Getting my first laptop

Hi everyone

I'm thinking of getting a laptop and I was just wondering, what's a good brand to go for? I will be using the laptop for internet, email, photo editing, web design, and writing, running/debugging java programs

I will be using the following software

Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Office 2003

The specs that I would want it to have, a 17' widescreen bright display 1.8 GHz/2.0 GHz processor (dual core if possible) good grapics at least 256MB and 2GB of RAM

Any Helpful suggestions/recommendations



For me it's not the make that is so important, but the spec and price.

Things to consider apart from processor, memory, and graphics...

Operating system (Vista comes in many flavours), hard drive capacity (look for 160gb+), number of USB ports (3 as a minimum), firewire port (if you need to plug a video camera in for editing), expansion slot (if you want to add for example a mobile broadband card), etc.

Because most new laptops will be supplied with Windows Vista it's important to make sure that any software and hardware you intend to use will be fully compatible.

Newer versions of Dreamveaver and Photoshop should be fine (check your version on their website for compatibility), and Office 2003 runs spot on.

Older printers might struggle without a software update, and some webcams too, etc.

Basically just check any existing hardware/software for compatability issues first.

Vista Home Premium is the preferred version of Vista for general use.

I have had a few Acer laptops over recent years and have had no problems at all. With Acer you'll get a good spec, well built, but without the high price tag.

Dell are fine too, however I have know a few customer service issues regarding faults and returns.

It's also worth investing in an external hard drive to back up your files to, or to keep your photo work on, because laptops often come with partitioned hard drives and Vista takes up a fair size of this space.

Anyway, just a few pointers there to help you,


I'd concurr on the Acer ones. That is what I have.

Had previous experience of;

Toshiba Satellite (sh*t heap - died a few months out of warranty)
Sony Vaio (Don't go there - died just outside warranty)
Dell Inspiron (kept overheating- IMHO fire hazard!)

Touch wood the Acer Travelmate I have is fine, build quality is not amazing, but for the price who cares. Personally I would not spend more than £350 - £400 on a laptop. If it lasts longer than 18 months it's a bonus and I use it every day for work.

Avoid the centrino notebooks that have intel built in graphics, which are awful.

the 17" screen makes life a little difficult, these are still the exception rather than the norm, which means there can be large price gaps between models: so I'd make a point of being willing to drop say, the amount of RAM or the exact speed of the processor to fit whatever you find.

For example, this laptop


comes in at around £500 inc, and falls a little below your requirements in a few areas

whereas the next cheapest (with 17" screen) is this


which is £100 more, and falls just above your requirements

For the extra £100, you're getting a slightly faster, intel branded processor
an extra gig of ram
an extra 40gig hard disk

which in reality, is only to £40-£60 of extra value

might wanna check this one out:


but is only for 24 hours (or until sold out) so would have to jump pretty quick usual price £810.69 offer price £540.46

If you are a computer buff who does not want to be tied down to a desk … If you are a computer buff who does not want to be tied down to a desk top, this is just for you. The 17 inch Asus PRO70T-7S029C is your complete computer, at all times, and wherever you are. Outfitted with the AMD Turion 64 X2 TL56 processor, a 2GB RAM memory and the nVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 graphic card with 512 MB Turbo Cache memory, this notebook can handle everything, whether it is viewing and editing photos and videos, racing through exciting games, relaxing with music or just working on your notes. This remarkably complete package includes a built-in 1.3 megapixel camera, a QWERTY keyboard, a 120 GB hard disc and a 17 inch WXGA+ monitor with a resolution of 1440 x 900 px! With such fine attention to detail, this notebook will be indispensable to you. And there is no waiting-the extensive software package enables you to get started right away!

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