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What Laptop £350-450?

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I'm on the lookout for a new laptop to replace my dying 5 year old netbook. I'm only going to use it for browsing, streaming movies and skype. The problem is I have no idea what to look for - in f… Read More
baker69 Avatar
2y, 3m agoPosted 2 years, 3 months ago
I'm on the lookout for a new laptop to replace my dying 5 year old netbook. I'm only going to use it for browsing, streaming movies and skype.

The problem is I have no idea what to look for - in fact the more I research the more confused I'm getting. What processor should I be looking for? How much ram do I need? Do I need a dedicated graphics card? Do I need a solid state drive?

I'm not necessarily looking for the cheapest laptop to fit my needs - I'm happy to spend a bit more if it's worth being spent even if I don't quite need the faster chip, more ram etc (maybe I'll need it in the future). However I wouldn't want to go above £450.

I might be completely wrong but so far I've found the following 3 laptops at PC World that seem to fit the criteria:

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/laptops-netbooks/laptops/laptops/acer-v5-573-15-6-laptop-21836929-pdt.html

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/laptops-netbooks/laptops/laptops/hp-pavilion-15-p189sa-15-6-laptop-white-10075548-pdt.html#cat-0

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/laptops-netbooks/laptops/laptops/acer-aspire-v3-371-13-3-laptop-white-10029103-pdt.html#cat-0

Any thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated.
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baker69 Avatar
2y, 3m agoPosted 2 years, 3 months ago
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#1
others have advised chrome book when you only want to use the internet. only need laptop if you need to do work.
#2
I'm a little concerned a chrome book might be lacking in power. I know it's 5 years old but I'm worried a chromebook won't be much of an improvement on my current Samsung NC10 - this thing struggles to load anything these days and can't handle Skype or playing HD movies.

I'd rather err on the side of caution and have something I know will be able to handle anything I'll throw at for at least the next few years.
#3
Thought you said browsing and movies, so what's wrong with a chromebook? Or even a tablet? 8)
#4
baker69
I'm a little concerned a chrome book might be lacking in power. I know it's 5 years old but I'm worried a chromebook won't be much of an improvement on my current Samsung NC10 - this thing struggles to load anything these days and can't handle Skype or playing HD movies.

I'd rather err on the side of caution and have something I know will be able to handle anything I'll throw at for at least the next few years.

search for chrome books in the deal section then read all the comments. it will give you an insight into what they can do and their power. I haven't used them myself as I use the laptop to do work as well as browse. if you are looking for a powerful laptop then look for i5 which is just over £400 when on sale.
#5
From what you plan on using it for, no you do not need a specific processor, any that are used today in new laptops are more than capable of browsing, skype and streaming hd movies....

4GB of ram would be plenty but more certainkh wouldnt hurt... It is user replaceable in most machines, so if you evr find yourself needing more, it is a possibility....

You do not require a dedicated graphics card, intergrated graphics is more than capable of covering your listed needs, and still can run some older or lss power hungry games if you decie you want to play...

You do not need a solid state drive. Yes theyre great, and if you get a laptop with one, there is no doubt it will be a lot faster, but with your budget you wouldnt end up with much space. Again this is something you couldn fit later down the line, if you decided you do want one.

I understand not wanting a chromebook, they arent bad, but if youre spending this kinda money, why limit yourself instantly?
#6
Thanks for the replies.

re chromebooks, maybe I'm wrong but I just assumed they're tablets with a keyboard and was worried they'd struggle (or would start to a year or so down the line) if I've got several tabs open etc. I wouldn't rule a chromebook out providing I'm not going to have any issues with performance.

Like I said in an earlier post, I'd prefer to get something slightly more capable than what I need and have no worries rather than just about meets my requirements but a year down the line needs replacing.
#7
I was looking before Xmas,
choice of a flex 2 from Argos which is the pent version, not much lower than an I3, however its been discontinued so check site they may have one or two left in some stores, or the one I got was the Acer E5 471, I3 doesn't fold like the flex but has touchscreen, still on offer at Argos for 300 down from 400 other day. nice machine wife wanted get me it before Xmas told her wait to boxing day sales but no regret no other laptop with an I3 with touchscreen for that price so I'm happy all the others had the N or celon process.
#8
baker69
re chromebooks, maybe I'm wrong but I just assumed they're tablets with a keyboard and was worried they'd struggle (or would start to a year or so down the line) if I've got several tabs open etc. I wouldn't rule a chromebook out providing I'm not going to have any issues with performance.

Anything you buy now will be no worse than your NC10 has been.

The Intel i5 branded chips now coming onto the market ending 8U are a good choice as they combine almost standard power versions of the processors (M suffixes are standard power, U generally lower power) with intel's most powerful integrated graphics chip. The i3 version is interesting too, although without turbo the processor is a bit closer to standard low power models.

If you want something more than tablet/netbook performance then you should avoid the models starting with N as they're same CPU and graphics core as the Atom Z-series used in tablets (although running at higher clock speeds under heavy load) rather than the higher power consumption laptop/desktop design.

8GB of ram will be needed sooner or later but as mentioned almost all larger laptops are upgradeable so it's no big deal if it doesn't fit in your budget.

You're not doing anything that heavily uses the graphics processor so a dedicated graphics chip isn't needed (and a lot of the low end ones that'd be in your budget are old chips more desirable for specific features than performance).

Things like an SSD, good quality screen, 1600x900 resolution and so on will make the laptop nicer to use but won't necessarily extend it's usable lifetime.

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