Dell vs. IBM vs. Toshiba Laptops - what to buy!


Senior member
Aug 11, 2000
Hi all -

I've been looking around for laptops in the $1500 range, and have found only one that fits perfectly for my price/performance conditions, the Toshiba 2805-S301. However, while people seem to say the machine is good, no one has really commented on Toshiba quality overall.

I've seen one IBM that looked okay (no floppy drive), the i1200. But while people seem to say IBMs are well-made, they also said the i-series is manufactured by Acer, and not as good.

Dell has been recommended by several people, but a) Their prices are higher, and b) I can get discounts on the other two.

Does anyone have any recommendations? Any experiences to share?


PS: If you have any pointers on a laptop in the $1500 range with DVD and a TFT screen and at least a 6gig hard drive (I'll upgrade the RAM, thanks :) ), I'd appreciate that help, too!


Diamond Member
Nov 7, 2000
I have an IBM Thinkpad 600E series and I am very pleased with it. I personally think that IBM makes very good laptops...


Senior member
Aug 24, 2000
Ihave Dell inspiron 7000 and 5000e series, the reason I bought dell notebook because of the price. and their product is not too bad. If you have more bucks to spend then I would recommend IBM notebook but if your budget is limited then Dell would be a good choice since most IBM notebook is really expensive.
And too bad you missed DELL/MSN 20% off a few weeks ago.



Senior member
Aug 8, 2000
I've worked with Dells a couple of times and have never had any problems. I know a couple people who own Dell notebooks too and are very satisfied with quality and support.


Platinum Member
Oct 12, 1999
Dell makes a great laptop, and are normally a little less expensive than a comparable IBM. Thnkpads would be my favorites if they had a build to order system like Dell. My work gave me a thinkpad when i did a travelling project with them for a year and it was great. When i went to buy a laptop, I bought a Dell though. Cost less and easier to get hardware support, a few keys on my keyboard went dead.. had airborne express out that night, sent laptop in on friday.. got i back monday.


Dec 30, 2000
there all great laptops as for which one you should pick... hmm, me i would prob. go for the dell. dont know why lol.

yeah i wasnt much help sorry


Golden Member
Oct 9, 1999
Well, personally I have a Toshiba (my first laptop), and would point out a couple of things I've learned to look for in any laptop.
Does it have anything that can be easily broken? My Toshiba has a couple of little "doors" for the Modem and USB that are REAL easy to break off (learned the hard way with the modem) Not a big deal, except couldn't use the modem afterwards, the door is part of the retention mechanism. Had to return the laptop for 3 weeks to get it fixed
Screen. While most of the top manufactuers have good screens, try to check out the screen's actual performance (if not on the actual laptop you buy, at least one close to the same). Remember, you have to look at it under less than perfect circumstances. Also look at from the sides& above- see if the picture is still sharp and reasonably crisp.
Expandibility & Connectivity- Not much on expandibility- but remember that a most of memory for laptops is propietary (AE: usually expensive)
You also want to see how much trouble it is to hook the laptop to a keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. While it's not something I personally have needed, it may be a concern for you.
Pointing devices- personally, don't like the one on the Toshiba (pencil eraser) If possible, try them out before you buy. But remember that most allow you to hook up a mouse , so I personally don't consider it a important bit, unless you do a lot of traveling where a mouse can cause you problems (AE: where do you set the mouse when you're sitting in coach? Better have a VERY understanding fellow passenger!)
Little things- Accessories- make sure you save some money in the budget for the other "bits"- and you might want to price them before you buy!. Stuff like a case, spare battery (IMO if you think you may be running on battery over 3 hrs, you need one)lan card, modem line checker(especially if you travel, my understanding is that you can fry you're modem by hooking it into a motel line thats wired differently than "normal"), Power adaptors (automotive and aviation), Etc



Dec 3, 1999
i have some of them and i own IBM thinkpad p3-450.. heres my opinion, Tosiba, Dell AND IBM are all the 3 best companys DOH which means there reliable, have very good support... BUT it depends on there system parts.. dell uses bette video graphics unlike ibm or toshiba while ibm give better storage capacity at better price.. toshiba are very bulky and its better to get dell or ibm BUT i think there case are all strong. IBM's have the BEST TFT screen let me tel you that for sure! OVERALL HERE are PRO's of each companys

-Better Graphics card in it
-Best Tech Supports
-Good Battery
-Can add a dvd or cdrw
-STuff Removable
only 32mb Memory included
Low storage space

-GOOD Warranty
-Good Ram's in it
-Nice Software Bundle
-Nice Speakers
Bad Screen Option sometimes
Low storage space
Avg Battery Life

-Best TFT Screens Out of any. Good in Car
-VERY Durable (when my friends ibm thinkpad 570 fell 5ft below NO CRACKS OR AN DEFECTS!)
-Long Lasting Battery
-Good Utilities
-Good Cooling
-Each thing removable! (cdrom, floppy)
-Cheap Software Bundle
-Not good graphics Card
-warranty option bad (on specific models OR WAS dunno about that now)

hope this helps


Grand Nagus
Feb 24, 2000
Dell, IBM and Toshiba all make great laptops and they all have their own zealots who rave about the build quality of all the laptops. If your price range were a little higher ($2,000 and higher) I'd also suggest looking at Sony VAIO laptops as well.

I think you're probably going to get the best bang for your buck with the IBM i series or better yet the Dell Inspiron 4000.


Grand Nagus
Feb 24, 2000
Here's what you can buy for $1648 from Dell Inspiron 4000 notebook:

Intel Pentium III ® Processor, 600 MHz Featuring Speedstep?
14.1" XGA TFT Display
Memory: 64MB, SDRAM, 1 DIMM
Primary Hard Drive: 5GB Ultra ATA Hard Drive
Operating System Software: Microsoft® Windows® Millennium (Windows Me)
Modem: Internal 56K Capable V.90 + 10/100 Mini-PCI Combo
Modular CD/DVD Drives: 8X Max Variable DVD-ROM Drive
Inspiron 4000 Setup Video: Dell Inspiron 4000 Setup Video
Bundled Software: MS Works Suite 2001 with Free!EducateU Online Anti-virus: Norton Antivirus® 2000 for Windows Millennium
Primary Battery: 26.5 WHr Lithium-Ion Battery with ExpressCharge?
Limited Warranty and Support: 1 Yr. Next Business Day On-Site Parts&Labor
Internet Access Service: 1-Year DellNet? by MSN® Internet Access Service[add$0]
Resolution Assistant included: Resolution Assistant
Proactive Support: Dell Proactive Support by Attune
Special Offer: $100 Special Offer

Also if you're going to get DVD make sure it's at least a 14.1 display.