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REALLY NEED A LAPTOP!!!

emaad Avatar
2y, 5m agoPosted 2 years, 5 months ago
I am absolutely SICK and TIRED of my current lappy...some old lenovo3000 N100. With that stupid little fingerprint scanner which I have NEVER used. Just switching between browser windows or even tabs within a window leaves me with enough time to put the kettle on and come back again. Using Open Office is torture.

So basically what I'm after is...
BUDGET: £250 ideally (will push up to £300 if I'm getting a pretty good deal) ALL INCLUSIVE
MUST BE: Capable for at least around another 3 years, Sturdy & Reliable
I NEED: MS Office, bluetooth+wifi
PREFER: Latest windows, Number pad, optical drive
PROCESSOR: What power/level/type processor is good for me? I don't mind the odd game once a week or so but not really crucial. Will not be crunching any serious numbers. May do some light photo editing, maybe even video editing (probably not!).
SCREEN:Which size screen is good? Currently working with 15.6, so I'm assuming smaller screens will seem...smaller. Most important thing I'll be using it for is writing up documents. Touch Screen? I'm thinking it won't come to much use for my documents. Tablet mode? I suppose it would be a nice perk, but that automatically restricts me to a certain range of screen size.
PORTABILITY: Not so important, most likely will be sitting at my desk most of the time but I may take it out once a fortnight or so.

The ASUS Transformer T100 seemed good especially that it comes with Office...but then I may have to worry about a seperate HDD...plus it seems a little small to be spending most of its time on my desk. The poor thing would feel dwarfed next to my desk fan.

Many thanks in advance for any input and opinions posted.
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emaad Avatar
2y, 5m agoPosted 2 years, 5 months ago
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Best Answer
While you've provided most things to offer help there are a few issues.

Budget wise there is only 1 deal I've seen that offers office recently and it's unlikely to be a machine to last 3 years you aim for, as it's already underpowered (and will only feel worse as technology moves on) and pretty much spits in the wind to all your other requirements.
http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/asus-x102ba-10-1-inch-touch-laptop-free-ms-office-effectively-only-249-delivered-1930987

Even taking out MS office as a requirement, £250 will offer plenty of choice, the trouble is that it's all not built to last, it will be cheap and it will be plasticy

Needing MS office is going to be your sticking point in this budget, have you tried/considered Open Office, Libre Office and Kingsoft Office. I know you mention OO but it's unclear if you have issues with it on your laptop or just on the basis of it as a piece of software.

Alternatively have you seen this deal - http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/microsoft-office-2013-professional-plus-8-95-microsoft-via-home-program-1742418 - It would certainly free up your budget to offer some options if you can take it up.

For what you describe you need it for I'd suggest 14-16inch screens would be best, you across most options get the full keyboard and generally full size to 95% full size. Additionally, it's just about portable enough for the odd trip and for battery life to be worth talking about.

At this budget you are very unlikely to find a new laptop with a Full HD Screen without looking at used. So I'd suggest you take a look at a PC store and see how you find readability of the various sizes of screens. I know for a fact that many people don't like the smaller screen of my main laptop but I find it easy to use myself, so try a few different machines at say PC world in the 14-16inch range and see what you find is best. Try a bit of typing too as keyboards are a personal thing as to what you will like as some people can adapt easily to smaller keys, others will want keys to be pretty much in the same place as they moved from one device to another.

As to touch screens, just a gimmick as people see tablets and want to have that experience on their computer, sadly for anything any normal person does it's pointless as you just end up with a tired arm.

Convertibles, while novel, as you said tend to be small screens and a technology that's still developing. Additionally, like touch screens it's just manufacturers trying to appeal to people who want a laptop and a tablet. The trouble is that the net effect is that the budget for both devices is split in two and you end up with 2 half jobs of a tablet that's not that good as if you spent £300 on just a laptop and a laptop that's not as good as if you had spent £300 on a tablet.

Would you consider refurbs/second user machines?

As you don't require portability, why not consider a desktop with a decent sized monitor, as you can get small form factor desktop machines but would offer more for your money at the same price bracket.

Finally, fingerprint reader, I presume you don't have a password to log on? Mine has this feature and it's the single best feature outside of a backlit keyboard that I look for in a laptop now.

Edited By: Astec123 on Jun 19, 2014 01:53

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#1
While you've provided most things to offer help there are a few issues.

Budget wise there is only 1 deal I've seen that offers office recently and it's unlikely to be a machine to last 3 years you aim for, as it's already underpowered (and will only feel worse as technology moves on) and pretty much spits in the wind to all your other requirements.
http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/asus-x102ba-10-1-inch-touch-laptop-free-ms-office-effectively-only-249-delivered-1930987

Even taking out MS office as a requirement, £250 will offer plenty of choice, the trouble is that it's all not built to last, it will be cheap and it will be plasticy

Needing MS office is going to be your sticking point in this budget, have you tried/considered Open Office, Libre Office and Kingsoft Office. I know you mention OO but it's unclear if you have issues with it on your laptop or just on the basis of it as a piece of software.

Alternatively have you seen this deal - http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/microsoft-office-2013-professional-plus-8-95-microsoft-via-home-program-1742418 - It would certainly free up your budget to offer some options if you can take it up.

For what you describe you need it for I'd suggest 14-16inch screens would be best, you across most options get the full keyboard and generally full size to 95% full size. Additionally, it's just about portable enough for the odd trip and for battery life to be worth talking about.

At this budget you are very unlikely to find a new laptop with a Full HD Screen without looking at used. So I'd suggest you take a look at a PC store and see how you find readability of the various sizes of screens. I know for a fact that many people don't like the smaller screen of my main laptop but I find it easy to use myself, so try a few different machines at say PC world in the 14-16inch range and see what you find is best. Try a bit of typing too as keyboards are a personal thing as to what you will like as some people can adapt easily to smaller keys, others will want keys to be pretty much in the same place as they moved from one device to another.

As to touch screens, just a gimmick as people see tablets and want to have that experience on their computer, sadly for anything any normal person does it's pointless as you just end up with a tired arm.

Convertibles, while novel, as you said tend to be small screens and a technology that's still developing. Additionally, like touch screens it's just manufacturers trying to appeal to people who want a laptop and a tablet. The trouble is that the net effect is that the budget for both devices is split in two and you end up with 2 half jobs of a tablet that's not that good as if you spent £300 on just a laptop and a laptop that's not as good as if you had spent £300 on a tablet.

Would you consider refurbs/second user machines?

As you don't require portability, why not consider a desktop with a decent sized monitor, as you can get small form factor desktop machines but would offer more for your money at the same price bracket.

Finally, fingerprint reader, I presume you don't have a password to log on? Mine has this feature and it's the single best feature outside of a backlit keyboard that I look for in a laptop now.

Edited By: Astec123 on Jun 19, 2014 01:53
#2
thanks a bunch mate!

You didn't really mention what kind of processor I'll be needing...

OK I suppose what I should say is the MOST reliability with the budget I've specified...lol
I don't think I'm after a FHD screen.
I suppose I can live with manufacture refurbs...dell outlet site has had me visiting every now and then...
Lets say I managed to get hold of Office somehow - so minus that from budget...
Nah it has to be a laptop not a desktop though thanks for suggesting


Edited By: emaad on Jun 19, 2014 02:10
#3
I have an old Acer Aspire 5315 (only modification is increased ram from 1Gb to 2Gb, 60gb SSD and WinVista to Win7)

It boots in approx 30secs to desktop and I also use it to edit mp3s, photo editing etc and previously it was used almost 24/7

Maybe you need to do some routine maintenance like checking startup apps, removing clutter, updating os, all software and all hardware drivers and defrag the rest then if you find this improves usability then think about spending £50 on a SSD and enjoy the difference.

Yes if money is no option go and buy a newer lappy (most likely secondhand for £250) but even older machines that are well maintained can run office software.
#4
thats great folks keep em coming!
#5
I had similar needs and bought this one
http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Toshiba-C50-15-6-Inch-1TB-4GB-Laptop-/331151571352
It's a manufacturer's refurb but it's great. Has a full number pad, HDMI input, USB3, i3 2.4ghz processor, 4gb RAM and 1TB storage. I've had mine since January and it's been absolutely great.

Edited By: momartin on Jun 19, 2014 07:13
#6
Processor wise the best you could get is a i3 3rd gen or maybe an Amd a8. Have a look at dabs.com they have a great clearance section and used which still have a warranty
#7
their are 2 posted here this week . A dell and acer . Dell for £269 is and acer the same. I'm sure acer was posted last night

under the search box type laptop
#8
momartin
I had similar needs and bought this one
http://m.ebay.co.uk/itm/Toshiba-C50-15-6-Inch-1TB-4GB-Laptop-/331151571352
It's a manufacturer's refurb but it's great. Has a full number pad, HDMI input, USB3, i3 2.4ghz processor, 4gb RAM and 1TB storage. I've had mine since January and it's been absolutely great.
Yeah I had my eye on that one, but people have seem to have had some pretty bad experiences with the Argos refurbs...

There isn't much chance I'll be revamping my current laptop...I've grown to despise it...

The Dell deal the other day with the Fathers Day discount seemed kinda appropriate...but I just wasn't sure.

Which Acer one you on about @sofiasar? The i5 is kinda outta budget, the i3 only has 11.6" screen, and the argos one for £150 seems underpowered.

Yeah I know guys I'm picky as hell, but truth is I just don't wanna split with £300 and have any major regrets (or any regrets, if possible!).

Like I said, please keep em coming, I'm learning something new with every answer posted!
#9
Inkamedia has just some hp elite books in with i7 processors for a couple of hundred pounds. He buys x stock clearance etc then sells on. I got a great one off him brand new with hp warranty saved %45 off RRP!
#10
Asus and Toshiba seem to be most reliable in the only survey I can find although some makes like Samsung and Fujitsu weren't included.

HP, Acer and Lenovo came out worst and almost twice as likely to have probs as Asus/Tosh apparently. I'd say around your budget you can expect an i3 if you bide your time and wait for a good deal - or if you want to keep budget at bottom end, a Celeron should come in at just over £200 (£230?). Ebuyer have a trade-in on a Tosh that if your old laptop is eligible would get you something haf reasonable for £199.99 I believe.
#11
I got this one for £309.99 and very happy with it

http://www.costco.co.uk/view/product/uk_catalog/cos_1,cos_1.2,cos_1.2.4/163403?referer=carousel

Processor: Quad-core
Intel® Pentium® N3520 processor with Intel® BurstTechnology 2.0
clock speed : 2.17 (2.42 with Burst) GHz
2nd level cache : 2

Memory
8GB DDR3L RAM 1333 MHz (max)

Hard Drive
750GB 5400rpm

Optical Drive
Slim DVD Super Multi (Double Layer) drive

Software:Operating System: Windows 8.1 64-bit (pre-installed)

Edited By: Sandy1012 on Jun 19, 2014 13:47
#12
Ok so this one has come up:

http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/packard-bell-easynote-te69bm-laptop-celeron-n2820-bluetooth-usb-2-0-usb-3-0-4gb-1931725

However the processor is being accused of inadequacy and I don't much like Packard Bells.

Oh yeah what's the difference between these two, why the £20 difference?:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/331151571352

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Toshiba-C50-15-6-Inch-Ci3-1TB-Laptop-/360950885935?pt=UK_Computing_Laptops_EH

I'm a little tempted to be honest, this machine keeps going in and out of stock! I'd probably go for this over the the costco one, fair bit of price difference there, I'm not a member either. But thanks, Sandy1012.

redcastle
Inkamedia has just some hp elite books in with i7 processors for a couple of hundred pounds. He buys x stock clearance etc then sells on. I got a great one off him brand new with hp warranty saved %45 off RRP!
Mate I can't find it...is he a seller on ebay? I did a google search still nothing...
#13
Ah okay... 2 secs. He's in greenford. 020 8567 7666 it's Inka Media is the Company, ask for Sam :-)
#14
redcastle
Ah okay... 2 secs. He's in greenford. 020 8567 7666 it's Inka Media is the Company, ask for Sam :-)
Thanks mate, I'll give him a bell.
Ok I did check out the site before but didn't see anything about laptops for sale so I assumed it wasn't that one...

This has come up...:
http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/acer-tm-15-6-intel-dual-core-8gb-ram-750gb-hdd-laptop-269-94-dabs-ebay-1934109
If I was to go for this, would I regret not getting at least an i3?

Edited By: emaad on Jun 20, 2014 00:31: doh'
#15
Hey folks, just an update, I ended up going for one of the ebay argos outlet refurbs, a toshiba c50, i3 3rd gen, 4gb ram, 1tb hdd, no touchscreen, £240. it arrived on monday when I Had ordered for on a thursday. seems to be working fine, hardly any sign of use. and most of all, the speed seems more than adequate. thanks for all the help and advice.

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