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My last laptop, a Toshiba Satellite A300, sadly died a few weeks ago. The repair shop told me, it wouldn't be worth fixing it as it would cost the same as buying a new laptop. I therefore got some advice from them on what to get next and they told me try get an Intel i3 laptop. Off to Tesco I went with my new found knowledge. I looked at all the laptops and instantly saw the Packard Bell Easy Note TS with much higher specs than all the other laptops. It had also been reduced from it's original price £499, as seen in the catalogue, to £379. I then found out downstairs when ordering in the stock room, that Tesco were offering £30 off electricals over £300 that day, bringing it down to £349, which seemed like an absolute bargain. Since it was one of their most popular models, Tesco were out of stock when ordered on Saturday but on Monday, it was ready to collect.
Unpacking it at home in the space of a few minutes, I was instantly impressed with how shiny and new it looked, especially in the 'Ferrari Red', which I ordered it in, as opposed to standard black or silver colour you usually get with most ordinary laptop models. If metallic pink or purple were available choices, I probaly would ordered it in that but bright red is close enough for me. The laptop booted up for the first time and asked me all of my new user settings and preferences, this took another 2-3 minutes. Once it finished doing this, it was ready to use for any purpose I saw fit.
One of the best features about this laptop, is it's so whisper quiet, you will never ever hear it. From experience I know, that the only thing that can turn a quiet laptop into a noisy one is viruses and spyware. I therefore quickly installed sandboxie, an application that traps any downloaded files that you're browser picks up and allows you delete them whenever you want and after every use of the internet if you desire, therefore protecting the rest of a computer with a saftey net. It's far more effective method than virus or spyware protectors, up till now as worked perfectly.
The software on the laptop is Windows 7 Home Premium, which runs so much faster than Vista. Vista came preinstalled on my last laptop and it was sluggish and confusing to use. Not Windows 7, it's fast, perhaps faster than Windows XP and it looks the best any operating system has ever looked. It's easy for beginners and professionals. It's also very colourful, striking and fun to use. I like that you can search for any file on your computer in seconds from the task bar. You can also move and unstick programs at will. You also get as many free Windows updates as you want with the software.
You can then check your hardware specs by going to start menu, click on 'computer' and then system properties. Depending on where you bought your laptop from, hardware specs can vary. My processor speed is 2.3ghz with the Intel-i3 2350. This is much faster than my previous laptop and I only need it for using the internet and watching latest videos online.
It also came with 6gb Ram, 5.85gb is useable according to my system properties. Again much more than I will ever need but might be very useful if I wish to make home videos and encode videos quickly in the future. It also means my CPU useage is almost always at 0%, therefore using minimal power useage, which is great for electric bills.
Graphics Card 3000 is standard, built in graphics. You can't play the latest games of 2012 but just a quick internet search and you will quickly see there's hundreds of games you can install and play. Examples of some very recent games include Fifa 12, Fable 3, Command and Conquer 4, Left 4 Dead 2. The only game I've tested is Fable 3 since I have no real interest in playing games , with only a few notable exceptions, this was one of them and the game ran very smoothly.
Next is the hard drive space. I luckily got more than the 500gb, I got 1TB because it was a special offer at Tesco. My last laptop only had 100gb of space so it was a big jump and now I don't have to keep deleting stuff to clear space or backing stuff up on DVD. Again, the capacity of your hard drive, will vary depending on the retailer you choose to purchase from.
Next I want to mention the screen which is Widescreen and set at a resolution of of 1366-x768. I know from some limited experience, the higher the resolution, the better games and videos will look. I'm also really happy that this laptop is HD, which makes watching videos in Windows Media Player and watching streaming videos online, a real pleasure. The screen is also incredibly bright and there are keys on the keyboard, F11 and F12, which allow you to turn up the brightness as much as you want. I prefer a bright screen so I can watch it from any distance and most viewing angles.
Next is the DVD writer, which isn't quite as impressive, it can only record DVD's up to 8x, CD's up to 24x and the read speed is alot lower than my last laptop. When I installed software from a DVD, it took alot longer than I expected, however this is only a minor drawback. It does however have the benefit of being able to read and write to Dual Layer discs which I've never had or used before. Considering how much cheaper they are now, I will be giving it an attempt in the future.
Next, you have a inbuilt Wireless card that can pick up all ranges, B, G and N. B being the lowest range speed and N being the highest, most recent. Your speed is determined by your wireless router, if you have a B, I recommend it's time for an upgrade. I personally prefer to use ethernet so I don't have to worry about firewalls, port forwarding and speed drops.
Also built in, is a 1.3MP webcam, supposeably for video chat, which I haven't used at all yet. I think most people's phones today have better specs but it's still better than nothing. Also comes with in built 5-1 card reader, 2 USB 2.0 ports and 1x 3.0 USB port.
Lastly the laptop's battery seems to charge in about 1 hour, alot quicker than my last laptop and from my experience, lasts about 4 hours on a full charge, although this also depends how bright you want your screen, although the difference in saving power seems quite subtle.
Lastly the Laptop weight is 2.9kg, which is about the same weight as the newer Xbox 360 slimline and is perfectly manageable for any adult person to lift and carry for a short period of time. You also have the standard 1 year Packard Bell warranty. Other retailers may offer you more, I know John Lewis does 5 years on electrical devices, so shop around and take warranty into consideration, as you never know when your laptop could break in the future.
I can only hope your new laptop is as good as mine, it's been excellent value for money, especially with the special offer discounts applied and with the upgrade in performance, this has been a particularly phenemonal purchase. Peace and love to all new laptop buyers, remember to look for the latest special offers and always compare specs in the store, and between stores, before purchase. It's always best to get the most information before making a big purchase like this.