which laptop should I buy and which to avoid

  jrb1946 16:31 PM 23 Jan 12
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I am going to buy a new computer, a job I thought would be quite easy, in that respect I have been disappointed by the manufacturers….who are not good at providing a full detailed specification.

Below I have set out the specs I am looking for, and a short list of computers which I think fit.

Could you have a look at both and alert me to any no-no's and tell me any other computers I should look at and/or any additional specs?

Processor i5 at the better end of the range (sandy bridge, 2nd generation whatever that means) 2430 appears to be where it's at. Display 15.6" 1366x768 is fine preferably matte on delivery. RAM 4gb min preferably using one only of the two slots. Max RAM 8gb Ports VGA, HDMI (must have), USB 2, USB 3 (must have I think), Xpress card slot, card reader (nice to have), Bluetooth (can't avoid it) o/s Windows 7 professional (must have)

graphics integrated or dedicated - I'm not bothered HDD 500Gb and 7200rpm Camera yes mic/speakers on board yes and 3.5mm sockets for both to take a headset or external speakers. Mobile BB not bothered Optical drive don't need Blu-ray DVD/CD RW is fine

Ethernet yes b/g/n hard wired and wireless Modem 56k modem - everyone says I won’t get this hence the xpress card slot. Could use USB; needed for faxes. Price range £500 to £800 absolute max. I think I'll end up spending £650 or so.

on the short list so far:- Dell Vostro 3550. I'm using a Dell now of course, and they are very good at product positioning - but constant deals means that you rarely get a real bargain from them. HP Probook 4530s Don't know where HP are any more with their laptops - are they in the business or not. Lots of businesses seem to have gone for them - eg BBC

…and off the initial shortlist mainly because either no usb3 or too small HDD (320Gb to small I think) and only 5400rpm too slow. Lenovo T520 and E520 pity because I think these are good Acer travel mates 5760 and 8473T inexpensive Any opinions, preferably supported, would be most welcome John

  Ex plorer 23:59 PM 23 Jan 12

I would start here at PCA Reviews to see whats on the market today. Its a personal choice to suit your needs difficult to help out. You may get more help if you posted a link on two or three laptops you fancy.

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