I used to know about computers - but no clue now!

  mimimoomoo 17:45 PM 30 May 11

I used to be the person people came to for advice on what PC to buy - but I'm completely out of touch these days and don't know which brands are worth looking at.

Can I ask for some advice on replacing my ageing laptop? I don't want to spend a fortune - up to £500 ideally - but want something that will last a few years.. The research I've done seems to recommend staying away from AMD processors, and sticking with Intel - so the i5 series looks best. I may potentially need to do some HD video editing so I understand a dedicated graphics card would be recommended. Apart from that the use is MS Office, some graphics, and playing DVDs and some voice recognition as well.

I have two external monitors - both have VGA plugs on them which I used to run on my PC a few years ago.. If I could run both off a laptop that would be great.. if I could run the laptop as a third screen that would also be great. I multi-task a lot. I appreciate I may have to sacrifice one screen and get an HDMI monitor as most laptops I've seen only have 1 VGA and 1 HDMI output. Or have I got that all wrong?

Not too bothered about sound, but a good keyboard is essential as I'm a touch typist and get RSI if the keyboard is bad. Any comments gratefully appreciated. Gilli

  birdface 18:15 PM 30 May 11

Sorry can't help you choose but maybe make up your mind quick while there are still a few sales going on.

  Strawballs 18:29 PM 30 May 11

I have an Advent Sienna 510 which has an i5 320gig HDD and 3GIG ram. The case is not as good quality as my old ACER but when I bought it for the same price it was a higher spec than most of the competition

  chub_tor 19:29 PM 30 May 11

I know that you are not sure about AMD but I will put this Sonyforward as a very good deal

  skeletal 15:12 PM 31 May 11

Sorry to link to a rival mag, but


has a review on the latest Sandy Bridge based laptops.

Because this new processor has finally started to hit the shelves, be aware that there are a lot of “offers” on computers, but close inspection reveals they are the old processors. The naming is very confusing; you will see “Latest i3 Intel processor” or whatever; they probably aren’t Sandy Bridge. You will have to familiarise yourself with the processor numbers and check them out e.g. the Sandy Bridge mobile i3 will have a number like i3-2310M, or the new mobile i5: i5-2410M. Non Sandy Bridge numbers will be like i3-370M. It is really confusing.

However, if you are prepared to have “old” technology, then you will pick them up cheaper as, of course, retailers will want to get rid of old stock.

By coincidence, I have just ordered a Dell Inspiron 15R (the very newest “new” 2nd generation etc etc!). I’ve been waiting for the Sandy Bridge processors as they have more processing power but use less energy than the old generation. I also don’t want a graphics card (use too much power) and the new processors have more than enough on-board graphics power for me.

I can’t comment on its ability to do video editing as it is a subject about which I know nothing.

Similarly for keyboard ergonomics. I find all laptops poor for a lot of typing.

The main purpose of this post is to alert you to the new processors and because they are significantly better than the old ones, even the bottom of the range version may be all you need.


  skeletal 15:18 PM 31 May 11

Oops. I know adding a hyperlink is harder in the new forum. I did dig out some instructions, but they made no sense to me (e.g. You have to click the "hyperlink" icon - 3rd along on "Reply to this topic" box”). All I can see is “Reply to this topic” with a rectangle into which I type. I cannot see any icons other than those for sending stuff to twitter etc.

Never mind, you’ll have to do a bit of cutting and pasting!


  robin_x 18:47 PM 31 May 11

Just hit Ctrl+L for links and paste.

Nowt wrong with AMDs unless a high end gamer, better check.

  birdface 08:52 AM 01 Jun 11


When the Link opens remove the http:// that is already on it then put the address that you want to post in it and press Ok.


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