sansick 11:26 24 May 2010

I am relatively new to laptops and don't know a huge amount about them except the rudimentaries.

I am looking to buy one that I can record live music on (i am a musician), store photos (and use photoshop) and use word processor etc. I don't play computer games.

I've been told buy a friend that I need
-a dual processor
-at least 4GB of memory
-ideally 7,200 rpm hard drive speed
-at least 2 USB ports
-a sound card
-one that's affordable! could fork out £1,000 if it's worth it.

I've been trawling the net to try and find a suitable one and keep reading horror stories of them breaking down after a week of purchase etc. - have finally plumped for Dell Studio XPS 16? any good? any suggestions? all advice very much appreciated.

  mooly 17:38 24 May 2010

The secret with laptops is treat them with respect... don't yank the lid open at the corner and break the hinges, don't wrestle the power plug into and out of the socket etc etc.

Can't comment on the Dell, I have an Acer, it's been ace, 3.5 years old, several hours use a day.

Your specs are fine, virtually any modern laptop will do what you ask, but... musician... for sound recording I would perhaps look at one of the portable (or full size) digital recorders that record onto flash memory (SD cards etc). You can then just pop the card into the laptop to transfer and copy the files, just as with a camera and piccys.

This kind of thing, all sorts of models available,
click here From This Range&MER=e-bb45-00001003

Oh yes... invest in a good backup program (Acronis) and use a decent security package that doesn't hit resources too much. MSE is excellent,
click here

  civicr 17:40 24 May 2010 have a acer for about 400.00 but if you are prepared to fork out a thousand pound then there is only one thing to do and thats buy a mac book pro for around 800.00 . These may be lower spec but are built for music and video. All the pros use them.
Ebuyer should stock them

  Pineman100 18:29 24 May 2010

I don't know where you've been reading your horror stories, but I think you're only seeing one side of the story. Remember that the people who post all over the internet are those who have had problems. People without problems don't bother to post that fact!

Nobody can guarantee that you won't get a problem computer, but the enormous majority of today's machines are well built, reliable and pretty trouble-free. I would just be sure that you buy from a reputable source (and - speaking for myself - NOT from an online auction site!)

Dell is one of the best-known brands of all, and you should be as safe in their hands as anywhere.

Any reasonably spec'd laptop should serve your needs. For your music I should buy one with a good sound card. And bear in mind that the built-in speakers in a laptop will never give you really good sound. For that you'll need some powered external speakers. So be sure that your sound card has a suitable stereo output for external speakers.

If you're planning to store a lot of music and photos, get a fairly large hard drive. 350GB should be OK - larger if you can afford it.

And this is most important of all. You shouldn't need to spend anything like £1000 to get a decent laptop, so keep some of your budget aside for a good external backup drive. Windows 7 has decent backup facilities - use them!!

  kidsis 19:32 25 May 2010

I would add get an extended warranty when you buy - many people are now suggesting at least a 3 year warranty. Expensive but worth it if something goes wrong one day after the 1 year warranty expires. Also check what is offered - RTB means the laptop will have to be sent in for repair. I prefer a warranty that says a technician will come to the home. Dell now offers 3 choices - repair within 10 days, repair within 5 days, next day repair; haven't looked at costings yet. Looks like I will have to start looking for a new lappy soon myself so would be interested to know what you buy and what you think of it.

  lotvic 21:12 25 May 2010

Plenty of firsthand advice on click here

  Pineman100 16:14 27 May 2010

I wouldn't buy an extended warranty. They're expensive, and exist principally to squeeze more money out of you at the point of purchase.

Of course, if you regard the extra expense as worthwhile for the peace-of-mind that it brings, that's up to you.

But don't regard the normal one-year warranty as your only chance for recourse against a supplier of faulty goods.

Under the law, a supplier must sell you goods that are of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. If they don't, then under the Sale Of Goods Act you have six years in which to make a claim against the supplier.

And don't let a retailer fob you off by telling you to contact the manufacturer. In law, your contract is with whoever sold you the goods, and they're responsible for ensuring that the goods are satisfactory.

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