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Multi tasking laptop recommendations

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October 1, 2011 9:45:11 AM

Hello,
I am looking to buy a new laptop and totally confused as to what I actually NEED. Some other posts I've read say I need an i7 and quad core, but then I see all i7's aren't quad core?

I multi-task all the time, with perhaps 4 or 5 windows open at any one time. I play the bingo/gaming sites with quite a lot of graphics on them, and media games which need a quick processor also slots online or they just don't spin quite right.

Do I need dedicated graphics or can I get away with shared? If I have a bigger RAM and shared graphics is this OK?

Any advice please and pointers as to the specification I require to be able to do all these things without the lag and laptop running slow?
a c 572 D Laptop
October 1, 2011 11:30:10 AM

Anoymous said:
I multi-task all the time, with perhaps 4 or 5 windows open at any one time. I play the bingo/gaming sites with quite a lot of graphics on them, and media games which need a quick processor also slots online or they just don't spin quite right.

Do I need dedicated graphics or can I get away with shared integrated graphics? If I have a bigger RAM and shared integrated graphics is this OK?

Any advice please and pointers as to the specification I require to be able to do all these things without the lag and laptop running slow?
What laptop are you using now where you get lag and your programs/windows run slow?
We want to be sure to get you an upgrade that makes it worth while for you.
From your description it seems like you don't need too much in way of graphics support.
With all those open windows you might need (or want) a higher resolution windows than the standard 1366x768 LCDs.

Answering the "usual questions" in the link Pyree posted gives a better idea of what suits you.
Related resources
October 2, 2011 11:00:55 AM

1. What is your budget? £300-£450

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering? 13"-16"

3. What screen resolution do you want? from above possibly more than 1366x768

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop? portable

5. How much battery life do you need? 3hrs min would prefer more

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)? Bingo flash websites, playing media games and slot machines online

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.) general tasks nothing complicated

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need? not a lot perhaps 300GB plus

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links. Any UK online site

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop? 4 or 5 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ? Not sure on this?

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons. - like Toshiba as had good experience, but any brand with good reports

13. What country do you live in? UK

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
October 2, 2011 11:07:41 AM

WR2 said:
What laptop are you using now where you get lag and your programs/windows run slow?
We want to be sure to get you an upgrade that makes it worth while for you.
From your description it seems like you don't need too much in way of graphics support.
With all those open windows you might need (or want) a higher resolution windows than the standard 1366x768 LCDs.

Answering the "usual questions" in the link Pyree posted gives a better idea of what suits you.



Hi all - thank you so much for the replies so far. I am currently using a 5 year old Toshiba Satellite A100-583 with I think a 1GB RAM and not much more in the way of storage.

The lag happens when I am on the bingo sites playing the media games, I am about 10 seconds behind everyone else. So I miss out playing as they've all finished by the time my laptop catches up. Also if playing slots sometimes the wheels spin slowly which is annoying. This happens more when I have more than one window/game site loaded - which is what I am wanting to do now.

The processor on the Toshiba is a Centrino Duo but I'm not sure of which one if this helps?

I was told in PC World for playing bingo I only needed to buy a £300 laptop but I'm not sure if they actually know what's involved on these bingo sites as they seem to be getting more technical and it's not just the bingo anymore. However it's not like a "real" gaming site I realise, but I do want to be able to load the pages quickly and nip between the two or three pages open at any one time?

Do I need a quad core or is dual core sufficient? Do I need speed in processor? Higher RAM?

Don't obviously want to "overdo" and have things not needed, but on the other hand don't want to "underdo" and not get an improvement.

Thanks in advance.
a b D Laptop
October 2, 2011 11:09:53 AM

What internet connection do you have?
October 2, 2011 11:15:24 AM

Pyree said:
What internet connection do you have?

I'm on a broadband connection from Talk Talk. It's not a brilliant connection as we're too far from the exchange, but seems to be the same for everyone in my area, whichever provider we're with.

Download speeds vary between 1MB and 3MB on a good day!

Hoping in the future this will improve and so want a laptop that will do the best for me with this connection and will really power up if on a better connection in time or if I use it elsewhere on a better internet connection.

Maybe this is the most of my problem and not my laptop?????? I'm really not sure????
a b D Laptop
October 2, 2011 11:30:41 AM

Megabite not Megabit right? I just have to make sure of that. And probably not as important on the game you play but what is the latency and jitter on your internet connection? Just incase you have really terrible latency and jitter.
a c 572 D Laptop
October 2, 2011 12:11:31 PM

Anoymous said:
Download speeds vary between 1MB and 3MB on a good day!
What do you get on a bad day? It could be part of the problem.
Typically, the data stream from the game sites is relatively small. They don't have to 'push' the complete graphical image because the game engine running on your laptop creates that for you from the small data streams.

I think PCWorld gave you good advice. Im thinking if you have one game window running OK and start having problems with a 2nd you're getting limited by your 1GB RAM first and probably GPU (or maybe CPU) 2nd. And you can fix both of those with a laptop in your price range.
An increase in the screen resolution would benefit you - but in your price range the only way to get 1600x900 resolution would be going with a 17" laptop.
If you don't mind the rebate/cashback scheme I like this Samsung RV720 17" 1600x900 LCD £430 final cost It's got a Core i3 380 (2.53Ghz) CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD.
a c 572 D Laptop
October 2, 2011 12:18:20 PM

An even better deal ordering from SamsungUK at £420 final cost: Samsung NP-RV720-A02UK
It's got a 2nd Gen Core i3-2310M (2.1Ghz) CPU, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD 1600x900 LCD w/ HD 3000 graphics.
The CPU is just a smidge slower than the i3-380M - about equal to a first gen 2.4Ghz CPU - and close enough you'd not notice the difference. The graphics is a nice upgrade.
October 2, 2011 12:32:29 PM

Thank you I'll take a look at those later on as just popping out to a BBQ for afternoon. And will update as I can answer the further questions, - I think it's Megabite and it's 1MB download speed on a bad day.

Are there any suitables on the Tesco direct website that might suit do you think? They have an offer ending tonight with £50 off which I thought was quite good.

I'm not that keen on going up to a 17" - do I really need this better resolution or will I be OK with lower?
a b D Laptop
October 2, 2011 12:36:50 PM

You will be ok with 1366x768 in a 15 inch. They arn't top of the line but you are not doing graphics either. The lower resolution will helps with mobility and the budget.

I am going to look at tesco direct.
a c 572 D Laptop
October 2, 2011 12:38:03 PM

If you want to look at Toshiba models:
@ Comet: Toshiba Satellite C670 500GB 17.3 Inch Laptop £400
Pentium B940 (2.0Ghz) CPU (a 2nd Gen Sandy Bridge family CPU), 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 1600x900 LCD 2/ Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge).

@ ToshibaUK Toshiba Satellite C670 £448
Core i3-2310M (2.1Ghz) CPU, 4GB RAM, 640GB HDD 1600x900 LCD w/ HD 3000 graphics.

Either of those will do fine as well.

For 15" models I think HP Pavilion G6-1184SA £349
Pentium B940 (2.0Ghz) CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 1366x768 LCD w/ Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge).

LENOVO G570 15.6" Laptop £400
Core i3-2310M (2.1Ghz) CPU, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD 1366x768 LCD w/ HD 3000 graphics.




a c 572 D Laptop
October 2, 2011 12:46:32 PM

Any of the Core i3-370/380 CPUs & 4GB RAM models will get the job done.
It looks like the Tesco Direct site is for clearance items? That £50 discount makes them look like bargains.
October 2, 2011 7:02:33 PM

WR2 said:
Any of the Core i3-370/380 CPUs & 4GB RAM models will get the job done.
It looks like the Tesco Direct site is for clearance items? That £50 discount makes them look like bargains.



Hi again, I'm just back in from my BBQ - very nice in this barmy October weather!

So the Tesco direct website nothing really suitable as all clearance items? Nothing on there as all older models or not really suitable for what I'm needing?

Just about to look at the alternatives you've kindly suggested - which in your opinion is the "best of the best" in the above offered?
a c 572 D Laptop
October 2, 2011 8:27:15 PM

Any of the Core i3 / i5 CPUs & 4GB RAM models will get the job done. They're all suitable.
As for the best? Flip a coin, pick the color you like best or choose the lowest price.
a b D Laptop
October 3, 2011 1:11:53 AM

IMO, I will actually go and buy a snady bridge i5 within or slightly over the 450GBP limit because you are going to keep it for 4-5 years.

I usually recommend Lenovo or ASUS:

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/lenovo-ideapad-z570-15-6-... 479.99

http://www.asuslaptop.co.uk/proddetail.php?prod=K53E-SX... 440.40

Don't have Packard Bell in my country so not sure about their qualtiy:

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/packard-bell-easynote-ts1... 429.97

I also discover sometimes the price is advertised excluding VAT, so you may want to check with pcworld because there is no indication wether it isincluded or not. Price for the ASUS laptop includes VAT.

Man, laptop in UK is expensive! The ASUS I can get it for 400GBP in Australia. I though GST in Australia is bad enought but the VAT in UK is even worse. The government should lower these tax in bad economy to stimulate the consumer to buy stuff.
!