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Searching for a laptop with good sound and a good dvd-player

Raijin

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Good evening!

I have a friend who's looking for a new laptop. He wants to use the laptop as a dvd-player and wants to connect it to a 40" Plasma TV and his 3000 euro stereo system. By the way, we live in Germany. Personally I can't think of a laptop with an especially good dvdplayer or soundcard. I don't have any complaints about my standard dvd-player in my laptop, but I haven't tryed to connect it to a 40" plasma tv yet, so I don't know if there will be a loss of quality. Otherwise the laptop is only going to be used for net surfing, chatting and writing html. No gaming laptop needed. Actually he would prefer the laptop to be as small and light as possible.
He wants to spend max. 2000 euro's.

Hope you are able to help my friend out!

Kind regards,

Raijin
 

lostandwandering

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What companies are available in your area? ie: Dell, HP, Gateway, Asus? Also could you list some good online PC hardware shops for the UK? This would help a lot. 2000 Euros is about 2700 USD, that is one hell of a laptop. :D

Some other things to list would include:
Operating system
Preferred screen size
CPU preference
Brand preference
 

Raijin

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Thanks for the answer!

Well, all those you mentioned are available. Don't know about Gateway, never heard of it. Alienware is available too.
Brand doesn't matter.
He doesn't really know that much about computers so he won't be so picky about the components. Allthough I would prefer a Core 2 Duo for him as it packs more power.
He wants a laptop as small and light as possible. So I guess that would be 12". But 14" or 15" would also be fine. As long as it isn't so heavy. He won't care if it's Vista or XP. But I think it would be better with XP. XP is more stable right?
And he's not a gamer, so he won't care about DX10 support that Vista comes with.

And if it's possible, keep the costs as low as possible. But he has about 2000 euro he can spend.
 

killernotebooks

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You may want to also consider when you find the ultimate notebook to do what you want, instead of connecting via PC cable (like DVI or VGA) use a DVI to HDMI adapter.

I have a 61" 1920x1080(p) television and like most tv's that accept PC input, it will not show the full resolution. It shows a much smaller (like 1366x768 or something) resolution.

With the DVI to HDMI adapter I am able to get full 1920 x 1080 and it is very sharp (where VGA input is junk)

Hope this helps.

 

Raijin

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Thanks for the tip!
Could you recommend a good external soundcard too? Don't think that the soundcards in the notebooks are over the top...
 

killernotebooks

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First try to hook your notebook up to external speakers. The soundcards are generally decent, it is the speakers that are of course, really small so they don't sound to a level you may be accustomed to.

If that isn't it, let me know if you have pcmcia slots or expresscard slot.
 

Raijin

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He hasn't bought the laptop yet. But ll'll be buying it as soon as possible. The thing is my friend wants to use the laptop as a replacement for a high-quality DVD player. He also wants to play the sound over his 2000 euro stereo system. My friend's quite picky about the sound, so I thought that an external soundcart would serve this purpose great. Just don't know which one yet. And one more question. Will a Geforce 7400 be powerful enough to play DVDs at full HD screen resolution?

Thanks for the answers so far.
 

lostandwandering

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I'm not an expert on this, but I think it would do fine. Dell's XPS M1210 should be ok for what he wants to do or HP's DV6000 series. If you are willing to pay for the overseas shipping KN's Kodachi or Wakizachi systems would be even better if he doesn't mind a larger screen size (15.4).
 

killernotebooks

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The GEForce 7400 is a pretty underpowered GPU
Mobile laptop GPU comparison chart, not saying that it can't playback DVD's, but when it starts to push to HD resolutions of 1920x1080 (which even if your friend doesn't have now, he soon will judging by his components) you have a pretty high chance of dissapointment there.

The DELL XPS M1210 also has an overheating problem. That is from a friend of mine very knowledgeable about computers, in fact has his own site like Tom's and I got to know him because he reviewed a couple of my systems. I tell you this because if it wasn't a design flaw in the first place, he could have fixed it himself. If you want a DELL XPS M1210 I know his is for sale, it is decked out, and I can put you in touch with him.

As far as the soundcard, you would probably want to look at something like this: External Soundblaster
Once you decide on a system we can look at whether or not it has an ExpressCard or PCMCIA (getting rare) for hooking up additional types of soundcards.

 

Raijin

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that doesn't sound good. Thought that Dell was quality. But the m1210 doens't ship with a DVI port, right? And my friend wants a DVi port, so I guess the m1210 is out of the question then. Will the extigy card be able to deliver HIFI sound quality?
Thanks for all the answers so far.
 

lostandwandering

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Since the 7400 is a dedicated card it should have VGA and DVI, but if the notebook is prone to overheating it's not worht it then. Thank you Mark for that advice. I was considering a 1210 for when I go to college(not any more).

As far as the HIFI, Creative says it outputs high definition sound, so I would assume it would be fine. If the laptop he ends with has a PCMCIA slot, he can get a Audigy 2 card for it. I have the desktop version and it's really good (also have the X-fi which is better but not out for notebooks).
 

Raijin

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Even though I configure the m1210 with the 7400, it doesn't ship with DVI, if I've understood correctly. Do the latest laptops come with PCMCIA? Thought expresscard has replaced PCMCIA.
Could you also post a link to Kodaci and Wakizachi? That would be nice.

Is Alienware a good choise?
Any recommendations are welcomed!
 

lostandwandering

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I hear horror stories about Alienware's build quality and customer support. Each purchase seems to be a gamble.

With the M1210, it turns out I was wrong. There is no DVI only VGA. This is probably due to the notebook's size.

As far as the Kodachi and Wakizachi, just click on the K|N logo in KillerNoteBook's reply to you. He (Mark) owns the company.
 

Raijin

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Ah, ok. Guess Alienware is out of the qeuestion too then. I checked out both the kodachi and the Wakizachi but none of them comes with a DVI port, if my eyes are not mistaken. Dvi is a must-have for my friend. So would be glad if anyone could recommend a laptop with DVI and a screen size less then 17".
 

killernotebooks

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The real sweet thing he needs like I said is that DVI to HDMI adapter, I think he is absolutely right getting a system with a DVI in it. You can always convert a DVI to VGA, but not the other way around and keep the quality.
 

lostandwandering

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Argh, wrong again! I've got no luck. Well, lets try again. Can you get ASUS where you live? ASUS' G1,G2, F3JP, A8JS, and A8JP all have dedicated GPU's with DVI ports. The G1 and F3 are 15.4'', the G2 is 17'' (doesn't apply for your friend), and the A8's are both 14''.
 
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