New laptop...

Which platform's best for photography? How much RAM do you really need? Discuss computer hardware here!

Moderators: Bob Andersson, Thomas, Bjorn van Sinttruije

New laptop...

Postby podgeorge » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:40 pm

So im looking at getting a new laptop, as the insurance is coughing up for my old one which is now broken. But im not sure what to get! :?
I have around £575 to play with which instantly rules out a macbook (unfortunately!), but i have found some decent laptops and was wondering if you could give me your opinions or any other recommendations!
I will be using the laptop for light computing needs, mainly being web browsing, iTunes, storing/browsing photos (no heavy editing), watching films and Skype. So basically a students laptop
I have narrowed it down to either getting an Ultra portable or a normal full sized/powered laptop. I have so far particularly found the Asus UL30 to be a great CULV laptop choice, but i'm not sure if i need something a little more powerful or not! :? I could also get something like a Sony Vaio E series/Dell Studio instead which would offer me more power, but far less battery life and portability.
Bearing in mind i have a Quad-Core powerful desktop for all my heavy needs, what sort of laptop would you go for (or even another model....any recommendations?)?
Thanks in advance!

Dell Studio: ... &cs=ukdhs1

Sony Vaio E Series:

Asus UL30:

Postby Citruspers » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:05 pm

I would rule out the Studio, and get an Inspiron (1545) instead. I got the inspiron (cheapest body, and 15.6 inch) and totally maxed it out for 800 euros (they had a sale). In your case you may want to skimp on the processor, and keep the default battery (6 cells). You should get around 3 hours of battery life with a cheap T-series processor and a 6-cells battery, which is fine for college. The laptop is also quite small and light when compared to a 17 inch model.
I take pictures so quickly, my highschool was "Continuous High".
User avatar
Posts: 6010
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:59 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Postby mikek75 » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:13 pm

Given you have a pokey desktop PC already I'd go for the Asus. For the uses you specify you don't need a powerful processor (and anyway, a C2D @1.3ghz is pretty good as the architecture is very efficient). I'd value the portability and 12hr (!) battery life very highly. Its a bit like a camera ina way, the smaller and handier it is the more likely you'll have it with you.

Second choice would be the Dell, I think you'd need to spec it up a bit from the base model though, with a 64bit os 2gb is scraping the barrel a bit.
Canon EOS 50D/EF-S 18-55mm IS/EF-S 55250mm IS/EF 50mm F1.8 II /Lowepro AW Slingshot 200/ Digital Ixus 860 IS

PC>Q6700/MSI P45 Zilent/6GB 800mhz DDR2/2x 4870 1GB/Samsung Spinpoint F1 500GB/Maxtor 200GB+80GB

My Flickr
User avatar
Posts: 298
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:38 pm
Location: Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Postby Citruspers » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:42 pm

Meh, my windows 7 ultimate uses 800 MB in general use (and that's with prefetch etc. on). 2 GB will be enough for regular use
I take pictures so quickly, my highschool was "Continuous High".
User avatar
Posts: 6010
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:59 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Postby pgtips » Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:56 pm

Get the Asus. Do not underestimate the value of portability.

Postby podgeorge » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:28 pm

Thanks for the opinions and tips guys, thats really helped! I think im fairly set on the Asus, unless anybody can tempt me with anything else!?!?!?!?
Thanks guys!

Postby grahamnp » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:28 am

Since you've already got a good desktop, go with the Asus. I see so many other students around uni spend the first 10 minutes of every lecture looking for a powerpoint and setting up the charger , this isn't a problem for me with my macbook pro and you'll have an even bigger advantage with the Asus. You don't want to get caught up with battery life problems. Most laptops may have enough battery life for most things when new but the capacity drops off pretty sharply so take that into account.

Another plus point is the size and weight, I didn't think much of it at first but the weight makes quite a bit of difference when you're carrying it around a lot.

Postby thelostswede » Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:20 pm

I'd hang on just for a wee bit, as Asus have new models coming with the new ultra low powered Core i5 processors within the next month or so. That is if you can wait that long. The model is the UL30JT.
Check out Asus' upcoming models here
The bigger and heavier U30Jc has already gone on sale in some markets, but it's using a standard mobile Core i3 processor which is a lot more battery hungry.
I'm quite keen on the UL30JT myself so :D

Postby keystrokesuk » Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:40 pm

I have around £575 to play with which instantly rules out a macbook (unfortunately!)
Unless you buy a used machine. For a little over your budget £650 you can have an Intel core 2 duo Macbook with 2GB of RAM and 160GB disk drive.

Have a look at the CEX website (

Also if you know any students or college lecturers find out what discounts are available, anything up to 30% is not unheard of.
Nikon D90
Nikkor AF-S DX; 18-105 f/3.5-5.6G VR, 55-300 f/4.5-5.6G VR, 35mm f/1.8G
Speedlight SB-700
User avatar
Posts: 579
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:52 pm
Location: Scotland

Postby mikel1291979 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:39 am

Have you looked at MSI? They are fairly new to the laptop world, but have been making components for years.
I have just purchased the A6200 with 4 gigs of ram, i5 processor, with a 15.6 screen and all the bells and whistles. They keyboard is chicklet style (same style as the macbook). Also has an integrated HDMI port so I can hook it up to my HD tv when I edit images.
All for about $600.00 US.

Postby thelostswede » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:14 pm

MSI's build quality leaves a lot to be desired.
They have pretty good features, but I'm not a big fan of their chassis design and quality. The MSI chassis are very flexible, which isn't always a good thing. But then again, the same goes for a lot of the new Sony models...

Postby mikel1291979 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 5:15 am

I havent had any problems with MSI build quality to date. Honestly my machine feels more solid than my last Gateway and Dell. Case by case basis I guess.

Postby AnderssonPhoto » Sun May 02, 2010 11:12 pm

I'd say for the Asus UL80VT instead... its not that expensive
Equipment: A blend of Canon, Nikon, Yashica, Leica, Voigtlander, Samyang and Sigma. All of which you can see on my website!
Wishlist: Leica M 240, Summilux 50 ASPH, Summilux 24 ASPH
User avatar
Posts: 716
Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:07 pm
Location: Taiwan / Sweden / Scotland

Return to Computer hardware and operating systems

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest