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  1. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2003
    Location: Michigan
    Search Comp PM
    I travel during winter time for work. I want to get a small, light laptop to carry around with my regular work laptop. I've been looking on Ebay for used ultraportables or mini-notebooks. The problem is I don't know what processor is fast enough for what I want to use it for, which is to surf the web and watch movie clips (mpeg, wmv). The web part takes very little CPU power I know, but would a Pentium 2 suffice for mpeg?

    I don't expect to have an optical drive built-in for an ultraportable, but what level of CPU can smoothly play a DVD off an external drive? At some point I may want to use it as a GPS unit with a USB or add a Bluetooth card if that's possible.
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  2. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2002
    Location: cleveland, oh
    Search Comp PM
    I do just what you are thinking of doing with an older 600MHZ dell laptop with 512 Meg of ram and it works fine. Make sure that you use a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card or firewire card for the external DVD drive.
    This is a great application for older PCs.
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  3. you may want to bump it up to like 800mhz to 1ghz if you intend to watch divx movies......as for mpeg, it honestly takes VERY little cpu power comparitively....wmv...that depends on if your intending on watching just standard resolution, or high def.......high def wmv will crank up your requirements a LOT....as for dvd playback, i remember on my old 400mhz celeron (yuck......) i was like borderline on it...so i'd say 500-600mhz for that......but if your going to be buying it outright still, i'd jump for a 1ghz or so, and those should be dirt cheap by now anyhow....

    nevermind just looked into it, those things run quite a bit more than i expected them to.....you should be able to get by with somewhere in the 600-800mhz range, i'd guess...just dont expect to be doing any hardcore gaming on it
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  4. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: AZ, USA
    Search Comp PM
    Another method I use with my laptop is to convert DVDs to Xvids with a program like FairUse Wizard. They end up about 700Mb, so even with a small hard drive in a laptop, you can get several in there. Or with a external hard drive, even more. Or put them on a DVD data disc. Makes a lot less to carry around.
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  5. Ultraportables are slower than their larger laptop counterparts. I use a Toshiba Portege 600Mhz Pentium 3 for just what you are describing - in fact I'm using it to type this via wireless as it's smaller & lighter than my thinkpad.

    I'd suggest you go for a brandname 600 to 800Mhz P3 as they are pretty cheap.
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  6. Banned
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: USA
    Search Comp PM
    I use an IBM Thinkpad T22 for my portable/travel laptop. It has a 900mhz P3 processor, 512MB, 80GB, 14"TFT, Wireless, CD/DVD Burner and 56K. I like it because it's durable.

    It shipped to me as a 900mhz, 256MB, 20GB, 14"TFT, CD/DVD Rom, and 56K for $400. With that configuration it was rather slow and jerky when playing movies. Once I upped the RAM to 512MB all was fine for video playback and all around improvement in operations. This laptop had and still has only 8MB of dedicated video RAM.
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  7. ROF, something is wrong with your speedstep config or software setup. I've tested a 400Mhz celeron i-series thinkpad and it played DVD and mp4 video smoothly, with only 128Meg ram under both 2000 and XP on battery (+ it used a 4 meg shared video cs)

    But the T22 is too chunky for the OP's purpose imo; it was almost a desktop replacement (in it's day). It is durable as you say though.
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  8. Banned
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: USA
    Search Comp PM
    There's no denying the thinkpads are the "bricks" of the laptop world.
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  9. True. Nice bricks - own one myself. Hate the battery though. About your speed: the T22 might be supported by the online diagnostics at IBM's thinkpad website.
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2003
    Location: Michigan
    Search Comp PM
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Looks like I can safely go with a P3. What is the AMD equivalent? I don't have a preference but if I see an AMD I want to know if it's acceptable. I have an old Compaq AMD K3 which worked fine for DVD playback, but it's rather heavy and hasn't held up well.
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  11. Member lenti_75's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: USA
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by madymo3d
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Looks like I can safely go with a P3. What is the AMD equivalent? I don't have a preference but if I see an AMD I want to know if it's acceptable. I have an old Compaq AMD K3 which worked fine for DVD playback, but it's rather heavy and hasn't held up well.
    that would be a duron at that sped.
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2002
    Location: United States
    Search Comp PM
    I used a Celeron 400 (slot 1!) for years, watched DVD with no problems, and even some XVIDs (though I have to use VLC, as BSPlayer will desync after a while)
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