ultraportable full powered laptop

rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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OK, my Toshiba E105-S1802 laptop is just shy of one year old, and the power adapter has gotten loose, so that when you try to put the charger in, it no longer will stay put and actually charge. Two weeks left on warranty, so I call Toshiba. They confirm it is hardware (as I knew it was), and they then tell me "sorry" it is not covered in the warranty. It is "physical damage." So I ask how much to fix it? $450 to replace the mother board. I hung up on them. Its a nice laptop, but not that nice that I will spend 60% of the original cost for a repair.

So.... I am on the market again for a laptop. This one is a 14" machine; I do not want to go bigger than 14", indeed, I'd be happy with a 12" machine. Looking for something that is full powered (not a NETBOOK!), but not for gaming or movies either. Just something solid for business work (email/web/office 2010/SPSS statistics, etc..).

I travel a lot so small and light is a good thing. Any suggestions?
 
D

diogen

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Apr 16, 2007
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Dell E4200
Light and will do everything you want.
But it ain't cheap...

Diogen.
 
D

diogen

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Apr 16, 2007
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If no gaming/movies, why NO NETBOOK?

What do you use SPSS for?
Regression models on cohorts of 10^6 or more like a glorified spreadsheet?

Look at the business netbook E2100. Win7Pro+Office+SPSS+Stata run just fine.
One of the best part - it runs Chrome OS, MeeGo, Ubuntu, and every single hardware part is recognized from the boot-up.
Can boot from SD. SD slot as deep as the card. Very handy to email/chat/video if needed...

Will do light number crunching, too. Costs twice as much as consumer netbooks. Well worth it.

Diogen.
 
A

avg1joe

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Oct 27, 2006
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Fix it.

A new power jack for this is about $20. I've never worked on this particular model before. Usually you have to desolder the old jack and resolder a new jack. This jack comes with a cable so it may just plug in with no soldering involved. I can't tell just by looking at it.
 
JAG72

JAG72

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Feb 16, 2006
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Fix it.

A new power jack for this is about $20. I've never worked on this particular model before. Usually you have to desolder the old jack and resolder a new jack. This jack comes with a cable so it may just plug in with no soldering involved. I can't tell just by looking at it.

I agree with this recommendation unless you just want a new laptop. I have replaced one of these in my wifes Toshiba laptop with very little work. I actually purchased my replacement part off of ebay for under $10.
 
rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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If no gaming/movies, why NO NETBOOK?

What do you use SPSS for?
Regression models on cohorts of 10^6 or more like a glorified spreadsheet?

Look at the business netbook E2100. Win7Pro+Office+SPSS+Stata run just fine.
One of the best part - it runs Chrome OS, MeeGo, Ubuntu, and every single hardware part is recognized from the boot-up.
Can boot from SD. SD slot as deep as the card. Very handy to email/chat/video if needed...

Will do light number crunching, too. Costs twice as much as consumer netbooks. Well worth it.

Diogen.

I use SPSS all the time for analysis of data I am doing research on; whether it is factor analysis, logit, t-tests, or comparing means; I will have this running while multi-tasking excel, word, and often Max QDA content analysis software, plus Chrome. I want a machine that will run fast, since when I am home, it is my desktop replacement.

I looked at the E2100 and it has mixed reviews; particularly in its benchmarks. I guess I have been soured by the performance of my wife's netbook, which can't even handle her fairly simple business database for her work, which is just a fancy front-end to an Access DB.

I may have to abandon my hope for an "ultraportable" and just settle for a 13 or 14" laptop; my Toshiba is a 14" E105-S1802, and until the damn power issue, it has been a great machine. Minus one thing --- it has no VGA output which makes it darn near impossible to use with most projectors at conferences.

While I'd love to just buy a replacement part and solder it myself, I simply lack those skills.
 
rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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I agree with this recommendation unless you just want a new laptop. I have replaced one of these in my wifes Toshiba laptop with very little work. I actually purchased my replacement part off of ebay for under $10.

What I should do is see if a computer place in town (not the geek squad morons) can do this for me relatively cheaply. I'll look into it. As I said above, that just is not a skill I have.
 
JAG72

JAG72

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What I should do is see if a computer place in town (not the geek squad morons) can do this for me relatively cheaply. I'll look into it. As I said above, that just is not a skill I have.

You might be surprised how easy it really is. The hardest part is getting the case of the laptop apart to get to the piece that needs fixed. If you were a little closer I would fix it for you as it only took around 15 to 20 minutes to do it the last time. 14 to 19 of those minutes were taking apart and putting back together the laptop.

If you find a local shop that will do it, you might be able to save a little if you can have the laptop disassembled for them. You should also purchase the part first as electronics shops will not have the part that you need.
 
rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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You might be surprised how easy it really is. The hardest part is getting the case of the laptop apart to get to the piece that needs fixed. If you were a little closer I would fix it for you as it only took around 15 to 20 minutes to do it the last time. 14 to 19 of those minutes were taking apart and putting back together the laptop.

If you find a local shop that will do it, you might be able to save a little if you can have the laptop disassembled for them. You should also purchase the part first as electronics shops will not have the part that you need.

Yeah, this case is particularly tough to get into. Its a Best Buy Blue Line model, looks nice, but intentionally built with a case that is very challenging to get into. But I'll call around and see what I can find locally, and then start trying to figure out how to find the actual part.

I wish you were closer. :)

In the meantime I am using the laptop unplugged, and then when I am done, very gently plugging it in, and trying to get the cable just right so it will provide juice. Too bad there aren't external battery chargers.
 
rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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You might be surprised how easy it really is. The hardest part is getting the case of the laptop apart to get to the piece that needs fixed. If you were a little closer I would fix it for you as it only took around 15 to 20 minutes to do it the last time. 14 to 19 of those minutes were taking apart and putting back together the laptop.

If you find a local shop that will do it, you might be able to save a little if you can have the laptop disassembled for them. You should also purchase the part first as electronics shops will not have the part that you need.

With the help of Jason aka JAG72, I was able to find the replacement part (which DOES NOT require soldering!) on ebay for $18.50. Ordered it, and the toughest part of this job will just be getting the case off. But even I can figure that out.

Thanks to Jason !!!!! :up :up :up Just saved me from probably spending $700!
 
A

avg1joe

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Oct 27, 2006
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Yup. That is what I was looking at.

Getting a laptop apart isn't all that hard. Something almost always breaks in the process but hopefully it is an unimportant plastic tab. Remembering where everything goes and getting it back together is the tough part.

I've started using spiral notebooks to keep the screws and littlest parts organized. Think of the laptop as an onion and each of the layers as a page on the notebook. Take out a few screws from the bottom and tape them in the right place on the back of the last page. Move to the top of the computer, remove some screws and tape them to the front of the first page, mapping out where they came from. Remove components from the top or bottom, revealing more screws. Turn the page in the notebook and remove the next screws taping them in place on the page.

You can often download service or dissassembling manuals from the net which are helpful.
 
Ilya

Ilya

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I had a similar problem with an old Sony laptop. I fixed it in a small local computer repair shop for around $100.
The trick is to find some guys who actually know how to solder, not just how to replace the parts.
 
rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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While I am waiting on the part to come in, I realized that there was a colleague in the office next to me who left the university this summer, and she had a Dell Lattitude D430 ultraportable in her office. I asked the secretary and sure enough they had it. It is now sitting in my office. Small: 12" screen, intel duo core 1.3ghz processor, 2GB of ram, Win 7 enterprise. External DVD drive, 3 lbs, 9-cell battery. Perfect for what I need - and I do not need to buy anything. Plus it was in a docking station pretty much since she got it, so the keyboard feels like it is brand new. :)

Of course now I need to get the damn IT guy to respond to my emails to give my username administrative rights on it. Stupid thing is locked down right now. But that will happen later today, somehow.
 
rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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Dell E4200
Light and will do everything you want.
But it ain't cheap...

Diogen.


I just realized that the D430 that I was given is basically one generation behind the E4200.

While it is not a speedster, compared with a Netbook, this thing rocks. Installing software and getting it ready to go. Always fun doing software installs. :)
 
rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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THE only frustrating thing about this is that the chipset and motherboard is limited to 2GB of ram. It has 1GB onboard and 1GB in a SODIMM. Hunted around the internet and it appears that putting in a 2GB SODIMM will cause it not to boot.

Kind of a bummer with it running Win 7 64-bit. Oh well.
 
Stargazer

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I have a Sony Vaio laptop with a dual core processor and 2 GB of memory that runs great. The dern thing does not recognize the battery though. Does anybody know what might be causing this? I am thinking about selling it as I do not want to put the money into a repair to fix it as I would rather put it towards upgrading my current new one.
 
Ilya

Ilya

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Stargazer said:
I have a Sony Vaio laptop with a dual core processor and 2 GB of memory that runs great. The dern thing does not recognize the battery though. Does anybody know what might be causing this? I am thinking about selling it as I do not want to put the money into a repair to fix it as I would rather put it towards upgrading my current new one.

I had a similar problem with a Sony Vaio in the past. I first thought it was a dead battery. I bought a new battery just to realize that the problem was with the laptop itself. Fortunately, a small local computer repair shop was able to fix it for under $100. Not sure what that was, but as I remember, they had to replace some sort of chip responsible for power. They said it's a common problem. The same shop was able to replace the power connector on the motherboard, which got loose. I paid something like $160 (if I remember correctly) for both repairs, which gave another life (another year or so) to the aging laptop.
 
rockymtnhigh

rockymtnhigh

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It is amazing how these laptops seem to be engineered to fall apart at about a year's use. For me the laptop get so much use, its almost pre-destined to fail.
 

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