Best 15" laptop £400-£650!

22 replies
Found 15th Mar 2010
Anyone know what's the best laptop I can buy for the price range?

I have no clue when it comes to laptops sadly, so i'm asking you guys! Cheers in advance x

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I would like to ask you a few questions;

What do you want to do with the notebook? Email/Internet Browsing or specific applications?

How important is portability? Will you carry it around and use it a lot on battery power?

How important are advanced features such as Blu-ray, HDMI, etc.?

PC/Windows or Mac? Any particular brands? Any brands you would NOT want?

Are you happy to buy online or will it be retail? Are you paying? Can you reclaim VAT?

How long can you wait (new processors)?

Original Poster

Sorry should have been more specific!

I don't need Blu-Ray or a huge harddrive.

I don't want a mac.

HDMI would be nice, and a crisp resolution.

I'll probably buy online at the end of this month. (but if there's somethign groundbreaking on the horizon, I could hold out.)

Battery life is not amazingly important. I'll be using it around the house and at college, so I'll have a charger with me most of the time.

I really just want something powerful (decent graphics card, i'll probably be wasting my time on Football Manager), fast (4GB memory at least), not prone to problems, and looks good!

Oh and also, I don't need to spend extra on Office or operating systems as I already have the discs for them. I don't need a fancy antivirus either.

Thanks x

I think the best brands would be HP, Toshiba and Sony and you should be able to find Core i5 notebooks between £500 to £650. I'll send you some possible models a little later.

Original Poster

Any specific models?

*Sorry, didn't read the last part of your message.

Original Poster

What do you think of Dell Studio 15s?

Some people just don't like Dell notebooks; there have been issues in the past. However, if you want a simple no-frills notebook with the latest technology from Intel, then the Studio range is usually one of the cheapest.

Here are some reviews;

]PC Advisor

]My Laptop


Still intend to send you some HP, Toshiba, Sony and Lenovo model examples but just been a little busy this week. Don't buy just yet!

Original Poster

Ah cheers man! Yeah I heard that Dell's just break down after a while. And i'll hold out buying for now, any advice I can get is better than me wasting all my hard earnt dollar.


No worries! And before you buy, get yourself to a PC World or a Comet and get a feel for the different notebooks (keyboards, screen, weight, etc.) and make sure you are happy with them.

Here are some models to look at...

HP Pavilion dv6-2105
HP G62-105a

Samsung P580 (out in April)
Samsung R580
Samsung R780


Original Poster

Yeah I was looking at the samsung R580 a few weeks back. But I found some i3 ones, but hardly any i5 ones (the only ones I found were from some dodgy looking sites). Know a reliable online retailer?

I included a couple of i3 notebooks to give you a cheaper alternative...I'll find you some online retailers. Are you anywhere near a PC World or Comet?

Original Poster

Yeah, I'm near both actually.

Original Poster

What's the difference between i3 and i5?

Actually, that is a very good question! The main difference is that the i5 has Turbo boost which allows the processor to change speed when it is doing performance tasks which is important in notebooks. But, as usual, Intel has sort of fudged the whole thing and it is not as clear a distinction as it should have been. That is one reason I added some i3 models as well as i5. I would suggest that you have a look at both i3 and i5 models at PC World or Comet over the weekend. Don't let them tell you that there is no difference between older processors and the Core iX range...it is significant.

I would suggest that you also have a look at the John Lewis range as they are an excellent place to buy a notebook; may not be the cheapest but their customer service and free extended guarantee are worth the cash. In particular, have a look at these four for a start...

]JL i3 Notebooks

Original Poster

Right, I think i'm going to go for the Samsung R580. (You can't get an i5 version, can you?)

Actually, if you had the money... out of the laptops you have offered which one would you settle for?

Original Poster

I've been looking at Dell Studio 15's again, and I can get this for £599 (saving of £115)

Intel® Core™ i5-430M (2.26Ghz, 4Threads, turbo boost up to 2.53 GHz, 3MB cache)
Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
Microsoft® Works 9.0 / English - (Does not include Microsoft® Word)
1 year of coverage included with your PC
4096MB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM [2x2048]
320GB (5,400rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive
512MB ATI Mobility RADEON HD 4570 Graphics Card
DVD +/- RW Drive (read/write CD & DVD) with DVD Burn software
Primary 6-cell 56 WHr Lithium Ion battery
15.6" High Definition (1366x768) WLED
Internal UK/Irish Qwerty Keyboard
Dell Wireless 1397 Mini Card (802.11 b/g)
2.0 Mega pixel Integrated Web Camera

I think the i5 version of the R580 is the P580 at the moment...there may be an R-series i5 later. Out of the list that I sent, I'd go for either the Sony VPC-EB1S0E/BJ or the Dell 1564/6438...probably because they have discrete graphics. But in the end, you should go and see them and get a feel for the keyboard and check out the screen. The Dell Studio looks good on paper...and you will get good value for money but Dell's leave me a little cold aesthetically!

Original Poster

Well I can't find any i5 Samsung. And when you say cold aesthetically, are you literally talking about looks? 'Cause I actually like the look of the Studio.

Also I think I'm going to buy the laptop this evening. And right now it looks like the Dell. But I'll quickly look over my options.

Have you had a chance to see it and compare it with the others? I would suggest that you do that before you buy...

Otherwise, just make sure you are happy with the deal; I would always wait for the end of the month as there should be special offers to boost their numbers.

Go on...what did you get?

Dell Inspiron 1764 ]review but there will be more choice in a couple of weeks...

Original Poster

I ended up getting the Dell Studio 15, i'll tell you what I think of it when it arrives. Let's hope, for my sake, that it's not a let down!
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