student looking for reliable laptop for uni

Found 5th Jun 2007
First time here. Hello!

Looking for a reliable laptop for when I start university this September. I'm tech-illiterate so please don't laugh too much at my proposals..

Areas I am concentrating on when buying:

Something which is wifi-enabled /has a wifi sniffer (for when at cafe nero); and bluetooth enabled for my camera phone to co-ordinate with. Something which can play/burn DVDs for reliable file transfer & storage. I don't watch too many imported DVDs, so multiregion isn't really a bother, as long as I can store files quickly and easily on DVDs.

I am not a gamer; however I may have to run several programs at once, so the prospect of having a Core 2 Due thingymabob (you know, the one intel says has two processors for faster processing) is appealing. I hate waiting for my computer to load up, and when it jams; so something with a good amount of RAM (but not more than necessary) . I don't want to dish out too much for any specific OS; I have no specific affinity for Vista or whatnot so I don't want to be paying too much extra just for the privilege of hosting the Microsoft name when I can get the same hardware specs with a free OS like Linux for a lower price.

I'd like to purchase from a known brand who are reliable when it comes to their laptops; and a laptop with a long battery life (important). I've asked around; everyone says HP & Toshiba are the best to go by.

100GB , give or take, should be good!

Is it possible to buy a laptop that I can watch (terrestrial) TV on ? This does interest me, and I would certainly look into it.

I don't mind where I buy it; online or store; but I've heard its much cheaper to buy online because of the lack of overhead costs as compared to running a store.

Screen size doesn't bother me. I'm prepared to invest in a good quality screen/clear images etc.

I think that's about it.

Can you guys also inform me of the websites from which you research from? I mean there must be a list of URLs you go through everytime you're looking for a laptop; you don't just type in the specs in google for example..
Just so that I can take a look myself too.

Oh, almost forgot! Price range: Around £600 should be sufficient, shouldn't it?

I don't mind if its refurbished; if theres a warranty/guarantee, that should be fine. And I don't mind if there is no OS loaded onto it also; I have a copy of Ubuntu at home so that should work out OK.

All in all, something I can rely on for a good price.



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refurbished but 3 year warranty

(L178) Dell Inspiron 6400 (Centrino) Intel Core 2 Duo T5200 1.6ghz 1024mb/160gb/15.4" Wide XGA TrueLife™ Screen/DVD-RW Drive/256mb ATi Radeon X1400/Wireless Network/Windows Vista Home 1 £440.00

My choice it seems to have everything you want...but if you are running ubuntu why the hell would you need such a powerful laptop? you can run ubuntu on
calculator near enough :giggle:

Hi Riq, welcome to HUKD ;-). You say screen size doesn't bother you - do you mean you want a standard sized 15.4" laptop? It sounds to me like you wish to carry it around quite a lot, so I'd consider a smaller 14" model (usually around 2.5kg as opposed to 3kg for 15.4"). Have a look in shops like PC World etc to see different sizes/brands etc. For TV you'll want a USB tuner card (DVB ones are only about £15).

Some good sites to try are [url]www.laptopsdirect.co.uk[/url], [url]www.ebuyer.com[/url] and of course Dell is worth a look (search the main page of HUKD for Dell deals, they are posted usually by MikeT on a Thursday as they appear). Supermarkets sometimes have reasonable offers (usually Acer models) with the advantage of it being available immediately and very easy to take back if there are problems.

Not so keen on HP/Dell myself, I personally prefer Toshiba, Sony, Lenovo and Fujitsu Siemens for cheaper models.

Really like the look of this Sony myself (£591 delivered via GC) ebuyer.com/UK/…796 but you are paying quite a bit more for the spec than you would from Dell/ACER.

Original Poster

Thanks for the tips!

Ubuntu is basic, but I'll be wanting to work with mutiple programs with little fear of crashing, so the RAM's there to be on the safe side. But for now its an insurance OS; just in case Vista and I don't get along.
Also a little bit of online kung fu never did anyone harm :P

I like the look of the MCS laptops. One of those, plus a USB tuner card thingy, and I've got it all! I'm assuming the wi-fi demands are what's meant by "Wireless Network".
Re: Bluetooth... do I need to buy an extra bluetooth dongle to connect it with my phone then??

I agree with jah128 (for once :giggle:), well said that man.

Since you're in Nottingham, pop into John Lewis (in the Victoria Centre) they have a good selection of Laptops to give you an idea of what you might want looks, weight and size wise.

Personally I like Toshiba, Asus, Sony and Rock although I'm not a fan of HP Compaq, Dell (well they do have good prices, but not so good service) or Packard Bell and Personally I wouldn't buy a Referb but that's the electronics snob in me talking. That's just my opinion though and I'm sure most would be ok.

You'll make a good choice with Ubuntu if you go for that, but most laptops come with Vista these days and changing your OS might void your warranty dependant on what you buy so you'll need to check that out before hand.

Also it might be worth considering Macbooks (you'll be able to see some in the flesh at John Lewis, or the Apple Store in the Broadmarsh Centre) as Apple do academic discounts.

Yeah agreed with last poster. One of your best bets may be a Macbook. They are reasonably cheap and reliable. Go on the apple website and you get Student discount also. As your fear it jamming and such a Mac isnt susceptible to virus's and such so should pretty much do the job
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