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Help! Is this laptop any good?

(31 Posts)
flier Sat 07-Nov-09 11:09:43

Been looking into getting a laptop or netbook and finally decided on a laptop.
This will be to replace our home pc, and I am used to running many applications t once so I think I need to get as powerful a laptop as possible. Maximum budget is £450 but would rather spend under £400.
I have come across this Acer Aspire 5536 can anyone tell me if they have it or if it is any good for what I need? I also want to be able to plug it into an lcd tv, and I think it has the ports to be able to do this - please tell me if I'm wrong blush


LeninGuido Sat 07-Nov-09 11:17:03

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flier Sat 07-Nov-09 16:27:31

Thanks LeninGuido, will take a look

LeninGuido Sat 07-Nov-09 17:02:05

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flier Sun 08-Nov-09 21:31:14

Lenin - what do you think of this ? dell inspiron?

It has the same processor as the one at £349 but has 4gb ram and 500gb of memory. Would this difference make for a MUCH faster/better machine than the one at £349 or should I stick with it and use my cash to but MS Office for it? BTW price of this one is £399

flier Sun 08-Nov-09 21:37:20

or for £399 I could have an Intel Core 2 Duo T600 processor but with 3MB ram and 250GB Hard drive (which should be plenty)?

eek which to pick? Help!

flier Mon 09-Nov-09 11:17:14

Anyone else with any advice for me, I'd be really grateful.

nannynick Mon 09-Nov-09 16:24:31

I have an Acer Aspire 5735Z running Vista. I find it's quite acceptable for running several apps at the same time. Such as Tweetdeck, Chrome, GoogleDesktop, OpenOffice... plus numerous background tasks such as AntiVirus etc.

I would go for an Intel Dual Core Processor (as fast as the money can buy) plus as much RAM as possible (so 3GB/4GB typically) though look at cost of upgrading the RAM as it can be quite low.

Laptops often SHARE the RAM with the Graphics Card, thus why you want as much RAM as possible so that more of it can be dedicated to applications/Windows.

flier Mon 09-Nov-09 17:03:19

Thanks NannyNick - you say the exact opposite re the processor from what I have just been reading! I've been told elsewhere that the Intel Core 2 Duo is much better than the Intel Pentium Dual Core shock.
Would you be able to point me anywhere for any more info on comparing the two?
This is the problem when there is so much choice grin

nannynick Mon 09-Nov-09 17:20:37

Intel have comparison charts - Core2 Duo Mobile - though not sure what use they are. Not sure this comparison helps either.

Found this may help in explaining the difference between Pentium Dual Core and Core2 Duo.

I meant that I prefer Intel to AMD... something that was Dual Core - so Core 2 Duo, Pentium Dual-Core - not really fussed which. Then go for the fastest speed within your price range.

LeonieBurningHeapy Mon 09-Nov-09 17:33:04

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LeonieBurningHeapy Mon 09-Nov-09 17:36:50

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LeninGuido Mon 09-Nov-09 17:42:28

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LeninGuido Mon 09-Nov-09 17:44:37

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juneybean Mon 09-Nov-09 17:45:50

I've got a Acer Aspire 5720 and it does the job I need it to

flier Mon 09-Nov-09 17:47:25

Thanks everyone. Think I have decided on a Dell now, just trying to decide which one to go for!
I was a bit confused when looking at a specific model, it allows you to customise it. It told me it had no sound card, so I asked online on the dell site about that, and wether or not it could be cabled up to tv or a monitor. He told me monitor yes, tv no hmm. Apparently it has an integrated sound card - is this an issue rather than adding a soundblaster type card? anyone know? <<<Clueless>>>

LeninGuido Mon 09-Nov-09 17:47:43

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flier Mon 09-Nov-09 17:51:22

Lenin I have been hearing such alot about Open Office that I do intend to try it out. I'm not going to pay for MS Office at the moment. Was also very onterested in Linux, but it is a bridge too far for DHsmile

LeninGuido Mon 09-Nov-09 17:54:57

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LeninGuido Mon 09-Nov-09 17:55:29

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LeonieBurningHeapy Mon 09-Nov-09 17:57:47

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LeninGuido Mon 09-Nov-09 18:00:52

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Snorbs Mon 09-Nov-09 18:02:17

If you've got the choice between a Core2 Duo processor or a dual-core Pentium processor both running at the same speed (ie, the GHz bit) then the Core2 will be faster as it's a more recent design and is more highly tuned. There's not a lot of difference, though, so I wouldn't pay more than (say) £50 on top for the Core2.

The integrated sound card will be fine. You don't need an add-on Soundblaster.

Connecting laptops to TVs is a complicated subject as it depends on what connectors the TV's got. The Inspiron 15 only has a 15-pin VGA connector by the looks of the spec sheet. If your TV has a 15-pin connector (normally called a PC connector on a TV) then you'll be able to connect them together with a VGA cable. You would also need to connect a separate audio cable betweent the laptop and the TV to get the sound to come out of the TV's speakers. Most TVs that have a 15-pin VGA connector will also have a 3.5mm audio-in connector (looks like a headphone socket) to allow this, but not all will. If you post the make/model of TV it might help.

LeninGuido Mon 09-Nov-09 18:02:57

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nannynick Mon 09-Nov-09 18:08:45

I used to be a Microsoft Office user. For the past 6 months I have been using Open Office instead and it meets my rather basic requirements. Did have one issue when opening an old Excel file... a formula I was using for datediff didn't work. Probably just my formula though maybe there are some differences between functions. I also use GoogleDocs a bit, so can edit things online from different locations.

I found my laptop came with a trial version of Office, so currently I have both Open Office and MS Office available, should I find things that don't work.

E-mail wise, I use GoogleMail so I can access my mail from different devices, from anywhere. I then use Thunderbird on my laptop for sending out an e-mail list, as I have a plug-in for Thunderbird to personalise messages.

SoundCards - Laptops will almost always come with Built In soundcard. If you are not doing professional music things (requiring MIDI In/Out etc), then it should be fine for majority of uses.

Most laptops will have a VGA out, which could be connected to an LCD screen (if it has a VGA in - may be labelled Computer In). Some Laptops have HDMI.

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