Laptop purchase

Author
Discussion

ALY77

Original Poster:

630 posts

154 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Hi guys, not a frequent visitor to this area of ph so please, be gentle!

My 12 year old (& eldest) who has just started high school has asked for a laptop for christmas.

Having trawled many web pages trying to pick up some understanding of what specs mean to some degree, the only thing I'm half confident on is that my budget for a box fresh new (not keen on a refurb) laptop sees me at a 14" screened Lenovo or HP with a 7th Gen I3, 4mb ram and probably a SSD (though the HP in the frame has a 1tb hard drive).

I'd welcome any comments from those with an understanding of the capabilities of this level of machine as to whether I'm doing little more than buying a bigger screened way to watch rubbish on you tube than her phone or if she might actually be able to make some practical use of it.
I expect web browsing will be a piece of cake but what of powerpoints with graphics, photoshop, movies, the dreaded Fortnite her slightly younger sister will be playing come the 25th on the xbox dropping down the chimney?!?
For all the above spec could do am I as well buying a pentium powered Lenovo with a hard drive rather than ssd and save myself £120 or so in the process or will that age so rapidly its a waste of time?

Thank you in advance for your input...

ninepoint2

1,995 posts

104 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Why are you "not keen on a refurb".....

thebraketester

7,840 posts

82 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
What are her requirements?

techiedave

7,309 posts

54 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
An SSd is way faster but some machines do a reasonable job with a mini SSd for boot and a larger mechanical for storage
4 GB of ram (I wont joke about 4mb being err back to the 70s) is ok but 8GB would be better

ALY77

Original Poster:

630 posts

154 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Requirements are unknown to a degree in truth. Her requirements are little more than 365 and no doubt watching you tube at the moment, however I assume her digital literacy classes at school in the next couple of years and anything that sparks will have her working with other software.


Not keen on a refurb as it is a gift for a child and I've read very mixed reviews of what has been delivered when customers have opened up their refurbed units.


The lenovo unit I'm looking at can have the RAM upped to 8, so that area can be addressed.

jesusbuiltmycar

3,566 posts

198 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Be wary of cheap laptops around (such as HP Stream) which come with only 32GB of SSD; these laptops do not have enough storage to cope with Windows10 upgrade. Make sure you opt for at least 128Gb of storage.

sgrimshaw

6,304 posts

194 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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Knowing your budget is essential to get any truly helpful suggestions ...

RogerDodger

1,244 posts

38 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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Your i3 will cover most things you mention. Don't go near anything with a "Pentium" in it. The biggest bottleneck will be the hard disk , unless, it is an SSD.

Sweetspot right now for price/performance is i5, 8Gb, with an SSD

Deep Thought

23,633 posts

141 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
RogerDodger said:
Your i3 will cover most things you mention. Don't go near anything with a "Pentium" in it. The biggest bottleneck will be the hard disk , unless, it is an SSD.

Sweetspot right now for price/performance is i5, 8Gb, with an SSD
+1

If budget will stretch, thats the optimum spec.


RizzoTheRat

18,139 posts

136 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
While I can see where you're coming from with refurbs, I would definitely recommend Dell's outlet store, they're mainly machines which someone's had a problem with when new and have returned to be fixed, so you get quite a bit more for your money than with a brand new machine. Very different from a company buying up several year old business machines and cleaning them up.

I have a 13" 7th gen i5 with 8GB ram and an SSD and it manages everything I've thrown at it including quite a few games. As someone said above I'd look for 8GB rather than 4, but an i3 will be fine for most things. I would recommend going for at least a 7th gen (ie the processor code will be ix-7xxx) as the graphics chip on the 7th and 8th gen is supposed to be a fair bit better than the 6th gen.

ALY77

Original Poster:

630 posts

154 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Budget is around the £350 mark. She is getting other gifts and I don't really want to overspend on the elder.

This was the one I had been gravitating towards;

https://ao.com/product/80x4002suk-lenovo-laptop-wh...

I'll have a look at the Dell suggestion thanks for highlighting it.

Edited by ALY77 on Friday 7th December 10:22

FredClogs

13,605 posts

105 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
I was in the same position and bought a refurbed one, there is a thread on the forum here with some links that people suggested.

If you want i3, with 8GB ram and a decent sized ssd that will run Windows 10 and play some games as well as the stuff for school (and my daughter is starting to code) I think at this budget go refurbed.

ALY77

Original Poster:

630 posts

154 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
https://outlet.euro.dell.com/Online/SecondaryInven...

^Can I assume this is far superior for the sake of an additional £61, albeit its certified refurbed?

Daaaveee

721 posts

167 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
ALY77 said:
https://outlet.euro.dell.com/Online/SecondaryInven...

^Can I assume this is far superior for the sake of an additional £61, albeit its certified refurbed?
Well worth the extra £61

Andeh1

5,405 posts

150 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
jesusbuiltmycar said:
Be wary of cheap laptops around (such as HP Stream) which come with only 32GB of SSD; these laptops do not have enough storage to cope with Windows10 upgrade. Make sure you opt for at least 128Gb of storage.
This gave me a massive headache! Bloody stupid thing irked

sgrimshaw

6,304 posts

194 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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Mr Pointy

3,986 posts

103 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
ALY77 said:
https://outlet.euro.dell.com/Online/SecondaryInven...

^Can I assume this is far superior for the sake of an additional £61, albeit its certified refurbed?
Be careful, Dell Outlet prices are shown as ex-VAT.

krisdelta

3,941 posts

145 months

Friday 7th December 2018
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sgrimshaw said:
Great value, ours from here barely looks used and was under £300. Perfect for homework, browsing and YouTube. Buy a nice sleeve for it and you’d not know it wasn’t new.

LuS1fer

35,261 posts

189 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
I bought a refurb Thinkpad T440S (better than the T440) from My Cheap PC (Solent laptops)

Built incredibly well, great keyboard (used almost universally throughout the Civil Service) and we had a 128Gb SSD, 12 Gb RAM, i7 processor.

What we received was a laptop you couldn't really tell wasn't new and it has lightning performance. We paid £399 but I've seen cheaper again.

ALY77

Original Poster:

630 posts

154 months

Friday 7th December 2018
quotequote all
Thanks for all your input folks - Still plugging away trying to find something but I'm sure we'll get there.

At the point where I'm looking at test pages comparing the older i5 processors which appear to be in many of the refurb units I've found and finding they perform pretty similarly to the 7th gen i3 ones.

The only conclusion I can draw is that I'm probably looking too hard given what its for and need to give it a rest for a couple of days!