Thursday, 28 April 2011

New laptop - but which one?

My 2002 vintage laptop is on its last legs. At least twice a week it just dies on me at work and requires a 15 minute break to resuscitate. It's slow and confused. Multimedia is a challenge. A new laptop is now a top capital expenditure priority for me - the only question is - which one?

And here I turn to my dear readers for suggestions as to what's reliable, portable and multimedia friendly. As in life, a balance needs to be reached between lightness of weight and a screen that's sufficiently large to handle big photos, with good graphics processing power. Mobile blogging will be encouraged by fast built-in wi-fi internet and a long battery life.

I'm currently writing on a Dell, which has proved more reliable that I could have ever expected (I bought it second hand in late-2004 when it was already two years old), but that reliability is now failing. New Dell? Manufacturing has been contracted out to Foxconn, but then hasn't every laptop? IBM Thinkpads have become Lenovo, Moni's Toshiba has a good guarantee but she encountered problems with her screen and wi-fi within the first month of using it. Hewlett-Packard any good? Acer? Asus? Sony Vaio - people I know with them curse its very name.

I'd be grateful for any user experiences (good or otherwise) and recommendations for something light, robust and compatible (Apple?). Windows 7 - a huge advance over Windows XP? Is OpenOffice really a decent replacement for Microsoft Office (I can't stand Office 2007)?

7 comments:

Adam said...

Very briefly.

Lenovo ThinkPad T series are currently widely praised as rugged and well put-together.

Windows 7 is getting a lot of (grudging) positive comments.

With OpenOffice, it really depends on whether you use the bits of it that work really well or the bits that don't. Try it out and see how you get on with it. You can always buy Office later if it doesn't suit you.

Kolin said...

If it's a top capital expenditure get a Thinkpad T series. You won't regret it.

OpenOffice has forked and LibreOffice is the way to go now. And as Adam says you can buy Office later if you have to.

If I could afford a new Thinkpad I would get one without an operating system installed since I only use free open source software anyway. I've been Windows free since 2006 and have never regretted it.

scatts said...

You may get a bunch of Apple evangelists turning up who will, as they often do, turn you off the idea of anything that could generate so much blinkered drivel - BUT - having switched from PC to Mac at home a year or two ago now I can only say in all honesty that I wish I had done it considerably earlier.

Therefore, my advice would be to ignore the additional cost and go for a Macbook, Macbook Pro or Macbook Air depending on your specific needs.

All the more so if you're worried about multi media capabilities.

WilkBury said...

Michael,
IMHO you should listen to scatts advice - "Think Different" _again_!
I can not remember if your old Mac had OS X or classic 9.22. I assure you that working on a Mac with OS X is just flawless.

Cheers

papageno said...

I've been using Thinkpad T Series laptops since 2004 and they performed flawlessly.

As for the OO: if you need a general (office) purpose text editor, spreadsheet application etc. then OO is totally adequate. But check it out earlier if you use it for something less common. E.g. I've had a lot of problems with rotating Greek letters on Calc's diagrams and it's been a real pain in the ass.

Anonymous said...

Hello Michael! Personally I would buy a new Dell Laptop. IMHO no other brand is as reliable as them. I have to use my laptop every day for work and I have never had any problem with Dell! Now you can find so many versatile Dell laptops with high definition displays and many other choice features and in your favourite size! Take a look at it www.dell.com/uk/p/laptops

student SGH said...

I've had a HP laptop for four years and eight months and do not think about changing it. Last year's hard disk pack-up was actually my fault, but even the huy who repaired it said my computer was a particularly durable device.

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