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Notebooks What Laptop... £800, nice and small

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Tomm, 3 Nov 2005.

  1. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    Right, well I know this isn't the most interesting thread evar, but I need some advice on buying a new laptop. I'll start at the start.

    [Skip this paragraph if you don't want to hear my life story]
    About 5 weeks ago I bought an iBook 12" for £650 (in educational discount) from the Apple online store. 3 weeks ago it arrived and it was nice. 2 days ago it got stolen. Luckily it's covered on the insurance so I will be hopefully getting a voucher for a new laptop up to the value to £800 (The RRP of the iBook). The big catch is that it has to come from PC World, Dixons or Curries. Now obviously I could just get another iBook, but as I now have £800 to spend (rather than the £650 before), I think it makes more sense to go for a better model. I can't stretch to the next iBook up, so I was looking at PC laptops.

    So, £800, any recommendations?
    The only thing that it would have to have is Wireless (802.11g), which covers just about all laptops these days anyway.

    Doesn't have to be super-fast, and certainly not for games, but obviously faster is better than slow.

    Size is definitely a factor. The iBook is lovely and small, yet fully featured. I have seen these "ultra-portables" and I think I want a bit more functionality than they offer. However, I could certainly cope with something slightly bigger than the tiny iBook if it meant better battery life/performance.

    Quality is important too. Apples are made nicely and I reckon would last years of throwing in bags etc. I don't want anything that will break if I sneeze on it.

    Battery life is very important. The iBook was good for over 5hrs on one charge, and I would probably be taking it on the road fairly often, so a good battery life is a must.

    At the moment I am thinking another iBook fits the bill perfectly, but does anyone have any recommendations?
     
  2. Fod

    Fod what is the cheesecake?

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    yeah! another ibook.

    seriously, you'll be hard pressed to find a small, well-built wintel laptop with similar performance, not least with respects to battery life, at that price.

    but hey, feel free to look for one. i'm not really an expert in (those kinds of) laptops available on the market right now, and i just ordered a powerbook, so i'm somewhat biased. although i am NOT an apple evangelist in general.
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2005
  3. The cheapskate

    The cheapskate One custom title before Matty

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    to be honest just get another I Book, or put more ram in it or something, If you liked the apple laptops, then a cheapish x86 laptop is not going to cut it for you.
     
  4. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    Yeah, could do. Just wanted to know what the options were in terms of PCs. I liked the Apple laptops in as much as they were everything I was asking for above, but I can't help feeling that a PC would be faster... But I guess it's a trade off on power consumption and build quality.
     
  5. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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    There is nothing you could buy at PC World that you'd like more than an Apple. They're all made by Advent, Toshiba, Packard Bell or Sony. No decent brands there; even Sonys are pretty unreliable.

    If you could buy online, an Asus laptop would be sweet -- Asus make PowerBooks for Apple, so as you can imagine, they're very well built. See if you can get an Asus A3E at any of the shops.

    ch424
     
  6. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    I thought Toshibas were supposed to be nice? Not sure where I got that from though, I may have made it up... And yeah you're right about the brands, the only ones I can add to that list are Compaq and Fujitsu. I think Asus are out of the picture though.
     
  7. Gipo

    Gipo What's a Dremel?

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    Toshiba's are indeed ok to use - my sister has one and its been rather reliable (touch wood). If you're just limited to brands in PC world, get a toshiba with a nice spec up to your cash limit.
     
  8. P2D

    P2D 99.999% Pure Spam!

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    I`ve got an Advent PC ive owned for a few years, and Just got a laptop a few months back made by them, Both seem top notch to me! Certanly wouldnt hesitate to buy another laptop made by Advent, Tho obv i`d rather build my own PC given the choice.
    Mike
     
  9. cysus

    cysus What's a Dremel?

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    Buy an ASUS- you know you want one.
    I own an ASUS laptop, the W3v, it's great. It is 14" widescreen which is about the smallest screen size to comfortably go between desktop and laptop, has a X600, DDR2, and is Centrino, making for easy wireless access. ASUS has a similar model, the W3a, it's the same casing except for color and it doesn't have a brushed metal lid. It also doesn't have the X600, otherwise it's the same hardware. It has a modular optical bay meaning you can add an additional battery, HD, or "weight saver". With both main a modular battery you'll commonly see 6-7 hour battery lives. ASUS makes rebranded laptops (meaning ASUS makes them and others sell them as their own) for a long time. They make all Apple Powerbooks, the newer Sony lines (TX, BX) and just got a Dell bid. Asus has top notch quality.
    Here's a review of the W3a (z73a), the scaled down W3v.
    http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=2509
    Note: heat is still better than the Powerbooks.
    ASUS' UK Store
    http://www.asuslaptop.co.uk/products.php?cat=32
    UK ASUS laptop vendors.
    http://uk.asus.com/products1.aspx?l1=0&l2=0&modelmenu=0&share=txt/255

    If you want something more a little different, look at the V6v (15.4"), W5 (12"), Z33 (12"), and the W3v (14").

    Pics...
    W3a (Z63a)- the one I've been talking about
    [​IMG]
    W3v- what I have, very nice, crammed with features
    [​IMG]
    V6v- almost all brushed metal
    [​IMG]
    W5- usually comes in white
    [​IMG]
    Z33- almost exatly the demesions of the 12" powerbook
    [​IMG]
    Pictures taken/modified from ProPortable.com
     
  10. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    They do look nice Cysus, but it's pretty irrelevant as I don't think I can get an Asus, and also I think the W3a is a bit out of my price range. Looks just about what I would want though. If I can somehow get a cheque out of the insurance company (rather than a crappy voucher for PC World), I'll definitely look into it :)
     
  11. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    What does everyone think of the Toshiba Equium M50-164, or this M70-173 , which looks pretty similar, but £100 more :sigh:

    At the moment I'm thinking the Apple looks very tempting. I just don't want to wait another 3 weeks for it :'(
     
  12. Adnuo

    Adnuo Banned

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    Can you get an IBM ThinkPad at any of the allowed retailers? ThinkPads are extremely win, well built, very reliable, good battery life, nice features.
     
  13. herbs

    herbs Nobody but us chickens

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    Advent do not (well they didn't make it may be different now) make their own laptops it used be hi-grade using Asus parts.
     
  14. julianmartin

    julianmartin resident cyborg.

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    Advent laptops are thoroughly balls, the one i have, even with a new battery, 1 hr maximum. Their cooling solutions are crap and the cases are tacky. Don't buy an advent!
     
  15. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    Just bought another iBook for a whopping £870 from PC World, as opposed to the £650 Apple online (student) price. Seems stupid to me, another £200 would have got me the 12" Powerbook, but unfortunately I couldn't stretch that far. But hey, it wasn't my money and I should be getting my new laptop some time next week :rock:
     
  16. hellomoto

    hellomoto What's a Dremel?

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    Am confussed. You spent £870 on an ibook at PCWorld even knowing you could of gotten the same for 650 online!?
     
  17. unrealhippie

    unrealhippie What's a Dremel?

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    £220 :p
     
  18. Tomm

    Tomm I also ride trials :¬)

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    Yeah, because the insurance company gave me a PC World voucher, rather than money.
     

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