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Thread: Laptop for A Level and Uni

  1. #1
    handscombmp
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    Laptop for A Level and Uni

    Writing this on behalf of a friend (where'd all that formality comes from ) who's thinking about buying his son a laptop for A Levels (He's just started).

    Now his son would like to be as light small so it's easy to carry about and whilst Dad would like it to be able to last until the end of uni.

    Now i was thinking of the Dell Inspiron 13z (The £599 one).
    Spec here for those to lazy to click on the link
    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor ULV SU7300 (1.3GHz, 800MHz, 3MB)
    Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
    13.3" WLED High Definition (1366 x 768) TFT Display with TrueLife™
    512MB NVIDIA® GeForce® G 105M
    4096MB 1067MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
    320GB (7,200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
    DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD)


    When it seems to get a good review from Notebook Check and i think it meets what he wants pretty well.

    Now the only thing my friend was worried about was the CPU. He thinks it may be a bit weedy and won't be futured proofed enough to last him through Uni. I pointed out it can't be used for gaming but he said he thinks that it'll need to be powerful for just 'Computing' (at a level).

    Now not taking computing at A Level i can't really tell but it doesn't look like he'll be taking anything to do with computing a Uni. He's going to go to Physic although PC stuff does remain a possibility.

    So what do you think then. Any others out there.

  2. #2
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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    Have you considered the new thin and light notebooks containing AMD processors??

    The first of the breed is the Ferrari One:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172295

    There is also the MSI U230 and Lenovo X100e.

    I use a 12" notebook and it is ideal since it has a big enough screen for word processing and other work in a relatively small and lightweight package.


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  3. #3
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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    It will game, it's be on the basic side but it'll muddle through basic gaming

    In all honesty though I would plump for something 12-13" in a more.. normal laptop guise.

    You'll probably spend £700 - £800 on a decent spec but it will be thin and light still with good battery life (or the potential for such). You do get something with desktop replacement potential however, rather than something that chugs along..

    Food for thought (5% off as well..)
    http://www.dmxdimension.com/dell-uk/...coupons-codes/

    With the Geforce 210m it has lots of graphics/gaming potential and a decent core 2 duo.

    Personally though, with the introduction of ION netbooks I would get a £300 or less netbook for basic laptop purposes, very portable etc.. and then spend the rest of a mini ITX or mATX gaming desktop that can be moved easily enough but has the potential to be upgraded over the years and has far more power for £300-£400 than a laptop of even £1000 will give you.

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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    A cheap laptop for around £300-£350 will do all Uni work no problem. Just make sure it has 3GB or more RAM and a decent dual core processor.

  5. #5
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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    If he is only doing uni work, buy one that doesn't have dedicated graphics, something with Intel 4500 graphics or the like.

    CPU is not a problem, there will be computers in uni and he can use those (rather, he has to use those, for stuff like Matlab that you normally wouldn't have). For notes taking a 1.2Ghz is certainly fine. Getting a good keyboard and a good touchpad will be the top priority over anything else.

    Ram is also not an issue using Windows 7. 2GB of ram is plenty for everything you do under battery power.

    Battery life wise, if you have a low-power laptop, you can get away not bringing the power adapter and only charge at home. (I have a T8300 with X3100 graphics, 8~14W general usage with Wifi at max transmit power). I have 3 batteries (6+6+9 cells) and carry according to the length of time I'll be in uni for that day.

    Depends on how careful he is with the laptop (or his laptop bag) most people I know their laptop don't last over 18 months, with the exception of the Apple bunch who paid over the odd to buy all the protection accessories for their Macbook. Either get a dirt cheap one that you're prepared to buy another one half way through the degree, or get a slightly better laptop with 3-4 years with accidental damage cover. I guess the cost will actually be cheaper to buy 2 crap laptops.

    Don't expect any normal student to take notes on a laptop in lecture. It doesn't work for most people. I'm the only one in my course who is pen-free for the better part of the 4 years. Unless you have some sort of medical condition there is not much advantage to electronic notes taking.

    I would really suggest perhaps a netbook + desktop to allow for some gaming, or screw gaming and get a plain basic laptop.
    The trend, based on my classmates, is... the crappier the laptop/desktop you have, the better you perform in exam / coursework, again, with the exception of the Apple fanboys (can go either way)
    Last edited by arthurleung; 17-11-2009 at 01:59 AM.
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  6. #6
    handscombmp
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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    Sorry to bring this up again but there still looking and now idealy want it to be under £400.

    Now i said you'd be best to get a 15" laptop and it would just be heavier but i did find this.

    Advent Verona P

    The problem is i haven't seen one and they're aren't any reviews of it.
    On paper it look ok but....

    Anyone have know anything about it. May go into PC world with them to have a look.

  7. #7
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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    Quote Originally Posted by handscombmp View Post
    Sorry to bring this up again but there still looking and now idealy want it to be under £400.

    Now i said you'd be best to get a 15" laptop and it would just be heavier but i did find this.

    Advent Verona P

    The problem is i haven't seen one and they're aren't any reviews of it.
    On paper it look ok but....

    Anyone have know anything about it. May go into PC world with them to have a look.
    The one I linked to earlier will do the job:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172295

    It is a decent notebook for the price and even supports XGP:

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-...-639935/review


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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    Avoid advent like the plague, awful awful machines.

    Trusted reviews has just reviewed an ACER CULV laptop/netbook with an impressive 8 hours battery life from their benchmarks, ideal for doing work in lessons or lectures. heres the review

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/laptop...CULV-Laptop/p1

    Its £434 but looks a sound investment

  9. #9
    Moosen CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    Both the Acer Ferrari One and Acer Aspire Timeline 1810TZ seem to share many parts between them.



    This two articles look at both laptops in more detai:

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Hands-O...w.21454.0.html

    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-...k.21322.0.html

    The Timeline has better battery life but the Ferrari One has a much faster IGP and has an XGP port.

    OTH, it maybe worth checking out this notebook:

    http://www.techpowerup.com/109093/MS...echnology.html
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 25-11-2009 at 06:58 PM.


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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    I bought one of these for a relative - Acer Extensa 5630EZ Laptop - £310 from ebuyer.

    Not top spec but it does what they want it to - office and surfing etc.

  11. #11
    handscombmp
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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    Thanks.

    The problem they seem to have with the 11" ones is that they feel that they are too small. (Not my view but i'm not having the final say)

    THat MSI X430 looks good. Now we just need prices.

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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    +1 for the Acer 1810 Timeline (http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172294). I don't find 11/12" laptops to be too small, but maybe thats me, the good screen resolution helps them to feel nice and big and the keyboard on this one does well in reviews too.

    It's getting rave reviews from everywhere. It's the kind of laptop that a few years ago wouldve been £2000 in Thinkpad/Vaio guise imo. Truly an ultraportable that doesnt sacrifice too much performance and with truly astounding battery life.

    Although it might be worth looking into the 1820P tablet version. Convertables are great for note taking (I know, as I use an HP TX2 for the same reason, any maths/diagrams can be quickly drawn, then back to typing)

    Bought my TX2 in August now horribly dissapointed that I didnt know anything about the December launch of the 1820P

    Edit: Not sure but I think http://www.ebuyer.com/product/176853 is quite similar in specs to the 1810 but a larger form factor, while still remaining slim and fairly light.
    Last edited by Champman99; 26-11-2009 at 02:08 PM.

  13. #13
    Moosen CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    It maybe worth checking this notebook out:
    http://www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=21387


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  14. #14
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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    Samsung R519 - nothing amazing but the price is right and Samsung have a great reputation.

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    Re: Laptop for A Level and Uni

    If I may offer a different viewpoint...?

    You do not need a laptop for A levels if you've got a home computer IMO. I got a laptop when I went to uni and I did not need one before. After a year and a half of uni I bought a desktop again as I got fed up with using a laptop.

    I know people who have laptops which they got 2 years before uni and they are painfully slow now and although I've cleaned them up a bit they are still lacking. They still function ok but some take 15 mins or so to boot up. This gets better after a wipe of the hard disk but soon builds up again. Yes it is to do with the use, but a 5 year old laptop nowadays is not something I would want as a main computer for doing work.

    The dell laptop is £600 If it were my money I would spend £250 or so on a computer now and if he still feels a laptop is needed, then one can be bought when he goes to uni for a similar spec as a £600 costs now.

    I have only ever taken my laptop into uni about 10 times in 2 and a 1/3 years and even then I could've not, and just used the computer rooms instead.

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