Laptop for school, any Ideas please??

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by sy64004, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. sy64004

    sy64004 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    119
    I work in a school and am looking to buy a laptop. We have a budget of £500 and I have no previous experience with buying laptops. Could any one suggest where to get them from for a good price and what models to look at??

    I also have a £300 budget for a digital camera. Can anyone suggest a camera that would be good for children to use (ease of use and "droppable").

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
     
  2. Grandmaster

    Grandmaster Electronica Addict Political User Folding Team

    Messages:
    10,574
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Sazar likes this.
  3. sy64004

    sy64004 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    119
    Thanks Grandmaster I was looking at Dell but I'm unsure of model or spec.

    Any ideas on Cameras??
     
  4. Grandmaster

    Grandmaster Electronica Addict Political User Folding Team

    Messages:
    10,574
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    What are you going to be using the laptop for?

    Sorry, I have no real advice for buying a camera because I'm clueless when it comes to that :p
     
  5. sy64004

    sy64004 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    119
    The laptop will be used by the kids to help with their studies, it may be used to edit photos as well from time to time
     
  6. Aprox

    Aprox Moderator Political User

    Messages:
    2,737
    Location:
    California, USA
    If you are going to be editing photos it might be a good idea to get 1GB of ram. This will also as I am sure you know, help in general computing as well.

    As far as a camera goes, what is it going to be used for?
     
  7. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    What is the budget? (assuming 1.75 dollars =1 pound)
    -General purpose, slow, limited or no filters or adapters. $200 (120 pounds)
    -Good quality point and shoot, faster, most allow filters but not adapters. $200-500 (120-300 pounds)
    -SLR with interchangeable lenses. $800-10,000 (460-5700 pounds)
    --Lenses will run $200-1000.
    --Nikon has the best price on an SLR digital right now.

    What are you going to be using the camera for?
    -Landscape
    -Still life (scientific, group photo's, etc)
    -Action (this couild get costly for digital)

    Do you expect to be doing close up work?
    -Microscope of telescope mounts needed?
    -Special filters?

    Up to 5 megapixels are pretty cheap now. Plan on buying an add on memory card 256-512MB ($25-50, 15-30 pounds). Internal memeory capacity is worthless at 5 megapixel resolution.
     
  8. sy64004

    sy64004 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    119
    Thanks for the replys guys

    Unfortunatley all the laptops with 1 gig in are pretty high end and way out of our price range. I wouldn't mind a gig of ram for myself!!


    The camera will be used by the kids as just a normal point and shoot. No filters or microscopes involved but I would like to get a good quality one that can take a bit of a pounding. The budget is about $500. We've had Fujifilm cameras in the past but I was wondering whether to make the switch to Nikon. I've been reading a lot of good things about them.

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
     
  9. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    The amount of memory is very important on the laptop. Try and find one that will have just one 512 MB stick in it. Then you can buy your own second RAM stick at half the price (or less) of what the laptop guys will charge you. "Marketing 101 give away the Barbie dolls and charge a fortune for the dresses."


    Back to the fun stuff:
    Nikon has been very agressive in pricing lately. i.e. more bang for your buck (or pound). The advantage to Nikon is in the optics which is not that important for general usage. The Nikon might also have better features in it than a Fuji. Better exposure, faster focus, etc.

    When you find a few possible choices post them and we'll do a feature comparison. (Camera and Laptop) Everybody here just loves helping other spend their money. :)

    Since the kids are using it I would look for a camera with solid construction. i.e. Battery, memory slot covers, etc that are robust enough for a lot of handling. Rounded corners (less likely to crack) when bounced around.

    Batteries - make sure the camera uses standard AA NiMH batteries, preferably 4. Lithium batteries last a lot longer but are very expensive compared to alkaline or NiMH. Rechargeable lithium are $50 each and you will want at least one spare.

    I love this site. Search for your spec's and brand comparisons. Prices and sellers are USA unfortunately.
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/compare.asp

    If you like the traditional SLR shape:
    Fujifilm FinePix S5200 Zoom
    Fujifilm FinePix S7000 Zoom

    If you are into the cigarette pack look:
    Canon PowerShot A610

    Accessories for either one:
    8 pack niMH batteries and a charger $25
    256 Mb memory card $25-50 (higher for the fuji, it uses xD instead of SD memory)

    Avoid Konica-Minolta. They are leaving the camera market.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2006
    Grandmaster likes this.
  10. onimkron

    onimkron OSNN Senior Addict

    Messages:
    414
    There's a whole batch of Canon A-series digital camera coming out soon (6 models I think), mainly because of the upcoming PMA show. That might reduce the prices on the older models, or maybe you'd like to wait for the new ones to come out :)

    I had a Canon A520, and it was very fun to play with. For childrens, the curved front-grip where the shutter release is might make is easier to hold for small hands. I don't have any Nikon cameras to compare with though.
     
  11. sy64004

    sy64004 OSNN Addict

    Messages:
    119
    Thanks for the help guys. i've recommended they get the Dell Inspiron 630M or 6000. There's an offer on to double the memory free (up to a gig).

    Still not sure about the camera though We have had a Canon before and it was a bit complicated for the kids (7-11 yo) so it may be a Fujifilm (F11 zoom caught my eye earlier).

    I'll keep you updated, thanks for the help