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fluffy666

Laptop Price Inflation

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Just had a lunchtime nose around the local PC world..

It's been the case for perhaps the last couple of years that you could get a basic laptop for perhaps £270-300 - nothing great, integrated graphics, but OK for standard browsing/office stuff. Gone one for £300 a year ago with 8Gb RAM/500GB HDD.

But now, there is basically nothing in that price bracket - one netbook with a 10" screen and 2Gb of RAM. I've also noticed that desktop components have if not gone up in price, then not deflated as per usual.

Anyone else notice? Have tablets displaced the low-end laptops? (even though you can't do much productive stuff on a tablet, unless you have a physical keyboard, IMO).

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Just had a lunchtime nose around the local PC world..

It's been the case for perhaps the last couple of years that you could get a basic laptop for perhaps £270-300 - nothing great, integrated graphics, but OK for standard browsing/office stuff. Gone one for £300 a year ago with 8Gb RAM/500GB HDD.

But now, there is basically nothing in that price bracket - one netbook with a 10" screen and 2Gb of RAM. I've also noticed that desktop components have if not gone up in price, then not deflated as per usual.

Anyone else notice? Have tablets displaced the low-end laptops? (even though you can't do much productive stuff on a tablet, unless you have a physical keyboard, IMO).

I guess laptops can't compete with tablets at the moment. Laptops are generally much more powerful, but there's a limit to how cheap you can make them before manufacturers' margins disappear. Having said that, sometime you get good deals on Hotukdeals. Second-hand laptops are better value that they used to be too.

Tablets are fashionable at the moment and have sexier designs, but they're hard to do any work on. Basically they're just for consuming media. Not surprising that they're doing well here as UK is just full of consumers.

Chromebooks seem to be doing better though. They're light and portable and less than £200. Plus you get a proper keyboard.

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I purchased a handfull of usb sticks over the weekend, so I'm afraid I have been actively contributing to the reduced inflationary environment, low interest rates, and high house prices. I still remember the first one I bought (maybe 6 or 7 years ago) cost 22 euro for 500 mB and that was cheap at the time. This time they were around 6 euros for 8 gB. At that time a base laptop was probably 600 or 700 euro. I did think myself the prices had stopped dropping over the last few years. Also got a cheap lightweight dvd writer for 34 euro. My last one probably cost 40 or 50 a few years ago. 2.5" inch hard drives have stayed above 50 euros for ages, but the capacity has probably gone up 10 fold. (All prices for low end spec)

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Yes, I've noticed this. The impression I get is that the latest "deal" on whatever PC World have managed to get a scoop on is about £50 more expensive now than it was a couple of years ago.

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If it runs Windows 8 it needs a touch screen, pretty much, which adds to the cost for little user benefit.

But yeah, not only are the low end laptops not that cheap but they are often underpowered, there doesn't seem to have been much of a trickle down of processor power.

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I've also had a look in PC World a couple of times recently (supposed to be buying a laptop for work, so I was wondering what you got for your money these days). Almost everything they had had a touch screen, and motly they were detachable so you could use it tablet-style as well. I don't want either of those things, so it'd just be a waste of money.

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Just had a lunchtime nose around the local PC world..

It's been the case for perhaps the last couple of years that you could get a basic laptop for perhaps £270-300 - nothing great, integrated graphics, but OK for standard browsing/office stuff. Gone one for £300 a year ago with 8Gb RAM/500GB HDD.

But now, there is basically nothing in that price bracket - one netbook with a 10" screen and 2Gb of RAM. I've also noticed that desktop components have if not gone up in price, then not deflated as per usual.

Anyone else notice? Have tablets displaced the low-end laptops? (even though you can't do much productive stuff on a tablet, unless you have a physical keyboard, IMO).

My first desktop back in the 90's was a DX4 100 which was over a grand, so I think you get a lot more for your money that you did 10 or 15 years ago...

My first i3 (when I bought it just over three years ago) was £380 with 4gig RAM from Dixons online...I spend a good week or so finding the right laptop...I personally don't remember seeing them for under 300 quid for that spec...and that included the likes of Dabs or ebuyer.. You can get the odd deal on hotukdeals, whereby you can get an equivalent laptop for under 300 or an i5 for under 400, but for 300 notes typically you'd get something like an AMD E1...I'd rather get a better spec...Give it a year or two, and it would be a bit wheezy..

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I noticed that the price of laptops in the shops plunged when Windows 8 first came out. Purely as an experiment, I asked a sales assistant in Office Depot whether a model I liked the look of and was a very good price (i5, 8GB, 1TB HDD for $600) could be supplied with W7 instead of W8. She replied with an emphatic no, commenting that I wasn't the first person to ask that. When I told her that I'd be interested if she could knock the $100 off the price it would cost me to buy a Windows 7 OEM licence to install it myself, she called her manager, who replied with an equally emphatic no.

My impression is that no-one wanted to buy laptops with Windows 8.0, and that this drove the price down artificially. 8.1 is just about tolerable, and so customers who'd been struggling on with old ones during the standoff are now buying again, bringing prices back up towards more normal levels.

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I've also had a look in PC World a couple of times recently (supposed to be buying a laptop for work, so I was wondering what you got for your money these days). Almost everything they had had a touch screen, and motly they were detachable so you could use it tablet-style as well. I don't want either of those things, so it'd just be a waste of money.

Was that consistent across the price range? I'm wondering if higher end ones are less prone to gimmicks and more likely to be touchscreen-free.

I bought my current laptop early last year, even though I could've carried on with my old one a bit longer, just to ensure that I wasn't lumbered with Windows 8.

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then not deflated as per usual.

Consumers have had a good run with electronics over the past twenty years. Hardware and infrastructure prices are hardening in the B2B market not surprising B2C is following suit.

Although as pointed out it was PC World

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Was that consistent across the price range? I'm wondering if higher end ones are less prone to gimmicks and more likely to be touchscreen-free.

I bought my current laptop early last year, even though I could've carried on with my old one a bit longer, just to ensure that I wasn't lumbered with Windows 8.

Most of the Ultrabooks (higher end i5 / i7 machines) are touch screen...I dread to think how much a replacement screen is for one of those...

Don't Dell still offer their Laptops OS free?

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If it runs Windows 8 it needs a touch screen, pretty much, which adds to the cost for little user benefit.

Yeah, as far I can see, it's the touch screen 'convertible' fad. It will die once people realize what a crappy design that is.

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I noticed that the price of laptops in the shops plunged when Windows 8 first came out. Purely as an experiment, I asked a sales assistant in Office Depot whether a model I liked the look of and was a very good price (i5, 8GB, 1TB HDD for $600) could be supplied with W7 instead of W8. She replied with an emphatic no, commenting that I wasn't the first person to ask that. When I told her that I'd be interested if she could knock the $100 off the price it would cost me to buy a Windows 7 OEM licence to install it myself, she called her manager, who replied with an equally emphatic no.

My impression is that no-one wanted to buy laptops with Windows 8.0, and that this drove the price down artificially. 8.1 is just about tolerable, and so customers who'd been struggling on with old ones during the standoff are now buying again, bringing prices back up towards more normal levels.

I'm amazed that Win8 got launched as it did, the "metro" look is sort of OK with a touchscreen but to strip out the start button function with the classic look was just insanity.

Plus M$ as usually moved everything about, there's nothing finer than getting a new computer and having to use google on another to find out how the feck it works. M$ with Win8 excelled at hiding everything from the user.

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I'm amazed that Win8 got launched as it did, the "metro" look is sort of OK with a touchscreen but to strip out the start button function with the classic look was just insanity.

Windows 8 was a vain attempt to get into the phone market, which Microsoft has failed to develop a foothold in for years. They couldn't sell smartphones without 'apps', and no-one would write apps without a market to sell them into. So they tried to convince developers that desktop users would be lining up to run full-screen phone apps on a 24" monitor.

It was a retarded idea, but at least had some kind of reasoning behind it.

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Microsoft needs to get back to basics, I want a new laptop - just because this one is slow - but I don't see the point in buying a win7 one again, and definitely don't want a win8 one.

In fact, we got a Windows Essential 2012 R2 server last week. I had to use You tube to figure out how to reboot it!

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Microsoft needs to get back to basics, I want a new laptop - just because this one is slow - but I don't see the point in buying a win7 one again, and definitely don't want a win8 one.

Can you still get XP for next to nothing from anywhere? It's not as if any version since has offered any improvements whatsoever.

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Can you still get XP for next to nothing from anywhere? It's not as if any version since has offered any improvements whatsoever.

It's out of support now, and quite frankly a nightmare to install on modern systems, since you'll need to find drivers for everything. Personally I find Windows 8 fine once you get used to it..

If you want cheap, got for Ubuntu. I would be surprised to see if there was anything XP could do that Ubuntu couldn't (even moreso if you take account of windows emulators).

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Chromebooks, hmm. Anyone got one? Any remarks?

I've moved the wife and parents over to Chromebook mainly so I don't have to provide technical support anymore. B)

I use one for everything now except for software development, gaming, printing and long term file backup. As technology improves, I expect these use cases to get thinner, e.g. my next printer will support cloud printing. With a Chromebook you get instant on, simplified keyboard, slim profile, long battery life, no viruses and disposability (all data in the Cloud). Bookmarks are synced with all my other Chrome browser instances.

On topic, I would guess that modern laptops are no longer chasing faster specs, but increased battery life.

For some obscure technical reason Intel has not yet managed to field a proper low power processor, hence you will see a lot of AMD based products out there (Android, iPhone, iPad, Chormebook) that make equivalent Intel device look like bricks. Just take a look at the Microsoft Surface (in real) to see what I mean.

apple-ipad-4-vs-microsoft-surface-pro-vs-google-nexus-10-side-540x334.jpg

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I use one for everything now except for software development, gaming, printing and long term file backup. As technology improves, I expect these use cases to get thinner, e.g. my next printer will support cloud printing. With a Chromebook you get instant on, simplified keyboard, slim profile, long battery life, no viruses and disposability (all data in the Cloud). Bookmarks are synced with all my other Chrome browser instances.

That doesn't leave it with much use then. In particular the idea of not keeping my own data local and having to have a connection all the time in order to do anything (things that have no practical reason to require online access) just seems mad to me. A remote server as a backup makes sense but not as your primary storage (and please don't use that stupid and annoying expression "the cloud").

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That doesn't leave it with much use then.
Facebook, email, maps, video conferencing, document/spreadsheets collaboration, house hunting, news reading, surfing HPC, generally on the sofa in front of the TV (sometimes kitchen table) using the home WiFi. Thats 98% of my non-work computing (excluding mobile) usage right there. Your experiences may differ.
...and please don't use that stupid and annoying expression "the cloud").
I'm using it in the technical sense, not the marketing one.

I appreciate that old schoolers don't distinguish between cloud computing and the traditional data center model, but I've lived through it at a bunch of big corporates and really do appreciate the difference.

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I'm using it in the technical sense, not the marketing one.

I appreciate that old schoolers don't distinguish between cloud computing and the traditional data center model, but I've lived through it at a bunch of big corporates and really do appreciate the difference.

What difference? The guys managing the servers need to know but its irrelevent from the user's point of view, no more than the OSs the servers are running.

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