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Desktop Replacement Suggestions

By Greg Shultz Contributor ·
I've been ask by a client to scout around and come up with a list of powerful notebook computers that would be good desktop replacements. Any suggestions?

The emphasis is on power rather than portability. In other words, weight and long battery life aren't an issue as the system will primarily be used in the office/home running on an AC connection.

As such, am looking for a system with:

- A "real" Pentium processor (No "M")
- 1GB and up of RAM
- 80GB and up hard disk
- 17-inch display
- Windows XP Pro

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Here is what Dell has to offfer...

by caestelle In reply to Desktop Replacement Sugge ...

Dell offers these Latitude models as desktop replacements....

They come with Pentium Ms, but you can choose a P4 when customizing. We use the D800 at our company and everybody seems to be very pleased.

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Brands I've used

by NotSoChiGuy In reply to Desktop Replacement Sugge ...


I am not going to offer up a specific model, per se, since those change so often, that a model I say has done me good may already be unavailable. However, I will share some experiences I've had with different brands in the desktop replacement arena:

Toshiba: Overall, I have had the best experience with these. I've used three myself (use one for my small consulting stuff), and have supported/deployed about 40 overall. I can't give any information as to how their support responds, because I've never needed it.

IBM: Good experiences overall with IBM. The issues I have had are with the batteries dying (and I don't mean needing calibration...I mean bad battery) and intermittent wireless issues (was resolved with a BIOS update). I've used 2 myself and rolled out about 100. Their support needed a little push, but wasn't too bad overall.

HP/COMPAQ: Average experience overall. Some models have performed really well, others have been clunkers. I'd say stay away from an initial model offering (HXP 7000) and wait for an updated model (HXP 7020..btw...not even sure these are real models...using for illustrative purposes only); since they seem to be a little buggy starting off. Their support is also pretty hit or miss (one guy will ask whether or not you've rebooted, the next guy will actually tell you there is a BIOS revision to address the issue right off the bat). I've had probably 5 of these (using one now, as it is my company's standard), and rolled out 200 or so personally.

Dell: Ditto just about everything I just wrote about HP/CPQ. Have used a lot less, though...2 personally and rolled out 20 or so.

I think the latest reviews by Concumer Reports stated that Toshibas and IBMS were well ahead of the pack in terms of major issues/repairs, as well. But these were a few months you may want to look at CNET or something for a more up-to-date review of model-by-repair frequency.

I've used some other brands (Sony, Gateway), but those were just for portability, and not for the desktop replacements; so I won't offer commentary.

Again, this has only been my experience; others may have had better/worse luck with the same brands.

Good luck!

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No such thing

by jdmercha In reply to Desktop Replacement Sugge ...

I have yet to see any notebook that I would call a desktop replacement. Any desktop will out perform any notebook that costs twice as much.

Why no "M"? A non-M processor was not designed to be usd in the confined space of a notebook. They tend to be unreliable as they overheat.

HP and Gateway have one that meets your specs. Dell and IBM do not.

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Re: Desktop Replacement Suggestions

by Info-Safety, LLC In reply to Desktop Replacement Sugge ...

Dell has discontinued the standard Pentium 4 in favor of the "M," even in its top-rated XPS Gen 2, which has 17" display, up to 2 GB DDR2 RAM, up to 100 GB HD (the 7200 RPM 60GB is faster, though), option of XP pro, and 256MB NVIDA? GeForce? Go 6800 Ultra video card. If you want muscle at the cost of short battery life, you should at least check this out. With the M 770 processor, you can expect about the same processing power as a 3.4 GHz desktop Pentium 4.

Craig Herberg

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Alienware or Flacon Northwest

by Garion11 In reply to Desktop Replacement Sugge ...

Mind you they are not known for corporate environements, but boy...they have some mighty laptops that will put some desktops to shame.

Dell Workstation laptop is also something you could look at. Good luck.

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Oops, I think thats Falcon Northwest - Here are some links

by Garion11 In reply to Alienware or Flacon North ...
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AlienWare Rawks!

by BFilmFan In reply to Alienware or Flacon North ...

As my son once said, "AlienWare is a babe magnet at college. They see those lil eyes glowing at them and they just wander over and look at ya all goofy-eyed and say 'Hi.'"

Me to son, "So that was a pretty good dream there kiddo. What else happened in it?"


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More Alienware info...

by Greg Shultz Contributor In reply to AlienWare Rawks!

I've begun investigating the MJ-12 7700 system on the Alienware Web site and it looks like a very powerful system that just may fit the bill from a desktop replacement standpoint.

However, I wonder about the quality of Alienware systems and their support. I've primarily been a Dell guy and wonder how Alienware compares to Dell in these two areas.

If I'm going to reccomend a new system/company to a client, I really need to know a lot more about them.

Can you shed some light here?

I appreciate your comments.

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Alienware does have some powerful systems!!

Have you any direct experience with them? Do you know much about the company?

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No I don't

by Garion11 In reply to Alienware

I built my PC but I seriously looked into their stuff before I decided to build my own. I wish I could offer you some help in that regard. I will tell you that in the gaming community Alienware, Falcon Northwest, and custom built PCs are revered. Dell is looked upon as a sin, lol.

Alienware seems to build their model around gaming communities and powerful computing needs.


Falcon Northwest

Interestingly enough Falcon received higher ratings. I hope this helps little.

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