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  1. #1
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    Recommendations on non-gaming laptops?

    Anyone have any recommendations on non-gaming laptops? It's for my sister. Something like a Sony Vaio or Macbook, but better value.

    What's an acceptable spec for a laptop around 400 quid these days?

  2. #2
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    I'd imagine something like an i3-2350m with 4 gig RAM, probably 500 gig HD in a 15.6" laptop, but something tells me you will be paying more attention to the chassis than the specs, so find something with a nice case lid.

  3. #3
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    Heh. I think you're right. I'm trying to get a bit more information from her on priorities and uses.

    I'm out of touch with hardware these days, so it's a bit confusing that 300 quid laptops have 2.ghz processors and 4gb ram, and 800 quid laptops have 2.3ghz processors with 4gb ram. Clearly i need to read up on the little numbers that come after the processor. Any recommendations on decent but not overpriced brands?

  4. #4
    Lenovo X200 has excellent build quality and a nice small form factor. In general the Lenovo thinkpads are built to last as they are business class machines.

  5. #5
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    Good lord. I've discovered that I'm totally out of touch with laptop hardware.. must be getting old. Feel like my dad.

    So, i7 > i5 > i3 > amd but i3 or greater should be ok for most things?

    Build quality is probably the main issue, as they have a little kid. It'll be their main home PC, so it needs to last for a while and not be underpowered, but they aren't using it for games or anthing majorly intensive.

    TBH it seems like the main functional difference between a 300 quid laptop and a 1000 laptop is just the case and the weight. (thick and plastic vs thin and metal).

    Most seem to come with 4gn ram. Is that enough these days? Is there anything like usb3 that's considered essential?
    given that i'm on a 5 year old laptop that seems to run everything fine, it seems like things have kind of plateaued, leaving a huge range of viable machines. Too much choice.

    Of course, since they asked win8 has come out and all the models have changed... sigh.

    Pop quiz - for anyone with time on their hands. Which one under 650 quid would you pick: 15 inch:
    http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computi...ops-315-c.html

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    Pop quiz - for anyone with time on their hands. Which one under 650 quid would you pick: 15 inch:
    http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computi...ops-315-c.html
    In horrendously late here but... The thing to understand with laptops is that they come in 3 distinct types (excluding 'netbooks' which we'll not even discuss).

    1 - consumer laptops (generally under 450). Made of cheap plastics with nasty 'flexing' keyboards. They're designed to make you upgrade within a year - people have actually given them away before that time was up! Within their range of prices the only differentiation is CPU/Memory/screen size and perhaps dedicated graphics (which will still be no-good for gaming) - oh and 'pretty lids'

    2 - high-end laptops (generally over 450). Quality not always that much better but lots of 'designer' features (esp from Sony) such silver trim and 'ultrabook' slimness. You'll start to see bigger chassis/screens, half-decent dedicated graphics (will still struggle to play recent games tho) and all that jazz as you spend more.

    Note: To actually "play games" you need to be looking over 600 and maybe more again - barking money.

    3 - corporate laptops. These are the well-built ones - metal chassis, plastics which don't break when you sneeze etc. New Price on these is ludicrous but refurbs are cheap and theyr'e well made so they last. They're my recommendation for a 'cheap' laptop every time - hell, some of them still carry their original 'on site' warranties (companies tend to buy those for 3 or even 4 years!)

    Remember: Lenovo make bulletproof corporate (Thinkpad) machines but their consumer laptops are the same cheap shitty rubbish you get from everyone else - see also HP/Compaq, Dell

    Summary - Asda/Tesco will sell you a Facebook laptop for 300-350. Try to get a known brand (HP/Compaq/Dell over tat like Asus/Acer/Packard Bell) because you'll find spares easier to find later.
    Last edited by trjp; 05-11-2012 at 03:04 AM.

  7. #7
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    I have seen some of the new ASUS laptops which look pretty good for the specs, saw one in HMV

  8. #8
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    Thanks all. I came to a similar conclusion and mostly recommended getting one that felt well built. If I was in the country then I'd probably be more use. I'd recommed the second hand corporate route, except i'm not sure it'd be good for someone with no PC knowledge.

    I'll pass on the recommendations.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianjones View Post
    I have seen some of the new ASUS laptops which look pretty good for the specs, saw one in HMV
    The huge alarm bells with companies like ASUS, Acer, Packard Bell (part of ASUS I think?), eMachines et al is that they change models and specs every 20 mins - which means when you need a new battery or bezel or cooler or other 'bespoke' bit, it won't be easy or cheap to find.

    Compare this to Dell/HP/Compaq/Toshiba who make 100s of 1000s of every model so batteries and other parts are dirt-cheap. I recently had to replace a keyboard in an Asus - it cost 45 for a USED one - similar brand-new keyboard in an HP was 8.95!!

    Same as a cheap car really, buy a Focus and you'll find spares piled-high - buy a [insert whitegood cheap car from the far-east e.g. Kia, Suzuki, Perodua] and discover the entertaining parts pricing which comes from a car no-one bothered to buy or make pattern parts for...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillButNotBen View Post
    Thanks all. I came to a similar conclusion and mostly recommended getting one that felt well built. If I was in the country then I'd probably be more use. I'd recommed the second hand corporate route, except i'm not sure it'd be good for someone with no PC knowledge.

    I'll pass on the recommendations.
    Don't be too afraid of the refurb - the real downside is scratches and dents, which puts some people off, but get one with Windows7 (which means it's fairly recent and a decent spec) and it's just like any other laptop (or be brave and get a Vista one - either way it's 25 for Windows 8!!)

    Example: Bigpockets.co.uk sell Dell E6400s for just over 200 which are decently powerful. They also do HP 6910ps which are slightly older tech. for around the 160-170 mark - that's half the price of the white-goods tat in Tesco or Asda.

    Warranty is short (30-90 days depending) and you might need a new battery (they only guarantee it 'works' - most will die in < 1hour) but that's 20-30 at most and many of these machines still have manufacturer warranty on them (most were 3 years and W7 is barely that old!!)

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