Lightweight laptop ... can't decide whether to go budget or futureproof

Posted 6th Mar 2023
I am looking for a lightweight laptop for travel and general use ... but I can't decide whether to spend more on a better spec and upgrade my current laptop, which is still ok but very heavy to carry around. It is a HP ProBook 450 bought in 2016.

I think that if I am going to buy a new laptop, should I spend more to future-proof it. Or just buy a separate cheap, travel laptop.

I like the MacBook Air M1 but it is very expensive... I have seen older MacBooks for £200-£300... are they worth it for a light use laptop? Or spend more and get a refurbished newer model?

I want something that is very light and a small screen (around 14"). The Dell XPS is also very expensive. I have considered Lenovo ThinkPad (the IdeaPad seems very basic).

Budget up to £200 but can spend up to £500-£600 if I am upgrading.

I want to use Office but not bothered about it having Windows. Not keen on Chromebooks.

Also, in regard to my old laptop: is it worth selling it if I remove the hard-disk? I don't want to give the hard disk but will it be worth anything without it?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
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  1. C0mm0d0re_K1d's avatar
    If you going to buy a mac. Do not under any circumstances consider buying an old intel based mac. They probably only have a year or 2 max before Apple drop support for them. Only look at M series now. Unless you are fully aware of the obsolescence factor.

    Set your budget and buy the newest and fastest cpu / with or without discrete gfx if needed, that you can afford. You can always add more ram and storage later.

    Nothing is future proof. Almost everything you can buy is already almost obsolete. As soon as a product is in production or shipping. They're working on the next refresh, upgrade or new model.
    khal-ab's avatar
    Great advice. I saw some old MacBook air laptops on Wowcher- they seemed like a fantastic deal but reading you comments they actually aren't.

    The M1 was too expensive for me and I couldn't find a good deal on a refurbished... I've gone with a Asus Zenbook.
  2. Cisco060606's avatar
    Mid range new laptop is about £450.

    Forget about future proof, that not such thing in tech these day.

    The only thing you need to consider is if you want to spend slightly more to entry level business laptop which tends to be more durable.
    khal-ab's avatar
    Yes I would consider that, as I will be carrying it around, it needs to be durable
  3. aLV426's avatar
    No such thing as "future-proof" - buy what you can afford today, otherwise you'll never get around to buying something!
    Mac Books are great for travel (Mac Book Air!), though OS & software support is deprecated much more readily than PC equivalents.
    khal-ab's avatar
    That's so true about never getting around to buying! I've been looking for a few days now and am so undecided. But I've finally bought the Asus Zenbook recommended by another commenter at a cracking price, although my original budget was around £200 lol
  4. robertsclark's avatar
    I had a similar dilemma when my laptop failed: buy a new one or share my wife's laptop. I decided to use my wife's, but also purchased one of the IOTA laptops from Amazon Warehouse specifically for travel. Cost about £100
  5. flang's avatar
    Have you considered a Surface pro? I purchased my wife one last year from these.…621 and its been brillant.
    Perfect for day to day stuff but also has the benefit of being a tablet.
  6. sm9690's avatar
    Can highly recommend the M1 Macbook Air, I usually have 20+ tabs open at once and it doesn't struggle whatsoever. Had mine for 2 years and it performs like new and have no intentions of changing it (edited)
  7. khal-ab's avatar
    Thanks for the help. I've decided to got for the Asus Zenbook that one of the commenters suggested... but they seem to have removed their comment / suggestion from this thread now. I'm glad I managed to read the comment before it was removed. It must have been too good an offer to share!

    It was the ASUS ZenBook 14 UX425 14in i5 8GB 256GB Laptop from argos for £499. Seems like a bargain price for the spec! I managed to bag one in a local(ish) store- delivery was unavailable. (edited)
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