Back-to-college 15in Notebooks
Desktop replacements for your digs
Group Test So the kids are off to university and you want to pack junior off with a decent machine for his or her studies - not to mention all the social facetweeting stuff the young uns like to do these days.
Or maybe you've got your loan through and you want to splash out on the machine Dad didn't buy you.
What better then than a mid-price Intel Core i - or AMD's equivalent, Phenom II - based 15.6in machine hardy enough to withstand the rigours of student life and still be up for a spot of gaming?
We asked six of the major notebook suppliers - Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sony and Toshiba - to submit a machine for testing.
Here are the six 15in notebooks we have on test.
- Acer Aspire 5471
- Dell Inspiron 15R
- HP Pavilion dv6
- Lenovo ThinkPad Edge
- Sony Vaio EB2
- Toshiba Satellite Pro C650
But before we get down to each machine individually, take a look at our Buyer's Guide, which will steer you through the choices and factors you'll need to consider when selecting a desktop-replacement notebook, whether it's one of those reviewed here or any of the many other such laptops on sale. ®
OS of choice?
"Windows 7 is the OS of choice for any new laptop."
Is it? Really? How myopically blinkered of you. It might be the only optional easily available at many locations due to monopolistic abuses, I'll grant you that much; but it's not the only choice and certainly not the OS of choice in many cases.
Why no macs?
Why wasn't at least one MacBook included in this review? These are becoming increasingly popular on campuses.
> "Windows 7 is the OS of choice for any new laptop."
True if your choice is limited to Windows operating systems, but Linux and Mac OS X are viable alternatives. Furthermore Macs can run Windows if need be.
Can I read that as...
...'Windows 7 is an OS for laptops, other choices would be available if there wasn't so much abuse of market position'?
Many think it is harder to find a laptop without Windows even though it isn't and there is an increasing choice (e.g. FrostBite, System76) and even OS-free (e.g. Novatech). So how about the Novatech Xplora for £280? That's at least half the price of the cheapest reviewed here and would save the starving students quite a bit if they can click a few buttons to drop a OS on it.
Hmm...y'know - that might make an interesting review, choices from left-field or something. Some will probably suck butt, but there might be a nice surprise. Can't be any worse than that Dell... :o)
Given how popular Apple laptops are with students these days, it might have been wise to include one in the test.
You clearly haven't been to a UK university recently then - these days students are more often than not a filthy rich bunch. You have to be now to afford the fees and living expenses.