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kimson
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Royal Horsing Ground
Insane since: Jan 2005

IP logged posted posted 05-10-2007 15:38 Edit Quote

Ok, so in about a month I want to buy my first laptop; but which one? I think it's probably the worst thing I've had to make my mind up on, and every time I think I have (made my mind up), and start thinking again "actually I don't need a big screen, I'd like to be able to carry it around", then go back to "It's going to be my only home computer, so I'll get tired of staring at a small screen".

So... I do know more or less than I want the following things:

- be able to run at least 5 applications at the same time, among which "demanding" applications, the way I do it at work on my desktop computer
- be able to carry it around, but not on a day to day basis. So the weight is not highly important.
- be able to connect to wireless networks
- be able to play games - although not a huge gamer, but would like to be able to play stuff like Myst or so, you get the point
- PC or Mac, although I would need a financial plan over maximum 12 months and price range from £400-£900 (I suppose)

I know what I don't need:

- A huge hard drive memory - 80GB should do
- A very expensive graphic card, just enough to support the above
- the biggest screen ever, but minimum 15'

Any suggestions/advice? Help would be very much appreciated.

Cheers

______________________________________

The Fat Controller is gonna get you in the end.

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

IP logged posted posted 05-10-2007 18:13 Edit Quote

Lots of laptops can handle those requirements.

You should probably go touch some; see how you like the keyboard (etc.) and screen, which your eyes and hands will have to deal with constantly.

Tyberius Prime
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

IP logged posted posted 05-10-2007 18:30 Edit Quote

yeah... personally, I'd go shopping for a non-glaring screen - I like to see my data instead of myself .

Otherwise, most of your requirements are met by just about any, provided it's running xp ( I don't know about vista, but I
imagine it to make quite a dent in your point 1)

Macs are neat - but expensive.

hyperbole
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-10-2007 18:57 Edit Quote

I have a five year old Gateway that I still like a lot. I got a carrying case with it that allowed me to carry it like a briefcase, or I could pull out two straps and sling it over my shoulders like a back pack. I used the machine pretty musch the way you're describing for several years. The biggest problem I've had with the machine is that the display/top of the machine started to crack around the hinges and I've had to be more careful with how I treat and move the machine around for the last couple of years.

I think you might want to look at things like how much heat the machine generates, and how long the battery lasts.

I agree that a big screen is nice and there still is no machine that is "comfortable" to carry around with you. By the time you add an extra battery, a surge protector, a few extra disks, and pens and paper to the carying case, it gets to be quite a load. So in some ways, the durability, length of battery, amount of heat produced (keep in mind that you'll be working wihth the machine on you lap and all the heat it produces will be added to your) and the way it fits in the carrying case are more important.

Oh, one more thing, I would recommend a touch pad or a track ball. I really hate those little mouse buttons and actually prefer a touch pad to a track ball, particularly if you plan to do graphics. Actually I had a Y-plug for the PS/2 socket on the back of the machine. The Y-plug allowed me to plug both a mouse and a keyboard into the machine. That was a great little device. Unfortunately I lost it and haven't been able to find another since then.

I suppose with modern keyboards and mice you would be using USB connections anyway so it doesn't matter. Anyway, for working at home an external mouse and keyboard make your laptop experience soooo much better.

.



-- not necessarily stoned... just beautiful.

kimson
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Royal Horsing Ground
Insane since: Jan 2005

IP logged posted posted 05-11-2007 10:37 Edit Quote

Thanks for the advice guys, there are a few things I hadn't thought of, it really helps

I hadn't thought of the battery heat for example, and the feel of the keyboard. These are really important things, glad you highlighted them.

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

IP logged posted posted 05-11-2007 15:13 Edit Quote

They're almost all gonna get hot, but some might have a loud fan, and, of course, some should be avoided entirely.

Maruman
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: under your bed
Insane since: Oct 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-13-2007 13:57 Edit Quote

I love my iBook G4 and i will be upgrading to a Macbook soon.

do you ever plan to use your laptop outside? at a cafe etc? screen brightness is something i'd be looking at it'll make a huge different in usability. my work laptop is a DELL insprion and it sucks to use when outside

about the keyboard i actually preffer my laptop keyboard than a standard desktop keyboard but yeah you wanna be comfortable with it and trackpad all the way, those stupid ball things SUCK!!!

poi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Norway
Insane since: Jun 2002

IP logged posted posted 05-13-2007 15:01 Edit Quote

Regarding keyboard and mouse, I've had a 15.4" laptop for 3-4yo and could never get used to the slow trackpad and the keyboard layout. I use my trust worthy IntelliMouse and put my Natural keyboard on top of the laptop's keyboard. The added bonus being that the Natural keyoard offers 2 more USB ports I can use to plug in my digital camera, a USB stick or an extra external HDD without having to go fiddle being the screen.

If I were to buy a laptop today, I'd definitely go for a 12-13" below 2kg. Today's spec are quite good. I'd basically run the same apps I've used for years and I'm not a game whore either. I've seen such laptops with 1gb of RAM, ethernet/wifi/bluetooth, 80-120gb HDD, DVD+-RW burner, 1280x800 display, 4-7h autonomy ... around 1000 Euros ( > £700 )

Any laptop in the £700-900 range will meet your requirements. Just go in a few shops and try some to see how they feel.



(Edited by poi on 05-13-2007 15:19)

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

IP logged posted posted 05-13-2007 17:53 Edit Quote

My dream laptop has all the keys from tilde to right-control of a normal full keyboard, and a track_ball_ (not a nipple), perhaps popping out the side - but also a good tablet screen and stylus. Perhaps one day I'll get around to assembling it.

poi
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Norway
Insane since: Jun 2002

IP logged posted posted 05-13-2007 18:27 Edit Quote

reisio:

quote:
from tilde to right-control of a normal full keyboard

That'd make a very small keyboard if you use a UK layout. The tilde is just above the right-shift.

Or maybe Dell's keyboards' layout is more retarted than I thought. I really don't like having the Home, End, PageUp, PageDown, Delete, Insert keys in a 2x3 grid. It should be 3x2, like the arrow keys. Oh well at least they don't have that smallReturn key I've seen on US keyboard. It's no longer if the shape of a fat '7', but the size of the Ctrl key. Weird.

Yeah, yeah I know I'm an*l about keyboards layout.

NoJive
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The Land of one Headlight on.
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 05-14-2007 03:06 Edit Quote
quote:

poi said:

It's no longer if the shape of a fat '7', but the size of the Ctrl key



This trend/move to the smaller Enter key drives me nuts. I've been considering a wireless keyboard for quite some time but I can't find any with that 'fat 7' enter key...or if I do find one they want an arm, 6 legs and a few other body parts I'm not yet ready to part with.

I don't think the people designing the keyboards actually know how to type because that small enter key is certainly not user friendly when it comes to typing.

I've actually been stockpiling a few keyboards with the large enter key. I find them at 2nd hand stores for 2 or 3 dollars.

Oh.... and the ~ key on all my keyboards is upper left.... just above Tab.

___________________________________________________________________________
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it." Mark Twain

hyperbole
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-14-2007 19:15 Edit Quote

Rather than hijack this thread on laptops, I have opened another thead to discuss keyboards.

.



-- not necessarily stoned... just beautiful.

reisio
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Florida
Insane since: Mar 2005

IP logged posted posted 05-15-2007 00:41 Edit Quote
quote:
poi said:

That'd make a very small keyboard if you use a UK layout.


I did say "normal".



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