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Your recommendations for reliable business laptop please

(9 Posts)
Corriewatcher Sat 02-Jul-11 23:20:22

My 2 year old HP laptop died last week. Got it back 2 days later from repair people (£210 bill), and a day later the same thing happened. They've now diagnosed a failing hard disk and have quoted me a further 2-4 hours work (ie (£140-£280 plus vat) to install a new disk. I'm going to ask them if they can do a better price than that, or I might as well get a new laptop.
Thing is, I run my own business so need a working, reliable laptop asap. If they refuse to put a new hard disk in for a reasonable cost, I'm going to have to get a new laptop fast. When I got my old one, I spent ages pouring over reports and reviews. Time's too short now, so I was wondering if you lovely mumsnetters could advise me on the spec I should be looking for and on any particularly reliable models worth looking at. Budget is around £500, but could pay more if the extra is worth it.
I really only use my laptop for the internet, spreadsheets, producing documents, and email/outlook calendar etc. No gaming, and watch about 3 DVDs a year on it. Would like a webcam for skype. Reliability and ease-of-use are important. What spec would you recommend?
Finally, a simple question: I bought Office Professional 2007 for my old laptop and still have disc. Will that run on Windows 7? Thanks for any help you can give me!

jollydiane Sun 03-Jul-11 23:28:48

I have been watching this thread hoping someone would respond. I am seriously considering buying a MAC, but they are about £1000 which I am willing to pay as I to need a reliable laptop. I was thinking of splitting the hard drive and have 1/2 on windows and 1/2 on Mac.

Come on geeks help us out? Where are you?

mranchovy Mon 04-Jul-11 10:52:03

1. I'm very suspicious of this repair shop - who are they and what did they actually do the first time?

2. A new hard disk is about £40 and 15 mins labour to fit, although installing Windows, other software and particularly transferring data can take from an hour to half a day so this is what costs the money. You can do all of this yourself though. If the old laptop has Windows 7 (which is so much better than Vista) I'd be inclined to keep it.

3. 2 years is not long for a laptop hard disk to last unless it is used in fairly harsh conditions (knocks/vibration, dust, heat etc), and if this is the case you might not get much life out of a new one either.

4. I am hugely impressed with Acer laptops, I always buy from a shop so I can take it back if it breaks (Currys/PC World or John Lewis). The current Timeline X series look a bit more professional than the basic series, but the 15.6" version seems to be hard to find at the moment - here is the 14" version which I find a but small for serious use (and it doesn't have a numeric pad which if you do a lot of spreadsheet work is indispensible). You want an i3 (or i5) processor unless you want to go for something cheap, in which case a decent refurbished one should cost you about £300.

5. Yes any version of Office from 2003/XP onwards will run on Windows 7.

mranchovy Mon 04-Jul-11 11:00:53

Macs are not any more reliable than other laptops IME and cost a lot more to fix (and are impossible to DIY for the novice) when they do break.

What do you mean having '1/2 on Windows and 1/2 on Mac'? Do you plan to buy a license for Windows 7 and install this via Boot Camp? That is a very expensive way of getting a Windows laptop.

dragonmother Mon 04-Jul-11 20:37:28

I've got a Dell Vostro which comes in for some heavy use and has done very well so far. Hope I'm not tempting fate there...

jollydiane Thu 07-Jul-11 20:13:11

Thanks for the response. I have just lost my rag with the lap-tops falling apart. I just want something that works.

NerfHerder Thu 07-Jul-11 20:37:24

If you are physically near a john lewis, they have a sale on atm, and there are lots of single, endofline type laptops (4Gb memory, 128 Gb hard drivee etc) fine for business use, starting at about 250 I think, lots of different brands (well known ones). JL usually have 2 or 3 yr guarantee too.

jollydiane Thu 07-Jul-11 20:41:55

Good idea. I know it is very girly but the MAC just look so nice and easy to use. I'll get my business hat back before I go into the shop.

Corriewatcher Sun 10-Jul-11 19:59:48

Just wanted to say thanks for all the replies - sorry for the delay but my internet surfing was somewhat limited last week! In the end, I managed to convince the IT repair shop to put in a new hard drive at a much reduced rate. Got the laptop back on Thursday afternoon so all is well for time being. Will though think about a new laptop in the next year and will definitely give thought to length of warranty offered.

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