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A good all-round laptop for £500 (ish)

Archey

Standard Member
Afternoon all,

I've been searching for a suitable laptop for several weeks now but haven't yet managed to find what I'm after. I've listed all the requirements below but realise that you often have to make compromises with these things!

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

What is your budget?
Preferably up to £500, but will stretch a little further if absolutely necessary.

What size laptop do you want?
Just the regular 15.6", but will consider other sizes.

Do you have resolution requirements?
No

Do you want a matte or glossy (reflective) screen?
If I had to choose I'd say matte, but I hear positives/negatives about both.

What will you be using the laptop for?
Browsing, word processing, photo editing and some light gaming.

If you will be gaming, what games do you need to play?
Mainly point-and-click adventure style games and possibly Football Manager. Won't be using it for the latest FPS games.

How long does the battery need to last?
Anything over 2 hours but more is obviously better. It will mainly be used indoors though.

Does it need to be portable?
It will be taken out but only rarely. I expect it will spend most of its time in the living room.

Do you require Blu-Ray?
Would be great but isn't essential.

Do you require HDMI output?
Yes.

Do you have a preferred brand?
Not really.

Are there brands you would prefer to avoid?
Not specifically. I'm sure the good people of AVForums wouldn't recommend dodgy brands anyway!

Would you be happy with a refurbished laptop?
No

Any other details you feel necessary...
A reasonable graphics card, preferably an i3/i5 cpu but will consider others if they come recommended, decent quality speakers and a webcam. HDD size isn't a critical factor.
 
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Archey

Standard Member
Thanks for the suggestions Simon. I'd rather not go along the integrated Intel graphics route if I can help it but the XPS 15 looks very interesting.

Others I've come up with so far:

Acer Aspire 5741G
Toshiba Satellite L650-108 (with 2 year guarantee)
Sony Vaio VPCEB2Z0E (was available for around £549 but now seems hard to find)

All seem decent options to my untrained eye but all are slightly over budget. However, if a laptop comes with an extra year guarantee then I don't mind paying that bit more.

Any comments on the above or additional suggestions welcome. All this searching is making me hungry... :)
 

Archey

Standard Member
Evening all. The more I read, the more options I discover and the more confused I ultimately get!

Anyway, I'm currently looking into taking advantage of the Sony VAT back offer. The laptop I'm interested in is this one: Sony VPCEE3Z0E VAIO 15.5 Inch Notebook(AMD Phenom II Triple-Core Processor,1.9Ghz,6GB,500GB HDD,Blu-ray Drive,Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium)-Black

It's over my original budget but that has been inevitable from the start of my search. What I'd really like to know is what peoples' opinions are of the processor? Do the AMDs compare favourably to their Intel counterparts? I was originally in the market for an i3/i5 but this laptop seems to have a lot going for it. It's just the cpu that's making me waver.

Also, the laptop seems to be quite new on the market so I'm having trouble finding reviews to help me on my way. As ever, any thoughts would be much appreciated. :)
 

jjgreenwood

Well-known Member

Archey

Standard Member
Thanks for the feedback chaps. The Asus laptops seems to be very popular with people in the know. I rarely see a bad word written about them.

Comparing that Asus to the Sony; would the Sony not be better value for money? The Sony is £679.99 but after VAT back it would be approx. £579, so only about £15 more than the Asus. The Sony has more memory, a bigger hard drive and Blu Ray capability, whereas the Asus has a 2 year warranty which is a nice extra.

How does the Intel® Core™ i3-370M (2.4GHz) compare to the AMD Phenom™ II Triple-Core Processor P840?
 

dc8900

Distinguished Member
Comparing that Asus to the Sony; would the Sony not be better value for money? The Sony is £679.99 but after VAT back it would be approx. £579, so only about £15 more than the Asus. The Sony has more memory, a bigger hard drive and Blu Ray capability, whereas the Asus has a 2 year warranty which is a nice extra.

How does the Intel® Core™ i3-370M (2.4GHz) compare to the AMD Phenom™ II Triple-Core Processor P840?

the others extras are very handy and if you need BR, than it's a good buy but I personally, would rather opt for the core i3-370m, as I'm not really a fan of AMD laptop CPU's

plus I think an extra year's global warranty is always invaluable
 

Archey

Standard Member
Afternoon all,

I was looking for advice on buying a laptop before Christmas but couldn't find anything suitable at the time so I decided to wait a couple of months.

Requirements are still as above, although I've made a couple of slight alterations.

Any opinions on these laptops would be much appreciated, particularly the second one down: lenovo z560

Thanks chaps.
 

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