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 Post subject: Best laptop under £400
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:05 pm 
MacRetro rider
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My Mum is interested in getting a laptop, i dont have a clue about them, was going to take her to PC World next weekend, she is going to just use it for brousing the net, probably nothing like playing games or downloading music etc, probably use an external modem and a seperate power source (for browsing the net while watching TV :) )

Had a quick look at PC Worlds website, noticed they all come with Vista, is this any good ?, heard people say it uses too much disc space and is slow, i've also heard Windows are bringing out a new OS this year would it be better to wait for this ?, or would Vista be fine for her needs.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:14 pm 
98+ BoTM Winner / Gold Trader
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I'm an "Apple" person ..... but many Window/PC users will agree,
NO VISTA!!! just go for XP .......if you really want a PC that is :wink:


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:59 pm 
Old School Grand Master
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I'm typing this on a Samsung NC10.
£300, and brilliant. Battery lasts for hours, and hours. Nice blue colour too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:14 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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You wont get an Apple for £400 (unless you go for a 3 year old+ model) so that means you are stuck with a PC. As for Vista, I was a big skeptic over upgrading to it, but to b honest it is now a stable and good performing OS, sure it seems a bit bloated compared to XP, but hey XP seemed bloaty compared to 2000, and likewise 2000 to windows 98/95 But I dont see many people harking on about wanting to install that on their PC's as it was so much smaller.

I wouldn't however wait for the new windows, the problem with operating systems is when they are new, by the time the OS is 12mnths old on the whole the majority of bugs and problems have been fixed and patched out, hence why Vista is now an acceptable as an OS.

As for which model, I dont know, I am not up to date with whats hot or not in the entry level laptop market. However for web browsing & other basic functions I dont think there would be anything on the market that would not be able to handle it.

With regards to an external modem, are you refering to dial up, If so I would highly recomend going for broadband, it makes connecting to the net so much simpler. Im sure all Laptops these days have built in wireless connection so all you would need is a wireless router (often provided by whoever you chose to provide the broadband). If you insist on staying on dial up, I am pretty sure most laptops will come with a built in modems, although I can see this fading from basic specifications as the technology is pretty much obsoleted in these days of high speed wireless/wired network connections.

Ordinarily I would say dont buy from PC world (as they actually know very very little about the products they sell, and most the stuff can be bought cheaper from other outlets) but to a novice there is the advantage that they are a "high street" store and they can easily get in touch if things go wrong.

(written on my 5 year old Apple Ibook ...its old but does everything I require of it...My desktop handles the more complex stuff, this is simply my sofa surfer/email reading machine)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:24 pm 
retrobike rider
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Vista will be fine if not better than XP for her needs forget about hard drive space used up that will be plentiful anyway as for slower, not really in the scheme of things. It will be easier for her to use, just ask my mother in law who just ought a new one and had used XP before, never very confident. She's fine with Vista and far less hassle asking me questions.
If you want Windows 7 you can download the work in progress version for them or somewhere.(it is basically Vista with a few extra things and a reworked interface). Noting your Mum would be interested in.

Anything in the budget range will be fine,
Though get her to try them out (if you can) and if it's not going to be moved then try and go for the 17" screens if you can squeeze it in to budget. They make it much easier to read the text.

I know you can do it for ~£450 and it's a nice laptop to boot (HP I think) sound is good, quick and has a new fandangled Blue-Ray player you Mum will never use :D
Else Dell or Samsung or always a good choice as per the review in magazines.

These cheaper netbooks will do the job also, but they have small screens.

Windows 7 http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/ (download seems to have finished, but available elsewhere.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:50 pm 
Gold Trader
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I bought a factory recon laptop off the internet for £200 and it is great. Came with XP, which I prefer to Vista, but it's only because I use it all the time.

Company is no frills but I am really happy with the computer: http://www.thelaptopcentre.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:54 pm 
Retro Guru
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i think you would be very hard pushed to buy a laptop for less than £400 that wont easily do what you want it for,as for vista,have you tried buying one with xp lol?? they pretty much dont exist.take her to the shop and let her choose one she likes the look of,you cant go wrong.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:11 pm 
MacRetro rider
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Cheers for the advice, forgot to mention she will be using Broadband and not dialup, doubt she will go wireless, (though she may upgrade to this eventually) if the laptop doesn't have an internal modem she'll probably just keep the modem/router handy, (next to the couch :lol: ) and plug in when she wants to use it.

Did look at the Netbooks but i think they'd be just a bit too small, have noticed that most laptops under £400 (from PC World anyway) are mostly 15" screen, will get her to try this but may suggest going the extra £40 or so for a 17".

Makes sence what you are saying (Jerky) about Vista being refined now and new OS's taking a year or so for any bugs to be ironed out, the revew i read was on a Google search so could have been old.

Cheers for that link BarneyRubble, i'll have a look at that :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:37 pm 
Retro Guru
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again,you will be hard pushed to buy one that isnt wireless enabled already ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:42 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/product/seo/118681

bluetooth enabled - aesy photo sharing from camera phone to pc.

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/product/454072

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/produc ... ionSection

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/product/seo/206076


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