Basic laptop - what do I need?

  kjo99 18:12 14 Apr 2007

Hi everyone,

I'm after a laptop to replace my 4yr old one which has given up on life! I know what I want to use it for, but not what I need to do it with! I'm a bit bewildered by the specifications on all the models I've looked at as I'm not sure what's really relevant and what's just padding!

This is what I'd use it for: internet browsing, streaming audio/video, storing music and photos, occasionally watching dvds, occasional use of office apps, IM. I'd want it to be portable enough to use elsewhere within the house, but it doesn't need to be super small and light, wi-fi would be good too.

And what's the difference between Vista home basic and premium?

Budget = 350-450ish.

Brands = no preference. existing one is an Acer and have had quite a lot of trouble with it overheating and being very very loud!

Looked at a view in that range in PC World but I don't want to be lured by a long list of features if they're not any use to me!

Thanks! K

  lukealexander 19:40 14 Apr 2007

I recommended this laptop for my girlfriend, but in the end we decided to get an Asus for a bit more cash.

click here

This laptop has a nicely sized screen, decent weight and has enough power to push Windows Vista (Core Duo, 1GB RAM). It isn't cutting edge since it lacks Core 2 Duo and 2GB RAM but for your purposes this kind of specification is fine. If you don't like that laptop, there are many others with a similar specification around the same price.

  Grouse ® 20:04 14 Apr 2007

Vista "very nice" not what you want unless you know what it does..........uses a lot more power "resources" on a laptop than you want. Stick to XP for now and look for an Intel core duo processor.

plenty to choose from on the market, decide from which software provided and cosmetic preference.p

  lukealexander 20:39 14 Apr 2007

Agree with Grouse on the Vista issue, as I mentioned in another thread.

  kjo99 19:22 16 Apr 2007

Thanks for the advice.

Re: vista, most new laptops seem to come with it, I haven't seen many that don't in my browsing! I just wondered if it was worth opting for premium if you are being sold it anyway? I think in PC World the other day only the very cheapest one didnt have vista.

The guy in PC World told me that a duo processor means you can do more than one thing at once? Is that true? Surely I've been doing that for years on my old laptop anyway? (excuse the ignorance!)

thanks for the recommendation luxealexander, will check that out in more detail now.

  Kate B 19:31 16 Apr 2007

Vista is great and actually most PCs except the very bottom of ranges come with Home Premium. There's no reason to avoid it - unless of course you have ancient hardware in which case you might have trouble finding Vista drivers.

If you want a basic machine you don't really need the Core 2 Duo processor the PC World salesman was trying to push on you; nor will you get one anyway for that budget. But does it have to be a laptop? Poorer value for money, you can't upgrade them and at that kind of price point they're running elderly technology and so will have a shorter lifespan.

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