Laptops, USA advice

#1
Right best start with the usual disclaimer about whether or not im in the right forum, as i understand some do get a bit miffed when that happens.

Done

My Battalion is off to the states in figures few and I was thinking of taking advantage of the exchange rate and getting myself a nice shiny new laptop.

However, I know approx f*ck all about
1) Computers (my present laptop runs windows 98 FFS!!!!),
2) The exchange rate (is it any good right now???)
3) Whether or not this is generally a good idea or not.

I understand there are some people in the know kicking around on here and so I ask this.......

Is it a good idea to get a yank laptop- ie will the british software I buy later on in its life work? What type of laptop should I go for? How much roughly am I going to be looking at for a pretty decent one??



Many thanks in advance


Red
 
#2
Hi all

its sounds ok `as you will most likly get a good one and cheaper than that in the uk

as for the software,it should allow most stuff to work given the language you select.

and tech support is probably gonna be better than a well known pc shop in the uk (pc planet or something:)LoL
 
#3
Windows 98?! Blimey, im surprised the thing hasn't died on you.

The exchange rate is pretty good at the moment, £1 will buy you roughly $1.97850, however, that is at todays prices, and the currency markets are pretty volatile, and that probably wont be the price at the closing time of the stock market.

Id say it is a pretty good idea, because the same software works the world over, there isnt any PAL/NSTC or Region 1/Region 2 crap with computers.

For a decent laptop, you want to be look at spending twixt £250-£400. Ive heard the Sony Vaio are pretty decent, and they're in about this price bracket.

Go for it mate!
 
#4
The British software will run so don't worry about that - u can set regional settings - providing your apps will run on the os supplied; be aware that many apps may not run on Vista. Well, no matter the exchange rate they are going to be cheaper than here. Advice for buying a laptop. You can get more for your money buying an unknown brand (bucket collection of components), however it is probably better to get an established model such as dell, sony or toshiba. You get more support in terms of drivers, etc.
 
#5
As you're lucky enough to be getting it at knocked down american prices, then you should go all out and get a Sony VAIO - these things are the Dogs, they last, and they are just incredible machines.

For a decent laptop you actually want to be looking at £500 upwards, but in the US you will be able to get a top notch laptop at under £1000.

At the moment, people are referring to the Dollar as the "two for one" currency - take from that what you will, but right now the exchange rate is doing well! :thumright:

Editted to add:

Sony Style USA

Thats the US Sony web site - you can see dollar prices (divide by two and your not far off Pounds) - the TX series appear to be some of the best out there, and as you can see, a lot cheaper in the good old US of A.
 
#6
The only problem with buying any electrical goods in America, for use in Britain, is the differance in the type of elecricity used, i.e America uses DC (Direct Current) electricty and Britain AC (Alternating Current).

This ansewr number 5 on this website should solve that question:
BUYER BEWARE

Shas
 
#7
You can purchase adaptors for the UK seperately, it's a slightly extra expense, but like the clicky says, it's not an issue generally.
 
#8
the DVD Drive will have the region 1 Region 2 crap (for movies rather than software ): But it is a very simple thing to go into the settings and change it. I had an old Toshiba that would only let me do this 7 times before locking up to the 7th one set.


One thing I would suggest is to re-enter through customs with it in a "used" condition rather than unwrapped with all the manuals still in plastic bags! I.e. take a disk over with some of your old photos and or games and load them onto the machine.

Have fun, I'm sure it will work out cheaper though you may have warrenty issues if it goes tits within 12 months.
 
#9
I bought my Toshiba from the PX a couple of years ago. No problem with power or software.
 
#10
The keyboard layout might be different as well to what you've used before, other than that sometimes the warranty only covers it in country of purchase.
 
#11
shasellion said:
The only problem with buying any electrical goods in America, for use in Britain, is the differance in the type of elecricity used, i.e America uses DC (Direct Current) electricty and Britain AC (Alternating Current).

This ansewr number 5 on this website should solve that question:
BUYER BEWARE

Shas
*cough*
USA uses 110V AC
UK uses 240V AC

You WILL need a new charger to use in UK, as the US one will explode on first use. A further argument for buying mainstream kit, and concur fully with views on SONY Vaio.

[edit ... oops, yes, forgot US keyboard layout. Not a massive problem, mainly the "shift" characters are a bit different, but you won't get £ for a start.]

Expect to pay GBP equivalent numbers in USD. Virtually half-price, USD is holding around $1.88 exchange rate [money-market $1.98, but you don't get that!!] Suggest checking US Websites [start with http://www.compusa.com/ ] for specs and prices.
 
#12
If you want a decent laptop, you're looking at spending around £700 plus in the UK.

TBH, you're better off buying it in the UK as if anything does go wrong, you won't have any issues with a UK provider if it develops a fault. I'm speaking from painful experience here.
 
#13
I bought one a couple of years back. No dramas. Only thing, take a UK plug with you and wire it up to the laptop (when you come back through customs you can say you took it over with you............)

And US is 110Volts AC, UK 240Volts AC. Most decent laptops will have dual voltage chargers, the one i bought did.
 
#14
right lads cheers for the info so far. much appreciated.

The exchange rate obv seems to be in my favour at the min. Regardless it seems getting one over there would be cheaper even if this was not the case. Especially seeing as the flight and accom is courtesy of the reg. Happy days!

My flat mate is a diehard Dell fan and so has been steering me in that direction, I have realised that I need to go for a reputable name such as Dell, Sony, toshiba etc etc

Its not like I can easily hope on a bus to go back to "Al's comps: where you get a free bucket of chicken wings with every purchase" if the thing jacks on me so I'll stick to the big names.

However, ref the_matelot
"TBH, you're better off buying it in the UK as if anything does go wrong, you won't have any issues with a UK provider if it develops a fault. I'm speaking from painful experience here."

Am I being a jack cheap Scotsman and should I just fork it out over here? Surely if I buy from someone like Sony I shouldn't really have a drama........
 
#15
I have toshiba's and dell's - both of them come with adapters that will take 100 to 240 volts, so no issue. If you feel you will need aftersales support then go to your local computer specialist - that is, avoid the high street electronic stores we all know about.
 
#16
$1200 for a pretty decent Toshiba. no probs with mains charge voltage, only difference being plug type which cost nothing as two part lead (one from wall to converter same as any small hifi lead)
Keyboard got a slight difference. Do it, cheaper.
 
#17
red_phos said:
Am I being a jack cheap Scotsman and should I just fork it out over here? Surely if I buy from someone like Sony I shouldn't really have a drama........
No, you're not. If you can get a good deal with the exchange rate, you're laughing. However, if it does go tits up, don't be surprised if a company tries and pulls the 'the warranty isn't worldwide' trick.

If you get it cheap enough, then it won't be a problem. I bought some gadgets in the NEX (Matelot version of PX in the States) a while back and thought I had got a good deal. When I got back to the UK, I found that I could buy them cheaper over here-that's something to be aware of-not everything in the states is cheaper...

Have you had a look at these websites for deals?

www.ebuyer.com
www.hotukdeals.com (good for Dell bargains)
www.apple.com/uk (cough cough-fantastic macbooks but not particularly cheap)
 
#18
I bought on in Florida 2 weeks ago, a very nice HP pavillion, £800 in the UK but only $800 over there.
Only differance with keyboard is that " and @ are different but thats easy to change.
Power supply is dual voltage so we just had to change the plugs, Most laptops will come with 100-240v ac p/s, check before buying but if not then £30 will get you one from ebay.

I bought mine in Wallmart, If anything goes wrong with it i can bring it to any asda store in the UK and they will honour my warranty. As long as i have the receipt.

When you power on it will ask what region you want to set it to just set up as you would in the uk and there will be no problem.

Certainly one of the best buys from the holiday.
 
#19
vandyke said:
I bought on in Florida 2 weeks ago, a very nice HP pavillion, £800 in the UK but only $800 over there.
Only differance with keyboard is that " and @ are different but thats easy to change.
Power supply is dual voltage so we just had to change the plugs, Most laptops will come with 100-240v ac p/s, check before buying but if not then £30 will get you one from ebay.

I bought mine in Wallmart, If anything goes wrong with it i can bring it to any asda store in the UK and they will honour my warranty. As long as i have the receipt.

When you power on it will ask what region you want to set it to just set up as you would in the uk and there will be no problem.

Certainly one of the best buys from the holiday.
Now that has imporved my morale!

The_matelot:
right shopping around is now commencing! and i will make sure I get confirmation on the warranty side of things.

Wallmart does sound like a good idea seeeing as they have a big name chain here in the UK. does sound a bit to close to those large "PC planet" places ive been warned off from though!

Again Guys appreciate all the input.

thanks again

Red
 
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