Best laptop for Realtor use?

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Real Estate Agent with Kappel & Kappel Realtors, Inc.

Sorry guys if this has been covered previously...

What specs have you found to be best for your "work" laptop?  I use an office but would carry it to and fro almost daily, so don't want something too heavy.  I'm of a certain age, so screen size is pretty important so I can see the type.  I'm not a gamer, I would use this for strictly business...with a little shopping on the side.

Any help techies?

PS. I could not find the search feature to see if there is another discussion about this...so you can guess at how techie I am! 

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Rainer
136,319
Terry Lynch
LAR Notary and Closing Services

Patty

If you are just taking it to and from work, then don't worry about the weight. Get as much RAM, a CD or DVD burner, wireless and as big a hard drive as you can afford. The rest will take care of it'self.

February 22, 2008 04:50 PM
Rainer
20,924
Patty Hopkins
GRI
Kappel & Kappel Realtors, Inc.

Thank you so much Terry for responding...I was getting a little disappointed that my question was being ignored.  I need to shop, but haven't had the time.

Thanks again!

February 22, 2008 09:22 PM
Rainer
83,563
Joanne Hanson
Summit County, Colorado Realtor
Coldwell Banker Colorado Rockies Real Estate
I just bought a new one Patty.  I have always been a Dell or Gateway user, but I wanted a laptop without the new Vista operating system.  Dell is only using Vista now, and Gateway only has limited models without it.  After extensive research, I ended up with a Lenovo Thinkpad.  (formerly IBM)  It is a perfect size, lightweight, but with a 14" widescreen, has a large hard drive, plenty of memory and has the operating system I wanted.  And I only paid about $1000 for it.  It did not come with the Office suite, but I had a copy of Office 2003 that came with my desktop and the license allows you to install it on your laptop too.  I did upgrade the Outlook part of it, but I didn't want Office 2007 either, as I didn't want the learning curve.  Outlook 2007 doesn't mind as much as Outlook 2003 if you have a lot of emails.  Look at the Lenovo before you make your decision!
February 23, 2008 10:21 PM
Rainer
20,924
Patty Hopkins
GRI
Kappel & Kappel Realtors, Inc.
Thank you so much Joanne for giving me such a detailed answer- I truly appreciate it!  It's funny that you said you didn't want Vista, just this week a coworker said that she got a new laptop a year ago and STILL hates Vista!  I don't have the funds to buy a new 'puter every few years, so I need to make this decision wisely...thanks!
February 24, 2008 06:06 PM
Rainer
136,319
Terry Lynch
LAR Notary and Closing Services

Patty

Contrary to what Joanne says, Dell will still give you a choice of Vista or XP on their Vostro line which you can find in the small and medium business section of dell.com

February 25, 2008 10:58 AM
Rainer
26,543
The Bartley Group SouthEast MN Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Home Connection

Patty, I would agree with Terry about Dell,  however, I would go with a Latitude D531 one of our team members just got a new one with a 15.4" screen and it is awesome.  Very nice size screen, good preformance, not excessively heavy.  I would get at least 4gb of RAM, Windows XP Professional, 250 gb hard drive, cd/dvd burner, wireless card.  I would also get the D-port advanced port replicator.  I you are going to carry it back and forth it is great to only have to snap it onto a docking station and not screw around with all of the cables.  In addition, I would get an additional power supply.  That way you will have 1 with the docking station, 1 to carry with you and 1 you can just leave ready to go at home next to your favorite computer spot and not have to pack and unpack the cords every night.  Hope this helps a little bit.

 Brian Bartley

February 25, 2008 05:02 PM
Rainer
20,924
Patty Hopkins
GRI
Kappel & Kappel Realtors, Inc.

Thanks, Terry and Brian for taking the time to answer.  Thanks for the input on the Latitude, Brian. I was comparing Dell's different versions today and tried to get online help.  The responder would not give me as much information as I have gotten here without me giving my name, address, email, phone, first born, etc.. I told her that I was probably going to buy through ebates or Fatwallet in order to get their cash back (and the same pricing) so maybe that's what turned off of "helping".

Again, you guys ROCK! Thanks!

February 25, 2008 06:22 PM
Rainer
16,938
Nick Ruta

I could talk for 16 straight hours about how a laptop is a laptop is a laptop, and specifically how you need to concern yourself primarily not with WHO makes it, but with 2 specific things, both which are extremely important regardless of what you buy.  And it's quite sad how many people fail to keep these considerations in mind:

1. Warranty - Know your warranty.  Know it covers manufacturers defects ONLY.  Any physical damage, spills, etc...no coverage.  When someone approaches me saying they just got a new laptop, my first question is when does your warranty expire?  I cannot even begin to tell you how many people have no clue.  If you ever need a repair, it will be the single most important thing you will ever WISH you knew.

2. Insurance Coverage / Accidental Damage Coverage - Without a doubt the single biggest thing a laptop user fails to consider.  Remember, any such damage, spill, theft, fire, flood, etc....manufacturer warranty coverage will usually not cover it AT ALL.  Take a wild guess how much a cracked LCD screen will cost you to repair....oh, how about $900.  If you have protection, maybe 50 to 150 bucks?  When buying the laptop, see if the laptop comes with a protection plan, an option for such a plan, something.  Check your home insurance too, sometimes there is a ryder...rider? whatever it's called, just check!

It kills me when people go out and buy $399 laptops and get a 90 day warranty and no insurance.   Maybe you'll get lucky, maybe you will not.  Me?  I'm not taking any chances.

February 25, 2008 11:17 PM
Rainer
20,924
Patty Hopkins
GRI
Kappel & Kappel Realtors, Inc.
Thanks Nick for the advice.  I admit, I'm one of those who you describe...errr..I've been one of those but am going to turn over a new leaf!
February 26, 2008 12:48 PM
Rainer
7,984
Jess Arce
New Century Realty Group
Thanks for the question.  I wanted to know as well.  I recently purchased one that was inexpensive and it is slower than molasses. 
February 26, 2008 02:34 PM
Rainer
26,543
The Bartley Group SouthEast MN Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Home Connection
I agree with Nick about the warranty.  Sorry I forgot that above, we always get a 3-4 year warranty + 3-4 year accidential damage coverage on all of our laptops.  In addition we have been getting lo-jack for all of the laptops, started doing that after we had one stolen.  Haven't had one stolen since then so I guess it was a good investment (LOL).  Warranty coverage & accidential damage coverages are incredibly important.  It is way to easy to spill a cup of coffee or a coke into the machine.  My final recommendation would be not to go cheap, it will cost you more in the end.  One last thing, I always ask people to think long and hard before they order a new laptop, if you can honestly tell yourself that you will haul that computer with you almost every day (my current laptop is 2 1/2 years old and I've only left it at the office for 3 nights) then by all means go for a laptop, but in your heart-of-hearts you know that you aren't going to take it with you, then purchase a desktop machine.  You can get so much more bang for the buck with a desktop machine + a 19-21" wide screen flat panel monitor, wireless keyboard & mouse, etc,  Have fun with the purchase.
February 26, 2008 03:10 PM
Rainer
20,924
Patty Hopkins
GRI
Kappel & Kappel Realtors, Inc.

Glad you could use this info too Jess- thanks for stopping by.

Bartley Group, thank you for the confirmation regarding the warranty and insurance.  I will definitely heed that advice.

February 26, 2008 03:29 PM
Rainer
20,924
Patty Hopkins
GRI
Kappel & Kappel Realtors, Inc.

UPDATE 4/25/08..............

I ended up purchasing the Dell Inspiron 1526 and I am very pleased with it.  I am not sure why everyone is so down on Vista, I have yet to have any problems with it.  I love the large screen (ahem...I AM of a certain mid-age group) and overall found it to be easy to use, compatible with the software I use, and a very economical choice.  (I think around $700)

I know you can get fancier machines out there, but for me I like this computer and would recommend it highly.

April 25, 2008 06:56 PM
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Rainer
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Patty Hopkins

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