Laptop advice

I need a new laptop...........

Don't use it for work so don't need any of the really fancy functions but would like it to come with Excel and Word.
Need a CD/DVD thingy in the side of it image
Mainly Internet browsing e-mail etc Don't often download Music and never films... well at least not up til now.
I have an external Hard drive for my music and photo gallery but would be nice if it was big enough to store this on there as well....

Firstly have I made any glaring exceptions on what I might need?
Recommendations about £500 please....


  • I'm looking too Plum in a similar price range and found this.  It's mid range in terms of processor from what I gather and has a decent amount of memory and storage to perform well enough for a good few years.  The owner reviews look pretty good.

    I've been searching around to see if I can find it cheaper elsewhere and I can't.  Don't be talked into buying Norton with it though.  Most people, apart from those who work for PC World, consider it a bag'o'shite.

  • I hate buying new technology too Plum - have you both googled "which laptop" to get a good range of reviews? I don't rate Norton either - although I believe it's improved in my experience it really slows your computer down and interferes with other programmes.
  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭
    I've just bought this one and am very happy with it so far. You don't get any of the Microsoft Office programs with it, but PC World also have an offer (can't remember the details) to get it at a reduced price when you buy a laptop.
  • Dude get a dell, for the price point your looking at you do not get a better bang for the buck.
    I would advise checking dell outlet, the place sells what is defined as a refurbished pc, what they are in effect are computers which have been returned to dell before the 28 day return policy expires as such they can not then be sold as new machines. You can get some reason all spec machines with warrentee for reasonable prices, spend the change on loading the system up with as much RAM as possible for a nice powerful and useful machine.
  • That's interesting Squeakz.  I've seen lots of entries for refurbs and not wanted to take the risk.

    I currently have a Dell which has lasted 5 years and still going strong.  It's just seriously under powered to run W7 (currently on XP) and I've run out of storage as the HDD is only 80g.  I'd consider Dell again if I could get the same spec as the Acer for the money.  The thing that does concern me about the Dell is the need to replace the battery 3 times and the charger twice during the time I've owned it.  Adds to the ownership costs but I'm guessing that can happen with any manufacturer.

  • Plum , always have a look at John Lewis. 2 year warranty included in the price.

    500 quid will easily get you something.

    Don't worry about virus checkers, there are 2-3 free ones that are fine , one a Microsoft one even.

    You may not get word & excel in that price, maybe get a young relative to get the student one cheap price. Sometimes get word, or word & works suite.
  • JjJj ✭✭✭
    I don't think you need to spend that, Plum, for what you want. John Lewis yes, for price (family loyalty aside). Mine is a Vaio ... something or other image and it was £419 list price. There were a couple even cheaper but I needed it that day and the cheaper ones weren't in stock.

  • JjJj ✭✭✭
    Oh and Microsoft Security Essentials is fine for protection, so my computer chappy says, and as I do quite a lot of medical and social stuff I can vouch for it. image
  • Yes, I said that above about Microsoft one JJ. And no need to ask your computer chappy since I am one ! image

    John Lewis have decent range under 400 quid even...500 will get you better processor, slightly better spec but not huge difference.
    2 year guarantee and with Microsoft officer starter 2010 (most word & excel features).. Options to upgrade to student & other office versions for 69-75 quid.

    379 for toshiba

    399 for Samsung

    15 inch screen okay Plum?
  • A new Laptop is on my list in the next few months (fingers crossed) and I  asked my resident guru at work and I shall c&p his reccommendations:




    Clock Speed







    Intel Core i5




    15.5 LED


    Cheaper at



    Intel Core i5




    15.6 LED




    Intel P6200 Dual Core




    15.6 TFT





    AMD Fusion A6-3400M / 1.4 GHz ( Quad-Core )




    15.6 LED


    Trade in your old laptop and get £150



    Intel Core i3




    17.3 LED


    Trade in for £100 off

    Sony (Just to show you that you’re paying for the name)

    Compared to the Lenovo same spec (ex bigger Hard Drive)

    Fujitsu shows you how cheap it could be if you went for the lowest of the low….

    HP – Nice Laptop for the Price, QUAD CORE (That means it has 4 processors in it, all the others have 2, and hence the clock speed is slower) Massive memory... Good Price

    Dell, if you want a laptop that never leaves the house, would consider looking at Dell, they will customise it to exactly your needs and they have a trade in offer that exists till 31st Jan 2012. And for the cherry on top… Changeable Covers to suit your personality (like you see on the advert)….Cost £12 – 15 extra (normally about £25)

  • Feckin formatting ..... see, I do need a new one!

    You get the drift anyway  image
  • If you'd be willing to pay a little extra, find a laptop with core i7, i struggle to keep up with how fast that processor is! Plus it shouldn't go " out of date" too soon
  • Not going to get many core i7 laptops under 500 notes Callum. If any.

    Both those JL laptops below 400 quid are core i3 which is fine for most people.
    Above 400 up to 500 you'll get a core i5, both are dual core, but the i5 is hyper threaded so sort of 4 processors.

    Meldys AMD Hp laptop ...quad true yes but generally doesn't have a good rep compared to intel chips in laptops, especially in battery life.
    The nice sale offer at JL for 499 is the intel version core i5 of the same one. Really nice keyboard.
    There is a similar spec HP for 50 quid less, but build isn't quite as nice, keyboard, graphics etc. but still very nice. And all have that 2 year warranty... Worth roughly 100 quid.
  • The pc man who fixed my laptop ( a Sony Vaio - i stood on it) gave some advice on makes as he sees a lot of laptop faults. He said avoid Sony Vaios as the battery fails to keep a charge after a while - I can confirm this as now ours doesn't hold a charge AT ALL. He recommended Toshibas and Samsungs as they are most reliable in his experience.

    Google laptop reliability surveys and Dell and HP don't come out that well either.

  • Not a computer expert, but on my second Dell laptop and perfectly happy with them. (And there's a few more in the household that are performing perfectly well.)

    After a couple of weeks of owning this one, the touchpad button was sticking in the down position. I contacted support, expecting that I'd have to bundle the unit up or bring it to a depot... much to my surprise (and pleasure), they sent a guy to fix it in my kitchen.

  • MuttleyMuttley ✭✭✭

    The OP doesn't need one of the latest and greatest i3 or i5 let alone i7 processors for what he's proposing to use the machine for. An i3 tops, maybe. 4gb RAM. And you'd be hard pressed to fill any hard drive these days unless you're producing hours of video.

    Anything in PC World or John Lewis or Currys for £400 will do what he needs it to.

    Arguing over specs etc is all very well but what matters most is the input devices. Make sure you like the keyboard, tracking device and screen first - that extra second you gain loading up Word counts for nowt if you hate typing on the keyboard and the screen gives you a headache.

  • +1 to the screen, and I think Toshibas are great. Also, Plum needs an extra large screen for the larger font sizes he uses image
  • I am quite fussy about the keyboard, and chose a sony vaio because I liked the keys.

    If (as Johnny says) I end up having to use it plugged in all the time, I don't really mind that, I rarely use it in places where there is no mains

    but I do recommend trying the keyboard on a machine before you choose it

    don't just go on processor specs and the like

  • +1 on trying out the keyboard as no end of buggerations if the keys don't 'fit' your hands.  Current one is an Acer with a 17" screen which is kind of shiney and great for watching iplayer or DVDs.

    It's been reliable, great to use and 3 years on I don't feel it's getting dated and slow.  Battery used to last 4 hours but it's down to about 3 now.

    Previous one was HP which although it's now 8 still does a turn as a 'spare' if there is the need. 

  • Sony .. You pay for the name
    Lenovo .. The council laptop .. Ugly and aimed at business users

    Consider Dell, Toshiba or Hp

    i3 or I5 processors you don't need an i7
    You should get a decent hard disk for that price 500gig +
    Think of getting 4gig + ram
    Think on what screen size you want ... 15 is the norm but I prefer bigg but this is not exactly portable
    go windows 7
  • Thanks folks.....

    I now have several people to blame apart from myself if it goes tits up

  • By the way Plumster my training thread has sprung back to life if you care to visit
  • Remember to factor in BACKUPS and a good shock foam case.
    You already have an external hard drive but may need a bigger one.
    I got a good case for my laptop and (having upgraded the RAM, cpu & hard drive and bought it a new battery last year) it is still going fine.
    ... must now set up backups myself.

    MSE is OK for free AV.
  • I've just bought this

    and have been very happy with it so far image

    They appear to have put the price up by 30 quid since I bought it earlier in the week so this also makes me image
  • Eself1941Eself1941 ✭✭✭
    I have just bought this laptop you can check if you are looking for a good laptop. This laptop is having high RAM, storage, and touch screen features. It is the best lap
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