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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry for the off topic - as i have previously posted im moving over to New Jersey in a few weeks.

Need to get myself a Laptop and TV. Where is the best place to get them? For the best price? And need to get a cell phone - was thinking of using T-Mobile and getting the Samsung E715 - any thoughts?

I have no problem shopping off the internet - in fact seeing as im still here in the UK and I would like this stuff delivered by the time i get there its my only option!!

Thanks Guys / Gals :)
 

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I buy most of my electronics in local stores. Mainly because I have terrible luck with them, I buy broken stuff all the time, and it's much easier to get things exchanged this way.

I was always very happy with Circuit City myself. Some people like Best Buy better. Both of those are large chains, so they have stores all over the place. Especially if you catch rebates, they're often not more expensive than online places.
 

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Not only that many are running long term 0% options. CompUSA even sells Apple products. As for T-Mobile, it has one flaw, no roaming, once you're out of their network you have no service.
 

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Laptops. IMO (and most of us probably feel strongly about this)... the only laptops I would buy are Dell, IBM, and Toshiba. I do like the features you can get in Sony VAIOs though.

Dell has a good laptop and good pricing. I often have discount coupons if you are interested. I bought a new one some months ago. Works fine.

I like the Samsung phones, I have two older ones. I am thinking of switching from Sprint to Verizon for better service. A lot depends on where exactly you will be staying and how their service works there. Might be a good idea to wait and research that after you arrive. Most providers will offer deals if you agree to lock in a plan for a year or two. Will you be here that long?

As far as TV, what size and technology are you looking for? What kind of budget. In the last year I have bought two televisions. A 42" plasma and a 13" tube set. The 13" tube set was under $100. :) The only thing in common was where I bought them.

Brings up a point actually. There is this place called Costco.
http://www.costco.com They sell laptops, TVs, cell phones with the best return policy of any store period. The return used to be at any time, take it back for a full price refund for any reason, but people abused the computers by using them for 2 years and then trading them in on newer models. So computers and TVs are now limited to 1 or 2 years. This store positively rocks.

I highly recommend once you move here, find the nearest Costco, go down and sign up... and then get what you need from them. You can do so with no worries because you can always take it back if you simply change your mind. And you can do so knowing you paid a fair price for a good choice.
 

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Randy Chase said:
the only laptops I would buy are Dell, IBM, and Toshiba.
I've had IBM thinkpads for a very long time (I still have my Thinkpad 720, and it still works), and I have never had any reason to complain about them. They are a bit more expensive than most other laptops, but well worth it IMO.
 

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I wouldnt do ebay, because often times you get ripped on refurbished stuff, and sometimes overbidding can lead to a heftier price than its worth.

I like to use www.mysimon.com , which compares costs all over the internet on electronics and such.
Also, Amazon often has great deals or links to great deals. Costco is a great choice. And I dont think they have them in NJ, but theres a place called Fry's electronics which has great deals. Best Buy often sells seconds, which is why their costs are low, so I wouldnt buy from them. Circuit City can have great specials.

http://www.pricewatch.com/ is the best place to shop for computer deals online! I personally would suggest a vaio notebook...but they're expensive. It depends what you want to do with it. I use mine for digital editing and graphics, so it was the best thing other than a apple to do this with.

Oh, and I wouldnt buy a compaq notebook...the only one I ever owned, and almost everyone I've known who've owned one, have had them fall apart in the first year.
 

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regarding cell phones...depends on how much you move around. Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are the best nationwide. T-mobile is nice though if you plan on using the phone in europe...as almost all their phones will work there.

I just signed up for sprint because I move around the country a lot and their new plan lets me roam on any network for free. Unfortunetly, I cant use the phone in europe though, but I just survived England for 3 months without one so I'll survive in the future.
 

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If you're looking for a cell phone that works on both sides of the pond, you will need to look for a provider that offers international roaming.

Companies that might offer international roaming to Europe (cuz they're GSM):

http://www.tmobile.com
http://www.attwireless.com
http://www.cingular.com

If you're not worried about international roaming, you might also consider:

http://www.verizonwireless.com
http://www.sprintpcs.com
http://www.nextel.com

If I were to choose one for you, I'd suggest Verizon or Sprint, but only because I have a vested interest in the underlying technology used (CDMA).

Now everyone in San Diego knows where I work. :)
 

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Randy Chase said:
Laptops. IMO (and most of us probably feel strongly about this)... the only laptops I would buy are Dell, IBM, and Toshiba. I do like the features you can get in Sony VAIOs though.
I second that. Although a guy at work has been having trouble with the LCD on his new Dell laptop. Burn-in, if you can believe it... My Dell laptop has been rock solid over the past 2.5 years.
 

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For anything computer related, go to:

www.pricewatch.com

there's also button on the top left for electronics, so you can check out TV's and such as well, but the best best deals are on the computer side.

I know they're not laptops, but I just put together 13 computers - two of which are full fledged graphics workstations, one of which is a file server with just over a terabyte of disk space, all have a gig of RAM & at least a 2.6GHz CPU - all for just over $10K - all pieced together from pricewatch.

:)
 

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MikeAR303 said:
The most important thing to keep in mind is that they all suck, so don't expect reliable service from any of the above :p
Yes, but all in their own special way. Pick your poison.
 

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I have AT&T GSM

I bought the NEC 515 phone because it had quad-band capability. So it's a "true" world phone. It works world's better than the Sony Ericsson T68i that I had. (Terrible phone IMHO.)

AT&T GSM service is only "fair" because there are many dead zones. TDMA offers better coverage, but the GSM phone gets the job done for me.

As for using the phone in Europe... beware that AT&T phones "check-in" whenever you power them on and leave them on. That meas that they're checking the network every few minutes. If you're roaming in Europe with the phone (I was roaming in Belarus) you'll come home to an outrageous phone bill.

Bob
 

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Modern Wedgie said:
I wouldnt do ebay, because often times you get ripped on refurbished stuff, and sometimes overbidding can lead to a heftier price than its worth.
I've never had ANY trouble with ebay. Buy from people with good ratings. How can you you overbid if you are the one setting your own limits? If the asking price is to high don't bid and when you do bid, only bid as much as you are willing to pay. It all works out as the market determines the price of the object in the end. Last thing I bought (two weeks) ago was a motorcycle rim. My local shop wanted $400. I Ebayed for $200 and the wheel was perfect.

MikeAR303 said:
The most important thing to keep in mind is that they all suck, so don't expect reliable service from any of the above :p
For the most part true. It just depends on what part of the country you are. Coverage reliabilty varies from region to region city to city. If you really want a reliable phone and cheap service I'll sell you these. :D
 

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Huggy bear-

I find the cost of new electronics on ebay to be high, especially compared to the cost of buying it elsewhere online like amazon.

As for ebay in general, it is the best thing ever invented on the internet, especially when it comes to car parts. If it wasnt for ebay, I wouldnt have super cool items for my fiat such as: my modified head and race cam (purchased $100, worth $700), my aftermarket springs and shocks (purchased $250, worth $600), exhaust (up tomorrow, worth $450), etc etc...and all these parts are no longer available, and are therefore worth a lot more than their original values.

I'm not saying ebay is bad, just that its hard to find a good deal on electronics on ebay...better off going elsewhere and not dealing with the hassles of auction, especially since there arent any receipts in case you need to deal with warranty issues.
 

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Laptops: IBM ThinkPad, an absolute workhorse. Buy the models intended for commercial use, not the consumer models (same advice goes for whatever brand you choose). If long battery life is important, buy one with a Pentium M processor (not P4M) and forget about the GHz...you can only type just so fast.

Internet search: www.pricewatch.com, I've used this for years, but now prefer www.pricegrabber.com for most items.

I second the Costco recommendation: great prices, great service. But, after you finish with your impulse buying, you'll need a van, not an Elise, to get home.

Frys: I don't go there anymore. Their great prices all rely on rebates and you can plan on making a career out of trying to actually get your rebates.

Circuit City: You can search and buy on-line and have it sent to your home/work or pick it up at the store of your choice. Regardless of how you took delivery, you can return it to any Circuit City store. Prices not always the lowest, though.

Cell phone: The comment was made that you can't roam off of T-Mobile's network. Not the case. T-Mobile, AT&T and Cingular all have roaming agreements with each other. You won't even know you're roaming unless you notice the network name on your phone display. The combined GSM network does have gaps in the far non-metropolitan areas, though. If you are using a Pocket PC, the GSM network is hard to beat. The data side is always on, doesn't compete with voice calls during peak periods and has good data rate. I also second the recommendation that you wait until you get here for the cell phone. The variety of plans can be confusing, there's a store on every corner, and it doesn't take long to get the service activated once you buy.
 

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Sorry for the off topic - as i have previously posted im moving over to New Jersey in a few weeks.

Need to get myself a Laptop and TV. Where is the best place to get them? For the best price?
Go to any parking lot near the intersection of Rt 1 and Frehlinghyser Ave in Newark, and someone will pull up in a van and offer you a great deal on some stuff they have in the back.
Dont fall for the cardboard cutout VCR recorders or the brick in the camcorder box trick...Get it today before they fence it at the pawn shop tommorrow.

Seriously, there are Costco's in NJ and sometimes people are moving and try selling them in the newpapers. Try the Star-Ledger or Asbury Park Press depending on where in the state you are. There are places in NYC that sell stuff at a discount, but be careful since sometimes they are factory reconditioned units and they dont tell you that in their advertising.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
WOW! thanks for all the help guys.

OK, im looking to spend upto $1000 on the laptop. what I want:

CD Writer
at least 512mb RAM
at least 40GB hard drive
Pentium 4 or AMD processor (not celeron)

What would be nice but not essential:

USB 2.0
Dedicated graphics card

Any suggestions?


Ive come up with these 2 so far:

Compaq Pressario 2529CL: P4 2.5, 512mb ram, 40GB HDD, CDRW, 64mb shared graphics - $929.99
or

Emachine M5310: AMD XP-M 2400, 512mb RAM, 40GB HDD, CDRW, 64mb Shared Graphics, WIDESCREEN, USB 2.0, built in wireless networking

Any opinions on these? Im feeling the Emachine with the wireless networking, USB 2.0 and widescreen, its quite thin as well. The Compaq has a slighter faster processir and the Compaq name is a little more 'heard of' all be it not great!!

Please help :)

Thanks
 
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