TechSpot

Can't decide on a laptop, argh!

By Thalin
Aug 14, 2007
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hey all,

    I'm looking for a new (well, first ever) laptop for uni this year. I am an art student so will be using it mainly for graphics software, image editing, and the normal music listening etc. Power to run games well would also be a plus :) So I guess it's mainly a multimedia laptop. I don't want to be spending any more that 400/450 pounds to be honest.

    I have my eyes mainly on http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/126329/rb/0 and http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/prod...esc&filter_category=&filter_string=&offset=10

    The second seems to have slightly better specs for a slightly more expensive price, but im more a fan of AMD to be honest. Maybe another laptop on Ebuyer http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/store/5/category/Laptops would suit me more.

    Any advice is very much appreciated.
     
  2. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Rookie Posts: 883

    All of those have integrated graphics, so they might not have the graphical processing power you are looking for. Does Dell have a European website? If they do you might want to take a look at their Vostro line.
     
  3. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    have a look at the acers with ebuyer - code 126338 or 126334. These have beefy graphics cards and might suit?
     
  4. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

    I'm still undecided, bah.

    I guess 450 pounds seems OK for a laptop, and I am tempted to go with this one. But its single core as far as I can see, and for the same price are Intel Core Duo whatever numbojumbo :) http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/126338

    Large screen, good graphics etc.
     
  5. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

  6. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

    If you are correct, and I hope you are, I will love you forever, and would immediately buy it :D
     
  7. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Over familiarity is forbidden on this forum. Besides I am big and brave and very very English so we don't do that sort of thing.
    Buy the thing.
    Today!
    Jeepers I deserve a commission from Acer on this one!
     
  8. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

  9. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

    I think it's single core. Bummer.
     
  10. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

  11. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

     
  12. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    It would appear not - but the usual specification sheet is missing on this one and no trace of the model number on the Acer UK site.
    If you are not sure about x2, you probably do't need it. A beefy graphics card would probably be of more use to you in what you are planning to do.
     
  13. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

    And the card in the model I was disappointed to find was not x2 is, in your opinion, a good card? 6100 I think it was.
     
  14. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    I cannot remember which is which now - the salient point is that where there is the system RAM is shared to provide memory for the graphics card the performance is not as good as where the graphics card has it's own dedicated memory modules.
     
  15. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

  16. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    If you look at the extended spec for this you will see that is a shared memory card up to a max of 128 Mb - which it takes from the system memory. The system memory is upgradeable should you want to use max graphics memory.
    Hope this helps!
     
  17. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

  18. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Looks OK to me - graphics on shared memory but otherwise a decent spec.
     
  19. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

    Yeah that's my only worry, do they look like good graphics? Also it's HP, are they good? I'm sorry to keep changing my mind on my choices, I just want to cover all options as i'm sure you understand.
     
  20. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    Things to consider when getting a laptop:

    For general productivity and surfing and a few games you will need the following:

    1. NO LESS than 1gb of ram. Max the ram on your laptop when buying. RAM also helps save battery life as the HD is less accessed. Almost all laptops use integrated graphics which "borrow" ram from the main board this is also why you need more.

    2. 7200 rpm hd. Anything less like 5200 or (egad) 4100 etc will run excruciatingly slow. 60gb of space is plenty. If you plan to store movies, get a humungous external drive.

    3. wireless card MUST be part of the laptop. Most new ones do. ensure you have a/b/g protocol. "N" is not standardized yet, DO NOT buy version N until the standard is ratified. DRAFT N is proprietary and NOT standard.

    4. must have a dual core CPU. anything else is a waste of time. For intel this means a CORE 2 DUO or better or for AMD an ATHLON 4000 or better. DO NOT buy a low end CPU like a centrino or any single core CPU. These are rapidly becoming obsolete.

    5. Don't bother with a gaming laptop. If you intend on playing high end games, buy a desktop. Laptops get hot, also less than 2% have upgradable graphics boards. By the time you want to play a newer game, your system will be obsolete.

    6. Consider battery life. If you are more mobile, ensure you can run on at least 2 hours of battery life at normal cpu settings.

    7. consider weight. If you are lugging it around campus, you'll want it to be realtively lightweight.
     
  21. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

    Thanks for the long reply. To be honest, I have a good desktop, and wouldn't be playing many games on the laptop. Definately not graphically intensive games, more like something like Guild Wars occasionally? Interesting about the dual core comment being a must, I guess it would be a good idea.
    With that HP one though, i'm just concerned about the graphics.
     
  22. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Personally I am not keen on HP/Compaq, I see too many of them in my workshop for repair; hence the recommendations for Acer.
     
  23. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

    I'm really never going to decide am I? Haha.
     
  24. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Try the Vostro 1500. It's for about 425 pounds fully loaded with 2GB of RAM, a Core 2 Duo processor, 160GB 5400RPM HDD, an 8600GT with 256MB of dedicated DDR2 memory onboard, a DVD writer and Vista. Quite a good deal methinks.
     
  25. Thalin

    Thalin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 103

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