In Search of Laptop

I have my Dell Latitude since 2005 and it has been a fantastic laptop. 15.4 inch screen, good quality build, clean and simple design, doesn’t show how much it has been used or abused, a bit on the heavy side but not bad.

The laptop has lasted a solid 4 years with me but recently the power plug area has been a bit iffy. I have to pull or push the wire in a certain direction to get it to charge, and the problem is the plug is connected to the motherboard. I checked with Dell in Kuwait and they said they have to replace the motherboard and it could cost somewhere between 170 KD to 250 KD since it was out of warranty, I was shocked. No motherboard for desktops come close to it except the very high end ones but this isn’t a high end desktop its a normal business laptop.

So at this point I’m looking for another laptop and checking out my options. I’m thinking about getting another Dell Latitude, because I like the clean cut design, and business laptops are much better built then consumer laptops and they are decently priced.

Main Purpose of this laptop:

  • Multi-Tasking
  • Photo Editing
  • Watching HD Shows/Movies
  • Work Tasks

Requirements:

  • Bright screen
  • Long Battery Life (3.5+ Hours at least)
  • SSD
  • PC Card/Express

Thats about it for now, but I’m also looking at the XPS line of laptop. Still I’m leaning towards the Dell Latitude. I don’t like any Lenovo laptops, I keep thinking it was designed in the Soviet era. I don’t like HP laptops either, tried them and didn’t like them, I feel they are lacking in power.

A guy who is just trying to enjoy life!

33 Comments

  1. 1001Nights

    I find heavy laptops especially annoying. Plus I’ve always had the impression that Dell’s break down too easily, ya3ni not the best quality?

    BTW I had a problem with my motherboard (IBM) recently and there was a plug issue too. It was loose in the back so I had to move the wire around to make sure it charges. I went to Hawalli (mujama3 il wala2) and they fixed it for KD 20. Of course it wasn’t the best fix because 6ifa 3alai soon afterward but then it was up and running again (there’s only so much you can do for an old laptop). Bass ana agool jarib 7athik ib Hawali.

    How come you’re not considering getting a Mac or a Sony instead?

  2. Purgatory

    I have an Acer Aspire 6920G, so far so good, but you can only find it at their main shop in Shwaikh.

  3. Aziz

    Macbook Pro.
    Its time for you to switch and get used to macintosh. :p

  4. Ahmad

    I agree with Aziz…
    MacBook Pro

  5. For your list of requirements and uses may be your best choice at all is the Dell Latitude E6400, the device has option for SSDs and has the longest ever battery life on a Dell computer (up to 19 hours in a row with the extended battery)

    Good Luck ;)

  6. Forgot to say, the E6400 is being heavily promoted in the Middle East region lately by Dell with a business target group in mind, perhaps you might find good deals for the device in the local markets.

  7. Bright LED screen
    Long Battery Life (5+ Hours at least)
    SSD
    The new PC Card/Express

    That would be a Mac…the problem is that it will make go: why the fuck was i using stupid windows machines

    Or just use a soldering gun and try to fix lose pin, it seams the heat loosened it

  8. A.Aziz

    Check out Dell Adamo

  9. lfc-q8

    take it to hawalli their are these small shops under best buy in the basement from outside i bet they can fix it
    and if u want something new i would wait for the dell adamo

  10. shaknon

    MacBook Pro.

    You have 2 options, either go with the 15″ model or the 17″ model.

    Specs:

    1- Processor:
    – Up to 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache.
    – 1066MHz frontside bus.

    2- RAM:
    – 15″ model: Up to 4 GB DDR3* RAM.
    – 17″ model: Up to 8 GB DDR3* RAM.
    * Note that this is DDR3 RAM which is faster than DDR2 RAM found on most laptops.

    3- Storage:
    – Optional 128GB or 256GB solid-state drive.

    4- Graphics:
    – It has two graphics cards inside it.
    – Primary Graphics Card: Up to NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT graphics processor; 512MB of GDDR3 memory.
    – Secondary Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor with 256MB of DDR3 SDRAM shared with main memory.

    5- Battery:
    – 15″ model: Up to 5 hours of wireless productivity.
    – 17″ model: Up to 8 hours of wireless productivity.

    For the PC Card/Express part, it has ExpressCard/34 slot.

    I guess it meets your search criteria if not exceeds it.

    For windows application support you could either run windows as a boot camp (use full system resources for better performance) or you could use a virtual machine (share system resources with mac os x with acceptable performance and easier accessibility).

    As on of my friends says, once you go mac.. you never go back.

    P.S. If you could repair your laptop for a reasonable price in Hawalli as lfc-q8 suggested, then it would be a better approach since USB 3 is coming by the end of this year. So I strongly recommend that you postpone your purchase until USB 3 support becomes available. USB 3 is up to 10 times faster than USB 2 with 4.8 Gbps transfer rate compared to only 480 Mbps transfer rate for USB 2. In other words, you’ll be able to transfer files to your external hard drive 10 times faster than when you using a USB 2 device.

    Sorry for the long post ;)

  11. Q80 In Denver

    I have a Dell XPS .. If you’re a Dell fan .. then this is for u :)

  12. 1001 Nights: Thanks, I am going to check it out anyways to see what they can do to fix it. Mac doesn’t fit my creteria in regards to the programs I use, they are mostly windows programs and I know lots of people will have one thing to say or another but Windows does the job for me. Sony only produce consumer laptops which are nice and shiny for a while, and the most expensive over priced ones are made in Japan, the rest are made in china which do have quality control problems.

    Purg: Don’t like Acer as a heavy duty laptop

    Aziz: No switching!

    Ahmed: I’m sticking to the Windows platform for now, I even use Ubuntu on some machines but for some main tasks I use windows and Bootcamp doesn’t work for me.

    Ahmed: I agree, thats why I’m looking at it! I don’t even need that much hard drive space so the 128 SSD can work for me… 19 hours seems fantastic on low and probably 4 – 5 hours on high performance. I would probably buy it from the US

    Adrenaline: Not Switching!!!!! LOL! Going to try fixing the problem anyways!

    lfc-q8: I think thats what I’m going to do to get it fixed! For now, I can’t wait that long because the Adamo isn’t going to be released until end of Q3/beginning of Q4 2009

    shakon: Not looking at the Mac machines right now

    Q80 In Denver: I like Dell but I don’t like the XPS case, I prefer the latitude case

  13. Fawaz

    @ shaknon, Well said. Totally agree, but i think waiting for usb 3.0 is too long. Remember, it will take even longer for products to come out that supports it any. Anyways, just my two cents!

  14. Fawaz raja

    So why don’t install windows on a mac through bootcamp?
    The new unibody macbook have a great build quality and the hardrive is extremely easy to replace one latch and one screw.

  15. Purgatory

    This is my first Acer, Always had Dell, but this one is better, as good as the Ferrari.

  16. Adrenaline, Marzouq ..

    No it’s not in Standby mode .. it actually scores this only with the SSD and the extended 9-cell battery in place and on moderate performance I believe. Say with high performance it could get you something in the range of 8 to 9 hours. Decent isn’t it ?? :D

  17. It’s dangerous to keep pushing the plug. It usually makes weird twitching noises! I can’t imagine you with a Mac lol. Macs cost way more than windows with fewer specs and people only buy them cuz everything is cute and colorful and syncs perfectly with iphone. Personally if I used computers professionally like you guys do then I’d definitely go with a Dell or HP.

  18. shaknon

    @ Fawaz:

    For me, making this decision depends on whether I need a new laptop at this exact moment or I could wait for several months to get it with USB 3.

    You could think of it as making an investment. I noticed that Marzouq kept his laptop for 4 years and he is thinking of buying a new one because of the fact that it’s too expensive to repair. In two years from now, I could say that USB 2 technology will be obsolete. The difference in the power, between USB 3 and USB 2, is huge (USB 3 is 10x faster).

    Another thing is that SATA 3 standard is coming this year also. Again SATA 3 promises speeds of up to 2 times faster than SATA 2. I didn’t mention anything about SATA 3 in my previous post because I think that not everyone care about it. On the other hand, USB is one of the most frequent ports used daily to connect the computer to various devices, which makes it extremely important to many people.

    In the end, this is just my opinion and as I said earlier it depends on whether you have the luxury of waiting for the new standard to arise or you need the laptop as soon as possible :)

  19. Lenovo Y650 … Carbon fiber casing (not sure about SSD though) … very nice screen for HD viewing…that’s what i would get if i were you

  20. Marzouq : You are missing out BIG TIME for not switching to a mac, a Mac laptop can do 100000 times what any other PC laptop can, PC magazine rates the pervious Macbook pro to be the Best window Vista machine, better than any other DELL, Sony, or toshiba out there.. so don’t say that we didn’t warn you .. it’s your loss .. go ahead. spend that cash on a DELL and buy another one in a few months time…

  21. Nawara

    Toshipah is my fav!

  22. M.N

    MacBook Pro
    trust me!!!!!!!

  23. Fawaz: I would agree, even if I’m keeping the laptop for a while its going to take sometime before those products come out!

    Fawaz raja: Don’t like bootcamp, and the other companies do have good products but I do agree the Mac Book is a better product in some aspects but not for my usage!

    Purg: Especially don’t like the Ferrari, just don’t like the design of the Acer laptops!

    Ahmed: That is fantastic!

    Miss-Informed: I do agree but that is what I have to deal with for the time being! I am going to go to Hawalli to have it fixed inshalla! Exactly when you use it for heavy duty use and all these networking tasks, as well as other things then the Mac Book doesn’t fit the use or the price range!

    Shaknon: SATA 3 is fantastic, much faster and very useful but I don’t think its going to be in any products for at least another 2 – 3 years and I’m looking for a laptop right now

    kwt23: I really don’t like lenovo laptops!

    G-Funk: lol! I don’t know but when you are arguing a point I feel like you are dueling! This Dell lasted me 4 years, I think that is good money for value, dont you?

    Nawara: They aren’t what they used to be, the quality dropped about 7 years ago now!

    M.N: I think I’m going to stick to the Dell for now!

  24. Fawaz raja

    What don’t you like about boot camp?

  25. I will be the voice that warns u from Apple: DO NOT BUY A MACBOOK….it will ruin your life!! Apple is simply all for flash, and no substance. Yes it boots fast and can’t get any viruses. But what kind of laptop today that is a multimedia laptop and doesn’t include a high def drive? MBP … there are laptops out there that aren’t “multimedia” laptops and still have a blu ray player. I’m just warning u, don’t fall for it like i did.

  26. Fawaz: It won’t support the usage I have in Windows, thats about it

    kwt23: I know! I’m sticking to the Dell choices for now!

  27. “17 inch Macbook Pro is the way to go.

    Pimp it out and you’ll be much more than good to go.

  28. Laialy_q8

    time to get a MAC ;)

  29. Sticking to the Dell latitude series is a good idea. Having worked at Dell for more than 2 years I know the quality that goes into a Latitude and Precision portable computer.

    Personally I prefer the E series over D, you might want to look at Latitude E6500.

    But if you want serious overkill then the Precision is the way to go. We used to render 3D studio animations on it and the performance was amazing(in terms of portable devices)

  30. Fahad: I think I’m good for now with the choices I have!

    Laialy: Not changing!

    Mathai: Thanks for the incite, I know the precision is overkill and I won’t be doing any renderings! I am already pricing the E6500

  31. Marzooq : It seems to me that you’ve made up your mind long before you even wrote this post !! why take our advice when you’ve already made the choice ? :-) …

    All I can say is that you are really missing out living in a windows world, And any Mac would serve you way better than any Vista machidne would do . Bootcamp/Parallels/VMware would do anything and everything any DELL would do :-)

  32. A.Aziz

    Check out Dell Adamo… it is out !

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