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New laptop - suggestions needed
Thread poster: Susanna Garcia

Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:04
Italian to English
+ ...
Mar 7, 2010

I need a new laptop that has to be able to sing and dance but basically offers the following:

- good wi-fi
- windows 7 (home/professional?)
- idiot-proof
- happy with WF Classic
- Word (what version please? 2000/03 or 07?)

Current front runner is:
ACER ASPIRE TIMELINE 5810T 1.4GHZ DVD 4GB 320GB 15.6"

I would greatly appreciate your advice or experiences.

Thank you

Suzi


 

Sebastian Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
I don't know which of the various TIMELINE 5810Ts/1.4 GHz CPU you happen to have in mind but ... Mar 7, 2010

Two things come up when talking about the TIMELINE series:

a) I saw one 1.4 or 1.3 GHZ TIMELINE 5810T advertised in a major German electronics market as having a battery run time of 8 hours. That is quite something! Most advanced, contemporary laptops do not operate longer than 5 hours before needing to be recharged.
b) the drawback of this is that the CPU is likely to be rather or even too weak, for example compared to the very popular 2 GHz Core 2 Duo ones (a type of dual core CPU). I got one of these myself. It runs for 4 hours with a bit of tweaking with the energy settings. I heard, for example, that Trados Studio is a bit demanding regarding CPU power, cf. its live preview feature etc. Your processor could be too slow for that, or at least if you wanna do more with it than just checking emails, accessing the web and Word/Excel. For instance, DTP software is said to be resource-hungry.

The screen size is alright with me (I have a 15.4 inch laptop myself) because you can read anything you need to on there with no hassle, but most people consider it too bulky to carry around nowadays, which is why the 13.3" and 14" ones are generally preferred. For me these screen sizes are too small. There are also 16" and 17" machines mainly intended as a desktop PC replacement, but these should be too bulky and also heavy, should the need to take it with you arise.

Do you want a glare screen model or an anti-glare screen one? I have the latter and am happy with it because there are no reflections that could get on my nerves ... These are harder to find and a bit more costly.

A 320 GB hard drive is OK if you have a main computer, but used as a desktop PC replacement it is too small given the high amount of data likely to accrue during the everyday work of a linguist plus the Windows 7 installation is extensive. The S-ATA III models are much faster than S-ATA II drives, I think, at least potentially. I hear also the drive's cache size does matter with a view to performance, apart from the read and write values (speeds) and the drive's access time (less=better).

The RAM size should be alright, even though if you opt for a 64 bit version of Windows 7, the computer will be able to address more than 4 GB. For a 32 bit version operating system, 4GB is the limit.

The speed of the RAM should also be paid attention to. DDR3 is faster than DDR2 and the more MHz the better, as long as the memory runs stable. The latter will most probably not be something you will have to worry about since you're buying a complete machine. The RAM's timings play a part, too (less=faster).


 

Andrzej Mierzejewski  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 19:04
Polish to English
+ ...
1.4 GHz CPU Mar 7, 2010

is obsolete. Do you really intend to buy a laptop computer with that processor?

Last year I bought Acer Aspire 5738Z with 2 x 2 GHz processor, 3 GB RAM, 160 GB HD, WiFi, 15.6" screen.

With Vista, unfortunately. I purchased just 5 days before MS announced the 'free' Vista>Windows 7 update. I'm just transferring the payment (EUR 14.90).

This is my secondary computer, for web surfing in the living room and occasional work during holidays.

Battery operating time exceeds 2 hours - no problem as I do not work outdoors (beach, park, etc.)

Hard disk should be bigger because Vista and the inbuilt software (games, etc.) alone occupie approx. 60 GB, AFAIRecall.

WiFi is OK - signal travels both ways with no problem through 3 reinforced concrete walls.

Screen size is sufficient but I'd be more happy with 17".

Disappointment: black keyboard - nearly a black hole, too dark for my eyes. I should have bought another make with white keyboard.

Regards

AM




[Zmieniono 2010-03-07 19:53 GMT]

[Zmieniono 2010-03-07 19:53 GMT]


 

shfranke
United States
Local time: 10:04
English to Arabic
+ ...
Acer does not have customer service in its business model or its vocabulary Mar 7, 2010

Greetings.

After surviving two [ahem] disappointing experiences (once in the US, another time when in UAE) with Acer in terms of getting repair of my laptops, may I observe that Acer does not have customer service in its business model or its vocabulary. Never again an Acer.

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Stephen H. Franke


[Edited at 2010-03-07 20:49 GMT]


 

Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:04
French to English
Word Version Mar 7, 2010

WF Classic will be fine with Word 2007, but my question to you is what version of Word are you using now? If you already have 2000 or 2003, just keep it! Going through the trouble of learning Word 2007 just isn't worth it IMO, if you have a choice.

 

Wolfgang Jörissen  Identity Verified
Belize
Dutch to German
+ ...
Battery time Mar 7, 2010

If battery time is a crucial factor for you, then watch out. My present Acer Aspire (bought in 2008) is a total disappointment when it comes to this.

[Edited at 2010-03-07 21:58 GMT]


 

Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:04
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Acer Mar 7, 2010

Thank you all so much for your input. It's helped me tremendously.
Lori, I have Word 2000 so thank you for your advice.
Enjoy what's left of Sunday.
Nos da
Suzi


 

Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Thinkpad Mar 8, 2010

Well, that's easy! Thinkpad, of course, preferably T Series icon_smile.gif

Seriously, great laptops.


 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 19:04
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Thinkpads Mar 8, 2010

Lutz Molderings wrote:

Well, that's easy! Thinkpad, of course, preferably T Series icon_smile.gif

Seriously, great laptops.


Don't feed my Thinkpad lust! I'm considering wasting an absolutely outrageous amount on money on the core i7-equipped successor of the X301 once it comes out... They just did the X201 so I'm sure the 301 is on the way.

As to the OP, basically, every single present-day laptop fulfils your criteria... The meaningful differences between laptops are in battery life, weight, price, processor power and graphics prowess (and a few other things, including branding, chassis quality etc.) For translation, a "good" graphics card is just a useless power hog so stick with integrated graphics if battery life matters to you... other than that, pretty much anything else is a matter of personal preference and budget.These differences are usually too small for the average user to really notice, especially within the same price bracket.

There is nothing wrong with the Acer IMO, you might as well just buy it and be done with it.

[Edited at 2010-03-08 21:00 GMT]


 

imme88
English to Vietnamese
Dell Mar 9, 2010

I have a Dell Vostro and it's pretty good, battery time is around 3.5 hrs and if using Windows 7, you can also try MS 2010 beta.icon_smile.gif

 

Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Thinkpads Mar 9, 2010

Yes, I agree with Farkas. There are no meaningful differences between off-the-shelf laptops.


FarkasAndras wrote:

Don't feed my Thinkpad lust! I'm considering wasting an absolutely outrageous amount on money on the core i7-equipped successor of the X301 once it comes out... They just did the X201 so I'm sure the 301 is on the way.



...you can never waste money on a ThinkPad icon_smile.gif
Never owned an X series though.

I just treated myself to a ThinkStation S20.



[Edited at 2010-03-09 12:05 GMT]


 

Susanna Garcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:04
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
New laptop Apr 8, 2010

Thank you all very much for your help. I went with the Acer Aspire 5810 in the end and am just experimenting so far but have the basics nailed. I greatly appreciate your taking the time to answer.
Diolch yn fawr
Suzi


 

Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
Thinkpad x201t Apr 17, 2011

FarkasAndras wrote:

Lutz Molderings wrote:

Well, that's easy! Thinkpad, of course, preferably T Series icon_smile.gif

Seriously, great laptops.


Don't feed my Thinkpad lust! I'm considering wasting an absolutely outrageous amount on money on the core i7-equipped successor of the X301 once it comes out... They just did the X201 so I'm sure the 301 is on the way.
.

[Edited at 2010-03-08 21:00 GMT]


Farkas, I am thinking of switching from the T-series (currently T400) to the X-series (x201t).
Did you ever buy the x201?
If yes, what's your experience?
Is the display size sufficient for translating when on-the-go?


 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 19:04
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I went Toshiba Apr 17, 2011

Lutz Molderings wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:

Lutz Molderings wrote:

Well, that's easy! Thinkpad, of course, preferably T Series icon_smile.gif

Seriously, great laptops.


Don't feed my Thinkpad lust! I'm considering wasting an absolutely outrageous amount on money on the core i7-equipped successor of the X301 once it comes out... They just did the X201 so I'm sure the 301 is on the way.


Farkas, I am thinking of switching from the T-series (currently T400) to the X-series (x201t).
Did you ever buy the x201?
If yes, what's your experience?
Is the display size sufficient for translating when on-the-go?

Eventually, common sense won out and I went for a very similar machine from Toshiba priced well under the X301: the Portege R700.
The recipe is the same: a very light, very thin 13.3" laptop small enough to carry everyhwere, with a full-power core i5 processor powerful enough to serve as your only computer even if you are a power user. Cramming this much power (and a DVD drive!) into such a slim 13.3 inch body that weighs only 1.5 kg is a mind-boggling feat. This thing cost me about 1100 EUR, more than 500 EUR less than an X301.
I'm very happy with it and would buy it again. The 13.3 screen is just about big enough for a few hours of work in Studio, but of course at home I hook up a 21" monitor to it - I mostly use the built-in screen in the interpreting booth.
If prices were equal, I'd get the Thinkpad. But given that the specs are essentially the same, I don't think the Thinkpad is worth this much more - but of course prices may be different where you are.
It's thoroughly recommended if you're looking for a powerful, light 13.3. It's a bit larger than the X201 you're considering, but you get an optical drive.

The R700 just got refreshed a week ago; the new model (R830) comes with Sandy Bridge processors and a USB 3 port. Toshiba claims 11 hours of battery life, up from 8, so I would definitely get the new model. If you don't want a docking connector (I do) then you might be able to snag one for the incredible bargain price of 890 USD (possibly only from the US).

The X201's updated Sandy Bridge version is the X220: http://www.engadget.com/2011/03/18/lenovo-thinkpad-x220-review/
Toshiba: http://www.engadget.com/2011/04/12/toshiba-puts-its-business-laptops-on-a-diet-intros-the-portege/

The lenovo has a somewhat better keyboard, a much better screen, and a much higher price - over here, the R700 costs 1000 EUR compared to 1800 EUR for the X201.


 

Lutz Molderings  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:04
Member (2007)
German to English
+ ...
prices Apr 22, 2011

I'm glad you are happy with your Toshiba. Sounds like an excellent machine.

BTW, the prices you mention are similar to the prices in Germany.
I always order my computers from the US. Even with the extra shipping costs you can really save a lot of money.

I have now ordered a fully loaded, brand-new x201 tablet with i7 dual core 2.13 , 8GB RAM, 500 GB hard drive (7200), multi-touch capacitive touch screen, 8-cell battery etc. for USD 1630, plus USD 54 shipping.

In contrast, the cheapest, refurbished equivalent I could find on Ebay Germany was priced at just under 1900 Euro. Thinkpads are just not as common in Germany as they are in the US.


 
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