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Need help finding a good priced laptop

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Hi there, I want to buy a laptop (Budget £500, max £550) with good specs, preferably it should have a full HD screen, 1080p, be able to run games such as Football Manager etc. I've been looking at … Read More
yuiodf Avatar
2y, 4m agoPosted 2 years, 4 months ago
Hi there,

I want to buy a laptop (Budget £500, max £550) with good specs, preferably it should have a full HD screen, 1080p, be able to run games such as Football Manager etc. I've been looking at these two deals http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/dell-inspiron-15-5000-series-15inch-screen-i7-4510u-8gb-ram-1tb-hard-drive-m265-2100879?page=2#comments & http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-envy-15-j140na-laptop-499-99-hp-store-2096775. If anyone could help me out or suggest any other laptops I'd really appreciate it (I know the basics about laptop so bear with me.) Really don't know whether to hold out for January sales or just purchase one now.

Thanks in advance
yuiodf Avatar
2y, 4m agoPosted 2 years, 4 months ago
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#1
I'd go with the HP if it were me, both are really similar (the i7 processor using less power but being marginally less powerful, so choose the dell if you want better battery life)

They're pretty decent deals, things that turn it for me for the hp deal are:
-I'd rather have a nvidia discrete card over amd (performancewise the gt 840m is marginally better).
-HP has a hybrid SSD which is something I'd want to upgrade right away on the dell (to a hybrid ssd or ssd)
-HP has a full hd screen 1920x1080 (the dell you listed has a 720p screen, 1366x768)

Both would be okay for light gaming, you'd probably need to throw another £200-300 in if you wanted a good gaming laptop with a better GPU
#2
coerce86
I'd go with the HP if it were me, both are really similar (the i7 processor using less power but being marginally less powerful, so choose the dell if you want better battery life)

They're pretty decent deals, things that turn it for me for the hp deal are:
-I'd rather have a nvidia discrete card over amd (performancewise the gt 840m is marginally better).
-HP has a hybrid SSD which is something I'd want to upgrade right away on the dell (to a hybrid ssd or ssd)
-HP has a full hd screen 1920x1080 (the dell you listed has a 720p screen, 1366x768)

Both would be okay for light gaming, you'd probably need to throw another £200-300 in if you wanted a good gaming laptop with a better GPU

Thanks for the detailed response, appreciate it! Yeah, based on the points you've listed im edging towards the HP (not that bothered about battery life)

Just a couple of questions - what would you define as light gaming, would steam games run normally or would I have to out it own low settings and stuff. And secondly, i know you can't predict the prices in January but based on previous years do you think a laptop with similar spec or better will be cheaper then?

Thanks again :)
#3
yuiodf
coerce86
I'd go with the HP if it were me, both are really similar (the i7 processor using less power but being marginally less powerful, so choose the dell if you want better battery life)

They're pretty decent deals, things that turn it for me for the hp deal are:
-I'd rather have a nvidia discrete card over amd (performancewise the gt 840m is marginally better).
-HP has a hybrid SSD which is something I'd want to upgrade right away on the dell (to a hybrid ssd or ssd)
-HP has a full hd screen 1920x1080 (the dell you listed has a 720p screen, 1366x768)

Both would be okay for light gaming, you'd probably need to throw another £200-300 in if you wanted a good gaming laptop with a better GPU

Thanks for the detailed response, appreciate it! Yeah, based on the points you've listed im edging towards the HP (not that bothered about battery life)

Just a couple of questions - what would you define as light gaming, would steam games run normally or would I have to out it own low settings and stuff. And secondly, i know you can't predict the prices in January but based on previous years do you think a laptop with similar spec or better will be cheaper then?

Thanks again :)

I think the deals listed above are decent (though not spectacular, spectacular deals usually crop up once or twice a year though!)

As for gaming, newer games it will only be able to handle on low/med settings. Ideally for gaming you'd want the next model (gtx 850m) or above as they're quite a lot better, problem is that these often come with a heftier price tag.
#5
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
I'd go with the HP if it were me, both are really similar (the i7 processor using less power but being marginally less powerful, so choose the dell if you want better battery life)

They're pretty decent deals, things that turn it for me for the hp deal are:
-I'd rather have a nvidia discrete card over amd (performancewise the gt 840m is marginally better).
-HP has a hybrid SSD which is something I'd want to upgrade right away on the dell (to a hybrid ssd or ssd)
-HP has a full hd screen 1920x1080 (the dell you listed has a 720p screen, 1366x768)

Both would be okay for light gaming, you'd probably need to throw another £200-300 in if you wanted a good gaming laptop with a better GPU

Thanks for the detailed response, appreciate it! Yeah, based on the points you've listed im edging towards the HP (not that bothered about battery life)

Just a couple of questions - what would you define as light gaming, would steam games run normally or would I have to out it own low settings and stuff. And secondly, i know you can't predict the prices in January but based on previous years do you think a laptop with similar spec or better will be cheaper then?

Thanks again :)

I think the deals listed above are decent (though not spectacular, spectacular deals usually crop up once or twice a year though!)

As for gaming, newer games it will only be able to handle on low/med settings. Ideally for gaming you'd want the next model (gtx 850m) or above as they're quite a lot better, problem is that these often come with a heftier price tag.

Don't think I could wait till a spectacular deal crops up, my current Lenovo one is awful.

Ohh okay, if it was slightly more expensive then I would have considered them but £200+ more is too much for me I'm afraid. Cheers again!
#6
I've just had a quick look on here (at past deals, usually a good place to start) and this one doesn't look too bad:
http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/quotes/SkyFireIII-14/bOk_7m4GRs/

(Only issue is no OS, and ssd you could always upgrade to later)

Do wait for someone else to weigh in before you buy anything, always helps to have a second opinion =]
#7
coerce86
I've just had a quick look on here (at past deals, usually a good place to start) and this one doesn't look too bad:
http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/quotes/SkyFireIII-14/bOk_7m4GRs/

(Only issue is no OS, and ssd you could always upgrade to later)

Do wait for someone else to weigh in before you buy anything, always helps to have a second opinion =]

I think I'll pass on the link you provided as I would ideally want everything to come as I intend to use it (especially with the OS), as I don't know how to upgrade the ssd and stuff (will definitely research it later.)

Will do, if anyone does weigh in :)
#8
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.
#9
EndlessWaves
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.

I'm pretty sure I do, I do watch a lot of films but currently cant at that resolution. Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)
#10
yuiodf
EndlessWaves
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.

I'm pretty sure I do, I do watch a lot of films but currently cant at that resolution. Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

With a higher resolution it puts more pressure on your GPU when playing games =]
#11
coerce86
yuiodf
EndlessWaves
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.

I'm pretty sure I do, I do watch a lot of films but currently cant at that resolution. Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

With a higher resolution it puts more pressure on your GPU when playing games =]

Ohh, learning quite a lot of new things now, did a bit of research regarding SSDs as well :). From what I gathered the games I would play are not that demanding compared to others, so I think this GPU would be able to handle it. I'm guessing that this laptop would only be cope with high demanding games such as Battlefield 3 on low (perhaps medium) settings?
#12
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
EndlessWaves
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.

I'm pretty sure I do, I do watch a lot of films but currently cant at that resolution. Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

With a higher resolution it puts more pressure on your GPU when playing games =]

Ohh, learning quite a lot of new things now, did a bit of research regarding SSDs as well :). From what I gathered the games I would play are not that demanding compared to others, so I think this GPU would be able to handle it. I'm guessing that this laptop would only be cope with high demanding games such as Battlefield 3 on low (perhaps medium) settings?

Yep like I said, FM and things like that should be fine. Some of the new demanding games it will be at minimum requirements

Look here for an idea of how it'll run with different games (towards the bottom), probably the best place for you to see =]
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-840M.105681.0.html

(and if you look here you'll see what I mean about the significant jump on the 850m http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-850M.107795.0.html )
#13
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
EndlessWaves
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.

I'm pretty sure I do, I do watch a lot of films but currently cant at that resolution. Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

With a higher resolution it puts more pressure on your GPU when playing games =]

Ohh, learning quite a lot of new things now, did a bit of research regarding SSDs as well :). From what I gathered the games I would play are not that demanding compared to others, so I think this GPU would be able to handle it. I'm guessing that this laptop would only be cope with high demanding games such as Battlefield 3 on low (perhaps medium) settings?

Yep like I said, FM and things like that should be fine. Some of the new demanding games it will be at minimum requirements

Look here for an idea of how it'll run with different games (towards the bottom), probably the best place for you to see =]
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-840M.105681.0.html

(and if you look here you'll see what I mean about the significant jump on the 850m http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-850M.107795.0.html )

Woah, that is quite a big jump! Yeah, I don't think its worth me going for the 850m, especially as I'm looking to get a PS4.

Its looking more and more likely that I'll go for the HP, unless a better deal pops up in the next few days. Only thing I'm slightly concerned about is quite a few number of people have complained about SSDs becoming corrupted or motherboard issues, do you think this is relevant? And do you reckon I should keep my current laptop as a backup? I was hoping to sell it to raise funds. Thanks :)
#14
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
EndlessWaves
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.

I'm pretty sure I do, I do watch a lot of films but currently cant at that resolution. Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

With a higher resolution it puts more pressure on your GPU when playing games =]

Ohh, learning quite a lot of new things now, did a bit of research regarding SSDs as well :). From what I gathered the games I would play are not that demanding compared to others, so I think this GPU would be able to handle it. I'm guessing that this laptop would only be cope with high demanding games such as Battlefield 3 on low (perhaps medium) settings?

Yep like I said, FM and things like that should be fine. Some of the new demanding games it will be at minimum requirements

Look here for an idea of how it'll run with different games (towards the bottom), probably the best place for you to see =]
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-840M.105681.0.html

(and if you look here you'll see what I mean about the significant jump on the 850m http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-850M.107795.0.html )

Woah, that is quite a big jump! Yeah, I don't think its worth me going for the 850m, especially as I'm looking to get a PS4.

Its looking more and more likely that I'll go for the HP, unless a better deal pops up in the next few days. Only thing I'm slightly concerned about is quite a few number of people have complained about SSDs becoming corrupted or motherboard issues, do you think this is relevant? And do you reckon I should keep my current laptop as a backup? I was hoping to sell it to raise funds. Thanks :)

Rather than do that it may be worth just getting the extended warranty on it for an extra £79 (to take it to 3 years), that's what I'd go for.

If you can get 10% through quidco as someone suggests on the post it'll be well worth it (also look on quidco there may be an option to extend the warranty to 2 years at no extra cost).

This would be the preferred option if it were me over keeping your old laptop too.
#15
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
EndlessWaves
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.

I'm pretty sure I do, I do watch a lot of films but currently cant at that resolution. Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

With a higher resolution it puts more pressure on your GPU when playing games =]

Ohh, learning quite a lot of new things now, did a bit of research regarding SSDs as well :). From what I gathered the games I would play are not that demanding compared to others, so I think this GPU would be able to handle it. I'm guessing that this laptop would only be cope with high demanding games such as Battlefield 3 on low (perhaps medium) settings?

Yep like I said, FM and things like that should be fine. Some of the new demanding games it will be at minimum requirements

Look here for an idea of how it'll run with different games (towards the bottom), probably the best place for you to see =]
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-840M.105681.0.html

(and if you look here you'll see what I mean about the significant jump on the 850m http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-850M.107795.0.html )

Woah, that is quite a big jump! Yeah, I don't think its worth me going for the 850m, especially as I'm looking to get a PS4.

Its looking more and more likely that I'll go for the HP, unless a better deal pops up in the next few days. Only thing I'm slightly concerned about is quite a few number of people have complained about SSDs becoming corrupted or motherboard issues, do you think this is relevant? And do you reckon I should keep my current laptop as a backup? I was hoping to sell it to raise funds. Thanks :)

Rather than do that it may be worth just getting the extended warranty on it for an extra £79 (to take it to 3 years), that's what I'd go for.

If you can get 10% through quidco as someone suggests on the post it'll be well worth it (also look on quidco there may be an option to extend the warranty to 2 years at no extra cost).

This would be the preferred option if it were me over keeping your old laptop too.

I was looking at the extended warranty, I think I might go for it just to be on the safe side. However, apparently the 10% quidco and 2 year warranty doesn't work as its being used on top of a code :(. Would have been wicked if it did.
#16
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
EndlessWaves
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.

I'm pretty sure I do, I do watch a lot of films but currently cant at that resolution. Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

With a higher resolution it puts more pressure on your GPU when playing games =]

Ohh, learning quite a lot of new things now, did a bit of research regarding SSDs as well :). From what I gathered the games I would play are not that demanding compared to others, so I think this GPU would be able to handle it. I'm guessing that this laptop would only be cope with high demanding games such as Battlefield 3 on low (perhaps medium) settings?

Yep like I said, FM and things like that should be fine. Some of the new demanding games it will be at minimum requirements

Look here for an idea of how it'll run with different games (towards the bottom), probably the best place for you to see =]
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-840M.105681.0.html

(and if you look here you'll see what I mean about the significant jump on the 850m http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-850M.107795.0.html )

Woah, that is quite a big jump! Yeah, I don't think its worth me going for the 850m, especially as I'm looking to get a PS4.

Its looking more and more likely that I'll go for the HP, unless a better deal pops up in the next few days. Only thing I'm slightly concerned about is quite a few number of people have complained about SSDs becoming corrupted or motherboard issues, do you think this is relevant? And do you reckon I should keep my current laptop as a backup? I was hoping to sell it to raise funds. Thanks :)

Rather than do that it may be worth just getting the extended warranty on it for an extra £79 (to take it to 3 years), that's what I'd go for.

If you can get 10% through quidco as someone suggests on the post it'll be well worth it (also look on quidco there may be an option to extend the warranty to 2 years at no extra cost).

This would be the preferred option if it were me over keeping your old laptop too.

I was looking at the extended warranty, I think I might go for it just to be on the safe side. However, apparently the 10% quidco and 2 year warranty doesn't work as its being used on top of a code :(. Would have been wicked if it did.

May be worth trying it anyway, sometimes they do =]
#17
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
coerce86
yuiodf
EndlessWaves
Are you sure you want a 1920x1080 screen? Unless you're doing a lot of film/television watching it's not the most practical of resolutions.

I'm pretty sure I do, I do watch a lot of films but currently cant at that resolution. Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

With a higher resolution it puts more pressure on your GPU when playing games =]

Ohh, learning quite a lot of new things now, did a bit of research regarding SSDs as well :). From what I gathered the games I would play are not that demanding compared to others, so I think this GPU would be able to handle it. I'm guessing that this laptop would only be cope with high demanding games such as Battlefield 3 on low (perhaps medium) settings?

Yep like I said, FM and things like that should be fine. Some of the new demanding games it will be at minimum requirements

Look here for an idea of how it'll run with different games (towards the bottom), probably the best place for you to see =]
http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-840M.105681.0.html

(and if you look here you'll see what I mean about the significant jump on the 850m http://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-850M.107795.0.html )

Woah, that is quite a big jump! Yeah, I don't think its worth me going for the 850m, especially as I'm looking to get a PS4.

Its looking more and more likely that I'll go for the HP, unless a better deal pops up in the next few days. Only thing I'm slightly concerned about is quite a few number of people have complained about SSDs becoming corrupted or motherboard issues, do you think this is relevant? And do you reckon I should keep my current laptop as a backup? I was hoping to sell it to raise funds. Thanks :)

Rather than do that it may be worth just getting the extended warranty on it for an extra £79 (to take it to 3 years), that's what I'd go for.

If you can get 10% through quidco as someone suggests on the post it'll be well worth it (also look on quidco there may be an option to extend the warranty to 2 years at no extra cost).

This would be the preferred option if it were me over keeping your old laptop too.

I was looking at the extended warranty, I think I might go for it just to be on the safe side. However, apparently the 10% quidco and 2 year warranty doesn't work as its being used on top of a code :(. Would have been wicked if it did.

May be worth trying it anyway, sometimes they do =]

Will do, just hope they don't cancel the order altogether! :)
#18
yuiodf
Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

Most things are sized in pixels, so if you cram more pixels on the screen you have smaller pixels. This does allow you to fit more stuff on, but at the cost of everything becoming smaller.

There is a general move to remove that link so size can be set independently of pixels and higher resolution screens can be used but it requires a lot of work by a lot of people as most ways to take advantage of it are program specific so every program developer needs to look at it. In the mean time the best way to scale is in round numbers like 2x, 3x etc.

1920x1080 isn't an ideal resolution for most laptop uses because it's high enough that it results in everything being small without scaling while being low enough that you'd have to use 1.25x (5/4) or 1.33x (4/3) scaling to get usable sizing or run it at non-native resolutions, both of which result in a little bit of fuzzyness.

Some people have good enough eyesight that they can use 1920x1080 as it is and others are willing to put up with the minor scaling problems for video use (although generally when the screen is high quality). If possible it's worth seeing such a screen side by side with a slightly lower resolution (e.g. 1600x900) to make sure you're happy with it.
#19
EndlessWaves
yuiodf
Is there any way that resolution can be a hindrance? Thanks for taking the time to respond :)

Most things are sized in pixels, so if you cram more pixels on the screen you have smaller pixels. This does allow you to fit more stuff on, but at the cost of everything becoming smaller.

There is a general move to remove that link so size can be set independently of pixels and higher resolution screens can be used but it requires a lot of work by a lot of people as most ways to take advantage of it are program specific so every program developer needs to look at it. In the mean time the best way to scale is in round numbers like 2x, 3x etc.

1920x1080 isn't an ideal resolution for most laptop uses because it's high enough that it results in everything being small without scaling while being low enough that you'd have to use 1.25x (5/4) or 1.33x (4/3) scaling to get usable sizing or run it at non-native resolutions, both of which result in a little bit of fuzzyness.

Some people have good enough eyesight that they can use 1920x1080 as it is and others are willing to put up with the minor scaling problems for video use (although generally when the screen is high quality). If possible it's worth seeing such a screen side by side with a slightly lower resolution (e.g. 1600x900) to make sure you're happy with it.

Not really an issue though or reason not to have a higher res screen, scaling down is never a problem and a 1080p screen scaled down to 720p will never look worse than a 720p monitor (as a matter of fact it will look the same).
-Just another reason to have a screen that can do 1080p (1920x1080) as you can always set your screen to a lower resolution (and when it scales back to 1080p its ideal for watching movies/doing graphic design work)
#20
coerce86
Not really an issue though or reason not to have a higher res screen, scaling down is never a problem and a 1080p screen scaled down to 720p will never look worse than a 720p monitor (as a matter of fact it will look the same).

That's simply incorrect. Scaling a lower resolution (in your example 1280x720) up to a screen that isn't an integer multiple of it (2560x1440, 3840x2160) will result in a slight blur to the picture because the pixels don't fit exactly. The same applies whether you use a non-native resolution or windows scaling settings on a program not supporting HighDPI mode (a lot of them).

For a simple example you've got a 2x2 grid of pixels (4 cells). You can easily imagine how they can be reproduced on a 4x4 grid (16 cells) the same overall size - each block of four is exactly the same size as each previous single pixel. What do you do on a 3x3 grid (9 cells) though? The original pixels cover one and a half of the new pixels in each direction. There's no way you can make it look identical.

With lots of pixels you can make a good approximation, especially for things like videos were black to white contrasts (such as text) are rare, but there'll always be some loss of sharpness, which is one of the advantages of going for a higher resolution screen in the first place.

Edited By: EndlessWaves on Dec 30, 2014 21:23

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