Chosing a Laptop

  karendallimore 19:31 26 Dec 2009

Hi there, I'm about to buy a laptop and I'm hoping for a bit of friendly advice.

I'm looking at Dell, i know a lot of people have problems with Dell, but I've had a Dimension desk top for years and its been fine. The laptop that I'm looking at is the Inspiron 17".

I'm a bit confused about the processer, I want to know that the laptop will be as fast as the desktop, the laptop does have duel core, but the figure marked in GHz is less than what I have on my desktop, but my desktop is a Pentium 4, so is it right to compare the GHz?

Sorry if this doesn't make too much sense, see - told you I needed some advice! lol

Here's what I have:

ProcessorIntel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.80GHzProcessor Speed2.73 GHzMemory (RAM)512 MBOperating SystemMicrosoft Windows XP Home EditionOperating System Version5.1.2600

Heres what I'm thinking of buying:

COLOUR CHOICEObsidian Black colour with custom high-gloss finisheditPROCESSORIntel® Pentium® Dual-Core Processor T4300 (2.1GHz, 800MHz, 1MB cache)editOPERATING SYSTEMGenuine Windows® 7 Home Premium 64bit- EnglisheditOFFICE SOFTWAREMicrosoft® Works 9.0 / English - (Does not include Microsoft® Word)editHARDWARE SUPPORT 1 year of coverage included with your PCeditSECURITY SOFTWAREMcAfee® Security Centre - 15 Month Protection - EnglisheditPROTECT YOUR DATADataSafe Online Backup 2GB 1 yeareditTHEFT PROTECTION SOLUTIONFailSafe® Theft Protection - track and protect lost or stolen laptops - 30 days free trialeditLCD17.3" WLED High Definition + (1600 x 900) TFT Display with TrueLife™editMEMORY4096MB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x2048]editHARD DRIVE500GB (5400RPM) Serial ATA Hard DriveeditGRAPHICS CARDIntel Integrated GMA 4500MHDeditOPTICAL DRIVEDVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD)editPRIMARY

I can upgrade on the processor if need be, I just want to know that it won't be slower than what I have already

Any advice would be great


Karen x

  jamesd1981 20:13 26 Dec 2009

hi karen id say looking at your specs the processor in the laptop is a bit slower but it has alot more ram which should make up for the diff its the exact same processor in my acer laptop and its fast enough to get a laptop to be as fast as desktop you would have to have your laptop a higher spec as if you take a laptop and desktop with an identical spec the desktop wull always be slightly faster as laptops were never designed to be a main pc just an on the go inbtwn. can i ask how the dell your looking at is costing ?

  karendallimore 20:30 26 Dec 2009

Hi James, thanks for replying. The dell laptop is on sale at the moment so i thought it was quite reasonable as the memory is specially high for the offer. Loving the January sales!! Its priced at 450, give or take a penny.
So, do you think it will not be noticably slower than what I'm used to?

  jamesd1981 20:57 26 Dec 2009

not really i have a very high performance desktop which i built myself and the laptop i just bought is an acer as i said it has the exact cpu as the dell ur looking at and has 3gb ram and on general usage you dont notice a difference its only when you do high power things like play games or copy multiple files or do alot of video work or copy dvds that you notice its slower i think you would be quite happy with the performace of the laptop sounds fine but before you buy have a look in currys the one ive just bought is on sale too its an acer aspire 5738z has exact cpu as the dell 3gb ram 250gb hard drive 15.6 inch high def lcd screen win 7 64 bit 4 usb ports, ethernet, vga, and hdmi to connect to big lcd tv and its only £400

  GaT7 21:55 26 Dec 2009

karendallimore, is this the one you've gone for click here?

Looks good for the money, but the one thing that concerns me is the presence of a TrueLife screen - good quality, glossy display but can be too reflective for some.

Do you play any 3D games on your laptop? Not Windows' own, but thinking of third-party games like SIMS.

jamesd1981, note that it appears to be a 17" laptop, while your Acer is 15". It also has double the amount of hard drive space & 1Gb more RAM:

'17.3" WLED High Definition + (1600 x 900) TFT Display with TrueLife™'

'500GB (5400RPM) Serial ATA Hard Drive' (Get Free Hard Drive Upgrade to 500GB until 30/12/2009)

'4096MB 800MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x2048]'

I would be quite happy to pay £50 extra for the above, wouldn't you? G

  GaT7 22:03 26 Dec 2009

"I can upgrade on the processor if need be, I just want to know that it won't be slower than what I have already"

Don't worry it will be fine. Looks like your desktop has a single-core CPU, while the Dell has a dual-core (as do the majority of laptops these days). I think WinXP is quicker than Win7 & may even feel this way despite the Dell's good spec.

It will also help if you can let us know what you will be using the laptop for. G

  karendallimore 22:45 26 Dec 2009

Thanks everyone for the replies, they're really useful. G, yes that is the laptop that I was looking at, i thought it sounded like a good deal but I wanted to check with someone who'd know.

I didn't want to spend a good few hundred pounds and end up with not much to show for it! I'm glad to hear that you think its worth the money.

I'll be using it for general browsing, email etc plus lots of music, video downloading.

Do you think its suitable for that sort of use?

Ideally, I'd like to get rid of my desktop pc altogether. If this laptop can do everything and more than my desk top can do.

I think I will buy it while they have the offer on then - only thing left to decide is the colour!

  GaT7 23:01 26 Dec 2009

Should be absolutely fine for what you'll be using it for.

However, note my concern regarding the glossy, reflective screen. It's one of those things you can either love or hate - if it doesn't concern you at this time, let's hope it's the former when you get to experience it firsthand! G

  karendallimore 23:07 26 Dec 2009

I hope i love it !! Thanks for the warning though, I think PC World stock some dells, i might pop in and see how glossy it is.

  karendallimore 23:16 26 Dec 2009

One last question though, G - would you recommend any of the upgrade options on memory or processer? If i want it to last me a few years, is it better to pay a bit more now?

If you were getting it for yourself, would you go for a better option on memory, for example?

  GaT7 23:29 26 Dec 2009

No, I wouldn't go for more memory or a better CPU unless I was using it for something that might benefit by it - like video-editing for example.

Good idea to have a look at a TrueLife screen in person. Note that all Dell laptops don't have this type of screen, so specifically ask to view one with it. G

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