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Laptop recommendations...

edited December 2005 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
So i'm considering getting a new pc in the forseeable future (while still fine for what i use it for this thing is coming up 3 years old and my dad will need a pc at some point so i thought i could give him this and upgrade..)
I'm strongly considering getting a laptop as a desktop replacement as i'll either be going to uni or getting a pc based job next year so i could do with something portable. Whether or not i'll completely lose a desktop i dont know but thats not really an issue.

I dont tend to use my pc for much gaming (infact i dont tend to use my pc for much...browsing and chat mainly) so it doesnt need to be super powerful but at the same time i'd like it reasonably quick/stable/reliable, and with the option of gaming/compiling as an occasional pastime. I'd also like the ability to watch tv/movies on it (i.e. tv tuner) but again this aint a biggy. Docking would also be a benefit - particularly as i'm quite interested in the uber portable 12" ones and in which case i'd like to easily be able to use it as an actual desktop.

So i'm looking for recommendations. I'm certainly willing to consider macs but i was hoping to stick within £1k as i dont have money to throw away.


  • I have heard lot of great things about IBMs, my boss at my previous job had an IBM and she said that it was easily the best one she had used so far. But there are also some good HP and Acer ones, but at this point I would go for IBM laptop if I were to go with a PC laptop. But I wouldn't think for a second if it was a competition between Mac and PC, my friend has older model PowerBook and you just can't compete with the weight, batterylife and the screen (tho my brother says that Sonys Vaio comps are rather good, so I think there is good compare point.)
  • MarkMark Vanilla Staff
    whatever you do, get one with a truebrite screen. Old-school laptop screens (like the ones on the thinkpads) are bloody awful - and that's another reason to stay away from the powerbooks (until the new ones with truebrite screens come out).
  • Well, in any case you should buy external monitor for the laptop since if you are going to do some graphics on it you are screwing yourself with a laptop screen.
  • I wouldnt be doing much graphics - i cant design to save my life. I would almost undoubtedly be using an external monitor while i was at my desk though - thus the request for docking capabilities (though obviously i could just plug it in)

    Chances are if i went to uni i'd get one of the 17/21" tv/tft things so i could use it as a monitor or a tv depending what i was doing. Though if i had a tuner in my laptop that'd be all the more awesome.
  • You can get external tv tuner, they are as good as internal doohikeys. And I can say that what you are planning to use the LP for I wouldn't stress over the monitor.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    I would suggest either IBM or Dell for laptops, they're pretty rugged, and picking the right model will give you tons of options.
  • Dell Latitudes are built to last, but get the extended warranty just incase
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    Indeed, I've got an old Dell Latitude CPi 366 and it's been running this entire time (2 years on non-stop), the drive bays are easily accessible and as fast as you can power it down, you can swap out the drives for new ones. Beats dual-booting if you have the extras.
  • On the mac front, the 12" powerbook seems pretty much the top end of my budget. What do you guys think to this? How does it compare to the ibooks? Is it worth the extra few hundred quid?
  • Well, ofcourse PowerBooks and PowerMacs are built for professionals, but when choosing the 12" model, I would go with iBook, you can get the 14" iBook and you still have some money left.

    But realistically, 1,5k you can get the 17" Inspiron 9300 from Dell so there is a melon scratcher for you.
  • edited November 2005
    i really cant justify spending 1.5k on a pc. I dont think. Granted i spend my life on this thing but i really dont use it for much that warrants a lot of money spent.
    My normal pc budget has been around the £800 mark in previous years (though i've added stuff onto most of those which will be harder for me to do thus the slightly higher initial budget this time round)

    On the iBook front, out of the two i think i'd see myself choosing the 12" vesion as there doesnt seem to be a great deal of advantage of the 14" version (for some reason i see 12" as ultra portable wheras 14" seems like something that wants to be 15 or 17 and failed. meh) and then spend the money i saved on an external driver/tuner/whatnot. On real terms (without just saying macs are fast!!one) how does the 1.33ghz ppc g4 processor compare to a pc processor?
  • It's very hard to say how iBook would perform against a Winnie PC, but I can say that there is very few things you can't do with your iBook, that is for sure. I bet you could even do some 3d modelling and rendering on that machine with ease. But for what you are going to use it, it's more than enough.

    And 1,500€ is around 1,000£
  • oh. see when you say 1500k i assume you're talking pounds. euros suck :)
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    If you're going to go for a Mac, I would probably say wait a few months, because you know 2-3 quarters from now they're gonna unveil the g5 laptops and you're gonna be kicking yourself later for not waiting.
  • There will never be a G5 iBook or Powerbook. In fact, that's one of the large reasons why Apple is switching to Intel processors late next year.

    The iBook is currently mid-cycle, and the Powerbooks have just been updated.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    from what I've been hearing, I thought they were going to be running a mobileM chip for the g5 ibooks or something. At least that's what was stated at the Mac Developers Conf I managed to watch. I could be wrong.
  • I made the switch from pc to make with the purchase of a 17" powerbook.

    powerbooks are fantastic. a few small gripes with them though, no homesite for osx

    apart form that its ok.

    considering on getting a mini pc next year for doing development work on though or a small sony vaio.
  • Apple nor Intel has said specifically what chips will be used in anything. "Intel Processors" is as detailed as they've gotten.

    And they won't be "G5" iBooks - G5 refers to the specific PowerPC processor, not the next generation of iBooks. Watch the G4, G5, etc. designation die with the PowerPC.
  • They had better not name them P5 or sometihn stupid like that.

    I like the prefix "G", and I will miss it dearly, but I am sure they would not have made th emove lightly, so it SHOULD mean better computers for the end user.

    They might bring out a g5 powerbook. You can never tell with them. They release hardware revions left-right and centre.

    As for the iBooks + G5. No. I don't think they will do that.

    get an iBook mini. They will handle everything you want it to do.
  • Apple is notorius for not lowering prices. I don't think they are going to lower the prices of PPC Macs when they are changing to Intel based computers.

    Apple has stated that they will be going to Intel architechture in mid-2006, and my guess is that PMacs are the first ones to take the leap (heheh, leaping computers. *whee*)

    If you are going to get Mac, I think now would be as good time as any, Apple has just changed their lineup. OR you could wait to mid-2006 and just pray that they change the iBooks first.
  • Hmm. SO today i checked out the macs at the local apple shop. The ibooks are depressingly ugly imo - they look far too deep (front to back) for the size they are which, compared to the vaios i didnt particularly like. :(
    And while i love the 15" pb, it's way too expensive.

    So it looks like i'll be sticking with pc's unless anyone knows any design changes in the mix?
  • Current rumours suggest intels in macs as soon as January, with consumer level iBooks, iMacs and MacMinis definetely most likely to be first. Certainly, PowerMacs will be last, and as beleagured as the PowerBooks are, they are less likely to go intel first. But I'd wait until at least early January just to see what happens with the iBooks (possibly, as a stretch, PowerBooks), if you can.
  • From what info I can gather from various sites, Apple has plans to introduce Intel iMac and PowerBook - which are Apples best selling Mac products - on second week of January in Macworld Expo.

    While it's not that clear if 15" PB will be in that release, the 17" and 20" iMacs are almost ready to roll, but with minimal changes to the models introduced not so long ago, mainly a hardware swap to the new iron. The 15" PB is stated to follow in February.

    Closer to the mid-2006 schedule are the new 13" Widescreen versions of the iBook line, and Intel Mac Mini.

    It's also rumored that Apple might have something for the future, a laptop computer resembling the Mac Mini in price and size, marketted towards people who don't need expensive computer but need something to use to check emai and pay the bills. A market that is almost completely forgotten today.

    I must warn you that, these are most part rumors, so take it with a grain of salt.
  • humz. Assuming the PB's will be roughly the same price theyre still out my budget. The widescreen ibooks sound somewhat tempting but i'm not sure i wanna wait till mid next year.
    What is the release lag between the US and UK usually?
  • It's not that long, Apple has had a good record on releasing hardware atleast here in Finland shortly after they become available in US.
  • Both me and my brother have purchased from Rumor has it that Asus manufacturs Apple's portables. Don't know if these guys ship internationally.

    For the portable PC world, I would recommend going for the Dolthan processor (2MB of cache improves performance, plus 90 nm process means cooler running and longer battery life.)

    I have used the S-video out to watch TV and it works great. One oddity is some DVD player software won't allow the DVD image to output through S-video.
  • I can recommend the HP 1040dv - i bought the thing on a whim as i'd been stressing over what spec to buy for far too long! It's absolutly the best thing i've ever bought.
  • If weight isn't an issue, you might want to check what kind of machine you can build out of a barebone laptop. Some say that they are awesome, especially in the price range, when compared to brand name laptops.
  • weight isnt a huge issue but at the same time i dont want to have to think about *not* taking it somewhere because it'l bug me.
    I'm tempted to go brand name on this one cause even though i'm competant with the process of pc building/diagnostics/etc i want to be 100% certain this thing will be reliable as a rock.
  • edited November 2005
    hmm. just on a quick glance the nx6125 looks rather fitting - reasonable enough spec and has a couple of extras i want. Shame it's ugly as sin imo :(
This discussion has been closed.