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Thread: Help finding a laptop!!

  1. #1
    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Default Help finding a laptop!!

    Looking for a new laptop to replace the behemoth that has sat unused for yonks. Spent ages today looking for one to meet my requirements and I'm bu**ered if I can find one!! The choice is mind boggling.

    I want one that will do Jane for any work/reports etc. she needs to do (school related stuff as she is a teacher in private school) but also be meaty enough for me to use on location for any digital shoots - viewing files, bit of basic Photoshop if needed before I get home, copying the shoot files over and burning the RAW files to a DVD so that I go away knowing everything is backed up off the memory cards).

    I've been trying to find one with the following spec.....
    • Core 2 Duo processor - T5500/5600. Don't think I need the 7000 series and that also bumps up the price considerably.
    • 1Gb RAM minimum
    • Decent size hard disk - 80Gb+ with 5200 (or higher) spin speed.
    • Windows XP - don't want one with Vista. Will upgrade once I'm happy Vista is for me. But needs to be capable of running Vista without struggling.
    • Widescreen style monitor of 15/15.4" with good quality screen for viewing the images on.
    • DVD/CD burner
    • Wi-Fi - 802.11g preferred (obviously also with 802.11a and 802.11b)
    • Wired ethernet connection - Gigabit as opposed to 100
    • Bluetooth would be nice but not essential as it seems to significantly reduce the choice available.
    • Decent battery life
    • Not fussed about loads of bundled software - got all the software that I'd want to load up. Would rather pay the money for the hardware, and not partly towards the software.
    • Some decent security options as it will be out of the house a lot. Fingerprint scanners, smart cards, boot-up passwords - that kind of thing. Saw an HP with excellent facilities but it was lacking elsewhere.
    • Under £1000, £800-£900 preferably.
    Looking at what's out there, it's not as if I'm asking the impossible. I've come across some models that fulfil the criteria, but I have no idea how they perform/handle/how robust they are as I can't find reviews on them.

    I used dabs.com to choose the specs I wanted and it narrowed the list down to this list given the above spec (didn't specify Bluetooth).......



    I thought I'd found what I wanted with the Samsung R40, but a review on PCPro put me off as it basically said the build/screen was a bit flimsy - not really ideal.

    So, I'm stuck. Anyone had any experience of the other models on that list, or know of any others not listed that fit the bill? I was hoping to see a Sony in that list as they have cracking screens, but none came up. There was a Sony (Vaio BX396XP Core 2 Duo T5600), and others, in the list until I clicked on Vista Ready. Odd I thought as I'd have thought it would have been up to the job. Does it just mean that it hasn't been tested as hardware compatible with Vista yet?

    Head currently spinning and in need of any other input.

    D

  2. #2
    Regular Member cameraman's Avatar
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    Toshiba have a good rep, got an e-mail from Morgan computers in Birmingham today with some Toshiba bargains www.morgancomputers.co.uk

  3. #3
    Regular Member Caterman's Avatar
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    How about THIS ONE

    Lots of kit for the money and fills all your needs m8

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    Ex Vec-C Admin & Founder Bainie's Avatar
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    I have an acer, an aspire 9300 and I am very happy with it, great value for dosh ..

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    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caterman View Post
    How about THIS ONE

    Lots of kit for the money and fills all your needs m8
    Cracking find Tony!!! You don't just find cars do you!

    Seems to tick every single box - even the Bluetooth. Pulled the full spec off the Toshiba site (appears to be a new model) and it really has everything I'm after - and a bit more! Got the 7200 processor which is nice. Also has Firewire, which I forgot to mention in my initial post as a feature nice to have, but not essential.

    Thanks m8 - going to do a bit of searching for reviews, but that really does tick all the boxes!

    D

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    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Also 'half-forgot' that I can claim back the VAT on it so that brings the price to me down to around £720 - which is even better!

    Given the spec of that one, makes you wonder exactly what you get extra on laptops costing best part of £2k?!! Bigger screens obviously, and more memory/hard disk - but twice the price more?

  7. #7
    Regular Member Caterman's Avatar
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    All part of the service D

    I want to be a detective when i grow up...........

  8. #8
    Regular Member MLC's Avatar
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    My Toshiba has been great. The widescreen 17" HD display is ace! Very reliable and fast. Can't fault it!

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    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caterman View Post
    All part of the service D
    Quote Originally Posted by Caterman View Post
    I want to be a detective when i grow up...........
    You'll have a long wait then m8!!

    Been looking at various e-tailors for prices and laptopsdirect.co.uk is coming up the best at £839.97 including free shipping. But the free shipping for a laptop is a one week delivery time! Next day delivery is £14.95 so makes it £854.92. ebuyer is £851.56 inc free delivery, but I can't find what the exact delivery time is for that. A next day surcharge is £4.00 so based on that makes it £854.56 - so there's literally pennies in it.

    I've had varying experience with ebuyer - mostly down to not receiving something on time (two or three times) when I've paid for the next day delivery. But I've always got it refunded. I've never used laptopsdirect.co.uk - anyone used them?? Any opinions?? Anyone find the same machine cheaper elsewhere? It's the Tecra A8-193

    The other confusing thing is that there is/was a cashback offer going on Toshiba laptops - but with some conflicting info. Some sites said £75, others £100. Some said eligible date was up to 30th April, yet clicking on the link to the Toshiba site it said 31st March! I'll ring them tomorrow to see the deal, as it may have been extended - just not updated on the Toshiba site. If I can get £100 cashback that'd be

    Edit: Just had a thought (I know - dangerous!! ) With Jane being a teacher, she can get things at Educational prices. Anyone have any idea what the discounts are? Just wondering if it'd be cheaper to buy it in her name that way, or in my name and get the VAT back?

    D

  10. #10
    Regular Member The Doc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bainie View Post
    I have an acer, an aspire 9300 and I am very happy with it, great value for dosh ..
    Me too

    Very good laptop just get rid of Vista on it, put XP on instead. Comes with Vista license but XP drivers available for it.

    Fantastic laptop, only thing I did was stick another 1Gb memory in. Very quick, uses the AMD Turion 64 x2 processor, NVidia GeForce Go 7300 with 128Mb etc. and wireless and bluetooth.

    Approx £600 ex.... can give you a supplier to use that will get you them at a good price.

    Educational wise means you can get Photoshop and Office at a very cheap price. Have a look on Dabs.com.

    Harddisk - 160Gb
    Screen - 17Inch Windscreen - Black TFT style Vaio panel
    Network - Wifi and Gigabit Wired
    Software - Just the basics. Any laptop format anyway as much better and cleaner.

    Acer have massively improved their laptops in the last 2 years. Use them at work now over Dell and HP etc. Slimline yet very durable, seem to be well made, good components and most importantly reliable.

    HTH

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