Solved i need to replace my laptop....

December 10, 2013 at 10:24:27
Specs: Windows Vista
I have been using the same laptop for ever and now have to change. It's not needed for gaming. Need reliability and speed really. Probably not thought the whole thing through but that's the basics. Any suggestions?

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✔ Best Answer
December 14, 2013 at 16:08:43
I have had good results with HP laptops and a mini laptop from Acer for my family. Almost any decent model they offer that is up to date should be good. I prefer Intel i3 (dual core) or i5 (quad core) 4th generation, for your price range. Get as good as you can afford and you will be happy for longer. Memory: 4GB minimum 8GB would be better, more than that would be a waste for your uses. 500GB to 1TB hard drive with a mSSD cache drive would be good.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.



#1
December 10, 2013 at 13:24:11
It all depends on what you're looking for. Price range is a major factor too.

First off, how much storage do you need? And do you need it to be fast? Solid State Drives can offload data much faster but tend to be around $300 for just 250 GB. If you can deal with a standard hard drive (they are slower and a bit bigger) You can easily get at least 1 TB for under $100.

Second, based on what you said, it sounds like you really don't need a very powerful processor. An Intel i5 should do it, they are dual core @ about 2.4 GHz or so. You could go on someplace like newegg.com and look at computers with processors like that.

Another major factor is RAM. I would suggest just about 4 GB, try to get dual channel as it tends to be slightly faster, but if you get a better deal on single, you probably won't notice the difference.

Don't go overboard on the graphics card or screen, since you won't be using your laptop for gaming it would really be useless to get great graphics.

Also you probably want to check the battery life of different computers, since I don't know exactly where you'll be using it, I have no idea about your power requirements.

Since you didn't give a price range, I would just look around for what's in your budget and that fit what you need. Here are some places to start:

http://www.dell.com/us/p/laptops#!e...
http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/g...
https://www.asus.com/us/Notebooks_U...
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Compute...
http://www.amazon.com/Laptops/b?ie=...

Good luck, and if you need anything else, just ask!


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#2
December 10, 2013 at 20:08:22
If you can get more specific on your uses (email, internet, office apps, and especially other programs you mainly use), the size of the screen, your budget, how many GB you currently use on your current hard drive, and how important the speed is to you.
Note that the best speed for would be a large SSD drive. For the next best thing, an SSD for your operating system and a conventional hard drive for your data is a good compromise, but you would need a dual drive bay so most likely a 17" or larger laptop would be needed. For another option that is less expensive, nearly as fast, and will be available in smaller 15" models, a conventional hard drive with a small SSD cache.
Note that a faster machine will not significantly speed up internet transfer speed so if you have any issues with that, you will need to address those separately, probably first.
I have had good results purchasing laptops from HP directly where I can choose to customize the machine by upgrading just the parts I think would best fit the need for that machine.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#3
December 14, 2013 at 11:44:32
Hello again.

Ok, so now I have translated the techno speak (ie. googled SSD etc) and the specs of my present laptop are: Dell Inspiron 1545, Intel Pentium Dual CPU @ 2.16GHz with 3GB RAM and 32 bit operation system.
I will use my new laptop for: online study so audio/visual nb, photos, light admin, some downloading, emailing, surfing. I don't want to wait ages for pages or images to load (over and above the internet speed).
I don't really want another Dell and have been interested in Acer?
Oh, and budget range = not more than £400......

message edited by walmcin


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Related Solutions

#4
December 14, 2013 at 14:36:10
How old is your Dell? I can't see any real benefit in upgrading to a new system - unless what you have really is crawling...

Internet speed is not related to your laptop/PC either. That is dependant on your ISP service - style of connection. Fibre connection - if you're lucky enough to have it - is faster than traditional copper (more common still in many areas). Also quality of actual connection - is it all properly installed, no dirty/corroded contacts etc. Is your line-in (if copper (phone-lines) optimised to give best service; and has/does your ISP do the same from their end. A broadband/dsl service can be dynamically monitored (over a short period of time) and "tweaked" by the provider to provide best results.

Sometimes one router may be better than another. Wifi is often/usually slower than cat-5 connections (wired/ethernet connections between router and assorted computers).

For any given computer the simplest way to speed it up - increase RAM installation. But be aware of the maximum any given OS can actually use; otherwise one may be wasting one's cash. Keep the hard drive defraged, clean out junk/temporary files regularly (both Windows Explore and for Internet Explorer - or whichever browser you use...).

I have used Acer (15.6ins models) over the years and been very happy with them. Current range seem OK - they usually have excellent displays... However one or two reviews seem not too happy with the keyboards on some current models; seem to be too soft, even flexibly so... Unless you need touch screen aspect.. don't waste your money paying for that "extra"...

Also been very happy with both Dell Inspiron and Latitude; and I know of some serious tech support types who have used only Dell Latitudes (Inspiron are more aimed at the home user...?).

Currently HP/Compaq seem to doing well; after a lengthy period of anything but...?

The models that can be tablet or laptop in operation (rotatable screen assembly) I suggest are best avoided. The weak spot is the spindle/axis that allows the screen to rotate. The actual connection that allows the screen to work are prone to fail... And occasionally even the software (drivers?) have been known to be little flakey. I am drawing on experience in the broadcast environment with regard to these systems. We had more than a few that simply wouldn't change aspect etc. if/when the screen was rotated from laptop to tablet and/or visa-versa. Problem was generally found to be mechanical connections (slide/wipe style contacts?) Currently where I used to work they now use iPads when on the move around a set; or in a studio interview environment - typical chairs (and maybe coffee table) interview... If you look carefully on most news/current affairs programmes nowadays you will see the presenters/interviewers holding them... Many/most still use the conventional laptop in a standard fixed set - desk and chairs as in most news bulletins...


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#5
December 14, 2013 at 16:08:43
✔ Best Answer
I have had good results with HP laptops and a mini laptop from Acer for my family. Almost any decent model they offer that is up to date should be good. I prefer Intel i3 (dual core) or i5 (quad core) 4th generation, for your price range. Get as good as you can afford and you will be happy for longer. Memory: 4GB minimum 8GB would be better, more than that would be a waste for your uses. 500GB to 1TB hard drive with a mSSD cache drive would be good.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
December 14, 2013 at 16:25:51
Certainly look towards a laptop which has a cd/dvdrom included within it of course; rather than anything like a netbook... Those little netbook toys have no such useful facility/attributes.

Netbooks are not much more than a reasonably convenient and small email and browser unit...


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#7
December 15, 2013 at 05:55:32
trvir: I agree netbooks are generally a joke, but there are small, light, call them mini-laptops if you like that are real computers. I found a small ultra light 12" from Acer for my wife that has a 4th gen Intel i-series (I think an i3) with decent properties and decent battery life. I just purchased an external hard drive and an external DVD drive to make it 'whole' for those rare times when she needs them and for back ups. In this case, small and light were important, though the combined price was about what a larger unit would have been, but you have to pay for quality if that is what you want.

Walmcim: Glad to help, just compare features/components for the best value and get the best you can afford. If you are not sure between two or three models, post the links if on line or the detailed specs for a recommendation.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#8
December 15, 2013 at 08:00:38
fingers:

Can only agree with your overall assessment of the mini-kit...; and their portability is a factor for those not needing a "whole" system...


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#9
December 16, 2013 at 08:57:17
Oh good, glad you sent that last message cos here's what i have my eye on:
Dell Inspiron 15.6" 1TB 6GB from Argos (no sniggering please, I am no techie in this area so won't go and 'build' my own laptop from some specialist store....;-) )
Here, I've just copied and pasted what I saw on their website:
CPU, Memory and Operating System:

Intel Core i3 .
1.8GHz processor speed.
6GB RAM.
Microsoft Windows 8.

Display features:

15.6 inch screen.
High definition display.

DVD optical drives:

Graphics:

Shared graphics card.
HD graphics card.
Intel.

Interfaces and connectivity:

1 HDMI port.
Bluetooth.
Wi-Fi enabled.

Multimedia features:

Built-in webcam.
Built-in mic.

General features:

Up to 7 hours battery life.
Size H32.9, W9.2, D49.9cm.
Weight 2.4kg.
EAN: 5397063304998.

and it is £400

Comments most welcome!

message edited by walmcin


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#10
December 16, 2013 at 09:27:58
If your graphics needs are modest (no gaming, no photoshop, no video editing, etc), then you should be fine. There is not magical thing about customizing a laptop as long as you do it when you order it. For example, on HP's site you find the machine you like best, click on the customize button and they walk you through all options one at a time. You can choose to upgrade CPU, Memory, Graphics, Hard drive, and a few more while watching the changes in the price. For example, if you see that the next faster CPU will only cost you $40. (with the next maybe $150.), you might want that option. If you want to upgrade the graphics,the options might be similar with one only a little bit more but the higher option a bit pricey. This way you can get exactly what you want and not blow the budget completely. Memory however I have noticed is not usually worth upgrading this way because you can probably get a much better deal separately and swapping out memory is very easy where as the graphics you choose, you are stuck with until you replace the machine again.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#11
December 16, 2013 at 09:37:50
If considering Dell... then also check the deals on Dell itself... Sometimes they're better...

Also double-check - carefully - what the warrantee period is; and who actually looks after it, and provides any support you may (hopefully may not) need.

If it's Argos... I'd be "a little" cautious there; as I seriously doubt they have the same level of know-how as Dell? Which having said, the Dell support site on-line is usually more than adequate for most issues, and would sustain/top up anything Argos might provide..., make up any shortfalls.

The version of windows-8 appears to be the initial version(?); and there is now 8.1 - which I understand can be downloaded and installed as an upgrade to licensed holders of 8.0? Also exactly which version is it - 32 or 64Bit...

I ask as the 32bit can apparently only use 4Gig RAM; what would happen to the other 2Gig you say they provide...? But if it's the 64bit then it can handle/use in excess of 4Gig - depending on which version of Win-8 you have.

This Tom's hardware discussion gives some basic info there:

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum...

An issue to be aware of too is which programmes you may wish to install/use... Not all are able to work in a 64bit environment; but I think most M$ Office "stuff" will as it usually comes with both versions/options? Others here with more experience of win-8 can/will (hopefully) clarify more on this issue for you if needs-be...?


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#12
December 18, 2013 at 02:53:36
Just wanted to say a big thank you to you all for working through my new laptop search with me! I have learnt loads and can now go shopping with a bit more confidence, ;-).

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#13
December 18, 2013 at 16:07:53
You are welcome. Good luck.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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