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Which is the best laptop for travel?

Old Oct 25th, 2006, 09:14 AM
  #1  
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Which is the best laptop for travel?

OK It finally happened. After a 6 week trip to Europe and after having transferred all my photos onto my 4 year old laptop it has just died. This forces me to buy a new one since the old one is hardly worth repairing and now I am starting to do my due diligence. Who better to ask that Fodorites on the go? I hope all you bargain hunters come out of the woodwork for this one.
My old laptop was a Sony Vaio which was ultra thin and had dimensions of 9.5 x 11". It was light which is essential for travel. Four years ago my needs and wants for a computer were not so sophisticated. Now the volume of electronics I carry rivals the volume of shoes I take so I am asking for your assistance and suggestions to find the most appropriate computer for my needs. Here is a list of "must haves" followed by the "nice to have". Any help is appreciated.

Must Have
Centino and Bluetooth
Integrated Memory card reader
DVD RW
At least 60GB HD
Must be small enough to fit into a safe or small backpack.
I'm thinking dual core processer

Nice to Have
Fingerprint reader
Integrated Webcam
TV Tuner (just for the hell of it)

How much should I have to pay for something like this?
Can anyone provide a link or suggestion on how to get data and pics off the hard disk of the old computer?
I am anxiously awaiting any and all suggestions. My laptop is my best friend when I travel.
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Old Oct 25th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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I like the HP nx6310, nx6325 series. Business notebooks, great quality, DVD-RAM, 512mb but only 1024x768, bright screen. With a Celeron 430 (1.7ghz) this beauty costs 400€ here in Germany plus tax.
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Old Oct 25th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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http://www.vaioshutdown.com
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Old Oct 25th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Logos:
Will check out this HP. I assume you are happy with it.
Robes:
I found that site yesterday. I definitely will get a new computer. I have not been able to find a diagram of how to get the hard drive out of the old laptop. I am not even sure what it looks like.
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Old Oct 25th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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Send them an email. They can extract the data for you.
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Old Oct 25th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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Don't give up on your old vaio.

I'm sending you this from my own vaio, which had a hard drive crash about 4 months ago. I replaced the hard drive with a larger one (40GB vs. 20GB) and it cost me $30 (on ebay, of course).

YMMV...
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Old Oct 25th, 2006, 05:47 PM
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I am not giving up yet but after doing a little research I am excited about all the new features available in some of these new computers. Costco had some pretty good deals from what I can see.
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Old Oct 25th, 2006, 06:45 PM
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I have the HP, but I find it too heavy to carry around.
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Old Oct 25th, 2006, 09:57 PM
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It's 2.8kg, and has a 15 inch screen, but on the other side, the same quality will cost you three times as much when you buy Sony or a Toshiba...
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 12:01 AM
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I am writing this on a spanking new Vaio SZ2, which was kindly provided by my insurance company after I stupidly spilled a glass of orange juice on my old one. It has all the features on your list, if perhaps a bit overpriced.
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 12:11 AM
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We have the Asus S6F, which has been named the "sexiest laptop ever". (LOL, as if there was a lot of competition for the title). Pretty well equipped. BUT it's hard to find at a discount.
http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/laptops/0,...9264067,00.htm
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 07:38 AM
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Before you plunk down big bucks on a Sony computer, read about their quality control and customer service here: http://hardwareanalysis.com/content/topic/5449/

(There are 81 pages and over 1600 posts to the above thread.)
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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Thanks for staying with me on this.
I am considering these. Does anyone own or have experience with these machines?
http://tinyurl.com/ycf4vy
http://tinyurl.com/yd26uc
http://tinyurl.com/yzfuze
One has a fingerprint reader and a built in camera which I like but no bluetooth, another has no BT but has the reader and another has a 3 year warranty.
My experience is add ons always slow down a computer. Does dual core processor handle this? Which is cheaper and easier to add on, a camera or BT?
I know I have to make a trade off somewhere (budgetwise)but where?
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 09:16 AM
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I would go for the 1440x900, 14'' Dell. Thr other Dell is just too small and too difficult to read the screen. And don't buy Sony, if you can avoid it! ;-)
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 09:42 AM
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Do you want an easily portable computer, or a desktop computer with a handle?

The criteria I use to evaluate laptops are: battery life, weight, and size. Some compromise with "everything but the kitchen sink" will have to be reached.

You do NOT need a fire-breathing processor to scribble notes and download pictures. 1gHz is plenty. You do NOT need a huge display to edit Fodor's clips. A 9" or 12" display is enough. You probably don't even need a built-in optical reader. If you want to watch movies, you should transfer them to the hard drive before you leave home.

If a computer slows down when peripherals are added, there's something wrong with its configuration.
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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Just imagining now how my Desktop with a handle would fit into the overhead bins . Don't forget the 21'' screen in your left hand. 2.8kg to carry is still o.k. for me...
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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For what it's worth, I have a Mac, and I love it. The new Macbooks have all the features you require except for a memory card reader, but you can always buy a cheap add-on to do that. And my friend, a consultant, has a Lenovo (formerly IBM) lightweight laptop that he loves (sorry, but I can't give you a model name or number off the top of my head).

I have some experience with Vaios, and my opinion is that they are not very reliable.
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 10:17 AM
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I finally bought a new laptop, prime consideration was the size and weight.
I wound up with an AVERATEC Model 1000 series 512/80/ Intell Pentium M
10.6" screen 3 1/2 lbs.
I bought it at Costco (by mail).
Seems ok, I have it about 8 months.
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 10:42 AM
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LOL My first computer was a Compaq portable purchased in 1984. It was literally a desktop with a handle. Sorta looked like a sewing machine. But seriously folks, I am planning to spend alot of time in Italy this coming year. Portability and strong wi fi reception is VERY important and I want to have something that will support a webcam easily since I have made clear my feelings about Skype and its indispensibility. One of the Dells even has it preloaded.
An optical disk is a MUST.
The 3 I have indicated are the best price/value I have found.
Now it comes down to bottom line and maybe a negotiation or two.
I have really dismissed Sony as a option although I never had a problem with mine until it died (suspect a power surge) and Mac never entered my mind. I'd rather learn Italian than another OS and I admit it.... Microsoft has me by the short and curlies.(How poetic of me!)
I am going to hit the stores and see what they feel like.
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Old Oct 26th, 2006, 10:45 AM
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don't see why centrino is a must have. it's merely a marketing gimick from Intel. There are plenty of excellent laptops utilizing other processors, either macs or those using Turion64 chips that will provide equal or better value.

Built in wireless I agree is a must have, but there is nothing special about centrino.
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