Buying a laptop

52
Posted 14th May
Hi guys. We're going to need to get a new laptop but we have no idea where to start.

We would want good processing speeds, multitasking abilities and memory. We wouldn't be using it for gaming or anything but yes we would use it for streaming, work, saving personal docs. We also know that we don't want an MacBook.

Where would you suggest we start on this search?

Is there a particular brand/system you'd recommend or not? I understand that each laptop must be very different might be hard to recommend.

But for example, we were thinking about a Chromebook because of enjoying Google services so far but is that going to be different to use compared to a Windows based laptop like Dell?

Vague questions I know but would be good to get some direction with this.

Thanks
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Whats your budget ? All comes down to this.

I’ve just bought the latest HP Spectre x360 for £1700 and I’d highly recommend it.
Good question actually. Around 5-600? So not too much if we can
My girlfriend’s in the same boat for no more than £800
Budget
You are thinking well but you missed out screen and keyboard/touchpad as 2 of the most important criteria. these are what you interface with and a lousy screen/keyboard will leave you screaming to get rid and replace.
I know its difficult right now but if you can get yourself to a showroom (Currys/PC World) and try all that are within your budget and you like the look of. Try and compare like with like. Take a note of the technical specs of them all and the exact model numbers. Generally, other than price and size of screen the bigger/faster the better. Make a shortlist.
Then see how your shortlist compares with the web retailers. Refine your shortlist down to a max of 3, preferably 2, and then seek the opinions from others including on here.

EDIT
oh and btw google services work just as well on laptops as they do on chromebooks
secondly your existing laptop may be fine if you do what i do and repurpose as a linux laptop
I have currently 5 working laptops at my disposal of various ages and brands, all over 8 years old, many over 10 yrs old. When I actually use them. I am word processing, spread sheeting, browsing, audio editing, watching iplayer, etc and they are all up the job. (Chromebooks actually run a version of linux - just well hidden under the hood)
Edited by: "tardytortoise" 14th May
Sounds like a Chromebook might be best for your needs. Get one off Amazon perhaps, see if it does everything you need. If not the return window should be Jun 30th, so you could return it for a small fee easily enough. (Or without a fee if it doesn't meet up to advertised standards ;))
I've a few Win10 laptops, and a Chromebook.. I am happy to do general things on the Chromebook, well, at least till my daughter claimed it, and exclusively uses that even though she has access to a number of Win10 machines int he house. Best thing about them is the battery life, amazing!
Could you expand on your "work" needs as that may discount a Chromebook?
tardytortoise14/05/2020 11:22

You are thinking well but you missed out screen and keyboard/touchpad as 2 …You are thinking well but you missed out screen and keyboard/touchpad as 2 of the most important criteria. these are what you interface with and a lousy screen/keyboard will leave you screaming to get rid and replace.I know its difficult right now but if you can get yourself to a showroom (Currys/PC World) and try all that are within your budget and you like the look of. Try and compare like with like. Take a note of the technical specs of them all and the exact model numbers. Generally, other than price and size of screen the bigger/faster the better. Make a shortlist.Then see how your shortlist compares with the web retailers. Refine your shortlist down to a max of 3, preferably 2, and then seek the opinions from others including on here.EDIToh and btw google services work just as well on laptops as they do on chromebookssecondly your existing laptop may be fine if you do what i do and repurpose as a linux laptop I have currently 5 working laptops at my disposal of various ages and brands, all over 8 years old, many over 10 yrs old. When I actually use them. I am word processing, spread sheeting, browsing, audio editing, watching iplayer, etc and they are all up the job. (Chromebooks actually run a version of linux - just well hidden under the hood)


Thank you. Good idea to go in to stores but I may leave that for now. Yeah I want to use an interface that I'm comfortable with like windows, as I don't know how Chromebooks work and if I'd like it. Though this is something I will look into
RFC179514/05/2020 11:35

Sounds like a Chromebook might be best for your needs. Get one off Amazon …Sounds like a Chromebook might be best for your needs. Get one off Amazon perhaps, see if it does everything you need. If not the return window should be Jun 30th, so you could return it for a small fee easily enough. (Or without a fee if it doesn't meet up to advertised standards ;))I've a few Win10 laptops, and a Chromebook.. I am happy to do general things on the Chromebook, well, at least till my daughter claimed it, and exclusively uses that even though she has access to a number of Win10 machines int he house. Best thing about them is the battery life, amazing!


Would you prefer using the windows or Chromebook? Like I don't like the apple software and using that. So I would not want to be in the same position with Google software
taytaytaytay14/05/2020 12:19

Would you prefer using the windows or Chromebook? Like I don't like the …Would you prefer using the windows or Chromebook? Like I don't like the apple software and using that. So I would not want to be in the same position with Google software


I would stick to Windows, they tend to be more powerful than Chromebooks and more programs are designed for Windows.
m3racer12314/05/2020 14:33

I would stick to Windows, they tend to be more powerful than Chromebooks …I would stick to Windows, they tend to be more powerful than Chromebooks and more programs are designed for Windows.


Is there any criteria you would need with a Windows laptop to get a decent one?
taytaytaytay14/05/2020 14:37

Is there any criteria you would need with a Windows laptop to get a decent …Is there any criteria you would need with a Windows laptop to get a decent one?


SSD drives are much faster than HDD, and IPS screens are much better than TN. At least 8GB RAM is best (I upgraded mine to 16GB), and for your budget you should get at least a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 processor.

I can't see any outstanding deals in the price range right now, there were recently some great Lenovo offers but they've expired.
Edited by: "m3racer123" 14th May
I'm not sure how far Chromebooks have gone now (used about 5 years back, literally just a browser and emails back then). i'd only recommend if web browsing is all you'll do.

You'll want RAM 8gb (minimum nowadays) for multitasking and CPU to keep up with it.

SSD is more or less a necessity.
For £500 - 600 budget, the standard spec is 14" or 15" full HD, Ryzen 5 4500u or i5 1035G1, 8GB RAM, 256GB/ 512GB SSD

For example Lenovo ideapad 5 or 5i (pick ips screen if you can)

lenovo.com/gb/…393
lenovo.com/gb/…ize
Edited by: "Cisco060606" 14th May
This one offers good performance for price: laptopsdirect.co.uk/len…asp £529.97
10th Gen i5 CPU
8GB Ram (I can see the URL says 4GB but both title and description state 8GB)
512GB SSD PCIE Nvme
TN screen
taytaytaytay14/05/2020 12:19

Would you prefer using the windows or Chromebook? Like I don't like the …Would you prefer using the windows or Chromebook? Like I don't like the apple software and using that. So I would not want to be in the same position with Google software


I would prefer using Windows as I do use things that requires Windows specific applications.(NVR CCTV monitoring, Whatsapp,etc). However,for browsing, watching YouTube, Emails, Documents, Sheets etc, even printing which is what I do most of, they're all web based, and I could comfortably do it from the Chromebook.
To be fair, the Chromebook I got was £60 when I got it some years ago, it's not top of the range, no touch screen, doesn't handle all the Android apps that the newer ones can, but it's still going very strong. I guess it depends on what you need it for being the main thing.If you think you might want to play Windows games, or need to run some specific applications, then a normal Windows laptop would be the way to go.
IamMT14/05/2020 12:14

Could you expand on your "work" needs as that may discount a Chromebook?


Just like reading, spreadsheets, word documents, but definitely keeping lots of tabs open and doing things like shopping etc
deanwatson84214/05/2020 15:19

This one offers good performance for price: …This one offers good performance for price: https://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/lenovo-v15-iil-core-i5-1035-4gb-512gb-ssd-15.6-inch-full-hd-windows-10-home-82c500g4uk/version.asp £529.9710th Gen i5 CPU8GB Ram (I can see the URL says 4GB but both title and description state 8GB) 512GB SSD PCIE NvmeTN screen


The £590 ideapad 5 with Ryzen 5 4500u and IPS screen, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD worth the extra.
Edited by: "Cisco060606" 14th May
Cisco06060614/05/2020 15:16

For £500 - 600 budget, the standard spec is 14" or 15" full HD, Ryzen 5 …For £500 - 600 budget, the standard spec is 14" or 15" full HD, Ryzen 5 4500u or i5 1035G1, 8GB RAM, 256GB/ 512GB SSDFor example Lenovo ideapad 5 or 5i (pick ips screen if you can)https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/ideapad/s-series/IdeaPad-5-15ARE05/p/88IPS501393https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/ideapad/s-series/IdeaPad-5-14IIL05/p/81YHCTO1WWENGB1/customize?



I would go for the i5-1035G1

I don't know why but we have always had problems with AMD.
Willy_Wonka14/05/2020 16:21

I would go for the i5-1035G1 I don't know why but we have always had …I would go for the i5-1035G1 I don't know why but we have always had problems with AMD.


The new Ryzen 5 4500u CPU is faster than intel i5 1035G1

When was the last CPU you use AMD?
Cisco06060614/05/2020 16:41

The new Ryzen 5 4500u CPU is faster than intel i5 1035G1When was the last …The new Ryzen 5 4500u CPU is faster than intel i5 1035G1When was the last CPU you use AMD?



Had about 3 or 4 AMDs last one about 8 years ago. I know things progress but it kind of puts you off.
Willy_Wonka14/05/2020 16:44

Had about 3 or 4 AMDs last one about 8 years ago. I know things progress …Had about 3 or 4 AMDs last one about 8 years ago. I know things progress but it kind of puts you off.


Wow, i have no idea if your taking the p...
Jordan_Taylor14/05/2020 18:52

Wow, i have no idea if your taking the p...



Not taking the mick. I am serious. Bought one for mother in law, one for other half & one for me. Had problems with them all. Maybe it was my naivety back in the day with how laptops worked & but I was a bit silly trying to speed them up when I didn't know what I was doing.
Willy_Wonka14/05/2020 18:57

Not taking the mick. I am serious. Bought one for mother in law, one for …Not taking the mick. I am serious. Bought one for mother in law, one for other half & one for me. Had problems with them all. Maybe it was my naivety back in the day with how laptops worked & but I was a bit silly trying to speed them up when I didn't know what I was doing.


You can't go wrong with and or intel now days
I've used AMD and Intel but for the last 8 years only purchased intel i5 after some poor experiences with AMD (home and business, laptop and desktop). I've had no recent experience with AMD CPUs and the benchmarks do suggest that they offer greater bang for buck vs the equivalent intel CPU.
m3racer12314/05/2020 14:42

SSD drives are much faster than HDD, and IPS screens are much better than …SSD drives are much faster than HDD, and IPS screens are much better than TN. At least 8GB RAM is best (I upgraded mine to 16GB), and for your budget you should get at least a Core i5 or Ryzen 5 processor.I can't see any outstanding deals in the price range right now, there were recently some great Lenovo offers but they've expired.


Thank you. Helpful advice. I will use that when it comes to browsing laptops.
Shoi123414/05/2020 14:53

I'm not sure how far Chromebooks have gone now (used about 5 years back, …I'm not sure how far Chromebooks have gone now (used about 5 years back, literally just a browser and emails back then). i'd only recommend if web browsing is all you'll do. You'll want RAM 8gb (minimum nowadays) for multitasking and CPU to keep up with it.SSD is more or less a necessity.


Thank you. I will keep this in mind when searching
Cisco06060614/05/2020 15:16

For £500 - 600 budget, the standard spec is 14" or 15" full HD, Ryzen 5 …For £500 - 600 budget, the standard spec is 14" or 15" full HD, Ryzen 5 4500u or i5 1035G1, 8GB RAM, 256GB/ 512GB SSDFor example Lenovo ideapad 5 or 5i (pick ips screen if you can)https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/ideapad/s-series/IdeaPad-5-15ARE05/p/88IPS501393https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/ideapad/s-series/IdeaPad-5-14IIL05/p/81YHCTO1WWENGB1/customize?


Oh thank you. Would you say that's a decent laptop and brand?
deanwatson84214/05/2020 15:19

This one offers good performance for price: …This one offers good performance for price: https://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/lenovo-v15-iil-core-i5-1035-4gb-512gb-ssd-15.6-inch-full-hd-windows-10-home-82c500g4uk/version.asp £529.9710th Gen i5 CPU8GB Ram (I can see the URL says 4GB but both title and description state 8GB) 512GB SSD PCIE NvmeTN screen


Oh thank you. For our budget would you say this a good laptop? I will have a look at the link you sent. I've never really considered this brand before. Just thought of typical ones like Dell and Toshiba
RFC179514/05/2020 15:22

I would prefer using Windows as I do use things that requires Windows …I would prefer using Windows as I do use things that requires Windows specific applications.(NVR CCTV monitoring, Whatsapp,etc). However,for browsing, watching YouTube, Emails, Documents, Sheets etc, even printing which is what I do most of, they're all web based, and I could comfortably do it from the Chromebook. To be fair, the Chromebook I got was £60 when I got it some years ago, it's not top of the range, no touch screen, doesn't handle all the Android apps that the newer ones can, but it's still going very strong. I guess it depends on what you need it for being the main thing.If you think you might want to play Windows games, or need to run some specific applications, then a normal Windows laptop would be the way to go.


Yes I think I'd prefer to stick to windows. It's what I'm used to also and find it easy to navigate. And the options of using WhatsApp etc might come in handy at some point
Cisco06060614/05/2020 15:40

The £590 ideapad 5 with Ryzen 5 4500u and IPS screen, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD …The £590 ideapad 5 with Ryzen 5 4500u and IPS screen, 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD worth the extra.


Ooh it's good to hear that others recommend this type of laptop. Is the price at 590 decent or worth holding out for a better price?
I have put an SSD in a few relatives laptops that are about 10 years old and they fly along very happily. You really do not need an expensive laptop for everyday tasks.

Just decide on screen size, weight vs battery size (and therefore how long it will last before dying).

Any laptop from the past decade with an SSD, clean windows installation and 4GB+ ram (ideally 8GB) will be more than you need.
A cheap laptop from 2020 is going to be better than a very expensive laptop from 10 years ago. Save your cash.
Willy_Wonka14/05/2020 16:21

I would go for the i5-1035G1 I don't know why but we have always had …I would go for the i5-1035G1 I don't know why but we have always had problems with AMD.


Okay thank you. Would you say for my budget that this is the best type of laptop?
Cisco06060614/05/2020 16:41

The new Ryzen 5 4500u CPU is faster than intel i5 1035G1When was the last …The new Ryzen 5 4500u CPU is faster than intel i5 1035G1When was the last CPU you use AMD?


So for my use will I see a difference in speed? Between these two?
deanwatson84214/05/2020 21:23

I've used AMD and Intel but for the last 8 years only purchased intel i5 …I've used AMD and Intel but for the last 8 years only purchased intel i5 after some poor experiences with AMD (home and business, laptop and desktop). I've had no recent experience with AMD CPUs and the benchmarks do suggest that they offer greater bang for buck vs the equivalent intel CPU.


Wow so many words to get used to and understand. Okay so AMD CPUs would be better than intel? Is this made clear on laptop descriptions?
smashed15/05/2020 13:40

I have put an SSD in a few relatives laptops that are about 10 years old …I have put an SSD in a few relatives laptops that are about 10 years old and they fly along very happily. You really do not need an expensive laptop for everyday tasks.Just decide on screen size, weight vs battery size (and therefore how long it will last before dying).Any laptop from the past decade with an SSD, clean windows installation and 4GB+ ram (ideally 8GB) will be more than you need.A cheap laptop from 2020 is going to be better than a very expensive laptop from 10 years ago. Save your cash.


Thank you. That's good to know.
taytaytaytay15/05/2020 13:44

Wow so many words to get used to and understand. Okay so AMD CPUs would be …Wow so many words to get used to and understand. Okay so AMD CPUs would be better than intel? Is this made clear on laptop descriptions?


In all honesty, if you are just browsing websites, going on Microsoft Word, watching videos etc etc then it really won't matter if you pick an AMD or an Intel. Just ensure you have an SSD and the capacity suits your needs. Search for laptops on here and see what has been liked by people previously.
smashed15/05/2020 13:50

In all honesty, if you are just browsing websites, going on Microsoft …In all honesty, if you are just browsing websites, going on Microsoft Word, watching videos etc etc then it really won't matter if you pick an AMD or an Intel. Just ensure you have an SSD and the capacity suits your needs. Search for laptops on here and see what has been liked by people previously.


I will thank you.
Guys, firstly thank you for all your helpful comments. It will certainly help me on my search. I wonder, is it worth chucking more money at this to get a better laptop? Like for example I don't want memory to run out and the processing speed to slow down with the more tabs/apps I have open.

I would also want good screen quality to go through photos, videos and stream.
Edited by: "taytaytaytay" 15th May
taytaytaytay15/05/2020 13:44

Wow so many words to get used to and understand. Okay so AMD CPUs would be …Wow so many words to get used to and understand. Okay so AMD CPUs would be better than intel? Is this made clear on laptop descriptions?


I believe AMD offer better performance for less cost based on the cpu benchmarks score, in particular the AMD ryzen 5 4500u. The benchmark/performance level isn't clear in descriptions, I would Google the cpu "benchmark ryzen 4500u" and compare the score displayed on cpubenchmark.net to other CPUs. The screen on the AMD ryzen 5 4500u laptop also appears to be better but that's why it's more expensive.
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