Identify a laptop

  johndrew 15:33 07 Aug 2006

My daughter is in the market for a laptop. I am advised, `it should not be too heavy and should cost less than £700`.

What she really need is a laptop with a large HDD (100GB ish), at least 512MB of RAM, a decent screen (at least 15 inch), a good spec DVD+/-RW, 2 x USB 2.0 (at minimum) and be reliable - a 2 year warranty would be nice. She will probably connect to an ADSL internet connection.

Oh yes, and from my knowledge of use in London, it may well help if there is a level of impact resistance available!!

I have little knowledge of laptops other than they open up, so anyone who uses one that (kind of) fits this spec and has either good or bad experieces would be able to provide data that would help.

Many thanks in anticipation.

  Woolwell 16:26 07 Aug 2006

What does she want to use it for?

Does she need software and is this part of the budget?

Does she need good battery life?

You will not get a ruggedised laptop at that price. Get a good well padded carry case instead.

I think that you may struggle to get more than 80Gb of HD below £700. 512Mb of RAM is the minimum to accept and you should get a good screen at that price.

If there is a risk of damage then I would want the extended warranty.

Have a look at the Dell 6400
click here

or an Acer
click here

There will be other brands too including Novatech.

  johndrew 19:58 07 Aug 2006

Thanks for responding.

It will be for general use; letters, accounts, e-mail, some browsing for purchases/holidays/etc.

For software she is buying the `Works` package or going for open office. Hopefully XP Home/Pro will be either pre-loaded or supplied with.

Battery life is always a question. Provided she gets at least an hour between charges little problem. More important is battery reliability, but then .....

When I said, `..a level of impact resistance..` it was a note that some laptops (as I understand it) are more prone to `travel damage` than others. I accept a good padded case is essential and would be an extra unless she is very lucky.

What she will do about insurance for accidental damage I shall leave to her.

80Gb is quite a bit bigger than the usual 40GB I`ve seen advertised. My figure was an `ish` finger in the air.

The Inspiron 6400 (£619) meets the spec, the Acers seem to have a gap around £700 but do appear good machines even though HDD and RAM are lower. Guess it`s either the name or build quality you pay for.

Anyway thanks again for your input I am still looking.

  Woolwell 21:00 07 Aug 2006

Some will come with Works pre-installed

  sean-278262 21:05 07 Aug 2006

click here
click here

Cant commend them enough. I got my acer aspire 3023wlmi there in Jan this year. And BTW my system has been upgraded to 1gb of ram (it had 512mb a semperon 3000+, 100gb 5400rpm drive, 15.4inch screen with crystalbrite and a higher end graphics card [x700]) So do shop arround as you can get all the things you want for under 700! I paid 640 for mine and still had change from 700 after getting a gig of ram!

BTW both of the above links are to two separate sites of the same company!

  silverous 21:29 07 Aug 2006

You'll get the most for your money at this price point by buying Acer and getting a 3 year (including Accidental Damage - for the impact resistance!) warranty for about 60-80 quid if I recall correctly.

Comet tend to be cheapest in my experience but their warranties aren't. Savastore are usually quite good.

How about:

click here


click here

Under budget, with a 3 year + accidental damage warranty, and only 20 GB hard disk short of the 100GB requirement (does she REALLY need that much?)

Also worth looking at Dell as they had a cracking Dual Core laptop in the Daily Mail this morning (for 400+something quid if I remember correctly), their warranty will be more expensive though.

  Strawballs 21:57 07 Aug 2006
  johndrew 10:37 08 Aug 2006

Thanks for the information everyone. It looks as if there are some very good deals out there.

Creature of the Nite
- excellent sites and the best numbers I have seen for Acer laptops. The warranty upgrade is very good value.

Strawballs - I`m going to need to spend a bit of time with your link, the choices are rather extensive. Thanks for the recommendation.

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