Laptop advice

  Muzziad 16:03 14 Mar 2006

As an alternative to buying a portable DVD player I was thinking of spending a bit extra and getting a laptop for the extra functionality.

Could anyone give me an idea what sort of minimum spec I should be looking for to give me satisfactory video playback quality?

  Dellman 16:58 14 Mar 2006

Dell have some good deals at the moment.

  pennyben 19:51 14 Mar 2006

Have a look at this.

Acer Aspire 3613WLMi Cel-M 370 1.5GHz 512MB 80GB DVD±RW 15.4"CrystalBrite WLAN XP Home at:

click here

  Muzziad 20:15 14 Mar 2006

Thanks for the replies.

Dellman... i've noticed a lot of Dell machines on e-bay selling as new for reasonable prices. I assume you are associated with the company by your name?

Pennyben... the Acer looks a pretty good deal, although I would buy elsewhere, I am somewhat reluctant to deal with ebuyer after having a problem a couple of years ago which they weren't keen to help me sort out.

  woodchip 20:18 14 Mar 2006

Acer are good to go with

  De Marcus™ 20:40 14 Mar 2006

Whilst a laptop may be a bit overkill for a portable dvd player replacement in my opinion you do say the extra functionaility would be useful. So a few things to be wary of, battery life should be important as you intend to watch dvds on it, there are a lot of laptops on the market that would scream at the thought of playing back a full length DVD without the battery giving up the ghost midway through. Also if your budget allows, go for a widescreen model to take advantage of most modern films. Another addition would be sound, poor at best on most laptops (although some nowadays have greatly improved) so an external set of battery or USB powered (uses laptop battery power) speakers would make a lot of difference, or for private viewing, headphones.

Any machine you buy does not need to be all singing and dancing with the latest graphics cards and processors, the requirements for DVD playback are strikingly low. If you intend to use it for the occasional word document and email then this only compounds that fact.

One last thing, get yourself a piece of paper, write down what you intend to use your new laptop for (other than DVD playback) and work out your budget, post these back here on the forum and you'll be pointed in the direction of a suitable machine.

  Muzziad 21:35 14 Mar 2006

It'll be mainly for DVD playback, internet usage (ethernet card preferable to just dial-up modem), MS Office and occasionally games, although the games I play tend to be older RTS games like Age of Empires II, Age of Mythology etc. so nothing too demanding. I play a lot of poker online but that's not graphics intensive.

It will rarely be used on the move, my train journey into London only lasts 70 minutes so not long enough to watch a movie anyway. Having said that, I would like battery life to be 2hrs minimum if possible.

As for budget, I was looking to spend around £500, maybe a bit more, hence looking at e-bay although there seem to be new machines available at around that price.

Obviously for movies I would like the playback to be smooth. As for sound, well pretty much the same as graphics, as long as the sound comes through audibly with no crackling or freezing i'll be happy. I'm not looking for amazing quality it's just a machine to help pass the time on boring nights away from home.

Once again, many thanks for any input and/or guidance.

  woodchip 21:42 14 Mar 2006
  rmcqua 21:44 14 Mar 2006

We have 2 of these Maverick 3000s
click here
in our household. They are great value for money and would happily cope with your intended use. i would say though, that if you plan to listen to your movie audio through speakers rather than headphones, buy a decent small set of extension speakers, as just about any built in speakers in laptops of this price range will sound poor.

  Muzziad 21:51 14 Mar 2006

I was planning on headphones for the occasions I do use it in public and will probably invest in a decent set of small speakers if sound is generally sub-standard on machines within my budget. I assume even the most basic machines will have the outputs for this.

One more question... would I be able to plug the laptop into a hotel room TV and play a DVD through the machine?

  woodchip 21:57 14 Mar 2006

Battery will not last long if you use mainly on mains with battery in Laptop as it will be on charge all the time and they do not like that. Mine is in a Plastic bag in the fridge at 40% charge

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