So the kids are off to university and you want to pack junior off with a decent machine for his or her studies - not to mention all the social facetweeting stuff the young uns like to do these days. Or maybe you've got your loan through and you want to splash out on the machine Dad didn't buy you. 15in laptops What better …
15 inches ought to be enough for anyone.
Why no macs?
Why wasn't at least one MacBook included in this review? These are becoming increasingly popular on campuses.
> "Windows 7 is the OS of choice for any new laptop."
True if your choice is limited to Windows operating systems, but Linux and Mac OS X are viable alternatives. Furthermore Macs can run Windows if need be.
Because Mac users are all rich, smart, healthy and successful whereas students are poor and prone to diseases.
At a guess
Because the student-targetted model, and the one within the price ranges of the devices in this group test (with student discount, anyway), is the MacBook and that doesn't have the 15-ish" screen that would be required to match the criteria for this group test.
The MacBook Pro has a 15" option, but it's well outside of the price range being considered.
You clearly haven't been to a UK university recently then - these days students are more often than not a filthy rich bunch. You have to be now to afford the fees and living expenses.
And for the....
Popular children, they get an Macbook Pro ;-)
Results all over the place
only 60% for the Dell?
Its spec is on a par with the Thinkpad yet is significantly cheaper in fact much closer in price to the Acer which on paper it out performs. It even appears to come with less crap-ware
Any specific reason for the low score?
Anyone still producing new 15.4" laptops? Far nicer aspect for general use, and occupy significantly less lateral desk (and carry-case) space as a bonus.
Can't help noticing that only two of these laptops have any gaming capability to speak of. Yes, you can play farmville on all of them, but anything with complex graphics in it will barely run on even the Dell, the only one with any 'grunt' in terms of gaming power is the relatively pricey HP Pavilion, surely there are better gaming laptops out there in this price range?
Get a nice 10 inch lappie / net book that you really like the feel of. IE go see the thing before you buy it, don't skimp on research. I have bought 2 Eee's already and am looking to upgrade my current one to a 1015PE most likely. Form factor, keyboard, screen, battery - all this counts.
Put a 60+G SSD, and you'll have enough (just about) room to boot windows (because let's face it, you're likely to need it) and something else you prefer. If you are a linux head, be sure you do your homework and find out about drivers before buying. One thing not to forget is fairly convenient removable storage in the form of SD cards. Put your /home there perhaps. Encrypt it.
Basically you're looking at buying a small lappie, that's big enuf to do work on but small enough that it's not intrusively bulky or heavy and doesn't attempt to burn your bollocks off when you sit it on your lap and has tons of battery life.
Ok, right, these lads don't have much muscle, but you should see how quick one of these lads will boot off an SSD (ok, arguably a high bandwidth i/o system would be better, but 'tis still fast and well worth the purchase imho).
If you want to game, you need a decent gaming rig you can buy a second machine, a low-med end box or perhaps or a gaming laptop (effectively what I would term a portable desktop - bloody costly and I am not quite sure are they worth it - depends if you're a LAN party goer I suppose, that sort of thing).
The beauty of this, is you don't get your 'work machine' contaminated by windows games which have all kinds of spyware on board and who knows what else in way of backdoors (ie WoW, Steam - honestly, do you trust these guys? I don't)
Likewise if you're running tons and tons of compile jobs, best done on a bigger more powerful machine.
You might be tempted to try 15 inch to try and cover both ends, but honestly, I have to say, once you've tried a low power 10 inch that can go for hours on end without being plugged in, you may be converted.
But different strokes for different folks I would say.
I prefer the 2 machine approach.
(And yes, I have mac books - I still think the 10 inch form factor wins, and between OS X and linux, it makes no real difference really to me. well no wait, I know what I put in my linux, that's what's different.)
Agreed. Anything with an Intel GMA inside should automatically lose 50% of their overal score. So much emphasis gets placed on the CPU but hardly any attention is ever given to the weak GPUs in laptops these days. I know they can be a battery drain, but if you want gaming on the go then virtually none of these PCs are up to the task.
Given how popular Apple laptops are with students these days, it might have been wise to include one in the test.
OS of choice?
"Windows 7 is the OS of choice for any new laptop."
Is it? Really? How myopically blinkered of you. It might be the only optional easily available at many locations due to monopolistic abuses, I'll grant you that much; but it's not the only choice and certainly not the OS of choice in many cases.
60% for the Dell
Ace Rimmer, I scored the Dell high for performance, low for battery life, and fairly low for features and value for money, hence the overall score.
I disliked the layout of the ports and connectors as the rear-facing USB are something of a pain.
The BigYin - It is my opinion that Windows 7 is a good PC OS and very good for laptops. It is better than XP and far better than Windows Vista. There are no Apples in this group so Mac OS X is neither here nor there and you cannot buy a mainstream Linux laptop without a huge amount of effort.
If it makes everyone feel happier, please imagine that the offending sentence reads 'Windows 7 is my OS of choice for laptops'.
Can I read that as...
...'Windows 7 is an OS for laptops, other choices would be available if there wasn't so much abuse of market position'?
Many think it is harder to find a laptop without Windows even though it isn't and there is an increasing choice (e.g. FrostBite, System76) and even OS-free (e.g. Novatech). So how about the Novatech Xplora for £280? That's at least half the price of the cheapest reviewed here and would save the starving students quite a bit if they can click a few buttons to drop a OS on it.
Hmm...y'know - that might make an interesting review, choices from left-field or something. Some will probably suck butt, but there might be a nice surprise. Can't be any worse than that Dell... :o)
"Desktop replacements for your digs"
Look, I know my hov^H^H^H home is pretty small, but no way am I exchanging it for a 15inch computer!
Could do better..
Nothing from Samsung, Asus, MSI or Apple and no mention of which if any machines will run a Linux distro out of the box as a dual-boot machine.
Would also have made sense to set a £600 odd price ceiling and made a special allowance for the cheapest Mac Book to see if it was worth the extra.
I picked up a Samsung R530 for the lad to take to university two weeks ago - £349.99 special offer from Comet. Does everything he needs and good value.
When I were a lad we bought second hand textbooks & greatcoats, not brand new gadgets!
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