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LordBug

A laptop for my Mum...

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Hi all,

 

My Mum is looking at getting herself a laptop. Budget of $2,000, at a size of 17".

 

I'm pretty keen on Dell myself. Not for specs, not because I have an Inspiron that I love to bits, but because when I bought mine their premium protection package is essentially an insurance contract without an excess. Since she's going to be just doing officey type stuff on it, it doesn't need grunt. But if I can save her having to up her contents insurance a little, then that brand wins.

 

Anyway. Any advice/experience to be shared?

 

Cheers

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Dell offers accidental damage insurance?

 

Whoah. Man, just don't drop the machine or spill anything on it and you'll save yourself a lot of money.

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the non aluminium macbooks.

 

as its your mum, she wont have to worry about virii or spyware.

 

you can also dual boot windows for her.

 

about 1600ish.

http://store.apple.com/au/browse/home/shop.../family/macbook

 

its 13" not 17, but she'll preffer that in the end. get her a screen and a keyboard\mouse with the spare 400, and she'll thankyou down the track.

 

also she'll be 'trendy' with a mac ><

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Ah, good ole helpful atomic. Make comments that ignore reality, ignore the requests, suggest something completely different from what's being asked.

 

With Dell I always wait for a special, they tend to be poor value otherwise.

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Ah, good ole helpful atomic. Make comments that ignore reality, ignore the requests, suggest something completely different from what's being asked.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

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Orcone - It also covers theft. So yeah. Being a person who has dropped a lappy before, and with a Mum who's hell paranoid about thieves (Drove me batty with her rantings about the weekly suburb break-ins), I reckon it's worth a few extra bob. And she appreciates the thought :)

 

MS: Unfortunately, she wants/needs Windows. So that'd be extra money on top of all that. And do they offer cover? I remember stories of a few years back of their warranty process being somewhat nasty, but I never paid that close an attention, so I could be wrong. Thanks for the suggestion though.

 

Tantryl: It's character building ;P I agree though, the every few day-ish specials are what really help push Dell sales.

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+1 to waiting for a worthwhile Dell special.

 

My 2c: get a nice lil 13" Dell + 22" monitor + kb/m. Monitors are more often on special, and she'll like the portability factor - being able to easily take it around places to show off photos, perhaps some mobile internet or even just doing her thing in front of the TV without squashing her lap.

 

EDIT: Dell's doing 15% off it's Vostro notebooks. Just configured a 12" notebook with C2D, 2GB, 22" LCD and 3 yaers of cover for a hair under $1900.

 

DO EEET

Edited by thesorehead

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LB: Apple's warranty process is very good. They frequently (ie: in every case I can remember) top consumer satisfaction reviews in laptops.

 

However, if your mum wants a 17" laptop, then a macbook isn't going to cut it.

I'd avoid any 17" with a shithouse resolution (there is a cheap HP, featured in the windows ads, that springs to mind).

 

I'd get her to go into a store, and compare the weights of different laptops. Go into hardly normal, and get her to heft a 17" laptop, and compare to a 15" laptop. Write down the weights to compare to the dells, and bear in mind sometimes the powerbricks are big, plus she may have to walk a lot with it.

 

The reason I'm raising this, is that in my experience, women who buy big laptops often regret it later. And when they regret it, often they start not carrying it around. Then what's the point in having a laptop. I generally think a god 15.4" screen is better than a 17" screen, once you factor in weight. There is also options like external monitors at home. Some people only need a big screen at home, not on the move. In that case, a 13" laptop with a 22"W screen might be a better option.

 

I don't know how easy it is to use externals on windows laptops, but on macs it works out really well. I'd assume it would be similar, and most laptops should be able to turn off the screen, shut it, and use an external mouse/keyboard no problem.

 

Maybe this doesn't help you, but I thought I'd post it up just in case.

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Hmm, you bring up good points TSH and TB. My apologies to MS for brushing you off too easily :(

 

I'll have to get a hold of my old duck's ear and run these options past her. My understanding is she wasn't going to be moving it around very often, and thus wanted the larger screen for her older eyes (And I've found the 1440x900 screen on my Dell to be really nice). But I can see the logic behind a smaller machine, since she might have reason to take it to work/bring it up to the city when she comes for training etc.

 

Cheers guys :)

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1440x900 is a pretty standard 15.4" resolution.

But you can get 1680x1050 screens for around $250ish, with good colour and refresh rate, at 22" or so.

 

If she's going to want a big screen only when stationary, that's where I'd put the money. Laptops with that res, using a smaller display size, tend to be a lot more expensive. Then again, she may just want the convenience of having it all in one.

 

I find buying a laptop is an extremely hard decision. It's the kind of decision where you know the right choice for you, AFTER you buy the wrong option. :(

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Had a chat with her, and she's adamant on the 17".

She doesn't intend to move it/have to fuss over setting it up (I love her, but I'm not driving 300 kliks to a shitty town to set up a PC for her), and thus doesn't want an external screen. An external keyboard/mouse does grab her fancy though.

 

Just a little annoying that Dell don't seem to let you accessorise a lappy with an added kb/m... I thought they did once though :/

 

Ah well. Thanks for your helpings :)

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I'm using an Asus laptop -15.4" square screen.

Sits on my coffee table. I have a seperate key board and mouse.

Find it on the whole a comfortable set up.

Waltish is sitting beside me at the moment if you want more details...

 

Just thought I'd pipe up and say that I've been using it since Feb - no problems.....

....so far. Am not very adventurous in my usage, still finding my feet. :)

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External KB isn't all that useful on a 17" notebook, 'cause it means you have to set the thing back too far. They already have bigger than normal notebook keyboards in any case.

 

But a Logitech VX Nano (cheap at EB Games/Officeworks right now) would be a good idea. The Nano part means it doesn't have a huge stick for the wireless receiver, just a tiny little USB nub.

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LB: Apple's warranty process is very good. They frequently (ie: in every case I can remember) top consumer satisfaction reviews in laptops.

Except AppleCare in no way covers accidental damage.

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I have an hp that work gave me, works fine (battery lifes a bit small though).

 

But get something you can support. My wifes Parents have a CrApple and everytime something goes wrong they ring me and I spend more time than normal trying to repair it because I don't own an Apple/use OSX. I will admit that it looks pretty though.

 

Dell, as you mentioned seem ok to me. My mom has a Dell and it has been going for ages and ages. Its an old P4 number with a 1024x768 screen and just never seems to die. Its on 24/7 aswell. So yeah, my opinion of Dell is pretty high.

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Dell will sell you anything as long as you PHONE not use the INTERNET, i know i konw its scary, but damn do you get some bargains.

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Dell will sell you anything as long as you PHONE not use the INTERNET, i know i konw its scary, but damn do you get some bargains.

And great support when it breaks.

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Except AppleCare in no way covers accidental damage.

No warranty will ever cover accidental damage.

Any plan covering accidental damage is insurance, whether it's bundled with warranty or not :P~

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Except AppleCare in no way covers accidental damage.

No warranty will ever cover accidental damage.

Any plan covering accidental damage is insurance, whether it's bundled with warranty or not :P~

 

It doesn't stop Apple's warranty offerings being behind the rest of the market, no matter what Apple spin you want to apply.

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It doesn't stop Apple's warranty offerings being behind the rest of the market, no matter what Apple spin you want to apply.

Err, it means the overall bundle might be behind.

It means the included insurance, definitely is (as Apple doesn't offer insurance).

However that's a separate issue to warranty, whether or not it's part of the warranty claim process for manufacturers that offer it.

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Even excluding that, Dell have better on-site coverage.

I don't know enough about Dell's offerings to compare.

 

What I do know, is that Apple's warranty system isn't "nasty" by any stretch.

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It doesn't stop Apple's warranty offerings being behind the rest of the market, no matter what Apple spin you want to apply.

Err, it means the overall bundle might be behind.

It means the included insurance, definitely is (as Apple doesn't offer insurance).

However that's a separate issue to warranty, whether or not it's part of the warranty claim process for manufacturers that offer it.

 

wut?

 

Dell's warranty isn't the same as insurance, is it? Though it would be a cool idea if it was offered as an option for more devices, the trouble is the assessment of risk.

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Dell's warranty isn't the same as insurance, is it? Though it would be a cool idea if it was offered as an option for more devices, the trouble is the assessment of risk.

By it's definition, warranty never includes accidental breakage. Manufacturer's warranty is a guarantee against defect, that a product will work as specified over a given time period after you buy it. Insurance can extend a warranty, but it is not part of warranty.

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Even excluding that, Dell have better on-site coverage.

Which you'll need if you purchase a Dell product

 

A Dell product like the Inspiron one of my colleagues has, which has had 4 onsites this year due to the mainboard.

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