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 Post subject: Where do I start, Toshiba? Fujitsu?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:05 am 

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:07 am
Posts: 1
I'm new to this forum, hello, my name is John.

I think my laptop has finally had enough with me. It was a cheap one at the time of purchase, a Dell Inspiron 1545. It isn't that old, about 2 and a half years, yet now when i turn it on to do even simple tasks the fan kicks in making it sound like a full size hoover which drives me totally insane if I want to do any work on it. Also today the transformer stopped working all together (I have had to wire it up to an old transformer I had kicking around [did you know that Dell have decided to not use a standard connector either, they used a weird octagonal effort, see the pic attached]).

I am a web developer / programmer by trade and typically use my laptop for 1) coding 2) the odd bit of image creation manipulation with GIMP or similar 3) video calling 4) listening to music 5) Just taking my office to somewhere else, the train, home.. etc etc.

Right now as I write this post with only firefox running the fan is a constant dull drone in the background, too high pitched to ignore and too loud to live with. Why on earth any manufacturer would decide to build a laptop with such an annoying fan is beyond me! Secondly the fan is under the blummin thing. Now i am not an engineer but something tells me that the best place for a fan to cool this little monster down is NOT under it but maybe on top. I personally am anti apple (feel free to quiz why) but one thing they have managed to achieve (in my opinion) is a good placement of the fan, it sits on top just under the screen so the user can't obstruct it by using it like a laptop and placing it say, on a table! OK, rant over.

Having clicked around aimlessly on the www i have come to the conclusion that a fanless laptop does not yet exist, only claustrophobic netbooks are truly fanless.. and they simply will not do for me..

If you are still reading, thank you, and could you help me... where do i start looking for a laptop, and what are the good reliable brands? I do not want a power book, just one that can handle multiple files being opened at the same time, that won't burn up when video calling and handle a bit of fireworks or gimp... Toshiba?

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 Post subject: Re: Where do I start, Toshiba? Fujitsu?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:16 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 12185
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
I know exactly where you're coming. I've gone through my share of nasty sounding laptops.

I would recommend a Lenovo X220, since this is mostly a workhorse machine for you. The X220 is an excellent machine with some fan noise under load, but that noise is relatively smooth, easy to ignore. The standard HDD is quiet enough under all conditions. It's a great 1366x768 12.5" screen. I got the slightly pricier IPS panel (Premium HD option), which has excellent viewing angles. Light, small, durable & powerful with a big enough screen for web page work & image editing (for me, not for long periods, but you probably have younger eyes & fingers).

There have been some user reports of electronic whine (typically from motherboard or power supply electronics) but mine does not make a peep of that type of noise. For quiet laptops, this is the #1 issue imo.

Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

 Post subject: Re: Where do I start, Toshiba? Fujitsu?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:58 pm 

Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1740
Location: Switzerland
If noise is very important, I would consider one of the newer low-power models since powerful laptops are never very quiet.
The nicer models are better than what used to be available a few years back. I depends on what you want of course.

Depedending on what performance issues you're looking at, replacing the default drive with a good SSD is a great fix. They're also silent and don't break if you drop them.

One advantage of IBM/Lenovo laptops is that it used to be fairly easy to buy parts and to replace the fan yourself, even with old and unsupported models. I don't know about the newer models.
Once I also got the noisy fan of a 2 year old Lenovo replaced for free abroad under IBM's IWS (it was available on many of Lenovo's premium laptops a few years back). This is good to know for people who would like to buy a Thinkpad in the US and use in countries where they are very expensive (switching keyboards is a piece of cake by the way). But YMMV of course.

Most Lenovos don't have good screens unfortunately (Mike's IPS is an exception).
I'm kinda married to Thinkpad keyboards but there are other nice laptops around such as HP's Elitebook line.

The exact model you want depends in large part on what size you want. There are different sizes for different uses.

 Post subject: Re: Where do I start, Toshiba? Fujitsu?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:05 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Posts: 5581
Location: Monterey Bay, CA
Take a look at - it's a fairly thorough review site for laptops - including noise tests. You can do an advanced search based on an a number of reviewed parameters to narrow down the field. Here's the listing for the Lenovo x220.

1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, MSI Z87-G45, MSI GTX 760 2GB Gaming, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung Evo 250GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic X-560. 35-40W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 200-230W Rift, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg

 Post subject: Re: Where do I start, Toshiba? Fujitsu?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:14 am 

Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 11:45 am
Posts: 46
Location: Scotland
Have you tried cleaning the heatsink or replacing it's thermal paste? If it's clogged with dust, or the thermal paste between it and the CPU has dried up then the CPU will run hot, causing the fan to spin unusually fast.

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