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as the title suggests I'm getting a laptop in the near future but don't quite know which one. Different friends have given me their varios opinions, it seems Sony is good, but not great, and the screen is a bit fragile, Toshiba gets quite a high rating, Dell is cheap but heard too many stories bout fuck ups, and everyone who's got a Mac i-book G4 absolutely loves it to bits and wants to have its babies. :cool:
I'll mostly be using it to start tinkering around with music writing (get a mac people tell me), watch pirate dvd's and the usual uni stuff (aaaah, better get a pc then I'm told) :?
any advice welcome so I can sound like I know what I'm talking about, as otherwise I'll probably have some salesman convince me to get whatever gets him most comission.

ta :tongue1:
I opted for Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebooks (S Series mainly) at work recently. Found them to be as well built as the equivalent Compaqs (which seems to be the default IT Managers choice for some god only knows reason) but a few hundred quid cheaper and less likely to be full of needless proprietry cak. I've also found their warranty service to be pretty OK on the odd occasion that I've needed it.

They must also be pretty tough as the main user group I've given them to are Formula 1 marketing people so they probably get more bouncing about and abuse than you'll be giving it.

Wouldn't bother with Sony unless you want something to match your silver Audi TT and wicker shoes. Same for any flavour Mac. Over priced. As for using a mac for music you'll be hard pushed to find something you can do with it that you can't do on a PC, especially if you are just starting out.

Dell are cheap and generally OK, I quite often recommend those to home users that ask but like you I've heard bad stories - mainly about their after sales service.

If you are likely to be dropping it a lot then Panasonic Toughbooks are apparently pretty good. And as you say Toshiba are always up there as notebook manufacturers. Have been for years.
yes - sony's are spunkadelic, but very very expensive.

Me Mam's Toshiba is built like a rock and was reasonably priced, although not all of them are, and very very good cover and customer support too.

IBM's are pug-ugly, but in terms of shere hardness, they beat everything or so i've heard. If you were planning on using it in a club or some other such madness, this is what i'd recommend. Be prepared to pay through the snout though
The mac Power Book range was just updated a week or so ago so if you do go mac, now is the time to buy. For what you get I really don't think macs are over priced, right out of the box it is going to have Garage Band a music composing software that comes with IIRC fifty instruments, just buy your memory from someone else and with either comp you will need an external HD. Whatever you get just get the fastest, bestest you can afford.

Windoze free music app here -->[/quote]
Get a Centrino laptop if you can; here's why:


This graph shows the results from the test described in the main text. The solid colour shows the number of Reverb A plug-ins that could be run until the audio started failing, while the lighter region shows the number of plug-ins before the processor actually maxed out.
I have a two yr old Sony Vaio FX705, which has a big screen and a 1500 AMD Athlon processor. I recently upgraded the memory to 512meg, and this runs reason2.5 fine (studio in a box, in case u dont know), but if I also try to run cubase at the same time the sound starts to break up after i achieve a certain (not so high) level of song complexity.

I think the lesson learned here is that if you want to do serious songwriting on a laptop, get the fastest cpu you can afford (Colins post on Centrino is interesting) and just as important, if not more so, at least 512meg RAM.

Hope this helps. PM or email me if you need more :Smile3:


:!: Hotmail address for messaging only - all mail go to trash due to spam overload
Haven't really looked around but I got a Dell Laptop some 2 years ago and its been great. I'd still go for one with an Nvida graphics card but then I'm into graphics more than music. They do seem to be very competetive on price and they are a reliable company.

PHLUR :sun:
I guess it also depends on how much live triggering of VSTi's you want to do - presuming you want the lappy for live work?

To my mind, anything you know you're not going to tweak live can be layed down as an audio track (or a select few audio tracks).

My plan for future live PAs is to use Ableton Live on my laptop (which is a few years old now) with keyboards over the top. Maybe using a keyboard to control the available features in Live. Hopefully that's going to be a good scalable solution.

Personally, I'd recommend ploughing the money into a good custom-built desktop, which will be more powerful & cheaper. Also easier to expand.

The laptop would be a 'nice to have'. You wouldn't need anything ever-so flashy, just good enough to do what you need live.

The other option could be a bare-bones system, which is more compact. That and a flat-panel monitor could work out as a good way forward.

The other thing to consider at the minute is the impending new hardware standards - 64 bit, PCI Express etc. The jury seems to be out on how 64 bit is going to affect audio work. Nobody seems to know at the minute. It may be worth waiting a few months to see how that stuff pans out.

Would my Waldorf plug-ins work on a 64 bit machine with 64 bit OS I wonder...?

Not much chance of Waldorf re-compiling them now!
right, poodled along Tottenham court road for a while and found this in Dixons today for £1399

Toshiba P10-802

3ghz mobile pentium 4
512mb ram
60Gb Hard-drive
Ati Radeon 9700 64mb
Multi Format DVD Rewriter
WXGA screen.
802.11G wireless

sound good? what specifications do I need to make concerning soundcard, or will the standard one be allright for playing around on Reason with?
I personally prefer the ATI cards and they have always been a better option for alternative output quality (TV, composite, etc) and 2D quality is generally considered to be better than the nVidia. And remember that the gfx memory is irrelevant for 2D work unless you're at monster resolutions (which the laptop screen won't support anyway)
Hi Norty,

Your probably right as I'm not up to speed on GC's recently. Would add that I got TV, composite out on this nvida card (GEforce2) but its not the one in the dell now. Does do high res (2800x1050 max over 2 screens) but your are right the 2d performance could be alot better.

PHLUR :sun: