Performance laptop?

  herc182 12:12 PM 22 Feb 12

Dear all

I have a laptop that is 3 years old. A dell Studio 1737. When purchased it was top spec (though not a gaming machine). Having got my parents one recently, I realised how slow mine has become (bearing in mind I recently completely reinstalled windows 7 so its fairly fresh software wise). Specs as follows:

Studio 1737 : Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 (2.26GHz,1066MHz,3MB) Display : 17in Widescreen WXGA+ with Truelife- CCFL 1 S Memory : 4096MB (2x2048) 800MHz DDR2 Dual Channel 1 S Hard Drive : 640GB Serial ATA (5.400RPM) Dual Hard Drive (2x 320GB) 1 S Optical Drive : Blu-ray Disc (DVD+/-RW + BD-ROM) Drive including SW 1 S Battery : Primary 6 cell 56W/HR LI-ION 1 S Graphics : 256 MB ATI Mobility RADEON HD 3650 1 S Keyboard : Internal UK English Qwerty Backlit Keyboard 1 S

Things i love about my current laptop are the keyboard (full size and backlit) and build quality. However its just not as fast as I would like.

What sub £1000 laptop would you recommend that is FAST but NOT for gaming? Customer service and build quality matter to me, and ideally a backlit keyboard! I want a HD screen (3D not required) and decent connectivity (i.e more than 2 USB ports).

Any recommendations? WHat should I look for to ensure it will really zip?


  sunnystaines 12:21 PM 22 Feb 12

the ivybridge cpu laptops come out in march as ultranotebooks and will also have ssd harddrives as well as fast cpu and a good helping of RAM.

sony say theirs ones due in march will also be w8 compatable which may well be the same for other good brands like samsung and toshiba

  herc182 12:25 PM 22 Feb 12

Forgot to say - watching blu ray discs is slow (it chugs) and I do edit photos on my laptop (using photoshop) - so I do need some use of graphics power!

  herc182 14:01 PM 23 Feb 12

Any other recommendations? thanks

  frybluff 17:41 PM 23 Feb 12

Unless you are one who likes to have the LATEST gadget, I wouldn't worry too much about the upcoming Ivybridge processors and Windows 8. Sandybridge and Windows 7 will continue to be the main market for some time to come. I would suggest that you either get the best you can now, or wait a while until the new systems become established. You can guarantee there will be teething troubles. If you are happy with the service that your old laptop has given, why not another Dell. I have just replaced my old Samsung with a Dell XPS, and am very happy with it. I have a fairly high spec version, for HD video editing performance. Other than for specific needs like that, or gaming, even a basic spec'd one will give you a huge increase in performance.

  herc182 09:22 AM 24 Feb 12

agreed. I think I shouldnt worry too much about a HD screen, but my brother has one and I was floored by the quality...given I am an amateur photographer it very much appealed to me!

  herc182 10:55 AM 24 Feb 12

what about this one? My only reservation is the 5400rpm HDD. Do you think with the other specs I would notice this slower HDD?

  frybluff 11:02 AM 24 Feb 12

Did you put a LINK on your post, as I'm not receiving it, so don't know what laptop you mean. If necessary, just give make and model.

  herc182 11:07 AM 24 Feb 12
  frybluff 12:08 PM 24 Feb 12

That is basically the same as the one I got. The main question, to ask yourself, is whether you need that much power. It has good gaming performance, and includes the full Photoshop package, including HD video editing, for which it's well suited. (Note the Photoshop is version 9, not the latest, version 10). That was my main reason for choosing the spec.

There are a few drawbacks, which may, or not, be significant.

It is too heavy to be really portable. (fine if you don't want to carry it around)

It does get a bit warm, if used for long periods, especially on intensive graphics work.

Whilst the built in speakers are brilliant, they are just where you want to put your wrists.

The XPS15 CAN be a better option, unless you really WANT the best large screen.

Two slight tips, if buying from Dell. If you've not already got an account with Dell, open one, and then wait a few days before buying (I did both together, and then, a couple of days later, received a money off voucher, as a thank you for opening the account. Very annoying) Also, if your old laptop IS old, don't bother with their "transfer my PC" software. Mine didn't like my old laptop.

  herc182 12:41 PM 24 Feb 12

that is a great post and very relevant!

Not an issue on portability and I really want the 17" screen.

A few questions I have for you:

1 - is the screen too glossy? 2 - Do blu rays play well on there 3 - What battery life do you get out of it?

I already have an account with them, but also have a corporate discount which means that I can get this model for about £780!

Thanks again!


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