New Laptop Advice

  SURVEY 15:33 11 Nov 2011

I need to buy a laptop to act as a desktop replacement. Have got quite used to using my old Dell Inspiron1520 laptop so am used to the 15.6" screen, but thye keypad is a bit dead despite having a positive 'click'. Trawling through the advice available online I think I need a 500GB hard drive and 6GB RAM for future [proofing. My use is for general personal correspondence (WORD), spreadsheets (EXCEL), wireless 'N' card, webcam, several USB's and an HDMI output.I am the webmaster for a Parish website and although maybe a 17" screen would be nice, the 15" is OK. Devcent battery life. A numeric keypad would be good but not at the expense of a small keyboard. Always bought Dell but their prices online seem stratospheric, unless that was just their online rep trying to push the higher price machines. Has anyone any suggestions?

  iscanut 15:51 11 Nov 2011

I am sure everyone will have their preference, But I have always had Samsung, and they do a range of 17" models... worth a look.

  robin_x 16:54 11 Nov 2011

There is no substitute for visiting your local Computer or Superstore and having a look and touch/feel.

Make a note of likely specs/processors etc, then go back home and find best deal online.

Sometimes the websites of the very same stores will have slightly better deals (freebies etc)

  SURVEY 18:37 11 Nov 2011

Is my spec over the top? I had been thinking of Dell or Toshiba but as it has been a few years since I last purchased a computer maybe other manufacturers should be considered. Any thoughts?

  chub_tor 18:52 11 Nov 2011

Unless you are doing a lot of video processing or game playing then you don't need 6Gb RAM, 3Gb is quite sufficient for most normal activities such as word processing.

I am a Toshiba fan and have had one of their 17" models for some time now and it has been utterly reliable. Click Here to be taken to their laptop product selector where you can enter a wide range of parameters to help you select a machine.

  SURVEY 00:39 12 Nov 2011

Chub_tor - Thanks for your imput. Does your laptop have the numeric keypad and if so does it make for smal QWERTY keypad making it more difficult to touch type?

  chub_tor 01:43 13 Nov 2011

Yes my Toshiba laptop has a numeric keypad, in fact that was one of the reasons that I chose my particular model, I believe on the spec it said that the keyboard was 93% of a full size one but it is so long I ago I can not be sure. Whatever it is it made no difference to me, I can touch type on most keyboards and in fact I am typing at the moment on a Much smalller keyboard on my 10 inch netbook.

Sorry for the delay but I am currently in the USA and 6 hours out of sync....

  SURVEY 10:01 18 Nov 2011

chub_tor - I think I have narrowed my choice down to some degree. Many of the laptops I have tried seem to have a really poor feel to the keyboards including Dell surprisingly. I have a Dell Inspiron and the keyboard is excellent - the new ones (including Dell) seem to have a membrane directly beneath the keys that all moves when a key is depressed; The Toshiba ones do not have this and the keys seem more akin to a proper desktop keyboard. I have looked at a Toshiba L750 with an i5-2430 processor, 4GB RAM. 500GB drive; it is a 15.6" screen. My only concerns are that it has 3 USB 2.0 sockets (no USB 3.0 - necessary??)and whether I would regret not buying a 17" screen model. My existing Dell Inspiron is 15" and is fine but with the Toshiba the numeric keypad may constrict the size of the QWERTY keys on the 15". Any advice here?

  chub_tor 21:11 19 Nov 2011

Most people looking to replace a desktop with a laptop choose one with a 17" screen because that is the minimum they are used to looking at and if they mostly keep the laptop on their desk then weight and portability don't matter too much. They also get the benefit of a larger keyboard and the opportunity to keep it plugged in so that battery life is not an issue.

As for USB3, if you don't have any matching peripherals then this is not an issue, if however you plan on purchasing a new external back up hard drive or flash drive then the most recent ones are usb3 and you will get faster transfer between them.

  SURVEY 08:20 20 Nov 2011

Thanks for the very useful advice

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