Laptop hunt

I am in the market for 3-4 laptops. Some criteria is given below:

1 - One can be a cheap laptop and need not be very powerful. The idea is that it should be cheap but usable.

2 - One laptop needs to be a powerful one for use with CAD software. Price is a concern so looking for one having a good bang for the buck.

3 - Two laptops are for general purpose usage and need to be medium to high end in hardware. These should be able to run some resource hungry software like Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop, and optionally some CAD software.

I want to stay with 32bit OS (so maximum 3 GB RAM for all of the laptops mentioned above).

I am not looking to spend over PKR80,000 for laptops defined by points 2 and 3 unless it is really really worth it. Preferred brands are Lenovo, HP/Compaq, Dell, Acer and Toshiba.

Also, does anyone know which laptop brand has comprehensive/complete support, maintenance and repair facilities available within Pakistan? Any mention of your experience with such a facility would be excellent. :)

Anyone using 64bit Vista OS on laptop? Any software issues arising out of it?

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Anyone using 64bit Vista OS on laptop? Any software issues arising out of it?
[/quote]

Using 64bit Vista on HP laptop (comes with it) and no big issue yet.

Basically, I am not using any such software that is not comfortable with 64-bit. Most of 32-bit softwares (that I wrote for myself in Windows XP) are running without any modification at all. That’s why I didn’t re-complied them. Because that laptop comes with 64-bit Vista, I downloaded latest drivers from HP’s website and that’s why there is no driver issue.

If you planning to run 64-bit Vista then make sure that manufacturer has 64-bit drivers.

I hope that helps you :)

My suggestions:

1) Get an used/second-hand laptop, preferably Dell. There is a model (ah, I can't recall it correctly) of Dell, I think it is D600 (pardon my memory, please do not rely on my memory and do check in market). The strong plus point of that Dell model is that almost all spare-parts are available in market. LCD screen, keyboard, even motherboard, batteries are available in Pakistani market. You can almost rebuild this machine. Another good thing is that it is a sturdy laptop. The only catch is that it is not that "good looking" as new laptops. But if you don't go for looks then this one works great. Cheap, repairable and sturdy. Price range between 20k+ to 25k+ (depends on where you are getting and the condition). My lawyer wanted to get a laptop (cheap but good at working) and after visiting dozens of shops, I selected this laptop but my lawyer said "this doesn't have executive looks" and I was rolling my eyes. :D

2) For CADing, you should be looking for Core2 line or AMD 64-bit line. Get it with maximum memory you can afford. As you said you'll be using 32-bit Windows then preferably minimum of 3GB DDR2 RAM. If you are looking for executive looks with wide-screen then look at Lenovo and HP Pavilion. You should select a good processor with large amount of RAM for CADing software. Prince range will be around 80k+ or more.

3) For these two laptops, I'll recommend to go for less powerful processor and only 1 GB RAM (you'll be running Windows XP 32-bit). They'll do the job. Price range should be around 45k+ to 60k+.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
Also, does anyone know which laptop brand has comprehensive/complete support, maintenance and repair facilities available within Pakistan? Any mention of your experience with such a facility would be excellent.
[/quote]

I haven't found any such thing. Dealers/Sellers might give repair/maintenance of small things for first time but in-case of big failure, I had with HP's motherboard going off and a Lenovo stop charging battery, I was on my own and instead of paying expensive repairs, I sold those laptops piece by piece (not literally breaking them apart). They told me they'll have to import the faulty part from Dubai and it will be very expensive and blah blah. Lame excuses :(

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

Using 64bit Vista on HP laptop (comes with it) and no big issue yet.

Basically, I am not using any such software that is not comfortable with 64-bit. Most of 32-bit softwares (that I wrote for myself in Windows XP) are running without any modification at all. That’s why I didn’t re-complied them. Because that laptop comes with 64-bit Vista, I downloaded latest drivers from HP’s website and that’s why there is no driver issue.

If you planning to run 64-bit Vista then make sure that manufacturer has 64-bit drivers.

I hope that helps you :)

[/quote]

So you are able to run 32bit software on 64bit Vista without any issues?

Go for Dell Inspiron 1525

With 3gb of ram and core 2 duo 2ghz

It costs PKR 60,000

It will b able to run applications

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

My suggestions:

1) Get an used/second-hand laptop, preferably Dell. There is a model (ah, I can’t recall it correctly) of Dell, I think it is D600 (pardon my memory, please do not rely on my memory and do check in market). The strong plus point of that Dell model is that almost all spare-parts are available in market. LCD screen, keyboard, even motherboard, batteries are available in Pakistani market. You can almost rebuild this machine. Another good thing is that it is a sturdy laptop. The only catch is that it is not that “good looking” as new laptops. But if you don’t go for looks then this one works great. Cheap, repairable and sturdy. Price range between 20k+ to 25k+ (depends on where you are getting and the condition). My lawyer wanted to get a laptop (cheap but good at working) and after visiting dozens of shops, I selected this laptop but my lawyer said “this doesn’t have executive looks” and I was rolling my eyes. :D

[/quote]

Yeah, I know about Dell D series and its prices in Hafeez Center, Lahore.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
2) For CADing, you should be looking for Core2 line or AMD 64-bit line. Get it with maximum memory you can afford. As you said you’ll be using 32-bit Windows then preferably minimum of 3GB DDR2 RAM. If you are looking for executive looks with wide-screen then look at Lenovo and HP Pavilion. You should select a good processor with large amount of RAM for CADing software. Prince range will be around 80k+ or more.
[/quote]

Ok, thanks. I am looking at the Dell Inspiron series, HP Pavilion DV4-7 series for possible candidates for this and the other two laptops. The issue with Lenovo is warranty and repair services.

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3) For these two laptops, I’ll recommend to go for less powerful processor and only 1 GB RAM (you’ll be running Windows XP 32-bit). They’ll do the job. Price range should be around 45k+ to 60k+.
[/quote]

These need to be somewhat powerful too for slightly less resource hungry CAD software.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

I haven’t found any such thing. Dealers/Sellers might give repair/maintenance of small things for first time but in-case of big failure, I had with HP’s motherboard going off and a Lenovo stop charging battery, I was on my own and instead of paying expensive repairs, I sold those laptops piece by piece (not literally breaking them apart). They told me they’ll have to import the faulty part from Dubai and it will be very expensive and blah blah. Lame excuses :(

[/quote]

There is a local warranty option from one source but those laptops (Inspiron 1525 and 1545) are Rs5-10K more expensive on average.

Is the Inspiron 15 on Dell’s site the same as 1525 and 1545?

How are Galaxy’s warranty terms? Local or International?

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So you are able to run 32bit software on 64bit Vista without any issues?

[/quote]

No issues so far for running 32-bit softwares on 64-bit Vista. WOW64 easily and transparently handle this.

Though, if the installer is very old then you may need to manually move files to \System64 and re-register them. But I haven’t encountered any such thing yet.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

These need to be somewhat powerful too for slightly less resource hungry CAD software.

[/quote]

Then get little less powerful processor but increase RAM to maximum possible. DDR2 RAM is cheap. For CADing and other graphic related softwares, the more RAM the merrier. Good graphic card is also necessary.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
There is a local warranty option from one source but those laptops (Inspiron 1525 and 1545) are Rs5-10K more expensive on average.

Is the Inspiron 15 on Dell’s site the same as 1525 and 1545?

[/quote]

No idea.

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How are Galaxy’s warranty terms? Local or International?
[/quote]

Local warranty is suppose to be faster than International warranty. International warranty is slow like a snail unless dealer gives you a replacement for time-being.

You should ask Galaxy for warranty on the product that whether it will be local or international warranty for that specified product.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

Go for Dell Inspiron 1525

With 3gb of ram and core 2 duo 2ghz

It costs PKR 60,000

It will b able to run applications

[/quote]

X 2

i am using it from 5months, performance is superb

u forgot to mention some other features like it has opticle drive, webcam,reasonable battery timing, hd screen, no bluetooth, large hdd, 4 usb ports, firewires, hdmi, express card slot, very nice &soft touch pad, not toooo bulky ;;;-- vista original , i am using dual boot with xp

overall Excellent :)

Asad my suggestion is this , dell inspiron 1525 giving good value of money i spent , i am using adobe ps and corlddraw on it , works fine

Thanks for the info about Inspiron 1525 Mumtaz.

I am looking at getting one notebook PC from the HP Pavilion DV7T series or the HXT series. It's too expensive here at Galaxy and the config is below average. I might just order it from the US .

Anyone knows the custom duties on Laptops?

contact any trading company

they will tell u about the custom duty

Arab Line Trading Company imported Dell Inspiron 1525 for me

^ well dont know exactly however here u will have idea ----- about 1 week ago my cousin aasked me to buy battery for R40 thinkpad from dealer of IBM , i called info tech corp lhr (authorized dealer IBM) , a lady told me that this notebook is old , and its battery not available in Pak , however u can order it from USA, i asked estimated cost ------and she told after calculating duties etc. and booooooooooooom it was around $250 :mad: , yes 20,000 rs , greater than half of laptop price,,,,, i asked price of it wen it was available answer was 5950PKR :P

well i dont know whether info tech was making me fool or so is the reality. seems to be true as amazon charges 36$ for a 19$ book to ship in Pak--- 17$ additional ! :mad:

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

Thanks for the info about Inspiron 1525 Mumtaz.

I am looking at getting one notebook PC from the HP Pavilion DV7T series or the HXT series. It’s too expensive here at Galaxy and the config is below average. I might just order it from the US .

Anyone knows the custom duties on Laptops?

[/quote]

AFAIK it’s 15% and the prices would come around to be same. (Although it’s reported to be 0% here: http://www.fbr.gov.pk/newcu/TARIFF/2008/ch1-97.pdf )… And it’s tough to find those with international warranty.

P.s. duties come out to be more exact if you request the sender to have an invoice printed. Or they are just guesstimates (usually higher!)

It should be 16% GST + 1% income tax. So a total of 17%. That makes me think that it would be better to buy it locally. Still, 102K is a big expense on a single laptop if I go for HP Pavilion DV7T. Stupid galaxy folks got an (HD) TV Tuner in it which is practically useless to me. Plus, the gfx card could be better but the 8cell battery gives a respectable 3hrs+ working time. There need to be more DV7T variants imported.

Sarbaaz is useless as far as prices, variety and warranty go.

Consider the two below:

   HP PAVILION HDX16T : 
INTEL C2D 2.2GHZ (T6400), 4GB, 320GB, DVDRW, LAN, WIFI, CAM,
NVIDIA GEFOREC 9600MGT 512MB DEDICATED GRAPHIC, FINGERPRINT READER,
16" WIDE INFINITY DISPLAY, CAM, REMOTE, CR, V H P 64 BITS ```

Better processor, better Gfx card, lesser HDD space, smaller screen, no Bluetooth.

``` HP PAVILION DV7T :
INTEL C2D 2GHZ (T6400), 4GB, 500GB, DVDRW, LAN, WIFI, CAM,
BT, FP READER, HDTV HYBRID TV TUNER, ATI MOBILITY RADEON HD 4530 512MB DEDICATED GRAPHIC,
17" WIDE TB DISPLAY, CR, REMOTE, V H P

Slower processor, more HDD space (good if it is a single HDD), Bluetooth support, HDTV tuner which is useless to me, low end gfx card, bigger screen. Dunno about Vista being 32 bit or 64 bit though I will tend to the latter.

Have you checked out the HP Dv5-1126 ? Pretty good laptop as far as the specs go, great value for money, have been using it for a few months now and working fine

What about the OS media with laptops these days? Is there any restoration/installation media included?

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What about the OS media with laptops these days? Is there any restoration/installation media included?
[/quote]

yes restoration media included with new ones.

my inspiron 1525 came up with E drive of recovery having from recovery of all the things to the Factory image restoration;; also i got dvds with it of OS , OS dell media direct, all drivers,microsoft works 9, roxio creater, webcam mangr ,etc.

[quote=", post:, topic:"]

What about the OS media with laptops these days? Is there any restoration/installation media included?
[/quote]

After installation of supplied Vista, most of time, there is an option (by using a third party software or manufacturer’s suuplied software) to make backup of your installation. It usually take 2 DVD discs to make that backup. You can also revert/restore/repair your installation from that backup. Though, I never did it.

Moreover, you should also download latest drivers from manufacturer’s website and burn them on disc, just in case you need one in future.