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Novice requires help and advice with laptop spec!

ieatwork

Standard Member
Hi there,

I am looking to buy a new laptop as my current Dell Inspiron 6000 is just not cutting it these days.

I'm looking for something as fast and as powerful as possible for my money. I have a budget of around £1500. Perhaps a little more if I can sell a few more things on eBay!

I will be using the machine for:

Editing multiple high-res images using Photoshop and Illustrator.
Creating animations using Flash.
Downloading and watching high-res videos.
Multiple tabbed browsing with Firefox (sometimes I have up to 30-40 tabs open).

As you can see from the above I won't be using it for gaming. I just want a super fast machine!

Anyway, I would be grateful if you could give me your views on the following spec which I have created on pcspecialist.co.uk:

It's a 15.4" Enigma Laptop.

Display: 15.4 INCH WIDESCREEN DISPLAY (1440 X 900) - GLARE & ANTI-REFLECTION

Processor (CPU): INTEL® Core 2 Duo T9600 (2 X 2.80GHz) 1066MHz FSB/6MB L2 Cache

Memory (RAM): 4GB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (2x2GB)

Operating System: Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium 64 bit Edition + SP1, CD & Licence

Hard Disk: 120GB OCZ CORE SERIES V2 SATA II 2.5" SSD (upto 170MB/sR | 98MB/sW)

CD/DVD Drive: 4x SATA BLURAY WRITER + 8x DVD±R/RW/Dual Layer & 16x CD-RW

Graphics Card: 512MB GEFORCE 9600GT + HDMI + D-SUB

Sound Card: Realtek ALC268 2 Channel High Definition Audio + MIC IN/Phones Out

Network Facilities: Onboard Gigabit LAN & WIRELESS 802.11G NETWORK CARD

Memory Card Reader: INTERNAL 3 IN 1 MEMORY CARD READER (SD, MMC, MS, MS PRO)

Speakers: INTEGRATED 1.5W STEREO SPEAKERS

Webcam: INTEGRATED 2.0 MEGAPIXEL WEBCAM

Battery: 9 Cell Lithium Ion Battery (7,200 mAh) - up to 4 Hours Battery Life

Dimensions & Weight: W x D x H: 358.5mm x 259mm x 25.4 ~ 39.2mm | Weight: 2.7KG

Features: Biometric Fingertip Reader & 1 x Express Card Slot

Warranty: 1 Year Return-to-Base incl 1st Month Free Collect & Return

Total price: £1502 inc VAT and Delivery


Do you think that the Enigma has a good build quality and is durable and trustworthy enough to last a good few years?

Or do you think I would be better off going for a high-spec laptop from a big, reliable manufacturer like Sony or Dell instead? I hear that these sort of companies offer better customer service etc.

Any help you could give me, or any recommendations would be most appreciated.

Cheers
 

ducattigezzer

Established Member
from the looks of that it's a clevo clone and not really worth that

google clevo then play spot the laptop

if you want to spend that kind of money get a desktop for a lot better performance

but if your like me and havn't got the space get a Dell XPS M1730

worth the money i spent which was £1500 fully loaded but that was off this forum not dell

if you have a search of the forum it's been talked about many times


here's i found you one

cheap laptops, refurbished laptops, dell xps, cheap dell laptops

from a good company as well they are members on this forum.

also just before you go how much go to the dell website and spec up the same machine and see how much you save
 

ieatwork

Standard Member
Hi,

Thanks for your reply.

I've just had a look at the link you sent me to the Dell XPS M1730. Looks pretty good, although the spec doesn't look all that different to the one I have configured. I guess the main difference is the screen size and resolution? Will that make much of a difference?

I am thinking of sticking to a 15" for portability reasons, and like yourself I don't have space for a desktop. I also like to take my work with me wherever I go.

In my spec I have selected the 120GB OCZ CORE SERIES V2 SATA II 2.5" SSD (upto 170MB/sR | 98MB/sW) with 4GB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz RAM.

I think these components are slightly more uprated than the ones listed with the Dell XPS M1730. Will they make much of a difference in speed/power do you think?

I will put together a similar configuration on the Dell website, as suggested, and will let you know what the price comes out at.

Thanks again for your advice.
 

planetse

Established Member
I run an XPS M1730 for gamming (£2300 speck) and will say there is not a lot out there bar the Alien that comes near it. Even the low speck M1730’s are great laptops.
 

ducattigezzer

Established Member
thats a good spec and about the price you wanted to pay

the biggest let down with it is the graphics card not as good as the 88's

also you might get a heat issue as clevo based machine run hot when fully loaded like the one your looking at.

but if you like it go for it
 

ieatwork

Standard Member
How about this spec for a Xtreme SL8:

Q9300 Quad core 2.5Ghz, 6Mb, 1333Mhz / 2 x Nvidia GeForce Go 9800M GTS 512Mb DDR3 / Hi-res 17" WUXGA X-Glass (1920x1200) / 4GB DDR2 800Mhz / 250GB 7200rpm SATA HDD / 8x +/- Dual Layer DVD Writer / No TV Tuner / Windows Vista Home Premium.

Only thing is, I don't like the look of the laptop.

Would this be faster than my spec for the Enigma?

It works out about £250 more. Eeek.
 

Veni Vidi Vici

Prominent Member
I have considered a Macbook, but I want to stick with Windows.

Why do you suggest a Macbook?

they are great for video/photo stuff and more stable and secure than pc's. Plus they look good and have great customer service. if you don't want a gaming laptop they are even a better option !!
 

ducattigezzer

Established Member
Xtreme SL8 would be faster than the Enigma

but 1 its a pug ugly laptop 2 it has major heat issues

to be honest the dell xps 1730 would be alot better all round.thats if you want to go the 17inch route
 

ieatwork

Standard Member
I went in to PC World today to have a look at some of the laptops, and I must admit I was quite drawn to the MacBook Pro. It seemed pretty quick and the whole feel of the keyboard and trackpad was good.

There was a 16.4" Sony Vaio, which was also nice.

Does anyone know if there is anywhere I could check out the Rock laptops before buying? Or any of gaming type laptops? I would like to see and feel one before buying. The keyboard and trackpad is, obviously, quite an important feature.

Did you guys buy your laptops from a shop like PC World, or did you buy them on the net without seeing or feeling first?
 

planetse

Established Member
Get to see different laptops all day long at work, so easy for me.

But your right, you do need to be sure of your purchase; and having a feel so to say :blush: is the only way to find this out.
 

ieatwork

Standard Member
I don't suppose you know of any shops in or around London that have gaming laptops on display?

PC World only seem to have 'mid-range' laptops on display. I couldn't see anything that was super fast.
 

Veni Vidi Vici

Prominent Member
I don't suppose you know of any shops in or around London that have gaming laptops on display?

PC World only seem to have 'mid-range' laptops on display. I couldn't see anything that was super fast.

Why do you need something so fast for? The macbook pro is a great machine and would be my choice especially if you don't want a gaming laptop.

See below link from the Gadget Show in 2007 comparing a basic £949 Macbook with its pre-loaded free software to a £1700 Sony laptop using one of the top video editing packages (Pinnacle).....the Mac destroys it.

YouTube - Gadget Show: HD video editing, Mac vs PC
 
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ieatwork

Standard Member
Very interesting clip. Cheers for the link.

I have considered the Macbook Pro, but the new ones are pretty damn expensive, especially the high-spec 17" version. Approx £2500.

I'm also worried about heat issues with high-spec Macbooks.

The Powerbook I had a few years ago had major heat issues, even when doing unintensive tasks. The heat caused the casing to warp around the edges and I ended having to get the entire bottom casing replaced.

However, I do like the fact that Macs can run Windows.

Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

I think it's going to come down to price...
 

Veni Vidi Vici

Prominent Member
Very interesting clip. Cheers for the link.

I have considered the Macbook Pro, but the new ones are pretty damn expensive, especially the high-spec 17" version. Approx £2500.

I'm also worried about heat issues with high-spec Macbooks.

The Powerbook I had a few years ago had major heat issues, even when doing unintensive tasks. The heat caused the casing to warp around the edges and I ended having to get the entire bottom casing replaced.

However, I do like the fact that Macs can run Windows.

Hmmm, decisions, decisions.

I think it's going to come down to price...

You said you had a £1500 budget, maybe more. The cheapest Macbook Pro is £1369 and made of aluminium so will not warp. The 4gb RAM version which is the next model up is £1712 so not that much over your budget and you are getting so much more for your money. Plus they last longer than PCs and hold their price. You could sell it in a few years time for several hundred pounds, you can't do that with a laptop.

If you want a new one just ring Apple and order over the phone. You will get a discount that way, even more if you are a student (about 7-10%)

Personally I would buy from the Apple refurb store, you will save loads, sometimes hundreds. The refurb units are top notch, they have actually been tested more than the new ones and any faults fixed and new parts replaced. And they come with a one year warranty.
 
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ieatwork

Standard Member
Cheers for the tip on the Apple refurb store. I didn't know it existed.

They don't appear to have the new Macbook Pro 17", only the smaller screen sizes.

And, correct me if i'm wrong, but the slightly older (all silver) Macbook Pro are not made of aluminium? Therefore could be prone to warping, like my old Powerbook.

I could get the Sony VGN-AW11Z/B from Currys for £1,370. It has a 18.4" screen and a pretty good spec.

I wish Apple wasn't so damn expensive!
 

Veni Vidi Vici

Prominent Member
Cheers for the tip on the Apple refurb store. I didn't know it existed.

They don't appear to have the new Macbook Pro 17", only the smaller screen sizes.

And, correct me if i'm wrong, but the slightly older (all silver) Macbook Pro are not made of aluminium? Therefore could be prone to warping, like my old Powerbook.

I could get the Sony VGN-AW11Z/B from Currys for £1,370. It has a 18.4" screen and a pretty good spec.

I wish Apple wasn't so damn expensive!

Do you really need a 17" screen, the spec you posted was a 15" screen. Even less so if you are not into gaming? What are you planning to do with it? I don't believe they are prone to warping, you could have just been unlucky with your old powerbook.

They are a bit more expensive but the software and hardware are all designed by Apple so work seemlessly. And they come with pretty much everything you need built in. Comparing spec to laptops isn't really possible. The clip of the basic macbook proves that, it destroyed a high-spec Sony and that wasn't even the Pro macbook. People are running the latest O/S on old powerbooks, can you imagine someone running Vista on an old laptop !!!

I took the plunge and bought a macbook. No regrets. It boots up and connects to the net in about 10 seconds and shuts off in about 5 seconds. No annoying updates and virus scanning. Everything is fast and I wish I bought one years ago.

Also a 18.4" inch laptop will weigh a ton and the battery life will be awful. Sort of defeats the object of having a portable laptop as the Sony isn't. The macbooks have over 5 hours of battery life, the new 17" boasts an 8 hours battery life !!!

Its your money but if I had that sort of money to spend I know what I would get.
 
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ieatwork

Standard Member
Ok, so here are my options. Price descending (Ex VAT):

New MacBook Pro (17" 1680 x 1050, Core 2 Duo 2.66 Ghz, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 320GB SATA, GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT, DVD R/RW) £1675 (Ex VAT)

New MacBook Pro (15" 1440 x 900, Core 2 Duo 2.80 Ghz, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 320GB SATA, GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT, DVD R/RW) £1620 (Ex VAT)

Enigma (15" 1440 X 900, Core 2 Extreme X9100 3.06 GHz, 4GB XMS2 RAM, 120GB SSD, GeForce 9600M GT, DVD R/RW) £1447 (Ex VAT)

Sony Vaio VGN-AW11Z/B (18" 1920 x 1080, Core 2 Duo T9400 2.53 GHz, 4GB DDR2 RAM, 640GB SATA, GeForce 9600M GT, Blu-Ray R/RW & DVD R/RW) £1137 (Ex VAT)

What I want to know is which one would you go for?

I will be using it for designing websites and brochures, some web development, general web browsing, watching DVDs and listening to music.

Although the 17" Macbook is the most expensive, I am tempted to go for it, the only thing stopping me is the potential heat issues as I know Macbooks, and especially the Pros, can be prone to heating up A LOT!

What do you think?

Any of your views appreciated.
 

ieatwork

Standard Member
Also just a thought. I could go for the Sony Vaio, and with the money I save from not getting the MacBook Pro, I could get myself a Canon Digital SLR!
 

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