Yeh we put 128gb intel SSDs in all our new laptops as standard.
Am I the only one who buys the business class of laptops then? All those listed here seem to be the budget ones - the HP 520/620, Dell Vostro etc...?
We buy the HP ProBook 6570b at the moment. Excellent build quality, mid range prices etc... I know a school which uses the EliteBooks too, but they are a little out of our price range - even though they are built to military spec for robustness.
One thing we have found though - HP seem to struggle providing laptops with SSDs as standard, so we buy the laptops and put SSDs in them ourselves - saves about £50 per laptop too.
Like the OP said, no one will really know until 3+ years down the line how well that specific make and model of laptop has lasted, by which time it will also be obsolete. Never had any luck with Acer so tend to avoid them nowdays. Have recently been going for as cheap as possible brand name Core i3 Laptops like HP Compaq and Fujitsu.
There is not much difference between business class laptops and budget laptops, except at this time budget laptops are far cheaper, just as reliable and in most cases have exactly the same components inside, just with a different case on the outside.
Laptop thinckness has never been an issue - weight sometimes is. There is hardly any difference in weight between those thin laptops and thicker ones. If it is saving £75ish per laptop thats a lot of money and soon adds up, and IMO is not worth the extra cost just to have a laptop which is slightly thinner.
With microsoft education license pricing (being far far cheaper than commercial licensing), it is also far cheaper to buy a laptop with a standard windows licence and then buy a Pro upgrade license, rather than buy laptops which come with Pro licences.
I have a trolley of older Dell Vostros (About 3 years+ old now) and they have lasted incredibly well (The batteries are still going strong!), and were a good price at the time but now Dells pricing is all over the place and they do not have any UK call centres and it can be difficult to get hold of your account manager, and even hard to place an order.
Worst laptops I have come across are RMs with poor keyboards (keys missing all the time), the batteries don't even last 3 years before they need replacing and RM chip their laptops and batteries so you can only replace the batteries from them, and had an issue where they were out of stock of a specific battery for months just as all the batteries in the laptops had died and needed urgent replacement. Also not easy to get hold of spare parts like major brand laptops, and much too overpriced. Ergo are not much better - Just had a load of older Ergo laptops suddenly just stop working for no reason at all.
eep, Acer, another avoid in general, their build quality is still massively variable and while they may against all odds pull off a success every so often their proportion of abject fail is still something to be concerned about.
Last load of laptops have all been Samsung. They come with free 5 year rtb warranty which BT business will upgrade to next day onsite fix for £20.
BT Business Direct - Samsung Series 3 300E5C Titan Silver Core i5-3210M Win7Pro 64-bit 4 GB RAM 500 GB HDD 15.6" (NP300E5C-A0CUK)
Are you guys not bothered about having a 5GHz wireless adapter? When I buy new machines that's one of the first things I check, agn - not just bgn. Has anyone found any budget agn Intel i3/5 offerings?
We tend to go for toshiba as in experience at least they tend to last a good while and perform well. The only issue we had was with a singular batch of C660's hard drives failing, But we had some money in the budget so we put 128gb san disk ssd's in them and now they fly.
But if your after somthing a bit more portable we have just got a Lenovo x131e in to test as in September the new year 7's get a laptop each and we have been trying to find something that's ultra rugged but still portable and so far these seem to fit the bill.
Got to be the Dell D520 in 2006 with the Core processor and 3945 wireless card. 120 Still going strong. They got a ram upgrade three years ago so they could run vista. I hear they are going well with Windows 7. If I was still running them I'd be tempted to put an SSD into them and run them till they drop.
Right now I've got a selection of Satallite Pro's and Tecra's. An i5 C660 with an Atheros Wireless Chipset is the perfect classroom machine. We give the teachers something much thinner and lighter though.
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