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Old Mar 14, 2007, 10:51 PM   #11
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Sounds like you have thought about backups, which is good. Since you'll be carrying around your main system, you don't want it to also hold your only copies of your images.

If you go to the business area of Dell, you can still get laptops with XP on it. So you might consider that.

The system I have (I'm using it now) is actually the Inspiron 630M, so clearly it was replaced. I'm happy with it, but I don't carry it everywhere. It just goes around the house and a few places when I am going away for an extended period of time.

Now, personally, I'm happy with my Dell, but I've heard lots of problem with tech support lately (I haven't had a problem, but I've read too many to ignore them.) I would look into it before I'd get a Dell. I'm happy with mine, but you should go into it with your eyes open.

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Old Mar 15, 2007, 2:28 AM   #12
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Good advice above.

Load out the machine with RAM for PS.

Also try for the 7200rpm HDD if you can. Take those in preference to a larger 5200rmp disk.

Also an external USB drive is a very good idea, and the prices are now very reasonable.

Make sure the laptop has a DVD writer too - and back up to both the external drive and to DVD if you can.

As to Dell support - all I can say is that the 3yr NBD International Support has been excellent in my experience. They have sent out engineers to our staff (laptops bought in UK) in Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Johannesburg the day after reporting faults.

Of course you do have to be patient with 1st line support, which is mostly provided out of India. They have their scripts to follow, and get in trouble if they don't. But the fact is that the scripts do work at diagnosing 75% of errors. If you are patient with 1st line you will get to 2nd line if you need to, and getting aggressive makes your life much harder.

UK business support is operated from Ireland and is very good. I have no experience of US support.
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 7:49 AM   #13
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As far as Dell support goes I have seen two different sides.

1. In college I worked for the computing and information service department and found Dell's support for business or corporate entities very helpful. We had a direct line to support people who didn't have to follow the script and were very helpful doing advanced repairwork to laptops and desktops.

2. As a consumer Dell laptop owner (Inspiron 1150) I have had so much trouble with their tech support that I will not buy another Dell. (I realize experiences may vary but this is my personal feeling)

Less than one year after I purchased my laptop a pet chewed the power cord. I called Dell to get a new one and they had stopped manufacturing them and could only offer a 3rd party replacement. When their recommended power supply came in directly from them it was too small and the package did not list my laptop as compatible. So I bought the next model up and the laptop gave me a boot up error saying that the power supply was not the right one. In the end I had to buy a used Dell power supply on Ebay and now I just pray not to need another one.

So, between the tech support and lack of support for their own equipment I must say I am done with Dell. Again, this is my experience and others may have had better treatment/luck.
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 8:29 AM   #14
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Well I have a Dell now and one of the main reasons I started to look else where for my next machine is

1.) The is 34 months old

2.) For thre first 24 moinths when it started on my desk at home and traveld to the kitchen and family room it worked great

3.) As soon as I started to travel with it in the car trunk, airplane etc it started to devlope stress and problems from brng carried around. The lid hinges are starting to get loose on one side and also the performance started geting slower with the HD even though I ran a system scan, repair scan and have been defraging the hard drive and they all tell me nothing is wrong. And.... before someone asks I used a very well built case to store it in

4.) Until I looked in the business section of their website (as suggested by a usere here) I couldn't find a single one that ran Windows XP.

5.) I called and sent an e-mail to Dell asking about getting Windows XP installed on a machine and got a reply by way the HELL would you want to do that and they capitalized HELL. Also on the phone they told flat out that s not an option that we can offer. MS will no longer allow us to sell anything with Windows XP. Besides Vista is much more stable than Windows XP. That is when I hung up on them,

Thanks for all the information so far..... I will be looking on line and in Best Buy, Staples, CompUSA etc tomorrow and will figure out what to buy by the end of the day. So hoepfully by the end of next week will have my new system. I will report back as to what I decided to do and why after I get my new machine.

Thanks again for all the advice
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 11:36 AM   #15
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If you are thinking of going with a Tosh, check their website. They will often sell off older stock at a discount. That would likely be loaded with XP.
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 2:01 PM   #16
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IF you buy an HPlaptop at Best Buy, I'd recommend paying for the 3 year warranty. The first HP laptop I bought died about 18 months after I bought it (no warranty, I think most of the time it's just a waste of money). The replacement HP laptop is now in their shop getting repaired, under the warranty - it managed to last 2 1/2 have years before needing a new hard drive, USB port and DVD/CD writer. I'll find out this weekend if they'll decide to replace it or fix mine. Since Best Buy doesn't seem to have any XP machines left, I'm hoping I get mine repaired - I don't want to have to replace Adobe Creative Suite 2 any time soon! According to our IS department, this isn't uncommon with laptops (I do travel with mine quite often, mostly by auto).

Is anyone running both Vista and CS2? What issues are there?
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Old Mar 15, 2007, 2:07 PM   #17
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I know people on other forums that do use CS2 on Vista.
The biggest issue seems to be that some people are having serious trouble with color management and profiles on Vista.

As long as you have drivers for it, people seem to be doing ok. Not great, but ok.

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Old Mar 15, 2007, 2:47 PM   #18
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coachjames wrote:
If you are thinking of going with a Tosh, check their website. They will often sell off older stock at a discount. That would likely be loaded with XP.
Same thing for some of the other brands (HP, Dell, etc.).

This is a deal I got from the Dell Outlet in 2004 (and this was a pretty decent box for 2004). Although I've added some other stuff like disk drives,etc., I'm still using it (and I have never called Dell Customer Service, and probably wouldn't even if it had broken under warrany). I'd just buy another one and reuse anything of interest from it. lol

You could probably do well on a laptop purchase, too (just find some specials before you start shopping, which can require a bit of patience/research to buy at just the right time).

One trick is to watch for the coupon specials that you can sometimes pile on to other discounts. Note that the $1,029 price was the normal refurbished price for this box then (not for a new one). But, I paid less than half of that normal refurbished price for it (by finding a lot of discounts to pile on at checkout). lol

I could not have built a box for what they sold this one for (heck, the software probably would have cost me more, since this one had XP Pro with MS Office on it, too). Note the final price after all of the discounts (and this was a 2004 purchase):

Dimension 8300 Mini-Tower: Pentium 4 Processor with HT Technology at 3.0GHz with 1MB L2 Cache, 800MHz front side bus
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Unit Price: $1,029.00

Dimension 8300 Mini-Tower: Pentium 4 3.0GHz, Prescott, 1M
Microsoft Windows XP Professional
1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drive
120 GB Internal, Serial ATA,#1 Seagate-Alpine (7200 RPM)
128MB DDR GeForce FX 5200 Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI
56Kbps Data/Fax Modem
16X DVD ROM Drive
DVD Decoding Software
90-Day Trial Norton Internet Security 2004
Resource CD
Dell Support 2.0
Dell Support 2.0 Software
Microsoft Office 2003 Small Business Edition
Logitech PS2 Mouse
QuietKey Keyboard
AOL Sofware Documentation
Shipping Material

Weekend Special: Additional $75 Off ALL refurbished Dimension Desktops!
- $75.00

Instant Online Savings: $150 off any refurbished Dimension Desktop!
- $150.00

$225 off select refurbished Dimension priced between $1,000 and $1,199
- $225.00

Dimension 8xxx STD: 1 Yr On-Site Service, 1 Yr Pho Qty: 1
Unit Price: $0.00


Dell Outlet Customers: Free 3-5 day ground shipping with the purchase of any refurbished Dimension desktop!
Expires on 2004-10-20 23:59:00
- $99.00

Sub-Total $479.00
Shipping $0.00
Tax $0.00

Total $479.00

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Old Mar 16, 2007, 4:55 AM   #19
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I have had good luck (knock-wood) with Gateway & Apple. I've been looking at laptops myself since my 10 yr old Gateway (used hours DAILY), PII windows 95 back-up finally bit the dust (screen lamp). Gateway even replacedmy screen once (accident - MY fault) under their EXCELLENT extended warranty program(cheaper than Dell's).

I used to hear good things about Dell, but less so lately. When I called them regarding a site question- I got stuck on hold so long I finally hung-up.

I'm a former multi-thousand dollar per year (for many years) "Best Buy" customer. I'm no longer a fan of "Best Buy"&now shop thereas little as possible. That's not hard, since others will match or beat their ad prices, & many of ther non-ad prices are just NOT competitive.For Example - they were recently selling the Nikon 18 - 200 zoom for 20% ABOVE common street price about $900. (street $750). And "Best Buys"customer "service" is the without question the WORST I've experienced.

Circuit City has beengood, or buy direct from Gateway or Apple - & configure your dream system.


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Old Mar 16, 2007, 7:51 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the replies to my original message. Despite the good things people say about Dell my experiences lead me to believe that their laptops are better left on a desk in the office than for traveling. I had two very negative interactions with tech and customer support and one guy that told me I was stupid for wanting to stay with Windows XP as my operating system. So after long debate here is what I did in case this will help some one else out.

One general suggestion always start with a small business machine they are have many of the high end features you will need form the start so there is less cost to add on etc.

I ordered a custom built Gateway

Base Model M465-E SB

Windows XP Pro

Works 8.5

Duo Core T5500 1.66GHz processor

2048MB (2GB) of DR2 SDRam

4USB Ports, VGA, IEEE, S-Video

TypeII PC Card Slot

120GB Hard Drive

8x Multi Function Double Layer DVD

8 Cell Battery

Intel 802.11a/b/g wireless

I will be installing from my own copies

Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0

MS Office 2003 Professional

Total Video Converter

Fuji Fine Pix Software

The only feature I was not able to get was a built in memory card reader so I will purchase a 23-1 reader from Walmart or Circuit City this weekend to fill out the package

The machine came out to $1,518.00 plus tax which is approx $800 les than the durabook computer quotes I got for a similar system. The only real differences in the durabook specs is that it had a 5in1 memory card reader.

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