Apple, Compaq or IBM?

By Team Digit | Published on 01 May 2005
Apple, Compaq or IBM?
Q. I need a laptop for high-end multimedia applications such as Autocad, CorelDraw, and a few other processor-intensive programs. I like the Apple PowerBook (15"), but my friends say that the Compaq B8000 series and IBM R series are equally good. I don't want the laptop to be too heavy, and my budget is Rs 1.1 lakh. Which one would you suggest?
 Vinay Anand

I suggest you to go for a Windows-based system for the wide array of software available. As far as processing power goes, Apple's PowerBook and Windows-based laptops are pretty much neck-to-neck. However, when it comes to application support, Mac OS isn't quite popular with software developers and hence, very few professional applications are available for Mac OSes. The R-series from IBM is good.
Also, opt for a Centrino-platform laptop over a Pentium 4-based laptop, simply for the performance and better battery life offered by the Centrino platform.

Mobile Mania
Q. I want to buy a mobile phone; it should have Bluetooth, a camera with at least 10 minutes of recording (preferably with Night Shot), FM, MP3, a good screen, and four hours of talk time, and it must look great! I have a budget of around Rs 15k.

First, I would ask you to look at the K700i from Sony Ericsson. An upgraded version of the K700i, to be called K750i, is on the horizon. It has a 2-megapixel camera and support for a memory stick, which the K700i lacks. You can also look out for the Nokia 6600, but the video recording is limited to just 10 seconds. The Nokia 6230, despite having most of the features you asked for, doesn't have a large screen.

More On Mobiles
Q. Is there a mobile phone with Bluetooth, add-on memory capability, and an easy programmable interface (J2ME), but without a camera?
Raja Sekar

Almost all smart phones from Sony Ericsson and Nokia are J2ME-capable. However, it is difficult to point out a particular phone that does not have a camera and still has memory upgradeability.
At the same time, older J2ME phones with no camera have very little memory onboard-around 700-odd KB, which is not good for any programming that you may be interested in.

Of Thumb Drives
Q. I want to buy a 128 MB thumb drive for under Rs 1,500. I want to transfer data files smaller than 100 MB from my college computer to my home PC. A plug-and-play drive would be preferable.
Rajiv Bhalotia

You can buy a Transcend Thumb drive for around Rs 1,500. Contact Mediaman Infotech on 022-23828100. Also, almost all pen-drives are plug-and-play devices. If your PC has Windows 98 or ME, you will need to install the drivers, otherwise it will be automatically detected and initialised for use by Windows XP.

DVD/Combo Writer Please!
Q. I want to buy a DVD/Combo writer for backing up my data. Could you suggest a good one? I need a drive with 52X writing speed and 16X DVD writing speed.
 Dr V K Saxena

Typically, a combo drive costs between Rs 2,500 and Rs 2,950 depending on the brand. You can go for Lite-On, Sony, Asus or BenQ. In case of DVD-writers, buy them if your data set is going to be larger-that is, above 1 GB. You can buy a 16X DVD-Writer too, but as of right now, DVD media availability is an issue. For your information, DVD-writers will cost upwards of Rs 4.5k.

Choose Your Computer
High-End  Make  Cost (Rs) 
CPU   3200   7,500 
Motherboard  MSI RS480M2  6,500 
RAM  512 MB DDR 400 Hynix  3,500 
HDD  80 GB SATA Samsung/Seagate  2,650 
Monitor  17" Acer 715   6,500 
Keyboard  Logitech   300 
Mouse  Logitech Optical Mouse  300 
Cabinet  Any cabinet you like  500 
Power supply  Antec / VIP 350 W power supply   2,000 
Optical Drive  Lite on / Sony Combo drive  2,750 
Speakers  Creative Inspire 2.1  2,400 
Total    34,900 
Graphics Card (optional)  XFX Geforce 6600 card  12,000 
AMD Sempron 2500   3500 
ASUS A7N8X-VM  4500 
RAM  256 MB DDR 400 Hynix  1600 
HDD 80 GB SATA Samsung/Seagate  2650 
Monitor  15" Acer 715   4500 
Keyboard  Logitech   300 
Mouse  Logitech Optical Mouse  300 
Cabinet   Any cabinet you like  500 
Power supply  Antec / VIP 350 W power supply  2000 
Optical Drive  Sony CD-Rom  700 
Speakers  Creative SB15  450 
Total    21,000 

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