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worzel

What Laptop Should I Buy

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The current laptop is now long in the tooth, I recently had to replace the hard drive, but a 1 1/2 year old has seen fit to remove the "g", and it does some funny stuff, so I think its only a matter of time before it fails completely.

So, I've always bought pretty bog standard laptops, usually from john lewis on account of the two year guarantee and ease of getting issues rectified. This has worked out well to date, but now all the big shops only stock windows 8, which I don't think I want.

The current lappy is a compaq CQ61 with a celeron processor, 15.6" screen, about 4 years old.

I want something the same size screeen, big hard drive (750gb+), running windows 7 (unless someone has a compelling reason to get win 8), the wife does dj on it using traktor pro (which the current laptop does ok ish), apart from that its just for general home use as I have a separate work laptop.

So, what should I get and where should I get it. Budget is flexible, somewhere between £300 and £600 should be more than adequate I would have thought, but happy to be convinced differently.

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It's always worth checking out UK Hot Deals, and doing a search for 'laptop' and having a mooch round what's on offer and the associated commentage imho.

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I don't own one but I have been considering the HP Envy 2 - have been quite impressed with them.

I did fancy Lenovos until I read loads of reviews on Amazon UK about the wireless not working on certain models.

As above, keep an eye on hotukdeals.

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If it's for home use and doesn't need to be mobile, might a desktop be a better bet? It's more easily upgradeable and repairable - and cheaper, too.

If you're not going to do anything involving high definition (by which I mean higher than PAL or NTSC, i.e. 576i) video or World of Wãnkcraft-type stuff, you can get away with the lowest spec processor of anything on the market. The last time I seriously looked at laptop prices (as the result of this problem), I found an annoying trend whereby it was impossible to buy something with a relatively low-spec processor and graphics chip, but lots of RAM and hard drive capacity, which is really what I wanted. As you'll see from the thread, I eventually replaced the bad RAM chip and thereby repaired the machine. However, I've had to repair that laptop again since, which it overheated and shut down on me. The processor heatsink was clogged up with dust, and although the replacement components only cost me a tenner (a new processor fan plus a tube of thermal grease), I had to strip the f****** thing all the way down to the motherboard to get at them, and the job took half a day. As a result of both these experiences, I think I can safely say that my next laptop will not be a Hewlett-Packard.

So if you really need that much HDD space (750gb), my suggestion would be to buy something pretty cheap (example), and then stick a bigger hard drive in it (as Jimmy Savile said to his groupie). Windows itself piles so much crud into memory (Vista is especially horrible, but 7 is quite bloaty as well), that I would regard 4GB of memory as the minimum. For a laptop I'd also want an Intel rather than an AMD processor in it, as the latter tend to use more power, thereby reducing battery life. But again, if you don't intend to take it on the road and will only be using it plugged in to the mains, that won't be an issue.

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If it's for home use and doesn't need to be mobile, might a desktop be a better bet? It's more easily upgradeable and repairable - and cheaper, too.

If you're not going to do anything involving high definition (by which I mean higher than PAL or NTSC, i.e. 576i) video or World of Wãnkcraft-type stuff, you can get away with the lowest spec processor of anything on the market. The last time I seriously looked at laptop prices (as the result of this problem), I found an annoying trend whereby it was impossible to buy something with a relatively low-spec processor and graphics chip, but lots of RAM and hard drive capacity, which is really what I wanted. As you'll see from the thread, I eventually replaced the bad RAM chip and thereby repaired the machine. However, I've had to repair that laptop again since, which it overheated and shut down on me. The processor heatsink was clogged up with dust, and although the replacement components only cost me a tenner (a new processor fan plus a tube of thermal grease), I had to strip the f****** thing all the way down to the motherboard to get at them, and the job took half a day. As a result of both these experiences, I think I can safely say that my next laptop will not be a Hewlett-Packard.

So if you really need that much HDD space (750gb), my suggestion would be to buy something pretty cheap (example), and then stick a bigger hard drive in it (as Jimmy Savile said to his groupie). Windows itself piles so much crud into memory (Vista is especially horrible, but 7 is quite bloaty as well), that I would regard 4GB of memory as the minimum. For a laptop I'd also want an Intel rather than an AMD processor in it, as the latter tend to use more power, thereby reducing battery life. But again, if you don't intend to take it on the road and will only be using it plugged in to the mains, that won't be an issue.

Thanks for this and other replies. It does have to be a laptop, as although its for home use, we don't really have room for a desktop, and the computer is used in defferent places e.g. kitchen for a recipe, wife dj ing in the dining room, surfing on the sofa, you get the picture.

Interesting idea of buying a cheapo and adding a big hard drive, but would invalidate a guarantee for what that's worth.

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Don't they all come out the same factory in China? I'm not being facetious. I'd love to know if there's any truth to the idea. unsure.gif

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Don't they all come out the same factory in China? I'm not being facetious. I'd love to know if there's any truth to the idea. unsure.gif

Assuming they do, which one should I get based on my few key specs, and where to buy from?

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The current laptop is now long in the tooth, I recently had to replace the hard drive, but a 1 1/2 year old has seen fit to remove the "g", and it does some funny stuff, so I think its only a matter of time before it fails completely.

So, I've always bought pretty bog standard laptops, usually from john lewis on account of the two year guarantee and ease of getting issues rectified. This has worked out well to date, but now all the big shops only stock windows 8, which I don't think I want.

The current lappy is a compaq CQ61 with a celeron processor, 15.6" screen, about 4 years old.

I want something the same size screeen, big hard drive (750gb+), running windows 7 (unless someone has a compelling reason to get win 8), the wife does dj on it using traktor pro (which the current laptop does ok ish), apart from that its just for general home use as I have a separate work laptop.

So, what should I get and where should I get it. Budget is flexible, somewhere between £300 and £600 should be more than adequate I would have thought, but happy to be convinced differently.

I know nothing about these machines, but perhaps a refurbished one from an established retailer might be a consideration, under £300:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DELL-INSPIRON-N5040-4GB-1TB-15-6-INCH-LAPTOP-/350725390506?pt=UK_Computing_Laptops_EH&hash=item51a8dcc0aa

I have a Dell but I know their build quality is rather variable according to the line- I previously had an Inspiron which I thought was cheaply made, my current laptop is an Latitude D430 which I think is very well built, although ancient.

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For the money you want to spend...I'd probably get a half decent i5 - sort of future-proof yourself..I've got a similar version of that Aspire that AB pointed to...Nice Laptop...I've got the older Aspire (the 5742) - piece of shite...Keeps on overheating...

Look at Asus...fantastic build quality (believe they do stuff with Apple - not sure if thats a good or a bad thing :) ) http://uk.asus.com/Notebooks/

There is indeed a select number of manufacturers

AFAIK all new machines come with Win8 - you'd have to find a Win7 license (ebay?) prob looking at around 70-80 quid...

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For the money you want to spend...I'd probably get a half decent i5 - sort of future-proof yourself..

Agreed - this one looks pretty good and meets OP's specs: http://www.amazon.co...duct/B00B18B284

I'd also say getting Windows 8 with the laptop - would be cheaper as it's now included as standard. If you really must have Windows 7 just use the licence from your old PC. Anyway, Windows 8 is very good IMO (faster that 7, stable) and you can make it behave like Windows 7 - boot straight to the desktop and restore the Start button (which it seems Microsoft will be restoring in Windows 8.1). There are a number of programs that do it, free and paid for - I use this and very happy with it: http://www.stardock....roducts/start8/

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So, I've always bought pretty bog standard laptops, usually from john lewis on account of the two year guarantee and ease of getting issues rectified. This has worked out well to date, but now all the big shops only stock windows 8, which I don't think I want.

The current lappy is a compaq CQ61 with a celeron processor, 15.6" screen, about 4 years old.

I want something the same size screeen, big hard drive (750gb+), running windows 7 (unless someone has a compelling reason to get win 8), the wife does dj on it using traktor pro (which the current laptop does ok ish), apart from that its just for general home use as I have a separate work laptop.

So, what should I get and where should I get it. Budget is flexible, somewhere between £300 and £600 should be more than adequate I would have thought, but happy to be convinced differently.

Are you put off Windows 8 by the weird interface? There is supposed to be a free update coming out soon which is supposed to offer a more familiar UI. It seems that Microsoft's hand has been forced by poor sales figures for Windows 8.

http://techcrunch.co...nching-june-26/

Maybe it's worth waiting a little while to see what Windows 8.1 looks like?

Regarding the Celeron CPU, that suggests to me that you don't run any of the serious paid-for anti-virus products. If you do think you will want something like McAfee, Norton, etc then a Celeron will not cut it, in my experience.

Lastly, I suggest it's worth thinking about noise. I got a cheap deal on a Toshiba from John Lewis last time I bought but the fan is noisy!:angry:

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If it's for home use and doesn't need to be mobile, might a desktop be a better bet? It's more easily upgradeable and repairable - and cheaper, too.

Yes, I think that's a very good point. I use a laptop, connected to a proper keyboard and monitor, which barely moves from my desk any more now that I have a smartphone for checking emails and the like. I'll be replacing it soon, not with another laptop, but with a desktop and a tablet computer. As the Ayatollah points out, you get more flexibility and bang for your buck from a desktop, while a tablet is better for mobile stuff (e.g. recipes, sofa surfing, etc.). A laptop just seems like an awkward compromise between the two nowadays, unless you are actually using it for proper work on the move.

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Yes, I think that's a very good point. I use a laptop, connected to a proper keyboard and monitor, which barely moves from my desk any more now that I have a smartphone for checking emails and the like. I'll be replacing it soon, not with another laptop, but with a desktop and a tablet computer. As the Ayatollah points out, you get more flexibility and bang for your buck from a desktop, while a tablet is better for mobile stuff (e.g. recipes). A laptop just seems like an awkward compromise between the two nowadays, unless you are actually using it for proper work on the move.

Most, if not all Lappys nowadays come with (at least) an SVGA and HDMI connection (you can get a converter for DVI - HDMI)..so you can still plug an old monitor, and you can plug in external keyboards & mice if you want to...From what I've found, there isn't a massive difference in price between a desktop and a laptop...

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Most, if not all Lappys nowadays come with (at least) an SVGA and HDMI connection (you can get a converter for DVI - HDMI)..so you can still plug an old monitor, and you can plug in external keyboards & mice if you want to...From what I've found, there isn't a massive difference in price between a desktop and a laptop...

If going for a good Lappy i'd say eastern european. make sure you have a few whiskies beforehand to get you in the mood. Yes the price between a desktop and a good lappy is not a massive difference, although i'm lazy these days and like sitting down rather than over the desktop, back not what it used to be..... am i in the right forum? (shit :unsure: ) :)

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Most, if not all Lappys nowadays come with (at least) an SVGA and HDMI connection (you can get a converter for DVI - HDMI)..so you can still plug an old monitor, and you can plug in external keyboards & mice if you want to...From what I've found, there isn't a massive difference in price between a desktop and a laptop...

Although it's true that the performance of a laptop won't be far behind that of a similarly priced desktop, it's the lack of expansion options that is the real restriction. If the OP (or a family member) ever does fancy doing anything graphics intensive, they'll be buggered with a laptop. With a desktop, get a video card and off you go. Same goes for a bigger hard disk if it's used to store a lot of videos.

And a tablet is loads more convenient for general internet browsing - I'm always borrowing my lad's Nexus 7 for looking stuff up rather than carting my laptop about.

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Although it's true that the performance of a laptop won't be far behind that of a similarly priced desktop, it's the lack of expansion options that is the real restriction. If the OP (or a family member) ever does fancy doing anything graphics intensive, they'll be buggered with a laptop. With a desktop, get a video card and off you go. Same goes for a bigger hard disk if it's used to store a lot of videos.

And a tablet is loads more convenient for general internet browsing - I'm always borrowing my lad's Nexus 7 for looking stuff up rather than carting my laptop about.

The only real thing that is graphically intensive is probably gaming. I'd probably get a console for that. Stuff like Photoshop will run comfortably on an i5. Video editing, you'd be looking a half decent i5 or i7. If you get a Laptop with a gig dedicated graphics card, that would be perfectly adequate. Get a USB 3.0 external drive (or cloud storage) for extra storage...

I used to have a desktop. But then you had a have a desk for it, which took up a lot of space. Couldn't be arsed with it in the end.

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If it's for home use and doesn't need to be mobile, might a desktop be a better bet? It's more easily upgradeable and repairable - and cheaper, too.

If you're not going to do anything involving high definition (by which I mean higher than PAL or NTSC, i.e. 576i) video or World of Wãnkcraft-type stuff, you can get away with the lowest spec processor of anything on the market. The last time I seriously looked at laptop prices (as the result of this problem), I found an annoying trend whereby it was impossible to buy something with a relatively low-spec processor and graphics chip, but lots of RAM and hard drive capacity, which is really what I wanted. As you'll see from the thread, I eventually replaced the bad RAM chip and thereby repaired the machine. However, I've had to repair that laptop again since, which it overheated and shut down on me. The processor heatsink was clogged up with dust, and although the replacement components only cost me a tenner (a new processor fan plus a tube of thermal grease), I had to strip the f****** thing all the way down to the motherboard to get at them, and the job took half a day. As a result of both these experiences, I think I can safely say that my next laptop will not be a Hewlett-Packard.

So if you really need that much HDD space (750gb), my suggestion would be to buy something pretty cheap (example), and then stick a bigger hard drive in it (as Jimmy Savile said to his groupie). Windows itself piles so much crud into memory (Vista is especially horrible, but 7 is quite bloaty as well), that I would regard 4GB of memory as the minimum. For a laptop I'd also want an Intel rather than an AMD processor in it, as the latter tend to use more power, thereby reducing battery life. But again, if you don't intend to take it on the road and will only be using it plugged in to the mains, that won't be an issue.

I disagree about low spec processors for longevity

It's one thing you can't change whereas storage and RAM get cheaper and can be easily upgraded in future. If I'd bought celerons or whatever Mr 8yr old desktop and Mrs 6yr old laptop would have been in the tip long before now

Oh, and not many laptop deals on HUKD recently. New Intel processors due? So somewhat of a lull before the storm.

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snip

Regarding the Celeron CPU, that suggests to me that you don't run any of the serious paid-for anti-virus products. If you do think you will want something like McAfee, Norton, etc then a Celeron will not cut it, in my experience.

snip

All current laptops and netbooks are just fine for most things.

I am currently posting today, running my business from bed, and watching movies and music through...a 5 year old MSI U100 with Atom 1.6Ghz Processor, 2GB RAM and 80GB Hard drive.

It has AVG Antivirus full time running, wireless and whatever attached devices I need.

so forget too much about performance...An I3 will suit most...RAM...you will get 2-4GB on most so forget it, the video will need to conform to current windows requirements ( which means it will play a lot of games...even warcraft) ( Daughter plays on celeron Fujitsu with no upgrades just fine, W7)

Just find one you like the look of and has a decent backup service for failures....ie, avoid Dell.

Many Pro versions of W7 variants will come with Office 2010 Starter too.

BIG TIP....MAKE and KEEP TWO COPIES OF THE SYSTEM BACKUP for when it goes wrong. For W7, also make the extra auto recovery disk as you dont want the famed 0xc000000e error on recovery.

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I bought a new laptop before Christmas! Looks like I am the only bugger that did! Everyone else wants a tablet :huh:

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I bought a new laptop before Christmas! Looks like I am the only bugger that did! Everyone else wants a tablet :huh:

to make up an order, I ordered the Hipstreet Equinox tablet.....very very cheap.

http://www.yvanrodrigues.com/content/how-load-google-play-hipstreet-equinox-2

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I don't want a tablet, although for a lot of people, that will fulfil all their needs!

I bought a MSI "gaming" laptop, so quite a high spec, and full HD resolution! Unfortunately, all my documents now look small!

As for desktops being upgradeable, well, when you want to "upgrade" something you will find the slots are the wrong shape, and the new parts will not fit! ;)

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I bought a MSI "gaming" laptop, so quite a high spec, and full HD resolution! Unfortunately, all my documents now look small!

Pressing Ctrl/+/- sorts that in most applications, alternatively 'View' tab, then 'Zoom' ;)

As for desktops being upgradeable, well, when you want to "upgrade" something you will find the slots are the wrong shape, and the new parts will not fit! ;)

Well yes, if you decide to upgrade it 10 years later. I've built a few PCs for my mate's friends recently; all still had PCI slots despite that being a 10+ year old standard...

The Desktop I type this on is about 4 years old, and still more than capable of anything I throw at it, including the odd bout of gaming (Core2Duo overclocked to 3.6GHz, ATi/AMD Radeon 4850, 4GB of DDR2).

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Pressing Ctrl/+/- sorts that in most applications, alternatively 'View' tab, then 'Zoom' ;)

Well yes, if you decide to upgrade it 10 years later. I've built a few PCs for my mate's friends recently; all still had PCI slots despite that being a 10+ year old standard...

The Desktop I type this on is about 4 years old, and still more than capable of anything I throw at it, including the odd bout of gaming (Core2Duo overclocked to 3.6GHz, ATi/AMD Radeon 4850, 4GB of DDR2).

I know I can make documents bigger! It's just some applications I use were built for a much lower resolution!

I gave up on desktops when they were still beige! :blink:

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I know I can make documents bigger! It's just some applications I use were built for a much lower resolution!

I gave up on desktops when they were still beige! :blink:

Im gutted Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffa is no longer playable. loved that game.

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  • 239 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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