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I got this laptop free when i purchased an internet dongle a few years ago and I've had no problems at all with it. Its user friendly and good for general use. I surf the internet, use sites such as youtube and facebook games, microsoft office applications and make cd's/dvd's. The only drawback is that windows vista is the operating system on mine and it takes a lot of memory to run, therefore it can make certain tasks a bit slow. Getting a memory upgrade and a different operating system might be an idea if you're thinking of getting this laptop. Apart from that the laptop has a decent battery life, is fairly robust and looks good. The big screen helps too, makes things seem a lot clearer. Also the installed programs for making cd's etc are really easy to use. I've also had to have this laptop repaired ( due to my own fault not mechanical) and the service was easy to use and the staff were very helpful. Overall a great general purpose laptop.
A pretty versatile laptop, the processor can handle a couple of high drain programs simultaneously. Both the harddrive and the battery are easy to remove. However it could do with an extra gb of ram and some more usb ports. A very durable laptop, mine has been dropped more times than i can remember and it still works perfectly. I found the camera to abit iffy but all in all it is a great laptop.
Okay this is the laptop I'm currently using to type this review.
I got this on free on a £35 a month mobile internet contract from T-mobile around two years ago.
The laptop itself came on the windows vista basics operating sytem (you can change this like with all laptops, if you dont like vista) and had winternet explorer 6/7 installed, I'm unsure which, sorry, as I have upgraded since then.
It came with a whole host of programs, many un-needed ones. Your run of the mill windows programs: Movie Maker, Media Player, Meeting Space, Paint, Windows Defender etc...
It also came with aditional programs such as Adobe, The Geek Squad amongst various others.
The memory isn't great with only 40GB of Data memory and 60GB of system memory.
It is a fairly reliable machine, although if you try and do too much at once, it tends to freeze. I have only had to have it repaired once in the time I have had it.
The user manual claims that it has a built in microphone, although in two years I've never been able to find it, so I'm assuming it doesn't actually...
Another downside is it doesn't include a built-in webcam like most laptops these days do.
The battery doesn't have a great battery life.
You have three battery options:
Balanced- basically an average battery.
Power Saver - basically a power preserving mode.
High Performance - designed for gaming, and entertainment purposes.
Power Saver, is the setting I tend to keep mines on, as you see no diffrence in system performance from mode to mode, I have found. However, I still find I only recieve one a half hours battery life, when not plugged in to the charger.
Instead I tend to keep mines on the charger, which proves to be costly in electricity bills...
Another downside, would be the fact that if you go and leave your laptop (to make dinner for example) you come back to find it has went into hibernation. I have tried every button on the machine, and found there is no way to wake it back up, or turn it off, without taking the battery pack out of the laptop, which I'm sure can't be good for it.
On to the features of the laptop, The screen is classed as widescreen and is just over 15" in diamater. It has your regular laptop flat style Qwerty keyboard. And a touch pad mouse, with left and rick click buttons.
It also hosts two audio jacks, and a memory card reader. There are two regular USB ports and two additional 2.0 (fast speed) USB ports.
There are also your usual slots, for internet and router connections.
Aswell as a connection, to link your laptop to a tv set or external moniter (presumably for watching tv/movies online), the wire for this is included in the box.
It has a dvd/cd rom re-writer drive, but lacks a floppy disk drive.
There is also space to upgrade to additional memory (which I havent yet got round to doing).
A final feature I would like to point out, is there is also a button to connect wirelessly, to either home/office wireless networks or a wifi connection.
The keys are relatively quiet when typing, but I have already lost a couple, of rarely used keys, so their connection can't be that great.
Another downside would be gaming, every game I have is said to be vista compatatible, but when I try and play them they crash my machine, although they install okay, so not great for gaming.
The screen resoloution setup seems, to come okay as is, but if its not to your satisfaction you can always easily reconfigure these settings.
In conclusion, if you are just looking for a basic laptop, for internet browsing, watching tv/movies, listening to music etc, that won't blow the budget, then I would recommend this reliable machine, if you're looking for something a bit more advanced then this machine isn't for you. I personally use my desktop PC, for a lot of things, that this laptop in not advanced enough for...
As part of our mobile phone contract, this laptop was thrown in free. Pretty good going given that in the past they didn't need to lure people into phone contracts by throwing laptops or Xboxes at them.
I can't complain, however, because this laptop is an agreeable freebie. It takes no time at all to boot up - unlike the current laptop I have - and once on the desktop it's easy to navigate round to get what you want.
*Software and extras:
My own model didn't come with Microsoft Office, but like most laptops, had a trial version of Office with an option to upgrade once the 90 days had run out. As for installing software or games, this machine took no time at all...however once in a graphic heavy game it didn't really translate well and made everything seem grainy. That's fine for me because it didn't come with a graphics card plus this isn't a machine designed for any serious gaming. It came with a fully installed version of Vista (a basic version) and this operating system has proved to be impressive next to it's XP counterpart.
15.4" Widescreen (perfect for watching movies or catching up on missed TV favourites). The resolution is perfect and contrast and brightness can be fiddled with if you really need to adjust it. I found even when I changed the energy settings to "Power Saving Mode" that the screen brightness wasn't dull, like a lot of machines tend to do. It is also hard wearing and not likely to suffer from LCD cracks like the competitor brands seem to suffer (yes, Toshiba, I am talking about you).
*Keyboard, touch pad and speakers:
The keyboard is a standard QWERTY laptop sized keyboard, with very quiet keys that seem to bounce off your fingers. The lettering on the keys did seem to fade after a while but the good thing is that the keys themselves seemed hard wearing, so no pressing down using excessive force to get certain keys to work after a time. The touch pad mouse system is easy to master once you've practised it a few times - failing that, there are 2 USB ports that you can plug a mouse into and simply use a conventional mouse. The speakers aren't the best sound quality speakers going, but they give an evenly good sound from them. For movies the speakers seem quiet so it might be worth investing in external speakers if you're thinking of buying this laptop.
*Outer casing and battery:
The outer casing on this laptop is a durable plastic that is black in colour. It isn't the type of plastic that every fibre sticks too and it is very easy to wipe down (always use specialist phone wipes for this!) if it starts getting a bit dirty. However, I have found it if got a bit dusty all it really needed was a wipe with a dry cloth and it was brand new again. The machine is also very light - carrying it on my shoulder in a laptop bag was no issue at all. The battery in this machine is fantastic! It runs for about two hours without needing to be charged - although this can depend on what you're using the laptop for. However, the battery pack did start to fall out as the catches that held it in place in the machine were flimsy and broke off!
In conclusion, this laptop isn't a gamers laptop. You could buy a graphics card but they're very fiddly and difficult to fit into laptops so it might not be worth going to all that trouble - better just to invest in a laptop that's got a bit more to offer - however I did find this a reliable machine for going on-line; checking emails, Facebook, eBay, that kind of thing and for watching movies and TV programmes on.
I really have nothing to grumble about with this laptop, comes with a lot of software, much of it not needed, keyboard has a nice soft feel to it, great size screen, has everything I need for basic computing for facebook, emails, eBay surfing etc. Runs on windows vista which i have found really easy to use and adapt too. I have watched DVDs on it and they have been played in great quality and my daughter plays CD Roms on here. If you are after a laptop for normal average use then I would happily recommend this laptop as I haven't had a single problem with it to date, It doesn't have a web cam but that hasn't been a problem with me what so ever. It does have a slot for SD cards which I have found really useful for photo's etc and I am sure it does far more than I realise.
I purchased mine in Argos at around £270.00 defiantly great value for money.
Here's the ARGOS spec.
Intel® Celeron® M575 single core processor.
2 GHz processor speed.
120GB hard drive.
DVD-RW/+RW DVD drive.
15.4in screen size.
Resolution 1280 x 800 pixels.
SIS Mirage 3 graphics card.
1 Ethernet port.
Wireless/Wi-Fi enabled - b/g/n.
4 USB ports.
4 in 1 media card reader - media card compatibility; Secure Digital (SD), Memory Stick (MS), Memory Stick Pro Duo (MS Pro-Duo), Multi Media Card (MMC).
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic.
Pre-loaded by the manufacturer with a suite of applications which include; music, photo, movie, business, tuition and gaming software.
Pre-loaded with a trial version of anti-virus security software.
Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Up to 2.5 hours battery life.
Size (H)3.55, (W) 36.5, (D) 26.4cm.