Hello Everyone,

I've read some posts on what some of you are using nowadays, but I wanted to ask that question again for my own personal needs. I currently have DELL and have been really pleased with it. My biggest problem, however, was that the audio quality was VERY poor!!! I was using the Martel Mic. After much trial and error, I finally determined it was the laptop and not the mic that was causing problems. I was able to listen to music, videos, etc on it. But when it came to audiosync, the sound came in and out like waves and you couldn't even make out what was being said half of the time. I had to finally purchase an Andrea USB mic which works well, although when I used to scope for other reporters, I've heard much better quality. Also, the battery life on it was poor. But overall, it has helped up very well during jobs.

When I first began reporting, I started with Compaq, then HP, and had HORRIBLE experiences with them!! Went through three laptops in like two years!! DELL was the only one that held up for me. I also prefer XP. I don't want something too bulky, preferably a 13" or 14", no bigger than 15". I don't want a netbook either. I've been speaking to my brother since he knows a lot more about computers/laptops than I do, and he suggested getting something with a Core 2 Duo processor and a system memory of at least 3 GB, more if possible (I think standard is 3B minimum on laptops nowadays). We were also looking at the Asus. Anyone have any experience with those?

I'm pretty much limited to Best Buy since I have a credit card there (more debt..ugh!). Anything else I should be looking for in a new laptop other than what I've already mentioned? Any suggestions are GREATLY appreciated. Thanks so much!!

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Hi, Ann.

Have you considered a Fujitsu?

Last I checked, you could order them with XP (I prefer XP Pro, so you're not missing anything you're going to need later, as you would if you got XP Home), and serial ports!

Can't say anything about the audio, though ... but they sell them over on Advantage Software's site ... you know, the folks that make Eclipse, so the audio must be okay.

As for RAM and hard drive space, take a cue from the materialistic 80s: "More is Good!" :o) Your brother is right, though I would go for 4GB, but 3 will work.

Another option is a MacBook Pro ... but you'll need a copy of Windows XP to run it under Apple's (free!) Boot Camp.

If the thought of installing Boot Camp yourself is daunting, you can stop by your local Apple Store and have the Mac Genius do it for you (also free).

The cheapest route would probably be the Fujitsu ... but since you're restricted to Best Buy, maybe you should consider the MacBook Pro.

Good luck!

Why not just go through Dell and ask for a better sound card. They're usually really good about financing. I have a Dell and the sound quality is fine. Granted, I made sure I got a really good sound card.
Thanks for the suggestions! I actually purchased a Toshiba the same day I posted. I was really on a budget. I'm very happy with my purchase! I got quite a deal on the laptop, and the specs are great! I was able to install my software that same day, transfer all my files from my old laptop, and everything worked out for my job the following morning, and it worked wonderful. Thanks so much!!
Ann --

Glad everything worked out okay!

I bought a Dell with Windows XP -- you can still get it that way. Audio quality is horrible for insync, but it is with a lot of computers. I ordered a USB mic 1-AT-U841A from Sound Professionals. It works fantastic. No battery needed. Sounds great. No issues with my software, StenoCat. I ordered an Inspirion I think one of the 1500s, 1510 I think.
In April I had to replace my Toshiba Tecra. It had AWESOME audio. It was a great computer. The Toshiba people here in town told me the new Tecra model had a problem w/ the audio. i bought a professional model that was an HP. It was TERRIBLE. I returned it.
I ended up w/ a Sony. I really like it. it's a good computer, good audio. It has Vista Op system.


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