Laptop recommendations

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14 years 8 months ago #1034 by max2
Laptop recommendations was created by max2
Righto, the tickets are booked for the chrissy trip, so now I need to organise a good laptop to take with us to keep in touch. My requirements are:

Something for email, sending and receiving largish files, such as photos, and MYOB file to accountants.

Something for small annoying (well she was this morning) person to play Club Penguin on when bored.

Something for small person to watch DVD's on when Dad is yelling at the rugby on the main TV.

Something with reliable and large storage for files, both Word and email folders.

Something that can be fixed in both NZ and Australia.

Something I can plug the bluetooth thingo into to down load and temp store photos.

Something that takes a data card for wireless communication.

My advertising Pages Lady told me yesterday not to touch Acer, hates it with a vengence. I was thinking either HP or Dell.

anyone care to comment or speculate?

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14 years 8 months ago #54399 by kate
Replied by kate on topic Laptop recommendations
I've had both HP and Dell and would happily recommend either. I like the Dell online ordering website and their people are very helpful if you have a query.

Cheers
Kate

Web Goddess

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14 years 8 months ago #54406 by RKH
Replied by RKH on topic Laptop recommendations
I have Dell, hubby has had 2 x Dell (on his second), I would recommend them too, same reasons as Kate. Mine does all the things that you are wanting to do too.

Arapawa Island Sheep, 2 dogs, 2 cats, one huge Kunekune, 4 tiny Kunekune's and some cool chickens.

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14 years 8 months ago #54407 by Louise W
Replied by Louise W on topic Laptop recommendations
I ordered mine off Dell online and it is a good little machine - the after sales service was awesome when my power cable went bung and the price for the laptop was very reasonable! If/when I updgrade, I will probably go with a Dell again.


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14 years 8 months ago #54410 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Laptop recommendations
I've had 3 x Acer laptops now and have been quite happy with them. Inger's one died at about 5 years of age, so that wasn't bad.

There's nothing wrong with Dell or HP either, they are both good brands.

The very best build quality available in laptops is from Toshiba or Sony with their Vaio, however, you pay big $$$ for either of those and laptops get worn out / obsolete so quickly in my experience, it's not worth paying too much unless you have some special requirement, such as an ultra-portable for keeping the weight down while travelling.

For viewing DVDs you really need a 14" or 15" screen, and I'm not convinced about this glossy coating that many laptops have now. It shows finger marks and dust something dreadful, and a laptop that is sometimes used by a child is going to suffer badly from both of the above.

Does anyone have a recent monitor or laptop with that glossy screen coating who has an opinion about it one way or the other?

I would be interested to hear your comments as to the pros and cons.

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14 years 8 months ago #54423 by GBpeter
Replied by GBpeter on topic Laptop recommendations
I have an Acer Laptop - reasonable price and does the job OK but the glossy screen does reflect badly in daylight. I have had Sony and Toshiba which are good but probably not worth the extra $$. Now I don't have to keep up techie appearances :) my next one will probably be a Dell which is a good tradeoff (spec/reliabilty/cost).

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14 years 8 months ago #54438 by powerguy
Replied by powerguy on topic Laptop recommendations
I looked at a few recently and opted for the Toshiba Satellite A200. It is fast enough and with another 512M of RAM does not hang about too much. Widescreen display, inbuilt wireless and can be fitted with onboard Bluetooth so you don't need the plug ins.

It is a good, reasonably solid unit with good sized keys. I tried some of the cheaper brands and the cases flexed under my finger pressure.

Battery life is the biggie. If you put a laptop into power saving mode it seems that processing is slowed up dramatically so even if you get twice the battery life it takes twice as long to do anything! Look for one with the largest battery you can. Also look for one that can take a 12V car charger. The Sony's I have seen can't.

I don't regret spending the extra couple of hundred on a robust unit.

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14 years 8 months ago #54474 by wyseyes
Replied by wyseyes on topic Laptop recommendations
I have bought, sold and used many laptops, with disturbing patterns...

HP/Compaq - good computers but the batteries/power supplies usually only last 18 months max. Also very heavy.
Acer/Asus - underpowered and unreliable.
Toshiba - Energiser made, keeps going and going and going ...
Sony - Niiice, but nice'n'expensive.
Dell - Can't be beat. I have got 3 dell computers/monitors at home, and 3 at work. The laptops are great, and many options are available. I have bought and sold in excess of $50,000 dell gear in the last 3 years, none of it has faulted. Still got my Inspiron laptop from 3 years ago, beats out most new ones for graphics and size.

With all laptops, the larger the screen you get, the heavier it is. Some of the current 15 and 17" models are not for the lap.
Be aware of the maximum resolution the screen is capable of, and that most laptops screens steal a portion of the ram to run happily. This is normally OK, but only if you have lots of ram for everything else. Ram however, is cheap these days.

If you want a deal on a newish reliable Dell, I have contacts. Email me through Kate.

I see you shiver in anticip......................................................................................ation

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14 years 8 months ago #54477 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Laptop recommendations
Very interesting comments, thanks Wyseyes. By the sounds of it, you have bought and sold more laptops than the rest of us put together. I will certainly keep your comments about Dell laptops in mind next time I am looking to buy one. Agreed that many of the 15" and 17" models are really heavy and often don't have great battery life.

My current laptop is a 12" Ultra-portable which had a measured 4.5 Hours battery life (using maximum power saving mode) when it was new 2 years ago. It still gives me more than 2 hours with WiFi and everything running and the screen at maximum brightness. I prefer a light laptop with outstanding battery life even though it costs a bit of a premium to get such things.

Thanks again for your comments. It's great to get such a concise distillation which has been arrived at from years of experience.

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14 years 8 months ago #54480 by RKH
Replied by RKH on topic Laptop recommendations
Hi GrantK, my Dell laptop is brand new, well a month old anyway. I haven't noticed any difference between the amount of dust on the screen compared to my last one (which in my opinion may have been one of the first laptops ever invented, it was that old ;)). I think the dust on the screen is more noticeable on the new one when it is off than the old one. Yes it has one of the new shiny screens.

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14 years 8 months ago #54493 by witheze
Replied by witheze on topic Laptop recommendations
My Acer broke down at 7 months, it was away for six weeks or more. Wouldn't buy another.

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14 years 8 months ago #54498 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Laptop recommendations

quote:Originally posted by RKH

I think the dust on the screen is more noticeable on the new one when it is off than the old one.

Yes, that's what I had noticed in the Retail Stores. That, and the Finger Marks :(

Having said that, I'm not sure how many laptops are made these days with the older "Matt" style non-relective surface. I'm quite happy with my laptop that has a matt screen, which is important, as I use it for many hours per day, mostly for text rather than video.

However, I do think that DVD playback looks better on one of the newer laptops with a Glossy Screen. Then again, a large LCD or Plasma TV looks even better again, so I guess it all comes down to what you primarily use your laptop for.

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14 years 8 months ago #54516 by wyseyes
Replied by wyseyes on topic Laptop recommendations
Yep. I have the matt screen, I prefer it when it comes to hi-res graphics and designs, it is also easier to see at an angle.

I do recall a really light Dell, the Latitude D400. Turns out it is light because it didn't have the DVD drive built in. There is a thin power shell with the drive and dock in it. Good for executive I suppose, but had a 12" screen

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14 years 8 months ago #54522 by GrantK
Replied by GrantK on topic Laptop recommendations

quote:Originally posted by wyseyes

Yep. I have the matt screen, I prefer it when it comes to hi-res graphics and designs, it is also easier to see at an angle.

Mmmmmm, that's interesting. I expected it would be better for fine details, but the extra visibility at an angle is a surprise.

quote:Originally posted by wyseyes

I do recall a really light Dell, the Latitude D400. Turns out it is light because it didn't have the DVD drive built in. There is a thin power shell with the drive and dock in it. Good for executive I suppose, but had a 12" screen

Yes, my Ultra-portable has an external DVD drive which plugs in via a FireWire connection. I don't use the drive all that much to be honest, so it doesn't bother me.

A 12" (1024x768) screen is perfect for what I use my laptop for. If I was into viewing widescreen DVDs, it wouldn't be so good, but for mostly web-based work with e-mail and a bit of Word Processing, it is perfect [8D] Having the external DVD drive and 12" screen keeps the weight right down to 1.6kg. I see that Toshiba have brought out a new Portege with 12" screen and built-in DVD drive. Apparently it's the world's thinnest DVD drive. Not cheap though...[:0]

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14 years 8 months ago #54526 by wyseyes
Replied by wyseyes on topic Laptop recommendations
I have always wondered why more PC makers don't adopt the slot loading drives, like those found in Mac Powerbooks. And Car players.

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