Advice buying a laptop

  Llwydyn 20:45 11 Jun 2003

We have decided to invest in a laptop which will be used mainly at home as a third computer to be used with most applications (including cad) and also be able to access our existing LAN 802.11b. Have received a lot of advice from experienced friends - the only common suggestion seems to be to opt for a 15" screen - advice regarding other components seem to vary - ie Athlon/Pentium4/PentiumM CPU?, 256/512 RAM? WinXP home or professional? We would prefer to keep price as low as possible, but are prepared to pay at most £1200 if really need to. Do laptop monitors vary in clarity? We saw a Compact Presario 2138 (approx £799) at Currys - the monitor appeared to be very clear compared to some models we saw elswhere - or could it be the light? Any advice / experience would be greatly appreciated.

  bda72 20:58 11 Jun 2003

Looking for first laptop myself try here click here they have the best price for what i'm looking for so far. Good luck with your search, I know a fair bit about desktops but laptops are a minefield and very confusing hunting for your ideal buy.

  Llwydyn 22:25 11 Jun 2003

Thanks bda72 - I totally agree with your views. Have just received an email from Watford Electronics regarding what appears to be a very good laptop offer:
Compaq Evo N1015V XP2000+ 40Gb 256Mb 15"TFT WinXPPro - £781.38 Incl. VAT

  Monitor Master 22:49 11 Jun 2003

I have found what i think it the same laptop a bit cheaper £762.57 inc VAT click here - Evo N1015v AMD A2000+ 256/40GB 15TFT DVD/CD-RW XPp

My friend has a model this one and he has been very happy with it click here - Evo N1015v AMD Athlon XP 2000+ 256MB 30GB DVD XP Pro - inc VAT £675.62

I have an 18month Sony Vaio which i have been very pleased with for a newer sony click here - Vaio FR215E AMD2000+XP 256/40G CD-RW/DVD 15"TFT - inc VAT £938.82 or Vaio FX902P AMD1600+ 256/20G CD-RW/DVD 14.1" TFT - click here - 821.32 inc VAT - PLEASE NOTE i don't have either of these models and can therefore not recomend them but i am please with my sony vaio laptop.

Hope this helps


  caast ©™ 23:07 11 Jun 2003

We have decided to invest in a laptop which will be used mainly at home as a third computer to be used with most applications

Would not want to throw a spanner in the works but if you plan to use mainly at home why are you considering a laptop. You will find as time goes buy you are limited to what you have got and upgrading limited.

Just a thought but if you don't intend using it to take to work with you etc you may find you are better of investing in a Desktop with better specs that is also capable of being upgraded should the need arise. (which I am sure will happen sooner rather than later)

This is just a personal thought but one which you might consider before making a purchase

  PA28 23:23 11 Jun 2003

Having bought a laptop last year I would now only look at 3 factors (price and spec' apart that is!):- Weight, Battery endurance, and quality of keyboard. Add display if you like, but I don't thinks there's a lot of difference these days.

Mine is heavier than I'd like, therefore it doesn't get half the use it could do. The battery will only last about an hour and a bit (despite what it's supposed to do - I find this a bit akin to printer speeds and how long ink cartridges should last!) and are heavy - therefore if I'm out on the train for the day (an ideal environment for laptop use) there's a risk that I will have a dead breezeblock weight to carry round for half the time. Consequently I tend not to take it with me!

For home use - well I don't use it as the desktop is so much better and easier. Desktops are cheaper and easier to upgrade too!

  Djohn 23:27 11 Jun 2003

approx. four weeks back from PC World, Agree with what you say regarding the display, excellent, very clear, and deep colours.

Came with XP Home installed and works suite, also a restore disk. But more important, it also came with a separate CD of XP home and CD's for all drivers and programs as well.

P4 2.8 CPU It's very fast to boot-up and run programs/games/movies. I would certainly regard it as a replacement for a desktop. j.

  wee eddie 19:10 12 Jun 2003

of using a laptop, is the short amount of time one has available. Mine usually gets about an hour to an hour and a half, but this is not nearly enough for 90% of the things I need to complete while I'm on the move.

They say that the Centrino machines are getting up to 4 hours or more. That should allow you to have the laptop turned on throughout a meeting.

If you carry in the hand, then weight is a consideration. If you use a Back Pack, the weight becomes considerably less important.

Screen Size and Quality. Get the least size (but good contrast which allows you to see it in bright sunlight is important too) suitable for your needs on the move and make sure that you have a decent spare screen at home.

  Llwydyn 19:26 12 Jun 2003

Thanks all for your valuable comments - I very nearly went for a Sony Vaio a few weeks ago, ie until a friend suggested another manufacturer with better specs for the same price! Dabs seems to be a very good supplier of Laptops.
The reason we want a laptop is because our work dictates that sometimes we need to work where it is quiet, sometimes we need the large dining room table and occasionally we may need to take it to work.
Have also just received what appear to be very good offers from Europc for refurbished Dell Latitudes (C840 Only £899). Are Dell Latitudes better suited for networking / business use than the Inspirons?
One other point - how do I create hyperlinks for the "blue coloured click here" links?

  PA28 21:45 12 Jun 2003

On your last point just type in the address on your response - the PCA web site will do the rest and create the "click here" bit. Try it - it works!

  Llwydyn 00:17 13 Jun 2003

Thanks PA28 - shall have a try for the offer I received for refurbished Latitudes from click here

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