dell inspiron 1720 - £480 - the right deal for me

unique

Moderator
i've been looking for a laptop for a while, mainly for infrequent travelling and i want to dj with it at parties, so nothing to fancy is requried but the more hardrive space the better. i normally soup up my own pc's by adding HD's separately

i saw the dell inspiron 1720 for £480 inc vat & delivery with 160gig HD and 17" screen and pentium dual core (not core duo2 - £50+vat more)

it has space for another HD, so i can upgrade later
the product code is NPUK12 - N0572003

it's got vista home basic and 2gig ram, i'm not fussed about webcams and stuff like that. dvd writer is essential though

there is the option to change to twin 120gig drives for an extra £40+vat, but thats only 80gig more for about £50, and i reckon i could get a much better deal on a bigger drive. ultimately i'd like to upgrade to twin 500gig drives when they fall to the £100 mark, which shouldn't be that long, and i can keep on upgrading one drive at a time when new technology comes out

the only thing the laptop lacks that i'd like is hdmi as it would be nice to get a bluray drive to connect to it and output to my plasma, as i can get a dual HDdvd/bluray drive for £83 and stick it in an external casing

i'm probably not going to use the laptop a lot, so i don't want to spend too much money on it, but it would be a faster machine than my current desktops so it could perhaps be used as a desktop replacement for one of them when they pack in. i'm just concerned about having a laptop on a lot of the time like my desktops

the alternative i was looking at the other day was a lenovo (they bought the thinkpad range rights) for £303 inc vat & delivery, which was a pentium dual core (not core duo), 15" screen, 120gig HD and just 1 gig ram (although there is a mail in offer for another 1 gig). thats £180 cheaper than the dell. it's a smaller screen, but do i really need another 2 inches (said the bishop to the vicar) for so much more money? a 17" is quite desirable though, and as i'm used to 19" LCDs at home it would be a better desktop replacement that moving from 19" to 15". 40gigs less HD space isn't much considering my intentions, but i can't add a second internal drive. i don't want to have to lug a pc with an external drive, it certainly wouldn't look very cool when i'm djing or trying to show off, and needing a power supply to plug in the drive. the low ram is a problem, but about £20 would boost that, making it £323, or about £160 cheaper. i think it's also got vista home basic (i'd prefer xp)

any thoughts? are there any other better options? i think i really need a 17" laptop if i want to use two drives internally. the weight isn't a huge issue, neither is battery length as i have a fear of places that don't have an electric supply

cheers
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
dvd writer is essential though
from what you said the lenovo is a no go as you would need hard drive space the most.

what dj software to you use? have you got a mixer than will interact with the pc software?

the dell looks like a good option especialy as its got potential for a lot more hard drive space which IMO is a must have for the mobile dj as your music collection can soon add up (i should know) the dell should be able to do everything you want.

lots of hardware when dj'ing can look quite good :p

if you plan to use it as a desktop when yours gives up the ghost then the dell shines through again with the bigger screen, more hard drive space and so on. i would say go for the dell, you can always wipe the hard drive and install xp instead of vists (would have to if you upgrade both hard drives) the dual core pentium would be ok for your needs but i would upgrade it to the core 2 duo (seeing as you might be using as a desktop)
 

unique

Moderator
i dont have any dj software or hardware yet for a pc, as i dont have the laptop to do it with. i saw a few things the other week starting about £150 for a hardware based kit with a mixer and headphone socket. the cheaper ones didnt have the headphone monitor facilities, so not very good for mixing with

i am djing in a few weeks time, so initially i would probably just fill it up with music and plug it in along with the other decks at the venue, and if i think of a tune i dont have on cd i can refer to the laptop, or even burn the tune to a cdrw and play. not the greatest idea, but it would be a start

with 160gig i could put most of the stuff i have in mind right on the laptop by coping from my pc, id have to cut down with the cheaper one. im just trying to figure out if its worth paying £480 on something that might not be used much for a while

the pc that would probably first pack in is just a celeron 2.8ghz and it does the job fine, the other is a p4 3ghz hyper threading chip which is also fine. i dont do games or anything processor intensive really

im not sure the differences between all the dual core type processors. i presume the speed is really twice what they say, otherwise the chips would be slower than the old single core processors, ie. 1.6hz times two cores = 3.2ghz equivalent or something?

i'd probably just upgrade the drives one at a time, mainly for financial reasons. i'd probably wait till a 500gig drive becomes at a price i like and slot that in and keep the smaller drive for the OS, then when I get another new drive i can just ghost the lot other to the new drive and remove the one that comes with it and get a portable caddy so it doesn't go to waste. not sure when that would be though as it's a fair amount to put down on a computer (considering my desktops were sub £200 intially, then i upped ram and HD's etc over time)

(keyboard was wonky and wasn't letting me type apostrophes earlier btw)
 

CP-PC

Novice Member
no thats not quite how dual or quad cores work. if its stated as say the intel E8400 at 3.00Ghz (its a dual core cpu) it has 2 cores running at 3Ghz each. that does not mean you have the same speed as a single core running at 6Ghz.
if those are the type of processors you have in your desktops then you should be fine with the standard dual core pentium that the dell comes with. it might be worth having your music on an external drive (that way you only have to take the external drive provided the venue has a pc or laptop)

some external drives can be quite cheep
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=675794 500GB for about £60
http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=701596320GB for about £60
might be a little more difficult to carry about but it keeps your laptop uncluttered and makes your music more compatable with other systems.
i still think the dell would be better, but the lenovo would be cheeper..... if you could put up with the smaller screen.

i personaly would stick with the dell as it has a bigger screen, would not really need upgrading, just grab and external drive.
the dell would be more expencive but should also be a better desktop replacement. if you get the lenovo you would need to upgrade it voiding the warranty if you do it yourself. if your worried about the longevity of the laptop from leaving it on like your desktop pc's then the warranty really needs to stay intack just incase anything goes wrong.
hope this helps
 

unique

Moderator
well to answer my question, the answer is NO!

after much deliberation and a look in currys, i found the following this morning, so placed the order for £333

i got my 17" screen, dvdwriter, xp home (i didn't want vista) and 160gig HD and i can fit a second HD - all for £333. i could have got it with a 120gig HD for £310, a 80gig drive from other online stores is about £40 so £1 per gig the upgrade was reasonable, and looking at the stuff last nite i wanted to put on it, i could probably squeeze it all initially on a 160gig drive if i don't put all the crap i don't need on

so i saved £150 over my original deal, and spent only £20 more than the cheap alternative. it's just a celeron processor, but that should be more than fine for my needs. it's also just 1gig of ram, but i'll spend about £20 and upgrade that, so a perfect machine for £350 when upgraded, and in time i'll get a second drive

thanks for everyones help


Description Vostro™ 1700 NB(N0517001) Date & Time: Thursday 15 May 2008 7:53 AM SYSTEM COMPONENTS Vostro™ 1700 NB(N0517001) Qty 1 Intel® Celeron® Processor 550 (2.00 GHz, 533 MHz FSB, 1 MB L2-cache), Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition - English Unit Price £319.00 Limited Offer !! Get £35 additional money off when you spend £229 or more
Expires 21 May 2008 - £35.00 Catalog Number: 202 N0517001 Module Description Base Intel® Celeron® Processor 550 (2.00 GHz, 533 MHz FSB, 1 MB L2-cache) Microsoft Operating System Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition - English Memory 1024MB (2x512) 667MHz DDR2 Dual Channel Keyboard Internal Keyboard - UK/Irish (QWERTY) Video Card 256MB nVidia® GeForce® 8600M GT Hard Drive 160GB (5400RPM) SATA Hard Drive Modem 56.6k V.92 Capable Internal Modem & Adapter - UK Optical Devices Fixed Internal 8X DVD+/-RW Drive including Software Wireless Networking Dell™ Wireless 1395 (802.11 b/g) MiniPCI Card Shipping Documents English Documentation with English/Irish Power Cord Gedis Bundle Reference N0517001 Microsoft Application Software Microsoft® Works 9.0 - English Standard Warranty 1Yr Basic Warranty - Next Business Day Enhanced Service Packs 1Yr Basic Warranty - Next Business Day Included - No Upgrade Selected CompleteCare Declined CompleteCare Protect your new PC No Security/Anti-Virus Protection Power Supply 90W AC Adapter Bluetooth No Bluetooth® Card included Order Information Vostro Laptop Order - UK Primary Battery Primary 6-cell Lithium-Ion Battery (56 WHr) Carrying Cases No Carrying Case Dell System Media Kit Resource CD - contains Diagnostics and Drivers Colour Choice Matte Jet Black without Camera Online Promotion Option for GEDIS Configs Dell Internet Order LCD 17.0" Widescreen WXGA+ (1440x900) TFT Display TOTAL :£284.00 Additional Discounts and Coupons Free Shipping
Total excl. VAT VAT Rate Total incl. VAT
Sub-total £284.00 17.50 % £333.70
Total Delivery Charge £51.06 17.50 % £60.00
Delivery Charge Discount -£51.06 17.50 % -£60.00 Total Price £284.00
£333.70
 

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