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Seeking advice with laptop purchase
Thread poster: N.L.

N.L.
United States
Local time: 04:31
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
Jun 6, 2003

I am going to purchase a laptop primarily for my freelance translation work. I would also like to purchase Trados. Hence, the laptop must be compatible with Trados.

Does anyone have a suggestion on which kind (brand/model number) of laptop to purchase? I'd like to stay in the $1,500 range.

Thank you very much. I appreciate your thoughts.

Best regards,
Nadja

[Edited at 2003-06-06 17:29]


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Dinorah Maria Tijerino-Acosta
Local time: 03:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
My preference is Dell LapTop Jun 6, 2003

For years I have had a Dell computer and I have no regrets. I think they are great and a state of the art computers. Go to www.dell.com and find out about them, they have all ranges of prices, and maybe you find the one and the price you are looking for.

Regards

Dinorah


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milla1
Local time: 01:31
English to Russian
+ ...
I love my Compaq Jun 6, 2003

I have Compaq laptop for two years. It's great. Never had any problems with it. I bought it at Best Buys along with technical support warranty. You also can get mail in rebate on purchases like that.

Milla Ismailova
Russian-English
English-Russian


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Boyan Kostadinov  Identity Verified
Bulgarian to English
+ ...
I recommend HP Jun 6, 2003

I bought an HP laptop more then a year ago and it's been great. I'm a power computer user so I spent much time researching the laptop market for a laptop which can fit my needs. I found an HP which was packed with features. What you should look for is one with good grahpics card (ATI or Nvidia) and a decent features set (lan/modem, wireless lan, dvd/cdrw, firewire, usb). Good screen resolution is also very important.

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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:31
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Go for a large screen Jun 6, 2003

I'd advise against buying a small "compact" model, go for one with as big a screen as possible. By the time you have the Trados screens and word up and running, you'll find space is limited for the actual translation text.

HTH!
regards, Jill


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Rick Henry  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:31
Italian to English
+ ...
yet another brand :-) Jun 6, 2003

I have and IBM Thinkpad T30 which I love. CDRW/DVD, built-in wireless, ATI video.
Things you definitely want:
- a lot of memory
- lots of disk space (which is cheap these days)
- good video
- comfortable keyboard
- depending on what you want in a mouse, either a glidepoint style or mouse stick. The Thinkpads have both, as well as USB.

You may think that CDRW drives aren´t really necessary, but I use mine all the time. CDR media is cheap, and it´s the quickest way to back up your data.
Wireless is also important to me. It´s nice to be able to go to a coffee shop and do your work there. Staying in the house the entire day makes me lethargic. The change of scenery does me good, and I don´t feel like I´m goofing off (although I suppose it´s just as easy to goof off at home)


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xxxSimplyMe
English to German
Another opinion and wishlist. Jun 7, 2003

I use a kind of relict: An IBM Thinkpad 600, working at 233 MHz. - Yes, it's true; 233 MHz - and I just don't want to donate it to our local museum.

My experience: IBM is expensive - but worth it. But I plan to buy another notebook, because my good old IBM is just at the frontiers of becoming unusable - the printing on the keys is wearing off - hard to spot which key you press.

My wishlist regarding the new notebook is as follows:

- LOW energy consumption: It's just of no use if you have the ultimate notebook with a bunch of features - and cannot use it for longer than an hour or so. My next one will have an operation time of 3+ hours. You want to work with that machine - you won't need it to show off.
- A GOOD keyboard. It's your only interface to the machine. Try out the keyboard if it suits your preferences. So never buy a notebook without having your hands on it first. Those cheap keyboards of today are a pain in the ass - or slightly higher.
- Take care that the keyboard's layout is the same as the keyboard layout you're used to. There are too many machines on the market boasting with a fancy keyboard layout that's difficult to learn and to operate. Forget it - go for the standard layout.
- Lots of RAM: 512 MB is highly recommended as THIS makes up for speed.
- PCMCIA slots. Ok, you may substitute most add ons by USB devices - but if I imagine my wireless network adapter dangling from a wire I'd turn green.
- A wireless network adapter. Many notebooks are prepared to accept an internal wireless network adapter. Go for it. Your notebook is a mobile device. So keep it mobile and you'll love it.
- Try out your notebook in daylight conditions. It's of no use if you've to seek for tunnels or coal mines to work at. Most TFT displays have serious problems to be read in daylight conditions.
- Try out your notebook in dim conditions. You will loose any fun working with your machine if it simply hurts your eyes when it's too bright. And it will consume battery power like crazy.
- A wide range of brightness adjustment is no part of the wishlist - it's a rule.
- Screen size: BIG ! There are notebooks with a 15" screen on the market. Go for it. Accept NO resolution less than 1024 x 768.
By the way: Stuck pixels (always active) or defective pixels (never light) are inacceptable. Defective pixels are often pointed out as an unavoidable feature of TFT screens. They are NOT. Every defective pixel will give you a nightmare when working with the machine because you will ALWAYS seek for that defective pixels and look at it. Never accept this. Ask your dealer if you can return the device if any defective pixel should show up. If your dealer declines - go buy somewhere else. By the way: If a display does not show any defective pixel - it is very unlikely that this fault (!) occurs later.
- A silent fan. You'll go crazy when working with one of those notebooks equipped with a cheap fan or poor heat dissipation system. It's just of no fun when working with such a device, having a phonecall and being asked to leave the vicinity of Cape Canaveral as your caller suspects you watching the lift-off of a space shuttle from 2 meters distance.
Silence is a valuable good - you just don't feel comfortable when working in a noisy environment.
- Look for a kind of integrated "multimedia bay" able to accept a secondary battery - you will badly need it when working away from the nearest wall outlet.
- Don't believe in people claiming that the notebook they own is the best choice. Do you know anyone saying "I bought crap - and I am proud of it." ?)

Warnings go out for notebooks from "Gericom": Hands off.


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Patricia Lutteral  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 05:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Biggest screen you can afford Jun 7, 2003

I have a Toshiba and I am perfectly happy with it.

I agree with our colleagues' suggestions and particularly with Gillian's; go for the biggest screen you can afford.

Best regards,

Patricia


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Dyran Altenburg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:31
English to Spanish
+ ...
Big screen, all the trimmings Jun 7, 2003

My desktop replacement is an Alienware Area 51m. ( www.alienware.com )

Absolutely love it.

(Yes, I use it for gaming too)


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:31
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
I recomend HP too Jun 8, 2003

I am very happy with my HP and I have had it for over a year now. I had once a heating problem and notified HP about it. They sent a FedEx guy to pick it up and shipped my fixed computer back two days later, and the best thing was that I did not pay one penny for this service. Never had problems since then.
Monika


[Edited at 2003-06-08 05:50]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:31
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
Any brand name, but the biggestr screen you can afford Jun 8, 2003

As you live in the US, please take a look at this great site:

http://www.ecost.com/ecost/ecsplash/

They are very often making great offers, including free shipping in the US and so on.
The world leader in notebooking is Toshiba, but they are quite expenceive.
What you should pay attention to, is to have a real mobile processor (which will be almost for sure the case, if buying a well known brand, but in no name there are often desktop processors - and they produce to much heat). A big HDD (> 20 GB) and an big amount of RAM (> 256 MB) are important too.
Far less important ist to have a 3,5" disk drive. Better you get network acces, IR port or possibly blue tooth, and a CD-recorder (or better a DVD/CD-player and CD-R/RW as combo drive).

Under those apspects I´ve chosen a Sony Vaio GRX with 16" TFT and I would choose this one again and again. It is the best I ever had, and surely one of the best on the market. Perhaps you could get one cheaper (they are quite expenceive), if you take not the latest modell.

Kind regards
Jerzy


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N.L.
United States
Local time: 04:31
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank You! Jun 10, 2003

I really appreciate all of your thoughts and comments. I now feel much better equipped to go out, see what's on the market and purchase my laptop.

Thanks again!
Nadja


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protolmach  Identity Verified
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
Hey, Nadja! Jul 18, 2003

Looks like I am having the same problem and I wonder if you have already bought your notebook, or are still looking.
I need to do it ASAP.
Would appreciate if you could share your experiences. Also, would love to thank everybody who responsed to your request and also to mine, posted today.
Elana


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N.L.
United States
Local time: 04:31
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Laptop Purchase Jul 18, 2003

Elana,

I ended up buying a Dell Inspiron 8500. It arrived last week (it took 3 weeks instead of the 4-5 shipping that was promised on Dell's site). So far, I'm very happy with it. It has a very wide screen and great sound quality for the CD's I play off it while translating. I also requested a floppy disk component.

I would definitely recommend this laptop.

Good luck!
Nadja


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protolmach  Identity Verified
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
Thank you very much! Jul 21, 2003

Dear Nadja,
Good luck with your Dell!
I think I am ready to go for it, as well.
Best,
Elana


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