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steve | Laptopsunder500bucks.com

About steve

steve has been a member since August 23rd 2011, and has created 6762 posts from scratch.

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Your Questions About Windows 7 Professional 32 Bit Or 64 Bit

Michael asks…

Does Windows 7 in XP mode can play any XP games if I use 64-bit operating system of my Windows?

I would like to upgrade my Windows 7 Home Premium to Professional, but the problem is that I heard when you run on XP mode and playing games, it can only supported with the 32-bit operating system, but my system is 64-bit. So that mean that it will not work at all or having problems. Is that true? Please Reply. Thank You!

steve answers:

It depends. Like manhunt only runs (supposedly) on xp. But i have gotten it to work on vista and 7. Certain games just require certain extra steps. Same with halo 2. It was only supposed to work on vista but a method was developed to get it on xp.

Some of the easiest ways are just changing compatibility mode and checking run as administrator under properties can do wonders. Not saying that is the solution but if there is a will there is a way. Email me the game and i will let you know if there has a solution yet.

Carol asks…

Should I get windows 7 or keep vista?

So I have an XPS M1530 that’s a bit over a year old. I take good care of it so it’s still very fast after a long startup process. I’m currently running vista 32bit home premium, but I’m also dual booting windows 7 RC, and before that I was using the beta. My question is, do I upgrade to windows 7 32 bit (upgrade, not clean install), leave vista and clean install windows 7 professional over the RC on the other partition (I got the professional version for free from my school and the upgrade for $30 if I want), or do I just forget about windows 7 and wait for the RC to expire?

Also, I COULD clean install the 64bit version just because my processor can handle it and I already have 4 gigs of RAM (is this a good move or will 32bit do just fine?), however I want all of my files, settings, applications, saved game data, and everything else on my hard drive to come back (I have TONS of programs that are crazy expensive to replace). Would this be possible? I back up regularly, but can these backups restore everything on top of a new OS? If that is possible, how does it work, can someone break it down as much as possible? Ideally I want get rid of my other partition so I can put that free space back onto my main partition.

And if I were to do a regular upgrade, can that be reversed through a backup like a system restore or do I need the vista disk? I am usually very good with computers, but I haven’t had to deal with OS changes so I am pretty clueless when it comes to the risks of data loss and would appreciate any and all help. I know my computer can handle windows 7, I know it can handle 64-bit, I know how windows 7 works, I just need to know if an upgrade would be worth it

Computer specs:
XPS M1530 : Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
Processor: 2.4GHz core 2 duo
RAM: 4 GB
Video card: nvidia 8600 GT
Hard drive: 250 GB (which is why I want the other partition gone)

steve answers:

Saved games are usually kept in your Documents folders or in the Programs folder of the game, so tracking them down shouldn’t be that difficult. Many online games keep your info on the server (like Diablo II for example), so again, nothing to worry about. As far as the programs that you’re worried about, don’t you have the install disks for them? If you have legitimate copies of them on your computer, I see no reason you couldn’t torrent to get a copy for re-installation, just be careful of where you get it. For instance, I have all The Sims 2 expansions, but I don’t like dragging out ALL those boxes and CDs, so I use torrented .iso’s to install the game when I need to since I can fit all the EPs on three DVDs and the mounted .iso’s install about 5x faster then from the CDs. I use my purchased keys to install, of course (copied to a text file on the burned DVDs). This also keeps my CDs in perfect condition since they just hang out in their cases.

Anyway, for your situation, Make an image of your Vista install using something like Macrium Reflect and then do a clean install of 7 Pro x64. It will allow you to use all 4 GB of your RAM and you won’t have to worry about upgrading anything again for a very long time…

_

Betty asks…

I need help Uprdrading to Windows 7 from XP Professional?

I bought a Windows 7 Pro 64 bit upgrade disc from Software4Students. I am currently running Windows XP 32 bit with Service Pack 3. All of my hardware is compatible to any 64 bit OS, and all of my programs will be fine.
I fully understood that you can’t “upgrade” from any XP version to any 7 version, however, I fully understood that you can perform a fresh intsall of Windows 7 using the upgrade disc. I have been trying to do that for the last week, and running into this problem – there’s no install menu.
When I boot from the disc, it is literally “starting windows” (i.e. windows XP) and then just displays the normal home page, with a mouse pointer. No dialogue box, menu, or any thing other than that background is on the screen. I have let it sit for over 10 minutes, and nothing ever appears.
When I try to run the disc from auto start it gives me the error message, “This installation disc isn’t compatible with your version of Windows. To upgrade, you need the correct installation disc. For more information, check your computer’s system information. To install a new copy of windows, restart (boot) your computer using the installation disc, and then select Custom (advanced).”
When I try to run the setup executable, it gives me the error message, “D:setup.exe is not a valid Win32 application.”

I have installed and run the Windows Advisor and am told that my computer is compatible for 32bit and 64bit

Please Help!

10 Points for best answer

steve answers:

How to Do a Clean Installation with Windows 7
Do a Clean Installation if:

Your computer has no operating system installed, or it’s running a version of Windows prior to Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 (including Windows XP).
You do NOT want to preserve your data, programs, or system .
You want to delete your current operating system and replace it with Windows 7.

Heres a step by step how to for you with illustrations>

Charles asks…

Can you answer my question about my pc?

I have this pc specs and i play assassin’s creed 1,2 and brotherhood, crysis, COD 1,2, 4, 5, 6, COD blackops, sniper ghost warrior, warhammer, sp;inter cell conviction, dota, red alert 3, kane’s wrath, CS source, hitman, NFS carbon, demigod and many more games…

Question: which is a better OS for gaming; Windows XP(32 or 64 bit) or Windows 7(32 bit or 64bit)? Is there something that needs improvement for my current OS?or should I replace it?

my pc specs
Operating System
MS Windows XP Professional 32-bit SP3
CPU
AMD Athlon II X2 240 @2.8GHz 35 °C
Regor 45nm Technology
RAM
3.0GB Dual-Channel DDR2 @ 400MHz 6-6-6-18
Motherboard
Emaxx Technology.,Ltd EMX-ANF82HD-PRO V3.0 (CPU 1)
Graphics
X163W @ 1366×768
1024MB ATI Radeon HD 4670 (Sapphire/PCPartner)36 °C
Hard Drives
244.20GB Seagate ST3250318AS (SATA)46 °C
Optical Drives
HL-DT-ST DVD-RAM GH22NP20
MagicISO Virtual DVD-ROM0000
Audio
Realtek High Definition Audio

550 watt power supply

steve answers:

I would recommend using windows 7 with the 64 bit because getting it will erase any viruses you may have, or unused files that build up after a while, and windows 7 is much faster than windows XP. Or you could get a new OS, but that could be expensive. That’s my opinion.

Mark asks…

windows 7 build 7077 [not beta, rc1] or windows xp professional. which one is better?

i already have windows xp on my computer but i’ve always wanted windows 7 but program capability could be an issue. i have both windows 7 build 7077 32 bit and 64 bit. my computer is capable of running the 64 bit.

i’m looking for featues such as

program capability- programs such as microsoft office xp and kaspersky internet security. also some games
speed- i’ve heard windows 7 is faster and windows xp is faster
looks- yea windows 7 looks cooler
stability- will windows 7 crash?

which one is better?
i just put both os on my computer. windows 7 seems to be faster than xp

steve answers:

Install Virtusl PC 2007 and see if Windows 7 will install in that. If it does, try it and see what runs on it and what doesn’t. If you don’t like it, just delete the virtual drive.

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Your Questions About Sony Vaio Bios

Helen asks…

Is it possible to repair cpu fan on lap top?

I have a sony vaio lap top model PCG-6Q1L and it wouldnt turn on, so i took off the back panel and it turns out that the fan doesnt work. I cant even get into bios. It doesnt have a warranty. Is there anything i can do to fix it? or is it possible to replace the fan?

steve answers:

You could search for the part number of the fan in the internet or go to your local technician (geeksquad?) and let the, diagnose it .

Mandy asks…

How to find the right CPU/Processor upgrade for my system?

How do I find the right CPU/Processor to purchase so i can upgrade my system?

I currently have a Pentium 4 2ghz in a socket 478.
It is a Sony Vaio PCV-RX752

~Thanks

steve answers:

The cpu you can upgrade to is limited by what the BIOS will be compatible with. A compatible upgrade for the Sony Vaio PCV-RX572 is:
Intel P4 2.6GHz 400MHz 478pin 512K CPU OEM $174.95
400 MHz Front Side Bus

Check compatibility manually
http://powerleap.com/Processors.jsp

Donald asks…

I have a sony vaio and want to restore it to its original factory settings?

I did not make a recovery disk. I know it can be because I did it once before. Please help if you know how. I believe I had to go into the bios by hitting f2 or something like that. Thanks.

steve answers:

Use the “System Recovery CD(s)” that came with the computer. It will give you the option to “Restore to Factory Settings”.

Lizzie asks…

Can you use an external hard drive without an internal one?

my cousin has a sony vaio but the hard drive crapped out and he just bought a new laptop, if i get an external hard drive can i use it on this laptop that doesnt have an internal hdd even hooked up?

Alsop i have his 2 vista recovery discs, could i use these to install the os from scratch?

steve answers:

If your bios will let you boot to a USB device you should be able to boot to an external.

George asks…

How do I disable the startup noise on my Sony Vaio laptop?

I’m talking about the creepy electronic sounding noise that plays when the computer first boots, when the black screen with “VAIO” appears. Help me get rid of it!

steve answers:

Here are the many, many steps in detail:

Restart the computer.
At the initial Sony screen, press the F2 key to enter BIOS setup.
In the BIOS Setup window, press the RIGHT ARROW key until Advanced is selected.
In the Advanced menu, press the DOWN ARROW until Speaker Volume: is selected.
Press the ENTER key.
In the Options window, press the DOWN ARROW or UP ARROW to select 0.
Press the ENTER key.
Press the RIGHT ARROW key until Exit is selected.
Press the ENTER key.
In the Setup Confirmation dialog box, press the ENTER key.
If the sound is not disabled, continue this procedure.
Restart the computer.
At the initial Sony screen, press the F2 key to enter BIOS setup.
In the BIOS Setup window, press the RIGHT ARROW key until Advanced is selected.
In the Advanced menu, press the DOWN ARROW until Show VAIO Animation Logo is selected.
Press the ENTER key.
In the dialog box, press the DOWN ARROW to select No.
Press the ENTER key.
Press the RIGHT ARROW key until Exit is selected.
Press the ENTER key.
In the Setup Confirmation dialog box, press the ENTER key.

Hope that helps you and others turn off that pesky Sony Vaio chime!

The following are steps to mute the Windows sound as well

Windows XP
To turn off the startup sound in Windows XP, follow these steps:1. Click Start, click Run, type mmsys.cpl, and then click OK.
2. Click the Sounds tab.
3. Under Program events, click Start Windows.
4. In the Sounds box, click (None), and then click OK.

Windows Vista
To turn off the startup sound in Windows Vista, follow these steps: 1. Click Start , type mmsys.cpl in the Start Search box, and then click mmsys.cpl in the Programs list.

If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type your password or click Continue.
2. Click the Sounds tab.
3. Click to clear the Play Windows Startup Sound check box, and then click OK

I hope this is helpful to you… Good Luck

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Your Questions About Tablets 2012

Ruth asks…

What is montelukast sodium with levocetirizine tablet?

For last 30 days i have severe phlegm / mucus in my deep lungs. Its not coming out because i have no cold & cough. My doctor gave me tablet “montelukast sodium with levocetirizine tablet”. What is this tablet for? its it for alergy?

steve answers:

Montelukast (singulair) block leukotrienes, a substance produced by your immune system that promotes inflammation. The other drug is an anti-histamine.

Antihistamines probably are better than Montelukast types of drugs, with less serious side effect risks. If you get benefit from this, more than likely it is the antihisamine doing the work. A good antihisamine is Claritin, a month’s supply of the generic can be had for less than $5 at the General Dollar stores (here in the USA).

The USA FDA link below tells about Singulair and also a clinical trial for allergic rhinitis comparing it to Claritin, and Claritin won.

Http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2012/020829s059lbl.pdf

Paul asks…

Who can work in the london 2012 olympics?

i am a college student in Georgia, US, and i am interested in working in the 2012 london olympics. do i have to be a citizen of UK in order to work there or would they hire people from around the world? i really want to go to the olympics in 2012, and i thought it may be a good experience to work there while watching the olympics.

steve answers:

Most of the people working there are volunteers, but there are job opportunities. I volunteered for the 2010 winter Olympics, and it was the best experience ever. All I did was submit an application on their website, and got accepted.There were several training programs I had to do before the Olympics as well. For those Olympics, you could have volunteered if you weren’t a citizen. However you would have to pay for accommodation. I’m not sure how is goes for the 2012 Olympics. Go to their website…

Http://www.london2012.com/index.php

I saw a “get involved” tablet, so I suggest you go there to get all the information. :)

Sharon asks…

I heard that Jesus will come down in 2012 and kill people with an axe. Is that true?

Also, is it true that Mother Mary will fly over and drop cyanide tablets down to Earth? I heard this is how the end of the world will be before Heaven opens up to let the 12 tribes of 12 thousand in.

steve answers:

Jesus can’t use bladed weapons.

He will kill people with a mace, assuming they miss their THAC0 roll.

Carol asks…

How can I get info regarding a Pandigital Tablet?

I have a Pandigital Tablet that I have been having trouble with. I tried a Google Search and came up with a website (Pandgital.net) that will not come up. Does anyone know their web address? Is the company out of business.

steve answers:

Yes

http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/21/pandigital-out-of-business/

Laura asks…

Is this true that Nokia will launch a windows Tablet PC before end of 2012?

As most people know that Nokia’s Lumia Windows phones are not good as expected.But I definitely think that Nokia’s Windows tablet will be my choice.
So Is it true that Nokia will launch a Windows Tablet or it’s just a rumor?
[should I wait for a Nokia Tablet?]
Thanks.

steve answers:

If you dont like the currect lumias
just wait till september when nokia will launch 2 lumia windows phone 8 powered devices
they have better processor,higher resolution display,and many more
windows phone 8 lumias will be amazing
will nokia lauch a windows tablet pc before the end of 2012 it could be true
and yes you should wait
i know that the microsoft surface will be for sale in october which also is amazing
hope i helped :)

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Your Questions About Sobre

Daniel asks…

Notícias sobre Katekyo Hitman Geração X?

Bom, desde 2010 eu vejo as pessoas comentando do fim do anime e tal, mas ai depois começaram a comentar que em 2011 iria lançar a segunda geração do anime, a Geração X e bom… ja estamos em 2012 e eu nao estou sabendo de nada, queria muito saber de alguma notícia sobre essa continuação e tal pq esse anime é F.O.D.A. hahahha

steve answers:

Categoria, quer dizer, versão do site errada, amigo. Você perguntou isso no Yahoo! Answers dos Estados Unidos.
Bem, eu nunca ouvi falar sobre KHR Geração X. Deve ser invenção dos fãs.

William asks…

Ayuda Sobre Odontologia?

Fui Al Dentista Ayer, Me Tiraron Placas Por Todos Lados ect ect. Cuando Duermo Mis Dientes Me Duelen Y Siento Mi Macada Torcida Aunque La Odontologa Dice Que Todo Anda Bien. Ademas Tengo Paletas Y Los Dientes Que Le Siguen Estan Un Poco Torcidos. Mi Pregunta Es… Hay Posibilidades De Que Pueda Ponerme Braces??(Brakets, Frenillos No Se Como Les Llamen Ustedes.)
Tengo 18 Anios En Enero Cumplo Los 19.

steve answers:

A cualquier edad puedes usar Braces, pregunta a tu odontologo sobre ponertelos, probablemente los haya obviado de decirte porque son caros. Igualmente consulta, yo los use y me salvaron la vida.
Saludos!

Maria asks…

What does QUE SOBRE actually mean?

When I ask someone “about what?” I like to say it in spanish “que sobre?” But when I put it into a translator it says “that on” lol am I saying it right??

steve answers:

You’re actually saying it wrong, it should be: ¿Sobre qué? Or ¿Acerca de qué?

Sharon asks…

slogan sobre pie de limon en español?

steve answers:

Its been ages since spanish classes, but what i am guessing you are asking how to say the slogan “sobre pie de limon” in spanish.

Isn’t “sobre pie de limon” already spanish?

James asks…

HOw do you say “Put your hands on me” in Spanish?

is it Pon tus manos sobre ?

steve answers:

Pon tus manos en mi.
Put your hands on mi.

Pon tus manos sobre mi.
Put your hands over me.

Pon tus manos encima de mi.
Put your hands on top of me.

Tócame.
Touch me.

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Your Questions About Lenovo Core I3 Laptop

Donald asks…

What is the best laptop for under £500?

What is the best laptop for under £500?
I’m looking for a new PC to run my games better and preferably have bigger storage.
I don’t mind the operating system but I’ve been with Windows 7 for a while so that is what I’m most used to.

steve answers:

£450 to £550:

http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/Products/cat/Laptops/refine/max~550$min~449$46567~59712

Understand that you cannot upgrade the CPU easily, and graphics upgrading is even harder. What you buy should be used for years, so try to find some more money if you really want a better laptop.
Gaming is controlled by the graphics card, unless the CPU is really weak. A second gen core i3 is a bit weak in the Acer, but probably just enough for 80% of gaming supporting a GT 640M as shown.
GT 740M is better than GT 635M is better than HD 7670M is a little better than GT 630M and do not go lower. Strike the GT 710M and GT 720M off the list. Lenovo Ideapads are the best, and Toshiba Satellite Pro should be OK, and Acer is not as reliable generally.
You need to consider each one at its price and what it offers.
There are 15 in the link, but 6 are GT 710M and 720M, leaving 9 to choose from, and 3 are are just different colors of the same Lenovo Z580 laptop. Some have free delivery, and some have a fee to deliver. At £550 is Lenovo Z580 with a touch screen, core i5-3230M and a GT 740M with a full terrabyte HDD and 6GB RAM. It is the best of them, but over your price limit.

The other place is Curry’s with £100 cashback on £499 and over laptops.
One to consider:

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/hp-envy-m6-1232ea-15-laptop-black-21321360-pdt.html

£550 minus £100 cashback a few weeks later.
HP Envy with a core i5-3230M and HD 7670M 500GB HDD 6GB RAM.
That would be like Toshiba L870 £480. The Toshiba has a slower CPU but a 17.3″ higher definition screen and 8GB RAM. The Toshiba is heavier.

GPU to gaming:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphic-Cards.13849.0.html

Windows 7 is leftover systems and refurbs and used systems now, except a few custom builds.
You can put back the start menu, and skip the start screen

http://forum.notebookreview.com/windows-os-software/708472-list-start-menu-replacements-windows-8-a.html

Windows 8.1 did some fixes.
If you have heard of Apple Dock, that is interesting to put in Windows

http://www.winstep.net/nexus.asp

Windows 8 may need a media play. Realplayer, VLC player and others are free.
Win 8 boots and shuts down faster normally, but has an annoying full screen mode. You change the OPEN WITH application to have it more like Windows 7.
Windows Update hangs sometimes. That too is fixable. Windows 7 is better than 8, but I would not take an inferior laptop to get it.

Beautiful left-over Asus, but is £600 as mark-down from £700

http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/ASUS_N56VM-S4089V_1352938.html

The GT 630M is not great, but in older games is fine, and this one is 1920×1080 resolution. That’s 1080p with twice the pixels of 1366×768. It also has a bluray player and an external sub-woofer speaker. It’s a top 3 brand in your price range (Asus, Samsung, Lenovo Ideapads)
Very nice laptop, but the 1080p does slow the frames per second. It is WINDOWS 7.

Sandra asks…

Would a Lenovo laptop be good for a college student?

I need to get a laptop for college, and i can’t afford the Mac book pro. So I was looking at Lenovo laptops. My price range would be anything below $550. But i need something to last me a long time and that i can depend on. any suggestions?
I also used Skype quite a bit so anything with a webcam and microphone would be great!(:

steve answers:

I wouldn’t recommend Lenovo because of their unreliability regarding their warranty, repairs, and phone support. Their products are pretty good, but if anything ever goes wrong, it’s a nightmare trying to get it fixed.

I would definitely recommend the HP Pavilion dv4t-5100 Entertainment Notebook PC. Here are the specs:

14-inch HP Pavilion dv4t-5100 Entertainment Notebook PC for $549.99
2.3GHz Intel Core i3
4GB memory
500GB 5400-rpm hard drive
Intel HD Graphics
Built-in battery (10 hours)

It does have a webcam and microphone too. It’s great value for the price. And I really trust HP, they have great customer support if anything ever does go wrong with your laptop. And I’ve had an HP desktop for more than six years now and it’s still going strong. They’re a really great company, and this is a really great laptop.

I hope this helps!

George asks…

What is the best price(in india) for lenovo G580 laptop?

Specifications
4GB DDR3
500GB
1GB GRAPHICS CARD
3rd GEN
CORE I3 DOS.

steve answers:

You’ll probably find better answers to this question in the India’s Answers! Forum. More people in that forum would have better and more current information on prices in India than people here in the USA.

Jenny asks…

What does a decent gaming laptop require?

I would like to purchase a decently running gaming laptop. I really want it for Minecraft but It’d be nice for it to work well for other games, I’m not sure which ones. Anyway… I don’t know anything about this stuff so I was just wondering what I should look for, like how many GB etc. I was looking at the toshiba satellite c855-S5201 at Best Buy. I don’t have a lot of money so this would be a great price for me. Thanks. Just as long as Minecraft runs well it’ll be good for me

steve answers:

That laptop is a very low performance laptop
E1-1200 / HD 7310. Same basic specs as I just answered here:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AiwSOlKONcSkH_5fX4O1hdbty6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20130826152319AAZNd9I

Minecraft runs on just about every new laptop, including that overpriced low performance one you found.
That laptop is C55D-A5240NR with a little bigger HDD storage.
“No, I am afraid to say that unless you think Minecraft is gaming.” is the way I start, because Minecraft is a very low graphics and CPU requirement. If you want higher level gaming, you need a higher level graphics, and raising CPU cannot hurt either, and both are available at a lower or similar price than the Toshiba you show at $300 at Best Buy.

Just about every laptop except C-50 and C70 CPUs and the E-300 and E-450 run better than E1-1200.
Lenovo.com outlet for scratch+Dent+refurb
The Asus at Best Buy

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Asus+-+14%26%2334%3B+Laptop+-+4GB+Memory+-+500GB+Hard+Drive/8850089.p?id=1218914354022&skuId=8850089

The Dell at Best Buy

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Dell+-+Inspiron+15.6%26%2334%3B+Laptop+-+4GB+Memory+-+320GB+Hard+Drive+-+Black/8786054.p?id=1218893506517&skuId=8786054

Or go just a little higher at Best Buy, or find a different store. Both of these above are also low performance, but better than the Toshiba.

Not many new laptops are around at $300 and lower.
Use the graphics and CPU table in the referenced answer.
You would be happier with at least HD 3000 or HD 4000 in the core i3′s or an AMD A6 or A8, even if it has a few dead pixels or surface scratches at the big discount at Lenovo Outlet at Lenovo.com with a 1 year warranty.

Lisa asks…

How good is this processor for a laptop?

Processor:

AMD Dual-Core E1-1200
- 1.4 GHz
- 5 GT/s
- 1 MB L2 cache memory

Additional info’:

Operating System: Windows 8
Memory: 6GB
Hard-drive: 750GB

You can view everything here:

http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/compaq-cq58-241sa-15-6-laptop-18093451-pdt.html

Many thanks!

steve answers:

Your other question deleted.
Both Compaqs are weak choices.
Will give you a little background information to understand one from another first and lay out another few choices.

First, as long as they have a standard 6 cell lithium ion battery, the battery life is never as long as advertised because that is measured wireless off, minimal tasks, screen set lowest brightness. Instead, the weaker the CPU and graphics, the longer the battery life, and that is a tradeoff you have to decide.

Excel and powerpoint can run faster with a good CPU and sufficient DRAM.
Brand quality articles/surveys – read the last two years, ignoring Apple as completely crazy in price.

Http://www.pcworld.com/article/2020725/apple-macbooks-lead-in-laptop-features-and-reliability.html

http://www.pcworld.com/article/244419/laptop_reliability_and_satisfaction_macbooks_rule.html

HP-Compaq and Acer-Packard Bell can be considered on a par as relatively low end quality/reliability after reading both articles.

CPU and graphics performance here:

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php

1) COMPAQ CQ58-241SA at Curry’s £299
AMD Dual-Core E1-1200 (passmark 718 (netbook level)), Radeon HD 7310 (G3D score 153 – very weak), Windows 8, 6 GB low speed ram, 750 GB, 3 x USB 2.0, 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet LAN (slower version. Gigabit is faster when ethernet cable plugged), 0.3mp low light cam, multi-touch gestures and on/off button, 6-cell Li-Ion polymer, 2.45 kg. Summary: Big HDD netbook of larger size with DVD.
2) Compaq CQ58-151SA at HP £280
Celeron B820 (passmark 1496) Intel HD Sandy Bridge estimated G3D 180, Win 7 HP64, 4 GB DDR3
single 1x4GB probably 1333 speed can add another 4GB for about £25, 500 GB, HDMI, 3 USB 2.0, 0.3mp low light web cam, TouchPad with on/off button and support for multitouch gestures, 10/100 BASE-T Ethernet LAN, 2.45 kg. Summary: faster performance, Less RAM, smaller HDD, Win 7, HDMI. Otherwise similar.

3) Acer-Packard Bell TE11 with free mouse. For £305 delivered.

Http://www.acerdirect.co.uk/Packard_Bell_TE11_Core_i3_Windows_8_Laptop__NX.C0AEK.007/version.asp

Core i3 3110M (Passmark 2900). Intel HD 4000 (G3D about 400), 4 GB, 500 GB, Windows 8 Home (64-bit), 3 USB 2.0, webcam, HDMI, 10/100 ethernet, 2.5kg. Summary: higher CPU and graphics power substantially. Brand a little lower than Compaq, but not by much.

4) Lenovo Thinkpad Edge E535 £297.47 after rebate

http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/Lenovo_ThinkPad_Edge_E535_1277385.html

AMD A4-4300M (passmark 1787), Radeon HD 7420G (G3D 275 (corrected from error in table)) Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64-bit, 1x4GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM open slot, 500GB HDD

http://shop.lenovo.com/products/us/laptop/thinkpad/thinkpad-edge/e535/e535-datasheet.pdf

2.45kg, gigabit ethernet, 4 usb 2.0, bluetooth 4.0, HDMI, esata, expresscard, fingerprint reader, pointing stick (little red button), superior quality business level. 1mp cam, other features unstated.

5) Thinkpad Edge E530

http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/Lenovo_ThinkPad_Edge_E530_1277379.html

Similar to #4 but Intel Pentium Dual Core B980 Processor. Passmark 2301, G3D appx 270

Of the 5 PCs, Unless you are dying for the big HDD of #1, there is nothing special about either compaq. Not quality or features in any way, unless you want long battery life and don’t mind response delays.

The Packard Bell has the best CPU and graphics. That would be the fastest response time.
#5 Lenovo Linkpad E530 is an interesting choice. Small business class system with better ethernet, keyboard, fingerprint reader, and a better CPU and graphics than either compaq.

I would say #3 and #5 are best choices in a personal decision of performance vs features.
In your use, with a touch more patience in computing time in spreadsheets and powerpoint that you were going to see even bigger with Compaq, I would go a Thinkpad – #5.

To answer this question directly:
The Compaq is a netbook put into a bigger shell adding DVDRW with a bigger HDD and more RAM. Its processor and graphics are a cheap netbook to match the build quality. If you understand initials, it is a P.O.S.

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