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Old 06-24-2010, 03:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lightweight laptop

So, I'm looking into replacing my netbook with a lightweight laptop - I like my netbook, but it's just not powerful enough to do some of the stuff I want to (like, despite having a 720p screen it can't play 720p video, and it actually struggles on YouTube 360p, too...). So, I'm going to sell my netbook to put towards getting said lightweight laptop.

What I need is help finding a good one at the right price - budget is £500 (USD$650) maximum at the moment, but if it's really worth it, I could stretch that to £600 (and that really is the maximum).
Mostly using it for school (and eventually uni), which I've found needs a little more power than a netbook for, and just general surfing and such.

I'm not especially interested in good specs, but to be more specific:
- Anything better than a low-spec Atom and GMA500 graphics (the worst imaginable). I've been looking at low-spec i3s and Pentium CULVs.
- I'm hoping for at least six hours battery life (most I've been looking at quote 8.5 hours)
- Size, 14" maximum. My netbook is 11.6", and I should say that's the minimum.
- Screen, I'm not too bothered about the screen quality, my netbook's is abysmal so I'm used to using a crap screen :P
- RAM, 2GB minimum, I can always upgrade it to more if I find I need to. My netbook has 2GB and that's never been a problem.
- HDD, really not bothered. My netbook has 250GB and I've barely used half of it (and only about 30GB of that is actually necessary, the rest is random video and such).

The only ones I really know of are the lightweight Toshibas (hence me needing help :P), been looking at these two:
Satellite T230-12Q - Product Specifications - Toshiba

Satellite Pro L630-124 - Product Specifications - Toshiba

If anyone could help me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks,
Yami
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lightweight laptop

I'm not sure how prices are in the UK but here are a couple of models I would look at,

Higher Priced
Alienware M11x
Dell Vostro V13 - awesome small system but battery life may be less than what you are looking for
Asus UL30 series
Asus U30 series

Lower Priced
MSI Wind12 U230 - This model has a Athlon Neo x2 and HD 3200 igp so it should offer very good performance while maintaining a netbook form factor. If MSI's other netbooks are any indication it should have a great screen.

The Wind12 should be well within you budget but I'm not sure about the others. I haven't used the Wind12 however i have owned a 10" Wind with a Atom for a year and a half now and have been very happy wit it.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lightweight laptop

I'd suggest these: Cheap Laptops and Laptop deals | Ebuyer.com
I would get the Acer, ASUS or Toshiba.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lightweight laptop

DELL XPS1330 (in current rendition or used, both are good options).

Work with tons of different brand/model laptops everyday and 1330 is the only one I'd actually contemplate getting for myself if I didn't have a free one. Well built, very light with lots of aluminum parts, and an excellent performer (even 2 year old models are still very much current), almost Dell business series level of reliability ("almost" because of the performance video card used in XPS). Used you can pick one up for less than $600.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lightweight laptop

Sashko, thats in CAD, he is in UK, there is a large difference in price.
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Old 06-24-2010, 04:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lightweight laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by MindoverMaster View Post
Sashko, thats in CAD, he is in UK, there is a large difference in price.
I used USD (well, same as a loonie nowdays anyways).

If he buys on eBay, or generally online, there shouldn't be much difference (so around 400 pounds is very much doable for a mint 1.5 year old XPS, which will perform better than most of current desktops).

I'd stay away from anything Asus, Acer, MSI, and to a lesser extent Toshiba (especially Asus). Netbooks seem a little pointless at this point of time as well - there is nothing a netbook can do that a good data phone cannot, making netbooks a bit redundant.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lightweight laptop

Thanks for the help, guys Will certainly be looking into the options!

Added a USD value beside my GBP one, would have been helpful posthumously though :P

Quote:
Netbooks seem a little pointless at this point of time as well - there is nothing a netbook can do that a good data phone cannot, making netbooks a bit redundant.
True, but my netbook was £300, whereas a good data phone would cost a good deal more than that once you add in contract and/or internet fees.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lightweight laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yami View Post
Thanks for the help, guys Will certainly be looking into the options!

Added a USD value beside my GBP one, would have been helpful posthumously though :P

True, but my netbook was £300, whereas a good data phone would cost a good deal more than that once you add in contract and/or internet fees.
Data phone is actually useful because it's always in your pocket If you hook up your netbook to 3G then you have to pay for data plan all the same. Netbook has the same ergonomics as a full blown laptop, but performs significantly worse, occupying that "neither fish nor meat" niche in world of portable electronics.

My advise with cars and laptops is always the same - buy slightly used premium brands/models; you end up saving a small fortune and getting a truly quality product in the end that will serve you x100 times longer than brand new lower tier stuff.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lightweight laptop

That doesn't apply to computers, Sashko. Cars, maybe so. But they are not related. Cars came first, computers came later. You are really putting a bet on your money.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lightweight laptop

Applies to computers even more so. All my advise is based on real life experience - we repair about 20 units per day of various brands and over the years we've been seeing same recurring problems for the same brands/models. Some laptops are very thoughtfully made and some are like HP's dv series.

Buying used is totally safe if done right. Use eBay and buy from a trusted seller. Items usually come with 3 months warranty (if you have a reballed or "heated" chip then it will usually show within the first month of use). Open box deals are good too if you want to go totally safe.
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