SWMBO wants a Notebook/laptop

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Well, the title not strictly true she does not really want one but sometimes/often I have trouble getting her off my desktop system for when I really want to do the important stuff - like visit here, image editing etc :biggrin:.

For what she needs e.g. Web browsing, odd emails etc. a netbook should really be sufficient. I think I would prefer a smallish laptop or notebook (IMO a real computer!) as I can think of times when it would be useful to me as well. In fact a small unit could come in handy when away from the desktop e.g. image review, perhaps even a little photo editing (appreciate limitations) and for use in tethered situations. Actually it seems that I want it more than her - oh well I will ask permission to use it :biggrin:

It is a while since I have built or specced a new desktop machine so things have really moved on and as far as laptops go I haven't ever given them serious consideration for anything other than keeping in touch with the office and writing reports etc.

While the 11" screen models on the face of it sound attractive I am unsure if this would be the best buy, at least for my intended use :wink:. I know that somewhere compromise must be reached size and weight vs usability.

I really do need to investigate first hand as I am unsure of just how small a screen and unit we can manage. I know that many here use laptops (some even use Macbooks :tongue:).

I would be interested to hear the views and recommendations from anyone who has gone through similar
 
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Austin, Tx
I picked up a Gateway 15" for $350 at Best Buy recently. Looks like they
dont have anymore of my particular model but there some similar ones listed.

Mine has an AMD processor(phenom 2 x2 I think), 3gb mem, 320gb hd, webcam. Not the greatest specs but its better than the 6yr old one it replaced, I can upgrade the mem to 8gb, and it functions just fine for surfing/email/light school and household stuff. I haven't done any editing on it but I did install the Gimp onto it for roadtrips.
 
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Upstate SC
There are netbooks and then there are small laptops. There's a 75% chance I'll build out my next desktop (win pc) and will almost definitely buy an 11in MB Air when the time comes. We'll probably end up with two portables - an MBA and an iPad. I'll need to buy one "cross-grade" license for LR but nothing else is a big deal.

I guess, to me anyway, the only "laptop" right now that nicely fills the gap between full computer and netbook is the MBA - even thought the MBA is way more on the computer end of the scale.
 
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Thanks for the comments guys. Growltiger, had a read through your link and the Acer or it upgrade is certainly on the cards for review. I agree entirely that I would find a small laptop of more use and enjoyable - therefore if I am happy then by default SWMBO should be happy :smile:

My current desktop which is now approx 4 years old (and due for replacement) was at the time of my build specced to be the fastest machine I could build within a budget of £500. Based on a Intel Core 2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz not overclocked (meant to but never got around to it :wink:) in an Asus AW9 max mobo. Performance is generally quite adequate for my needs although must be way down on current quad core performance. If possible I would like to get a small laptop that will give similar or ideally better performance. Not having anything else to go by this is my current rating Windows experience:
Processor:.... 5.9
Memory:...... 5.9
Graphics:..... 6.0
Gaming
Graphics:..... 6.0
Primary
HDD: .......... 5.9

Unfortunately I do not have anywhere near to go and have a physical look at the ranges I might be interested in - only the most expensive PC place being PC World. So I am likely to be buying via the net.

I am a die hard PC man and while I like the look and idea of the Macbooks they are in my opinion a little ott in price and in any event at the moment I do not want to invest in Mac software (although I am thinking of maybe turning my current desktop into a Hackintosh when I upgrade)
 
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Atlanta
My top recommendations lately come down to Acer, ASUS, and Lenovo. Others are good, but these are three of the best. If you plan to "borrow" it as much as it sounds like, you might want to look at the Lenovo ThinkPad X220:

Lenovo ThinkPad X220

It has one of the best keyboards on any laptop, good performance options, and nice size. (12.5" screen)
 
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Thanks Neil, I am familiar with the manufacturers you quote and would be happy with any. Also been looking at offerings from Toshiba, HP and Samsung but somehow not yet quite convinced. The ThinkPad X220 does look excellent and a decent keyboard would be a plus (certainly to be considered as I have just replaced keypad on daughters Dell Inspiron - I never realised how poorly made these were till now!).

Now if that Thinkpad was half the price then it would be a serious contender, however at £900 approx $1480 I cannot seem to justify the price (even to me!) for our current needs. I probably should have indicated a budget figure from the outset. I am prepared to spend up to £450 approx $740 and feel fairly confident that with some compromises along the way that we should be able to get a reasonable spec machine
 
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Texas
I gave SWMBO an entry level Lenovo for her birthday a couple years ago. We are both very pleased with it. I ordered it with extra RAM which arrived seperately. It was super easy to install and the machine recognized it instantly.
We like it. One of these days I'm going to attach a real monitor, keyboard & mouse and it will become our full time computer in my office at home. And travel when required.
 
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No problem Robb, we do have Best Buy UK and most computers are the same either side of the pond. Only thing is generally you do not have to pay quite as much as us in the UK :frown:
 
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Well I actually thought that this would be a relatively easy task, at least once I had made a decision on size. Had a look at a few laptops today in Currys/PCWorld to get a feel for what I wanted. Apart from having no 11.5-12" screens I did get to look at the smaller netbooks 10" and some 13" laptops.

This certainly helped clarify for me what I want which is a laptop/notebook with either a 11.5 or 12 inch screen - I can live without DVD writer. For me the transportability size and weight is very appealing.

Looking at threads here the Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T with i5 proc, 4Gb RAM 640Gb HDD looked pretty good at $670 (approx £411) Here Back in the UK websites it seems that we are limited to the 1830T with only the i3 cpu at £500 ($814) :mad: From what I can see this Acer is offered with 3 choices i3, i5 or i7 elsewhere in the world but for some reason only i3 for us. The i3 version at the same US store is $540 (£332 approx) so if I have got my sums right I would be paying $270 more!!!

Sorry this has turned into a rant - I will go and sit quietly for a while and simmer down and consider what I want to do next :smile:
 
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Thanks for the link Growltiger very much appreciate your thoughtful action. It certainly does seem to offer a very decent spec. However I have decided that I do really want to have a much smaller unit, one which we can easily carry on holiday and SWMBO can use anywhere in the house so the 11"+ screen seems an ideal compromise.

I am pretty sure that the 1830t with i3 processor would be absolutely fine and more than fit for purpose. Its just the fact that this model is available in i3, i5 and i7 guise elsewhere and we do not get the opportunity here to buy that p****d me of somewhat.
I was actually poised to push the button and order last night until I checked the spec and found that only i3 offered. Cannot even find the 1830t on the Acer uk site they just seem to have the 1825? so I am trying to contact them and find out a little more
 

Growltiger

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It might make you feel a bit better when I tell you that when I bought my little Acer (with 11.7 inch screen - a size that seems to have gone out of fashion, perhaps because it is no more expensive to manufacture a slightly larger product with higher volume screen), it is the version with 4GB memory and 500GB disk and was only available in Europe and not in the USA. It was a special Olympic edition, but the Olympics were not held in Europe. US customers could only get 3GB and 300GB disk. So sometimes we are ahead in priority!
 
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Thanks Growltiger, I have simmered down now :smile:. Does seem that 11"+ screens are not as readily available as 13"+ and above other than netbooks and of course those that are seem to demand a premium price for the spec.

Had a look on the Acer UK site for a telephone number or email for customer service - they give an address and suggest writing to them! Also had a look on Acer Germany - would you believe it they only show the 1830T with the i5 processor which after conversion costs about £30 more than the i3.

Phoned Acer direct (not associated) and asked if they stocked the i5 or i7 or if not would they be available. The answer no only i3, in fact I suspect that they were not even aware of the others (at least the guy I spoke to). Actually he did say that the stock issue may have quite a lot to do with the situation in Japan.
 
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Have finally pressed the button and ordered an Acer Aspire Timelinx 1830T. Settled on the i3 as I am sure that it will be up to the job asked of it and the fact that i5 and i7 not available in the UK at the moment.

Thanks for all the help and advice

Tony
 
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Spec. seems quite ok to me so am expecting a decent machine. Looks to be a step up from a Netbook and should be capable of running decent apps. Most important light weight and small size for portability. Not sure about bluetooth usefulness although I am intending to try it out with a gps receiver I have. Will try and post my thoughts after using it for a while.

Processor Intel® Core™ i3 Dual Core (380UM, 3MB Cache, 1.33 GHz)
Screen 11.6" (HD, 1366 x 768, WXGA LED)
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit
RAM 4GB
Hard Drive 640GB
Graphics Integrated (Intel® HD Graphics with up to 1274MB Shared Memory)
Wireless LAN Wireless (802.11b/g/n Wireless)
Network Card 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet
Integrated Webcam Integrated Webcam with Microphone
Card Reader 5-in-1 card reader (SD//MS/MS-Pro/MMC/xD-Picture card™)
USB Ports 3x USB 2.0 ports
Bluetooth Bluetooth® 3.0+HS
VGA Port 1 External VGA Port
HDMI 1x HDMI Port
Battery Life 7-8 Hours (up to 8 hours with power management)
Weight 1-2 Kg (This Model 1.35 Kg)
 
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Thanks G - I liked the Logitech M305 so much I bought 2 one for a larger laptop and one I am using on my main PC :biggrin:. So I will probably invest in another for the Acer.
 
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