Up to £400 to spend on laptop, help?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by AstraK, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. AstraK

    AstraK
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    My Compaq broke down so i have up to £400 for a new one.

    Basically what i need from it is:

    • At least a 15" screen preferably 17"
    • At least a 2 GHz processor
    • Multi card reader
    • HDMI port would be beneficial
    • DVD/ CD burner
    • 200gb or more HDD space
    • 2gb or more RAM
    • Windows 7
    • Be able to handle multiple programs at once including Word, Email, websites with multiple tabs, other media programs like Itunes/utorrent without locking up

    Other things which i wouldnt mind:

    • Dedicated graphics card. Dont intend to use it for a gaming laptop but dedicated graphics would help for certain programs to stop them slowing down.
    • 2.5 hours or more battery life

    Im starting to narrow it down to these:

    http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5083345/c_1/1|category_root|Office,+PCs+and+phones|14418968/c_2/3|cat_15701344|Laptops+and+Netbooks|16164797.htm?_$ja=tsid:11527|cc:|prd:5083345|cat:eek:ffice%2C+pcs+%26+phones+%3E+laptops+and+netbooks+%3E+laptops#promotion_1

    But this review isnt great:

    Review Acer Aspire 5551G Notebook - Notebookcheck.net Reviews

    Also this

    Acer Aspire 5732Z Value Laptop - Laptops | Ebuyer.com


    And thats it really. It will never be needed to do extensive things like programming, its really just for leisure and some word documents and excel.
    Can anyone suggest anything?
    thanks
     
  2. dc8900

    dc8900
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  3. AstraK

    AstraK
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    Why Asus and not Acer?
     
  4. dc8900

    dc8900
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    I have always found ASUS to be incredibly reliable, they never let you down

    also versus that Acer from ebuyer, the ASUS has a better cpu that has hyper threading, has better battery life, the acer has 2.5 hours while the ASUS has 3.5 hours, hdmi output etc

    in all, although the Acer may have a larger HDD and 1GB extra RAM, the ASUS trumps the Acer and then some

    p.s. the ASUS full specs can be found here: http://www.laskys.com/computing/laptops_and_pdas/laptops/asus_x52f_ex486v.html
     
  5. AstraK

    AstraK
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    True however the Argos one is £20 cheaper and has loads of good reviews.
    It also has dedicated graphics and a hdmi port. I cant find any reviews of that Asus either which isnt good.
     
  6. dc8900

    dc8900
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    :rotfl:

    reviews are not the only thing you should base your purchases on, the ASUS has got very good feedback on members here:

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/13472028-post8.html

    and from the review of that Acer:

    "The Phenom II X3 N830 delivers good application performance but can't quite close the ranks of the Core squad from Intel.

    The noise development seemed among other things somewhat better than on the competition while the heat development somewhat worse. We would describe the sound and battery life as acceptable with a lot of room for improvement. The biggest point of criticism is, however, once again the average display: It allows for annoying reflections and the vertical viewing angle is extremely limited. In addition to that, the high black levels and weak contrasts were also disappointments.

    Anyone looking for a good all-rounder who is willing to live with the numerous limitation like the feeble gaming performance and the meagre display may go right for the Aspire 5551G-N834G64Mn."
     
  7. AstraK

    AstraK
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    Professional reviews are good to go by though. Its worrying that no professional websites have bothered to review the Asus.
    What you have made bold arent important to me, i dont want it as a gaming laptop, i dont really need a brilliant display however i do sometimes what films. And it cant get that hot, to the point where its uncomfortable...
     
  8. dc8900

    dc8900
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    ASUS are a hidden gem in the computing world, plus it's hasn't been on the market that long or even as long as that Acer, so it's not worrying at all, ASUS are a long established component company and have alongside Toshiba came out on top of reliability surveys: Laptop reliability survey: ASUS and Toshiba win, HP fails -- Engadget

    the Acer's screen really is not that great and yes, laptops have known to get very hot, just do a google of red thighs etc

    plus if it has poor heat dissipation, that will seriously hinder performance, but hey, it's your money buddy, if you want to get it, get it (but buy it online) as you don't want to be disappointed and thus be able to return it

    If you don't want to get the ASUS, fine, that's ok but just please don't get that model of Acer
     
  9. AstraK

    AstraK
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    What would you recommend other than the ASUS and Acer's then?
    I wouldnt mind buying from Argos because they are quite competative and easy to buy from.
    Amazon, PC world, Comet i'd buy from too.
     
  10. dc8900

    dc8900
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  11. dc8900

    dc8900
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  12. AstraK

    AstraK
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    Ive found more info on that Acer,

    Acer has lately offered a staggering range of high-quality laptops at truly affordable prices, and the Acer Aspire 5551-P32G32Mn strikes a nice balance between power and mobility.

    Impressive quality of design is seen throughout the Acer Aspire 5551-P32G32Mn, with its faux-metallic palm rest and resilient textured plastic lid. The keyboard is also a gem and while the flat keys may not suit all tastes, this is a spacious, responsive board and is a pleasure to use.

    A bright 15.6-inch screen produces accurate colours and striking contrast, again impressive given the low cost. The Acer Aspire 5551-P32G32Mn's integrated AMD graphics card is designed to smoothly process high-definition video and offers plenty of power for basic photo and video editing.

    A dual-core AMD processor is more than capable, speeding through single tasks with ease. All your office needs, from web browsing to handling your spreadsheets, will pose no problem at all. And the Acer Aspire 5551-P32G32Mn again betters its nearest rivals with its network connectivity and excellent package of pre-installed software.

    Offering impressive performance, great usability, a stunning screen and cutting-edge connectivity, the Aspire 5551-P32G32Mn is a perfect choice for first-time buyers. Add its surprisingly generous software package and you've got a fantastic bargain on your hands.

    From this list of top 10 under £400

    Top laptops: the 20 best laptops in the world | News | TechRadar UK

    So much contradicting information. That Toshiba looks good but i would rather get something a little cheaper if possible.
    Remember it doesnt need to do much more than word processing, streaming vids and burning discs. Nothing heavy at all. My Presario CQ70 coped fine but the hinges broke due to poor build quality. I think it was only a 2.1 dual core and 2 gig RAM...
     
  13. dc8900

    dc8900
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    the Toshiba was only £5.99 over budget, well it looks like you've made your mind about the the original Acer, good luck and remember any more queries, you know where to find avf :thumbsup:
     
  14. AstraK

    AstraK
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    Which processor would be the best to go for in my price range?
     
  15. dc8900

    dc8900
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    I've shown you two core i3 systems that are within your £400 budget area and that would be the 'best' but after that and if you want to save money look for core 2 duo and pentium dual core machines
     
  16. AstraK

    AstraK
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    I do like that Toshiba, i just wish i could get more info on it, cant really find any reviews. Is there a Toshiba model similar to that one?
     
  17. dc8900

    dc8900
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    you have to remember that not all models get reviewed due to the sheer size of the total laptop market and would hazard that only about 40-45% of the total market may actually get reviewed

    there quite a few models of that Tosh that look like it but come with less powerful pentium dual core or celeron dual core processors
     
  18. AstraK

    AstraK
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    hmm ok thanks.
    I know you arent keen on the Acer, but it does come with a 3 year manufactures warrenty which is worth a lot.
    WHy dont you like Acers? Even that one at Argos would easily be able to cope with what i need my laptop for.
     
  19. dc8900

    dc8900
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    I don't not like Acers! lol, you have misunderstood me mate, I'm just not too keen on that model! due to the heat dissipation problems

    hmm, well the 3 year warranty does give you some protection, so that is re-assuring
     
  20. AstraK

    AstraK
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    Just dont want it to come across like im poo pooing your advice lol
     
  21. dc8900

    dc8900
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    I got that sense by post #7 ;)

    if you've convinced yourself, then get that model from Argos; touchwood it will give you trouble free service for many years and you can have the last laugh :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  22. jjgreenwood

    jjgreenwood
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    I'd go for asus they are the current best
     
  23. jjgreenwood

    jjgreenwood
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    reading this thread fully I'll build up my reply a little bit. Acer laptops in my experience are trouble. Regardless of warranties that come with them they are full of bloatware. As long as you know this and can get rid of it it's fine. The technology recently has been all about their netbooks, their regular notebooks are shoddy. Asus on the other hand produces fine notebooks, well made, for good prices. The quality of asus notebooks I've experienced has come close to apple which is a similar premium design company.

    I've bought an acer recently for my wife, but its a netbook something they have trouble getting wrong. Stick to a good quality firm for a notebook, ie sony, tosh or asus - if you can't afford an apple. At £400 you can't get apple or sony and tosh is pretty basic so I'd go for asus - the quality of finish, the screen quality and the general feel of the product will be far superior to anything else.
     
  24. AstraK

    AstraK
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    Im still considering.
    Even though the Acer might not be as good, the 3 year warrenty is worth a lot. I take it Toshibas is only 1 year?
     
  25. dc8900

    dc8900
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    most manufacturers are 1 year, those Acers from argos are 3 years at other retailers, Acers will come with 1 year standard. So for example, the Toshiba's shown are 1 year but if you buy from John Lewis, they come with 2 years.
     
  26. Juiceloose

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    DC,

    I'm looking for a laptop for the girlfriend for Xmas. The Asus one you recommend looks very good for the money. The girlfriend uses Skype a lot to speak to her mates and relatives overseas.

    I note that the Asus comes with an integrated webcam. Would you know if that also includes the microphone or would I have to buy a separate plug in microphone ?
     
  27. dc8900

    dc8900
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  28. the slow norris

    the slow norris
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    had a massive stress this morning with a very very very poorly functioning Advent netbook that was so cloggy was unbelivable.

    So in a fit of pique, I resolved to buy a better laptop with which I could work from home without wanting to throw the laptop through the nearest window every 2 seconds! With no prior knowledge to go on, reviewed AVF and resolved to buy the asus mentioned above, and I'm now typing this post with it after nipping down to my nearest Comet!

    very very happy, performance is very very quick compared to old netbook and I can finally work at a decent speed on my work's citrix farm. So, at the moment very happy, no obvious faults, just lots of positives. As primarily a mac user, what I am most happy about is that it doesn't come pre-loaded with a million and one crappy apps that you're never gonna use but that take up space/ram.

    Screen res is good, ease of set up good, browsing speed good (am on 6meg speed line with BT).

    So thanks once more to AVF for sorting me out in my hour of need, will make the next few months a lot lot easier
     
  29. dc8900

    dc8900
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    glad to hear it mate :smashin: and that's what I like about ASUS, no nonsense pre-installed, just reliable and high quality computing :thumbsup:
     
  30. AstraK

    AstraK
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    Im going to view that Asus when i next can.

    Im trying to weigh up the pros and cons against the Acer...

    So far the ASUS wins against:

    HDD space. Asus 320, Acer 250
    Proc speed Asus 2.4ghz, Acer 2.1
    Battery life, i think the Asus is an hour longer

    But the Acer does have the 3 year manufactures warrenty.
    So all in for the Acer is £380 with 3 year warrenty
    For the same for the Asus from Comet, that would cost £580, £200 extra for the above points and the same length warrenty.
    This is my problem. I have no doubt the Asus would be a better quality machine, but even the best computers can fail in over a years time.

    Then there is the fact that i dont need an overly powerful machine, so i dont think i'd really notice/make use of the Asus's more powerful processor. The HDD space is good but i dont fill my laptop up with stuff anyway really (160gig HDD on my Compaq never got full)
    Battery life is also good but then i dont normally use it many places where i cant get a mains feed.
    dc8900 What do you think?
     

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