New laptop

Hi everyone,

Please could I have some recommendations for a new laptop as mine has died and I need to replace it urgently for business purposes. I prefer to stick with something mainline as I am not at all technically savvy and time is very important to me. I am also looking for what the french call 'bon rapport qualitie prix' as price is an issue.

This is what I need it to do:-

Send lots of emails

Check the web quickly, with lots of tabs open

Have a good contact programme and simple spreadsheets

Maintain my website

I don't need to watch films, play lots of games or do fancy things with photos but I do need it to be fast as I hate sitting waiting for things to happen.

I need a laptop over a desktop as I need to be able to take it away at weekends and during the day to respond to customer inquiries asap.

All suggestions really appreciated,


I bought it from Amazon but - think I have fixed it now.

Glad to hear all is well Tracy, though you should definitely not be getting error messages on every boot. Perhaps a trip to the dealer to find out why?

Hi guys,

Thanks for all the recommendations, have now bought and used the Asus X54C 15.6 inch laptop (Intel Pentium B960 2.2GHz, 8Gb RAM, 500Gb HDD, DVDSMDL, LAN, WLAN, Webcam, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit) for a couple of months. It seems to be doing everything that I need it to do at a good speed. The only downsides are that it does look and feel quite cheap and I seem to have a problem when I start up as it keeps telling me that I need to install the ATK driver! Apparently this is a common problem with ASUS machines, however, thanks for all the recommendations, there were very helpful and ensured I took all the relevant bits into account!

Hi Tracy,

If you want to go a little bit more exotic than Microsoft then a Macbook Air is an excellent machine and Mac OS is easy to use and has a lot less bugs that Windoz. Apples, though a bit more expensive initially, are very well built. My daughter has hacked her Macbook around at university for the last three years and it's still as solid as day one. The HPs that her pals bought "cheaply" under the college scheme have all fallen to bits.

If you decide to go for Linux then try and get a machine with it preloaded rather than Windows, that will save you buying an unnecessary bundled Windows licence. I just had a quick search and found this one for example....

I can't recommend this machine from personal experience but my extended experience of IBM (later Lenovo) Thinkpads is that they are pretty tough. The spec of this machine also seems fine for business use.

Hi Tracy, on the budget side of PC's Asus do make some acceptable machines, so it will be interesting to see what you think of this model.

Ubuntu is definitely worth a look , as it would be able to do all the things you were looking for. You can download it and try it from a USB stick or a CD/DVD just to have a look. Full instructions are on the Ubuntu web site.

If you decide to stick with Windows, make sure you invest in good security, firewall, malware, anti-virus software, as you will need it.



If you want to try Ubuntu, you could install it using Wubi ( and have a dual-boot machine. I've got a couple of PCs that are set up like this. I also run Ubuntu on my media PC that is connected to my TV/HiFi but can't say it has won me over from Windows

Hi Steve,

It doesn't really matter about qwerty/azerty, I'm a touch typist (ex RSA) so although it is great to have azerty and the accents, I type so much quicker in qwerty then just use spell check to correct it.

Taking various recommendations into account we have ordered:-

On the basis we don't need anything special and our friend has said it is value for money, we can afford to buy the back up disc he recommends! will let you know how we get on! Am quite interested to check out the Ubuntu OS though as apparently ASUS are quite into it.

Do you want a QWERTY or AZERTY keyboard ?

Hi Neil, it is actually a Compaq that has died but feel that customer service overall is lacking in France anyway. Not sure that leasing is possible in France unless you are a fully registered company. l looked at leasing a car but that was very expensive compared to the UK. Am currently AE so can't claim anything back anyway, am looking at changing for next year though.

Appreciate totally about not paying too little - same applies to wine, the more you pay, the better value you get:-)

My budget is as little as possible as possible of course! I am not set on using Windows but as my work is seasonal, I have v little time to learn anything new at the moment so feel it would be easier to stick with windows. Also, everything we have, printer, webcam etc is all compatible with Windows. we also want to avoid Vista like the plague having had Vista and all it's teething problems since it first came out.

Realistically I can't/don't want to spend more than 500GBP - normally work in euros but under the impression that UK purchase would be cheaper.

Hi, my wife has had a very bad experience with an HP Compaq laptop plus appaling customer service here in France. Fortunately we have a family member in the UK who has some clout within the company so the machine has been fixed (for the moment) but definately a no-no. Don't forget that of the ticket price, the seller takes 50% and half of the remaining goes to the distributor so don't pay too little. Why buy at all? Back in the UK I always leased our computers which were Macs, over 3 years. Totally tax deductable and payable monthly so you don't have to find a lump sum. At the end you can continue the lease for a peppercorn rent, around £25 a year or you can purchase for a small sum. Same applies to cars. Neil

What is your budget Tracy? Are you set on using Windows or would you consider Ubuntu as an operating system?