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Which laptop?

Old 21st May 2008, 20:53
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: UK
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Which laptop?

My son needs a laptop for his college/uni studies, unfortunately I have very limited knowledge of the subject.
Budget around 700, it needs to be powerful enough to handle quite a large number of different programmes required by the course, probable updating, constant usage and be robust enough survive at least three or four years.

We've always had good value for money and advice from John Lewis previously, but any opinions (in simple terms) as to what type and where to shop would be appreciated.
Thank you.
niknak is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 21:20
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The Cooler King
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The only solution:

Farrell is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 21:52
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Dep Chief PPRuNe Pilot
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Irrespective of the various hardware suggestions you receive niknik don't go anywhere else other than John Lewis.

Outstanding service and warranty.

They also sell Farrell's suggestion as well as traditional Winderz stuff.

PPRuNe Towers is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 22:00
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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One important factor to consider is the operating system, especially as you mention programs required for the course. (You could always ask the Uni for advice).
A fair few business oriented software programs are not compatible with Vista, ( I know this from trying to run some of the stuff my company uses), in which case XP professional would be a good idea.

For a good robust laptop, I've always gone with a Toshiba tecra. They are certainly robust, and can take a fair few knocks.
419 is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 22:31
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niknak, dunno why but I always had you down as younger from your posts!

As to your question, 700 should get you something very respectable. Personally - if it were for me in that situation - I'd be looking for a PC rather than Mac unless it's for a graphics/art type course simply because the range of software is greater and the uni will probably use PCs. Something in the order og a 2GHz Core 2 Duo processor will be fairly future-proof for 2-3 years, I'd go for more RAM rather than a faster processor, pretty standard these days but I'd want Ethernet and wi-fi built in, widescreen and DVD playback for chillin' out with. HDD at least 120GB, and probably bigger, 250GB is not uncommon and if son is into music, movies and the like it will soon fill up. Personally I wouldn't worry about battery life - whatever the manufacturers say is likely to be little short of fiction and in that environment there'll probably be plenty of places to plug it in - if you do go for true longer life batteries I suspect you'll pay disproportionaly for it.

I tend to buy from - never had any problems with them and they tend to have good prices. As for brands, Acer are pretty good in my experience - reasonably priced and functional. A friend bought a Fujitsu Siemens lappie - it's going back maybe four years - seemed a bit pricey then but I think they're more competitive now - built like a tank (although not unreasonably heavy) and stylish with it.

Whatever you get, I hope son puts it to good use, passes courses with flying clours, gets good job and supports you in your dotage in the way you've always wanted to become accustomed !
Old 21st May 2008, 22:57
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Twickenham, home of rugby
Posts: 6,556
My son needs a laptop for his college/uni studies
Make sure it is either very cheap or insured. Or both.

Laptops and students have a habit of becoming parted from each other, sadly.

And regular backup of data is critical, preferably to a location that won't also get nicked. Nothing more unpleasant than having one's major project / dissertation / coursework get lost, trashed or stolen.

Saab Dastard is offline  
Old 21st May 2008, 23:35
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Just another seat number
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Dell Vostro 1000, 1Gb Memory, 80Gb Hard Drive, Windows XP as standard. Delivered for ca. 270. Dell Small Business section of the website. This is a fine machine that should last for 3 years and be robust enough for Web and Word Processing. It won't be great for gaming or 3D design.

Spend the spare cash on an external hard drive for backups - preferably one that can be networked and hidden. ca. 100

Put the balance into the bank to pay for the replacement when the original gets lost/stolen/damaged.

Load it up with all the free software at the top of this forum.

PS - I sit here typing this on a Mac, but sometimes money talks and the Dell is fine for a student.
Land After is offline  
Old 22nd May 2008, 03:32
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Make your son pay for it himself so you don't have to worry about it being robust. It's his own money, he'll look after it. =P
MidgetBoy is offline  
Old 22nd May 2008, 05:35
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Mac the Knife is offline  
Old 22nd May 2008, 18:37
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Try a Sony VAIO, they're quite good
isi3000 is offline  
Old 22nd May 2008, 20:46
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Dell special offer, starts at 199+VAT. Anything over 299+VAT in upgrades makes it ship for free.

Use MS office 2007 student and teacher edition.

Spend the rest in the student bar....

bladewashout is offline  

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