reasonably quiet, inexpensive laptop?

More popular than ever, but some are still very noisy.

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reasonably quiet, inexpensive laptop?

Post by WarpedPlatter » Wed Feb 04, 2004 1:13 pm

Does anyone have any suggestions, preferably under US$1,000? Part of the time it would be used for basic audio editing, adding voice over a background of light music. Recording studio levels of background noise aren't needed, but a constant whining or whooshing easily noticed in the end product obviously isn't desirable.

The people asking me for advice are looking at the Dell Inspiron 1100. Does anyone know how loud the fan in this model is under light and heavy loads?

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Post by Shadowknight » Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:48 pm

A general reocommendation would be to go for the Pentium-M based laptops. These CPUs only put out around 30w of heat, so less cooling is needed (thus, less noise).

I recently got the emachines M6805 (based on the Mobile Athlon 64). It's a desktop replacement laptop. It's pretty quiet, though you can definetly hear the fan when it ramps up when the system is underload.

No experience with Dells. But I've heard their quality has been shody of late.

If you're willing to pay the greater price, Panasonic, Fujitsu, and IBM make the highest quality (and most expensive) laptops. Just make sure the laptop comes with a 3-year warranty, or buy it somewhere where you can pay extra for an extended warranty. If the thing dies 14 months into usage, there's nothing you can do. If you get an extended warranty, it should be fixed/replaced .
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Athlon M?

Post by NeilBlanchard » Wed Feb 04, 2004 8:26 pm


I have no direct experience with these, but in pricing laptops recently, I have noticed that the least expensive ones use an Athlon M CPU -- HP and Compaq brands; some are as little as $800! :shock: If quiet is paramount and ultimate performance is not as critical, then get a slower (clockspeed) unit.

The Athlons will give you a lot of performance even at those lower clockspeeds, like the Pentium M, but they are 400-500 dollars less, typically. (We ended up getting a pretty loaded Pentium M 1.6gHz -- but it was pushing $3K by the time we were done!! :roll: Weight was an issue, and you have to pay a lot for light & fast units... )
Sincerely, Neil

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Post by Stevo@ARM » Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:05 am

Shadowknight wrote:A general reocommendation would be to go for the Pentium-M based laptops. These CPUs only put out around 30w of heat, so less cooling is needed (thus, less noise).
Hi folks,

Just a heads up on the laptop issue, yes we build them here at ARM Systems. The good news is we are coming out with a line of quiet notebooks and we are currently refining our them for our StealthPC family of systems. Since they are still in development I'll give the first few customers a good discount while we sort out the finer points. They are PentiumM based and at their present state of R&D are pretty quiet and are about 80% of where I want them to be noise-wise.

Being based upon PentiumM (Centrino Platform) they do cost more than P4 based models, but after having worked with so many various laptop designs in the past 6 months in our research I honestly believe the Centrino platform is worth the extra $ when considering noise vs. performance and other factors. My prototype StealthPC notebook is a 1.6GHz model and I have been road testing it as my primary PC while we do the research, it's quiet now and we are still working on quieting it down even more before final product release.

And for those Folders@Home out there, you know who you are :wink:, even though I am using this notebook everyday lately for my work (and I am a serious power user with dual displays and lots of apps open) I am getting 12 F@H WU's a week out of this baby! :shock:

Once our StealthPC notebooks are officially released they will appear on our online EZ Configurator in the StealthPC family of systems, but in the meanwhile you can work with us directly on a case by case basis. So, if anyone is interested, just reply here or get in touch with me at the shop and we'll see what we can come up with for you.


Execute FOLDING sub-routine: Fold... Fold... Fold...

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Post by sneaker » Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:33 pm

Shadowknight stressed the importance of the warranty and I just want to back him up on that one. Having just had a notebook die on me, albeit under warranty, I now recognise the fact that most laptops are nothing like desktops in terms of servicing. You often can't just remove the one faulty component and replace it with a cheap off-the-shelf one -- often the whole system will have to go back to the manufacturer, you're at their mercy as to how long it takes to fix the problem, and the repairs will be expensive if you're out of warranty.

There seem to be a lot of people (myself included) switching from desktops to notebooks these days as their primary system without fully appreciating this difference. So if the notebook is going to be your main system, make sure you have a backup plan in case it dies.

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