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#1 Allan Wotherspoon

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 2252 PM

Spousal unit has decided she wants a new laptop and is looking at an ASUS R1E-B1 Core 2 Duo T7700. One thing she wants is to be able to run a dual monitor set up. The laptop has a Intel 965GM graphics chip. Does anyone know if that chip supports dual monitors?
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#2 Ssnake

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 0529 AM

Intel suggests that this is the case. Although the chipset info page doesn't mention it, if you compare it with some other chipset it will list a multi-display option "Concurrent/Simultaneous".

If in doubt, ask the vendor and have it mentioned in the purchase contract that he guarantees that the notebook will support the kind of monitor setup that you have in mind.

Edited by Ssnake, 13 March 2008 - 0530 AM.

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#3 Allan Wotherspoon

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 0848 AM

Intel suggests that this is the case. Although the chipset info page doesn't mention it, if you compare it with some other chipset it will list a multi-display option "Concurrent/Simultaneous".

If in doubt, ask the vendor and have it mentioned in the purchase contract that he guarantees that the notebook will support the kind of monitor setup that you have in mind.


Thanks Ssnake. Any opinion on ASUS laptops? I've had ASUS motherboards before and was happy with them, but I've never used one of their laptops.
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#4 Ssnake

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 1626 PM

Asus used to have a sterling reputation, at least in Germany. Then they "redisorganized" their service organization and screwed up royally. They've promised to fix it, and shown some improvement over the past year, but it still is a far cry from their past reputation.

If you don't need a gaming notebook I'd still consider IBM/Lenovo as a serious choice. It is generally said that about 40% of all notebooks sold have an issue during the first five years, and if that happens to you you want to be in good hands that are quick in their response, competent with their repairs, and fair with their prices. IBM used to score best here by a pretty wide margin. It has deteriorated, but not dramatically yet.

Having said that, my notebooks so far were a Toshiba Satellite five years ago, an Acer Ferrari three years ago, and now a Bullman (which is probably very close to "no name", but they were the only vendor who would sell me an NVidia GeForce 8600 mobility graphics chip in combination with a matted display, and that was my primary deal breaker). I never had an issue with any of them. The Toshiba had a quickly decaying battery I was told by the guy who bought it afterwards, and the cover lock wasn't sturdy enough to withstand a little drop. But none of these two issues are an indication of manufacturing faults (though maybe not ideal engineering). The Bullman notebook uses a friction cover and magnets to remain closed. Spiffy, but you wouldn't want to use it in front of the monitor or put a credit card near the cover frame.

In short, I don't have first-hand experience with the service organization of any of these. I can only report what I'm reading in Germany's (by far) best computer magazine, c't. They're the "Scientific American" of Germany's computer magazines ("iX" is probably even more tech and coding oriented, focusing on Unix and related issues, and frankly - quite elitist). So, I tend to trust them more than any other magazine. They have a reputation of - gasp - actually doing thorough research and even a bit of investigative journalism (as far as things go in the PC world) instead of the old formula of being a PR outlet for software companies and publishing your assorted benchmark test suite.
They don't even rate hardware their tests. :blink:

But I digress. Take my two cents for what they're worth - a probably reasonable advice for people living in Germany.
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#5 Ssnake

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 0936 AM

I don't know if it is still an acute question. But in this year's notebook reliability and repair service quality survey the c't magazine has a number of interesting news.

From the prespective of customer satisfaction the by far best vendor seems to be Dell, and with a continuous upward trend at that. Lenovo/IBM is still relatively high but there's an unbroken negative trend for three years now - and it's similarly sad story with Apple. Toshiba and Sony have recovered from "abysmal" to "rather average", and Acer seems to be better than their actual reputation. HP has a distinct two-class attitude where customers of the cheaper business notebooks consistently and quite noticeably experience preferential treatment over consumer scum.


All this is based on sampling from a predominantly German and Swiss/Austrian reader base.

Edited by Ssnake, 30 March 2008 - 0937 AM.

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