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New Laptop

Community Veteran
Posts: 8,528
Thanks: 939
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Registered: 02-08-2007

New Laptop

I am looking to get a laptop for SHMBO as I am always hugging the desktop computer to myself. or so I am told.
Thing is i do not know the first thing about laptops as I have never really wanted one so any advice would be helpful.
The main criteria is that it is reliable with a 1 or 2 year warranty.
It would be mainly used for searching the internet, e-mails and storing a few photographs......nothing fancy on it like photoshop or other programs requiring a lot of computing power. Built in wi-fi would be required.
Can anyone recommend a specific make, a good place to purchase from and the rough cost.
Thanks
23 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: New Laptop

you can even get a three year  free return to base with Lidl and Aldi Medium machines.
the wife uses a XP netbook for just that purpose, cost me just over £200 over a year ago, WiFi, ethernet, 3 USB, plays Videos 300G hard disk, no dvd, but got a cheap USB plug in, only trouble is the screen res
She is currently doing an interactive Craft course based in the US at the moment
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,997
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: New Laptop

The question you must ask is do you want a netbook or a proper laptop?
Personally I'd recommend that you get a widescreen (16:9) device - although I think most of them are, nowadays anyhow.
Only ever bought two laptops and I went to John Lewis (2 year guarantee) and none of this return to base stuff.
Range quite limited though.

Community Veteran
Posts: 17,785
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: New Laptop

Have a look at this.....
http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/inspiron-15r?c=uk&l=en&s=dhs&cid=TS_i...
on the "order form" you specify what "extras" or not that you want...
delivery will be probably be in two to three weeks...
(I have had two Dell Inspiron laptops and no problems to need sending them back....)
.
MrT
Grafter
Posts: 379
Registered: 30-06-2010

Re: New Laptop

I bought a Dell Inspiron 5 years ago. It has been quite heavily used and has always been reliable. It would meet your spec in full. Go for it!  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,385
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: New Laptop

I got a small Toshiba NB200-10G netbook and while its not as big or powerful as many of its laptop relatives and doesn't have an optical drive etc, I've found it to be very useful, small, portable and convenient. It comes bundled with Toshiba's configfree software which lets you store profiles for network settings and then switch between them when needed. Very nice bit of kit even though the keyboard could do be tad larger.
Small pic of it here:

It has 3 usb sockets, 1 Wired Lan socket, WiFi, external monitor socket etc.
The only weak point with these is that unlike other netbooks it doesn't have a SSD. It has a normal hard drive with moving parts which isn't great if you accidentally drop it. For the price of £200 +/- it's still pretty good though. I love mine to bits and whenever we go anywhere a long way from home it always comes with us along with the 3G dongle.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 8,528
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: New Laptop

Thanks for the responses as these have given me something to work on along with the point of getting a netbook instead of a laptop.
Must admit I am leaning towards the dell.
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,997
Thanks: 265
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: New Laptop

Much cheaper - but is it up to playing iPlayer programmes?

pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: New Laptop

the latest ones are Win 7, SWMBO has XP and that can watch iPlayer, but dont think that was in the list of requirements
Quote
It would be mainly used for searching the internet, e-mails and storing a few photographs......nothing fancy on it like photoshop or other programs requiring a lot of computing power. Built in wi-fi would be required.
MrT
Grafter
Posts: 379
Registered: 30-06-2010

Re: New Laptop

My Dell Inspiron runs iPlayer fine. I also use Photoshop Elements - that's a bit slow but is quite acceptable.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,785
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: New Laptop

Quote from: A
Much cheaper - but is it up to playing iPlayer programmes?

The basic (cheapo cheapo) version can be "personalized" during the order process on line, to meet the spec you require....
On line orders are "built to customer requirements" (even the basic version) unlike the "offerings" of Dell you find in places like PCworld....
I suspect the PCworld offerings are a production line of all the "unused" spec parts that Dell had made, but never actually needed.......
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: New Laptop

just got an e-mail flyer for this one, ideal for your needs
http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/shop/detail.asp?ProductID=6505
[£183.29 ex VAT]
[£219.95 inc VAT]
HP Mini 110 netbook bundle - 4316

Quote
Operating system: Genuine Windows® 7 Starter
Processor: Intel Atom Processor N270 1.60 GHz, Level 2 cache 512 KB
Memory: 1024 MB (1 x 1024 MB)Supports up to 1 GB DDR2 memory
Storage: 250 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 5400 rpm up to 12 GB partition for system recovery
5-in-1 integrated Digital Media Reader for Secure Digital cards, MultiMedia cards, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, or xD Picture cards
Mobile entertainment: Webcam with Integrated Digital Microphone

Quote
Bundle includes:
HP Mini 110 netbook
Somertek external DVD drive (new)
Tech Air laptop sleeve (new)
USB mouse (new)
Not applicable

Re: New Laptop

Those notebooks have very small screens and if she is going to use it a fair bit (which she probably will) it might not be too comfortable. I had the impression that they were mainly for  folk who want to carry them around.
A minimum or 15 screen is best IMO.  Mine's a Sony with two year warranty and some good deals can be had at Laptops Direct.  However, I agree about the Dell refurbs as have had one and found it to be OK.  Also, you do get the operating system disk which is a big bonus if you need to reinstall (well, at least I did).
With this Sony I had to back up with two DVDs at first boot up (although there is a recovery partition) which you have to do with most of the lappies nowadays. 
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,385
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Re: New Laptop

I know some prefer larger screens but I'd like to say that while I also like a large screen my main desktop PC uses 17" only. My netbook is 10.2 and if I'm honest I can't really fault it. It does get a bit tight sometimes for programming and debugging etc but there is a 2nd monitor socket on it.
The real downside to a netbook (and this applies to laptops too) is the track pad. They're cool gadgets being touch tech but I've still yet to find one that I truly like and can get along with. For that reason I always carry a small usb mouse just in case I need to do some heavy duty stuff but for things like email, a bit of general web usage and word processing the track pad is fine.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: New Laptop

I used to use a clip on roller ball on my laptop but unfortunately they stopped making them