Laptop for £500


Please can somebody help, we are looking for a laptop for around £500 and we are now so confused at which is the best spec to get. We have a desktop but often me and the wife want to be on the internet or she likes to play sims etc. at the same time.

I think i am looking for 50gb hard drive, dvd rw and a graphic card that could handle some of the simpler games.

We are totally confused by centrino and dual cores, how important are these?

We have been reading this website for a couple of months now and are really impressed by the knowledge of the people on here, hope you can help.



Original Poster

One more thing, i would like it to have a wireless adapter to access the internet.


centrino - mobile processor
dual core - 2 processors on one die = faster.

Most of the laptops on here are intels currently which run from
Celeron (old school but cheap)
core duo - laptop only release
core 2 duo - latest tech short of the new quad core which is miles out of your budget.

AMD also do similar but in general a core 2 duo is better.

For £500 you should be aiming for a core 2 duo 1.66 ghz processor with a gig of DDR2 RAM - and almost certainly dedicated graphics otherwise it'll kill battery life and add alot to your cost meaning other components will suffer.

As to the wireless - usually built in as standard to get a b g wireless networking. (a is oldest and g is newest standard widely available)
What's the most advanced game you'll want to play? (and the required spec for it if you have it to hand)?

Quick list of makes worth looking out for:
Lenovo (IBM previously)
Dell (of course)
Hewlette Packard (not Packard Bell!)
Fujitsu Seimens.

There's a few more n someone will probably expand on that.

Dell is great as you can phone up and haggle - mention quidco n they drop another few quid.. get em when they are just short of their sales target and they'll give you an amazing deal to hook you into buying... and even better ring em once you'v got it asking to return - they almost always offer 5-15% or some accessories to keep it as it costs them to take it back n sell in the dell outlet.

i have seen a price drop on HP laptops at IT247.com i have just put a thread up for them , seach laptops in hotdeals. i am a bit confused to but these look like good prices to me

head on over to laptopsdirect.co.uk and have a look at their deals of the day. The Acer Aspire 5633WLMi is a great machine for £560. I realize that tips your budget slightly however it is a great spec. Centrino core 2 duo t5500, 7300go GFX card, 120GB h/drive, 1GB ram, free upgrade to Vista from XP MCE (I would stick with the XP as is installed myself). There are some cheaper and just as good deals available on the site. It really depends on what you want the laptop for. If you want to use photoshop, do some light gaming then this would do the job for you. If you only need it for Office applications then there is a Sony Vaio on the same site with not so impressive graphics and a slightly smaller H/drive for around the £500 mark. You don't need the graphics card if you only intend to use Office, internet explorer, outlook express and media player. Dedicated graphics are for gamers, if your not a gamer you don't need it (it won't have a huge impact on your battery life). Sonys have by far the best screens going and they are very nice to use in general. As you might expect, their build quality is top notch.

By the way I would highly recommend the Acer brand laptops. I have used one whilst in the desert for 2 months with sand like talcum powder getting in every orifice you care to imagine (easy there!!) Temps up to 45C as well. It survived without hitch. They are the best machine for quality against cost in my opinion. You seem to get a lot more spec for your pennies. I don't do Dell. They use a specific memory module meaning that you must buy Dell memory to upgrade(I hate that). Additionally i think their prices are pretty poo too. Check out some of the geekier forums where computer obsessives with poor hygene, long fingernails and eyes like a pit pony's will tell you that Dell are as much of a ripoff as PCWorld.

Just editing this as I have re-read your original post: the onboard graphics on the machines quoting intel graphics solutions will cope with some gaming. They won't however cope with any newer first person shooters like Doom3 or Half life2. Tell us what sort of simpler games you mean. As if you're talking about stuff as simple as online poker or solitaire then just forget the whole dedicated graphics thing and go for CPU, brand and RAM(memory).

Keep researching and reading the forums, you'll benefit from going into the shops and trying out a few machines as well as they all have different feels to them. Sounds odd I know but the Fujitsu siemens as an example have a far more tilted keyboard than the Sony Vaios. Personal preference for ergonomics is a very important issue when spending this much money if you ask me. You could be using it for a long time so make yourself comfortable.


if you are EXTREMELY lucky you may find one in a TESCO EXTRA within striking distance of your home...my advice is to phone the stores.

and read the last few pages of the thread because it mentions another model at a bargain price and both are recommended buys.

Original Poster


Thanks so much for all your advice, we looked last night at the ones recommended and compared. We have now bought the acer 5633 from laptops direct for £570. It seems like alot of laptop for the money.

Just wanted to say thanks again, don't quite know what we'd have bought otherwise!

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