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  • #2175402

    Desktop Replacement Suggestions


    by greg shultz ·

    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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    • #3352121

      Here is what Dell has to offfer…

      by caestelle ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      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.

    • #3352119

      Brands I’ve used

      by notsochiguy ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions


      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 ago…so 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!

    • #3352115

      No such thing

      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      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.

    • #3352104

      Re: Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      by craig herberg ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      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

    • #3331051

      Alienware or Flacon Northwest

      by garion11 ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      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.

      • #3331049

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

        by garion11 ·

        In reply to Alienware or Flacon Northwest

      • #3325845

        AlienWare Rawks!

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to Alienware or Flacon Northwest

        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?”


        • #3325693

          More Alienware info…

          by greg shultz ·

          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.

      • #3325691


        by greg shultz ·

        In reply to Alienware or Flacon Northwest

        Alienware does have some powerful systems!!

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

        • #3322619

          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.

        • #3322336

          Good lead

          by greg shultz ·

          In reply to No I don’t

          Thanks for the Resellerratings links.

          It helps to see how they measure up.

          Also investigating the Gateway M675 series and the Dell Inspiron XPS systems.

    • #3330989


      by dsw1ng ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      This one has everything 🙂

    • #3330987


      by dsw1ng ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      This one has everything 🙂

    • #3322334

      Dell & Gateway

      by greg shultz ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      Anyone have any experieince or ideas about the Gateway M675 series or the Dell Inspiron XPS systems?

    • #3250205

      Long-term support is key

      by polyjake ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      Hello Greg

      The right model for the job is quite important in term of specs, but if you can’t get parts after the the model’s market cycle (say, 16 months) then it can get nasty pretty quickly.

      I’ve had good experience with the old Compaq support but find HP resources to be less in quality and quantity. Nevertheless, I can still find manuals and ROM upgrades for Compaqs made in 1997! For how long HP will keep these support servers up before they start trimming and deleting to save cost is anyone’s guess.

      Dell on the other hand, seems to draw the ire of our community when support is concerned. Not long ago there was a whole thread of Dell horror stories at TechRepublic but I couldn’t find this hilarious bit again for you. I wouldn’t touch their laptops. They seem to deal with so many Asian laptop OEMs that once a production batch is sold their parts availibility drops. This could be a common risk with most laptop, though.

      Here’s a tread about vendor’s support reliability that seems to point to IBM as a choice:

      A few years back, Toshiba was very supportive and offered reliable machines for business use, but I don’t know how they fare today.

      Good luck!

      P. Jacob

      • #3249988

        Good information

        by greg shultz ·

        In reply to Long-term support is key

        I agree, support is a big consideration.

        Thanks for the information.

      • #3251024

        Regarding Toshiba

        by olsenbanden2 ·

        In reply to Long-term support is key

        My take on toshiba or any support is that, you will find a wide difference between the service rendered on the same brand. It all comes down to luck of the draw. We have had Toshibas where we had to wait two weeks for a repair, we have next day service, and a Dell that was repaired the same day. So I think it is anyones guess who’s better.

    • #3249973

      costly choice

      by jagershot ·

      In reply to Desktop Replacement Suggestions

      I have used the Sony VAIO for the past three years as my desktop replacement. I have had great success with the 16.1″ version but have, as of three months ago, cycled out my GRX series and replaced it with an S170p. It is small, light and powerful and since I leave my 19″ LCD plugged into my VAIO docking station, I really do not use the laptop screen except when I travel. The only gripe that I have is with Sony’s offshore support. The key is to demand level three support since that support department is in the states.
      Good luck.

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