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any good laptop recommendations? my head is SWIMMING with Gigabytes and Vistas and i'm thinking of going to John Lewis, god help me.

(54 Posts)
AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Mon 31-Aug-09 21:34:34

i am NOT GOOD at buying this kind of thing and bitterly regret the purchase of a Dell last time.

has anyone done this recently and ferreted out a fantastic machine for about 500 quid? it's really just a bit of browsing of MN and photos and word processing, most techie stuff passes me by.

For browsing, photos and word processing you shouldn't need to spend 500 quid.

I rate Toshiba laptops and here is one that should do everything you need and more.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Mon 31-Aug-09 22:19:33

oh yes thanks, i like toshibas too. let me have a look. i don't want to spend 500 but i went into a shop and the guy was a bit of a twat and was telling me that's what i'd have to spend. hmm

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Mon 31-Aug-09 22:20:50

cheers. do you know the website? one of the reasons i was thinking JL is at least their guarantees are good and my laptops take a bit of a battering.

WebDude Mon 31-Aug-09 23:17:38

If it is at all possible, you might want to wait a few weeks.

Windows 7 is due out soon, and while there are some machines being sold with a 'free upgrade' it's often a lot easier to start with the version of the OS already installed.

A friend has switched from an Asus EEE box (slim, virtually silent, ideal for hiding next to his DVD player and using for movies off the PC hard drive) to an Acer (which is similar, but running Vista, and meant to be upgradable to Win 7 - he's paid a fee for that option). However, these machines are so slim and low power consumption, they don't actually have a CD/DVD drive in them, so it's a bit of a puzzle as to how he will get the upgrade to Windows 7. A DVD won't be much good...

Also, when Windows 7 is out on new PCs, the others might drop in price

However, whether anyone might want Vista is another matter... I'll probably put some version of Linux on !!

WebDude Mon 31-Aug-09 23:36:17

For your needs, I would certainly look at machines closer to 300 pounds, unless you feel you have to have the latest version of MS Office as part of the deal.

Must admit not to have looked for laptops for a while. Being nosey, what plans do you have for old Dell ?

I guess you may already have an external drive, but if not, then for about 60 pounds you can get an external hard drive with high capacity (maybe 500 GB) which plugs in on a USB (v2.0) port. Try searching for 'external storage' if you need a drive.

I can't say I know lambda-tek, but they get a decent rating on a Google product search. I'm not sure whether that's worth much?

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Tue 01-Sep-09 09:52:49

i should get an external hard drive, you're right. and my old laptops sit in a pile and are occasionally booted up for kicks and thrills. i must get my photos all into one place so external drive a good idea.

i will wait a couple of weeks, that's a good idea, but i've heard awful things about vista. i do try to remain steadily behind the new software curve, by and large...

any more recommendations would be great. particularly from a store, so i can get JL to price match. (although i wonder, cos JL seem to put different memory in perhaps to confound this?)

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 11:31:42

Yes, it does seem that way (re JL and RAM), or have machines others don't seem to touch. JL has a Tosh L300-29V which of course isn't the L300-29X that is on Comet site.

JL's Tosh has 3 GB RAM and costs 399.
Comet's has 4 GB RAM and costs 359.

Same video chips and memory, same 250 GB hard drive, same CPU speed etc, same weight. There may be some small difference in battery life (not shown on JL spec).

Looks like the only other difference is the list of software. I'd go for the 4 GB PC, even if they had been the other way round, price-wise, as more RAM often makes a difference, and it's more 'future proof'.

Comet does also mention Windows 7 upgrade option (so it's a promise this one can handle it).

(Just checked Google product search and for those two models, Comet and JL had been charging 499. Laskys were cheaper and it might be that both have been reduced to clear them, because when new Windows 7 is on all the new machines, these won't be "current" and they may have to sell them even cheaper, IYSWIM, to have shelves full of Windows 7 when Microsoft pushes it on TV.)

One difference is that JL offers 2 years warranty, Comet, 1 year (to go to 2 years costs an extra 99 quid).

If it's a Toshiba, I think I'd argue against paying extra - they have had a good reputation since the mid-80s, and if it went wrong within 2 years, might still get repair done for free if you kick up a fuss with Tosh (not that I'd expect anything to go wrong).

Having perhaps left your head pounding "which to go for" I'd print off the page from the JL site, so you have a list of all the software.

You won't care about Microsoft Works on the machine (cut down version of Office) and McAfee isn't that special. Check whether the Tosh at Comet includes all the other (Toshiba) software. I expect it will, since this is practically the same L300-29 as the one at JL.

Assuming the Toshiba software is the same, you just have to weigh up whether you want a lower spec machine (but with an extra year's warranty) for an extra 30 quid.

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 11:38:44

Have gone back to the Lambda-Tek site and for pretty much same cash as Comet here are the two

Lambda-Tek Comet
price 365 359
store 160 GB 250 GB

Slightly different CPU but it looks like the RAM is also used for the video, so more RAM is still an advantage, and bigger HD worth having in case you want to flog it in 2 years as a s/h machine when getting something newer.

Not anti-Lambda-Tek, just pound for pound the Comet one seems slightly better value.

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 11:41:18

That should not have been "slightly better" but "better"... adding 2 GB of RAM could cost 50 to 70 quid, even if 160 to 250 GB may only add 10 or 20 quid...

Having it all fitted in from day 1 and not need to mess with laptop (or warrantee) is 'priceless' !!

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Tue 01-Sep-09 21:27:33

oh you are being very kind indeed, this is much appreciated. grin
so should i not wait another couple of weeks then, do you think?

bonkerz Tue 01-Sep-09 21:30:11

i have the toshiba laptop that is linked in the first is really good.
i got mine from tesco online for £325, it was actually a replacement for the fujitsu one i bought 11 months ago and the hard drive broke on it, they replaced with minimal fuss! LOL

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 21:49:21

re Win 7... Aitch, more like 6 weeks.

On a different thread someone asked about Laptops on Netbooks, and now have gone to check.

Win 7 is being put on some websites for people to order now. I had seen it at 200+ pounds (for Win 7 Professional or Ultimate or somesuch) but seems there are reductions...

From the Tesco site:

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (Full Version) Catalogue number: 206-3928

This item is a pre-order item and will be shipped on 21/10/2009 and this item will be delivered the next day.

October 22 is the launch date. Amazon and Misco also have it for pre-order. On the Amazon site the prices shown are

Home Premium 149.99 63.99
Professional 219.99 148.00
Ultimate 229.99 159.85

However, I doubt the laptops will jump up in price, because they have Win 7 on them rather than Vista. I am a little surprised to see Microsoft dropping the price so significantly on the Windows 7 Home edition, however, unless they are doing it to be able to encourage Vista users that they have an out of date OS (by getting the market to accept Windows 7 enthusiastically by not pricing it too high, or simply that they had poor sales and considered that the economic situation would keep sales low unless they did something dramatic!

trellism Tue 01-Sep-09 21:56:29

I got a returned Acer netbook from John Lewis for £190 - absolutely perfect for MIL who uses it for internet, email and documents (using Open Office) Naturally DH and I wiped the silly OS it came with and it now runs Jaunty Jackalope without any trouble.

tbh, if you don't absolutely utterly require Windows for work or gaming, I'd steer clear of it and go for a netbook.

I have an EEE which I love but the keyboard is a little small.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Tue 01-Sep-09 22:02:43

i use it for work, though, trellis, so i think the notebook would be too small. i'm debating whether to go back to a normal screen size after having a widescreen for the last couple of years.

PigeonPie Tue 01-Sep-09 22:07:00

Get a Mac grin

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Tue 01-Sep-09 22:09:47

hmm there's always one...

PigeonPie Tue 01-Sep-09 22:10:36

Sorry that was flippant. However, the Apple Store do have deals and reconditioned ones which might fit the bill. Great for photo storage and organisation and of course iTunes, iMovie, iCal and address book are great.

I also really like Pages (their WP) and Numbers.

EyeballsintheSky Tue 01-Sep-09 22:11:13

It took 17 posts but we got there in the end. All this pc speak makes me dizzy...

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Tue 01-Sep-09 22:12:53

lol. no, i can't get a mac at my age.

PigeonPie Tue 01-Sep-09 22:13:48

You can - you're not much younger than me from what I remember!

They're gggrrreeeaattt!

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 22:15:30

I spotted a couple of refurb Acers listed on some site today (not available for 3-4 weeks though) Acer Refurb Aspire 250GB 4GB

Price was nice (275 quid, with free delivery) but only 90 days warranty, which wouldn't even suit me particularly (as it's far easier to open up a big desktop to find and fix a problem than a laptop with fiddly little screws and parts being a bit more 'special'.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Tue 01-Sep-09 22:16:30

they're expensive and when i used to use them at work they crashed all teh sodding time.

plus, i would then be a mac person. and mac people are a bit... smug. wink ime.

AitchwonderswhoFruitCrumbleis Tue 01-Sep-09 22:17:17

i'm quite keen on a warranty, dude, it's my age. wink

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