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another laptop question... (Read 9955 times)

El Mocho

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another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 12:14:49 pm
Read the two recent laptop threads on here but thought I would ask anyhow...

After getting a laptop, don't really want to spend more than 500 - more I spend = more days work I have to do = less days climbing and bumming around. Would be happy to spend less as not after anything super bling.

Know naff all about puters but will be using it to:

go on t'inter web
look at pictures and shit
maybe edit video (but not very well so doesn't need to be massively fast/good at this - but it does take up alot of room* on the computer?)
Write stuff in Word
Listen to itunes

We have Windows on the home box and wifes work computer so would feel happier sticking with this.

Had a quick look at the dell outlet store but it made my head hurt.

What sort of specs should I be looking for? If anyones really keen then recomend some actual machines for me...

cheers

*memory? RAM?

mr__j5

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#1 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 12:28:33 pm
It sounds to me that any new laptop would be able to do that.
Unless you find a real bargain basement thing, most are going to have more than 2GB RAM and 500GB HDD which should do the job.

Therefore, think about the issues that might matter to you that define the type of laptop to look at. These are screen size, weight and battery life.

lagerstarfish

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#2 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 12:34:40 pm
and check the Dell outlet in the evenings/teatime when the better bargains appear (and quickly disappear)

For video storage, a portable external hard drive is very useful to stop the one in the machine getting too full. It will also let you switch to the home pc (or someone else's laptop) easily.

Grubes

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#3 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 12:35:58 pm
this one would do the job and is within the price range
http://www.comet.co.uk/p/Laptops/buy-ASUS-X54H-SX270V-Laptop/774944

I think most video software packages need 3gb of ram.
as lager says external hard drvies are good option for more space

lagerstarfish

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#4 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 12:39:29 pm
and you'd be able to get a portable external drive (maybe when prices come down again) and still be under budget

moodyboy

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#5 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 12:52:41 pm
I have a Samsung R530 (i3) and pretty much do what you do...you can pick them up for 350 with 350G drive. Bit more for a bigger drive..Budget, but I think they are good value...but then again I don't really have a huge knowledge on such things

El Mocho

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#6 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 01:00:55 pm
Thanks guys.

Think it is unlikely I will get any real bargin from the dell site - if they tend to dissapear pretty quickly I will probably miss them!

I do actually have an external hard drive at the moment think it is 250 summats in size.

that Asus one does look nice, particually as it is well under 500. Have never heard of Asus but I have heard of people like Dell (as stated above know f all about these things though) is one from a more established brand likely to be more reliable or is it more a case of luck etc, also is reliability likely to be an issue on the Dell outlet ones (reconditioned etc) or are they more just things returned when people realise they don't want them after a couple of days?

So around 3gb of ram is good, and want more than 500GB HDD (is this memory? and if so what is that ram shit?)

Mostly will be with access to power supply and big Van so battery life and weight not major issue would be nice to have big ish screen.

My video camera has a funny lead for connecting to computer (DV?) which is smaller than usb slots and our box computer didn't have the port for it, do most newer computers have this slot or do I have to (find out what the lead actually is) check this out in the specs?

Fultonius

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#7 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 01:04:53 pm
Asus are actually one of the best manufacturers when it comes to failure rates. Toshiba and Dell are pretty good too. HP and Acer are the worst.

http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/11/17/reliability.study.has.apple.4th.place/


Paul B

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#8 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 01:06:02 pm
The dell outlet is due to people cancelling orders they've made on custom spec machines I believe.

El Mocho

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#9 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 01:06:38 pm
Ah so ram is memory and that other shit is storage. I thought memory and storage where the same thing? Does the ram kinda effect how 'fast' the computer is.

I am chucking around words that I have no idea of there meanings of.

El Mocho

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#10 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 01:08:18 pm
The dell outlet is due to people cancelling orders they've made on custom spec machines I believe.

oh my f**king god. you get custom spec? Thats all them numbers and letters and shit after the computers little name. There the bits which make my head hurt.

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#11 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 01:14:13 pm
Ah so ram is memory and that other shit is storage. I thought memory and storage where the same thing? Does the ram kinda effect how 'fast' the computer is.

I am chucking around words that I have no idea of there meanings of.

RAM affects your ability to do lots of things at once, each program requires some RAM, the more RAM you have the more things you can have running simultaneously.

This is tempered by the CPU (Central Processing Unit) which is the work horse of a computer and does the hard work of turning a string of 0's and 1's coming through from Vimeo into a video with sound for you to watch.

As a general rule of thumb the higher the numbers of anything (RAM, CPU, HD etc.) the 'better'/'more powerful' the computer is.

Check specifications for whether or not individual laptops have DV sockets for connecting your camera to the laptop, if you can probably get an adapter.

El Mocho

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#12 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 01:22:23 pm
Thanks again everyone.  Will just spend a bit of time looking and thinking now. Think I have some idea of what to look for.

Wood FT

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#13 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 01:58:45 pm
With my old dv camera it used a firewire connection and I had to buy an extra port to use it, might be worth checking if your prospective laptop has this port?

Obi-Wan is lost...

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#14 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 05:17:50 pm
A few points;
- Dell outlet all the way, bargains to be had.
- There's plenty on there at the mo, free delivery at the mo but this seems to be month on month off deal
- Don't ignore the biz and edu store. Kit is better made and has 3 year warranty often. Consumer kit is one year.
- spec wise, weight, screen size and dv socket are key.14 or15 inch is probably best.
16 or 17 are less portable.
-Spec wise. Go for 3gb of RAM min. may as well go for 4. core i3 or i5 processor. HD size less important as you'll back up externally and online won't you!
- just had a quick look, nice latitude 5420 or 6420s in your price range, 3yr, I3.
- Even if you think you don't need a high spec machine, a high spec machine will stay current for longer so is better value long term.

Jim

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#15 Re: another laptop question...
January 10, 2012, 07:28:57 pm
I would rather have an asus over a dell any day of the week.
If you're not bothered about portability or weight then go for 15.6" screen, this is a standard laptop size unless you want something with a big screen.
Ram: aim for about 4gig and an i3 cpu seems pretty good. anything over 500Gb hard drive would be good.
Try and get one with windows 7 (I think most do these days) on it as it by far the most supperior version of windows by a long way.

El Mocho

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#16 Re: another laptop question...
January 16, 2012, 06:13:20 pm
Really tempted by the Asus one but I can't find any mention of a DV slot/Firewire port in any of the spec. After reading lots of stuff that went over my head, it seems that a Firewire port isn't standard on most laptops; that you can't buy an adapter to USB (it will plug in but won't transfer the data in a format that is editable in decent quality); you can buy an adapter for a pcmcia or expresscard slot (but can't see any mention of this in the asus spec either); and now my brain hurts again. 
I'm sure loads of you guys who put videos up on the web must can't all be editing on your big home boxes - can anybody come up with a laptop with the right port? Or shed some kind of light...
Cheers,
bb

Jim

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#17 Re: another laptop question...
January 16, 2012, 08:31:51 pm
try a link or 2 to some laptops you've been looking at might help.
I think the problem is firewire isn't used as widely anymore as its all hard disk or flash memory being recorded to so no need for firewire

tommytwotone

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#18 Re: another laptop question...
January 16, 2012, 09:46:03 pm
What Jim said. I've got an ancient DV camcorder that only uses firewire, but a laptop that doesn't have the input.

I bought the card adaptor thing (mainly just to get the old footage off the tapes I've got in the cupboard) but have never got round to setting it up.

To be honest given the cheapness of HD camcorders/the fact most point and shoots have decent quality video built in you're probably better to get a higher spec laptop and spend buttons on a new camera.

Hope that helps!

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#19 Re: another laptop question...
January 16, 2012, 10:48:36 pm
If you've got a decent camera you want to keep using it is worth getting a firewire socket built in. Confusing Firewire is an Apple term which you won't see on a spec list. PC manufacturers call it '1394', which is not quite so memorable.

They are becoming rarer as tommy and Jim say people move to using SD card based cameras. You can still get them

This Dell Latitude E5520 has one, 425 delivered. I bought a full HD Panasonic SD camcorder for 60



Latitude E5520
Processor: Intel Core i3-2310M (2.10GHz, 3MB cache, Dual Core)
English Windows 7 Professional
250 GB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz (1 DIMMs)
Display : 15.6in High Definition (1366X768) WLED
LCD Back Cover : Back Cover
Back Up Media Not Included
English Windows 7 Professional SP1 (64 Bit)
Wireless Card : Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (802.11 a/b/g/n) Half Mini Card
Smart Card
Wireless: Dell 375 Bluetooth Card
8X DVD+/- RW Drive
Primary 6-cell 60W/HR LI-ION Battery



tomtom

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#20 Re: another laptop question...
January 17, 2012, 12:32:45 am
Accidentally found my PC has usb3. Its boss.

Firewire has lots of neat things (like being able to daisy chain external drives using it) but does seem to be an apple thing that others have tagged on to...

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#21 Re: another laptop question...
January 17, 2012, 10:45:55 am
Accidentally found my PC has usb3. Its boss.

Firewire has lots of neat things (like being able to daisy chain external drives using it) but does seem to be an apple thing that others have tagged on to...

Not to be confused with the surfboard manufacturer!!

Other advantages of Firewire in addition to daisy chaining include low overhead (so "theoretical" bandwidth is more realistically achievable than with USB) and more power transfer so external peripherals need additional power supply less frequently.

i'm pretty sure they wanted to charge everyone slightly ridiculous licensing fees for using Firewire (not just the name but the port/technology) which is one of the main reasons it never caught on outside the apple world/DV cameras.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firewire

The knock on effect of which is that economies of scale never really kicked in and so all firewire peripherals remain quite costly.

Here's hoping the same doesn't happen with Thunderbolt/Light Peak (which it shouldn't given that it's owned by intel and will be built into the next gen chipsets....apparently?)

Sorry i didn't give any laptop recommendations.... Apple store refurb section?  ;)
http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FC969B/A

cofe

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#22 another laptop question...
May 07, 2012, 04:41:10 pm
Sorry to resurrect an old-ish thread. Probably going to have to cop for a new laptop soon and wondered if people knew of any current good deals? Doesn't need to be that portable, good battery life, decent screen, mainly used for me julie's work (MS Office) and Internet type stuff. As nippy as possible within budget, good battery life. Win7. Absolute max £400, ideally closer to £300. Ta.

psychomansam

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#23 Re: another laptop question...
May 07, 2012, 07:13:50 pm
http://www.hotukdeals.com/search?action=search&keywords=laptop

It's a bit more laborious, but my technique is to do a bit of research and then find something worthwhile on ebay with a 3yr onsite warranty. My current laptop was refurbed 3 months into such a warranty. It makes it a better buy than a new one with a 1 yr warranty imo. My last one was actually 3yr onsite next day business warranty. Quite funny when a guy drove half way across the country with a part for me and turned up to a dirty student house.

My current one is another version of this model

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Dell-Inspiron-15-1564-i5-450M-Ice-Blue-ATi-HD4330-320GB-4GB-9-Cell-3-Yr-Warranty-/150800462773?pt=UK_Computing_Laptops_EH&hash=item231c6873b5

That one has 2.5yrs onsite warranty left and a pretty tasty spec
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 07:20:11 pm by psychomansam »


 

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