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Which laptop for teen websurfing? Which wireless technology?

(8 Posts)
Threadworm Sun 09-Aug-09 12:44:13

Am thinking of buying a Dell Inspiron, with a few upgrades to give good speed and performance. Have also to buy a wireless router. Am scared to death and at sea with all the choices.

Would Dell Inspiron be ok? What processor should I upgrade to? How much memory? Is an upgraded graphics card important for normal websurfing -- youtube etc -- and online gameplaying?

Are all wireless routers compatible with today's built-in wireless connectivity?
Which wireless router is best? (big house, thick Victorian walls)

Am total ignoramus. Any advice/recommendation welcome.

pontynan Sun 09-Aug-09 13:12:20

Boy? girl? What do they like doing? Playing games? Graphics?

I'm a bit prejudiced here as I have always used a Mac and my kids and I have Mac Ibooks and Mac Mini desk tops.

The advantage is that they don't get viruses and they don't crash and they rarely go wrong - which is big consideration if you are not technically minded enough to fix problems. They are also unbeatable for graphics (software built in), photo management and music. They are also very 'cool'with kids.

That said, there is nothing like as much games software for Macs compared with PCs.

All routers will be compatible - if you have a big house just go for the one which has the longest range you can afford. There is not a lot to choose between them in quality.

Threadworm Sun 09-Aug-09 13:31:23

Thanks pontynan. The info about routers is very reassuring and helpful.

Is a boy. Mostly uses runescape and youtube. I don't think those need v high-quality graphics.

Threadworm Sun 09-Aug-09 13:32:39

Macs are terra incognita for us -- and seem to be expensive too. I know that their users speak v highly of them though.

Macs are very cool, great graphics, extremely popular with musicians and graphic designers. They haven't had serious security problems yet, but Apple aren't very responsive to security issues.

A Linux based netbook is more secure than a Windows based netbook, but won't run a lot of Windows software. It will do websurfing and email just fine.

All netbooks and modern wireless routers will do 802.11b and 802.11g wifi protocols. Not all will do 802.11n, but you really don't need it.

Threadworm Mon 10-Aug-09 09:09:49

Thanks v much.

For good or ill I've now bought a Dell, with an upgraded wireless connectivity of:

Intel WiFi Link 5100 (802.11 a/b/g/n 1X2) 1/2 MiniCard.

That upgrade was a pretty random decision, based on ignorance and fear of low speeds in the largish distance between router and son's bedroom.

So if all wireless routers do 802.11b I should be ok??

You should be fine. I would expect it to connect on 802.11g, b would be quite slow (max 1mbps IIRC). I forget quite what the max speed is for 802.11g, but it's faster than most peoples ADSL links. That card gives you the option if upgrading the router to n if you have any issues with range or a superfast cable link.

Threadworm Mon 10-Aug-09 10:45:16

Thanks. That sounds quite reassuring.

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