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Old 11-09-2009, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Laptop Advice ...

My GF's IBM Thinkpad has just died an irretrievable death & it's time to get a new one. She has about $1200 to spend on a Win7 (64 bit machine) - her usage is primarily word-processing, powerpoint, surfing - plus lots of multi-media stuff (video & photoshop). What are good models, companies, to look at?

She's a complete technophobe & so the responsibility of choice is mine (as is the grief if I get it wrong). In reality, although she says she only cares about what it looks like, she worked the last one really hard & was always complaining about it's lack of speed & capability. So the new one needs to be reliable, speedy & good performer. I was thinking of looking at a Dell but wondered if there were good-value custom buiders I should also check-out ...

Advice appreciated!
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Advice ...

I hear good things about lenovo - they took over the PC line for IBM and haven't done a bad job at all apparently. The newer dells look really classy and are sure to be good value and I always have in the back of my mind that HP are a good brand though that isn't backed up by much. The only brand I would steer clear of is Acer but again some people like them.
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Advice ...

Well from experience my HP works really well, and looks good as well. The newer designs of HP would likely appeal to your GF. Although the reason why a lot of people tend not to buy HP is due to the other software they put it. They label it as bloatware but I find the HP software useful at times. Anyway, Toshiba is also a good brand, and if your after looks the Vaio by Sony seems good, or a MacBook if she wont be doing too much techno stuff.
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Old 11-10-2009, 11:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Advice ...

If anything the look of a PC can't heavily determine it's performance. I would look into lenovo as pointed out by Kmote. They are a previous IBM computer and when they first arrived, they were both cheap and extremely useful on word processing and presentation. They were considered a 'business' brand of PC's. There are netbooks to be looked at, but, I doubt for what she'd be using the machine for I'd doubt it'd be enough for her.

In laptops it can all be about the size of the screen 17'' , 15.4'' widescreen etc. Some will have dedicated graphics cards on board, so do some research on a decent graphics card and based on what programs she runs should help you narrow down how much physical ram on the video card you'll need.

A bit of a rule however, if Win7 runs on say, a minimum of 1GB, get 2GB or 3GB Maximum on the motherboard and a hard drive roughly 300GB in space. That would suffice as I know those high render applications take up some space and tend to become large projects over time. With a configuration of say what I found here :
Newegg.com - HP Pavilion dv7-2270us NoteBook Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000(2.00GHz) 17.3" 4GB Memory 500GB HDD 7200rpm DVD Super Multi ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4650 - Laptops / Notebooks
might suffice in her computing needs. There are 'higher end' quad cores with faster clock speeds, but I doubt she'd need the performance in that regaurd.

In Dell, there parts are usually 'cheaper' so you'd have to take caution in that most components such as the RAM or HDD might not be up to par. Which is where they make a profit on a slower PC.

Asus is definately another brand of laptops I'd look into. They started as a small business of motherboard makers for the early Intel processors in the past, which meant they built to specifications of users and make very solid motherboards and components. In which case, a laptop by Asus would be good based on the motherboard!
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Old 11-10-2009, 08:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Advice ...

Thanks for the input folks - I'm a big fan of Thinkpad's (had about 6 of them) but since her Thinkpad failed she's become disenchanted(!). I was looking at Asus too as they seem like good value for money. Any recommendations for custom builders?
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Laptop Advice ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by globalkiwi View Post
Thanks for the input folks - I'm a big fan of Thinkpad's (had about 6 of them) but since her Thinkpad failed she's become disenchanted(!). I was looking at Asus too as they seem like good value for money. Any recommendations for custom builders?
For custom builders its the same mindset. What you put in, is what you get out of it. In laptops keep in mind that the hard drive, memory and to some extent optical drive will be the only things upgradeable on the machine.

If you want a custom 'built' laptop, meaning you choose the parts specifically, go through the proprietary builders such as HP & Dell. There warranties will cover parts, but to some extent you have to take it to an authorized technician to get it repaired.

In terms of suggestions for a builder, its all the same components you find in a PC only smaller and limited by what they can do. For instance, you won't see many machines running an SLi configuration or RAIDs.

My suggestion is to keep it sweet and simple, look for a decent mid-range machine with say 3GB RAM, Core 2 Duo or Core Quad processor(expensive in the long run) and upgrade to win7.

You'll get a lot more performance from a 64bit system exponentially. But, in 32bit processors, such as the core 2 duo (i believe, i could be wrong) then you limit yourself to 32bit Operating Systems.

So really, its down to how much you want to spend, the maximum and then starting from your CPU and working down the list.
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