Buying a laptop

02/03/2007 11:47 am
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I decide to get off the super bowl thread, so I'll repeat what's already been mentioned there.

Scott on 02/01/2007 @ 05:50:08 PM

I got Vista!!!!!!

Alex on 02/03/2007 @ 10:25:30 AM

Which version of Vista did you get? And does anyone else have Vista yet? Anyone buy a laptop recently? Anyone who has a laptop, what kind of video card do you have/recommend?

Jeremy on 02/03/2007 @ 11:04:22 AM

I was a Vista beta tester. It wasn't anything to write home about, though performance improved dramatically from release candidate 1 to RC2. My laptop wasn't capable of running the Aero Glass effects, so I never saw that.

Sarah has a brand new laptop. Unless you plan to really break the bank on a laptop the video card is irrelevent. You wont be gaming on it.

Sarah did get a voucher for a free copy of Vista.
2887.gifAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
02/03/2007 @ 11:48:33 AM
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What if I do want to game on it some? My PC is 5 years old and I don't really want to buy a new laptop and a new PC at the same time. I probably don't need state of the art but I guess I'm mostly wondering if anyone has used a 256mb and/or 512mb card and if they think there is much of difference.

I'm for sure getting Vista Ultimate because it's probably the last major release of Windows for a long time. I've heard they might go to more component based releases and if not it'll probably be 4 years before a new version.

I've built a laptop on 6 different websites ranging from $1900 for a Toshiba up to a beasty $3300 Alienware configuration. Also, Dell is retarded because they don't even offer a 17" laptop with a number pad on the keyboard (there may have been one under the business section but it didn't come with Vista). Fairly ridiculous.
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Alex screwed with this at 02/03/2007 11:48:52 am
newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
02/03/2007 @ 11:51:07 AM
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Also, does Sarah's new laptop have 2 GB of RAM? Cause that's what all these sites say is recommended for Vista.
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2887.gifAlex - I don't need to get steady I know just how I feel
02/03/2007 @ 11:54:57 AM
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Also I would be interested in anyone's experiences with buying something from the following websites: hp, gateway, alienware, gen-x-pc, hypersonic, toshibadirect.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
02/03/2007 @ 11:55:58 AM
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I have Vista Business

It's pretty neat. I also can't run the Aero glass effect. Everyone looks quite sleek, which is more simply visually appealing.

1 GB of RAM is what microsoft recommends, and that is what I have on my laptop.

My dell laptop has a scroll pad on the touchpad, and apparently Vista can't use it. I might need to update the drivers for my laptop
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
02/03/2007 @ 12:09:28 PM
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Maybe the 2 GBs of RAM is needed to use the Aero effect?

The scroll pad is crucial, hope you can get if fixed.
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reign_of_fire_150.jpgMicah - Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land.
02/03/2007 @ 12:45:21 PM
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I would check out Asus laptops if you want to do some gaming but don't want to throw down the cash for Alienware, etc.
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - How do you use these things?
02/03/2007 @ 01:46:59 PM
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No, that would be ridic. I have 1 gb of RAM. And, jeremy hasn't sent in for Vista Vista yet for me. But do you want that yet? Shouldn't people wait until it's been through a few rounds?emoticon
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2887.gifAlex - Ignorance is bliss to those uneducated
02/03/2007 @ 02:18:28 PM
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I thought it has been through a few rounds already, for like the last 2 years while I've been waiting for it to be released so I could buy a laptop. I'd much rather have it preinstalled than have to upgrade to it later, mostly to avoid issues like the ones that Scott is having. I think I've upgraded my PC from 2000 to ME to XP Home to XP Pro and I'm sure that's causing some issues. Once I get a laptop I want to do a clean install on my PC.

And you're both right the recommended RAM is 1 GB. But I'm still getting 2 anyway. 4 is really pricy.
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scott.jpgScott - Resident Tech Support
02/03/2007 @ 03:27:19 PM
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the Aero graphics requires a certain graphics card, not RAM
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jon.jpgJon - 2862 Posts
02/03/2007 @ 07:15:14 PM
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Oh man, I do not have proper tech (nerd) credentials to be even viewing this thread. I better slip out before anyone notices.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
02/03/2007 @ 07:38:11 PM
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Funny story, because the first thing I thought of when I saw that Jon had commented on this thread was: "Does Jon know anything about this?" Not that I think Jon is out of touch or anything, I just didn't think he had much interest/knowledge in this stuff. So it is even funnier that he pointed that out all by himself.
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2887.gifAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
02/04/2007 @ 01:19:05 PM
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I went to Best Buy to actually examine a few laptops in person, and I decided that Toshiba is not an option. The mouse buttons are like completely flat with respect to the rest of the plane of the keyboard. I just wasn't liking that. They had an HP and Gateway that were both decent looking, and Acer has a little 4 way "d-pad" on the touchpad for scrolling which was kind of cool.

What kind of screens does everyone have? I've been pricing myself with the most expensive one available on each system, usually a 17" WUXGA with 1920 x 1200 max res. The worst part of flat screens if viewing from angles, so I figured it would be worth it to get the best screen?
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8968 Posts
02/05/2007 @ 09:15:22 AM
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Sarah had a Toshiba and it was an absolute pile. emoticon

Now we have 2 HP's (and my old laptop was an HP)

The battery and hard drive died in the old one. HP sent replacements no questions asked.

The shift key fell off my "new" laptop. HP sent me an overnight kit and overnighted it back. It went somewhere in California (or was it China and "left" from Cali, I can't remember) Anyway the FedEx dude picked it up monday morning and I had it back Wednesday morning. All for a shift key. All in all I've liked HP so far.

Also if you're spending that much on a laptop then the video card does become a concern. As for the 256/512 argument just remember that the video card is pretty much the only part of the computer you're "stuck with" I got a 128 rather than 256 to save like $100 bucks and regretted it about 30 seconds after I ordered it.

When it comes to buying electronics I always try to shoot for "value" If you're already spending $2000 and another $100 will extend it's period of not being completely obsolete by quite a bit do it.

You're rarely going to be viewing your laptop from "angles" so that concern is moot. The thing I don't like about laptops now is that they figured out they can increase the viewing angle if they replace the "matte" finish on the screen with a clear shine, except that it becomes a mirror a lot.
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
02/05/2007 @ 11:11:19 PM
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I know everyone has been holding their breath for an update so I'll oblige.

I've pared it down to an HP dv9000t or a Gateway NX860XL. I'm thinking I'll get the most bang for my buck with the Gateway, but Jeremy gives props to HP and my parents have a couple month old HP that I find favorable.

Also, buying computers is really annoying because there's always something better just over the horizon. I've been waiting for Vista forever and whilst trying to read up on graphic cards I found out that DirectX10 is in the works and nVidia just made a new card to work with that. Blicky.
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Alex edited this at 02/05/2007 11:11:45 pm
jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8968 Posts
02/05/2007 @ 11:20:31 PM
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That HP is the "big brother" of the one I got for Sarah. No complaints so far.

Oh and get a Core 2 Duo.
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
02/06/2007 @ 12:27:37 AM
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4 sure on the Deuce Duo. That wasn't open to discussion.

I tried to configure them as close as possible to the same for a price compare. It's about $2100 for the Gateway and $2000 for the HP. Main differences:

The HP is way cooler looking, and from reviews I read less bulky than the Gateway. Point for HP.

The HP has a 100GB 7200rpm vs Gway's 80GB 7200rpm. It was something crazy like $100 to upgrade the Gway to a 100, certainly not worth it. Point for HP.

Gway has the option to go up to 2.16 GHz from the 2 GHz that I priced at for another $180, but I'm not too interested in that. Gway also has the option to up the res from 1680x1050 to 1900x1200 for no extra charge.

The only thing the Gway really has over the HP is the NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS Graphics w/ 256MB over the 256MB NVIDIA(R) GeForce(R) Go 7600, which is probably worth the $100 price difference.

Pretty much I'm getting the HP, but I better sleep on it. I wish they had a better graphics card option though. I could get a 512MB 7600 but I was immediately suspicious of the value of that and some forum searching suggests that it's not worth it as well.
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
02/06/2007 @ 12:32:27 AM
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Big brother as in bigger screen or more power? I always thought I'd want like a 15", but then I realized if even want to pretend to game on it I'd probably be better with 17".
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
02/06/2007 @ 07:35:13 AM
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17 inch almost makes it not a mobile laptop anymore. Just a tip.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
02/06/2007 @ 09:35:03 AM
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Mine is 17" but what really hurts it is it's weight. Sarah's new laptop weights about as much as a PDA. Mine is a modern day "luggable." It's still perfectly portable and 98% of the traveling it does is from the living room to the bedroom and back anyway.

It's the "big brother" because it's bigger and badder. Sarah can play the sims 2, but things get a bit choppy sometimes. You should be able to play games on that. CS Source runs decent on my laptop and it's pretty old.

1900x1200 is a really high resolution, but it might be approaching unusable. At some point your desktop icon are just going to be like 2 square mm.

Also, for what it's worth, the HP is a cool looking laptop.
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newalex.jpgAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
02/06/2007 @ 12:52:38 PM
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It's still a lot more mobile than a PC. I'd use it mostly for what Jeremy says he does anyway, just around the house. But it is still mobile so I can take with me for the weekend or whatever. I wouldn't be traveling with it on a daily or even weekly basis.

I think the benefit to 1900x1200 is that is the resolution of real "HD" or something like that. But I don't really care that much. Plus I'm not spending an extra $400 for an HD-DVD drive anyway.
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scott.jpgScott - On your mark...get set...Terrible!
02/06/2007 @ 01:20:56 PM
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Plus 800x600 is the best resolution anyway.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
02/06/2007 @ 01:21:27 PM
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You also wont be playing games at anywhere near that res.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - The pig says "My wife is a slut?"
02/06/2007 @ 01:28:11 PM
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By which I mean 1900x1200. I didn't know Scott was going to sneak in and make a ninja comment about 800x600.

You probably will be gaming close to that.
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scott.jpgScott - No, I did not change your screen saver settings
02/06/2007 @ 06:08:36 PM
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I'm great at knowing exactly when Jeremy is adding things to NutCan and swooping in unnoticed. emoticon
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
02/06/2007 @ 09:22:15 PM
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Jeremy, you mentioned that HP fixed some stuff for you. Did you buy extra warranty to get all that stuff covered? Their website has the 1 year limited included and then a whole bunch of options to extend.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - I hate our freedoms
02/06/2007 @ 10:49:54 PM
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No
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jon.jpgJon - 2862 Posts
02/07/2007 @ 06:22:41 PM
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to go off to that subject, what do you guys think or know about warranties?

I've rarely bought anything valuable enough to get a warranty on so I don't have much experience.
I do remember one of my high school marketing teachers talking about how he basically, if not outrightly, tells the salesperson to not even mention a warranty or the sale is off.
That's always stayed with me, even if I don't know enough to know if that's smart or not.
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jon.jpgJon - 2862 Posts
02/07/2007 @ 06:24:46 PM
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excuse this, but I just looked again at this quote from jeremy

Mine is 17" but what really hurts it is it's weight.
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8968 Posts
02/07/2007 @ 06:30:09 PM
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That's what she said?

I've known a couple people who got laptop warranties because you can get them to the point where you could film yourself backing over it with your car and proceeding to throw it down the stairs and send that video in along with the request for a new one.

I was once asked if I wanted to buy an extended warranty on a $5 cordless phone. Needless to say I jumped all over it.

The conventional wisdom is that those deals CAN be a decent deal if you actually take advantage of what you have coming. (Cleanings and whatnot)
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Jeremy perfected this at 02/07/2007 6:32:16 pm
newalex.jpgAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
02/07/2007 @ 11:20:08 PM
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Just put in my order for the HP. The estimated ship date is the 23, that's kind of long. But I'm excited anyway.
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2887.gifAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
02/25/2007 @ 10:43:09 PM
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It left Memphis late this afternoon and is scheduled for arrival on Wednesday! They sent the media remote early (which I don't know if I'll actually use, but whatever it was 20 bucks) and dropped it off without me signing for it, though I have no idea how it got into the hallway right outside my door when the entrance to the building is locked. I'm kind of hoping that will happen again. If not I may need to take vacation on Thursday or maybe just work from home till it gets here.
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2887.gifAlex - Refactor Mercilessly
02/26/2007 @ 10:07:50 PM
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Guess who's sitting on their couch right now? It's me, it's me, it's me!
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
02/26/2007 @ 11:16:50 PM
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On behalf of all of us, welcome to 2002.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
02/27/2007 @ 07:31:46 AM
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oh, I get it. He's sitting on his couch and able to post on the nut can. But why would he move his desktop to the couch? It seems like a waste. You really should get a laptop.
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Scott screwed with this at 02/27/2007 7:32:04 am
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - As Seen On The Internet
02/27/2007 @ 12:57:52 PM
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You should crack it open and write a review of it/Vista for the can.
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2887.gifAlex - I was too weak to give in Too strong to lose
02/27/2007 @ 01:11:25 PM
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Give me a week or 2 to play around with it. I will tell this story now though:

So back when I was scouting at Best Buy, some older (50sish) guy was showing his wife the Windows Flip 3D feature and saying it wasn't worth the money just for that. I was standing at the laptop next to them thinking "That's freaking awesome!". And as of yet I'm still enthralled every time I switch to that mode and scroll through all the windows for 5 minutes at a time just watching it go by.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8968 Posts
02/27/2007 @ 01:14:58 PM
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You need a girlfriend.
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scott.jpgScott - 6225 Posts
02/27/2007 @ 01:28:30 PM
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I think the Windows Flip thing is really cool. Too bad it doesn't work on my ancient, 14 month old laptop.
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - 8968 Posts
02/27/2007 @ 01:34:54 PM
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You need a....mistress?
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Super Chocolate Bear
02/28/2007 @ 11:40:52 AM
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Alex and his new laptop

Ha
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
02/28/2007 @ 06:15:37 PM
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How about a girl-stress or a ms. friend?
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hoochpage.JPGSarah - 4107 Posts
02/28/2007 @ 07:31:32 PM
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what is wrong with you?
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newalex.jpgAlex - 3618 Posts
02/28/2007 @ 07:55:56 PM
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I'm like rubber you're like glue, Boing-fwip!

I'm going to blame it on cabin fever. I can't stand winter.
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2887.gifAlex - 3618 Posts
03/18/2007 @ 05:03:44 PM
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So I ordered a remote because I didn't think one was included, but it was, so I have an extra one if somebody needs one.

Does anyone have portable speakers? Are they worthwhile?
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question_mark.gifCarlos44ec (Guest)
03/18/2007 @ 09:13:44 PM
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No
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
03/26/2007 @ 01:01:35 PM
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anyone know where a Wii is? I wanna buy it. Screw laptops.
emoticon
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Carlos44ec edited this at 03/26/2007 1:02:01 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8968 Posts
03/26/2007 @ 01:18:12 PM
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In my house!

You'll have to get a bundle

emoticon
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vignette.bmpCarlos44ec - 2078 Posts
03/26/2007 @ 03:50:48 PM
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i kinda just wanted the Wii, an extra set of controls and Zelda... maybe it is just as good to get a bundle
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jeremy.jpgJeremy - Pie Racist
03/26/2007 @ 03:59:33 PM
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Zelda is a "must get" Rayman is fun. We Own Trauma Center, Monkey Ball, and Elebits. All are decent.

I'd get the bundle with rayman in it. In fact depending on if your local game stop wants to be jerks or not you can sometimes return the individual games.

The Wii memory card is more expensive then a "non official" (but identical) SD card.

The extra controllers are a "write off" because you'd almost assuredly get those anyway.
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Jeremy screwed with this at 03/26/2007 4:03:01 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - Cube Phenomenoligist
03/26/2007 @ 04:16:06 PM
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It other words: You're looking at an extra $120 over what you'd probably get anyway, and you might be able to take the games back. (Or perhaps exchange them for other games)

Walmart took back the games we didn't want (and got in a gamestop bundle) no questions asked. (For store credit, though in America store credit at Walmart is basically cash. If nothing else go grocery shopping there once and it's money out of one pocket and into the other)

Edit: We took them back right after X-Mas, so they might have been more apt to buy the "no receipt" excuse. I really don't think they care.
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Jeremy edited this at 03/26/2007 4:18:11 pm
face.bmpCarlos44ec - What the F@#$ am I being arrested fo?
03/26/2007 @ 04:26:28 PM
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you can take a used item in a black trash bag to walmart, no questions... They used to try that at Sears

Edit- Jeremy, do you currently have a surplus on "quotation marks"?
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Carlos44ec perfected this 2 times, last at 03/26/2007 4:28:34 pm
fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8968 Posts
03/26/2007 @ 04:29:29 PM
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Ha. I felt kind of guilty, but it's not like they can't just go put it on the shelves and sell it.

Edit: Maybe I don't "smell good." Maybe I don%u2019t "shower daily." Or "ever." Maybe I do "frighten small children."
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Jeremy messed with this at 03/26/2007 4:32:47 pm
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