 VAIO's and currently a Toshiba laptop. I don't like HP or Compaq and with all the hype from everyone about Dells I guess I cannot go wrong? My next step is to ask you what you would include and upgrade with $1500 to spend (ie: bluetooth, type of wireless card, sound card, duo or no duo, mhz, type of hard drive) I can spend $1500 for the laptop and another $150 for the Port replicator to give you an idea.
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David523Commented:
I'd keep an eye on Slickdeals.net and/or Dell.com for sales and Best Price.  HD space may be of interest and an external HD may be desireable.  If the Audio/Video will meet your needs then I'd focus first on a really nice processor and enough memory to get me by because I'd max out the memory down the road when I had a little more money.  Memory is easier to upgrade than many of the other parts - Then again the Dell D610 has the second memory slot hidden under the keyboard which has to be remove to install.  

Hope this Helps!!!
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
How is this Toshiba?

A105-S4014 or P105-S6014

How about this VAIO

VGN-FE550G
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
I guess what I really want is longer battery life, my current laptop runs out of juice within an 1-1.5hrs while just surfing the web.
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Visual3DMayaCommented:
AMD Turion™ 64 mobile technology is the most advanced family of simultaneous 32- and 64-bit Windows®-compatible processors made for mobility uniquely optimized to deliver AMD64 performance in thinner and lighter notebook designs with longer battery life, enhanced security*, and compatibility with the latest wireless and graphics technologies, today and tomorrow.
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jacobsstcgCommented:
With the battery life requirements mentioned I think that going with a Dell D620 or D820 that is nicely configured with an extra battery is going to be a great machine choice.  With the extra batteries inserted in the the D620 we get about 5.5 hours of battery life with wireless off and about 5 hours with wireless turned on.  With a $1500 dollar budget you might find it hard to configure a D820 with the options you want however.
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
jacobsstcg>>>

Do you mean you get 5 hours from 2 batteries combined? Or 5 hours from 1 battery alone?
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jacobsstcgCommented:
With two 6 cell batteries inserted into the D620 (one in the usually battery location, and the other in the other in the D-Port) we get 5 hours of actual run time with the wireless on doing various office tasks.  Dell does sell more powerful 9 cell batteries also though, so you could probably get significantly longer run times if you purchased those.  
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
What do you think of this setup?

Inspiron E1505 Intel® Core™ Duo processor T2300 (2MB Cache/1.66GHz/667MHz FSB)
Operating System (Office software not included) Genuine Windows® XP Home
LCD Panel 15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA Display with TrueLife™
Memory 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm
Video Card Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Hard Drive 80GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
Network Card and Modem Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0
Combo/DVD+RW Drives FREE 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
Sound Card Integrated Audio
Wireless Networking Cards Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/g Mini Card (54Mbps)
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed) No productivity suite- Corel WordPerfect word processor only
Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) No Security Subscription
Primary Battery 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
Hardware Warranty 2Yr Ltd Warranty, 2Yr At-Home Service, and 2Yr HW Warranty Support
Dial-Up Internet Access 6 Months America Online Internet Access Included
Port Replicator Notebook Expansion Dock
Color Choice Carbon Fiber QuickSnap™ Cover
Miscellaneous Award Winning Service, Support
Mobile Broadband No Broadband Expresscard technology is available in the market now
Operating System Re-Installation CD PC Restore recovery system by Symantec
Dell Digital Entertainment Starter Entertainment Pack - Basic digital Music, Photo and Game experience
 
TOTAL:$1,399.00
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
Or this one:

Inspiron 6400 Intel® Core™ Duo processor T2300 (2MB Cache/1.66GHz/667MHz FSB)
Operating System (Office software not included) Genuine Windows® XP Home
LCD Panel 15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA Display with TrueLife™
Memory 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm
Video Card 128MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1300 HyperMemory™
Hard Drive 100GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
Network Card and Modem Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0
Combo/DVD+RW Drives 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
Sound Card Integrated Audio
Wireless Networking Cards Intel® PRO 3945 and Dell 350 Bluetooth Internal Wireless Cards
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed) No productivity suite- Corel WordPerfect word processor only
Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) McAfee Security Center with VirusScan, Firewall, Spyware Removal, 15-months
Digital Music Musicmatch by Yahoo! Music - Basic music software
Primary Battery 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
Dell Service & Support Plans 3 Year On-site Economy Plan
Dial-Up Internet Access 6 Months of America Online Membership Included
Digital Imaging Corel Photo Album™ 6 Starter Edition - Organize and Edit your photos
Miscellaneous Inspiron 6400
Financial Software No QuickBooks package selected - includes limited use trial
Mobile Broadband No Broadband Expresscard technology is available in the market now
Operating System Re-Installation CD PC Restore recovery system by Symantec
Purchase Intent Purchase is not intended for resale.
 
TOTAL:$1,334.00  
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
Or this one:

Latitude D820 Intel® Core™ Duo T2300 (1.67GHz) 667Mhz Dual Core
Operating Systems Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2, with media
LCDs 15.4 inch Wide Screen WXGA LCD Panel
Memory 1.0GB, DDR2-533 SDRAM, 2 DIMMS
Internal Keyboard Internal English Keyboard
Graphics Intel® Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator 950
Hard Drives 60GB Hard Drive, 9.5MM, 7200RPM
Fingerprint Reader for Added Security Standard Touchpad
Floppy Drive No Floppy Drive
Bluetooth Dell Wireless® 350 Bluetooth Module
AC Adapter 90W A/C Adapter
Optical Drive - Modular 8X DVD+/-RW w/Roxio Digital Media™ and Cyberlink Power DVD™
Wireless LAN (802.11) Intel® 3945 802.11a/g Dual-Band Mini Card
Resource CD Resource CD - Contains Diagnostics and Drivers
Batteries 9 Cell Primary Battery
Hardware Support Services 3 Year Mail-In Economy Plan
Miscellaneous Latitude D820
Purchase Intent Purchase is not intended for resale.
 
TOTAL:$1,332.00
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CallandorCommented:
The Inspiron 6400 looks like it has a better video card and a slightly larger hard drive.  The Latitude D820 has a smaller but faster hard drive, which also means a shorter battery life.
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rattlemeAuthor Commented:
What about this config for the Inspiron 6400:

Inspiron 6400 Intel® Core™ Duo processor T2300 (2MB Cache/1.66GHz/667MHz FSB)
Operating System (Office software not included) Genuine Windows® XP Home
LCD Panel 15.4 inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen SXGA+ Display with TrueLife™
Memory 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm
Video Card 128MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1300 HyperMemory™
Hard Drive 80GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
Network Card and Modem Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem
Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0
Combo/DVD+RW Drives 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
Sound Card Integrated Sound Blaster® Audigy® ADVANCED HD Audio
Wireless Networking Cards Intel® PRO 3945 and Dell 350 Bluetooth Internal Wireless Cards
Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed) No productivity suite- Corel WordPerfect word processor only
Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) No Security Subscription
Digital Music Musicmatch by Yahoo! Music - Basic music software
Primary Battery 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
Dell Service & Support Plans 1 Year On-site Economy Plan
Dial-Up Internet Access 6 Months of America Online Membership Included
Digital Imaging Corel Photo Album™ 6 Starter Edition - Organize and Edit your photos
Port Replicator Notebook Expansion Dock
Miscellaneous Inspiron 6400
Financial Software No QuickBooks package selected - includes limited use trial
Mobile Broadband No Broadband Expresscard technology is available in the market now
Operating System Re-Installation CD PC Restore recovery system by Symantec
Purchase Intent Purchase is not intended for resale.
 
TOTAL:$1,385.00
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CallandorCommented:
You should be able to compare it yourself and see what the differences are.

I see a hard drive that is 20GB smaller, has a 1 year support vs 3 year support, throws in a port replicator, and costs $51 more.  If you need a port replicator (to hook up two external monitors, for example), it's a small saving over the $79 it normally costs, and I would check if it has the feature desired (I'm just going by the port replicator on my Latitude D610, which may be different).  Anyway, you can see this difference without asking anyone else.
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tomsmorganCommented:
For everyday professional use, I would go with IBM/Lenovo, Dell makes nice looking products and provides excellent support but durability of laptops could be better, my Inspiron failed in multiple ways
 in it's 3 year life,  It always had one or more issues requiring extra attention, like inoperative screen, fussy to except a charge even with new battery and charger, network connectivity problems, I was always having to fuss with connectors  to get them connect.
The lenovo T60 has been a pleasure,  it's not fancy to look at but very functional & users report very few problems with them., IBM shows one bouncing off a wall at 35mph and still working after it hits the ground.
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