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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The memsahib would like a laptop for Christmas, but is willing to hold out for the January sales. As a confirmed computer numpty, I need your help as to which laptop. Emails and free online games are what keeps her out of my kitchen ! I've got no idea where to start. Over to you peeps. :gl Cheers, Tony.
 

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whatever Mac you can afford. They are the DBs I think. I've had mine for about 4 years and not a single problem. Our desktop Mac the same. Had that for 6 years too. Again no problems. They are a bit more expensive but we've had the cheaper lap tops and desk top computers and not one of them lasted 3 years let alone 6!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Am I wrong or is the big divide Mac or P.C. ? If this is so then I/we would prefer to stick with P.C.

Thanks carjac 123 but that is toooo much information. I was hoping for a particular recommendation of a model and make rather than a site. :ILU: Cheers, Tony.
 

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Got a good deal at comet on a HP. Didn't cost the earth but you do need to gauge your budget and stick to it:) I would love a mac but everything we do is pc orientated.
 

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i rate sony TBH . have a look at their website . i spent 1200 quid on mine. i7 processor , 8gig ram, blueray writer, bla bla . its a brill machine , well happy . but will be out of date next week if not already !!

ps. plays live TV excellently with a cheep 15 quid tv dongle when camping :)
 

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asda have some good deals look for one with 2gb ram and at least 160gb hard disk better is 320gb, £300-£350 buy a good laptop nowadays for your average user. iprefer to buy a cheaper laptop and use that for a few years then buy another when its worn out not worth paying loads £500+ as it will be out of date and are over the top for most users
 

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I would advise staying away from Dell. Although the deals can look good they fall apart. I have had 2 and the first one died after 2 years and the one i use now i had to rebuild after a year. The screws that hold them together fall out the bottom too.
 

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I bought a 15.6 Dell XPS L502X which is great for watching DVD's (when working away on contracts), fantastic sound system on it, good processor and grafic card..........love it T:
 

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The make I would be looking for would be an Acer, good quality without having to pay the extra for bling...

Also look at what gubbins are inside.... T:
 

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£500 got me a Samsung with 6gb ram , 500gb harddrive intel i5 processor 6 months ago, downside is battery life isn't great but I generally use it plugged in.
 

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With your forum name I would have thought you'd "liberate" one from somewhere*<:)>

Try e-buyer and look at LENOVO lappys (IBM) but a lot cheaper. Go for the biggest hard drive + ram that you can afford.


Rgds
Dhobi itchI:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OOOdles of thoughts and thanks for them all. Cheers, Tony.
 

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Unless you really need a laptop, I would invest in a desktop you get for better value for money. I bought a top of the range Asus laptop 3 years ago at a cost of £1700 and it is now scrap. I bought 3 Acers at the same time for about the same price (for 3) and although they still work, two of them have cracked screen supports. I also bought a small netbook that was a waste of space, a Sony laptop about 6 years ago thats still going (really slow) and a Toshiba laptop that is very very slow.

If you need it to be mobile have you considered an Ipad, they are brilliant for most things you would need a laptop for and the battery life is so much better.
 

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there are tonnes of deals, almost every where you look because it's high redundancy equipment, gets updated/upgraded so fast. Browse the obvious sites aswell as misco, dabs, europc.co.uk, morgancomputers.co.uk etc even ebay. You'll have to familiarise yourself with processor speed/RAM/Disk drive/graphics card/interfaces.

Surprisingly decent laptops start at £350 and go all the way to £1500, so you have to know how you're going to use it. Desktops are still an option and are typically cheaper than corresponding spec laptop.

There's some very very cheap desktops aswell as awesome looking [ even touchscreen] desktops now, and the imac is just gorgeous with lovely large screens so don't write them off unless you have to have a laptop for portability / putting it away.

Obviously, you need a desk to put it on and can't use it on the couch but you can even go water cooled!!!!! They are under rated these days for what you get, particularly large brilliant screens, but most people don't want them 'out' / taking up a table top and prefer portability/connect to the tv anyhow.

I'm guessing neither of you are real gaming buffs otherwise you wouldn't be asking, but if you've noticed a less than great gaming experience then you need to make sure you spec up this time to avoid that.

If you go for a Mac then make sure the software you like using runs ok on it. So much stuff was traditionally written for the pc, but that is far less the case these days.

- So decide on budget.
that will almost certainly dictate how fast a processor you get (and how much L2 cache it comes with). Intel's processors are i3, i5 and i7 going up in speed and price. AMD processors are also very good. Browse and compare price points, you'll soon get the idea.

- Bus speed (FSB). worth getting a number near or over 1000. Again most are.

- see what software is included. Microsoft office is surprisingly costly but you can just download open office for free and it's fine.

- You want minimum 2Gb memory (RAM) if you're going as cheap as, but commonly you'll get 3-8Gb these days. The more you do on the machine beyond normal browsing/word processing/spread sheet work, the more you'll want. Again if you're a real graphics/gaming hog, then you probably won't be happy with less than 8Gb, but you'd know this.

- Note there's a choice of graphics cards, again if you're into heavy graphics usage stuff (3D for example).

- 3D available aswell now!! Pricey!

- hard disk size: expensive lightweight laptops have solid state disks these days but with far less capacity. Depends on you're storage needs but varies from 320Gb - 768Gb. Speed of the drive is also significant, likely will be at least 5200rpm (which is fine).

A slow processor and slow disk drive can give a slow machine which used to be a problem with expensive cute laptops (eg super light ones).
Again compare price points.

If you store important/mustn't lose things, then you should buy a separate NAS box to attach to your router or a unit to attach direct to your pc with mirrored drives in it (1gb upwards). Rely on such a device and worry less about the capacity on your laptop.

- interfaces: what plugs in to the laptop. Pretty well catered for these days. You should probably make sure it has an hdmi port. If you watch a movie on it piped through to say your tv/external monitor, this lets you transmit hi def and sound in one connection.

- screen type. They all have one. Get a good one. It's what you look at all day.

- integral dvd read/write (if you need it).
- wireless lan and bluetooth (pretty standard these days).
- battery life. If this is important then spec it. Most will give you 4 hrs (when new), but you can get bigger batteries. Not particularly cheap bought separately.

- common good brands, acer, hp, lenovo, sony, and a load more of them !! Acer very well made, consistently great value. Sony typically sexy and more expensive. Lots of people diss dell and toshiba.

There's also great reviews on the web comparing laptops in price brackets (eg on Cnet, just google reviews).
 

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Have a 17 inch screen HP Pavilion Entertainment Wireless Internet PC Laptop. Now 3 years old and no snags. Has Blue Ray play/record, card reader, built in Altec Lansing speakers. I'm running Vista.

Would suggest you note down what you wish the machine to do. Apart from what's inside what size do you wish. With a 17 inch screen the keyboard has a built in keypad to the right, which if using a lot of calculations would be an advantage

Is it to be a work type station, ie word, publisher, powerpoint etc.
OR
The above plus gaming machine.

What system do you wish to run etc.

The two have different starting places ref cost that increase with what gizmo's you shove in them.

Missus had a Dell for her pre-school with which we were not impressed, whilst I have this HP which has a score of 5.0 as an average.

List below is taken from Windows Help, so when buying might help to ask what the Window Experience Index of the laptop is?

What is the Windows Experience Index?

The Windows Experience Index measures the capability of your computer's hardware and software configuration and expresses this measurement as a number called a base score. A higher base score generally means that your computer will perform better and faster than a computer with a lower base score, especially when performing more advanced and resource-intensive tasks.

Each hardware component receives an individual subscore. Your computer's base score is determined by the lowest subscore. For example, if the lowest subscore of an individual hardware component is 2.6, then the base score is 2.6. The base score is not an average of the combined subscores............

A computer with a base score of 1 or 2 usually has sufficient performance to do most general computing tasks, such as run office productivity applications and search the Internet. However, a computer with this base score is generally not powerful enough to run Windows Aero, or the advanced multimedia experiences that are available with Windows Vista.

A computer with a base score of 3 is able to run Windows Aero and many new features of Windows Vista at a basic level. Some of the new Windows Vista advanced features might not have all of their functionality available. For example, a machine with a base score of 3 can display the Windows Vista theme at a resolution of 1280 × 1024, but might struggle to run the theme on multiple monitors. Or, it can play digital TV content but might struggle to play High Definition Television (HDTV) content.

A computer with a base score of 4 or 5 is able to run all new features of Windows Vista with full functionality, and it is able to support high-end, graphics-intensive experiences, such as multiplayer and 3‑D gaming and recording and playback of HDTV content. Computers with a base score of 5 were the highest performing computers available when Windows Vista was released.

The Windows Experience Index is designed to accommodate advances in computer technology. As hardware speed and performance improves, higher base scores will be introduced. However, the standards for each level of the index stay the same. For example, a computer scored as a 2.8 should remain a 2.8 unless you decide to upgrade the computer's hardware.

If a particular program or Windows Vista experience requires a higher score than your base score, you can upgrade your hardware to meet the necessary base score. If you install new hardware and want to see if you score has changed, click Update my score. To view details about the hardware on your computer, click View and print details.

About your computer's subscore
The subscores are the result of tests run on the RAM, CPU, hard disk, general desktop graphics, and 3‑D gaming graphics hardware components of your computer. If your base score is not sufficient for a program or Windows Vista experience, you can use the subscores to help you figure out which components you need to upgrade.

The base score is a good indicator of how your computer will perform generally. The subscores can help you understand your computer's level of performance for specific experiences:

Office productivity. If you use your computer almost exclusively for office productivity experiences, such as word processing, spreadsheets, e‑mail, and web browsing, then high subscores in the CPU and memory categories are important. Subscores of 2.0 or higher are usually sufficient in the hard disk, desktop graphics, and 3‑D graphics categories.

Gaming and graphic-intensive programs. If you use your computer for games or programs that are graphic-intensive, such as digital video editing applications or realistic first-person games, then high subscores in the RAM, desktop graphics, and 3‑D gaming graphics categories are important. Subscores of 3.0 or higher are usually sufficient in the CPU and hard disk categories.

Media Center experience. If you use your computer as a media center for advanced multimedia experiences such as recording HDTV programming, then high subscores in the CPU, hard disk, and desktop graphics categories are important. Subscores of 3.0 or higher are usually sufficient in the memory and 3‑D graphics categories.


Hope of some use, unless of course, you've fallen asleep already. T:
 

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Last couple of laptops here came from Dixons Online and were refurbs at a fraction of the new price .

Same with herselfs I Pad that came from Apple's own online refurb store.
 
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