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Audio/Video Hardware => Computers & Networking => Topic started by: Crankshaft on May 07, 2011, 11:17:37 AM

Title: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Crankshaft on May 07, 2011, 11:17:37 AM
I was dof enough to have gotten my laptop nicked.

It was an old Toshiba Satellite Pro M70 - P4 1.86  with a nice 256meg ATI graphics board - even had Harmon Kardon speakers.

Suggestions/recomendation for a replacement will be appreciated.

Must be robust, with decent performance.  Good video capabilities are important, as are having plenty of interfaces:  ExpressCard, PCMCIA, multi-card reader etc.

I don't need HDMI or fullHD.  My last 15.4" screen of 1280x800 was more than adequate.

Here's the important part - it must be cheap.  3 to 4 grand tops.   :)

Cheers,

Crank
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: GearSlave on May 07, 2011, 02:01:17 PM
I'm a bit of a Dell man, so would recommend the entry level Vostro. It's got that screen res and is pretty capable. Dealer price on those are around R4k5 ex VAT.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: WD on May 07, 2011, 03:23:52 PM
Hi Crank,
I have a refurbed Hewlett Packard Compaq 67B for R3200 if you're interested.
Core 2 Duo 2Ghz processor
2 Gig Ram
150 Gig Hard drive
1680 x 1050 Res screen
Fully updated Win XP loaded
Comes with a new Targus bag worth R500

I'm in Onrus River near Hermanus now.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Skeeter on May 07, 2011, 08:34:25 PM
I can also vouch for the Dell Vostro - had the 1520 previously and wife has a 1720 now.  Very nice build quality and pretty solid specifications.  I've always admired HP - especially the Work Station series - but the new Probook's don't look right to me (completely subjective).

Besides Gert's suggestion and depending on your connections (if you buy retail or direct), you might have to go super entry-level ...
http://www.prophecy.co.za/samsung-rv510a02za-intel-celeron-t3500-210ghz-ddr2800-p-86115.html
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: fdlsys on May 07, 2011, 10:27:39 PM
3-4K will not buy much in big brand names. LG and Samsung on the other hand, come packed to the rafters. Acer and MSI too.
Personally, I'm MSI fan even though I've been living with Dell & HP over many, many years. Corporate decision, nothing I can do.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Family_Dog on May 07, 2011, 11:26:09 PM
I'm running a Dell Vostro 3500 and I cannot fault it. But then, I also use a Dell Lattitude D830 which I like as well :)


-F_D
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Shonver on May 08, 2011, 09:43:32 AM
At my old job I had a Dell Studio 1537. Piece of crap. Must have been entry level. IT boss was forever trying to solicit positive comments from me. Probably schemed she could standardise on this model for the company. But I had big problems with drivers and cursor jumping to where mouse pointer was. Managed to get the right driver, eventually, but later it somehow reverted to the old one. Enabling bluetooth was also a mission on its own. Dell is supposed to be turnkey, but it turned out not to be the case. When they bought that laptop, Dell was only supplying it with Vista, so it had to be downgraded by us. No help from Dell. I'm not impressed by them.

Current laptop is an HP ProBook 6555b. No hassles so far (1 month).
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: BWS on May 09, 2011, 08:27:23 AM
+1 on the HP ProBook

Stable, fast, reliable (even with Windoze)
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Crankshaft on May 09, 2011, 08:33:23 AM
Been away for the weekend.  Thanks for all the feedback.

Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: ghostinthemachine on May 09, 2011, 08:43:50 AM
You can usually find NEW laptops at retail outlets that specializes in those types of electronic devices  ;D  ;D
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: GearSlave on May 09, 2011, 08:48:45 AM
My experience with HP has been exactly the opposite. Three years ago we went through laptop HDD's like crazy. HP took forever to get replacements (I had to purchase a bunch just to get the guys going) and never wanted to acknowledge that they had a problematic batch (although the laptops were all bought at the same time). They also dragged their feet with having our desktops repaired, always using 'waiting for parts' as an excuse.

Since that day, I changed to Dell exclusively (33 laptops and 15 desktops - done as a corporate procurement process) and only had one laptop keyboard go faulty in this time. This laptop was out of warranty, but their tech was still at out office the next day to replace the keyboard. Free.of.charge...

Guess who I'll support?
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: chipwelder on May 09, 2011, 08:52:41 AM
Ja... HP probook works nice, but my colleague's had a corrupt partition and it caused all sortsairritatingshit that was blamed on just about everything else, except HP... the technical helpdesk people are quite nice though.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Crankshaft on May 09, 2011, 09:02:07 AM
You can usually find NEW laptops at retail outlets that specializes in those types of electronic devices  ;D  ;D

I trust the opinions of the esteemed AVF crowd over some hifi-corp bozo.

But, I gotta confess, with all the conflicting opinions, I may be better off heading off to china-town and taking my chances with whatever box tickles my fancy.   ;D  ;D
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: The Godfather on May 09, 2011, 09:15:29 AM
My experience with HP has been exactly the opposite. Three years ago we went through laptop HDD's like crazy. HP took forever to get replacements (I had to purchase a bunch just to get the guys going) and never wanted to acknowledge that they had a problematic batch (although the laptops were all bought at the same time). They also dragged their feet with having our desktops repaired, always using 'waiting for parts' as an excuse.

Since that day, I changed to Dell exclusively (33 laptops and 15 desktops - done as a corporate procurement process) and only had one laptop keyboard go faulty in this time. This laptop was out of warranty, but their tech was still at out office the next day to replace the keyboard. Free.of.charge...

Guess who I'll support?
My experiences have been the same as Gert's. Dell provide very good backup service. Many of their notebooks come with a 3 year next business day onsite warranty which is invaluable if you actually use your notebook. Also low failure rate.

HP have been awful with their support, and have broken often.

Apple - well pretty machine - crappy service.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: LAV on May 09, 2011, 10:49:23 AM
Dell. Great service, very few hiccups. That said, for small retail / non-corporate customers the big brands are sometimes a bit expensive. For R3k - R4k you would need to look at an entry-level machine from someone like Samsung, LG, Compaq. For R5k you could get something with a much better CPU, more RAM and larger HDD than for say R3k.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: ara on May 09, 2011, 10:59:18 AM
For 3-4 grand I would look at these:

Asus K52F-SX505R for about R 4,000
HP WT107EA 625 for about R 4,000
HP XN822EA 625 for about R 4,000
HP Probook 4525s - AMD Phenom Triple P820 for about R 4,600
HP Probook 4520s - Intel Core i3-370M (2.40GHz) for about R 5,200
Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 15 Intel Core i3-380M for about R 4,600
Then there is always Dell, Samsung and Acer.

As to which brand I don't think it really matters. I had very good/bad service from HP, Dell and Acer. It only depends on who handles the service call. Most of the time though if you don't xpect much from service in SA then you never get disapointed  ;D (I know call me a pessimist).
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: ghostinthemachine on May 09, 2011, 11:03:23 AM
What about Toshiba? I only had good experiences with Toshiba laptops.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: kamikazi on May 09, 2011, 11:03:43 AM
I've been waiting close to 6 weeks for a replacement battery for my company HP Probook notebook... If it was my own business I would probably buy a Dell with business next day support. From what I've heard they are quite on the ball with that..

Otherwise I quite like Lenovo notebooks for their keyboards and durability and Asus makes some decent value for money offerings with a longer than standard warranty along with the notebook.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Prince on May 09, 2011, 12:09:49 PM
I've been waiting close to 6 weeks for a replacement battery for my company HP Probook notebook... If it was my own business I would probably buy a Dell with business next day support. From what I've heard they are quite on the ball with that..

Otherwise I quite like Lenovo notebooks for their keyboards and durability and Asus makes some decent value for money offerings with a longer than standard warranty along with the notebook.


Dell is very good with their next day business warranty. It always makes sense to buy the 3 year warranty with any notebook, even if you don't use it -peace of mind.
What makes Dell's service good, is that power/charger packs are included in the 3 year warranty, as well as the prompt service and repair. I had my Dell E6400 notebook repaired next day for a screen bezel and power pack replacement. Took all in all about 30 minutes for the technician to sort out. Besides these small issues and my Dell ran flawlessly.
Yes, I do agree, that their drivers are not the best, especially their audio drivers that they use.

 ;D

Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: The Godfather on May 09, 2011, 03:07:56 PM
Yes, I do agree, that their drivers are not the best, especially their audio drivers that they use.

 ;D


Wahaha - I hope I am getting you correctly there. My Dell is actually the best sounding notebook I have ever heard. It does have a built in "subwoofer" though :D.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Shonver on May 09, 2011, 07:45:23 PM
My Dell is actually the best sounding notebook I have ever heard. It does have a built in "subwoofer" though :D.

The HP I have now also sounds amazingly good. Doubt it has a "sub", but what it does, it does better than I expect from a tiny little speaker.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Prince on May 09, 2011, 08:19:59 PM
Wahaha - I hope I am getting you correctly there. My Dell is actually the best sounding notebook I have ever heard. It does have a built in "subwoofer" though :D.

-my Lenovo X201 i7 Core 2.6Ghz with a conexant HD Audio chips kicks the Dell's ass!! Even my wifey's MSI Celeron notebook sounded better than the Dell...

:)
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: GearSlave on May 10, 2011, 05:33:49 AM
You guys gotta be kidding me ::)
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: The Godfather on May 10, 2011, 06:09:40 AM
You guys gotta be kidding me ::)
:D - You would be amazed :D
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: kHz on May 10, 2011, 05:27:55 PM
be amazed  :D :D

http://promos.asus.com/US/NX90Jq/ (http://promos.asus.com/US/NX90Jq/)

SonicMaster technology, co-developed with Bang & Olufsen ICEpowerŪ, delivers the highest audio fidelity
 Designed by multiple award-winning designer David Lewis, whose main client is Bang & Olufsen

Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Crankshaft on May 20, 2011, 03:30:29 PM
I have narrowed my options down to the following for now:

1.  Dell Vostro 1015 Core 2 Duo T6670 3MB RAM, 500GB 5400 rpm HDD, Windows 7 32 bit

2.  HP 4530s XX983EA Core i3 2310M 2 MB RAM, 320GB 7200 rpm HDD, Windows 7 64 bit

Both have Bluetooth, Intel HD Graphics, 15.6" widescreen etc.  I like the fact that they both have low-reflection screens.

The HP has full numeric keypad and HDMI, but the Dell has Firewire and better after-sales.

Any opinions?

Crank
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: GearSlave on May 20, 2011, 03:42:05 PM
The Dell is a solid machine but the HP will be faster (in the unlikely event that it does work). What's the difference in price?
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Crankshaft on May 20, 2011, 03:45:50 PM
5000 for the Dell, 5500 for the HP (+ VAT)

Are HP's really that unreliable?

Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: WD on May 20, 2011, 03:47:52 PM
The Dell is a solid machine but the HP will be faster (in the unlikely event that it does work). What's the difference in price?

Somebody please show Gert where the on-button is on his HP... ;D
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Crankshaft on May 20, 2011, 04:23:47 PM
There's also the Vostro 3500.

I had a look at the Toshiba A660 17M.  Lot's of bang for the buck - but a little too shiny for my taste.

....reaches for grandpa powder....


Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: GearSlave on May 20, 2011, 04:24:22 PM
Are HP's really that unreliable?

Just ignore me, I don't forget easily.

Somebody please show Gert where the on-button is on his HP... ;D

I know where it is, it still doesn't work :P
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: BWS on May 21, 2011, 07:47:46 AM

Are HP's really that unreliable?



Not in my experience no, and mine gets heavily used (on average 10hrs a day continuous)

However HP have 2 "types' of laptops, those intended for domestic use (you know, the odd email, Facebook, porn etc) and then the models intended for business use (the Probook and Elitebook series), these are the ones you want to go for.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: BWS on May 21, 2011, 07:51:49 AM

2.  HP 4530s XX983EA Core i3 2310M 2 MB RAM, 320GB 7200 rpm HDD, Windows 7 64 bit


I have the Probook 4520s albeit with 8gb RAM and Win7 Enterprise - It flies ;D and not a second's hassle (not even 1 blue screen :D)

and the HDMI proves more useful than Firewire.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: kamikazi on May 22, 2011, 08:41:06 PM
Between your two options I would definitely go for the HP 4530s. The newer one's look much more solid than the version I have (HP 4710s). The CPU on that Dell is bit old school now...
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: The Godfather on May 23, 2011, 05:25:48 PM
Between your two options I would definitely go for the HP 4530s. The newer one's look much more solid than the version I have (HP 4710s). The CPU on that Dell is bit old school now...
Report back here when it breaks :D

Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: GearSlave on May 23, 2011, 07:09:05 PM
Report back here when it breaks :D

Hehe :evil:
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: CAD on May 23, 2011, 07:23:49 PM
Hey crankshaft I have a 2007 Toshiba Satellite Pro P100 with 256 meg graphics and the HK sound which is still going strong.They were really awesome laptops back then.
You have some good choices in your price range however make sure the laptop can handle your current and possible future requirements.Its a lot easier to spend that extra 1k now than trying to upgrade the laptop later.You are basically limited to adding more RAM and a larger hard drive.
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: WD on May 23, 2011, 09:43:36 PM
Hehe :evil:

You two are so off my xmass card list! ;) ::)
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Crankshaft on May 24, 2011, 10:11:51 AM
Hey crankshaft I have a 2007 Toshiba Satellite Pro P100 with 256 meg graphics and the HK sound which is still going strong.They were really awesome laptops back then.
You have some good choices in your price range however make sure the laptop can handle your current and possible future requirements.Its a lot easier to spend that extra 1k now than trying to upgrade the laptop later.You are basically limited to adding more RAM and a larger hard drive.

Agreed, I really miss my old Tosh.  I saw new Toshiba A660 17M for R5999.  Seems awesome for the price:  i5, 4MB ram 500HDD, Nvidea 1MB graphics, HK speakers, etc, etc.

The one thing I don't want again, is a glossy screen.  Is there a good aftermarket film that one can stick over the screen?
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: BWS on May 24, 2011, 10:24:37 AM
  Is there a good aftermarket film that one can stick over the screen?

P1000 waterpaper or emory cloth  ;D
Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: Crankshaft on May 24, 2011, 11:19:49 AM
P1000 waterpaper or emory cloth  ;D

Should I use small circular movements?

So far it's not looking too good  ???  I may have got some water in the unit from holding it under the garden tap while scouring the screen.


Title: Re: Advice on finding a new laptop
Post by: CAD on May 24, 2011, 02:29:35 PM
small circular movements should do it..wax on,wax off ;D