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Netbook or Laptop?

(11 Posts)
makedoandmend Tue 01-Sep-09 17:08:40

I've been a Mac girl in the main up to now but have used PCs extensively in the past so no real preference. Need something portable that I can use at home and out and about and dh can borrow for his long commute. I'll be using it for writing stuff, net and doing some photo stuff mostly.

Friend bought a netbook which looked amazing but I'm not sure what it has to lose to be that size? Are they only worth it if you need something really portable?

I'm a bit (actually very) thick when it comes to this type of thing so please don't dazzle me with science. I'd be interested to know what the advantages/disadvantages are and what I should be looking out for/avoiding and any ideas what to get.

I've been looking through the mags for hints and tips but, tbh, most of it just sails way over my head.

RustyBear Tue 01-Sep-09 17:13:14

One thing that might affect your decision is that netbooks generally don't have an optical drive - ie a CD/DVD drive, so if you wanted to put your photos on DVD, you'd have to either buy an external drive separately, or use an online or photolab service.

makedoandmend Tue 01-Sep-09 17:14:42

oh I did wonder about that. I figured that would be the most obvious thing that would be missing.

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 18:14:41

I think another aspect is that laptops can be a bit bulky (depends on how much space available for the train commute trips - I'm assuming that's when it might also be used).

I think the 10" screen on netbook makes them too small (nowadays the BBC website assumes a widescreen, and having to scroll left and right to click on links is worse than scrolling up and down in my view.

Widescreen laptops are almost 'standard' these days, which means they can have a bigger keyboard, but take more room on the train.

You don't mention a budget, or whether you want something like MS Office on it, and to add to the consideration is whether you are aware that Windows 7 is due out soon which could be worth waiting for :-

1) although it is new, if it gets a positive reaction, then you might kick yourself buying now and having Vista, and upgrade may not be possible if laptop doesn't have enough RAM for Win 7

Would benefit anyone getting a new PC to consider having it with Win 7 already installed, for you, and thus fully supported from day 1.

2) secondary effect of Win 7 coming out will be piles of PCs running Vista that shops want to clear out, so they have space and stock of Windows 7 machines ready for Christmas.

So, on one hand, if you want Windows 7, getting Vista may make you kick yourself, you might kick the other leg if you then see the same machine drop in price by 150 quid 3-6 weeks after you've bought one brand new.

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 18:18:32

Some 500 pound Toshiba laptops have dropped 100 (model L300-29X at John Lewis) and almost 150 pounds (model L300-29X at Comet) and I forecast there could be further price drops when Win 7 is out.

NoahFence Tue 01-Sep-09 18:19:04

i want one too

makedoandmend Tue 01-Sep-09 18:47:00

When is Windows 7 out Webdude? Not really sure whether I need it or not. Could there be glitches with a brand new version when it's first out (or does that not happen anymore - ages since I've bought any new software)?

Budget I guess would be up to £400 but would prefer cheaper.

Hadn't thought about the screen size for web pages - agree that it would be a pain. That with the issue of the external DVD makes me lean towards a laptop.

Any buying tips? Don't want to get bamboozled by an 17 year old in Comet (I know they know nothing but they know slightly more than my fuck all and they know that I know it and I end up wanting to punch them for being smug and me for being stupid sad)

makedoandmend Tue 01-Sep-09 18:54:23

Just a quick question webdude - if we didn't wait and snapped up a bargain - I'm guessing that it would probably be a while before we found that we would have to upgrade. Most things are usually compatible with old versions for quite a while aren't they?

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 21:25:46

Windows 7 has been under test for a few months. Due out October I think (but not sure whether it is start or end). I know a number of PC users who have stuck with XP rather than use Vista, because V had problems, but where V got bad reviews concerning software compatibility, there has been nothing like as much flak about Win 7.

Many businesses didn't touch Vista, and Dell and others carried on selling machines with XP on for 18 months after Vista launched.

I'd personally look in the 250-350 price mark. The thing is that laptops (unless being used by someone for mega complex processing) don't need to be that powerful (otherwise they're power hungry too, get hot, and run the battery down quickly).

Part of the cost for any PC is the CPU, and the most powerful 3+ GHz can add 100 pounds against 'run of the mill' 2 GHz CPU

For word processing, browsing, playing music, and managing photo collection, it's arguable that a 250 quid PC will do as well as 500 quid PC.

However, laptops are more costly than desktop/mini-tower/tower PCs because they have to work harder on the design, use low power consumption components, and squeeze out better performance with as little weight as possible.

Also, you're getting a 75+ quid screen as part of the deal... Hence the 300+ pricing for so many machines.

XP support was extended, but I see Vista being a different category. If Win 7 takes off with business, as expected, then there may well be a flood of new apps which work best with 7 and the long-standing "works with Win 2000, NT, XP" might go out the window.

In the past there was Windows 2 and 3, running in 8 bit mode, then Win 95 and 98, 98SE, which had 16 bit mode. Win XP has lots of 32 bit software and now things have moved onto a new level with 64 bit processors.

Assuming you want to buy sooner rather than later, then there's that Toshiba at Comet for 360 pounds which has 4 GB of RAM, 250 GB hard drive, and there's a Win 7 upgrade option. It's certainly one of the few 4 GB machines around for the money, and Toshiba laptops have been respected since the 80s (orange screens back then).

In my view, better to have big HD and plenty of RAM from day 1, as adding anything later is a pain in a laptop, and those two are perhaps 100 pounds of value compared with a machine having 160 GB HD and 2 GB RAM.

If you can hold off purchase, you'd perhaps get it with Win 7 installed from day 1, and that way you'd have no qualms about support calls if anything wasn't working 100% - no chance to point the finger and claim you did something wrong when installing Win 7.

Sorry if that sounds ultra spoilsport, you want it, and you want it now, but I'd hate for anyone to buy and then feel rally fed up that their friend / neighbour / work colleague laughs at them and say, I waited a week and it was all installed and faster than Vista...

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 21:50:35

makedoandmend - when is it out...

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

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!

I doubt the laptops will jump up in price, because they have Win 7 on them rather than Vista.

WebDude Tue 01-Sep-09 21:53:32

I don't know whether people who had already ordered will see the price reduced or whether they've already had the cash taken.

If I'd paid 150 quid I'd be rather miffed that 7 weeks before it comes out, others can place an order at under half the price I paid!

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