Volkswagen Mark IV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in the dark ages I used to be a computer 'engineer' (I use the term engineer because others do, I'd say more like useless lying cowboy like all the others in IT support but I digress) and I used to have to fix a lot of laptops for my clients.

I found many of them were extremely poorly built with shoddy design. However there were a few I liked because although not the best spec they were built like the proverbial crapper made of bricks. The best in those days were IBM thinkpads, does anyone have any experience of their recent models build quality? Most important to me are a useable keyboard and a good screen as well as wifi, DVD burning and the other usual stuff. I'm not bothered about processor speed bragging rights and have no preference for Intel or AMD.

I used to like some of the DEC laptops but obviously they don't exist any more being Compaq (or HP if you prefer). Can anyone recommend any of the Compaq units.

I'd also consider DELL at a push.

Any brands I've missed out on or specific model recommendations would be helpful. I'll be buying this sight unseen because I don't want to buy one here in France with a stinking AZERTY keyboard. Thus the need for personal recommendations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,182 Posts
The current IBM's are still very good, but not quite as good as they used to be since the notebook division was sold off to Lenovo.  Have a look also at the current Acer range, they get great reviews and build quality is great.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for that, ACER used to be crap when I knew about such things but I'm aware things change fast in the wonderful world of technology. I'll take a look at them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
I would get a T-series ThinkPad even though the quality levels have dipped slightly since IBM sold out to Lenovo.

I've just purchased a 2nd hand ThinkPad T41 (1.6ghz Centrino) which still has 2.5 years of warranty left... my previous machine was a Panasonic Toughbook so my expectations were pretty high.

My thoughts on the T41

  • Battery life is exemplary (Centrino benefits)
  • Very quick with ATI 32MB graphic card (no shared memory integrated cr*p)
  • Solid build quality
  • Bright, sharp 14.1" screen with zero dead pixels
  • Keys have good tactile feedback and the keyboard doesn't flex in the middle like cheaper models.
  • IBM access is useful, especially the one-click driver upgrade process
  • Complete restore of OS from the BIOS
  • 3-yr warranty as standard
  • Quiet hard disks that don't click incessently
  • Black rules.. I hate the cheapy two-tone silver-purple finishes on Vaios etc..
  • Ebay is full of cheap, genuine spare parts e.g. docking stations, batteries, screens, motherboards etc.. (often new and sealed)

This machine will handle pretty much anything you throw at it and pristine 2nd hand models can be had for around ?400.

C
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
I love the new IBM z60m range, if you go fo the higher models these have titanium lids, but all have hard-disc active protection, fingerprint scanners, 15.4" widescreen etc etc, lovely machines and we sell some for ?800 + VAT.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The new IBM's are probably overkill for me. It's looking like a thinkpad is the best choice for me although ACER make some nice looking kit these days from what I've seen.

The IBM has the benefit of ready parts supply and I'm confident should anything go wrong that I can still strip down a laptop. Plus they're black and that's cool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,035 Posts
all i'm going to say is check out apples new stuff it blows everything else away. I use a mac at home and wouldnt go back to normal pc's etc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,528 Posts
Right I used to mage a huge fleet of laptops... here smy opinion

want it to last and travel and be a good all rounder and be reasonably
tough........ and have cheap replacemnt parts and batterys...
Thinkpad... no questions asked....... it is the VW golf of Laptop
world... not the best at on thing but the best all rounder and will do
200000 miles easy, but a little more pricey

Want bling... and look smart with the best screen, but crap plastics
and longevity and a very shoddy battery............. (sorry J.mcqueen
but Im witing this off one too) it is like the Ferrari of the
laptop world... looks great but its expensive and delicate

Want cheap and practical, and good quality...... buy a dell......
not the best at one thing but great all round great value....... like a
modern skoda

and HP well thats like a ford or vauxhall

I would budget in a decent USB hard disk... and use it to back it up
regularily, as laptops get knicked and hard drives fail.... even on
IBM's
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
774 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Andy, as I said at the top of the thread I used to be an IT monkey and have done my fair share of laptop imaging myself.

Bling is of no importance whatsoever to me. More important are the interfaces with the machine ie screen and keyboard, along with a modicum of power and build quality.

From my experiences I'd always thought IBM were the best I just wondered if this was still the case as it's been a good few years since I was at the coal face.

Backup wise there's a whole bunch of laptop HDD's sitting around in the engineer's den at work so I'd just image the laptop disk and restore it to one of those, probably much quicker than a USB solution although I've never tried it. The joy of swap outs and corporate laxity.

Seems they are still the best bet, thanks to everyone for confirming it.

Have to say JMcQueen that ?150 off the new list price for a 6 month old laptop seems well OTT. I'd rather spend the extra ?150 and get a brand new one. Good luck with the auction though despite those comments, you never know with ebay, I just paid ?20 more than the brand new price to secure an item I wanted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,626 Posts
Dont wish to hijack the thread but Im selling a Sony Vaio on ebay at the moment should anyone be interested. Does everything that I've wanted it to and only selling due to a frebbie from work.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8772519855&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&rd=1

Screen is excellent, burns DVD's and has Wifi.
I've got the FS115B, really nice machine, though the dual lamp X-Black screen eats the battery at an alarming rate. The very same battery in the S Series lasts well over three hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
That is the 'buy it now price' I've actually set the reserve price a fair bit lower. I too was very scepticle of Sony before buying it. I had heard about the delicate hinges and batteries that need replacing etc but I can hand on heart say that Ive been impressed with the Vaio. Its built a damn sight better than the Acer I had before it which died after the onboard graphics failed and also the Toshiba unit I've had which was fast but built like crap. The keyboard has a nice tactile feel to it and its extremely thin, light and has a decent amount of power too. The battery life is good too, If I turn the screen down to a low brightness level I can get around 5 hours use not connected to a power supply.

Sure its no Toughbook and if you abuse it, it will get damaged but then what laptop wouldnt? Horses for courses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
Can you turn the brightness down on the screen? I found that helps alot and also when I disconnect mine from a power source it automatcally reduces processor usage to preserve battery life. This can be turned off but reduces battery life. Mines currently recharging after use last night but once its fully charged I'll disconnect and experiment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
I'd go IBM or HP to in all honesty. I repair/work on HP laptops at work, and the best one I've imaged so far is the NW8240. Screen res goes up to 1920x1200, 2.26Ghz, 2Gb RAM and an optional 7200rpm drive make a very steady and fast laptop. However, I think the base model is around ?1k with the 1.7 or 1.8Ghz processor. Only problem we've had with these is taking data from a mobile phone via infra-red, as it's blue screened a few times, but I think that's due to the software rather than the laptop.

The beauty of the HP laptops is they're pretty easy to open up and upgrade or repair if need be.

If you like Mac, then go with the Macbook Pro, that's what I would choose all day long. I currently have a G4 PowerBook, and it's the best laptop I've ever used and never had 1 spot of bother with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
I must admit Im struggling to find what im looking for too. I was going to get one of the new macbook pro's but they're not shipping for 3-4 weeks and even then demand is expected to out strip supply. I dont know if I can be without a laptop for that long.

Is this too much to ask for?

Dual core (AMD or Intel) processor
1gb RAM expandable to at least 2gb
min 80gb harddrive (the faster the better)
Excellent quality screen (15")
Excellent graphics performance
Light and portable

It all spells Macbook pro to me but its just that infuriating wait time...
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top