Laptop Choice

  happyhotspur 09:57 13 Feb 2010
Locked

I want to purchase my first laptop and it is probably going to be a desktop replacement with a 15.6 screen, but I am very confused when looking at different specs as to the best processor. Can anybody give me some help, I have looked at Intel Core™ i7, i5, i3, Intel Core™2 Duo, etc but am completely baffled as to the differences and what to look for, I have looked at the guides but still am not sure how to choose.
I don't need an operating system as I have both a Windows XP and a Vista Home Premium licensed disks, my budget for the complete laptop is £500. Its not going to be used for games, or probably not for watching TV but I do use SKYPE a lot.

  Pamy 10:26 13 Feb 2010

It appears to me that a fairly cheap one will do all your require,say about £300. It will almost certainly come with Win 7 installed if a new one.
I would not be concerned with the proccessor No. for what you want it for, a bog standard core 2 duo will do. Having said that I would concider future use, you may want to do more than you have said

  Pineman100 10:42 13 Feb 2010

There's also more to a computer's overall speed than just the processor. The amount of memory is also critical. Try to get at least 2GB. 3GB would be even better.

The cost of buying an OS pre-installed is fairly insignificant, so if you can afford one that already has Windows 7, I should go for that. XP, although a good OS, is now getting long in the tooth, and Vista is a dog.

  happyhotspur 10:48 13 Feb 2010

You say a 'bog standard core 2 duo' will do, but this is where I am a little confused as they all have different number like T300, T6500 etc. Do I need a minimum spec for this?

As you say it would be worthwhile trying to anticipate the future with this purchase rather than have to buy again in a few years time. So I want to get the best spec possible for my budget.

  Pamy 16:25 13 Feb 2010

If you are intent on spending your budjet then, go into the shop of your choice, somewhere handy to get to,(Comet,Currys PC World, John Lewis etc) and look at all the laptops near your budjet.Ask the assistant the same questions you are asking here and ,then if you still have doubts come back here and tell us what they are.

  ame 19:59 13 Feb 2010

click here might help once you've looked at a few laptops before you decide. Rather than going to a shop, search the web for laptops between £400-500, say, and come back here to see if it is a good deal and/or reliable make. click here and click here are a good place to start. A laptop without an OS isn't very common - look for Windows 7; not Vista as it is very slow on a laptop. Or put your boxed retail copy of XP on it when you get it.

  sunnystaines 09:48 14 Feb 2010

which ever one you go for, check to see if they give you a backup cd or windows cd. some will only give you a backup on a hidden partition which is no good if you need to replace the hdd at a later date.

  ame 14:34 14 Feb 2010

My HP has a rescue partition but also gave me the option to create rescue disks. Didn't bother though...it's Vista!

  ame 21:30 14 Feb 2010

click here might help. Dell's site gives you a good idea of what's better than what. Special offers noted are until 17 February.

  happyhotspur 09:12 15 Feb 2010

Okay I have taken everybody's advice and looked at two systems that I think will fit my budget and future-proofing (as much as possible)one is from PC Specialist with my own spec and the other is from Dell. What do you think of these systems:-

The 15.6" Genesis from PC Specialist
Intel® Core 2 Duo Mobile T6600 2.2GHz 2mb Cache
2GB Corsair DDR2 667MHz SODIMM
320GB Serial ATA II 2.5" HD with 8MB Cache
8x SATA DVD±R/RW/Dual Layer (+ 24x CD-RW)
NONE
15.6 TFT
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500
Integrated Stereo Speakers
Onboard GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS 802.11G
Wireless 802.11 G
6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
Depth 255
Width 385 mm
Height 20-36 mm
Weight 2.75Kg
Integrated 5 in 1 Card Reader
1 Year Return-to-Base
Webcam 1.3mp
£426 inc VAT and Delivery.
or
Inspiron™ 1564(N0056407)
Intel® Core™ i5-430M (2.26Ghz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 2.53 GHz, 3M cache),
3072MB 1067MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [1x1024 + 1x2048]
250GB (5,400rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD)
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
15.6" High Definition (1366x768) WLED
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator HD
Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
Primary 6-cell 48 WHr Lithium Ion battery
Depth: 248.0mm
Width 380mm
Height: 20.0mm-32.8mm
1 year of coverage included with your PC
1.3 Mega pixel Integrated Web Camera
£479 inc VAT & Delivery from Dell

  happyhotspur 09:17 15 Feb 2010

I have taken everybody's advice and come up with two systems that I think will suite my needs and give a little futureproofing. One is from Dell and the other is from PC Specialist made to my own spec.
Inspiron™ 1564(N0056407)
Intel® Core™ i5-430M (2.26Ghz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 2.53 GHz, 3M cache),
3072MB 1067MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [1x1024 + 1x2048]
250GB (5,400rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD)
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
15.6" High Definition (1366x768) WLED
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator HD
Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
Primary 6-cell 48 WHr Lithium Ion battery
1 year of coverage included with your PC
1.3 Mega pixel Integrated Web Camera
£479 inc VAT & Delivery from Dell.
and the other is
The 15.6" Genesis from PCSpecialist
Intel® Core 2 Duo Mobile T6600 2.2GHz 2mb Cache
2GB Corsair DDR2 667MHz SODIMM
320GB Serial ATA II 2.5" HD with 8MB Cache
8x SATA DVD±R/RW/Dual Layer (+ 24x CD-RW)
NONE
15.6 TFT
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 4500
Intergrated Stereo Speakers
Onboard GIGABIT LAN & WIRELESS 802.11G
Wireless 802.11 G
6 Cell Lithium Ion Battery
Integrated 5 in 1 Card Reader
1 Year Return-to-Base
Webcam 1.3mp
£426 inc VAT and Delivery. From PCSpecialist.

What do you think?

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