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Pros & cons of a budget laptop?


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Old 13-01-2013, 15:31
Dark 1
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My GF is planning on buying a laptop. She's always had desktops before, but now wants a laptop instead. She had set a budget of £500, so I went online and tracked down the best laptop I can find for that price; a Lenovo IdeaPad, 15 inch, i5, Nvidia GPU, 8 gig, 1 tb. Not bad. She'd get a fair few years out of that I reckon.

However, all her computer expert work colleagues have rubbished the idea. They say no-one should ever need to spend any more than half that much on a laptop. So now she's having doubts. They're experts after all. They know best. But 250 quid? Really!?!

Now I've never owned a laptop of anywhere near that level of cheapness 'cos my perception is that it would be a hateful piece of disposable crap. But does anyone have any real world anecdotes about living with a uber-budget laptop?
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Old 13-01-2013, 15:37
BeethovensPiano
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There's this from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...pf_rd_i=468294
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Old 13-01-2013, 16:01
Alan F
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Get your GF to ask her IT mates to provide her with a list of 'recommended' laptops that they could get her for £250 so that she can chose from it.

That should shut them up, alternatively they will have extremely good buying contacts and save her a packet.
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Old 13-01-2013, 16:15
max99
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First question is how is she going to look after it? If she's the type of person who will eat and drink near it, drop it, leave it on the floor, trip over it, sit on it, carry it around by the screen, etc., then it actually makes sense to buy one cheap laptop now and another one in a year or two when she's trashed the first one.

As she hasn't owned a laptop before, probably a good idea to take her to look at some in-store. The quality of the screen, feel of the keyboard and trackpad, overall size and weight are all factors which can help her decide. Just remember there's no guarantee that a £500 laptop will have better build quality than a sub-£300 one or that it will last longer.
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Old 13-01-2013, 16:18
chrisjr
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Get your GF to ask her IT mates to provide her with a list of 'recommended' laptops that they could get her for £250 so that she can chose from it.

That should shut them up, alternatively they will have extremely good buying contacts and save her a packet.
Not only may they have discounts on machines they buy for work but it's also possible they claim back the VAT as well.

So that £250 could be excluding VAT and after any discount. Which could easily equate to £300-350 in "on the high street" prices.
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Old 13-01-2013, 16:31
barky99
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£500 is still quite cheap for a laptop ..... still in the 'budget' zone really BUT perfectly adequate for many users ..... they are all assembled by a handful of companies in China/Taiwan no matter what name is on outside (including apple), major price difference will be due to processor & then there's that myth spread by some folk that all windows laptops are dirt cheap .... low end price ones will be flimsy with low spec bits inside (same bits no matter what brand probably) ... that lenovo £500 should be OK & with 8gig of memory perhaps a bit over-specced really
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Old 13-01-2013, 17:22
whoever,hey
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£500 is still quite cheap for a laptop ..... still in the 'budget' zone really BUT perfectly adequate for many users ..... they are all assembled by a handful of companies in China/Taiwan no matter what name is on outside (including apple), major price difference will be due to processor & then there's that myth spread by some folk that all windows laptops are dirt cheap .... low end price ones will be flimsy with low spec bits inside (same bits no matter what brand probably) ... that lenovo £500 should be OK & with 8gig of memory perhaps a bit over-specced really
I pretty much agree with this.
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Old 13-01-2013, 17:37
Mark in Essex
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Wondering what she uses it for as we bought my wife a Samsung Google Chromebook a few months ago and she loves it.

It was £200 but got £50 cashback from Samsung.

It's virtually impossible to get malware or a virus on it as the Operating system is on the Cloud (not on the laptop).

My wife just uses it for surfing the Web, word processing and spreadsheets on it and she can do the spreadsheets and word processing offline so you don't need an Internet connection.

If it's for more than just surfing the net then it might be worth getting a proper laptop but for surfing the net you cannot beat it for the price and the keyboard is actually better than a lot of the £500+ laptops I've seen.
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Old 13-01-2013, 17:38
rottweiler
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Am I reading this correct
it actually makes sense to buy one cheap laptop now and another one in a year or two
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Old 13-01-2013, 17:59
whoever,hey
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Am I reading this correct
It makes sense to because in a couple of years the new laptop will be modern and powerful enough as a medium laptop for the time.
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Old 13-01-2013, 18:08
max99
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Am I reading this correct
Read the full post and do try and stop being so desperate.
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Old 13-01-2013, 18:19
rottweiler
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Just seems a bit strange to buy 2 laptops in 2 years, I would just get a MBP and tell her to look after it or loose it
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Old 13-01-2013, 18:23
whoever,hey
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Just seems a bit strange to buy 2 laptops in 2 years, I would just get a MBP and tell her to look after it or loose it
You have to realise that a MBP will turn into midrange in a few years, but a bottom of the range laptop which costs more than a desktop anyway will just drop out to insignificance in a couple of years.

If your going for decent mid spec then i wouldn't recommend buying another in a couple of years at all.
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Old 13-01-2013, 18:28
rottweiler
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I just upgraded the wife's 2 year old 13' MBP and was shocked at what I got for it on eBay, it was a 2 year old apple referb and sold it for £200 less than I paid for it, it was still in A1 condition mind but just goes to show
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Old 13-01-2013, 20:56
bowland37
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Good: It's cheap

Bad: It's a pile of steaming shite.
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Old 13-01-2013, 23:02
rottweiler
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max99, will you marry me

or are you married to the mods......ha ha h a
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Old 13-01-2013, 23:42
max99
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max99, will you marry me

or are you married to the mods......ha ha h a
I'm really not sure if that makes more or less sense than your usual posts. I'll go with more.

Ever thought about changing your name from rottweiler? You're more like the forum equivalent of one of those little yappy dogs who are always jumping up and trying to hump your leg and sniff your crotch.
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Old 14-01-2013, 00:13
Dark 1
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Thanks for the input so far. To answer a few points…

I don't think she'd be able to get anything via work. They only use desktops AFAIK.

She'd have no trouble using it and knows what not to do with one. She's a software developer herself. Just unlike her nerdy colleagues, she's not interested in computers in general and has no idea about hardware. I think that's a bit strange, but that's the way it is.

At the moment, she's not sure what she'll use it for. She thinks it may only be used for internet, updating her website and maybe a bit of Sim City, leaving her desktop to do the 'proper' work. But I think she'll get used to having a PC on her lap and eventually the creaky old desktop will gather dust. So my thinking is if she can afford it, better to get something capable so she does't suffer buyers' remorse with something underpowered with no future proofing.

And no, she doesn't want a Mac. She uses mine, but while she likes the screen and how well built it is, she wants, needs and prefers Windows. Plus if she's baulking at £500, not much hope of getting her to spend 2 to 3 times that much.

So, does anyone know of anyone who's bought a absolute bottom-of-the-barrel laptop and hated it? Or indeed loved it?
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Old 14-01-2013, 01:09
rottweiler
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Theres no need to get personal Max99, aren't we brave on an Internet forum...
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Old 14-01-2013, 02:15
max99
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Theres no need to get personal Max99, aren't we brave on an Internet forum...
If you're the sensitive type, you know you really shouldn't keep going out of your way to have arguments.

Any further comments, please PM them to me, so I can ignore them and no one else will have to put up with petty bickering. Job done.
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Old 14-01-2013, 08:29
MicroSmurf
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My GF is planning on buying a laptop. She's always had desktops before, but now wants a laptop instead. She had set a budget of £500, so I went online and tracked down the best laptop I can find for that price; a Lenovo IdeaPad, 15 inch, i5, Nvidia GPU, 8 gig, 1 tb. Not bad. She'd get a fair few years out of that I reckon.

However, all her computer expert work colleagues have rubbished the idea. They say no-one should ever need to spend any more than half that much on a laptop. So now she's having doubts. They're experts after all. They know best. But 250 quid? Really!?!

Now I've never owned a laptop of anywhere near that level of cheapness 'cos my perception is that it would be a hateful piece of disposable crap. But does anyone have any real world anecdotes about living with a uber-budget laptop?
If that is the Z580 you are talking about, I bought that for myself just over a month ago and I can thoroughly recommend it. I also made the change from desktop to laptop and this Lenovo with that spec is ideal to last a few years.

The 8GB might sound a lot to some people but I regularly use at least 4-6GB most days just doing the stuff I normally do so I don't think it's excessive. The laptop overall is powerful and fast enough for everything I need it for.
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Old 14-01-2013, 20:32
Dark 1
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If that is the Z580 you are talking about, I bought that for myself just over a month ago and I can thoroughly recommend it. I also made the change from desktop to laptop and this Lenovo with that spec is ideal to last a few years.

The 8GB might sound a lot to some people but I regularly use at least 4-6GB most days just doing the stuff I normally do so I don't think it's excessive. The laptop overall is powerful and fast enough for everything I need it for.
It is indeed the Z580. Can I ask how much crapware do Lenovo load up their stuff with? And what's the quality level of this model's screen?

I shall keep plugging away trying to convince her her uber-nerd work colleagues don't know sh*t!
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Old 14-01-2013, 20:52
LostFool
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£500 is still a decent budget for a home laptop. As long as you aren't going to be playing high-end games or doing a lot of video editing then the current generation of i3 and i5 systems will be more than good enough.

You also need to think about where the machine will be used. If it never leaves your desk or coffee table then weight or battery life aren't that important factors. If you are carrying it around all day then they are. The new range of ultrabooks may look good but you'll pay extra for the slimline design.
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Old 14-01-2013, 21:11
MicroSmurf
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It is indeed the Z580. Can I ask how much crapware do Lenovo load up their stuff with? And what's the quality level of this model's screen?

I shall keep plugging away trying to convince her her uber-nerd work colleagues don't know sh*t!
There's actually very little crapware installed on Lenovo's, I haven't spent hours removing stuff like I had to on my partners Dell and my in-laws Acer laptops.

The screen on the Z580 isn't the best I admit but it's perfectly good enough, viewing angles are not great but if you are using it on your lap/table then it's not an issue. It's not something that worries me too much and I was coming from a full HD 22" desktop monitor.
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Old 14-01-2013, 21:22
rocketronnie75
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Hi,

Check this one Argos are selling on eBay for £250 http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DELL-INSPI...item51a6923816.

I bought one and it's great. It a refurb though but they do give you 12 months warranty.
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