Fondling laptops

(Posted for , who is behind corporate firewall of irritatingness)

Where would one go in Wellington, shopwise, to fondle laptops?

And where on the NZ interwebs would one buy one? (The fondle/buy distinction being rather important in these days of commerce at light speed, or whatever we’ve reached now.)

By laptops, we mean something about $1-2000, good screen, pref 17″ but prob 15.4″, 1 Gb ram, and decent video card.

Also, can anyone give me a quick guide to laptop processors right now? Which ones are faster? Back in my day, we just looked at GHz and told us all we needed to know. (Actually, I remember looking at MHz, and not very many of them either.)

15 thoughts on “Fondling laptops”

  1. The Laptop Company, in Waring Taylor Street (I -think-) has a showroom attached. Has a good selection of the expensive brands – Toshiba, HP, that sort of thing.

    Quay Computers, on Lambton Quay (they’ve shifted from where they used to a little further down the Quay), have a reasonable selection of the cheaper brands – Asus, Acer, that sort of thing.

    As for the processor… uh, dunno, what you want to use it for?

    1. Thanks. Have Quay opened up again? Last time I looked they were still fitting out, although that might have been last week.

      And processor, well, general office stuff, but also WOW. Current laptop has 1.7? Celeron and a 128Mb nVida graphics, so faster than that would be good.

      1. OK – almost ANY processor you buy on a modern laptop will be fine for that, the killer will be the graphics card. I went for an Asus A8JN which runs WoW just fine, but anything with a video card from Nvidia or ATI with a minimum of 128 memory (not integrated with the system, but standalone) will probably do the job nicely.

        If you want to have a play with mine I can probably arrange it : )

  2. Laptop fondling

    Dick Smith has most of the Acer range (and I think some of the ASUS range) on display, and they’re generally tolerant of fondling. (I’m not sure I’d necesarily buy an Acer again, but they do have the advantage of being fairly cheap.) Quay Computers ( should also have a bunch of laptops on display, but I’ve not been in their new store. Portables Plus seem to have pulled out of Wellington, or I’d have suggested them. The Laptop Company seem to have a Wellington Showroom, but I don’t think I’ve been in it. And if you want a Mac then, eg, Magnum Mac ( have most of the range on show.

    I’ve tended to buy most of my hardware from Ascent ( who are a Wellington based zero-stock (ie, mail order) store. They’re generally towards the cheaper end of the price range for any given item, but also reasonable to deal with in terms of returns, etc. PriceSpy ( should give you suggestions for locations to purchase from, sorted by price. But beware that I’ve generally found the first half dozen cheapest ones are random “home businesses” just selling out of a distributors warehouse with limited pre-/post-sales care. (Ascent, et al, also sell out of distributors warehouses, but at least they have actual staff to help out if there are issues.)


    PS: I’d have said your combination of specs and price were unrealistic, until I looked at the Quay Computers price list just now. Prices have dropped significantly in the 18 months since I bought my current laptop; one might think that laptops were becoming mainstream even. You’ll probably have go for a 15″ screen though, unless you want “impossible to carry” or “out of price range” (or both).

    1. Ze Toshi

      I agree with D, if I wern’t the Mac zealot that I’d grab that.
      However that said and done bollocks would I use Vista, as its a dirty dirty ho of a OS that has a piss take of a hardware overhead…on XP/Ubuntu however this would fly.

      …frak it I’m gonna lose my union/”I am gay for Steve Jobs” membership for the above…BUY A MAC!…we have black turtle necks! 🙂

  3. CPU

    The thing to rememeber with CPU clock speed is the myth; the higher the clockspeed the better the CPU. Untill recently lower clockspeed AMD Athlons would piss on the higher clockspeed Pentium 4s but since Jan last year Intel has been doing the dual core processors that run at slower clockspeeds and they run way more sweetly.

    (I want to say efficiently but its not that, the instruction sets run far far tighter than before they (the core/core2 duo processors) are better thought out but I can’t put that into a single word tho I am sure there is one…)

    So a 1.8GHz Duo (Core Duo-> older 32 bit, or Core2 Duo -> more recent 64bit)would piss over (no I don’t have a golden shower fixation dammit!) the 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 that preceded them despite the difference. The added bonus with this is less power consumption and increased battery time.

    Sorry for the length hope that helps abit.

  4. I’ll leave the recommendations to everyone else, so I’ll just strongly, strongly, strongly recommend a three year warranty.

    Laptops tend to break more and fixing them is very expensive as most parts are non-standard.

    1. I have a Compaq nx7400 with 1.83G centrino duo, 2G of RAM. Works for me. The good thing about this machine (and probably a lot of current laptops) is that it will independently drive the display and a monitor – so I can work with a dual screen in the office.

      I personally would not buy anything other than Compaq or Toshiba (maybe IBM) – too annoying when they break. I do wish they would make laptops with a decent built in pointing device – many years ago I had an Apple with a real 2cm (or so) trackball. Don’t understand why they died out (trackballs not Apples).

      The Laptop Company supplied mine, but it was through work so I had no personal dealings.

        1. Two years ago I made the decision to stop selling Toshibas where I worked due to their horrendous failure rate. Maybe we just got a few bad batches… but then the Toshiba service was also terrible and very slow.

          I’m not sure if any laptops won’t do dual screen – except that Apple used to deliberately disable it on their consumer line as they didn’t want it competing with their business line.

          I did like the HP/Compaq line a year ago. Good range, good prices, reliable. Not sure where the market is at this month. 🙂

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