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Buying a laptop - advice please

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Messages: 1 - 49 of 49
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by peacemaker (U14739277) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    I am finally going to buy myself a laptop but don't know what to look out for or to avoid.

    I want a pretty basic model at the lower end of the price range. I don't want it for gaming or anything too complicated. My son has had problems with both Asus and Acer models. Any other brands I should avoid?

    Should I buy local or online? And what about buying refurbished models - is that a bit risky?

    Should I risk the new Windows 8 or stick with Windows 7?

    Finally what sort of processor should I be looking for? For example what is the difference between Intel Celeron and Intel Pentium?

    Any advice would be welcome. Thanks

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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Dunlurkin NL (U2675855) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Just to say I've had good experiences with Acers.


    Dunlurkin

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by My Mum is turning in her grave (U13137565) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Me too. And I bought mine on the advice of Peet.

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 2.

    Posted by Aladdin Sane (U7712924) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    I’ve bought two Acers and never had any bother with them.
    You pays your money, you takes your choice.

    I’ll watch this thread … my AP is after buying one, with a PAYG dongle.

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by Spartacus (U14243804) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Cers fine, toshibas fine, not keen on hp/compaq , I expect a battery to last lomger than 18 months.

    Last purchase was a toshiba satelite 320 hard drive, 3 ram , windows 7', ebay £249

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Brentford_Nylon (U2565713) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Finally what sort of processor should I be looking for? For example what is the difference between Intel Celeron and Intel Pentium? 

    Very little other than clock speed in most cases. Some mobile Celerons have a single core though most are dual core as are all Pentiums. Think of cores as individual CPUs, though they're not, and 'threads', if you come across the term, as almost like more CPUs, though they're not.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by JB on a slippery slope to the thin end ofdabiscuit (U13805036) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Now that 8 is out the shops will want to clear their stock of 7's, so expect some good deals.

    If it's not urgent, wait for the new year sales.

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by The Vintneres Driver (U5034590) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Should I buy local or online? And what about buying refurbished models - is that a bit risky?  I bought a refurbished Dell Latitude about 5 years ago. Half price and effectively a new machine, just a shorter warranty. The "business class" Dells will take more knocks than a retail model. Get one with an SSD (solid state) hard drive.

    Should I risk the new Windows 8 or stick with Windows 7?  I've been running a pre-release version of W8 on both my PC and my laptop. The laptop, which I've just fitted with an SSD boots up in 5 seconds. The PC, with a traditional spinning disk hard drive takes about 20 seconds to boot up.

    W8 is a radical departure from Windows of old but I like what I see. From the bargain point of view I'd buy a refurb machine with W7 for lowest initial cost because the upgrade to W8 is only about a tenner before Jan 2013.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by flea (U15343752) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    I’ve bought two Acers and never had any bother with them.
    You pays your money, you takes your choice.

    I’ll watch this thread … my AP is after buying one, with a PAYG dongle.
     



    Yes, we've had three Acers, all fine, in fact son would only consider an Acer when his eventually died (extreme use).

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Garde_Champetre (U14354428) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    If you use it a lot, but mainly for simple things like word processing/web browsing, then resist the temptation to buy a whizzy high-spec one. However, I'd say don't forget that seemingly unimportant things like the operation of the keyboard (e.g. some give a nice "springback" feel and some are spongy) can make a world of difference.

    So, I'd buy a fairly basic spec m/c but I'd make sure it has a keyboard that I get along with (even if that costs a little more).

    A good way to save money is to think hard about how much you'll actually be taking it from place to place. If (like me) you're buying a laptop to mainly use at home, then weight probably isn't that important. The more lightweight the machine, the more expensive it is.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Finlay (U14286288) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Here is my tuppence worth-any make is on the whole all ok-specially if you are starting of on a learning curve-get basic not fancy/expensive-though I would get a minimum of 1meg ram-def dont get Windows 8 until evryone sees how it goes and they get rid of any initial glitches-decide on max price you are prepared to pay (including the software-see if software is already on it and if it is stuff you want/need
    -if you are going to use it for watching films, pics etc then it is a different ball game than only just very basic-if you want it to work well-at rend of the day-buy from somewher/one you believe relaible.good return policy and give help that does not cost you-watch for being sold lots of add ons -but security stuff is essential!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by Thanks for all the fish (U10654037) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    I’ve bought two Acers and never had any bother with them.
    You pays your money, you takes your choice.

    I’ll watch this thread … my AP is after buying one, with a PAYG dongle.
     



    Yes, we've had three Acers, all fine, in fact son would only consider an Acer when his eventually died (extreme use). 
    My old man would say the same. He's very chuffed with his Acer tablet too.

    I was going to buy the cheapest laptop I could find in John Lewis til the guy told me it was a single core processor and this wasn't much cop for iPlayering etc. I spent another £40 (giving a total of about £360 coming up for two years ago) and got a dual core HP and thus far, considering it's a pc, I've been perfectly happy with it. Part of my reasoning was that we use HP at work; I reckon they're the best part of ten years old and they're still going strong.

    Friends and family also speak highly of Toshiba, though IMO they're rather heavy.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Thanks for all the fish (U10654037) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    buy from somewher/one you believe relaible.good return policy and give help that does not cost you 

    Agreed. John Lewis are excellent in this respect although both my father and I have contacted their tech dept for help, he re a hardware issue and me re software, and they were not impressive. They were downright rubbish in my dad's case - they missed a failing HD when he'd told them that's what he thought the problem was - but they did make amends.


    -watch for being sold lots of add ons -but security stuff is essential!!!!!!!!!!!!! 


    John Lewis won't do the hard sell, but I'd suggest looking into Open Office rather than Micro$oft. The free antivirus software - AVG, Avast et al - is perfectly sufficient if you're sensible about the sites you visit.

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by plaintiff (U13839859) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    I have just replaced a very good Acer laptop used for several years with an Acer Aspire One netbook bought at a very competitive price from Tesco Extra. Actually went for a higher specification than planned due to price reduction. I particularly liked the combination of 11inch screen size with n easy to operate keyboard. Has Windows 7 but can upgrade if I wish and Microsoft Office Starter free which is basically Word and Excel. Good quality visuals---I played the Hobbit Trailer as soon as I got it! Light and easily portable with a decent battery life when not using mains.

    However I did visit local computer shops first to be exactly sure what suited my needs

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by the_shellgrottolady (U2395646) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Hi PM
    I'm a huge fan of Dell. I've got a dell vostro and have had it 2 years now. I work on it , smoke all over it and it gets a hard life. Its brilliant.
    I do brush it to keep it clean - (little make up brush specally kept for the puropse)
    The only problem with the vostro is that the speaker sound is not very good. I bought a little speaker off amazon for a fiver and that works fine. Of course the Dell fine on headphones.

    OH has a Dell inspiron and he is pleased with that too.It has a dual processor and the sound is better. I would certainly consider a Dell inspiron...possibly over the vostro (if they even still sell it)

    I threw a whole cup of coffee over my Dell once and thought that I had finished it off but it's fine.
    So, I recommend Dell. My son ruined his Acer but he was not good with computers.
    Shell

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by The Vintneres Driver (U5034590) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    I threw a whole cup of coffee over my Dell once and thought that I had finished it off but it's fine.
    So, I recommend Dell. 
    The business class Dells have wine*-proof keyboards as well as being extra shock resistant although if you have an SSD that is inherently shockproof so not such an issue.

    *Other beverages are available.

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by the_shellgrottolady (U2395646) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Well there you go then...the Dell is perfect for late night posting to the Bull!
    Admit I had to google SSD and to be honest am none the wiser!
    Cheers
    Shell

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Boneman (U14746456) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Peace

    Are you sure you need a laptop ? I have a laptop, a Nexus and an iPad - well not all mine but in the house.

    The Nexus does everything. My brother went to get a new laptop and suggested an Acer Transformer which runs Android. He loves it - I checked 2 months on. He uses the old laptops very rarely.

    The ease of use and cost of software is a major advantage. I reckon that other than corporate uses the laptop is dead. Private indivduals can do everything they need on a Nexus.

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by The Vintneres Driver (U5034590) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Admit I had to google SSD and to be honest am none the wiser!  No moving parts. Essentially like a big USB data stick. Very fast and uses less power than a spinning disk drive.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Trillian (U14033122) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Look out for one with Intel iCore, rather than Celeron or Pentium. And always take a look at the manager's specials (if he'll let you) if you're buying in store.

    My current lappie was a bargain - high spec, terrible colour which nobody wanted. I swallowed my pride, donned my sunglasses and bought it anyway.


    *gold, if you must know..

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Norma (U2334558) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Know nothing about laptops but I have an Acer PC, its brilliant!

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by BorchesterBolshevik (U13672124) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Just rock up to the counter point at a the most attractive one and slap your money down. Whatever you end up with techy people will mock you but he truth is that, unless you're involved in space exploration or other similar stuff whether the keyboard is comfy and the HDMI ports are accessible will make more difference than all the specs.

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by peacemaker (U14739277) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Yes I have an Acer PC and its been OK, but getting a bit old now.

    Thanks everyone for all the advice. Lots to consider. It seems that Acers are pretty popular and Dell's too.

    I am interested in a laptop, partly because they have bigger screens than other devices. I also want something to take to our caravan, and at home to be able to sit downstairs by the fire, rather than work upstairs in the cold.

    Will check out my local independent retailer next week. Haven't had particularly good service from them in the past, but as someone said upthread it is probably a good idea to try out some of the keypads.

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by The Vintneres Driver (U5034590) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    Comet & PC World are opening at midnight for the launch of Windows 8, tonight. I gather HP are giving big discounts off lapdogs at the do. Be adventurous!

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by parsonwoodford (U15477574) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    No one's mentioned Apple, I know they are expensive but they are things of beauty and great functionality and so much safer on the internet, fewer to zero virus'.

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by Thanks for all the fish (U10654037) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    No one's mentioned Apple, I know they are expensive but they are things of beauty and great functionality and so much safer on the internet, fewer to zero virus'.  That's probably because:

    I want a pretty basic model at the lower end of the price range. 

    Otherwise I for one would've said exactly the same.

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Iapetus (U551167) on Thursday, 25th October 2012

    One thing to consider is what screen size you want.

    How much will you be moving around with it?

    If you're going to be walking around using it (e.g. because you need to for your work), you will want a nice small one (e.g. 14", or maybe even smaller).

    If, like me, you generally keep it at home on your desk and use it there, you (and got a laptop rather than a PC mainly because it takes up less room on your desk), you will probably want a bigger one - at least 15", preferably 17". Especially if you will be using it for watching TV or video.

    17" also means you can have a full-sized keyboard (with a separate number pad). That may or may not be useful for you.

    *Generally* bigger will mean more expensive, but my 17" Dell XPS was cheaper than the 15" equivilent. I don't know if that was because at that size, it was easier to get all the components in, or just because of Dell's bizzare pricing/discount schemes.


    Another consideration is whether you get a matt or glossy screen. Glossy screens seem to be popular with manufacturers these days (or were a year ago when I got my laptop). They apparently give better colour definition, so are good for watching tv/movies. But they also cause horrible glare, so unless you are mainly going to be watching movies in a darkened room, I'd avoid them like the plague.

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Buttey (U14563284) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    For what it's worth. Laptops I've known and owned.

    Sony. Had two of them. Excellent, can't fault them, except probably expensive for the spec.

    Compaq/HP. Had two, one is 13 years old and still gives fine service for running chemical modelling software. The other died on it's backside after 18 months (dead motherboard).

    Acer. Absolute rubbish. Poor build quality, dead just after warranty (motherboard again). Not a great machine even when working. I think you'd be mad to buy from Acer.

    Lenovo. My current laptop. Very good. Not pretty, but works well. The
    Lenovo software which takes over backups, wifi etc is a bit annoying, but build quality is excellent.

    I buy Dells for my PhD research students ... Seem to last well enough. The very upmarket machines (precision workstations) are very well put together with excellent components.

    Win 7 ... God knows what win 8 early incarnations will be like. Look for core i5 or i7 processor if you want performance plus minimum 4 gb ram. Or, consider going OS free and installing Ubuntu and freevsoftware for a perfectly good working or online experience.

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by The Vintneres Driver (U5034590) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    God knows what win 8 early incarnations will be like.  I've been running the pre-release version of W8 on both PC and laptop for some while. I'm just in the middle of downloading the release version on the laptop as I post this. Very different but very impressive.

    Or, consider going OS free and installing Ubuntu and freevsoftware for a perfectly good working or online experience.  I've been running Zorin, which is based on Ubuntu and gets the same support, for a while, too. Very easy for a Windows user because you can make it look like XP or W7 to suit what you've been used to. Not sure how easy it would be to find a laptop with no OS, though.

    W8 only needs 2GB of RAM, minimum, but the more the merrier.

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Spartacus (U38364) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    Lenovo. 

    Lenovo is the Chinese company that used to build "Thinkpad" laptops for IBM. When IBM decided to drop out of the laptop market, Lenovo bought the brand. They sold the most laptops of any company last year, taking over the top spot from HP. They're a little pricey, but very well regarded.

    One thing crossed my mind while skimming this thread - are you /sure/ you need a laptop? If you just want to surf the web and edit the odd document then a decent netbook would probably do the job, at half the price.

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by The Vintneres Driver (U5034590) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    are you /sure/ you need a laptop? If you just want to surf the web and edit the odd document then a decent netbook would probably do the job, at half the price.  The OP said they liked the larger screen offered with laptops.

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Spartacus (U38364) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    The OP said they liked the larger screen offered with laptops. 

    No, it doesn't.

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 32.

    Posted by Spartacus (U38364) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    Ah, sorry, you mean post #23. I took "other devices" in that context to mean tablets and 'phones.

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by anglepoison2 (U14475655) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    I wouldn't even think about 'upgrading' to W8 for at least a year after release. That way they may have ironed out many of the inevitable bugs that will be found.

    Secondly I go with virtually anything you can afford within your budget. Buy the best spec machine for the best deal you can get and forget about what make it is. The big brands: Dell, HP, Acer, Sony, Asus, Lenovo etc are all much of a muchness. Whilst you can argue about build quality of particular brands the reviews you find on line and elsewhere prove time and time again that no manufacturer is perfect. Customer support in event of a problem can be what really matters.

    Almost any £300+ machine will do everything you'd want a laptop to do with one exception: gaming and related graphically demanding jobs like video editing. Despite what is claimed the most modern CPUs the Intel i3/i-5/i-7s and AMD equivalents do not come close to matching on their own the performance of a laptop with a separate dedicated graphics card. The best value machines in this respect tend to be the AMD CPU fitted ones which have a particularly good performance/cost ratio when paired with the sorts of GPU usually found in mid-priced laptops.

    But if this is not important to you all you should be looking for is a laptop with a screen and keyboard you're was happy with, minimum 4GB of RAM, a DVD drive, USB3 ports. After that just look for extras useful to your specific needs, like a built in web-cam, decent quality speakers, extended support/warranties etc.

    Laptops with SSDs (Solid State Devices) instead of or working alongside a hard-drive are still a bit of a luxury item. A laptop with a large capacity hard drive is likely to be of more use to the average users than one with a SSD which boots in 20 seconds.








    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by yorkshire puddin (U4522617) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    I've had my Dell inspiron for years and it was second hand, given to me my son in law back then so I would really rate these.
    Toshiba which I used before that is also good.

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by the_shellgrottolady (U2395646) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    Oh just another thing about Dell.
    They aim them at the business market and if you ever go into an office (post office) for example they are often using Dell computers. So the image is not exciting or leisure orientated but they are extremely hardworking and reliable and they do everything you need.
    Sorry I am just such a fan.I really love Dell! I ought to sell them myself!
    I even had a look online . Seems that you can buy a new vostro for around £299. I don't know how that compares elsewhere.
    Thanks upthread re SSD....
    I'll stop now
    ShellX

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by Brentford_Nylon (U2565713) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    I've never seen anything to suggest they're particularly reliable but their business support is generally very good I think.

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by peacemaker (U14739277) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    Thank you Shell and others. I mustardmit I have been considering a Dell. Certainly don't want anything flashy. Where did you see one for £299 btw?

    Interesting that others have had problems with ACER motherboards. The exact same thing happened to my son's at 13 months and just out of guarantee. He then replaced it with an ASUS because of a 2 year guarantee but had problems with that too.

    Anyway I am now armed with a lot more info, so thank you everyone.

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Rwth of the Cornovii (U2570790) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    I bought a Sony Vaio with Windows 7 about 3 years ago, and was told that Windows 7 seemed better than Vista, by an IT professional at Land Rover. I bought the one on display at a well known electrical chain, and am mildly irritated by the Directory hierarchy. I tried to set up my own but didn't have the courage to move "my documents" over to the directory under my name, nor why it seemed to have two levels of "My Documents". On the "don't fix unless it's broken" rule, I still have everything under their name instead of mine.

    Anyway, I'm not sure that I needed the Vaio support package, with spoken commands which I don't use because it sounds like talking to myself, but until now it has been pretty reliable. Not as cheap as others available, but still not prohibitively expensive. I would have bought Dell, which I had before, but had trouble with my card at the purchase stage, so aborted and went to a shop. O/H had bought an Acer from Tescos which served him well and lasted longer than he did. I don't know if SiL who inherited it still has it.

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by Spartacus (U38364) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    Up until a couple of years ago, Dell desktop machines came in two "flavours" - business and home. You'd get two machines with the same spec. on paper, with the home model a little cheaper than the business model, and some companies just assumed they would be the same machines with a better support package for businesses.

    They really weren't. The business machines were built like a brick outhouse, with all-metal fittings inside - you could have used one to hammer in a nail and barely dented the case - while the home machines had steel outer cases that were so thin it was possible to kill them by picking them up while they were on, as the "shell" would flex inwards and short out the motherboard. The business machines had proper heatsink assemblies, while the home machines had a plastic gutter-strip deflecting air from the fan on the back over the processor, and after a year or two this would perish and crack so that any bump would cause it to fall off and the processor to start overheating.

    That's my experience of Dell desktop machines. I would, in the absence of any other evidence, tend to generalise that to all their machines - if it's marketed for "Home", avoid. Business good, home bad.

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by Stazbumpa (U4044370) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    I have to +1 on Peet's advice.

    I'm getting a new laptop for my second job (DJ) and I'm aiming squarely for a reconditioned Dell business model (Latitude E5520 at the moment). They do cheaper flavours of business laptop but all of them come solidly specced and even more solidly built.

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by The Vintneres Driver (U5034590) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    I have to +1 on Peet's advice.  Which agrees with my opinion in#8.

    If you google November Delta Charlie + Dell you'll find a seller of refurbed Dell Latitudes (and other models) in a rainy city in the north. They have carbon fibre bodied Latitudes with SSD for about the OP's budget.

    I don't agree with the poster who says wait a year re W8. The £25 upgrade off will have expired and the pre-release version has been about for nearly 6 months already. I installed the real thing last night and it is very much the same as the test version. Takes longer to install, though.

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by anglepoison2 (U14475655) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    Oops made a bit of a mistake in saying SSD meant solid state device. I should have written it means: Solid State Drive, a drive which uses solid state memory technology to store information.

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by The Vintneres Driver (U5034590) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    Oops made a bit of a mistake in saying SSD meant solid state device. I should have written it means: Solid State Drive, a drive which uses solid state memory technology to store information.  Just for your information, anglepoise, my lapdog (Dell latitude, natch!) boots up in less than 5 seconds with an SSD and Windows 8.

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 28.

    Posted by Leaping Badger (U3587940) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    Or, consider going OS free and installing Ubuntu  A pedant speaks: what is Ubuntu if not an OS?

    The FOSS route including a flavour of Linux is a route I'm keen to go down myself.
    'Ö'

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 45.

    Posted by Spartacus (U38364) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    Or, consider going OS free and installing Ubuntu  A pedant speaks: what is Ubuntu if not an OS? 

    The poster means to buy the laptop "OS free" and later install Ubuntu as its OS.

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by Brentford_Nylon (U2565713) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    They really weren't. The business machines were built like a brick outhouse, with all-metal fittings inside - you could have used one to hammer in a nail and barely dented the case - while the home machines had steel outer cases that were so thin it was possible to kill them by picking them up while they were on, as the "shell" would flex inwards and short out the motherboard. The business machines had proper heatsink assemblies, while the home machines had a plastic gutter-strip deflecting air from the fan on the back over the processor, and after a year or two this would perish and crack so that any bump would cause it to fall off and the processor to start overheating. 

    I've bought Dell machines for work of and on since about 2000 and I can't say that's been my experience and for some specifics quite the opposite.

    An ex-colleague still has one of the business bought machines from a about 2001-2002 and while big and heavy it's mostly quite flexible creaky plastic, with a flue over the CPU if I remember correctly and sold to both home users and businesses.

    My last one was a home-bought one that is a mix of thin metal side panels and plastic front facia but is no more badly put together, no less solid and just has the stock Intel fan and heatsink arrangement. Then again I have a feeling the flue thing at the time of the P4 and earlier may have been an Intel reference design anyway.


    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by Spartacus (U38364) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    I think the difference between our experiences can be explained by the fact that I was fixing them, not using them, so I only got to see the ones that had failed in some way. Thus I saw a preponderance of the badly designed models.

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 48.

    Posted by Brentford_Nylon (U2565713) on Friday, 26th October 2012

    What I'm saying is from my experience there's nothing that necessarily marked them out as either business or home-user. Some lines sold to both, some lines were functionally a little different and some more expensive lines were put together with better components and geared towards different tasks in terms of peripherals etc whether directed at the home user, or business. Some quite obviously didn't have equivalents because not many home buyers would be looking at buying rack-mounted servers or whatever.

    What you got as a business if you paid for it was 24/7 tech support, hardware swap-out and so on.

    These days at the low-end the Inspiron and Vostro lines don't look that different in terms of build but one's a consumer brand and one's business.

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