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Hardware Thread, £300-£400 Laptops, who to go for? in Technical; ...
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    £300-£400 Laptops, who to go for?

    I'm on the lookout for some £400 laptops for staff use and was wondering what brands are worth a go in this level? We currently run a mix of Fujitsu-Siemens and Lenovo kit, but I was wondering if the cheaper Toshiba kit is worth a go? Their business class kit has always struck me as being rather good.

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    Personally I go with lenovo, so far its been pretty good and they seem to be alot more rugged. I have probably 100 toshibas left, but they always seem to get damaged a lot more easily then the lenovo's. I also like the HP as they always seem to be built very well. Must admit I haven't looked at Fujitsu though.

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    Dell have some mint deals on atm. A teacher just got a Core2Duo 7000 series, 2gb RAM, biggest battery availible, 160gb HD etc etc for £440 inc VAT.

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    contink's Avatar
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    FWIW, I'm looking at Novatech supplying a school with 60+ laptops and owing to budget issues I'm looking at two different systems.

    Budget system for classroom machines
    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...e.html?NNB-595

    Slightly higher spec system for trolleys
    http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...e.html?NNB-559


    Need to do a little more digging re: the battery life though and Lenovo are still very much a possibility. As for Fujitsu, I'm afraid I've been burned by their hard drives and a laptop in the past so I'm more than a bit wary of them, but I suppose everyone has a bad year at some point.

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    Toshiba

    We have about 80 Toshibas and at any one time about 4/5 are at Toshiba being repaired under warranty, we also have about the same number of Ergos which have proved to be very reliable.

    We will not be buying anymore Toshibas!!

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    I've got some cheapo Toshibas and they are, frankly, crap!

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    Quote Originally Posted by crc-ict View Post
    I've got some cheapo Toshibas and they are, frankly, crap!
    Cheapo anything is often crap though. You buy cheap, you buy twice...

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    eean's Avatar
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    I'd put in another vote for HP. You can get 100 off certain models - we got amd dual core 2ghz, 2gb machines for about 330 after cashback. Talk to ebuyer and Misco and they can get very ruthless on price.

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    HP are doing the HP 530 Notebook PC (KQ630AA) laptop on their site for £311 but there's an e-voucher promotion code - HPOPTF - and you get £40 off. I've just bought one for me Mum for Mother's Day:

    http://h41306.www4.hp.com/section?SI...23&secid=75083

    Offer ends soon I think. The laptop isn't bad spec either:

    Operating system installed: Genuine Windows Vista® Home Basic
    Processor type: Intel Core Duo T2400 / 1.83 GHz ( Dual-Core )
    Memory: 1GB
    Internal hard disk drive: 120 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm
    Optical drive type: DVD±RW (+R double layer) / DVD-RAM
    Display size: 15.4" TFT active matrix 1280 x 800 ( WXGA )

    Vista Home Basic is pants though. Better off with XP Pro.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Well, depending on what you want in terms of an OS, the HP 6715b are currently on offer. If you go with the vista version, you can claim £100 back per laptop. This should, with a decent supplier bring them to around £400 each. If you want the XP version then you only get a £50 cashback. But if you have a Schools agreement, the prior is a good deal (we just bought 4 of them, to go with the other 10 we've already got).

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Well, depending on what you want in terms of an OS, the HP 6715b are currently on offer. If you go with the vista version, you can claim £100 back per laptop. This should, with a decent supplier bring them to around £400 each.
    £400 before or after cashback? I paid £407 before £100 cb in the end (but that was delivered) - I really doubt you'll get a better spec for £307 (if you can, don't tell me!)

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    If you want the XP version then you only get a £50 cashback. But if you have a Schools agreement, the prior is a good deal (we just bought 4 of them, to go with the other 10 we've already got).
    Why should a schools agreement make a difference? Windows Vista Business automatically has downgrade rights to XP pro. We got the VB version because they were cheaper and gave some future proofing.

    The only downside, is they are quite wide. We got a Lapsafe mini-mentor trolley and they will only fit in the smartline version, and it has to be a wider one. The wide one is fine, but won't have room for an external wireless network card should you ever want to use one (for n). The internal ABG card may be upgradeable, I don't know.
    The laptops themselves look pretty robust and chunky. My only concern is the wireless ON/OFF is an attractive-to-touch light that looks unobvous when disabled. The old 'blob of gluegun glue' trick won't work. Anyone know a way of disabling this through software?

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    I would go with lenovo, you do get what you pay for. I would also look at the warrenty. Lenovo are a very good make and are rebadged IBM and IBM are the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by itgeek View Post
    I would go with lenovo, you do get what you pay for. I would also look at the warrenty. Lenovo are a very good make and are rebadged IBM and IBM are the best.

    I personally could not purchase Lenovo products as they are Chinese owned and China's appalling human rights record makes anything from that country a no-no for me.

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