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Old 14th July 2009, 17:01   #1831
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Default Buying advice needed - Laptop

Iam looking to buy a new laptop, primarily for home usage. MS Office, web browsing, and maybe connecting it to my LCD through the VGA cable for movies etc. Primarily looking at 14/15 inch screen size, good enough RAM, decent HDD (not a big factor as I have portable HDDs) and most importantly, good after sales support. GOOD battery life is a key factor, since wife intends to use it for her business and it will be taken around places.

My budget is ~35k and brand preference is Dell. If there are other good brands, please suggest. I already have a Compaq laptop and not too happy with the service/support. Have previosuly owned Toshiba (bad!) and HP (good, but dont like the looks and the short battery life). Would like to stay away from Lenovo (IBM was still better!).

I have shortlisted these 4 models from Dell (after customization). Would really appreciate if gurus can provide their feedback on which config looks the best. I am attaching the PDF of their configs for critique

1. Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop (S540501IN8) - Rs.33,720
2. Dell Inspiron 14 Laptop (S540517IN8) - Rs.41,670
3. Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop (S540503IN8) - Rs.41,950
4. Dell Studio 14 (S540504IN8) - Rs.43,875
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop (S540501IN8).pdf (76.7 KB, 579 views)
File Type: pdf Dell Inspiron 14 Laptop (S540517IN8).pdf (84.0 KB, 292 views)
File Type: pdf Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop (S540503IN8).pdf (75.7 KB, 292 views)
File Type: pdf Dell Studio 14 (S540504IN8).pdf (84.7 KB, 435 views)
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Old 14th July 2009, 17:52   #1832
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How bout Sony? They have got some laptops in the range you have mentioned and are far better in sales/support. Agree that a Sony Laptop in this range would be barebone but then again, you seem to not mind this stuff and want a simple, no-hassle laptop.
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Old 14th July 2009, 18:35   #1833
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I suggest you go for option 3. It has got everything you want.
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Old 14th July 2009, 19:07   #1834
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NIshant a bit OT but do you really need a laptop or you want one? After spending on one(which mostly sits at one place like desktop) 2 years ago I now feel that buying a desktop at that price (47k) would have given me kickAs$ system.

Sorry if this was unwanted advice.
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Old 14th July 2009, 19:17   #1835
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Hi,

I need a basic barebone laptop that does all basic work with following qualities:

1. Needs to be cheap, as cheap as it can get.
2. Decent Battery life.
3. Good Support
4. Screen size is not a major issue

I have already tried Asus EEEPc, and have been bogged down by following problems:

1. Battery and adaptor keeps conking off.
2. Minimal support
3. Screen size wee bit too small.

I need the laptop for use in workshop floor to run diagnostic softwares so HDD, RAM, etc are not big issue. But, laptop will be used in rugged conditions and needs to be cheap.
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Old 14th July 2009, 20:24   #1836
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akhilesh51 View Post
laptop will be used in rugged conditions and needs to be cheap.

IMHO thats a tough combination to get. For workshop floor you would need something comparable to Thinkpad T-Series that can take some abuse.

But that would take in range of industrial PCs that are used as control systems for PLCs in terms of price.
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Old 15th July 2009, 12:09   #1837
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akhilesh51 View Post
Hi,

1. Needs to be cheap, as cheap as it can get.
2. Decent Battery life.
3. Good Support
4. Screen size is not a major issue

I have already tried Asus EEEPc, and have been bogged down by following problems:

1. Battery and adaptor keeps conking off.
2. Minimal support
3. Screen size wee bit too small.

I need the laptop for use in workshop floor to run diagnostic softwares so HDD, RAM, etc are not big issue. But, laptop will be used in rugged conditions and needs to be cheap.

Hmmm, Asus EEE PC is a good option. Which model did you try? The 1000HE has some great reviews and is widely regarded as one of the best netbooks out there

If you need something really tough, then try the Panasonic Toughbook series. Some of them are good as well. And when in doubt about reviews, check out notebookreview.com (not sure about the exaclt url). Their reviews are excellent.
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Old 15th July 2009, 13:32   #1838
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Ok guys, after much thought i bought this laptop a few days ago: is the price fair or expensive for the specs>>

HP Pavilion dv4 Special edition
14.1", C2Duo P8400, 2.4ghz, 4gb ram, 250gb HD@7200rpm, altec lansing speakers, HP HD protection, Nvidia GE force 9200M GS 512mb dedicated, Nvdia HDMI audio, dvd writer dual scribe cum blue ray reader, hdmi port & tv port with remote, SD.MS/Pro.MMC.XD card reader, Vista 34bit home premium, Bit defender antivirus 1yr, optical mouse, 2 carry cases(1 compact HP case & 1 Targus laptop kit bag).
Cost = Rs.61000/-

Notes: sound quality is amazing and quickplay function is gr8. Vista really sucks.
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Old 15th July 2009, 13:56   #1839
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jaysmokes, does it have dvi out ?
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Old 15th July 2009, 14:39   #1840
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Default Reply for nishantgandhi

Hi nishantgandhi,

Let me try to help you in selecting the right laptop for you.
(I am an electronics engineer by profession)

I had purchased a Dell Inspiron 1420 laptop almost 1 year back. No problems till date (touch wood), tech support was never required. But I handle it with care and don't carry it around that much. Almost use it like a desktop.

My colleague had ordered Dell Inspiron 15 laptop a few months back, but somehow got a defective piece. Even then, the tech support were very helpful and offered to replace the laptop with another piece. The replacement is working fine.

What I mean to say is that you are correct in choosing the Dell brand. Quality of product as well as tech support are good.

Now coming to the different models which you have shortlisted.

1. You have mentioned that your wife will need to carry it around for her business. Because of this factor, 15 inch models are simply ruled out. From the portability point of view, 13 inch models are the best, but I guess they are out of your budget. Doesn't matter, we still have 14 inch models left. In my personal opinion, 14 inch laptops are the perfect trade-off between portability and usability.

2. Selecting one from Inspiron 14 and Studio 14 seems to be a no-brainer to me.
(i) Inspiron 14 is cheaper
(ii) Inspiron 14 has LED display
(iii) Inspiron 14 has GMA X4500 graphics
(iv) Inspiron 14 has 802.11n

3. One point where Studio 14 scores higher than Inspiron 14 is that Studio 14 has a HDMI port. May be useful if your LCD TV also has one. But if your LCD TV doesn't have the HDMI port or if you are satisfied with the picture quality using the VGA port, then this factor can be ruled out.

I would also like to give some unwanted advice.

1. You can save some money if you choose only 3GB of RAM. It doesn't make sense to get 4 GB RAM (unless you are buying 1x4GB) if you are going to use it only for browsing/MS office/home use. My laptop has 2 GB RAM and has decent performance with Vista Home Premium. 3 GB would be more than sufficient, 4 GB would be totally useless.

2. You could think about getting a 9 cell battery. It would make the laptop slightly heavier to carry, but will almost double the battery backup. Having extra battery backup can be useful for people on the move. Ask your wife, whether she'll prefer a heavier laptop with more battery backup, or a lighter one which is easier to carry around but needs to be charged more frequently.

3. Whatever you do, don't forget to purchase a good anti-virus. It works out to be cheaper if you buy it from the OEM. I purchased a 15 month subscription to Norton anti-virus. Does the job, but slows down the system when it is scanning for viruses.

Hope it was helpful.

Do let us know what you decided.

Rohan,
Bangalore
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Old 15th July 2009, 23:41   #1841
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Hi nishantgandhi,

Let me try to help you in selecting the right laptop for you.
(I am an electronics engineer by profession)

I had purchased a Dell Inspiron 1420 laptop almost 1 year back. No problems till date (touch wood), tech support was never required. But I handle it with care and don't carry it around that much. Almost use it like a desktop.
.................................................. ......
I would like to defer from your opinion . I am studying in a B-School and has been previously working for around 3 years . I have a great interest in brand building. I have been studying about the effect on consumer perception on the brand Compaq after HP took over and how thinkpad as a brand emerged stronger than Lenevo even after Lenevo took over IBM etc. In short I have been following this industry a bit closely.

After speaking to a lot of notebook users I have come to know that before they buy dell you ask any of them the best laptop brand and they will say "Dell" without a blink and I myself am one who is been mesmerised by the Aura of the brand DEll but people who have tasted dell mostly had a bad experience .At first I thought it was because the Vostro and the Inspiron lot that came to my college was defective but on interacting with students from other college the scene is pretty much the same . Trouble ->Service ->Trouble ->Service ->Trouble ->Service . The cycle just continues.
Dell has amazing support coz it needs it. The scene out here is pretty bad . There is a friend of mine owning XPS 1530(was personally impressed by the finish of the laptop when I first saw it) who has literally changed the whole damn thing one after another . Its so frustrating. Now at the moment am in the market for buying a new lappie. The first thing I did was cancel Dell out of my list .

I'd rather pay some extra and get a better quality machine than buy something cheaper and get it overlooked every month by someone after calling them up !!

I suggest you look at Toshiba (great build quality) or Sony in Ebay. They may not have as good service network as Dell but you can be assured that you wont need to use that much.

Am EEE engineer from MIT , Manipal pursuing my MBA in retail Managment at Birla Institute of management , Delhi .
Presently owning a Sony VGN-FJ78 GP. (having Pentium M760 Donathat processor)

Last edited by maxbhp : 15th July 2009 at 23:49.
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Old 16th July 2009, 09:38   #1842
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Default HP Laptops - excellent performance & reliability

I shall vouch for HP laptops from experience. My 1st laptopHP Compaq nx7400 was purchased 3 years ago. I use it here in the desert in the middleeast. I use it in desert camps when I go camping, in the car, office, home, etc. It has been subjected to hostile temperatures and weather conditions.
It gets a vacumm cleaner treatment every 15 days since 2 years to extract sand and dust from the speakers and keyboard. It still works trouble free and i have not had to use their service and warranty either.
Having given the first one to my buddy, Iam now on my second HP(purchased few days ago) and I feel it is paisa vasool with no regrets.

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 16th July 2009 at 09:40.
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Old 16th July 2009, 14:51   #1843
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hi maxbhp,

You seem to have a different opinion about Dell because of your past experiences. Thats totally fair. Everyone is entitled to have different opinions. Thats why these public forums are so useful, we can learn from each others experiences (mostly bad ones)

But you seem to have extrapolated what I said about Dell. All I said was, based on my (and my friends') good experience with Dell laptops, I can recommend Dell laptops to others looking to buy a laptop in Rs 35K-45K price range. I never said that Dell makes the best laptops or that other brands should not be considered at all.

Buying a laptop is just like buying a car. There is no perfect car for everyone and there is no perfect laptop for everyone. All car companies have different car models - some meant for cost conscious customers, some meant for performance hungry people (like most team-bhpians) and some meant for elite customers. Similarly, all computer manufacturers have many different series of laptops - some meant for cost conscious customers like students and home users, some meant for gaming enthusiasts, some meant for business users and some meant for frequent travelers.

When we are comparing cars from different manufacturers, we always compare cars in the same segment (hatchback, sedan, SUV) and similar price tag. Similarly, when we are comparing laptops from different brands we should compare laptops in the same price range and laptops meant for similar usage.

I have heard many people crib about the build quality of Dell Inspiron laptops. These people will compare a Dell Inspiron (meant for students/home users) with an IBM thinkpad (which is meant for business users and costs twice as much). Such kinds of comparisons are not fair. We should always compare apples to apples, it doesn't make any sense to compare apples to oranges. (I don't know whether this statement make any sense)

Another point is that some cars (even from reputed manufacturers) may have some well known problems like leakages/faulty part/breakdowns (especially in the first batch). But that does not mean that we stop buying cars from that manufacturer for the rest of our lives. The manufacturer needs some time to rectify the faults in the next batch of cars. Also, other cars from the same manufacturer may be totally trouble free.

Similarly, some series of laptops from some manufacturers may be known to have more faults/failures. It does not mean that you need to avoid all laptops from that brand for the rest of your life.

I have also heard some of my friends complaining about faults in their Compaq, HP and Toshiba laptops. But that does not mean that I should blacklist all these companies.

When buying a laptop, one has to decide his requirements and budget (approximately) and then start looking for different models from different manufacturers. When I was looking for a laptop in Rs 35K-45K price range, I found that Dell provided the best package in terms of :

1. Best configuration for the price
2. Ability to customise your laptop
3. Satisfactory reliability and looks
4. Satisfactory overall build quality
5. Satisfactory after sales support

Again, this is just my personal opinion. Different people can have different opinions based on their requirements and past experiences.

Finally, the reliability of even the best car depends on how well the owner maintains it. Different cars require different levels of maintenance, but a bare minimum care has to be taken even for the most rugged vehicles. Similarly, the reliability of your laptop also depends on how you treat it. If you are going to throw it around, you can't expect it to last long.

Let us all pledge to treat our cars and laptops with utmost care !

Rohan,
Bangalore
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Old 16th July 2009, 15:55   #1844
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My 2 cents on Dell -
I bought a Dell Studio 14 in march this year.
Till today no probs(touchwood).
Ram is 3 gb and i had used 4gb also and honestly i couldn't find a difference so save money and get 3gb ram,more than enough.

I was using a Sony Vaio VGN series before this. The only place it scores over Dell is the touchpad is better and the screen resolution is better,rest Dell wins hands down.

Also the pricing- I got Vaio at 68k with no discounts.
Dell was bought at 43k, it was for 47k but thanks to a t-bhpian i got some discount on it.
Dell support is excellent as 3 more friends are using it.
I will recommend it highly and go for studio 14, a friend of mine is using an Inspiron 1545 and he himselfs find my machine better always.
Also i will suggest dont go for 9 cell battery as it will make your laptop heavier and yes you do feel the extra weight!
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Old 16th July 2009, 17:09   #1845
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i have the studio 15 and it works perfect.im really satisfied with it.
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