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Old 08-04-2008, 07:22 AM   #1
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Default £1,000 to buy a laptop

I'm going to university to study architecture and will need a laptop to take care of coursework, along with general everyday stuff like browsing the internet, watching films, playing music etc. My budget is up to £1,000, but not over.

Now my family has been using VAIO's for many years and have never had a problem with them, so i'm inclined to go the same way and have been looking at the AR series, though i'm open to suggestions about other makes. However, i'm a bit clueless when it comes to specifications.

What do people think?
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Old 08-04-2008, 07:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: £1,000 to buy a laptop

Noooooo. You don't need to spend £1000!!

You can get a good laptop that more than meets your needs for £300 to £500. Just look on say dells site or ebuyer. Most laptops now come with dual-core processors and 1gb-2gb ram, that's about all you need to know.

www.dell.com
www.ebuyer.com
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: £1,000 to buy a laptop

I've had mates who've bought cheap Dells, Acers etc. They never seem to perform as well as the Vaio's i've used and never last very long, even if kept well. Plus none have large screens of comparable quality to those produced by Sony or other high-end makes - which i'm willing to pay a few hundred quid more for.

Has anyone had experience with the Vaio AR series? Or the new FW series which looks pretty good. Also, is there a significant downside to getting a regular dual-core processor to a centrino? Can someone give a breakdown of Intel's current laptop CPU's? i can't understand them.
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Old 08-04-2008, 10:52 AM   #4
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Default Re: £1,000 to buy a laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiredchild View Post
I've had mates who've bought cheap Dells, Acers etc. They never seem to perform as well as the Vaio's i've used and never last very long, even if kept well. Plus none have large screens of comparable quality to those produced by Sony or other high-end makes - which i'm willing to pay a few hundred quid more for.

Has anyone had experience with the Vaio AR series? Or the new FW series which looks pretty good. Also, is there a significant downside to getting a regular dual-core processor to a centrino? Can someone give a breakdown of Intel's current laptop CPU's? i can't understand them.
THere's a reason the cheap dells and acers don't preform as well, they are crappier parts. Stick with the Vaio or look into HP and Asus.

Centrino is not a processor, it is a technology package. They all have a dual-core processor (Usually the Core 2 Duo) and a specific chipset/graphics comination. Typically, the Centrino based laptops also carry a wireless N card.
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Old 08-04-2008, 11:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: £1,000 to buy a laptop

cheap dells like a £400 inspiron wont compare to a sony vaio cause they are in completely different price bands and so are both completely different

i would recommend a Dell XPS or the new studio line of notebooks if you where looking to spend that much on a laptop
HP also make some good laptops

ive heard bad things about the battery life of the sony vaio AR series from a few reviews and a friend who owns one

have you considered a macbook although IMO you dont get much bang for your buck in the cheaper ones with £1000 you could get a decent machine

For that sort of money you shoul.d be looking at getting at least

Core 2 DUO at least 2.2ghz if not more
Nvidia 8600M GT 256mb
3-4gb DDR2 dual channel ram
at least 250gb storage if not 320gb
15.4" widescreen WXGA or WXGA+(WXGA+more preferable)
In fact looking on the dell website you can get a laptop with
Components
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T8300 (2.40 GHz, 800 MHz FSB, 3 MB L2 cache)
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium SP1 including Media
1 Year Base Warranty
2.0 mega pixel Camera & Tuxedo Black for CCFL Display
15.4" Widescreen WUXGA (1920x1200) TFT Display with TrueLife™
Biometric Fingerprint Reader with BLACK accent
4096MB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x2048]
320GB (5.400rpm) SATA Hard Drive
NVIDIA® GeForce™ Go 8600M GT with 256MB dedicated graphic memory
Fixed 8x DVD+/-RW Slim Slot Load drive, including SW
Primary 6-cell Lithium-Ion Battery (56 WHr)

for £939 which is a pretty good price
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Old 08-05-2008, 06:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: £1,000 to buy a laptop

Thanks Celegorm/Muz, really appreciate the help.

The only thing that puts me off the Vaio AR is the battery life, which is around 90minutes. The new FW series seems better, though i've seen one and think the case is a little weak (probably to make the weight lower).

I'm not really into Macs, i like the look of them and stuff but i find them a pain to use as all our computers at home are windows it doesn't seem like a wise choice. Dell XPS is pretty neat, i'm looking into those at the moment.

Can someone explain screen types to me? All this 'WUXGA' and stuff is pretty confusing, as is processor types 'T8300' doesn't mean much to me to be honest, makes it hard to know what's actually best when looking at laptops.

Thanks again
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Old 08-05-2008, 07:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: £1,000 to buy a laptop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiredchild View Post
Thanks Celegorm/Muz, really appreciate the help.

The only thing that puts me off the Vaio AR is the battery life, which is around 90minutes. The new FW series seems better, though i've seen one and think the case is a little weak (probably to make the weight lower).

I'm not really into Macs, i like the look of them and stuff but i find them a pain to use as all our computers at home are windows it doesn't seem like a wise choice. Dell XPS is pretty neat, i'm looking into those at the moment.

Can someone explain screen types to me? All this 'WUXGA' and stuff is pretty confusing, as is processor types 'T8300' doesn't mean much to me to be honest, makes it hard to know what's actually best when looking at laptops.

Thanks again
i agree macs arent for everybody i was just making sure you had rules the possibility out as the products themselves are pretty decent quality
ok well WUXGA is the resoloution
laptop screen usually go from
WXGA which is 1280X800
WXGA+ which is 1440X900
WUXGA which is 1920x1200
obviously the higher the resoloution the more detail the screen can display
higher resoloutions will be especially good when working with thingws like photoshop or any of the design programs you might require for architecture ,

As for the processors well
at the moment they will probably either be either a Merom-2Mcore or a Penryn-3M core ,
anything with
the first 2 will most likely be Merom-2M
intel core 2 duo T5XXX goes from about 1.6ghz to 2ghz and they all have 2MB L2 cache most have 667mhz bus speed
intel core 2 duo T7100 and T7250 goes from about 1.8ghz to 2ghz and they all have 2MB L2 cache most have 800mhz bus speed
The last one will be a Penryn-3M
intel core 2 duo T8XXX are either 2.1 or 2.4ghz they both have 3mb L2 cache and 800MHZ bus speed they are however 45 nm which allows them to run a lot cooler than all the others and use less battery

There are exceptions such as
Core 2 Duo T7350 whcih is a penryn 3M core which runs at 2ghz with 3mb l2 cache 800mhz bus speed but is 45nm which as i said above allows for cooler running and better battery life

There is also the older Merom cores with model numbers T7
Core 2 Duo T7200
Core 2 Duo T7300
Core 2 Duo T7400
Core 2 Duo T7500
Core 2 Duo T7600
Core 2 Duo T7700
Core 2 Duo T7800
which go from 2.0 to 2.6ghz and have 4mb l2 cache however i dont think these will be in any newer laptops you buy as the merom core was replaced by merom 2m if they however the specs are , 4mb L2 cache , and bus speeds range from 667 to 800mhz depending on model
There is also the older Merom cores with model numbers T5
Core 2 Duo T5200
Core 2 Duo T5500
Core 2 Duo T5600
which go from 1.5 to 1.8 ghz , have a 667mhz bus except the first one which has a 533mhz bus and 2mb l2 cache each
some of the model numbers to mix with the new merom 2m core however the chips are different
For instance teh T5500 old merom was 1.6ghz however the merom 2M equivilant is 1.83ghz so if in doubt check it here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...ile_processors
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:20 AM   #8
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Default Re: £1,000 to buy a laptop

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/reviews/i...?reviewid=1183

i paid just over £800, without vat, if you shop around you can get a good price..
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Old 08-05-2008, 11:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: £1,000 to buy a laptop

Dell laptops are not rubbish, I got a really good Dell laptop for around £450 (inc a carry case) and it runs very well. It's a Vostro 1510, it has 2GB RAM, Core 2 Duo (Centrino), 160GB HDD, 256MB nVidia GeForce 8400MGS, DVDRW, Fingerprint reader, WXGA+ Screen, Vista Ultimate and more. It is great, I really reccomend it, its much, much better than my previous Vaio and Compaq.
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