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Old 22-04-2013, 01:10
coachtrip_fan99
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Hi

I am going to university this year and I'm after a new laptop......

at the moment I have a HP probook .. but its a few years old, scratched, heavy, and freezes occasionaly.

I also have a HP netbook, but thats very slow, and too small to type on comfortably for any length of time!

I am looking for something in-between - maybe 13 or 14 inch screen... lightweight.... can fit into a "man bag"

Ive spent hours looking online and am a bit baffled by all the choice.

I'd spend about 500
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Old 22-04-2013, 01:22
CaptainObvious_
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I recommend the HP envy 4-1101ea ultrabook. Very nice to use
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Old 22-04-2013, 02:54
evil c
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I don't believe it but I've just spent 2 hours comparing laptop reviews to answer your question. The result of this is that it comes down to 2 machines, the Acer Aspire S3-391 with i5-3317U 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 20GB SSD, LAN, WLAN, Integrated Graphics HD 4000, Windows 8 64-bit or the Samsung Series 5 NP530U3C with i3-3217U 1.8GHz, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 25GB SSD, LAN, WLAN, Integrated Graphics HD 4000, Windows 8 64-bit.

Neither of them has a DVD drive but you didn't ask for this anyway. You could always buy a portable drive cheaply. Both machines are easily portable because of this.

The Acer has 2 x USB 3.0 ports, whereas the Samsung has 2 x USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0. Here'a link to the main differences between the processors explained in more or less non-technical terms (sort of): http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=1212898.

Both have fast startup, similar screens, nearly excellent performance (for the price), good keyboards, are well constructed, similar battery times, the same graphics capabilities and equally poor sound, but what do you expect from a laptop this size? Headphones is the solution here.

The Acer doesn't have an ethernet port or the faster 5GHz wi-fi connection, whereas the Samsung does have these. I can't see any other laptops that come close to these two and meet your price and 'man bag' requirements and they are both very capable machines.

The main difference is the price; the Acer is 470 and the Samsung 530, and that's down to the extra RAM and the ethernet/5GHz of the Samsung. See links: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Acer-Aspire-.../dp/B009R16Z7K and http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computi...56549-pdt.html
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Old 22-04-2013, 13:26
coachtrip_fan99
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Hi

Wow, thank you. I really didn't expect anybody to go to so much trouble! But appreciate it anyway.

I've looked at both of those and they both seem suitable. There's no need for an optical drive (I can't even remember the last time I used one) and portability is more important to me anyway.

And I'm not fussed about the sound really. I won't be using it for listening to music or anything.

I do have 5ghz WiFi at home, so that might be useful. Plus the extra ram might be good.

It really just depends if I can stretch to the extra 60! So I'll be saving up as much as I can!

Thanks again
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Old 17-05-2013, 22:12
coachtrip_fan99
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I don't believe it but I've just spent 2 hours comparing laptop reviews to answer your question. The result of this is that it comes down to 2 machines, the Acer Aspire S3-391 with i5-3317U 1.7GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 20GB SSD, LAN, WLAN, Integrated Graphics HD 4000, Windows 8 64-bit or the Samsung Series 5 NP530U3C with i3-3217U 1.8GHz, 6GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 25GB SSD, LAN, WLAN, Integrated Graphics HD 4000, Windows 8 64-bit.

Neither of them has a DVD drive but you didn't ask for this anyway. You could always buy a portable drive cheaply. Both machines are easily portable because of this.

The Acer has 2 x USB 3.0 ports, whereas the Samsung has 2 x USB 2.0 and 1 USB 3.0. Here'a link to the main differences between the processors explained in more or less non-technical terms (sort of): http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=1212898.

Both have fast startup, similar screens, nearly excellent performance (for the price), good keyboards, are well constructed, similar battery times, the same graphics capabilities and equally poor sound, but what do you expect from a laptop this size? Headphones is the solution here.

The Acer doesn't have an ethernet port or the faster 5GHz wi-fi connection, whereas the Samsung does have these. I can't see any other laptops that come close to these two and meet your price and 'man bag' requirements and they are both very capable machines.

The main difference is the price; the Acer is 470 and the Samsung 530, and that's down to the extra RAM and the ethernet/5GHz of the Samsung. See links: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Acer-Aspire-.../dp/B009R16Z7K and http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computi...56549-pdt.html
Is this the same product you suggested? http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/laptop...FaTItAodLhIAYA

only with a 128gb SSD.... ( I think a SSD makes things load faster, and is more robust than standard hard drive?)

Its just that quidco are doing 5% discount plus 1.5% cashback from PC world at the moment, so it would come in at 496

(same thing is 559 on amazon)
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Old 17-05-2013, 22:25
DeelyBopper
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Was going to suggest something but whatever I say will pale in comparison to 2 hours of research!

Altruism lives on. I doff my hat to evil c
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Old 17-05-2013, 23:12
BenFranklin
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those SSD drives look far too small, you may as well not bother with an SSD drive to be honest.
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Old 17-05-2013, 23:17
coachtrip_fan99
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those SSD drives look far too small, you may as well not bother with an SSD drive to be honest.
its plenty enough for me.

The laptop Im using now (for 3-4 years) 33.6gb is being used up in total.

I don't store data on any of my computers - I have a 2TB network drive.

Speed is more important to me than storage space
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Old 17-05-2013, 23:56
evil c
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I haven't done any research on the differences between a standard hard disk and an SSD so can't comment, other than to say I believe the SSD is considerably faster on read and access times, but the integrated HD graphics on the PC World machine only has the 3000 Sandy Bridge rather than the 4000 Ivy Bridge. The 4000 is 50% faster according to this link: http://compare-processors.com/7000/7000/. I have read plenty of comparisons before now all of which say that the 4000 is a significant improvement on the 3000, but it's down to you of course.

Whether there are any DSers who have used both cards side by side and can categorically say that for general purpose browsing and normal use the 4000 is worth having, I don't know. It's always hard translating benchmark testing to real world use. How valid is benchmark testing anyway, except as a topic for discussion amongst geeks?

I see if you buy the Acer on Amazon with the 500GB HDD it's only 429, 67 cheaper than your deal. Annoyingly it doesn't have the 20GB SSD and I should have spotted that before. The Amazon machine has the 4000 graphics as well.

So it comes down to 128GB SSD and 3000 or 500GB HDD and 4000 and save 67.

That's another hour I've spent comparing specs. I wish I could get my hands on all these laptops and do a proper comparison. I get fed up reading statistics all the time because it's not only the components, but how they work in conjunction with one another, and how they are configured.

How well a PC/laptop works is as much to do with the user as the electronics.
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Old 18-05-2013, 00:14
coachtrip_fan99
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I haven't done any research on the differences between a standard hard disk and an SSD so can't comment, other than to say I believe the SSD is considerably faster on read and access times, but the integrated HD graphics on the PC World machine only has the 3000 Sandy Bridge rather than the 4000 Ivy Bridge. The 4000 is 50% faster according to this link: http://compare-processors.com/7000/7000/. I have read plenty of comparisons before now all of which say that the 4000 is a significant improvement on the 3000, but it's down to you of course.

Whether there are any DSers who have used both cards side by side and can categorically say that for general purpose browsing and normal use the 4000 is worth having, I don't know. It's always hard translating benchmark testing to real world use. How valid is benchmark testing anyway, except as a topic for discussion amongst geeks?

I see if you buy the Acer on Amazon with the 500GB HDD it's only 429, 67 cheaper than your deal. Annoyingly it doesn't have the 20GB SSD and I should have spotted that before. The Amazon machine has the 4000 graphics as well.

So it comes down to 128GB SSD and 3000 or 500GB HDD and 4000 and save 67.

That's another hour I've spent comparing specs. I wish I could get my hands on all these laptops and do a proper comparison. I get fed up reading statistics all the time because it's not only the components, but how they work in conjunction with one another, and how they are configured.

How well a PC/laptop works is as much to do with the user as the electronics.
Ahh good spot. I didn't even notice the difference in the integrated graphics card.

Thanks for putting so much time into your answer!

If only there was one with 4000 Ivy Bridge and an SSD, I wouldn't mind paying more for it!
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Old 18-05-2013, 09:40
DeelyBopper
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I would go with the one with the SSD. If you ran them side by side I think you would come to the same conclusion.

The bottleneck was the HD for so long now that SSDs spring life into old systems. Everytime I use a machine with a HD it feels slow in comparison.

The only downside would be the trade off in storage space but you have already confirmed yourself that isn't an issue.

Besides, you can always move data onto an external hard drive / network drive. Whereas if you wanted to replace the HD in future it's more of a hassle.

As for the graphics I have HD 3000 so can't comment on the newer HD 4000 but if you don't game and only want it for general duties for uni then you won't miss much and the SSD is definitely worth it if you have to pick between SSD and HD 4000 imo.
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Old 18-05-2013, 12:04
gds1972
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Ahh good spot. I didn't even notice the difference in the integrated graphics card.

Thanks for putting so much time into your answer!

If only there was one with 4000 Ivy Bridge and an SSD, I wouldn't mind paying more for it!

OP it may be worth waiting an extra couple of weeks as the Haswell chips get released at the beginning of June.
Sorry evil c I know you have put a huge ammount of effort into researching this for the OP.
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Old 18-05-2013, 12:18
coachtrip_fan99
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OP it may be worth waiting an extra couple of weeks as the Haswell chips get released at the beginning of June.
Sorry evil c I know you have put a huge ammount of effort into researching this for the OP.
Yeah that's a good point.

If nothing else, it may mean the prices of the current machines come down a bit.

I'm not in any rush to buy anything, I can afford to wait.
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Old 18-05-2013, 12:44
DeelyBopper
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2 hours of research, kerputt, ooops!
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Old 18-05-2013, 16:08
BenFranklin
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I don't see why you would wait to be honest, with PC technology there is always something new coming soon. For the sort of laptop you're getting here, current processors are going to be more than enough for your needs.
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Old 18-05-2013, 16:16
DeelyBopper
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I don't see why you would wait to be honest, with PC technology there is always something new coming soon. For the sort of laptop you're getting here, current processors are going to be more than enough for your needs.
Yeah but surely if there is going to be a new iteration of chip out in only a couple weeks it would be prudent?

Even if they aren't heaps better, you might get something a little better for free.

Granted if there were only talk or speculation but Wiki entry states Haswell as June.

I would wait to see how Haswell changes the market.
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Old 18-05-2013, 16:43
TheBigM
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I don't see why you would wait to be honest, with PC technology there is always something new coming soon. For the sort of laptop you're getting here, current processors are going to be more than enough for your needs.
You may as well get something better when it's not going to cost any extra.

Haswell allows for processors at lower TDPs so you will end up with better battery life.

If OP needs the laptop for university, may as well wait until just before she goes to buy it when there are the back-to-school offers on.
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Old 18-05-2013, 17:45
coachtrip_fan99
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You may as well get something better when it's not going to cost any extra.

Haswell allows for processors at lower TDPs so you will end up with better battery life.

If OP needs the laptop for university, may as well wait until just before she goes to buy it when there are the back-to-school offers on.
exactly. I can afford to wait.

my current laptop which I use on a daily basis is starting to do my head in a little, freezing up all the time - but I can live with that for a couple of months.

To be honest I'm pretty much set on the Aspire S3 range. but they're not going anywhere, so I'll keep my eye on it to see what happens with the new processor, etc.

ps im a boy!
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Old 18-05-2013, 17:45
evil c
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2 hours of research, kerputt, ooops!
That's life! But seriously it's why I only answer a few of these types of queries. Seems that lots of members ask advice and say they want to buy, I do the research, other members also make suggestions and then the OP says no I'll wait.

My feeling is that OK, there's this new Haswell chip coming but it doesn't make the deal on the Acer any less sweet. There's no real reason not to buy now. For one thing it'll give the OP time to familiarise himself with the laptop, setting it up, getting rid of the bloatware, using the OS and software. When it's time to go to uni, the OP will be experienced with the laptop and know its capabilities.

I bought my own laptop just before the next gen was due out because it was a good deal, and I'm glad I did, because stocks rapidly declined, the price went up and then the laptop was withdrawn.

From what the other contributors have said, it looks like the SSD plus 3000 is the way to go, but I'm not being pushy here. Just remember that whatever you decide to do, OP, if you don't buy now, you'll have to spend all this time all over again looking for other deals, and let's face it, it's a good laptop for what you need.
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Old 18-05-2013, 18:15
DeelyBopper
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That's life! But seriously it's why I only answer a few of these types of queries. Seems that lots of members ask advice and say they want to buy, I do the research, other members also make suggestions and then the OP says no I'll wait.

My feeling is that OK, there's this new Haswell chip coming but it doesn't make the deal on the Acer any less sweet. There's no real reason not to buy now. For one thing it'll give the OP time to familiarise himself with the laptop, setting it up, getting rid of the bloatware, using the OS and software. When it's time to go to uni, the OP will be experienced with the laptop and know its capabilities.

I bought my own laptop just before the next gen was due out because it was a good deal, and I'm glad I did, because stocks rapidly declined, the price went up and then the laptop was withdrawn.

From what the other contributors have said, it looks like the SSD plus 3000 is the way to go, but I'm not being pushy here. Just remember that whatever you decide to do, OP, if you don't buy now, you'll have to spend all this time all over again looking for other deals, and let's face it, it's a good laptop for what you need.
I'm not sure how you'd find time to answer more! 3 or 4 of these a day and you'd be working full time
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