Laptops! As a translator, which one would you recommend to a fellow-translator?
Thread poster: protolmach

protolmach  Identity Verified
United States
English to Russian
+ ...
Jul 17, 2003

I would appreciate advice on laptops.
Need to go out of town and, as it happens with us, freelancers, have a job that would hate to miss.
So, here is what I need from this new laptop:
- user friendly
- inexpensive
- light weight
- easy to receive and send emails

Thank you,
Elana Pick
ENRU


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Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:51
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Check a similar discussion Jul 17, 2003

Dear Elana,
you might want to check a similar discussion at General Tech Support at http://www.proz.com/?sp=bb/viewtopic&post=72008#72008
Hope this helps,
Monika

p.s. Personally, I would recommend HP laptops


protolmach wrote:

I would appreciate advice on laptops.
Need to go out of town and, as it happens with us, freelancers, have a job that would hate to miss.
So, here is what I need from this new laptop:
- user friendly
- inexpensive
- light weight
- easy to receive and send emails

Thank you,
Elana Pick
ENRU


[Edited at 2003-07-17 15:53]


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xxxIreneN
United States
Local time: 21:51
English to Russian
+ ...
That depends... Jul 17, 2003

Elana, normally when I go for a new computer I set high and low limits, which would make my machine sufficient for making money and staying alert, no more and no less - memory for the applications used, size of the screen, etc. I'm not a crazy "the latest and the greatest" chaser, plus whatever you buy, in 3-4 months you'll find out that the price had dropped 100-200 hundred bucks. I learned to live with it:)

Personally I'm a devoted Dell customer (3 computers in 13 years) and a positive "new only" computer buyer, no-no to any auctions, etc. All 3 work today with no repairs, the youngest is 10 months old - laptop, and they threw in a flat-screen CRT 17" monitor. I guess this is not the cheapest way to buy laptops, but in the long run... Again, this is strictly my personal opinion. Dell gives me excellent quality and service, and you can build your own box, now under 1K. Their address: www.dell.com. They finance. Hey, I'm not a Dell commi, honest:):). Actually I have a stuffed Dell desktop and was debating on whether I should buy a simple or a loaded laptop. I went for the loaded one (I travel a lot), and I'm very happy. I love it so much that I had practically switched to using it at home, it saves a lot of room in the apartment. All you need is a mouse and an external keyboard, and you'll get a few extra cubic feet in your place:).

Make sure that any PC you buy has at least one physical COM port or your fax and printer work with virtual COM/LPT ports via USB port, which is a standard Dell laptop feature.

Toshiba sells "mini-laptops" but they are expensive and if you want to do serious work using it you'll kill yourself looking at their mini displays. It's good for a few-word e-mails only.

Are you rich enough to buy cheap things? (Sorry, coudn't help it and didn't mean to patronize at all, it's just that we are way too dependent on our cars and PCs). Good luck!

PS - a good reliable laptop helps me to afford more traveling - on top of normal vacations I can enjoy myself anywhere in the world and cover travel expenses at the same time working 3-4 hours a day - better than not going at all and, unfortunately, I have enough self-discipline for that - hate it!:):):).

[Edited at 2003-07-17 17:10]


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Jerzy Czopik  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:51
Member (2003)
Polish to German
+ ...
One with the biggest screen you can afford Jul 17, 2003

Asking for brand I would recommend Toshiba or Sony Vaio. Both are available with 16" TFT. If you really will work with it, you will appreciate this huge display. Anything else is only half the way.
But if you need just a portable to work with it occasionaly, then the lightest one with long lasting battery. Even then I would reccomend Toshiba or Sony Vaio - perhaps not the cheapest, but surely belong to the best on the market.
In any case a mobile processor is a must. Don´t buy any laptop with desktop processor adapte for laptop. This will never be a good solution.

HTH
Jerzy


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shfranke  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:51
English to Arabic
+ ...
Toshiba or Sony Vaio; Install MS Win XP and Office XP Jul 18, 2003

Greetings,

As Jerzy wisely suggests, go with Toshiba (my choice and worth the investment for capabilities over the years ahead) or Sony Vaio, then install MS Windows XP as the OS and MS Office XP.

Windows XP includes the most versatile and reliable multilanguage support in its basic CDs.

HTH. Good luck.

Sincerely,

Stephen H. Franke
English Arabic,
Kurdish and Farsi)
Los Angeles
(enroute to Iraq
next month for a year)


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Stéphan Goldsmith
Local time: 22:51
English to French
+ ...
An iBook from Apple would be... Jul 18, 2003

user friendly, inexpensive, light weight and easy to receive and send emails.

Mac OS X (Jaguar) offers a very good multilingual support (Unicode) and one element that I find really enjoyable is the stability of the entire system.

It depends of course on the kind of application you work with, but if you work mainly in Word, then there is absolutely no compatibility issues at all.

Cheers,

Stéphan


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Kevin Fulton
United States
Local time: 22:51
German to English
I'm a Dell fan Jul 18, 2003

And I should indicate that I don't own stock in the company.

Both my ex-wife and I have owned several Dell machines over the years (2 desktops, 2 laptops, and our daughter just bought another laptop) and I've found them to be reliable. One tip: try looking at a Dell refurbished machine (it's on their website). You can frequently save a few hundred $$ and get a better computer for the money. The refurbished computers are generally devices that have been leased for a few months then returned as part of the lease. I bought a laptop originally built as a custom configuration with a larger screen than was normally available and saved $200.

The downside is that you have to check the website every day until you find a computer you like, so you might spend a week or two looking before you buy, as the refurbished computers come and go on an ongoing basis.
Kevin


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:51
Member (2004)
German to English
This is what I bought: Jul 18, 2003

Sony Vaio Model PCG-GRX516MD
Processor Mobile Intel® Pentium® 4 processor featuring Intel® SpeedStep technology
1.80 Ghz-M
L2 cache memory 512 KB (on die)
Motherboard Chipset Intel 845MP
Memory 512 MB
Hard disk drive 40 GB
Video Chipset ATI Mobility Radeon 7500
Video Memory 32 MB DDR (16 MB on die)
Display 16.1" TFT UXGA 1600x1200
Sound Yamaha YMF753-S • 16-bit CD-quality stereo sound • Microsoft Sound System, Hardware MIDI
Optical 24X CD-ROM
24X CD-R
10X CD-RW
8X DVD-ROM

Ports on unit 2 PC Card Slot(s) • 4 pins i.Link port • MagicGate MemoryStick slot • 3 USB port(s) • Audio/Video out • Docking Station connector • Headphones out • Microphone in • Parallel port • VGA monitor out •
PC Card Slot(s) 2 PCMCIA type I, 2 PCMCIA type II or 1 PCMCIA type III Cards and Cardbus support
Modem built-in modem V.90/K56Flex (56kbps) data/fax modem
Network Intel FW82801CAM+82562ET - 10Base-T/100Base-TX
Keyboard 87 keys • Hotkeys
Special buttons JogDial (with Back button)
Mouse Touchpad
AC Adapter PCGA-AC19V3
Battery PCGA-BP2NX
Dimensions (W x H x D) 355mm x 39.8 to 44.4mm x 292 mm
Weight 3800 g
Supplied accessories (Category) PCGA-AC19V3 (AC Adapters)
PCGA-BP2NX (Batteries)
Phone cable • Phone plug • Weight saver • Power cable • Documentation


This was on Jerzy's recommendation and it is a real workhorse. The screen is fantastic. The main reason I bought this over the Toshiba was the 3 USB ports - the Tosh only had one. I need three to plug in my modem, printer and deja vu dongle. The other reason was having chosen the spec I then went to the only place in London where you get really good deals - Tottenham Court Road. The deal on the Sony was so much better than on the Tosh they left me with no choice but to buy the Sony. If you happen to be in London I can recommend a shop called Gultronics just outside the tube station.


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Igor Yuzhakov  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:51
English to Russian
+ ...
Sony Vaio Jul 18, 2003

I am a big fan of Sony Vaio... I've had it for three years now... no problem.

Good luck!

Igor


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Maria Knorr
Local time: 22:51
English
+ ...
Total support for Macs Jul 18, 2003

Stéphan Goldsmith wrote:

user friendly, inexpensive, light weight and easy to receive and send emails.

Mac OS X (Jaguar) offers a very good multilingual support (Unicode) and one element that I find really enjoyable is the stability of the entire system.

It depends of course on the kind of application you work with, but if you work mainly in Word, then there is absolutely no compatibility issues at all.

Cheers,

Stéphan



I would go with iBook too (actually I already went with it) and as you travel you probably don't want to have any problems with your laptop. Macs are really stable, almost never crash (mine hasn't crashed in about a year) and you can have vitually PC on it if you need it.

Maria


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sylver  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:51
English to French
Just a little more confusion Jul 20, 2003

Well everybody trow his own, so here is mine. I went for a Compaq. For one, Compaq laptops tend to be VERY sturdy machines. I had a frontal crash at 100km/h on a motorbike. The laptop was right in front, and yet, the bloody thing is still running just as good as before (of course, the screen is gone, but with an external monitor, no problems.) Pretty tough, I would say.

I nevertheless went into shopping frenzy, investigating some 20 stores for prices and specs and it came up once again that Compaq was the best choice. Screen is not huge, but is confortable (something you want to consider carefully. Whether you actually like the screen. Just "big" is not enough.)
Keyboard is also a very important item on a laptop. It may seem a minor point, but having a feel for your keyboard is more important then having an extra 400Mhz. CPU speed now a day is way enough for regular translations, even with the cheapest computers on the market. (after all, we deal with text files mostly).

Personnally, I have been quite satisfyed with the Compaq products I got, although nowhere near the top of the line. I think a laptop is a personnal item and YOU have to take your time and shop, try everything fitting in your price range and find one you are really confortable with


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xxxoligu1
Local time: 03:51
English to German
+ ...
Dell Jul 21, 2003

Hello.

I find the best solution as a freelancer is to get a Dell notebook with a CD writer and a dockingstation. U do not need a desktop computer, because you can connect monitor, keyboard, mouse and everything you need to the docking station. And after all you are mobile with a high quality notebook, that costs less than a seperate desktop and notebook.


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

I would like to thank everybody who took time and responded to my inquiry.
Have not purchased any yet, but I have become an intelligent buyer.
Thanx a million!
Elana


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Elaine Gao
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:51
English to Chinese
+ ...
Sony Vaio Aug 1, 2003

I know it becomes confusing after you read so many different suggestions. But I still want to vote for Sony Vaio. I purchased one 2 years ago at a very reasonable rate and it is still handy and works very well.



Very good after sale service! I like some of its unique softwares installed upon purchasing too.


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