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Thread: Lightweight Laptop advice

  1. #1
    MPM
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    Question Lightweight Laptop advice

    'ello chaps & chapettes

    I'm looking around for a laptop to replace my shuttle. The shuttle is being promoted/demoted (however you view it ) to Media centre come fileserver.

    I'll have the shuttle for any heavy stuff like video editing and power hungry games.

    Can anyone advise me on a light laptop 13 to 15" screen, i'm a tart at heart so good looking would be nice.

    I've been eyeing up the Sony S5XP as a preference - does anyone have any info RE:these?

    Also, doesn anyone have any pointers for any other vaios or similar. I was also considering the vaio FS-415S as a slightly cheaper option.

    I haven't really set a budget yet, but £1500 is my absolute "oh my god that's awesome" ceiling....

    Cheers in advance,
    MPM

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    Hi there,

    I recently bought the Vaio S5M which is a less powerful version of the S5XP.

    I have to say that I am very impressed with it. I don't play that many games but I do have a bit of a thing for World of Warcraft at the moment & occasional network games of C&C Generals. It's main use is for work (databases, Crystal Reports, etc). I bought mine for £899 and then upgraded the Ram with an extra 1GB. I think that 1GB+ is essential. Games performance is excellent with WoW running in native widescreen resolution with no issues at all. The screen is beautiful and I often prefer to stare at that instead of the 17" CRTS in my office! The resolution is perfect for that size of screen. It feels well made but not the sort of thing to throw around!!!

    Downside, Sony loads a load of junk on it (mine had WinXP Home), I immediately created the system restore discs (Sony doesn't provide them) which is easy. I then install XP Pro and my own applications + some of the supplied apps. The system now is free of bloatware and runs like an ostrich!
    Also, my model doesn't have Bluetooth but then again I don't need it. If I need mobile connectivity I use the 3G data card that came free from Vodafone (an offer with most Vaios at the moment).

    Any specific questions then fire away.

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    MPM
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    I had looked at the S5M...

    So, the S5M is the same chassis as the S5XP, but with a 1.73Ghz processor, 512Mb RAM and no BT...(oh & smaller HD)

    Do you reckon the small differences amount to the cost premium? Also, it appears that the S5XP is the 'easiest' S series vaio to source...is this just sony trying to sell more of the higher range stuff?

    It sounds like i have similar use requirements to yourself, i'm not too fussed about games - but then you never know when a spontaneous LAN party may spark up at a mates house...it's always nice to know you can join in

    How hot does the base of yours get during normal use if it's on your lap? Do you find yourself figiting due to the heat on your thighs?

    Cheers

    MPM

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    I need a coffee jamena's Avatar
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    Dell X1 can be had for about a grand if you trim the support options
    1.14kg sounds pretty light to me!

    or an Acer? Acer Travelmate 3004WTMi id just about a grand from dabs - 2GHz cpu, 1Gb DDR2, 100Gb HDD, XPpro ... looks pretty nice to me

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    Super Tanker Driver hitman67's Avatar
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    • hitman67's system
      • Motherboard:
      • AsRock Something
      • CPU:
      • AMD 64 x2 4200+
      • Memory:
      • 1GB DDR Dual Channel
      • Storage:
      • 200gb Samsung Spinpoint
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Nividia Go 6100
      • PSU:
      • ColorsIT 400w
      • Case:
      • ColorsIT Cool Case
      • Monitor(s):
      • Compaq 15" TFT
      • Internet:
      • 1mb Broadband
    Acer Ferrari comes in at under your price, and you get a lot of laptop spec for a good amount of money.
    [: O |=====|O :] Beyond Fashion Since 1948

    Quote Originally Posted by XTR
    Ford Focus - I’m a boy-racer disguised as a sensible office worker at the weekends I'm a curry monster!!
    Correct apart from the working part

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    Will work for beer... nichomach's Avatar
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    • nichomach's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T 95W
      • Memory:
      • 16GB DR3
      • Storage:
      • 1x250GB Maxtor SATAII, 1x 400GB Hitachi SATAII
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Zotac GTX 1060 3GB
      • PSU:
      • Coolermaster 500W
      • Case:
      • Coolermaster Elite 430
      • Operating System:
      • Windows 10
      • Monitor(s):
      • Dell 20" TFT
      • Internet:
      • Virgin Media Cable
    The X1 looks a very good deal - one of my directors has the X300 (previous gen ultralite, normal aspect screen) and that's very good indeed. You do give up performance though.

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    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    The sony FE11s is a 15" wide screen and is very nice. So much so i just ordred one!!
    (\__/)
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    (")_(")

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    Yeah, it's the same. I think the other models are black rather than Silver (S5M), my boss has the black version and I prefer the silver. I felt that the extra premium to get the S5XP was too much but then again I couldn't afford the extra :-). You're bound to pay a premium to get the top model. The list price for the S5M is £1099 IIRC but I found mine for, I think, £900 ish.

    Regards heat. It's sometimes annoying (read uncomfortable) when using a mouse to the right of the laptop as the exhaust vents on the right. No biggie just move it further away. And as for the base, I've sat with it on my lap, plugged into mains (so running at full CPU) and it was fine. Just a little warm but not 'hot'.

    Oh, one more thing I found good. The PSU is quite small compared to other laptops I've used. So it's good for carrying around. I don't use it on battery much but if it helps my battery currently says I've got 3 hours to go. That's with Wifi on.

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    MPM
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    awesome, great info

    I was looking into the differences last night, the processor and RAM if you do the jump on Alienware or Dell comes to about £400, so the pricetag seems 'fair'

    Does anyone know if the vaio range is due an overhall in the near future? As i'm tempted to save up for the S5XP i don't wanna save up to find the range different and start the research all over again

    Cheers
    MPM

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    I got my Ram from Crucial I think. It was <£100 for the extra 1Gb and very very easy to fit.

    Sony have recently upgraded the range from the S4 to S5 and TBH there wasn't much of a change other than the graphics (IIRC).

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    MPM
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    ooo i was wondering where to go for a RAM upgrade.

    **goes to crucial website**

    I'm locking my targets on an S5M i think....

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    Hi everyone,

    The Sony S5 series is now obsolete. There is still stock around on the market so you might be able to bag a bargain S5XP. They have been replaced by the SZ1 Series. Keep a look out in the Ether for them appearing.

    The laptop I am saving for is the Toshiba Tecra M5 (They have Nvidia Quadro NVS 110M in them!!!):

    Tecra M5 - Intel&#174; Centrino&#174; Duo Mobile Technology featuring Intel&#174; Core™ Duo Processor T2600/ XP Pro/ 1024MB/ 80GB/ 14" SXGA+ TFT/ Super-Multi(DL)/ 802.11ag/ Btooth/ OneNote

    I would suggest you try and get a Core Duo/Centrino Duo (whichever you want to call it)

    Anyway happy hunting and I'm sure whatever you get it will be a darn site faster than my Inspiron 1000 I'm typing on!!!

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    Upgraded my laptop at work to the S5XP.

    Loving the high specs of the computer.

    Ive been able to setup 4 Virtual PC environments on one half of the 100GB Hard Drive.

    The screen is excellent quality (13.3" Widescreen) and the battery life is great. Atleast 3 hours with the Wireless on. Which gets great reception.

    Its a very portable widescreen laptop. I regulary use it on the train to London and/or Bristol with a Vodafone 3G card.

    Hope this helps

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    MPM
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    I did some hunting at the weekend and was going to post that the S5's were now obselete! you beat me to that one

    Grabbing an end of line model at 'cheap' doesn't look hopeful, PC World had a 'discounted' S5M which was 'the going rate' for the web, would have bin tempted if it wasn't the display model & they weren't forthcoming with any discounts.


    My sights are currently aimed at the SZ1XP, RRP is the same as the S5XP give or take a few quid, my only concern is the price gap between the vaios and their equivalents.

    Are the vaios 'all that and a bag of chips?' Much as i'd like one, don't wanna pay a massive premium for something that's just got a name

    Ta,
    MPM

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    Shame about not being able to find it discounted. They were pretty damn fine laptops tbh.
    The SZ1XP is pretty well specced. The screen's onthe Sony's are very good. Whether the screen warrant's such a high price is a question you will need to answer. IF you can resist the Sony screen mebe check out some Fujitsu Siemens or Toshiba machines.
    Also dare I say it but check out DELL's offering's. VERY competitive.

    The unit I'm after (the Tecra M5) is right on your top whack and is specified in my previous post. All I can say is they are pretty good. The lower spec M5's are cheaper and have the same graphics just lower spec other parts.

    It all depends on what you want the laptop to do. Workstation class graphics in a 14.1" laptop are gonna be great for some graphics designer or 3d modeller.

    With that kind of budget you have access to a wide array of laptops I'm afraid and at some point specs are gonna be thrown out the window and you'll go with which one looks the best to you. IT ALWAYS HAPPENS...

    BTW: Which equivalents were you looking at?

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    MPM
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    I've inspected the SZ range & i reckon the SZ1HP is a more 'sensible' choice for me.

    I've looked on the Dell site and nothing really set me alight, Tosiba M5, was ok, but again, didn't really get me 'interested' as much as the vaios. (Although i still quite like the Portége range, just don't want a 1.2Ghz processor)

    I couldn't agree more with the price & specs almost being forgotten once you lock onto a favoured choice.

    I think i've got spec in my head if anyone wants a go at finding me an alternative?...

    Duo-core wotsit processor (~1.8Ghz - not too fussy)
    512Mb RAM min
    No onboard gphx, must be capable of medium grphx duties (video/picture editing/the odd game)
    Small Screen (13-14")

    Obviously it would be nice if it doesn't look nasty too It's not a desktop replacement, it's a desktop 'substitute' for when icba to go sit in a room on me own at home

    Can you see why i keep on locking on that vaio range?

    I better cap the budget at £1500, cause i'm sure there's some lovely machines out there for bottomless pockets...

    Ta,
    MPM

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