Buying laptop - questions

  NotVeryTechie 14:16 08 Feb 08
Locked

Hi there

Sorry this is a bit long - hope someone can help!

I am not on a big budget and so looking at buying a not-very-expensive laptop (something like an Acer Aspire). I have some questions and hope someone can help:

- If I get a 1GB ram version and want to add another 1GB, where do I look for this and how easy is it?

- I really, really don't want Vista. If I get the machine and "reformat" the drive and load XP, will I then also lose all drivers for the installed components (DVD, graphics, etc) - I am looking at one of those cheap deals from say Amazon. How do I get around this or will they supply all the disks, etc.

- I'm hankering after a 17" version, but don't know if it is worth it.

- Best place to buy a cheap but good backpack laptop bag for 17"?

Laptop I am looking at: Is this a good one or should I be looking at something else? I am leaning towards Acer as I may be returning to South Africa soon and there is support for this brand there.

Acer Aspire 7720Z - technical specs

Product Features
Intel Pentium Dual Core T2310
Memory: 2GB RAM
Hard Drive: 160GB Hard Disk Drive
Graphics Card: Mobile Intel? GL960 Express chipset with Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
Optical Drive: DVD SuperMulti, CD/DVD reader/writer for all types of CD/DVD discs
Audio: Dolby Digital Live surround sound
Connectivity: Wireless LAN B/G, 4 x USB 2.0 Ports, 5 in 1 Card Reader
Operating System: Windows? Vista Premium:Additional Software: Acer Empowering Technology, Acer Arcade, Norton Internet Security Trial, Adobe Reader, NTI CD Maker
Display Size: 17" WXGA TFT Display with Acer CrystalBrite technology
Webcam:0.3MP Built in Crystaleye Camera
Technical Details

Processor: Intel Pentium Dual Core T2310, 1.46GHz, 533MHz FSB, 1MB L2 Cache
Memory: 2GB RAM
Hard Drive: 160GB Hard Disk Drive
Graphics Card:Mobile Intel® GL960 Express chipset with Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100
Optical Drive: DVD SuperMulti, CD/DVD reader/writer for all types of CD/DVD discs
Audio: Dolby Digital Live surround sound
Connectivity: Wireless LAN Acer InviLink™ 802.11b/g Wi-Fi CERTIFIED® solution, supporting Acer SignalUp™ wireless technology
4 x USB 2.0 Ports
5 in 1 Card Reader supporting Secure Digital™ (SD), MultiMediaCard (MMC), Memory Stick® (MS), Memory Stick PRO™ (MS PRO), xD-Picture Card™ (xD)
Operating System: Windows® Vista Premium:Additional Software: Acer Empowering Technology, Acer Arcade, Norton Internet Security Trial, Adobe Reader, NTI CD Maker
Display Size: 17" WXGA TFT Display 1440 x 900 pixel resolution, supporting simultaneous multi-window viewing via Acer GridVista with Acer CrystalBrite technology
Webcam:0.3MP Built in Crystaleye Camera

  Totally-braindead 15:21 08 Feb 08

Have a read of this thread as an example click here you can put XP on it but only if the drivers exist for XP. If they don't you'll just screw things up.

As to whether you can add memory it depends whether theres a slot free. If a laptop has 2 x 512mb giving you the 1 gig then you would have to remove one or both to upgrade it. If its a single chip then there should be one space free. In short it depends on the laptop and its worth checking before purchase.

If you have a dual core processor and 2 gig of memory you might be happy enough with Vista. If you really want XP then try to get one that comes with XP. I know Novatech do it and I know Dell do it and I'm sure theres others, what the warranty is though I don't know.

  NotVeryTechie 15:52 08 Feb 08

Should I be looking at stuff like Firewire? Can one get that external?

Am I paying for a lot of stuff I don't necessarily need here?

Dell and Novatech are not to my knowledge supported in South Africa, so I would be really concerned that, should something break, I will be sitting with a dead duck.

Sorry - not very clued up on this stuff!

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