Laptop - budget £1300 - Help!

  minap 18:04 19 Aug 03
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I am looking to buy a laptop for my final year dissertation. It will also be used for internet access, downloading music and films and burning CDs. Battery life, weight and screen size can be compromised for a faster computer, and/or more memory etc. There are a few things I really don't understand...

Bluetooth... what is it, do I need it, and is it the next 'big thing'?

Windows XP - is there a non-professional version that includes MS Word/Excel/Access etc or is XP professional the one to go for?

Is the new wireless internet connection all it's cracked up to be?

Should I go for a big name (eg Dell), and if not, how can I scan through all the smaller manufacturers websites and find the most I can get for my money?

I have a gut feeling pentium 4 is best, but what's the Pentium M???

Please help!

  AndySD 18:30 19 Aug 03

Windows does not include Office (MS Word/Excel/Access) but ou can buy a student version of this cheaply as a seperate item as mostly its not included.

Bluetooth....do you want to connect to you mobile? if so get a dongle at about £25 later.

Wireless ..... again if there is an access point you can wander about.... if not you will still need to connect the wires for the intranet/internet.

Pentiun M is the new mobile chip with a much larger on board chashe memory .... in otherwords its faster and uses less power. The 1.6 is arround the equivelant of a 2.4 pentium (if I remember correctly.

As for the laptop I recently got a Sony..... but then its for presenteations to customers..... the name / looks and 16" screen impress...... and I must admit it is a great laptop.

  phredd 19:31 19 Aug 03

Have a look at click here (or their ad on page 159 of current PC Advisor). The specs of the Toshiba 'As new Factory sealed' laptops look pretty impressive and may be suitable for your purposes. Prices are about half of your 'budget' and the saving would allow you to add some peripherals - like DVD drive, additional software etc - if you wanted. I don't know if they do student discounts but there are lots of companies that offer top brand software at student rates.

  anchor 19:41 19 Aug 03

Have a look at this Toshiba, with a Pentium 4, - 2.6 GHz for £1000

click here

  minap 00:50 29 Aug 03

Thank you for this help. It's made things a little cleared, however, I still want to spend up to my budget of £1100-£1300

I've decided the "bluetooth" and portable net connection are not for me. All the other features are, however, still required:

- CD/DVD burning
- max mem and speed for the money
- weight, 'heat' and battery life not a huge issue
- WinXP included
- prefer to buy from a known brand eg Toshiba, Compaq, Dell etc (what a snob!)

The idea of installing software or adding hardware at a later date is not too appealing as I'll never get round to it.

Basically, I just need someone to tell me which is the best value for money, all in one laptop at the moment.

  jaygice 13:40 29 Aug 03

dell have got some good deals on laptops give them a try and you can not beat dell

  Ben Avery 13:57 29 Aug 03

"The idea of installing software or adding hardware at a later date is not too appealing as I'll never get round to it."

If you want to use Microsoft Word/Excel etc, then I'm afraid you don't get the choice!

All software which does not come with the PC needs to be installed. It's not like installing an Operating System though - usually just pop in the CD, click a few installing "OK" boxes and go make a cup of tea!

For your budget you could get a very nice machine for what you want. As mentioned give Dell and such like a look but don't be afraid to try a local supplier and tell them what you want as you'll likely get far better customer support, (Dell's sucks!) and a machine built for the purpose you want it for.

If you buy a ready made, you will likely lose out on certain additional features which could be provided by custom built machines because you'll be paying for a machine which has not been designed FOR YOU.

Have a look around, that's my advice.

The guys & galls here will provide some great suggestions for you.

BA

  Ben Avery 13:59 29 Aug 03

I should probably add that my laptop IS a Dell so as to prove the point that I'm not being biased and to show I have no grudge against Dell!

Although their customer support...well first you get patched through to India and then.....

  rickf 15:38 29 Aug 03

Toysrus has Medion P4 2.66MHz with GeForce FX5200 and Wifi and all the etcs including 5.1 sound card for £999. 15in screen. Check it out. I am very pleased with mine which is a slightly different version with 15.2 widescreen format from Staples.

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