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Author Topic: Tell Me Which Laptop To Buy
Furtho
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Here at Furtho Towers we're looking at buying a cheap new laptop and having done a bit of research there are a couple of runners and riders at present. However, it has been tricky to find any information apart from just general promo blurb (i.e. no actual reviews or customer comments) and it would be a big help to have the thoughts of any OTFers on the subject - which is the better of the two for our requirements, or indeed or there any comparable but superior alternatives that I've missed.

The contestants as things stand are the Toshiba P200D 139 and the Acer Extensa 5200. The reason for this is because the price is kind of what we're looking to pay, I've heard bad things about Vista and the Acer has XP, but we're well disposed towards Toshiba generally having had one that has functioned very reliably for about seven years.

This would be a general home-use machine, for activities such as:

i. standard email / internet
ii. reasonably low-tech photo editing
iii. a bit of Sopcasting
iv. (maybe) CD burning and DVD watching

Any thoughts, OTF techies?

Posts: 2913 | From: The Slow Lane | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ginger Yellow
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I've found Acers to be very good value for money, although I know nothing about this particular model. Also, my Acer survived having an entire pint of milk poured on its keyboard, which is quite impressiv.e

[ 25.03.2008, 19:50: Message edited by: Ginger Yellow ]

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hobbes
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The toshiba. It has a dual-core processor and 2Gb of RAM.
It's a no-brainer. I wouldn't use a Celeron chip to power a digital watch.

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Furtho
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Mrs F wants to know if it doesn't smell really bad, GY.
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WornOldMotorbike
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And you'd likely not recommend he browse the Mac aisle, eh hobbes?
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Ginger Yellow
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Hobbes makes a good point about Celerons.

Furtho: no, I cleaned it out. It was touch and go for a while, but after a week of drying and cleaning and fretting it started working properly again.

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twohundredpercent
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I'm certain that you can get better value laptops than that one, Furtho. This one, for example.

[ 25.03.2008, 20:02: Message edited by: twohundredpercent ]

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Furtho
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Is the XP / Vista thing not that much of an issue, then?
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twohundredpercent
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Or this one - I don't think I've ever heard anyone say anything bad about Acer laptops (though the cheap desktop we have here can be a bit temperamental).
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twohundredpercent
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Well, I think it's resolvable (in that if XP is as much of a pain the arse as people say, you'll probably be able to find a cheap - or free - way of putting XP on it).
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hobbes
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However this has a better processor and bigger hard drive (and £50 cash back before 31st march) but it's a little ugly
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/140274

This is probably worth the extra £50 http://www.ebuyer.com/product/133796

Or this may be worth a punt. It's the one up from the Tosh you linked to. Faster processor and bigger hard drive for a tenner extra.
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/139125

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twohundredpercent
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The one thing that I would say about laptops is that it is worth spending that extra £50-100 for a decent one. With desktops, you an always take the back off it if you have any minor problems, but that's not really an option with laptops. Mine's a Compaq and (touch wood) I haven't had a single thing go wrong with it in two years.
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hobbes
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The ones twohundredpercent pointed out are pretty good bets, but both have T2k processors whereas the ones I posted are at least T5k or equivalent. (T2k are entry level, T8k are the best.) They're a bit faster and have bigger caches (quicker run-times and slightly improved battery life)

Oh and I agree with his post above. It's worth spending £500-ish and getting something a bit more rugged. A £300 laptop is £300 for a reason.

[ 25.03.2008, 20:13: Message edited by: hobbes ]

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dalliance
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Picking up on a point made by twohundred above, any recommendations how you can get XP installed for nothing, or next to nothing ?

I'm looking for a copy to install on my MacBook when it arrives and have discovered that while it came pre-installed on my Vaio, I'm sure they didn't give me the original discs when I bought it.

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Furtho
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Sorry to have started another laptop thread, by the way. I'd thought Jason's was about fast food. Anyway, all good comments so far - thanks very much indeed everyone and keep 'em coming.
Posts: 2913 | From: The Slow Lane | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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