Silent Film
Hey folks,

I was recommended this site for tech advice.

Basically I'm looking to buy a laptop and after a few days of researching on my own (and getting nowhere) I though I'd ask the experts instead!

I'm looking for a laptop that I will use mainly for development (I mostly use either the Eclipse, Visual Studio, and Carbide IDE's), and general stuff like office and browsing.

I won't be using it for gaming or anything so a stellar CPU is not required and I want to keep costs down as a much as possible. RAM may be important and I think I'll need at least a 1gig.

I've never owned a laptop before so I'm not really aware what the major differences are between the processor types. Though I have been looking around and this caught my eye: Acer Aspire w/ AMD Turion 64 MK-36

The specs generally suit my needs, I think, but it is a single-core CPU. For slightly more there is this dual core laptop: Acer Aspire w/ Core 2 Duo T5500

But that one only comes with 512 megs of RAM.

How do these two compare generally? Is it really worth going for a dual core?

I really don't know, any pointers would be appreciated.
Super Dave
Any laptop that will handle Vista Home Premium, like in your first link, should be sufficient. Stay away from computers that advertise Vista Home Basic, as they are probably lacking decent hardware. The laptop in your second link, with only 512MB of RAM, might work just fine with it's Windows XP Media Center Edition. Do you have a preference as to which Windows operating system you want? Click HERE to see the system requirements comparison for Vista Premium and Vista Basic. If I had to decide between the two, I would pick the Turion with Vista. But that is just my opinion.
Silent Film
The main thing regarding the OS, is that the software I use functions correctly and as far as I'm aware the main IDE's I use are all Vista compatible. So I'd probably go for Vista.

About battery life; both of those listed state 2.5 hours which presumably is a best case scenario for each. But I've been told the Intel CPUs, and especially the dual core, are more power efficient. I can only guess there's no significant difference in practice, or the Acer website just doesn't reflect this.
Personally I have heard few thing bad about Acer, the only Acer that has outstanding review is the Ferrari one, My advice is if you could get a Dell, they are good money for the value, I got a E1505 and is awesome (of course i made some changes) like got 2g from newegg (667mhz) and got a t7200. (end up being cheaper that way) but it has been stable which is what matters. Also Asus got a good line of lappy which are freaking awesome (better than Alienware) in my opinion. Check them out if you want.
Silent Film
Thanks for the replies. I just took a quick five minute look at the Dell website and the prices seem quite reasonable. I will examine it more this evening when I have more time.

One thing though, is it easy to upgrade Dell laptops? Say, in the future I want to upgrade the memory can I simply buy a memory stick and install it myself, or do I have to buy specific parts from Dell, or even get them to do it?
Silent Film
I looked more into Dell and I like how you can customise your setup, however I'm at a bit of a loss as to why shipping is 60GBP.
Silent Film
Okay, I've decided to go for a Dell Inspiron 6400. I'm just no sure which exact setup to go for.

Basically I can choose between either

A) Intel Dual Core Processor T2080 (1.73 GHz, 1 MB L2 cache, 533 MHz FSB)

B) Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T5300 (1.73 GHz, 2 MB cache, 533 MHz FSB)

There's not obvious differnce other than the extra 1MB cache, but there is a GBP 100 price difference - is it worth it? I mean am I going to see any significant performace difference?
😎 reason you could later upgrade the CPU to a T7**** when the prices goes down, I bought mine E1505 (6400) when they came out and I love it (did some minors mod but had to say i love it and i love it) first thing if you are going to go with DELL, as soon as you open that box erase the heck out of that HDD, DELL load those pc's with endless useless crap.
another thing that did was got 2 sticks of 2g each (I know I know about XP but i'm getting vista ready) and swap the CPU which was just cheaper instead of ordering a t7200 with the lappy.
Hope you like my comments btw i got with the X1300, I've seen few X1400 in Ebay's I'm thinking of doing a swap so hope that inspired you
Silent Film
eheh, that was one of my concerns about buying from somewhere like Dell - the extra junk these companies typically put on. I hope Dell supply an OS disc in case I want to perform a clean install at some later point.

I am going to order the T5300 spec. About upgrading the CPU though that an easy thing to do? I've done it many times for my desktop, but I kind of had it in my mind laptops weren't very mod/upgrade friendly.
HELL NO, you got to order aside (it comes with the stupid key which you could use in a different OS of the same kind e.g. if you order a lappy with XP Pro Sp2 then it would come with the key but not with the cd)
Upgrading a CPU in a lappy is the most fun Sh*t you could do, if you got a lot of patience got a bottle of jack daniel then you will do ok. (don't lose the freaking screws) I lost 2 my cat slap them hehehe while i went to the bathroom either way Dell has manuals so have fun and if got any question let me know i'll help you
elven wizard
Laptops that I have had -

Compaq Presario v4000 with a x700 mobility card. This computer was a disappointment lots of overheating issues barely a year old. Has a cheap quality to it also. It wouldn't even play Doom 3 on the lowest settings. I just used it for the internet for low load power usage,and it still overheated ! Found out I should of looked into this Laptop before buying because alot of people have had problems with Compaq laptops.

Dell XPS - 7800 gtx card. this laptop was a awesome wish I never sold it but needed the money. Played it for two years almost around the clock between me and freinds taking turns. Flawless ! Never overheated, never any problems. Ran all games with a buttery smoth framerate on the highest setting. I will get another Dell XPS !

hope this helps