Computer sales in South Africa by ComX Computers - please enter our online shop here

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Laptops South Africa - Notebooks South Africa

Laptop computers are portable computers and are ideal for users who frequently have to do work on the move. The performance of the notebooks are approaching that of the desktop computer, with built in 3D graphics accelerators with independant memory, faster memory modules and hard drives. The Centrino range of laptops offers the user wireless connectivity, slim designs and reduced battery consumption.

Desknote computers are partially portable computers that do not have batteries. They must be connected to a power point. Some desknotes are the same size as a laptop. Desknote computers are all-in-one units and already have a built monitor and all the required hardware.

Brands of laptops available in South Africa

  • Mecer
  • Proline
  • Toshiba
  • Compaq
  • Sahara
  • Aopen
  • Fujitsu-Siemens
  • Asus
  • Acer
  • Eurocom
  • HP
  • IBM
  • BenQ

View our range of laptops here

We also recommend:
Laptop Direct for a wide range of laptops, digital projectors and PDA in South Africa.
MecerPC online computer shop for all Mecer product

 

Need advice on buying a laptop? We have it here. This is intended for the beginner and this is a copy of the information found the laptop page.

Laptop or notebook? | XP Home and Pro | Piracy | Processor | Hard drive | Memory | Which laptop to select?


What is the difference between a notebook and a laptop?

There may have been some difference in the past, but today these terms are inter-changeable. A notebook and a laptop refers to the same thing.

What is the difference between XP Home and XP Professional?

1. Price - Windows XP Home is cheaper

2. Network Connectivity

XP Home allows peer to peer networking - such as at home or small office with up to 10 people - you can share files, printers and modems on each others computers, with or without the need for passwords.

XP Pro allows connectivity to domains or servers, and allows unlimited connections to the servers and each other.

3. Security

XP Pro is used in larger companies that require servers and secure connections to files with password protection to log onto the server.

Smaller companies may still use XP Home with other security devices, such as lockable drives and encryption without the need for a server.

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I receive a quote with a free copy of windows (pirate copy), please match my price.

We do not supply pirate software. We can provide a laptop without software and some laptops now come with a free copy of Linux operating systems. Linux is freeware and versions such as Suse is free for personal use.

Please note that we do not check for piracy on customer's laptops as this is not our core business, it is in the user's own best interest to obtain legal copies of their own software. Microsoft does insist that a licence sticker be placed on every laptop sold.

Some companies that license theire software (such as EA, Microsoft and Symantec) have now started to clamp down on piracy:

  • forcing end-users to activate their software before they can use it.
  • de-activating illegal copy's serial numbers on new patch releases. This means that the pirate user as well as the original ditributor of the illegal copies will have their copy rendered useless when they try to update their software.
  • forcing distributors to check for serial number or license stickers on each laptop that goes in for service, upgrade or enquiry and reporting suspected piracy.
  • making piracy a criminal offence in South Africa - the law gives police the power to arrest end-users and confiscate computer equipment and illegal software.

If you are concerned about your illegal software, our advice is not to call the BSA, but to acquire legal copies of your software as soon as possible. By contacting the BSA, you are inviting the BSA to audit your laptop for all pirate software, including the software you never knew you had.

For more information, contact the BSA hotline on 0800 110 447

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Laptop Processor (Microprocessor)

The processor is the "brains" of a computer and does all the work in a computer - the faster the processor, the faster the computer performs. AMD and Intel processors are rated differently since they use different technologies, and AMD processors usually have better performance at the same clock speeds as an Intel "equivalent".

We recommend at least a 1.8GHz processor for Windows XP.
The choice between Intel and AMD is down to individual taste and price range.

Intel Celeron
The Intel Celeron is a "budget" version of the Intel Pentium 4, and offers poorer performance than a P4 at the same clock rate. The processor is capable of driving today's applications and may be used in both business and home applications. Not recommended for today's top end games and graphics or video editing applications, but will still do the job that is required. Laptops that use standard Celeron are usually upgradeble.

AMD Athlon
The AMD Athlon uses different technologies than Intel, and these processors are capable of delivering good performance at lower clock rates. As a result, the AMD is rated as two figures. The first (such as 2800+) means that the processor has a performance equivalent to an Intel P4 (in this case, 2.8GHz). The second is the real clock rate at which the processor operates. These processors are used in business, gaming, video editing and graphics editing applications.

Intel Pentium 4 (P4)
The P4 is the most expensive processor in the normal range of processors. These processors are used in business, gaming, video editing and graphics editing applications. Laptops that use standard Pentium processors are usually upgradeble.

Mobile Intel processors
The Mobile processors deliver good performance and reduced power consumption. Not as powerfull as the standard processors and more expensive. Battery life is extended at the cost of performance. These laptops are generaly not upgradeable to faster processors.

Intel Centrino
Superior performance at the same clock speed as standard processors, mainly due to it's large cache size. The Centrino offers superior battery life (3.5 hours when consuming around 13Watts of power), and wireless connectivity. Very expensive and the laptops are generably not upgradeable to faster processors.

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Memory

Memory is the second most important hardware item on a laptop when it comes to performance. Windows XP requires 192MB (256MB is the recommended standard) for the operating system to work efficiently. Some companies do sell laptops with 128MB and even 64MB. Performance on these laptops is so bad with some software packages (notably graphics, video and games), it is simply a matter of time before the end-user upgrade their laptop again.

We recommend a minimum of 256MB DDR memory for best performance with XP.

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Hard drive

Hard drives store the information on magnetic disk. Hard drives do play a major role on on computer performance, but it is not as noticeable as memory or processor speeds. Laptops use the 2.5" drives which are relatively slower than a desktop machine, but new hard drives with faster speeds are starting to appear on the market.

The smallest hard drive you should consider for a laptop is 20GB (Gigabytes), all other smaller drives are now obsolete in all continents except Africa.

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Which make and model of laptop do I select?

This is a matter of choice. Seleting a notebook is not as easy as selecting a desktop computer, mainly due to cost and the inability to upgrade at a later date. Considering the following point will help you in making a decision:

Read the reviews:
Surf the Internet for other people's views on the product you are looking at purchasing. Do not make an impulse buy and wait it out if you can. Ask people about their experiences they had with after-sales support on the various brands.

Our recommended minimum specification for general use, using Windows XP:
256MB memory, 40GB hard drive, 15" LCD monitor, Firewire and USB, DVD / CD Writter combo drive.

Graphics design, Video editing: Laptops are not generally recommended for professional use for various reasons - the speed is never going to be as good as desktop systems, the screen is too small, and LCD screens do not cover the full range of colour tones that a CRT monitor is capable of displaying and it may be difficult to see compression anomalies on the final image or video. A top spec machine is required and this means 512MB DDR memory or more, a good processor, a graphics accellerator and a bright LCD. High speed drives are also available for laptops. For video editing, a Firewire port is recommended. For professional graphics design, an external CRT monitor is defintely recommended.

Playing games and work: Select a laptop with a built in graphics accelerator. Do not expect high end desktop performance though, mobile graphics accelerators are always poor performers. Not less than 256MB DDR memory and a 40GB hard drive.

Work only: Select a laptop that has networking (most laptops already do), with a CD Writter as a minimum. Most new laptops do not have 1.44" stiffy drives built in, so consider getting an external drive. Do not even consider buying a machine with less than 256MB (128MB+64MB upgrade is acceptable for today's software on XP) if you intend on getting a truely productive machine.

Word processing only: Even though this is unlikely to be a reason to purchase a laptop for standard business users (unless you are a journalist or author), if your only requirement is for word processing, then we still recommend more than 128MB memory, but this is not essential unless you intend on using your laptop for other functions such as surfing the internet and networking with other machines.

Internet and network access on laptops: All laptops now come with built in modems and network cards. 128MB may be fine for your use, however, due to the way in which browsers cache small files on your hard drive and the need for firewalls and anti-virus software, it may become extremely unproductive and frustrating to work with a machine with this amount of memory.
An infra red port or blue tooth capability is essential if you intend on using your cell phone as a modem. (Take note that cell phone are slow as modems, with a maximum speed of 9600bps, this is 5 to 6 times slower than a standard 56K modem - this is network limitation). Blue tooth does not come standard on most laptops, however, you can obtain a small USB bluetooth adaptor for only a few hundred Rands.

Centrino or not?
Centrino laptops are extremely expensive, and you have to decide wherether the extra cost is worth it for the extra features you get.
The advantages: Wireless connectivity (not many places support this in South Africa), very compact designs, light weight, low power usage, long battery life, sufficient performance with today's applications.
Disadvantages: Expensive, slower than standard processors for certain applications.

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Laptops and Notebooks Sales shown on this site is by ComX Computers in South Africa, an approved re-seller of all laptop brands available in South Africa including Mecer, Proline, Sahara, Mecer, Toshiba.By browsing our web site, you agree to our terms and conditions. Contents and layout are protected by law, copyright ©2004-2005 ComX.
All laptop / notebook pricing is subject to change without notice.