Burts AIS, osCommerce & More Blog
New URL: www.osworld.biz

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Laptops Schmaptops

Why on earth do purveyors of Laptops speak in riddles? I've been trying to find a laptop which will enable me to carry on my businesses when I am out of town. So this means getting a decent(ish) laptop which has wifi capability. So, I have a look in a couple of the local computer stores. Some spotty little 18 year old tries to sell me some Sony Vaio that I know I'll never get enough use out of to warrant spending so much money. I already told him I was after a laptop priced about £600(ish). He basically laughed at me. Me being Mr Middle-Aged Angry Old Man, had to count to 10 so that I did not end up clipping him about the ear. So, next up, I have a look on eBay. My god. There seem to be some sellers on there who are ultra dodgy. No feedback and selling £800 computers and laptops... So, the question. What Laptop should I buy for about less than £600 ($1100) or so. Answers on a postcard please!

New URL: www.osworld.biz - thanks!


At 1/26/2006 08:54:00 PM, Anonymous Dominic said...

I recomend Dell. My current laptop is a Dell (circa 2001). It is still going strong, and the only reason I'll be getting another one in the next couple of weeks is because I need more grunt for running Visual Studio 2005.
I've never had to have anything fixed on it.

At 1/26/2006 09:20:00 PM, Blogger Oli said...


I bought this one just before Christmas, suits me fine for my needs (browsing, email, coding).

Just checked and it's not available right now though :(

At 1/26/2006 09:49:00 PM, Anonymous Sarah said...

another vote for dell.co.uk - I bought my current laptop from there just over 3 years ago and besides one corrupt harddrive (my own fault) it's still going strong. I bought one of the bottom of the range laptops for my brother to do work for me on, 2 years ago, and that's still running on the original install.

You're looking at as little as £400 for a laptop, so if you have a little extra, just modify it for your needs. Their specs will tell you the weight, size etc which is something of interest I presume for when you're travelling.

At 1/26/2006 10:27:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Cheers Guys,

I knw that Dell machines are good, but my experiences with Dell (customer service) has not been great.

Oli, are Acer an OK brand ? I guess they must be?

I will go into town tomorrow and see what I can find. I am quite tempted to get an Apple iBook...

At 1/26/2006 10:54:00 PM, Anonymous Aitch said...

I've actually got a Sony Vaio wide screen but I bought it on the spur of the moment and perhaps didn't need to spend so much for what I need it for.

I nearly went with Dell as I’ve heard their after sales service is second to none, and I also know a couple of guys that have been very happy with them (sorry, don't know the models)

Before the Sony, I had an Acer and although it was functioning ok after one year, the ole screen was starting to flicker in the top left corner. Hmm! Irritating!!!.


At 1/27/2006 12:39:00 AM, Anonymous dreamscape said...

>> I am quite tempted to get an Apple iBook...

If you are thinking about an Apple, my advise would be to wait a little bit. They unveiled one new notebook with an Intel dual core processor recently, but the rumor is (from what I can gather, pretty reliable sources), that Apple had planned to unveil more new portables, but were not able to because of processor shortages.

So my advise, if you want an Apple, would be to wait a couple months when most likely more Intel powered portables will be released, and you can either pick up one of the lower end models or pickup an older powerbook or ibook then (the price on the older models should drop then).

Also don't forget about buying used. I'm not sure about the life span of PC notebooks, but Apple powerbooks have a pretty long lifespan, and most people usually take very good care of them. My friend picked up a used G4 powerbook last year (a 15" titanium model) for $600 USD in really great condition for being about 3 or 4 years old.

Of course, buy now if you need it now. The G4 iBook should not disappoint. I believe it was named the #1 sub $1,000 notebook.

At 1/27/2006 01:11:00 AM, Blogger richandzhaoyan said...

I gotta go with the Dell brigade on this one - My current machine is a 5 year old Inspiron and its proved to be bullet proof - well at least Rich proof!

It was top spec when I got it - about £2 grands worth - back in my single and flush days ;) - I bought it as a multimedia machine for when I was working on the ships and it was pretty much just when laptops were first being fitted with 15" screens and dvd players. Its been around the world several times, has consumed nearly as many pints of beer as I have - really shouldnt work under the influence but....! Has been used to watch countless dvds and has since written and is still running my internet store. I just cant fault it.

Its moment of stardom was when I took a plunge off my motorbike with it strapped to my back. The bike is still yet to recover and is lying folornly in the back of the garage badly bruised to this day - the laptop has a chunk missing out of the top right hand corner of the screen but is still working a-ok. Unbelievable.

Consequently, I cannot comment on Dells after sale service as I have not needed them despite the amount of abuse given to their machine. It is used for, on average, 8 hours a day, seven days a week, and has been for the last 5 years. Not a single problem.

Having said all that, if I could justify a change, (I cant due to the expense of the family!), I would probably not go for a Dell, as I have two things I would be looking for, one a 17" screen which they do provide, but also an integrated number pad, which they dont currently fit - crazy as their is plenty of room on the 17" models.

I hate to recommend a multinational company such as Dell
and their shipping charges are nothing short of day light robbery, but in this case, credit where its due, they have provided me with one robust and vary future proof machine.


At 1/27/2006 08:34:00 AM, Anonymous Danny said...

Burt - you really want either Acer, Dell or Toshiba for a notebook.

eBuyer do some fantastic deals at the mo, such as : http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=102410

Also have a peek at http://www.ebuyer.com/customer/products/index.html?action=c2hvd19wcm9kdWN0X292ZXJ2aWV3&product_uid=99087


At 1/27/2006 10:42:00 AM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Cheers Guys. I'll have a look around, I don't nee done until a few weeks time so there is no real hurry...


At 1/27/2006 02:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a 15" Acer Travelmate. It was a good laptop, but what I realized I used it for the most was A) lugging it around and B) email. Some photo editing and web work also. I now have a 12" Apple iBook G4 and couldn't be happier. $1k.

At 1/28/2006 10:20:00 AM, Blogger Gary B. said...

OK, I'm undecided between a 2nd-hand iBook G4, or this.

Would appreciate your thoughts!

At 1/30/2006 12:20:00 AM, Anonymous dreamscape said...

well Gary since it has come down to a PC vs. a Mac, the main difference really will be the Operating System, Windows XP or OS X (I don't know but I'm guessing the iBook would either have 10.3 Panther or 10.4 Tiger).

I switched to OS X a couple years back, and personally have not been happier, but some people don't like OS X.

What sort of activities will you be using it for?

At 1/30/2006 02:44:00 AM, Anonymous Martin Hoscik said...

Wouldn't you be better with a new machine (i.e the Win XP one) and have the comfort of a warranty?

At 1/30/2006 08:36:00 AM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Josh, the iBook I'm looking at has Tiger 10.4. It'll be used for when I'm out and about, mainly for collecting email. A bit of browsing maybe.

Marty, that's a good point.

I'm leaning towards the Apple, only because it looks nicer. Yes, yes I know ;)

At 1/30/2006 01:05:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

OK, so I changed my mind. I decided to stick with Windows so that I can use all my existing programs on the lappie if I need to.

I ended up purchasing a Toshiba Satellite Pro :)

That'll do me for a few years, I reckon. Cheers for the advice, all !

At 1/31/2006 04:12:00 PM, Blogger Gary B. said...

Laptop arrived today. Haven't yet set it up, I'll probably do that over the next few days or such.

Next up is to make my home system wireless. Then I can do my "work" in the garden (when the weather is a little nicer).


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