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Vista & Laptops

By Route44
May 5, 2007
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  1. I am in the process of researching laptops for my daughter who will be heading for college in the fall. The laptop in question will be used for college work like research, papers, homework, internet surfuring etc. She is not a gamer.

    Right now there are many good sale options with Vista as the OS. The thing is many people are having issues with this OS. My daughter does not have the knowledge if something goes wrong or has conflicts with Vista. For those running Vista on an LT, what have been your experiences, expecially with wireless, card reading, and drivers, i.e. printers?

    For the work I described this laptop will be used for, will Vista suffice with 1 Gig of RAM and a dual core chip? Will a single core chip not be fine as well?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    Vista comes with a great number of drivers as stock, so when I installed it on my laptop it needed no driver downloads at all.

    Additionally - and more importantly - any new laptop that comes with Vista will already have all the drivers and so forth installed anyway. If the laptop includes wireless then the wireless drivers will already be installed. Its only hardware driver compatibility that could put anyone off of Vista - does she have any existing hardware (like USB stuff, printer, scanner, etc) that she has to use... that would be your only problem if there was not a Vista driver.

    A Vista laptop will be fine. Single core and 1GB of RAM will be fine, if its mainly for college work, etc. Office 2003 works fine with Vista, you don't need the latest version.
     
  3. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 12,155   +34

    Thanks for the quick reply. I will have to purchase everything new, i.e., printer, etc., thus my reason for asking about drivers.

    Also, the reason I asked about single core is because many, many PCs and laptops utilize single core and they do quite fine. Plus, there are some tremendous deals on single core Laptops right now. Any other advice will be appreciated.
     
  4. Tedster

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

    Before you buy a lot of new peripherals, check the manufactuer website of the ones you do own already for updated drivers. You can save yourself some money.

    Also while single core CPUs may be ok, you want to make your new laptop somewhat future proof. single core is definately on the way out. If you can, get duel core. More programs are starting to take advantage of multi core processors.

    Also have at least 1gb ram. Ample ram is extremely important on laptops, perhaps more so than desktops.
     
  5. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,289

    Route44, for what you describe the laptop to be used for she wont have any problems really. Go with a dual core and at least a gig of ram. I would not get Vista basic! Also Open Office is a good substitute for Office 2003. Plus OO is FREE!!! I love it, functions much the same if not the same as MS Office etc. And me personally, I would use either Firefox or Opera as my browser over the new IE7 that comes on the new laptops. I am not so sure I like IE7 at the moment. And if the single cores are cheaper and will get the job done at college, I say by all means got that route.

    As far as wireless. Probably everyone you see these days has built in wireless. After I got my new Vista laptop. I decided to set-up a wireless cable router in my home. Didn't have the first problem with it!
     
  6. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 12,155   +34

    Thanks for all the replies. Yes, I am going to go with 1 gig of RAM for now and if I want to I can always upgrade to two gigs of RAM if need be in the future.

    Tedster, I agree about not using Basic. I think Home Premium will more than suffice for what she needs to do.

    halo71, I do't know anything about Open Office. If someone sends her an MS Word document can she open it? How difficult is it to set up and is the current one compatible with Vista?
     
  7. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,289

    In OO you can save something as a Word document. I havent encounted any problems with OO and Vista so far. It installs the same as Office does, maybe even easier. And in the words of Howard Clark......"It's Free!" :D
     
  8. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 12,155   +34


    So in essence you are saying that people with OO and those with MS Office can interchange documents with little or no compatibility issues. Correct?
     
  9. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,289

    Yep, that is what I am saying.
     
  10. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 12,155   +34

    One last question (and sorry for all the questions!), does downloading OO include not only the Write part but also the parts that are like Power Point and Excel?

    Thanks for the info.
     
  11. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,289

     
  12. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    -Check that the printer you buy has Vista drivers and support
    -Home Premium will MORE than suffice
    -Single core is fine
    -OO might not support latest office formats, might have problems with Office 2007 format docs or something, but I can't confirm this. OO would certain suffice for doing college work without the expense of buying Microsoft Office.
     
  13. Tedster

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

    I use OO for graduate college work all the time.
    I see no issues so far b/w OO and office 2007.
    At this point in time I cannot recommend single core. Duel core has been out for too long.
     
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