[ubuntu-uk] Laptops

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Sat Mar 13 10:43:19 GMT 2010

Liam Proven wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 9:00 PM, Rob Beard <rob at esdelle.co.uk> wrote:
>> Hi folks,
>> Well the time has come where my mum and step-dad have decided to get on
>> t'internet so they're looking for a laptop.  They were planning on
>> getting me to go with them to PC World to help choose one, but I've
>> convinced them to hang fire for a week so I can look into what is out there.
>> It's been about 3 months since I last really looked into laptops, the
>> last one I recommended was for my Dad.  It was a Compaq CQ-61 15.6"
>> notebook with about 3GB Ram, a 160GB hard drive and a Pentium Dual Core
>> CPU for about £350.
>> However I've got a few friends with HP and Compaq machines which have
>> died through motherboard failures.
>> Now I've got an Acer Aspire 2920 (12.1" Core 2 Duo) myself which I
>> managed to get from Comet so I'm quite partial to Acers.
>> Anyway, I've been having a look at what is available and in only 3
>> months the market seems to have been flooded with low power notebooks
>> with 1.2 and 1.3Ghz Pentium Dual Core and Athlon Neo CPUs.
>> My mum & step-dad don't need anything super fast, they want to do basic
>> web browsing (my step-dad has been made redundant recently and looking
>> for a new job seems to be easier with internet access, especially
>> considering a fair few bigger employers seem to have stupid online
>> application forms!).  They'll also want to do e-mail, and possibly a bit
>> of basic photo editing.
>> So I'm thinking anything made in the past couple of years would be
>> suitable.  I was thinking maybe a pre-owned machine but I think for my
>> peace of mind they might be better going for a new machine.
>> They have a budget of up to £500 although I think realistically they'd
>> probably be looking nearer the £350 to £400 mark.
>> I've seen an Acer Extensa for under £315 at Aria...
>> http://tinyurl.com/ycox8mg
>> It's got a 15.6" widescreen display, 1.8GHz Dual Core Celeron T3000 CPU,
>> 160GB hard drive and 1GB Ram.  I guess this would be plenty for Ubuntu,
>> the hard drive again would be plenty (I'd probably suggest they buy an
>> external hard drive maybe to occasionally backup the laptop onto).
>> My only concerns are the Intel GL40 graphics, and the Acer wireless
>> (although it appears to be Atheros wireless).
>> Just wondered if anyone else had this particular model running Ubuntu or
>> had any other suggestions?
> General suggestions:
>  - Avoid anything with a Celeron or "Pentium Dual-Core". They're
> cut-down chips & crippled. Get a Core 2 Duo as a minimum. (Or an AMD.)
Actually I have a Pentium Dual Core in the wife's PC and it runs fine, 
sure it has a bit less cache but for what my parents want it would do 
the job.
>  - There are often bargains to be had from the surplus clearance
> houses. My current laptop came from Sterling XS:
> http://www.sterlingxs.co.uk/
> Morgan's is under new ownership but deals may still be had:
> http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/
Cool, I'll have a look.


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