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Hardware Thread, new laptops for staff in Technical; We are going to be replacing all of our staff laptops with a new model fairly soon. Currently we give ...
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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    new laptops for staff

    We are going to be replacing all of our staff laptops with a new model fairly soon.

    Currently we give them a Dell Latitude E6400. These have been great, however the only complaint we have is that they are a bit too eavy.

    I'm inclined to stick with Dell simply due to the Pro Support which has been priceless.

    So the question is, what Dells are there on the market today, that would be good for the next 3 years till we replace them again.

    Looking for something that is not too heavy, has a Cd/DVD drive, probably 8gb Ram and 500gb disk, and most importantly, decent battery life.

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbieBurns View Post
    Looking for something that is not too heavy, has a Cd/DVD drive, probably 8gb Ram and 500gb disk, and most importantly, decent battery life.
    I don't know about your school but we find our staff rarely use more than 60Gb of hard drive space (offline files ect) even when keeping personal stuff on the machines so 500Gb might be a bit over the top (unless you have the need) and could be a good place to save a few £s.

    Simlarly we haven't issued more than 2 or 3 Gb of RAM in any notebook either - so unless your guys are doing some serious image editing or have a billion applications open at the same time its another good place to save on the RAM.

    Personaly if you want to future proof have a look at Solid State Disks instead - so much faster (than any HDD/massive amount of RAM combo) and you get the wonderful world of no moving parts.

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    RabbieBurns (19th July 2011)

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    themightymrp's Avatar
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    I agree with @jamesfed - solid state drives and 3Gb RAM should be enough for most users. You probably won't need more than an 80Gb drive, unless you have certain users who use a LOT of storage (i'm thinking music department here). I doubt anyone would see the benefit of 8Gb, who really uses 64bit specific apps anyway?

    We have a fair few DELL's in the school, I have to say they have been the best for after sales support - top notch!

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    RabbieBurns (19th July 2011)

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    Dom_'s Avatar
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    Check out the Vostro 3500's (or 3550's), they're really nice - got a few laptop trolleys of them and have no complaints

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    Millgate's Avatar
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    There's the new Latitudes which are quite good. Can be quite pricey though depending what your budget is?

    We're a Dell premier partner so i can put a quote together for you, just let me know the quantity. ALSO, if you let me know how many old ones your getting rid of, i might be able to get you some cash for them too!

    Cheers

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    He is in Australia @Millgate lol, however I would go for the following in ANY laptop (Toshiba are great for the insurance costs at the bottom).

    • Intel® Core™ i3-2310M 2.1GHz
    • 4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM
    • 14.0 inch (or bigger) High Definition LED Display (1366 x 768) with anti-glare
    • 250GB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
    • Intel® Integrated Graphics Media Accelerator HD
    • 8X DVD+/-RW Drive including software
    • Palmrest : Fingerprint Reader Biometric
    • Windows 7 Professional 64bit.
    • 3 Year Pro Support and Next business Day on site warranty
    • 3 Year Accidental Damage and Theft Insurance



    Not many people would utilise the full 4GB RAM but it would be good to have in there. Best thing to do though is speak to your supplier and HAGGLE like a madman to get the costs down.

    IF any staff member needs more than that, get them a PC

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    RabbieBurns (19th July 2011)

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    We lease our laptops so they are all just going back and being refreshed with new.

    @nephilim, that is pretty much the spec i had come up with except the 8gb and 500gb.

    Interesting comments about the HDD size. Is a 500gb drive really that much more expensive than a 320gb? Hadnt considered SSD though, are they not still really expensive?

    Regarding RAM, all staff have adobe CS5 on their laptops, and RAM is so cheap anyway, surely it wont matter if its 4 or 8? And who is to say what windows 8 or office 2012 will require. Better to have too much now than too little in a year and a half?

    We tend to go for complete overkill at our place for most things.

    @Millgate, Ill wait till the dollar is near parity with the pound and maybe take you up on the offer, thanks.

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    Millgate's Avatar
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    Ha! We can still supply you!

    Even if you just want prices to beat down your supplier over there, just give me a shout!

    Cheers

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    do dell do ssd in their laptops? cant seem to spec it on dell.com.au ?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    they dont do it on the UK site either :-\

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    RabbieBurns (19th July 2011)

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    they dont do it on the UK site either :-\
    Not that its got a DVD drive but they are out there - Vostro V130 Laptop Details | Dell UK

    Even if the cost between 320 and 500Gb is £20 (which it is for the above link) then thats £20 of public money you could be saving (something which we take very seriously where I work).

    If 2Gb is enough to run Windows 7 well enough with plenty of open programs (and I use Photoshop CS2 on my laptop with 2Gb and Windows 7 with no problems) then 4Gb would be more than ample to run Windows 8 (which as I understand will be no more intensive than 7). Either way the differance between 4Gb and 8Gb is £60 - add that to your £20 on the HDD and you have £80 per machine to spend on solid states instead which will give you more of a real world boost.

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    RabbieBurns (19th July 2011)

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    so SSD is a moot point here then? Or do dell supply them if you ask specially?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    In theory you could ask them, but the cost may be astronomical.

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    RabbieBurns (19th July 2011)

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    RabbieBurns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    Not that its got a DVD drive but they are out there - Vostro V130 Laptop Details | Dell UK

    Even if the cost between 320 and 500Gb is £20 (which it is for the above link) then thats £20 of public money you could be saving (something which we take very seriously where I work).

    If 2Gb is enough to run Windows 7 well enough with plenty of open programs (and I use Photoshop CS2 on my laptop with 2Gb and Windows 7 with no problems) then 4Gb would be more than ample to run Windows 8 (which as I understand will be no more intensive than 7). Either way the differance between 4Gb and 8Gb is £60 - add that to your £20 on the HDD and you have £80 per machine to spend on solid states instead which will give you more of a real world boost.
    we are a private school with an ample budget for providing the best we can afford though.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    I'd go with 4GB of RAM and at least 250GB of HD, our teachers can fill 100GB hard drives nice and quick plus with the 4GB it should last a bit longer as 2GB is alright for now but in a couple of years will be iffy. I'd also go with an i5 CPU, I'd rather spend money up front on a faster CPU as that is way more hassle to upgrade later. SSDs would be nice if you have the money but I'd want 120GB plus at the absolute minimum.

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