Hi everyone im not sure if this is the right area to post this in so forgive me if it is not.

Im looking for laptop but bit confused on what to get. I will be mainly using the laptop for software development and I will be running a VM on it. I may also be doing some graphical stuff as well.

I would prefer a big screen so I can watch some movies on it I dont really care about gaming on my pc. I have around £800 - £1000 to spend. could you please let me know if you have any recommendations.


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Sony, Toshiba, HP, Dell, Compaq, Lenovo, take your pick.
All the major brands offer products that fit your price range with decent enough specs and good quality.

hi jwenting i have been looking at dell but i hear they have poor build rep for laptops. i was looking at the Studio 17 does anyone know if they are anygood? i was also looking at the HP DV7. The thing is there is so much to choose from and just dont know which one.

Are sony anygood or do you just pay alot for the name?

Dell has quality products. I don't know what you mean by a poor build rep, but they don't have a poor reputation in any area that I know of. I have an Inspiron right now and it has worked well for me. I got it for $800, 4 GB RAM, 2.4 ghz dual core processor, 3 MB cache. TBH although I also do software development, and I also run a VM on it, it is probably faster and more expensive than I actually needed.

Go to a local computer shop that's been around for years and have them build one for you. They will provide service you can't get from the Big Names.

local shops typically don't build laptops :)

I've now had 3 Dells, 2 HPs, and 2 Toshibas in the last few years. I've had the best luck with the Dells and Toshibas.

Since I assume development is at least part of what you do, look at SMB or business machines rather than "home and home office" machines -- that's where I've had the luck.

As long as you spec your machine well, brands are becoming more of a preference than a necessity as long as they are name brands. I'd consider Lenovo (former IBM), too -- I've just been getting Dells recently because of good pricing.

local shops typically don't build laptops :)

All the ones I know of that build desktops also build laptops. It's still the same process.

All the ones I know of that build desktops also build laptops. It's still the same process.

Not here. Only 1 I know does, and they can only do it because they have several large volume corporate customers so they can afford to buy the components in bulk.

For buying an individual laptop, I'd stick to custom configuring from one of the "big boys". Local shops may help you customize one of these if you need help, but without volume small shops can't save you any money on a custom build.

I recently bought a new laptop after having an HP laptop with Vista for the last 3 years. Both were disappointing.

I did quite a bit of research on the different brands, prices, customer reviews, ratings of their service and reliability and so forth. You can pick almost any brand and model and find people who are very happy and some who aren't. Based on the info that I was able to find it came down to three brands, Toshiba, Asus and MSI. The last two do their own manufacturing where most of the others outsource the building of the machines (many to the same company in Taiwan). From what I could find on Toshiba, the quality of the machines is good but their customer service isn't very good. There are quite a few cases of failure of the LCD panels where Toshiba refused to fix them during the warranty period. There are probably many happy Toshiba customers who never had a problem so they never had to test the service.

I found good deals on MSI and ASUS machines. The MSI had slightly better specs but it was out of stock so I went with ASUS. Both companies are sort of on the fringe in the laptop business. They don't do the kind of volume that HP or Toshiba do. They have a good reputation for quality and ASUS has a pretty good reputation for Customer Service from what I could gather from Internet-based feedback.

My usage is similar to yours. I mainly use the machine for development and some graphics. I don't watch movies on it but I could. For $599 (CAD) I got a dual core machine, with a 16" LED screen, 4 gigs of memory, a 500 gig drive and WIn 7 64 bit. The processor isn't state f the art (Intel T4300) but it's more than adequate. I'm very happy with it. It's light, runs cool and with Win 7 it works very well. The screen is rectangular where my old machine's screen (17") was squarer. This one is probably good for HD movies. Like everyone else, ASUS has 17" screens as well.

So that's my experience. My son bought a 17" Dell laptop last year. It's also a good machine but when I look at the weight and size of it and the amount of heat it puts out, I'm quite happy with my choice. I also paid $400 or $500 less than he did.

i would recommend you to try Acer Aspire 5732z. its really a good choice and under your budget

Two things to be sure to consider:

1) Video card. If you don't go for a discreet card (recommended), at least get accelerated video. A lot of the lower price laptops are not coming with this and it is counterproductive if you are doing graphics work or are working with GUIs as those you code for will be expecting some use of aero technologies (assuming you are building for Windows).
2) One tech call equals or exceeds the price of a 3 year warranty in most cases. Its up to you, but really consider it.

2) One tech call equals or exceeds the price of a 3 year warranty in most cases. Its up to you, but really consider it.

Depends. Most times if you need service after the standard 1 year warranty it's either something that's by law to be paid by the manufacturer (like a design flaw) or they'll claim it's not covered under the extended warranty after all.

And that's from personal experience, and talking with people whose job it was to sell those extended warranties.
They look nice on paper but in reality cover nothing. They're insurance policies effectively, against things you're already covered for by law.

With reasonable care for the laptop, I've never had an extended warranty claim declined. I've also never had the "design flaw" kick in (though I know a couple people who have). I know two people who got MBO replacements at about 2 years -- without the warranty it would be cheaper to replace the laptop. I don't get the "every reason" warranties, though .. they are far too expensive. Adding $150 to cover 3 years rather than 1, with laptops, seems reasonable.

I've never needed repairs on anything between the time the normal warranty expired and the "extended" would have expired :)

I have had a design flaw kick in in an old laptop, needed a new motherboard.
Took several months to fix as the motherboard first had to be designed, produced, and shipped in from Japan.
Will have cost Toshiba a fair bit as it was near the end of the (then 2 year) warranty period and probably a lot of those machines were already being replaced.

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