Budget laptop choice

  Aspman 14:36 06 Mar 2007

Having some trouble choosing a budget laptop.
I'm not a power user, the laptop will be used for office work, a little bit of photoshop and a few older games (CSS, Freelancer).

My desktop is a few years old now, Athlon 3000+, 1Gb ram, GeForce FX5200 and I'd like broadly similar performance assuming that the advances in processors will allow this for budget money.

I have a few laptops I've found but my main issue is with dedicated gfx Vs onboard considering my gaming needs are not great.

I've looked at a Dell Inspiron 6400 with
Core Duo 2060
1Gb Ram
ATI X1400
120Gb HD
Vista Pro

For £500. I've had dealings with Dell in the past and had recent reports from friends that they are (still) a pain to buy from never mind dealing with support. So that puts me off. Also the CPU is a 32bit only, but what difference does this make with Vista really.

On the flip side are a couple of HPs. They have some cash back incentives and are both cheaper than the Dell after rebate.

HP with
80Gb HD
ATI Xpress 1150
15" screen
XP-Pro with a free upgrade to Vista Business

For £440

Or for £488 I get the above but with A TL-60, 1Gb ram and no Vista upgrade.
Both the HPs memory use single slots only making upgrading cheaper

Not sure how big a deal the free upgrade is when I could wangle an OEM copy for £60.

So I'm canvassing opinions. IF the Xpress 1150 will handle older games and Aero fine I'm edging towards the Hp with the TL-60 (the difference in price covers the memory almost itself to the CPU upgrade is essentially free).


  simon_lambert 15:20 06 Mar 2007

second machine sounds better. I don't think it is crucial to have Vista yet, so get the second machine with the upgraded RAM. When you actually need Vista, it will be a hell of a lot cheaper, reliable, and there will be loads more support for it.

Or check out this laptop:

here are the specs for just over £400:

* AMD Sempron 3500+ - 1.8GHz, 128KB L2 Cache Processor
* 1 x 1024MB DDR2-533MHz
* 80GB Hard Drive
* 15.0" TFT Screen
* DVD±RW Optical Drive
* Integrated Graphics
* 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN
* 1 Year Warranty
* Biometric Fingerprint Reader
* PCMCIA Type II Slot
* Windows XP Professional Edition - Free upgrade to Vista Business

This is a top computer laptop, you get Vista (if you want it of course) good memory, optical drive and processor. It cuts corners on the graphics, but will handle your older games nicely. My sis just bought it for uni and it is a superb machine for the money.

click here

Hope that helps :)

  Aspman 15:57 06 Mar 2007

Ta Simon.

Yeah I did see that one. I think for the extra £88 the second machine I listed is better. HP business laptops seem to have a good rep for build quality and chassis strength.

....waits patiently on the doomsayer who had a bad HP......

  CodenameCueball 16:47 06 Mar 2007

try this
click here

looks quite good but has no vista upgrade.

  Aspman 14:14 07 Mar 2007

Thanks but I was looking for something new.

I've ordered an HP but further up the range the HP Compaq 6325 with the TL-60 CPU, 1Gb ram and a XGA+ screen.

It was £582 but HP was offering £100 cash back on it.

Thanks all.

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