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Struggling to Find a New Laptop - Help!


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#1 omron

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 05:41 AM

Hi there,

 

In the last month my current laptop has pretty much died on me. I can only use it for a short period without it switching off due to overheating, and the power cable is so loose that if I move much then it loses connection and also goes dead. So I'm looking to replace it as soon as possible. My budget isn't particularly big, around £700/£750 (I'm from the UK, so pounds!), and I could really do with some help in finding something suitable.

I only do fairly ordinary sort of things - surfing, office stuff, watching videos, a bit of light gaming, some web design, and listening to music. However, due to illness I'm currently housebound, so my laptop is even more crucial than ever as it keeps me connected to the outside world and provides a huge amount of my entertainment. So I really want to get it right!

One of my main concerns was wanting something that was going to last. I hate the thought of having to buy another laptop in a couple of years time, so was hoping I could get something that would still be decent and working in.. well, more than 2 years time. I'd also like it to be quick! My current laptop is so slow now, so speed is important. I'm not really concerned about how it looks, portability and battery life though. As long as it can sit on my lap without being too heavy I'm not fussed. Oh, and not overheat!

 

So I've been doing as much research as I can but for the life of me am unable to find something that fits my criteria and is within my budget. Every one I've looked at either has a load of reviews trashing it or is lacking in some area I'm not willing to give way on. I've tried Lenovo's (either too expensive or rubbish reviews), ASUS (same as Lenovo), Toshiba's and HP's (poor reviews), Mac's are out of my league with UK pricing, ditto for most Sony's, and I've had an Acer in the past which has put me off them completely. Which leaves me with very little. Although I fully accept reviews aren't always the best way to judge things.

 

Specs I would ideally like:

Processor: i7 (I could be persuaded i5 would be fine)
Ram: 8GB Ram
Hard Drive: 500GB HD (or ideally would prefer SSD, but with my budget I know it'll be tough. Probably buy one after and install it myself)
Graphics: Integrated graphics is fine, I think..
Screen: 14-15 inches.
Resolution: 1600 x 900 at the least, really want 1920x1080, and maybe a touchscreen although not a deal-breaker. Also - matte, not glossy if possible.
Not fussed about DVD drive.
Trying to avoid a fairly flimsy, plastic build.
Battery life isn't that essential as won't be moving it around much.
Would like it to be cool and not get hot!

 

(Going back over that I think I may be asking for far too much in regards to my budget, but here's hoping!)

The biggest problem is not so much finding models with those specs but doing so within my budget. I don't really want to spend over £750, which is $1250 I believe, but unfortunately the prices in the US don't match up in the UK. Everything is far, far more expensive, and so limits your options massively. And as the majority of the websites are offering reviews based on US prices it becomes a bit of a nightmare.

 

I've also started looking at hybrid/tablets to see if that would be more suitable for me, but I'm still as lost with those too. The new ASUS TP500 looked interesting, but I can't find it anywhere in the UK. I like the idea of a hybrid but not as my main machine, and I doubt I could afford a regular laptop AND hybrid. I even considered giving up some of my specs and getting a cheaper laptop but combining it with also getting an iPad/tablet, but can't decide if that would work or is a ridiculous idea. Basically.. I'm stumped.

 

So I could really do with some help. Really any advice or recommendation would be hugely appreciated. I'm just getting really desperate to find something!

 

Thanks a lot,

 

- Andy



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 08:18 AM

Hello, and Welcome

Firstly, I am not going to give my opinion on what computer to buy. I googled and Staples has stores in the U.K. as they do in the U.S. I think you are going too high on your budget. For example see this computer. Fairly decent and Staples UK gives you a 30 day back guarantee if faulty or damaged. Staples usually has some pretty good discounts. I am not sure Staples U.K. has coupons like in the U.S. For instance, I purchased a Toshiba laptop that retailed for over $500 and after the rebates and $100 off computer coupon, the final price was about $250.

 

Another thought. If you have the room and you do not plan on moving the computer around, then look at a desktop. They are much easier to repair and also clean out when they get dusty.

 

I think 1600 x 900 resolution is too high on a 15" screen. Everything would be too tiny. Other people on the Forum may have a different opinion. I am sure somebody will post their suggestion.

 

 



#3 omron

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 09:21 AM

Thanks for the reply JohnC_21.

 

I'm not sure if Staples UK has coupons, I'll definitely have a look into it though. I appreciate your thoughts on my budget and spec's. I guessed I was looking for a bit too much for the amount I was able to spend. Worth a try though.

 

In regards to a desktop - I'm really just looking for a laptop. Due to my current circumstances anything other than that isn't an option.

 

My current resolution is 1280 x 800 and I'm perfectly happy with that. I just was trying to avoid 1366 x 768 which seems to be the standard in most budget laptops now.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 10:18 AM

Go to the store and look at their floor models. Ask the salesman to change the resolution to 1600 x 900 if available and see how you like it. 1280 × 800  should be available on the computer.  But on a widescreen it would be listed as 1280×720.

 

From Wiki the common resolutions for 16:9 aspect ratio are

 

640×360, 854×480, 960×540, 1024×576, 1280×720, 1366×768, 1600×900, 1920×1080, 2048×1152, 2560×1440, 2880x1620, 3840×2160 4096×2304, 7680×4320 and 15360×8640



#5 masterthemachines

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 10:35 AM

Hello there,

 

From my research this is the closest that matches your budged and preferences: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-13-inch-MacBook-2-5GHz-Graphics/dp/B008BEYEL8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1409326223&sr=8-2&keywords=macbook+13+inch+500gb

 

Hope this helps!


Edited by masterthemachines, 29 August 2014 - 10:37 AM.





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