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Good value Laptop advice...

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Fab Foodie, 26 Nov 2007.

  1. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Daughter needs (wants?) a laptop for Christmas. She's just doing her O-levels and Art/Photography and Graphics are her thing.
    Now a laptop is a shed-load of cash, but I think she will get a lot of value from it. Hopefully it'll last her some years (well end of schooling maybe).

    Seens what looks to be some OK £399 touches including this in Currys of all places: http://www.currys.co.uk/martprd/sto...oduct&fm=1&sm=0&tm=0&sku=575245&category_oid=

    It seems good value to me, but I'm no expert.

    Would it be a good starter machine for her, for Paint Shop Pro stuff, Images etal.
    I have M'soft Office I can load on for all the boring stuff.

    Have also looked at PC world and Dell, but somehow seem seduced by the Curry's machine (well it looks nice and Toshiba seems OK too).
    Am also gonna get an external hard-drive for home use.

    The other alternative is to wait for the Jan sales (lass is OK with this), will I really get some bargains or are the sales mutton dressed as lamb.

    Help...not long to go!!!!!
     
  2. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Location:
    Logopolis
    The GMA X3100 is an above average onboard card. The chip is a budget chip based on older technology but isn't too bad. The hard drive is a bit on the small side. RAM good amount and it won't matter that ram speed is slower on that system. On the whole a quite well balanced budget system.
     
  3. sloe

    sloe New Member

    Location:
    Banffshire
    I'd like to know this too.
     
  4. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Location:
    Guildford / London
    Shell out on an external hard drive too, and stree the importance of installing and running her progs off that - IME laptops performance falls almost exponentially as you start to put things on them.
     
  5. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    i've got an 'external hard drive case' you can have for a fiver plus postage if you want it. I think it enables you to put a normal hard drive in it and you plug it in via usb. I never use it, I did offer it my bro but i don't think he wants it any more than i do.
     
  6. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    I'll trot out the same laptop advice I normally exhale - Cheap laptops are OK but if a laptop fails, it's almost invariably the motherboard or screen. So cost of laptop £399, cost of repair out of 12 month warranty, £500.

    Take a chance or buy one with a 3yr warranty (not a PC world one) or one it's possible to get an extended manufacturer warranty on.

    Example: Wifes laptop, 12 months old, motherboard replaced, just out of warranty but I extended it, looks like motherboards gone again. Now that's unlucky but it can happen.

    Also, external hard drive for backups are good but I use an online backup service now www.mozy.com Keeps everything offsite, encrypted (own key if you want) and secure. Also does incremental backups and open files - it really is good (will do external drives too)
     
  7. sheddy

    sheddy Veteran

    Location:
    WGC
    I know nuffink, but if shes arty won't she will be wanting a Mac ?
     
  8. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    True.
    But what she wants and what I can afford are 2 different things...
     
  9. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    Toshiba do a 2 year extension warranty for about £150, you can take out anytime in the first 12 months but not on all models, you have to check. Normally it's a return to base but turnaround time is about two weeks
     
  10. Danny

    Danny Legendary Member

    Location:
    York
    You probably won't save much by waiting until January. The Toshiba looks fine, but a Dell or HP laptop would be equally good. Personally I would go for which seller gave me that best support deal as part of the basic price as laptops can be costly to mend if they go wrong.

    Apple sometimes sell reconditioned laptops on their website (though they will still cost more than £399). Also, if you are prepared to chance eBay there are some genuine bargains to be had on MACs - but also a lot of scammers out to fleece you.
     
  11. Kestevan

    Kestevan Last of the Summer Winos

    Location:
    Holmfirth.
    I'd be tempted to have a poke about on

    www.cclonline.com

    Cracking PC site, and usually have a good deal on a selection of laptops. Plus the tech guys there are several orders of magnitude better than the retarded muppets at PC world/Comet/Currys et al.
     
  12. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Thanks, there's a good looking HP there that might fit the bill.
     
  13. marinyork

    marinyork Resting in suspended Animation

    Location:
    Logopolis
    I'd doubt you'd save much waiting for January. A new batch of chips and graphics cards have all come out recently. Don't get something like the HP Pavilion G6033ea.
     
  14. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Why not Marinyork?

    Are there any particular issues with that machine. It is the one I looked at at the CCL site.
     
  15. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    It's a Pavillion my wifes got that's gone wrong twice (not that model). In all respects a lovely looking and well specced machine but I must have got a duffer. The only redeeming feature is that HP support is good but based on my experience I wouldn't recommend the Pavillion either.