Yet another "Recommend me a laptop" thread!

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Adamthekiwi, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. Adamthekiwi

    Adamthekiwi
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    Hi All,

    Sorry to put you all through this again, but hoping you can help me sort the wheat from the chaffe. At least my requirements are fairly specific...

    I'm looking for a bit of a do-it-all laptop - this will be replacing a Dell XPS M1530, which has served me well but is now too long in the tooth to consider fixing the latest fault (which probably requires a new motherboard). It will have two primary uses: as an office machine, for writing reports and managing spreadsheets; and as a media machine, for watching DVDs, Blurays and streaming films. It will also be used for some light gaming, but it doesn’t need to be a gaming monster.

    What is your budget?
    I’m expecting this to come in around the £1k mark, but could pay more for the ideal machine. I’m unlikely to spend more than £1.5k.

    What size laptop do you want?
    Ideally, 15”, no smaller than 14”, no larger than 16”.

    Do you have resolution requirements?
    Preferably capable of 1080p.

    Do you want a matte or glossy (reflective) screen?
    No preference, but good (side-to-side) viewing angles would be nice.

    What will you be using the laptop for?
    Watching films (DVD/Bluray/streamed), iPlayer; MS Office work; light gaming.

    If you will be gaming, what games do you need to play?
    That’s a really good question – what games do I *need* to play?
    Currently Call of Duty is probably the most taxing. I expect that if it can play HD films from a Bluray it will cope with all my gaming needs.

    How long does the battery need to last?
    Ideally, around 3 hours, but not too fussed. Long enough to watch a feature film in full would be good.

    Does it need to be portable?
    Yes, but not every-day-commuting portable.

    Do you require Blu-Ray?
    Absolutely.

    Do you require HDMI output?
    Not fussed.

    Do you have a preferred brand?
    No.

    Are there brands you would prefer to avoid?
    No, although this will be a Windows box. That doesn’t necessarily rule out Macbooks (the need for a Bluray probably does, though), but it would be a lot of money to spend to then reinstall the OS. Although, the possibility of making St Steve turn in his grave is slightly appealing...

    Would you be happy with a refurbished laptop?
    Yes – in fact, that would be a preference if possible.

    Any other details you feel necessary...
    I’d like it to have OK sound (again, for film watching). A fairly strong preference is for a sturdy, preferably mostly metal, chassis – it doesn’t need to be Macbook-alu-unibody strong, but not far away from that would be good. The chassis on the XPS M1530 was pretty good...


    Cheers - Adam...
     
  2. Ono

    Ono
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  3. Iccz

    Iccz
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    If you'd rather get a refurb then look at getting yourself another Dell, I can't think of anywhere better to get a refurb from than the Dell Outlet:
    Dell Outlet - Refurbished Computers/PCs: Laptops, Desktops & Servers | Dell UK

    I can't link you to specific laptops as the links often cause issues and they sell quickly, however, I can give you an idea of what spec and price to look at.

    The XPS 15z for example would give great spec under 1k.

    That's on there at the moment but is the only 1080 screen one I can see, the other is a lesser i5 processor and screen. But sadly no blu-ray.
    But it's worth keeping an eye on that model.

    Failing that you'll be looking at spending a lot more for new... if that's the case I'd probably not go for Dell. Something like this MSI would come in budget but is quite expensive and again no blu-ray drive, the price mostly because of the screen resolution:

    MSI GE620DX-631UK

    If you do go Dell, the XPS 15z is £899, with a 1080 screen but it really doesn't compare to the MSI, and MSI make nice solid laptops.

    The Sony in the above post is probably one of your best bets but will be questionable with gaming, you'll be running on low graphics, especially at full res, not sure how it'd handle modern games...
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  4. Adamthekiwi

    Adamthekiwi
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    Thanks for the suggestions, Ono, Iccz.

    I've looked at the Vaio - I want to take a closer look at it in the flesh at John Lewis - it almost seems too good to be true. The only criticism I've seen that would impact on my requirements is that it's said to be a bit flexible - apparently Sony claims that makes it stronger. Only one way to test that out - hope JL are OK with me juggling laptops!

    The XPS 15z doesn't come with a Bluray player, as far as I can tell - would go for it in a shot if it did...

    Thanks!

    Adam...
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  5. Iccz

    Iccz
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    I was about to say that you wont find a laptop with the screen resolution, spec and blu-ray drive... however I had a look at Comet and found this:

    Buy SONY VPCF23N1E/B.CEK | 16.4" LAPTOP - Laptops | Comet

    The graphics card on that will handle modern games a lot better than in the previously linked Sony. It's still not a high end card, so playing games at native resolution wouldn't work on high detail, but it would be better...

    It's a 16.4" rather than 15" though, but you did say up to 16"...

    Just something else for thought, and to perhaps go look at if they have any in store.
     

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