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Old 12-02-2010, 03:38 PM   #1
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Default Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

Just ordered a new laptop online, and will be picking it up in a few weeks, I hope.
This is the unit.
http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-HP-DM4-1160US/15066051
I think I got one of the last ones, as it seems to go in and out of stock online.
Does it look like a good buy at the listed price?

Thanks for any opinions or comments, pro or con.
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

Well, the market is so competitive that I don't think any vendor will overprice their computers. This one is not priced unusually low, it's in the pack. Personally, I don't like 6-cell batteries, they need to be charged fairly often, but that's all you can get in a slim machine.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

I'm not particularly fond of 6 cell either, but that was the one concession I
was willing to make. I already waited too long on a couple of Acer Timeline
machines with up to 8 hours of advertised battery life, and this one boasts
around 6.5 hours, so I compromised to get the rest of the features. I did think
it was "loaded" when I read the manufacturer's specs. Except for the battery.
Thanks JR, appreciate your comments.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny R
Well, the market is so competitive that I don't think any vendor will overprice their computers. This one is not priced unusually low, it's in the pack. Personally, I don't like 6-cell batteries, they need to be charged fairly often, but that's all you can get in a slim machine.
We went with this one for a couple of reasons, 8 cell battery (11 hours claimed), and the low heat, high efficiency processor and video switching. Kind of hard to find something small with the big battery and a DVD writer. It runs very cool all the time (even with the higher output video when plugged in) and a long time on the battery. We paid $679 about a month ago. We added a wireless mouse and a Canon IP100 portable printer, and are now good to go.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ef=oss_product
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

Nice machine and the battery life is exceptional. Priced very nicely too.
I had done a bit of research into Energy Star processors and went with the Intel I5-450M
processor for the 2.3Ghz 4 way multi-task cpu with a busy-boost to around 2.6Ghz. I
thought it might resist the natural downhill race towards obsolescence a little more
vigorously than some of it's peers. It's also Eco-friendly by not using mercury or arsenic
in the components which would normally contain them. Unintentional, but nice also.
It also has built in "Whoops, I dropped it" technology which is supposed to protect the
HDD. No idea if it works. Yet.
It also has a lot of nice to haves, like WiDi and Bluetooth. Thought we might be able to
Skype or Magic Jack on the road, while we're xmitting wireless internet TV or video to
our 19" flat panel. Actually, we rarely need more than a few hours off battery anyway.
Still it would have been nice to have the cool touch and longer "juice" pack.
Thanks Booster.
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

If anyone in Canada is interested in the HP Pavillion DM4-1160US model I
mentioned at the start of this thread, there's a Canadian version on sale at Best Buy
right now for $799 +tax (5%-15% depending on which province you're in). It's an HP
Pavillion DM4-1150CA and is pretty much the same machine, except for some minor
odds and ends like no Bluetooth, for example.
It does look pretty darn good, though. Link.....
http://www.bestbuy.ca/en-CA/product/hew ... custReview
(btw, personal disclosure, I don't work for any laptop manufacturer or retailer)
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Old 12-16-2010, 01:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

UPDATE: Well, we bought one of the Canadian version laptops from Best Buy Canada.
After getting it home and firing it up we thought we'd made a great purchase. It seemed
to be a nice machine, and even had the missing Bluetooth capability I mentioned earlier.
Then we tried to set up our email. Oh no!
We had no idea Microsoft had discontinued Outlook Express in Vista/Win7 and replaced it
with Windows Live Mail. I tried to set up, or find a way to set up separate identities in WLM
like we used to have in OE6 on our XP based machines, but couldn't.
I checked with the Geek Squad, they said try Mozilla Thunderbird, but it didn't do what
we wanted either, it was just a different way to disappoint us.
I considered upgrading to Win7 Pro or Ultimate, and then adding XP Mode, but it
sounded a bit more work and complexity than I was ready to consider, especially when
we had just spent a bundle on the new machine, which didn't do what we wanted.
Separate Windows logon ids also was discounted, as I didn't want to have to maintain
multiple images on our shared laptop.
Buying a second laptop was also not an option.

So, I posted an inquiry on the social.answers.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7network
and got some info back that pretty much said No, there is no more separate identity
support, like OE6 had, in Windows Live Mail. It was dropped because it was inherently
insecure, because anyone with access to your laptop, could have copied your .dbx files
and then imported them and browsed your stuff. (Like anyone would even bother???)
We decided that was enough of a show stopper to return the new laptop, and look for
alternatives, including possibly a Linux based machine, or even a Macbook.
Just another typical Windows story?
Well, I have since found another possibility through the social answers Microsoft site,
which I'll follow up on over the next few days and see if there might be another more
reasonable work around for this dilemma.
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

"t'was not meant to be"
The other option was to get the Win7 machine which (supposedly?) comes loaded with Windows Mail
somewhere in the depths of the software catalogs.
It's the renamed version of OE6 for Vista, and not to be confused with Windows Live Mail.
I could then purchase a "hack" from a software writer, to tweak it and allow me to revert (sort of)
to the separate identities in OE6. The software guy is in TN and the hack costs a one time fee of
$14.95 to get a download from him.
Although a better possibility that the rest, still too much work and hassle.

My opinion: Why couldn't MS just leave the functionality of OE6 alone, and fix whatever security
issues they were concerned about in the background. In fact, if they still offered Win XP, in any
version, I'd pay double or maybe triple the software license fee to get it on the laptop of my choice.
I've never had any major, unrecoverable, security related problems since it came out.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

From Microsoft:

Quote:
Frequently Asked Questions

Can I downgrade my OEM version of Windows 7 Professional to Windows Vista Business or Windows XP Professional?
Yes. OEM versions of Windows 7 Professional may be downgraded to either Windows Vista Business or Windows XP Professional. Similar end user downgrade rights are provided for the following Windows operating systems pre-installed on a new PC (OEM versions):
Windows 7 Professional Edition
Windows 7 Ultimate Edition
Windows Vista Business Edition
Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
Your ability to downgrade to a previous version of Windows is stated in the License Terms for these products. You can use the following media for your downgrade: Volume Licensing media (provided the end user has a Volume Licensing agreement), retail (FPP), or OEM (which includes system builder hologram CD, provided the software is acquired in accordance with the Microsoft OEM System Builder License). Use of the downgraded operating system is governed by the Windows 7 or Windows Vista License Terms for the original product pre-installed on the PC. You cannot use both the licensed Windows product and the downgrade product - only one Windows product can be used at a time. There are no downgrade rights granted for Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, or Windows 7 Home Premium.
You'd need the CD and all of your drivers.......
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:54 PM   #10
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

I appreciate the effort, but I think it's an old blog, at the least, and the info may be dated<<<< My bad!!! It's current - from Microsoft's Downgrade Rights document July 2010 - sorry - Mike.
This one's from a year ago, and I'm pretty sure the full downgrade was a limited time
offer which ended 18 months after the release of Win7. It was originally offered
when Vista was released with all it's quirks and problems. Damage control from MS?
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/For ... 037ca4c4df
I'm not completely sure, but I also believe both downgrade scenarios are for either,
volume buyers of hardware with Win7/Pro/Ultimate, or system builders, ie people
responsible for a network of machines which are committed to an upgrade to Win7 with
a deadline commitment, and so the XP license is temporary at best.
If anyone from Microsoft, or with knowledge of whether Joe Public can buy a new OEM
laptop with Win7 Pro or Ultimate, and then get a license and XP Pro installed as a
downgrade, please jump in here. I believe (just to make it more difficult) you have to
request the downgrade directly from the hardware manufacturer, and not Microsoft.
I remember this being a real mess after they released Vista, and then cut off any new
hardware licensees from offering XP any more.
Of course, I could be completely wrong here.

However, I will ask some hardware vendors if they still offer the XP downgrade to
Joe Public. I have nothing to lose.

Update from "Ask Casey" - I see the excerpt is from the Downgrade Rights agreement from Microsoft. Apologies.
However, I still don't think Joe Public qualifies for any of the following, but I'm not sure.
"You can use the following media for your downgrade: Volume Licensing media (provided the end user has a Volume Licensing agreement), retail (FPP), or OEM (which includes system builder hologram CD, provided the software is acquired in accordance with the Microsoft OEM System Builder License). " I think you have to find a laptop/notebook manufacturer
who still has XP downgrades available.
Here's a sample of a chat with Dell.
(sorry it didn't cut/paste very pretty)

Copy Print Exit
7:10:22 PM System System
You are now being connected to an agent. Thank you for using Dell Chat
7:10:22 PM System System
Connected with Majella Rossette B
7:10:32 PM Agent Majella Rossette B
Welcome to Dell US Chat! My name is Majella Rossette B and I will be your Dell.com Chat Expert. I can be reached at us_dhs_reply@dell.com or via voicemail at 1-800-379-3355 Ext-2160085. How can I help you today?
Hi Mike! How are you today? Hope you're doing well.
7:10:57 PM Customer Mike
Fine. I have a product availability question.
7:11:41 PM Agent Majella Rossette B
Thanks for chatting in, go ahead please.
7:11:41 PM Customer Mike
Is there any way I can get a new laptop/notebook with Windows XP Pro on it? I recall there was some sort of downgrade to XP made available, if a buyer purchased an OEM computer from a participating hardware vendor such as yourselves. If not, could you try to explain why, as I'm not interested in either Vista or Windows 7 operating systems as they both lack a specific email functionality that I must have before considering a new notebook purchase.
7:13:03 PM Agent Majella Rossette B
I understand your situation. We no longer have Windows XP asn option for OS. Our computer systems now come standard with Windows 7. Microsoft has decided to retire XP as of June 30, 2008 as part of the life-cycle of every operating system, so that option is no longer available. But we do have Windows 7 Professional which runs "XP Mode".
7:15:33 PM Customer Mike
I'm aware of the XP mode option as an extra if you're running Win 7 Pro or Ultimate. I was hoping to be able to get a machine with XP only, as opposed to an XP mode "window" on the desktop. I'm finding I need the separate identities feature which was available in OE6. It was dropped in Vista and Win7, as you're probably aware. IUntil I can find some viable replacement. I can't upgrade to a new machine.
7:16:58 PM Agent Majella Rossette B
I understand your situation. Options available online would be the only ones we could offer though. If you want, you can purchase the Windows XP OS instead and install it on the system after purchase.
7:17:05 PM Customer Mike
I share a Windows logonid with other family members and separate identities was our way of keeping each other from accidentally messing with each other's email. It had nothing to do with security, more just to keep us from hurting ourselves accidentally.
7:17:59 PM Customer Mike
I can purchas Win XP and install it on a new machine? Wher would I get a new copy of XP?
7:18:57 PM Customer Mike
I don't think MS offers licenses for XP any more.
7:19:27 PM Agent Majella Rossette B
Yes, you can. You need to remove the OS the system comes standard with first. We no longer have Windows XP available online but you can try other stores or check with our Business Department if they still offer it.
7:20:36 PM Customer Mike
Does it come with all the XP drivers and DLLs and so on? A fully fucntional XP system? I wouldn't have any problem wiping the hard drive and reloading with XP. How would I contact your Business Department? I'm just Joe Public, btw. Not a business.
7:21:44 PM Customer Mike
You have my email address. Could you check with them, or have them contact me by email?
7:22:05 PM Agent Majella Rossette B
I understand. We do not have specific details with options on other departments or stores. We just no longer offer Windows XP here. But you can contact our Business Department at 1-800-456-3355. They might be closed as it is weekends, but you can check this link to be redirected as well.
7:22:15 PM Agent Majella Rossette B
Majella Rossette B pushes page, http://www1.us.dell.com/content/default ... l=en&s=bsd
7:23:20 PM Customer Mike
OK, I'll give them a try. At this point I have nothing to lose.
7:23:49 PM Agent Majella Rossette B
Alright. It's my goal today to provide you with excellent customer service. Would there be anything else I may assist you with Mike?
7:24:23 PM Customer Mike
No thanks. I think that's a good answer to a difficult problem. For now.
7:25:04 PM Agent Majella Rossette B
Alright then. Dell Sales Chat is still a growing program and we want to make sure you get the best experience here with us. If you'll be needing assistance with your order, feel free to e-mail my team at us_dhs_chat_reply@dell.com or call us at 1800-379-3355 ext 2160085, from 8AM CST 12 CST. Thank you for choosing Dell.
7:25:25 PM Customer Mike
TY. G'nite.
7:25:45 PM System System
Majella Rossette B has left this session!
7:25:45 PM System System
The session has ended!
Send
Session ended
Session ID: 40933932
Question40
Pick one of the following options:
OK Cancel
Timeout40
Do you wish to continue this chat session?
Continue Session End Session
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:35 PM   #11
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

That was in a doc dated July 2010. Here's a a different link http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensi ... ights.aspx I wonder if you'd have to go through a system builder like Dell? I don't really understand it so sorry if I'm just making it more confusing.

I'm guessing you'd prefer to use an email program over online email like gmail. I do, but have been using my online accounts lately because I had to reinstall Windows recently and haven't finished setting everything back up. How about the full Office version of Outlook?
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

Hi, and thanks. I updated the post a few back up the thread with what I found.
I'm currently sending the same questions to all the major hardware manufacturers.

It was confusing, and yes I did find the excerpt form MS's Downgrade Rights
document at Ms's live chat "Ask Casey", and downloaded it. I think it pertains to
hardware vendors being granted temporary licenses to let their corporate or
"volume" buyers buy new pc's, and then back off to XP from Vista, and now Win 7,
if they prefer.
Microsoft, while not ready to admit they pissed a lot of current and potential clients
off with Vista and Win7, did allow some pc makers, Dell, HP, Lenovo (IBM's old
PC Division), and others, to let their customers still get XP if they wanted it badly
enough which most large WAN/Business Network/Desktop buyers did.
I believe many of those same corporate users are still stuck on XP platforms,
and are resisting migrating to Vista or Win7 in their core business operations.
I suspect some other non-critical business departments may have done some
limited migration, where possible.

I'll post up any interesting responses I get to "can I still buy XP? and how?"
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Old 12-19-2010, 12:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
That was in a doc dated July 2010. Here's a a different link http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensi ... ights.aspx I wonder if you'd have to go through a system builder like Dell? I don't really understand it so sorry if I'm just making it more confusing.
I now realize that it is taken from the Microsoft Downgrade Rights agreement revised on the date you listed.
I downloaded a copy, and yes, I believe you have to contact a "system builder" (pc manufacturer) and see if
they still have any copies of it. It's also unlikely they'll sell you or me a copy, as they were supposed to sell
it to their biggest "volume licensing" buyers of hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
I'm guessing you'd prefer to use an email program over online email like gmail. I do, but have been using my online accounts lately because I had to reinstall Windows recently and haven't finished setting everything back up. How about the full Office version of Outlook?
Yes, I'd prefer to keep with my main household email id as it's from our ISP cable provider and has EVERYTHING
we do connected to it. I guess we could switch to something like Yahoo, Gmail or Hotmail, but quite honestly,
I don't trust the security of their servers, because they're all free email clients, and legally not required to
secure your data on their servers (fine print). My ISP has some liability if my info goes missing while it's on theirs.
If push came to......and our existing XP machines both died, I guess we'd have to get a machine with Win 7 Pro,
and run XP Mode or the desktop equivalent, and run the OE6 mail client there. Not a cheap alternative, as Win 7
Pro is a $150 hit and Ultimate is around $175. It's really the principle of the thing, and our XP machines still work,
so we're still able to wait. Maybe Win 8 might regress a little and make millions of people happy and want to rush
out and buy new machines. Who knows?
btw, Outlook is even more expensive last time I looked, so it's not an option, but I did look into it too. Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:05 PM   #14
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

I did some googling - lots of people really miss that feature. There are thousands of complaints and requests for it.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:25 PM   #15
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
I did some googling - lots of people really miss that feature. There are thousands of complaints and requests for it.
Me too. The arrogance and/or lack of vision at Microsoft is hard to fathom, sometimes.
Change to improve a product's usefulness is one thing, but change to keep your R&D staff busy and
employed, without any apparent increase in functionality, or price performance, is just stupid, imo.
I think it sometimes seems that their developers lose touch with the mainstream, or the main audience
(us, Joe Average), because they're so focused on their own lives and personal situations, it becomes all
about what they think is important, and what they think the products should do. The result appears to be
that they write code for features that are only useful to people like themselves, and not us average Joes.
They aren't the only game in town anymore, but they still create half-assed products that say to me, that
they think they are. Mac is looking better and better all the time, if this stuff keeps up.

All just my opinion (and thousands of others, it looks like?), of course.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:50 PM   #16
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Was browsing the IP cameras at a Best Buy today, and ran into a couple of in-store reps from
Samsung and HP. I circled them like a shark, then darted in for the kill.
Ran the issue by them, and received the expected
"XP is 12 years old" my response "so what, it always worked for me, and had some features i really liked".
"the new operating systems have some nice features, too, like touch screen support" my response "i don't need touch screen support, i need separate identities support like in OE6".
"we don't offer it anymore, no one does" my response "i'll wait until you get it back then" and "Macbooks are looking better and better all the time". And I have no idea what a Macbook even is, or what it can do. But if it lets me have separate email identities on the same OS/desktop image, without buying extra stuff to make it all work, I like it better already.

A cordial goodbye, and Merry Christmas, followed the last of my comments.
I'm sure the eyes were rolling as I walked away.

They didn't have any DCS920s left, but it wasn't a total loss.
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Old 05-14-2011, 06:43 PM   #17
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

Miss Googling? Enlighten me. Can't you manage your search engines and create your own default? That's built into Mac OSX.

BTW, on our last 39 day trip I took my laptop and our iPads along. I never did use my laptop. The iPad tablet is more than enough for the road.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:08 PM   #18
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
Miss Googling? Enlighten me. Can't you manage your search engines and create your own default? That's built into Mac OSX.

BTW, on our last 39 day trip I took my laptop and our iPads along. I never did use my laptop. The iPad tablet is more than enough for the road.
So you have two I-Phones, two I-Pads, and a Mac laptop. You must have a whopper of a data plan bill!
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:16 PM   #19
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Default Re: Thinking about a laptop upgrade - this one looks pretty good

The iPhone is what it is and that is $30 per month unlimited. When on the road I have a Virgin Mobile Broadband2Go Mifi card with an unlimited, no contract data plan for $40 per month. I also only activate it when on the road and have only done so twice now in the past year. I activated it to cover our trip to Arizona this spring and last September. I may or may not activate it again for our upcoming trip. Maybe not since everyone we will be visiting has wifi. When Broadband2Go is activated I can have the two iPads, the laptop and even my iPhone connected via wifi albeit at 3G speeds over the Sprint network.

It is cheaper than paying for wifi at most private campgrounds. At Grand Marais last September for instance I found the Mifi card was faster than the campground wifi that was charging $3.95 per hour.
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