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new laptop specs - could someone help me undertand please

bubbalicious
Grafter
Posts: 174
Registered: 26-09-2007

new laptop specs - could someone help me undertand please

My Sony Vaio laptop has just been written off by my extended warranty company after it only being with me for 6days out of the last 11 weeks and a host of hardware failures in that time. Now I need to select a replacement. It has to come from a certain high street shop/website and having looked at what is available to meet the specs of my sony I am  a little confused and seem to be quite limited!
The specs need to be 15-16" screen, dedicated graphics and blu ray! i think I will need to comprimise on the blu ray but what I was hoping someone could help me get my head around a copule of things!
a) Some models are saying they come with Windows Vista but you can have a free upgrade to wndows 7! With Vista I thought it meant I had to have 2 drives and that 7 doesn't need them - will it make any difference to me as a user buying a vista laptop that will then be upgraded? I had Vista and wasn't wonderfully impressed so do want the Windows 7 (or even back to XP)
b)Secondly regarding the processor, is there much difference between the Dual Core 2 Duo 2.13ghz and the i3-330M 2.13ghz processor -
c) The screens  - how will I know whether they are the 'glass appearance' or the matt type. The website only tells me the screen size
d) does processor, operating system etc make any difference to battery time/life?Huh
My 'needs' only give me the choice of a few models, a couple of Sony, 1 model Toshiba, I model HP and 6 Acer's.
A few years ago I was told Acer weren't the best models to go for but what I see on the website are a lot of high spec models with prices to match, but then this Sony has been a complete mess, i've never owned an HP and the new toshiba looks lovely but I know looks aren't everything! I really don't know how I should choose! If all the insides are intel, nvidia etc does it really matter what the outer model is? i've read so much on the models, have reams of printed reviews on what I thought would fit what I want but i have confused myself even more and there are so many 'review' sites that seem to differ in opinion is there a way of knowing which review sites I should be looking at and are maybe more impartial than others?
I want to try and make the right decision for the right reason - not because it looks nice, has the brand name etc and any pointers to my questions would be fabulous please.
Thanks as always  Kiss
3 REPLIES
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,864
Thanks: 252
Fixes: 10
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: new laptop specs - could someone help me undertand please

Actually, you didm't make use of your extended warranty - it's worth trying to reclaim all that money!
It wasn't "of merchantable quality" when you bought it.
The replacement doesn't have to come from a certain shop - you can ask for your money back.
Personally, I've found that the 2 year guarantee (no nonsense about extended warranties) offered - free - by John Lewis to be good for the only two laptops I've ever bought.
I've never needed to claim on it, yet, though. Smiley

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,854
Thanks: 121
Fixes: 24
Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: new laptop specs - could someone help me undertand please

  • I don't see the point of Blu-Ray unless you also get an HDMI output.  The sound quality of a laptop will never be good enough to render a Blu-Ray movie well, nor will the screen resolution be high enough to render all the visual detail.  But I suppose you could use it as a substitute for a Blu-Ray disk player if you sent the output to a large screen and superior sound system.

  • Anything that comes with Windows Vista is old stock.  The 'free' upgrade offers to Windows 7 are expiring now, so you might be too late.  And 'free' means quite a lot of hassle and a handling charge of up to £30!!

  • This link should compare the two processors http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=37262,47663, .  The second (newer) one seems to have a changed technology for the data bus.  I'm sure somewhere on the Intel web site they will be eager to tell you all about this.

  • Acer do not have a good reputation for build quality or robustness of their machines.  Personally I think Toshiba frequently offers good value for money but as your first choice was a Vaio perhaps value for money is not a consideration?
  •  
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bubbalicious
Grafter
Posts: 174
Registered: 26-09-2007

Re: new laptop specs - could someone help me undertand please

Roll eyesThanks Guys, advice was very much appreciated and having a better understanding REALLY helped choose something that would give me what I need without paying the Sony price and being 'won over' by all the wow factors I don't really need right now!
I resisted all the attempts of the sales chap to puch me to a high spec with high price to match and went for a Toshiba Satellite L500 - 1XC. seemed to give me the update to the newer processor, windows7, hdmi etc but no blu ray and resisted paying for the dedicated graphics this time (I only buy it to give my nephew access to some certain games ). 
Usually I go for the top ranges thinking they will last me a good few years but they never do so this time i went with what if it lasts me a year - 18months I will be happy but then they gave me  3years insurance for a crazy low price -including annual health checks and maintenance then  free games console & games (to make it up to my nephew) as a 'oops sorryfor all the trouble,' so think I did quite well!
thanks for giving me the confidence to use that it wasn't  'merchantable quality' -in a very nice way. So i've got a laptop, the freebies and some money in my pocket - couldn't be happier.
Now I have to wait for 24 hours whilst the battery charges before I can turn it on - I am just hoping windows 7 doesn't drive me as loopy as Vista!
Thanks so much again, it's a huge relief to know where I can come to ask the questions I need to know to make these decisions. 
You are all fab! Cheesy