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Old 01-01-2004, 10:45 PM   #1
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Notebook PC Advice

I am buying a Dell notebook pc and need advice.

What real performance difference should I expect between the Pentium 4 , 2.2GB processor and the Celeron 2.4 GB processor?

I only want to minimally surf the internet while traveling ( airstream forums, Chevytalk, Vanguard, Fidelity, & communicate with the kids).

Is it worth $150 extra?
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Old 01-01-2004, 10:55 PM   #2
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Either one ...

is pretty much overkill for the tasks you described. Unless you are doing things like photo processing, you don't need that much processor speed.

That said, the Pentium would be the faster because of its architecture (more cache, etc.), but not worth the extra cash unless you need the processor power.

Are you going to expand into more processor-dependent tasks? Then spend the extra cash. Otherwise, save your money.
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Old 01-01-2004, 11:09 PM   #3
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I just got a Dell inspiron 1100 laptop with the Celeron processor for taking with us on trips. It has the DVD player for entertainment, and we wanted to be able to keep up on email on the road. I'm really happy with it, it's a fast little machine. Leaves my old desktop in the dust. This is our second Dell machine, and we wouldn't have bought it if we hadn't been so happy with the last one.

My experience is that processors have gotten so fast now, that most tasks you do, like surfing, word processing, photo editing, really are not going to tax your processor. The human is the slow part of the loop. When surfing, the response time from your provider is the limiting factor. I'd say go with the cheaper one and you should be fine.

Now, have you figured out how to hookup while on the road? that's the part I'm still puzzling over...
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Old 01-01-2004, 11:41 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick replys. I am looking at the Dell 1100 after Christmas offer.

I failed to mention one item, I do intend to store photos while traveling but, still doesn't sound like I need to pay the premium for the Pentium 4.

I plan to take the pc to Verizon and buy their connectivity kit and use it with the Verizon cellphone to connect to Earthlink. Earthlink has a list of toll free numbers by state on their website. I realize there are places where I won't be able to get service because of tower distance but, I hope it is not too extensive.
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Old 01-02-2004, 12:05 AM   #5
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wingfoot

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I plan to take the pc to Verizon and buy their connectivity kit and use it with the Verizon cellphone to connect to Earthlink. Earthlink has a list of toll free numbers by state on their website. I realize there are places where I won't be able to get service because of tower distance but, I hope it is not too extensive.

Be sure to let us know what they tell you about the cost for connections~



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Old 01-02-2004, 06:56 AM   #6
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P4 or Celeron

I have a Dell Inspiron as well use it for watching movies pictures etc. I spent the most money getting the best screen as that is what you see and make sure it has a good vid card. As to the processor the Celeron is the Kmart version of the processor should not cause any problems. I am extremely happy with my Dell Inspiron. My trailer is stationary for the past 6 years and the dell is our source of entertainment MP3 music file DVD etc. My 2cents worth. I have been building and selling computers for the past 13 years and highly recommend the Dell.
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Old 01-02-2004, 08:40 AM   #7
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Dell makes a good machine, but the service lately has been very poor. I know they are making changes, however, unless you are an institutional buyer some of the calls get routed to their call center in India. Being an institutional buyer and having been in the industry for over 10 years, I can tell you that dealing with India was a MAJOR PITA! They have since stopped routing institutional buyers to India, but still have some of the retail end non institutional customers going through India for some of their needs. There was a big article on CNN about it.....

If going the PC route, I would also look at eMachines and Gateway. Dell is not the only game in town, and you may also find the other compaies mentioned much nicer to deal with and willing to work with you whereas Dell is kind of arrogant. Even with institutional buys, they still are harder folks to work with as they are ususally not as hungry as the others.

Now if you wan't to get out of the Wintel area...........I have strong feelings about the Macintosh, but I'll spare you all my comments!

Just my.02
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Old 01-02-2004, 11:13 AM   #8
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I agree, we had a good Gateway machine for many years as well, then two good HP desktops and an HP Omnibook laptop which is still working fine despite years of abuse, then we bought the Dells. I guess we've been lucky in that we've never needed service on a machine, so that's something that never even occured to me. Seems like if it's good out of the box, it's good until it gets too slow to keep up. But I suspect Eric may be more demanding of his systems than your average household/small business user

One thing I liked about the Inspiron was it came with a network card, so I was able to just plug it into our home network and go. I was amazed it connected to the other computers on the first try. I had all my stuff transferred from the old HP desktop by the first evening!

I keep hearing good things about the Macs. If we weren't so committed to Windows with all the software we've already invested in, I would not mind looking into one of those.
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Old 01-02-2004, 12:38 PM   #9
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Centrino?

My wife just bought a new Sony Vaio that has an 'internal' wireless card. I'm dying to set it up and see if it works, but she bid that task out to a son-in-law.
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Old 01-02-2004, 01:13 PM   #10
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Verizon

I have a Sony VAIO lap top and use it on trips for Trailer Life RV Campground Finder, Banking on-line and keeping photos. With the size of the storage media nowadays, keeping pictures is not a problem, especially if you use JPG format instead of bmp. With the speed of todays chips, you probably won't notice the difference between the two you are looking at.

I am afraid that you will be sorely disappointed in the Verizon connection. It uses a 14.5 kb modem which is agonizingly, painfully, hairpullingly slooooooooooooow. Surfing the net is not an option at that speed.

I have the Verizon America something or other access and pay an extra $5.00 a month for the digital access. I only use it after 9pm and on weekends for internet because any other time is time off your regular monthly allotment of minutes. You can use it up in a hurry at the speed the phone modem gives you.

The other problem is proximity to a cell tower. I have had bad luck with that. Being in the trailer seems to shield the signal too. So oftentimes I have had to go outside to use the phone in weak signal areas.

If you want to surf the net, you will most likely have to find a campground that has net access sites and hook up there. I haven't used that type of access yet, so I can't comment on costs, etc.

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Old 01-02-2004, 05:25 PM   #11
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I recently set up 70 Dell D600's at my jo, including one that is now mine. They have been terrific so far, but I will tell you that we had about 10% doa. That to me is way too many.
Since the set up in September, I have had a few dead system boards, and a few other serious problems, but not a lot.
Bottom line is wring it out well while you are under warranty, especially in the beginning. If you get past a few weeks with no problems, you should be ok.
I also like Dell Auction for used deals...some still warrantied also.
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Old 01-03-2004, 03:28 AM   #12
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Since we are all offering opinions on the matter...



I have a Dell as well. An Inspiron 8600. While the overseas tech support is a pain in the ass, the laptop itself is topnotch.

I am a gamer to the core. I have a massive DVD collection as well. I bought my laptop mainly to have those hobbies available to me when i'm traveling or out RVing.

My laptop has a new Intel chip, called a Pentium M. It is a differing achitechure than the regular P4 chip. My 1.6ghz Pentium M is roughly equal to a 2.3 ghz P4.

It doesnt sound like you plan to use it to games or DVDs but the main reason i mention this laptop/chipset is the battery life.

It is way beyond a regular cpu. By many factors.

Getting 3 hours out of a battery while watching DVDs is common. The main thing about this chip is that it adjusts power consumption based on need. It can manually be adjusted up or down as well.

The Pentium M chip is part of a format called Centrino. Which is basically a more effecient chip packaged with a wireless LAN card.

read more about it here:

http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.html?i=1800


My laptop has performed great and has gone on the road with me camping. It is my opinion that a Pentium M is the perfect chip for us RVers considering we never know when we could be pulling over someplace and not have any power.

Granted the laptop i use is probably something that is way beyond the needs you would use it for. As of a few months ago it was considered top of the line and is still right near there now.

Just something for you to consider is all.
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Old 01-03-2004, 05:15 AM   #13
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Thumbs up Completely agree..

Van

Let me jump in here for a few..

I completely agree with you abt the P4M...

How refreshing to see that someone else also "surfs" anand's website..I've been following this young man's website/progress since he was 14yrs old..

The world of RV'ing and the internet is rapidly merging~!

Anyone interested in an old "GRID" laptop?????

ciao

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Old 01-12-2004, 08:10 PM   #14
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Follow-up on the Dell notebook pc ---

Ordered online 1/5/04, Delivered at 9:00am on 1/9/04.

Verizon USB port connection + software was $69. Expensive but, available.

Verizon internet service "Express National Access", no monthly charge except minutes if you exceed your 400 anytime minutes, unlimited nights and weekends. I'll be online after 9:00pm when traveling unless I really need to be.

Speed is 50-60 bps with above restrictions.

There is unlimited service that costs $79 at 50-60 bps or $29 at 14.4 bps; no minutes charge.

Now, let's hope I find Verizon towers close by.
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