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Hardware Thread, Buying a laptop, what to look for? in Technical; I'm currently/planning to buy my first laptop, and apart from specs what do people look at? good brands? bad brands? ...
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    p858snake's Avatar
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    Buying a laptop, what to look for?

    I'm currently/planning to buy my first laptop, and apart from specs what do people look at? good brands? bad brands?

    Any info would be helpful.

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    DevilsAdvocate's Avatar
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    What the trackpad and buttons feel like is a big deal to me. Some of the rubbish i've used over the years has had me raging at how bad they are. So I always make sure I like how it feels to use before I buy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
    What the trackpad and buttons feel like is a big deal to me. Some of the rubbish i've used over the years has had me raging at how bad they are. So I always make sure I like how it feels to use before I buy.
    +1 for this. What good is it having a top of the range laptop if the interface is crap? This is why the only Apple products I would buy is their laptops as the trackpad is simply second to none.

    Spec - i3/i5/i7 with 3gb ram and a screen with a resolution which suits our needs.

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    trackpad and keyboard as said, but also if the screen is glossy or if it is matte.

    spec also has to have Wireless N as a minimum.

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    Are you buying a business laptop (ProBook, Elitebook, T-Series, X-Series etc) or a consumer laptop? What's your budget? Where are you prepared to compromise?

    Screen quality: colour reproduction, viewing angles, brightness, matt / not matt, backlight evenness.
    Weight: Assuming this is a laptop that's going to be used as a laptop - how heavy are you prepared to tolerate?
    Build quality and robustness: does it squeak or flex in the wrong places? How good are the hinges? Is the screen protected from knocks when closed?
    Keyboard layout: are buttons where you expect to find them? (Pipe, backslash, ctrl, alt). Is it nice and firm or spongy? Are there drainage holes?

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Depends on the intended use. Battery life is getting better, especially with new models in the next couple of months. For me, graphics capability is also important - in the past Intel integrated has put me right off, but it's improving, especially with Core i* 2***.

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    DDR3 RAM and a sutibly fast hard drive - avoid 4200rpm, 5400rpm is good for most tasks but if you want fast go 7200rpm (it will chew through battery a bit faster) or get a SSD.

    Personaly I'd say once you get your PC get ahold of a SSD (if storage capacity isn't a worry) - it will make it fly along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    spec also has to have Wireless N as a minimum.
    If wireless N as min, what's the max?

    @OP: I would stay away from Acer - if it blows up their support is terrible. HP and Dell have good support (in my experience), and Toshiba's are the brand of choice at school - we haven't had many issues with them through the years but they do seem to run very hot for my liking.

    Other than that, most laptops nowadays have much of a muchness in terms of starting specs (i.e. majority have HDMI out, eSATA port, etc etc). One thing I like on my VAIO is the independant keys on the keyboard - each key has a small gap from the next, and although it's strange at first, typo's are drastically reduced once you get used to it.

    P.S. My VAIO also has a full keyboard and numberpad as well, which is a godsend.
    Last edited by Hightower; 10th January 2011 at 10:35 AM.

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    "they do seem to run very hot for my liking" - my bad-boy Lenovo x100e is the king of this. It saved me a fortune on central heating during the cold spell! It's quick though

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    I would go and see them in a shop even if you intend buying online.

    One test I always do is to wiggle the monitor to see how flexible it is when open. Similar to what we do at school when we get a new laptop, will it pass the student test.

    I also check the touchpad and mouse buttons, afterall you can't change it once you have bought it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    "they do seem to run very hot for my liking" - my bad-boy Lenovo x100e is the king of this. It saved me a fortune on central heating during the cold spell! It's quick though
    My HP dv2 is the same - think we are both running the Athlon Neo processors, running it with Aero off keeps it cool though

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    Hmmm, what about running HL2:dm on it?

    Yup it's the Turion Neo X2.

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    Head of IT here took delivery of one of these last week as a xmas present to himself: The i5pro Laptop @ Novatech

    It's awesome! Tho its lacking SSD

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3s-gtech View Post
    Hmmm, what about running HL2:dm on it?

    Yup it's the Turion Neo X2.
    Oh it works fine gaming (can play Crysis/COD MW2 on it at a resonable level) just gets a little hot.



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