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I'm sorry sir, but you have to be prepared for the worst...

  • Random
  • Work Life

My trusty IBM T20 went through a mid-life crisis a couple of years ago, went into a one-month coma about 6 months ago and is now on the verge of a heart attack.

I'm finally, seriously looking for a new laptop now.

My main requirements are a dual core processor, 2Gb RAM, 17" widescreen and a NVIDIA graphics controller. Disk space, graphics memory, processor speed, and so on don't matter too much, but I'd like at least 80Gb, 256Mb and 2GHz respectively.

Searching google found a few contenders:

SONY's been getting bad press lately with exploding batteries, and they (and other manufacturers that use SONY batteries) now have delivery issues and increasing prices due to decrease in sales. Dell, in my view, is a sell-lots-at-low-margin type company. I'm not sure how this affects product quality, and while I've never had problems with Dell hardware, I've heard stories of people who have. But then, I've heard stories about other companies too (SONY and Apple come immediately to mind).

Clevo's the unknown, although I've heard Alienware sell average quality at high prices and work on the brand as a differentiator.

My current preference is for the Dell XPS M1710 based solely on its looks:

m1710-1.jpg m1710-2.jpg m1710-3.jpg m1710-4.jpg

So for around AU$4,570 (AU$2,375 salary sacrificed), I get:

  • Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo 2GHz
  • 17" UltraSharp(TM) widescreen (1920 x 1200)
  • 512Mb NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) 7900 GTX
  • 100Gb 7200RPM Hard Drive

So what's you're ideal laptop?


Few guys in the office have ordered that laptop not so long ago. Half Life 2 has never looked so good!


The display and the graphic quiality is amazing.

*Walks of to get his check from Dell.

Get a MacBook Pro. Core 2 Duo ones will be released soon, and they should meet all your requirements.

But if it was me, I'd get one with a smaller screen and then buy a huge monitor to attach to it at home. That'd be a MacBook. But alas, I don't they come as fast as you like.

And also, something ... something ... your sister/

I was seriously considering the MPB which comes in a 2.0 or 2.16GHz version, but it comes with an ATI Mobility Radeon X1600, which doesn't meet my requirements :-(

My sister, on the other hand, probably doesn't meet my requirements. I don't think she has a DVI port.

It seems that Linux's support for ATI is improving. This guy installed Beryl on his MBP without issues, and has a demo on YouTube.

I use a MBP 2.16 with 2GB of RAM. I can have 3 OS's running at the same time without any problems ( at the moment Vista RC1 and XP SP2 ) it works damn well. the Unix underpinnings make it a great web dev box and the ability to easily check for IE compatability really helps as well. not to mention it comes with apache built in on a per user basis. Yeah I know Apples idea of unix isnt to everyones taste and sometimes getting stuff to work can be a bit complicated, but if you know what your doing it works a treat.

Tobes Of course I'm Apple biased, I'm Microsoft certified!

What ever you do, do not look at Toshiba 17" laptops. I have the sattelite and they have a bug in them that there is not enough breathing space for the processor.

A year later and im about to get a nice chunk of money from my insurance company due to toshiba sattelite shitness.

So, what did you end up getting Ben?

G'day Matt! I'm still going for the XPS m1701, but have to wait until I'm over my probation period, having started a new job a week ago. So February 1st, I'll be getting myself a new baby :-)

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