Anyone recommend me a good laptop?

Full Lotus Oct 5, 2004

  1. Full Lotus

    Full Lotus Hob Nob King Staff Member

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    Had a look at the Red Sub site, looks like they have some good kit there, anyone had any experience with them, or with any other supplier etc etc etc.

    :Smile3: :bananada: :jump:
     
  2. Faction

    Faction Proto-col

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    I've just bought (and taken delivery of yesterday! :Grin: ) a 1.7GHz Dothan Centrino laptop with 512MB RAM, 1400x1050 TFT and a 60GB 7200rpm HDD from Nusystems. Cheaper than Red Sub, Philip Rees or Digital Village for the identical machine, and on top of that they'll do a 5% discount for non-card payments. It took longer to arrive than I was told but I was kept informed all the way by the MD of the company, and all-in-all I've had nothing but an excellent and very personal service so far. If you order now you'll get the laptop in the stated time - the confusion with the delay with mine was down to them not having the chassis in stock when I ordered, and them being misinformed by the importers. It's a beautiful machine, quiet and extremely portable with all the right ports in all the right places (ie none on the front!) but as I have yet to start installing software in anger I can't say how fast it is yet. It is reported though that my machine stands a very good chance of out-performing my XP 2600+ desktop PC.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Full Lotus

    Full Lotus Hob Nob King Staff Member

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    Got a link Colin??
     
  4. FlameBoy

    FlameBoy Member

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    Or, if you're thinking of using Logic as your sequencer (Logic 7 is just out BTW: http://www.apple.com/logic/) , there's always the Apple Powerbook option:

    http://www.apple.com/powerbook/index15.html

    They're expensive, though I got one of these (same spec as the above) for only £1300 through the Apple refurbished store: http://promo.euro.apple.com/promo/refurb/uk/ its only open Wednesdays BTW...). Alternatively, if you're a student or work for an educational establishement, Apple do good discounts on both their hardware and software (including Logic...)

    BTW Apple computers will also run Ableton Live, Reason and Cubase (not Sonar, though).

    hth

    Paul
     
  5. FlameBoy

    FlameBoy Member

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    http://www.nusystems.co.uk/

    BTW if you do go the PC route (as oppossed to getting a shiny aluminium G4 Powerbook....), I would strongly advise getting a Centrino model - the processors may not look as fast as Pentium 4s (less Ghz), but in practice (due to good internal design and big on-chip caches) they can actually be faster. Also Centrino laptops are lighter, generate less heat (so less fan noise) and have a much better battery life.

    hth

    Paul
     
  6. nik

    nik Member

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    i got a red sub p4 laptop with an M-audio firewire audiophile - had no probs with it so far.......apart from the firewire connection is at the front of the machine and can be prone to bangs n knocks.
     
  7. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    Oh, ick-ick-ick-Ick! Overpriced tacky rubbish! :Wink3:

    When Centrino came out, I believe that the P-M (Centrino CPU) had a 12% clock-for-clock advantage over the P4-M.

    It's interesting that Intel shot themselves in the foot like that - for years saying that GHz was the only speed comparison worth having, having their mobile chips outperforming their desktop flagship (P4) at lower clock speeds, then doing a 180, basing their next desktop line on the Centrino Pentium-M and canning the P4 (and thus being unable to use GHz as a speed comparison any more).

    I just wish AMD could sort out their mobile presence a bit...

    (Currently running a 2.2GHz P4-M Thinkpad - may not be the swankiest, but it's a tough little sod!)

    J.
     
  8. Full Lotus

    Full Lotus Hob Nob King Staff Member

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    I'm a PC techie by trade, so it'll be the PC option, as I know nothing about macs :Wink3: :smilemus:
     
  9. FlameBoy

    FlameBoy Member

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    If i'd paid the full price maybe overpriced (but tacky? I think its a beautiful piece of minimalist design, but that's just my opinion) but I got close to £500 off cos I got a refurbished one (even though its as good as new)... Anyway, it works for me. I'm fairly agnostic about the whole Mac vs. PC thing, I use both (at work I use a PC desktop and I also manage a Windows 2003 server), but the Powerbook works best for what I want out of a laptop, I have used both BTW PC and Apple laptops (and PC tablets) BTW. Not everyone has the same requirements, at the end of the day get what you need and want.

    Of course, Apple have been saying all along that CPU GHz isn't everything :Wink3:

    My Powerbook may "only" have a 1.5Ghz G4 CPU, but it seems way faster than my 2.8Ghz Pentium 4 desktop at work - of course this is only partially due to the processor, Mac OS X is less demanding than XP and is optimised to work with the Mac hardware.

    FlameBoy
     
  10. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    As have AMD... :Grin:

    Could also depend *heavily* on how your work machine's set up. Certainly if a 2.8GHz P4 is seemingly sluggish compared to a 1.5GHz G4 then someone's made a monumental cock-up somewhere - I hate to burst your bubble, but OS X is easily as bloated as XP, and Mac hardware is pretty much exactly the same as PC hardware these days. :Wink3:

    I'm not a fan of 'minimalist' (read : poncy) design... I like my switches, lights and knobs!

    [/tongue-in-cheek]

    J.
     
  11. FlameBoy

    FlameBoy Member

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    Yeah I know, I used to have an AMD 1.8 (actually 1.53Ghz) XP Pro desktop at home... :Wink3:

    FlameBoy
     
  12. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    Anything to report yet Colin? I was thinking of one of these myself, so long as it's capable of playing the stuff I've written on my 2.4GHz P4 desktop machine...
     
  13. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    1.7Ghz Centrino should handily spank a 2.4GHz P4 clock-for-clock, if I understand the technical differences correctly. To be honest, I think that raw processor power is secondary to RAM bandwidth and HDD performance when you're talking about that kind of clock speed.

    J.
     
  14. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    Excellent, thats what I wanna hear :Smile3:

    Now all I have to do is convince her indoors that we really REALLY need a laptop...
     
  15. JPsychodelicacy

    JPsychodelicacy Studio Elf

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    Ahh, brings back memories....

    "I swear it's for schoolwork, Mum!"

    :lol1:

    J.
     
  16. _PsyMike

    _PsyMike Guest

    ex demo laptops and reconditioned ones are always available on the cheap and in my opinion are just as good as when they come out of the packaging.


    sony vaio is always my first choice, compaq and dell arnt too bad.

    problem with ones that arnt from major brands is that if anything goes wrong, they generally cant replace parts after 6months, cos they discontinue the line, and sell a new lot....which basically means, buy a fast laptop at cheap price, it breaks after 8 months and then u gotta buy a new one, cos u cant get replacement parts!

    be most aware before buying :Wink3:
     
  17. Faction

    Faction Proto-col

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    Just so you know, Aldi are currently selling a Centrino laptop with very similar spec to mine for £999 - 1.7GHz 735 processor, 80GB HDD, 512 MB memory, 1400 x 1050 TFT and DVD burner, including 2 years all-risk insurance and warranty. All that needs doing is to replace the hard drive with a faster model, maybe bump up the RAM (bump it up, now your feet are jumpin') and for £200 less than what I paid you have a nearly identical machine. Their marketing blurb says it's "25% faster than a Smart PIV 3GHz PC". Not quite sure about that but for the price it's pretty special.

    Yes, you did hear me right.

    Aldi.
     
  18. Continuum

    Continuum Throb Farmer

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    ohhhh I can feel it coming on. Wife's going to HATE me for this. Still, she's stuck with me, so what can she do really?

    :P
     
  19. FlameBoy

    FlameBoy Member

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    Absolutely, I managed to get the current model Apple 15" aluminium 1.5Ghz G4 Powerbook for 25% off (i.e. £1310 instead of £1749) through the Apple refurbished store - a weird online store Apple do, that only opens on Wednesdays: http://promo.euro.apple.com/promo/refurb/uk/

    It came with a full one year warranty from Apple, and it runs perfectly and there wasn't a single scratch on it when I bought it, looked brand new in fact.

    A good place to pick up refurbished PC laptops is Morgan computers:
    http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/

    I think Toshiba call their refurbished units "Toshiba Classified Stock" e.g.
    http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/shop/detail.asp?ProductID=1472&CategoryID=11&SubCategoryID=

    Tortoise picked up a great refurbished Toshiba (albeit a Celeron one, which you shouldn't pick for music production) one for under £600 not that long ago

    Apparently Compaq aren't as good as they used to be, and use more cheap parts these days

    Or Apple :Wink3: Toshiba are another very good PC brand for laptops, its what they specialise in, they're well made and spare parts are stocked for longer than many other brands. They're also not that expensive. IBM laptops are very good, and are built like tanks, but are a bit pricey.

    This is very true, I would definitely go for one of the brands (espc. Sony or Toshiba...or Apple) above if you can

    hope this helps

    Paul
     
  20. ChrisCabbage

    ChrisCabbage Forum Member

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    On the subject of Centrino & Dothan.

    One worrying feature is the 400Mhz FSB. Considering desktops are now up at the 1GHz+ mark, isn't this going to impede things a bit?

    Centrino 2 (next year) bumps this to 533MHz apparently. Maybe this is worth waiting for (for me at least)?
     
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