TechSpot

Which Laptop is Best?

By coastymad
Oct 13, 2005
  1. Ok I have a choice of buying these two laptops:

    Packard Bell
    intel Celeron 2.8GHz
    256 Mb RAM
    40 Gb HDD
    15" LCD screen
    Dvd/cdrw combi
    And wireless internet

    Dell
    Intel Pentium4 1.8GHz
    512 Mb RAM
    40 Gb HDD
    15" LCD screen
    Dvd/cdrw combi
    And wireless internet

    What I want to know is which is best ( I assume the P4 has better battery life) I mean "best" by what it can do overall, eg school work, and games (although I know neither are reall games machines) Ok Thanks. :bounce: :bounce:
     
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,469   +327

    the trade offs are usually
    1. battery life
    2. processor speed
    3. memory
    4. hd capacity
    and you need to order the list by what's important to you.

    Win/XP really needs 512mb to operate reasonably.
    The HD capacity needed will be dependent on what you do and how much you save
    (eg: music downloads gobble HD ad light seed!)

    For a laptop, you should look for a processor with the M specification
    (eg: celeron M) for Mobile. It means that processor speed can
    be adjusted to conserve battery life. That's important to me - - it's a laptop after all!

    Processor speed? get what you can afford, but know more runs the battery down faster.

    just my $0.02 :)
     
  3. coastymad

    coastymad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 122

    Thanks, very helpful but out of the two that i mentioned which would you say are the best, as they are the best I think I can afford, I have £450 to spend (including VAT) Thanks.
     
  4. Tedster

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

    if you have to choose go with the dell.
    Personally, I don't like either.

    512MB of ram is the minimum acceptable RAM you should have.
    40GB HD is overkill for most people.
    wireless is a requirement for any laptop.
     
  5. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,851

    If your into gaming, then neither of these are going to work well.
     
  6. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 830

    You appear to have overlooked size and weight.

    These are key decision factors for a laptop as they directly contribute to the portability of your machine. For instance, many laptop cases have size constraints and the ones that don't are large, bulky and heavy. If you're using this in school, you'll want a smaller laptop to save your desk space.

    When it comes down to it, 5 pounds may not sound like much, but when you have a 2lb hot laptop on your lap as opposed to a 9lb one, you'll soon realize a difference.
     
  7. coastymad

    coastymad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 122

    Ok seems like the dell is the best as it is lighter (i think) and everyone says that the 512Mb Ram is good. Thanks.
     
  8. ABAMOTO

    ABAMOTO TS Rookie Posts: 48

    YOu should always go with Pentium M.

    Laptop Pentium 4 produces too much heat and slow down your CPU when your fan is triggered.

    Either you can go with Pentium M with third party wireless bundle or go with centrino. Some people say some third party bundle works better than centrino.

    As for RAM, 512 IS minimum and there is no doubt on that.

    You should be asking, will I travel with this laptop/notebook very often or it is most likely a Desktop replacement? Weight and size plays an important role if you carry your notebook with you to places (starbucks, library, work, etc).

    As for Brand, I would say always go for IBM or some big Japanese Name Brand (i.e. Toshiba, Fujitsu, Sony) first because their design always provides better thermal solution to your notebook so you don't need to worry about overheating. Dell Inspiron 9200 is so far one of the fewest series at Dell that has very quiet and cool system.

    Hope this helps.
     
  9. coastymad

    coastymad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 122

    Thanks for that, I have now found out that the dell only has a 90 day warranty but i have found an acer laptop for 499 pounds and it has a sempron 3000+ processor a 60Gb hdd and everything else is the same as the other two, what do you think about that one?
     
  10. ABAMOTO

    ABAMOTO TS Rookie Posts: 48

    IMO, buying laptop is a lot more expensive than desktop. I would at least get 1~2 yrs extended warranty. One of my coworkers just passed her 1 yr warranty for her Dell notebook and her power plug (attached to the motherboard) is broken. It is going to cost a lot to just fix that. I wouldn't suggest buying a notebook with short warranty period because so many components may go wrong and the cost to fix it is going to be almost the same as another notebook.

    Secondly, I would not touch any brand that is not Japanese or IBM, or any I have never used before (unless there is a huge sales or I really have limited limite budget).

    what is written on SPEC is one thing, what is really performing in real life is another. Saving few hundred dollars for a notebook which you will use for 2~3 yrs is not cost effective.

    At last but not least, HDD storage size is not the only thing you should concerned. HDD RPM is more important. Right now flash drive up to few Gbs and network drive with USB2.0 up to 250GB are available with affordable price. You really want to go for a notebook HDD 2.5" for 7200RPM (so the data accessing is smooth). If no 7200 RPM is available, at least go for 5400RPM. If the HDD is 4200RPM, don't even bother how fast the CPU is, you are still going to have a slow notebook.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. coastymad

    coastymad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 122

    what about acer, aren't they a good make?
     
     
  12. ABAMOTO

    ABAMOTO TS Rookie Posts: 48

    I have never used an Acer, so I really do not know how good ACER notebooks are. I wouldn't want to make any comment...

    Good luck with your laptop shopping.
     
  13. Tedster

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

    perhaps an avertec. From what I've seen, they seem to be pretty good value for the $
     
  14. coastymad

    coastymad TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 122

    ok thanks i will look up avertec
     
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