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    Laptop advice please

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    RRC
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    Laptop advice please

    Post by RRC on Tue 14 Jul 2015, 6:24 pm

    My Dell laptop (top of the range in 2003/4, Studio 17.3 inch, 8Gb RAM, WinVista) is starting
    to creak and I'm afraid it will only get worse. I can't use the latest versions of Firefox or
    Flash with Vista for example, and I had to undo the last Windows update to get the
    screen and the mouse working properly again. It's still quite useable but for how long?

    So I'm thinking about replacing it but have a few concerns and I'd be very grateful for
    any info and advice before I take the plunge (or not).

    I do not want to use Win 7/8 for any longer than absolutely necessary.
    If it were possible, I'd use Windows NT (but it isn't practical to do this of course).
    Windows 10 is supposed to offer a more traditional, efficient desktop environment, so I'm
    happy to give that a go, BUT from 30+ years experience I know that Microsoft tend to
    rush new versions of Windows and put them out in a fragile state.
    Q.1. Should I go for a new laptop now and take the free upgrade to Win 10 (which could
    mean a messy installation)  or wait until Win 10 is available from next month onwards?
    I'm also thinking the price of Win 10 laptops will be hiked up.


    Up to now I've had Toshiba (excellent but a long time ago), Sony (so dreadful that I gave
    up on it and bought -), Dell (excellent and very reliable). Dell and Toshiba laptop reviews
    seem critical of their build quality these days, which bothers me because I can't afford
    another costly mistake like the Sony. I've seen good reports of Asus (over a long period)
    and Acer (which surprises me a bit). Whatever I get has to last really well.
    Q.2. Does anyone have long term experience of Asus, Acer or any other makers' reliability?

    I mainly use the laptop for graphics (not video editing) - Photososhop, Fireworks, Corel
    Draw etc. - and MS Office. 8Gb RAM seems fine at present but I wonder if I should go
    for 12Gb or even 16Gb for a bit of future proofing. Obviously that would put up the cost,
    which I'd rather not do, but I'll grin and bear it if that's what it takes.
    Q.3. Is 8Gb RAM likely to be enough for my needs in future?

    Several laptops have caught my eye -
    Asus X751LA £550 Intel Core i7 8GB RAM
    Acer Aspire VN7 £900 Intel Core i5 16Gb RAM
    ASUS ROG G751JL £1105 12Gb RAM Intel Core i7
    I confess that I hanker after the better screen of the Asus ROG but not its price.
    Q.4. Has anyone used, or have any opinions on, these or similar laptops?

    I haven't worked in IT for years now so I'm out of touch and I'd be really grateful for your
    thoughts on this or any points that I've overlooked.



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    thatguyfromderby

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    Re: Laptop advice please

    Post by thatguyfromderby on Tue 14 Jul 2015, 6:46 pm

    If you're willing to spend £900-1000, wouldn't you be better getting a Mac? They generally last upwards of 4 years. As a graphic designer myself, it handles Photoshop like a dream! You'd just need tot used to the OS, which is far better than anything Windows have come up with. I've had no regrets since making the switch about 5 or 6 years ago.
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    CornwallRam

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    Re: Laptop advice please

    Post by CornwallRam on Tue 14 Jul 2015, 7:57 pm

    I've gat an Acer desktop which has been brilliant for the last three years - never missed a beat.

    I've got a W7 Dell laptop which breaks down regularly and a W8.1 HP laptop which is superb.

    As regards W10 - I've been using it for a couple of months now as a 'Windows Insider'. It is getting more stable with each build and promises to be a great OS. It boots really quickly and handles multi-tasking with ease. It is also intuitive and really easy to use - even more so if you have been putting up with Vista for all these years. Windows 8 is a dog of an OS - 8.1  a little better but still best avoided. If I were you I'd download the preview of Windows 10 and install it as a dual boot OS on your current laptop. It's much less resource heavy than Vista so it should run without any major issues. That way you can trial it for a while.

    Funny what TGFD says about Macs. My wife got one last year as she's an artist and most arty types use them. I've tried really hard to get on with it, but I hate the thing. It won't multi task and everything it does seems laboured. It takes an age to open programmes and the lack of a right click makes the simplest of tasks take half a minute rather than half a second.  It is probably my many years of using PCs, but Macs just don't seem logical. That said, musicians, professional photographers and graphic designers swear by them. Maybe they are brilliant at doing certain tasks?
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    Stockport Ram

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    Re: Laptop advice please

    Post by Stockport Ram on Tue 14 Jul 2015, 9:47 pm

    My vintage Smith Corona deluxe manual Typewriter is fantastic, as long as I get the right part of the ink ribbon..........
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    thatguyfromderby

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    Re: Laptop advice please

    Post by thatguyfromderby on Tue 14 Jul 2015, 10:05 pm

    CornwallRam wrote:I've gat an Acer desktop which has been brilliant for the last three years - never missed a beat.

    I've got a W7 Dell laptop which breaks down regularly and a W8.1 HP laptop which is superb.

    As regards W10 - I've been using it for a couple of months now as a 'Windows Insider'. It is getting more stable with each build and promises to be a great OS. It boots really quickly and handles multi-tasking with ease. It is also intuitive and really easy to use - even more so if you have been putting up with Vista for all these years. Windows 8 is a dog of an OS - 8.1  a little better but still best avoided. If I were you I'd download the preview of Windows 10 and install it as a dual boot OS on your current laptop. It's much less resource heavy than Vista so it should run without any major issues. That way you can trial it for a while.

    Funny what TGFD says about Macs. My wife got one last year as she's an artist and most arty types use them. I've tried really hard to get on with it, but I hate the thing. It won't multi task and everything it does seems laboured. It takes an age to open programmes and the lack of a right click makes the simplest of tasks take half a minute rather than half a second.  It is probably my many years of using PCs, but Macs just don't seem logical. That said, musicians, professional photographers and graphic designers swear by them. Maybe they are brilliant at doing certain tasks?

    You can turn on the right click in the computer preferences, because I came from a PC background.. so you might want to suggest she does that :p You can also add various other gestures to the track pad such as 2 finger scrolling, back/forwards, scaling, rotating, etc.

    It's also great for multi-tasking with the use of hot corners, and the ability to set up spaces.

    I guess as with any system/programme, you have to learn it to get the most out of it.. and I was forced to learn it by working with one at an old job. Having your income depend on something is the best way to learn anything :p
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    Re: Laptop advice please

    Post by RRC on Wed 15 Jul 2015, 1:25 am

    Thanks for the help, folks.

    tgfd, for years my desk was next to that of a real Mac aficionado, a lovely chap, so I've
    heard the message but not been wholly convinced. I won't switch now for two reasons.
    First, I don't want to learn a new system, unless it's massively better than what I have.
    I've had MS-DOS and then Windows since version 1.0 (1985). Win 1-2 were pretty awful.
    I can use Windows without even thinking about it after all this time, so I'll stick with it.
    I've also managed a mainframe Unix system, which worked well, but I always loathed it.
    Second, switching to Mac would involve quite a cost in getting Mac versions of my
    software - probably more than the cost of the new laptop.
    Thanks anyway!

    Stockport, I still have an old portable Olivetti typewriter somewhere. Would that work on
    the web? It could be the neatest, cheapest solution ever!

    CornwallRam, thanks for the very useful info about Acer, HP etc. and Win 10.
    My objection to Windows versions post Vista is connected with the way I use my laptop.
    In my youth, I was a library cataloguer and I organize my folders, files etc in a structured
    manner, so I can locate them quickly via Windows Explorer's Classic Shell. Having icons
    scattered all over the desktop wouldn't work for me. Usually I open a file to start an
    application, rather than opening the application first.

    I've come across a number of programs that can duplicate the Classic Shell in Win 7-10,
    so I'll probably try one of these rather than rely on Microsoft's efforts.
    There's a free one called Classic Shell which looks promising but there are others -


    Once again, thanks to all. If anyone else has any info, advice or opinions on new laptops,
    makers etc, I'm still open to ideas and I'd welcome any input.



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    MadAmster

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    Re: Laptop advice please

    Post by MadAmster on Wed 15 Jul 2015, 8:29 am

    Won't go into why but I would't choose to use any Apple device.

    At home I have a laptop and a desktop that both work really well on W7. I didn't go W8 for several reasons. Among them are that it was (still is?) better if you have a touch screen and I use some programmes that aren't W8 compatible so the laptop and desktop will remain W7 for as long as is possible.

    Since going back working part time in the IT recruitment business I have a works Dell with W8 and I am almost as happy with it as I am my 2xW7s at home.

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