T Nation

Laptop computer suggestions

I’m looking for an ultra-light laptop for real mobile usage. Definitely P3 with enough power to optimally use speaking software, i.e., Dragon or ViaVoice.

If you want ultri-lite, you might want to look into those Sony VAIO laptops. They are very lite. I have a Compaq presario laptop, and it’s pretty darn good for what it is. A lot of critics bash compaq computers for using cheap parts, but I’ve had my laptop for a year now, and so far I’ve had no problems with it. The major advantage of buying a compaq is it’s affordable. But if you can find a good deal on something else, go for it.

The problem I have with the Sony Vaio’s is that the drives are sold seperately and are very expensive.

I’d recommend the Dell Inspiron 4000. It’s not what I would call “ultra-light” (more like “lighter-than-average”), but it’s a very good balance of power and weight. However, you need to be careful when you’re gearing your purchase towards voice recognition software. Most laptops use a motherboard-integrated audio chip with a very low-quality audio input; thus, they tend to be virtually useless for voice recognition purposes (the “noise” in such configurations will cause the software to have difficulty recognizing your speech). Make sure you specifically ask the sales rep about this issue, and don’t hesitate to return the laptop if you experience any voice-related problems with the software.

Thanks for the input. Actually I purchased the voice recognition that has the built-in soundcard with the headset that conects through the USB. Makes a significant difference.

I should have asked you that first. Oh well, work was slow today…

Bob Kennedy - Do you know anyone who has the Dell LS laptop? The new version is at 700mhz. Any opinions about Sony or Gateway?

Here are my suggestions:

Sony Viao (they have a good price performance punch and lead the way for the ultra lights)

HP ? 500 (don’t remember exact model)

Dell CPx series (4.8 lbs)

Viao has a bigger screen, Dell costs less with a smaller screen, the HP is a good inbetween. I think the HP is the lightest.

With the HP, everything is external, you’ll have to buy extra parts like a port replicator, etc.

DG: I don’t know anyone who has the LS model specifically, but I do know a good many people who have Dells and all are happy with them (including me). Dell had some flaws a while back (pesky little things like battery fires) but I haven’t heard anything like that in a few months. Also, Computer Joe’s preceding recommendations were excellent; nice analysis of the available brands and features.

Sony VAIO if you want ultra light. These things are amazingly light. They are so light they feel brittle.

If I was buying a new laptop. (Which I do all the time for the company I work for.) I would buy a Dell. Sacrifice the weight for unparallel service and quality.

No I do not work for Dell. I just have dealt with a lot of crap computers and very happy to find Dell.

I work everyday for the 3rd largest computer rental company in the US. Industry-wide, Dell’s are the most requested laptop, probably followed by IBM…but the difference in requests weigh HEAVILY in favor of Dell (like a 95% request rate). Keep in mind these are “corporate” requests, and therefore not completely representative of your question, but it’s something to think about. NO ONE in the rental industry uses Gateway.

I recommend you go squat.

but I also think that the Sony Vaio is a statement of cool.