Centrino laptop for ~£900?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by edesignuk, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #1
    Yes yes, not a Mac purchase, but since so many are cross platform here I'm hoping someone may be able to offer some input.

    Long story short, we're all chipping in to get my brother a laptop (including him!), the 'family' PC is getting to be a pain in the arse (monitor on its way out, keeps over heating etc). He's at the age now where he wants to be in his room, which my parents will now allow thanks to SafeEyes, but at the same time it's nice if he isn't stuck in one place, and can work downstairs. So a laptop it is. For the money a Centrino laptop does offer much more than anything from Apple, plus the fact that simple things like MSN (that he uses heavily) are significantly better featured on Windows (for use with his friends), and all the free MMORPG's etc are on Windows which he loves.

    So that's my justification for a Windows laptop out the way :eek:

    So far the best I've found is a Fujitsu Siemens Amilo M 1437G. For £906 you get...
    • 1.86GHz Pentium M 750 (2MB Cache)
    • 1GB DDR2 RAM
    • 80GB SATA HDD 5400RPM
    • 128MB PCI-E ATi X700
    • 15.4" 1280x800 Display
    • Dual Layer DVD-RW
    • + all the usual suspects, FireWire, USB2, Wireless, 4 in 1 card reader, XP Home etc.
    Pretty impressive specs I think, but just on the off chance anyone can think of anything better for that price point or less, I thought I'd ask quickly.

    Thanks!
     
  2. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #2
    Hmmm....just found you can get a Sony Vaio VGN-FS315S for £908. In that you get a 100GB HDD, but it's 4200RPM, and a 128MB GF6400Go. Is the GF6400Go better than the ATi X700? :confused: Everything else is pretty much the same.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Does the Thinkpad Z60M fit in your price range? You really can't go wrong with a Thinkpad.... :)
     
  4. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #4
    Thinkpads are great, but because of their general business target audience, the video cards usually suck :eek:

    Just checked, the Z60M is just above price range, but with lower specs, and a crap video card in comparison...surprise, surprise.

    Thanks anyway.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #5
    Oh, I forgot about the gaming issue.... :( That makes a lot of sense. Dude, would you consider a Dell? :eek: ;) :D
     
  6. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #6
    Um, in a word. No :D
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #7
    Good. Just wanted to make sure. ;)
     
  8. CelticBhoy macrumors member

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    Scotland
    #8

    You would have wastelanded this thread if it was one of us asking the question.
     
  9. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #9
    Thanks for such helpful input, but no I would not. Look around and see the other Windows/PC threads that do stay around before opening your mouth.
     
  10. CelticBhoy macrumors member

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    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Scotland
    #10
    well, dell's are underrated in my opinion. I've had a desktop for over 2 years without any probs, and a laptop for over a year with no probs whatsoever, and they are fairly reasonably priced. They seem to get a bad name on here, but is it because of bad experience or just plain misinformation ? At work they've purchased dells (3k employees), and afaik it's working out well. I would give it some consideration.

    btw, shouldn't 'open your mouth' be replaced with some other phrase when typing on a forum ?
     
  11. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #11
    FWIW, in my recent thread about buying a PC laptop, quite a few said to stay away from Fujitsu. Sony and IBM were the top recommendations.
     
  12. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #12
    We have hundreds of Dells at work, yes, they are ok, but feel very cheap and plasticy, there's no way I'd buy one for home.

    As far as Sony and IBM go, Sony I think are good, but are over priced, and as I said, IBM usually are very poor in the video card department, and are again over priced.

    Right now I'm still inclined to go with the Fujitsu Siemens :eek:

    Thanks (most of you :rolleyes: ) for your input so far :)
     
  13. steve_hill4 macrumors 68000

    steve_hill4

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    NG9, England
    #13
    The x700 is the better option in my humble opinion, but I would still go with the Sony. I have used both the 215S and the 215Z and 315Z on several occasions, and while they can often feel cheap, (comparing to a Mac here really), they certainly feel no cheaper than a FS and offer more generally. Nothing compares to the Sony notebooks when it comes to screen quality, if you saw the two side by side you would realise that instantly and when gaming is important, a slightly inferior graphics card, (in my opinion remember, and only my op[inion), is more than cancelled out by the brighter and less reflective Sony.

    As for overall features, the Sony nudges it again and they usually turn out to be more reliable than the Fujitsu Siemens range.
     
  14. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Murka
    #14
    I have a Samsung Q10 laptop, purchased aaages ago, for £1100. It still sits here on my desk next to my beefy macs, and runs suprisingly fast for a 733mhz PIII, with 384mb RAM... ...three years later, that is.

    I thought I'd mention it because while a little known brand (in terms of laptops anyway), Samsung produce some damn reliable machines..

    I don't think they do anything quite as special as the Q10 (a 12" laptop that's 0.8" thick and weighs - quite a bit - less than 1kg). The current equivalent is the Q30; review & pics. Its a little more expensive but it's amazing.

    Wander over to Samsung's homepage... They go from about £600 up, and all featuring Wifi / centrino / similar. And there's some wierd features like fingerprint IDs, one has a detachable 19" screen, and another a top loading optical drive...

    I've found them the best built laptops, so I give them the bigandy seal of approval. That carries weight where I work :rolleyes:
     
  15. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #15
    Are you considering hanging on until after the keynote before 'pushing the button' labeled Windows?
     
  16. edesignuk thread starter Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Location:
    London, England
    #16
    It may well be true that the Sony would have the better screen, but I can't buy in to the fact that having a better screen will make up for a lacking video card in games. My brother does want to be able to play games, and from what I have been reading the X700 is substantially better than the 6400Go, no screen brightness is going to make up for that IMO.
    Nope. A windows laptop is definitely the best bet for him. I'm confident that I can keep it clean with SAV10 (we have NEVER had a virus using this), and getting him on Firefox etc. It will be fine.

    bigandy, I will go and check out the Samsungs, thanks :)
     
  17. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #17
    Can you pick up something in the sales, perhaps?

    PCWorld (ick) have some deals on Sony laptops at the mo, if you can stand waiting for their awful site to load... or maybe hop in the car and head up to Bluewater or somewhere similar?
     
  18. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    The Msp
    #18
    I don't know that much about PC laptops, but I would stay away from the Fujitsu. I had one for a while, and it tended to overheat very quickly. I had to replace the hard drive twice, the motherboard once, and when the screen died I finally just chucked it. This was only 4 years ago, so i don't know how far they've come since then, but if my experience was any indicator... avoid them!
     
  19. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    why not wait a couple of weeks and get an intel 14' ibook and dual boot?

    vaios are unreliable in my experience.
     
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
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    #20
    I think Dell even rebadged that laptop as the X1 or something like that for a while when they were in between subnotebooks.

    But how much is ultralight a priority, E? How old is he again? Do you feel comfortable with him with an ultralight, or do you think it will get beaten up? I know particularly in the PC world, they have very compact tray-loading drives that could get damaged pretty easily....
     
  21. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

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    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    I bought my daughter a Sony Vaio laptop when she went off to Uni, and its been rock-solid - Sony have a good update facility on their website which I've found really useful. Like you, we have a load of Dells at work and I wouldn't want to buy one. We also have some Fujitsus and won't be buying any more. The Sony name alone will help to keep the resale value up and you'll be pleased with the screen quality.
     
  22. mbopy22 macrumors 6502

    mbopy22

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    #23
    Agree on the waiting part... about vaios I don't know... I find them waaaay overpriced...

    Thosiba laptops are very good though... :eek:
     

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