Which laptop?

PCs, laptops, macs, mp3 players, consoles, peripherals
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will
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Re: Which laptop?

Post by will » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:02 am

the Google reckons you can run Reason on Linux using Wine, if that helps.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by James_B » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:53 am

that's better than nothing, though is there something of a performance loss using WINE?
Assuming that the thing would barely run Reason in the first place that might not be ideal.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by JoW » Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:28 am

Has anyone looked at getting mobile broadband with their laptop? There are some good deals at the moment where you get a free laptop with mobile broadband it's a good deal if you can't afford a laptop up front.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Martijn » Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:43 pm

So we bought this pretty Dell last summer. It's been used almost continuously since so, as it happens, some things have broken. In particular, the screen sometimes starts flickering and turns all black. Luckily, we have three year's warranty, so I called Dell's helpdesk on Thursday about 5pm. Not only were they the most capable helpdesk employees I've ever spoken too, they also sent someone 'round to come and fix the thing tomorrow, then they asked if some other things need fixing too (some minor things, but they'll look into that as well) and they'll even replace one of the microphone jacks, even though we admitted it probably is our fault that it broke.

Yay Dell!

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by tonieee » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:12 am

I've promised to buy a laptop for my brother-in-law (in return for him fixing up Ralph's bedroom) because he doesn't know anything about computers. Unfortunately I've never bought a laptop before (other than the two eeepcs we own). So any advice on where to look/what to look for would be helpful. He doesn't need anything too fancy - just to get onto the internet (which he'll also need to do when in his holiday home in France so he probably needs to connect via his mobile) and do office-y type stuff and maybe watch the occasional DVD.

I do have a specific question - Vista or XP? I've not had Windows at home since 98 and though we use XP at work I've never used Vista. He's currently got XP so I'm tempted to go with that since both me and him are somewhat familiar with it and I've heard lots of people complain about Vista. But what will he be missing out on by not having Vista? Does most modern software/hardware support XP? From what I've read about it, it seems more secure - less prone to virus's and stuff.

I did consider putting Linux on but his wife uses AutoCAD which only runs on Windows and he has specifically asked for Office (though I think Open Office would suffice for him and he probably wouldn't even notice the difference). Also, I'd only want to buy one that came with it pre-installed to minimize hardware-compatibility issues and that would limit the available options.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by humblebee » Sun Jun 14, 2009 10:55 am

You can't go far wrong with a Dell laptop really, and they do a lot of 'entry-level' machines if that's what you're after.

I heard something the other day about Microsoft wanting to replace Vista with Windows 7 as soon as possible - you know, what with Vista being one of the most spectacular arse-ups in computing history and everything - so if I were buying a new Windows computer now I'd get one with XP. Pretty much everything stills runs on it, I think. And runs on it better than on Vista.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by squirrelboutique » Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:30 pm

I was looking at Dells here because I get a discount through work, but I noticed that Dell charges extra for putting XP on instead of Vista. Does that happen in England, too?

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Richard » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:30 pm

I'm thinking of buying the Inspiron 15 at £399. Is that a good deal? Is a decent laptop? The specs (upgraded for an extra £50 on Dell) seem good, but anyone had any experience with it?

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Concrete » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:35 pm

I'm toying with the idea of getting another proper laptop instead of a netbook when my current laptop breaks, one of the reasons for this being that I have a PCMCIA soundcard with really low latency for VST instruments. Having looked at a few in shops though, it seems even big laptops don't have PCMCIA slots anymore. Anyone know why this is and whether there are any companies still standing by the format?

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Gordon » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:14 pm

I think they're coming up with/have a new standard (my 2007 Macbook Pro has some kind of small slot I've never used) and most people use USB for almost everything.
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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Gordon » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:15 pm

I wonder if they sell external PCMCIA slots? Would that eff everything up?
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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Concrete » Sat Oct 03, 2009 6:13 pm

Gordon wrote:I wonder if they sell external PCMCIA slots? Would that eff everything up?
I don't know, actually. My guess would be that it would add a delay, but it's not something I know a lot about, so I might be wrong or the delay it would cause might be small enough to work with. I reckon my best bet might be to get a USB ASIO driver for my old USB soundcard (assuming someone's written one) and sell the PCMCIA one. I've done some further reading this afternoon and it looks like it's pretty much obsolete, replaced by "express card" slots.

So basically the only benefits of a big laptop over a netbook are the DVD drive and a big screen.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Colin » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:07 pm

Has anyone here bought a laptop in the states and brought it back to use in the UK? If I do that, will I just need a travel adaptor to run it off the mains or will I need a power inverter (or whatever they’re called) that changes the voltage? I’ve got both, but I’d rather not have to lug a big power inverter around with me everywhere I go.

I suppose another option would be to buy a UK power supply for it off ebay or something like that.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Gordon » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:24 pm

Most laptops should have a voltage changer built into their external power supply, which is one of the joys of external power supplies.

You'll want to look for small print that says something like V:100-240

I can't remember seeing a laptop that wasn't dual voltage in the past 10 years at least.
Toot toot.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Colin » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:34 pm

Gordon wrote:Most laptops should have a voltage changer built into their external power supply, which is one of the joys of external power supplies.

You'll want to look for small print that says something like V:100-240

I can't remember seeing a laptop that wasn't dual voltage in the past 10 years at least.
It'll be a Macbook Pro, and I'm sure I saw something to that effect on their website yesterday. So all I'd need is a thing to change the two-prong plug to a three-pronger? That's good. As is the word prong.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Gordon » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:30 pm

Yes. You can get a plug changer nice and cheaply. I think the macbook power supply can also be connected to with one of those power cables that has a bit at the end that looks like a figure-eight (like you get on kitchen stereos...)
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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Concrete » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:43 pm

More bloody laptop queries, again about ports...

Having had all that crap above about PCMCIA slots not existing anymore, I've very kindly been offered a loan of a Firewire audio interface. I've therefore set about trying to find a bargain laptop with a Firewire port so I can take advantage of this kind gesture. And well, bugger me... it seems not many laptops have those either. I'm aware Macbooks have reverted to having them, and I wouldn't mind owning a Mac actually, but I think they're probably out of my budget. Anyone know of any cheaper models that have them?

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Gordon » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:02 pm

Could you get a firewire port card to fit into the new kind of slot your new laptop might have?
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Re: Which laptop?

Post by Concrete » Fri Oct 30, 2009 7:03 pm

Gordon wrote:Could you get a firewire port card to fit into the new kind of slot your new laptop might have?
Well... Expresscard slots aren't as widespread as I thought either. Some laptops have them but most don't, and the adaptors are quite expensive really. It never occurred to me it would be this complicated - a few years ago it was really easy to get a cheap laptop that did everything I wanted, but it's so bloody confusing now. I could get a USB soundcard, but it would have to be one that worked with ASIO drivers as I need low latency with VST instruments, and last time I looked that was a bit of a fiddly thing, as all the drivers were third-party. Maybe that's changed now though.

In short, yes. But I'm not sure it's the best or most cost-effective solution.

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Re: Which laptop?

Post by humblebee » Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:56 am

Which laptop? I'll tell you. A home-made Commodore 64 laptop, that's which laptop.

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