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    I am looking for a new laptop.

    My budget is up to £400.

    I use my laptop for internet, videos and music; I'm not a gamer.

    I am looking for a windows machine and my priority is performance - I am not bothered about battery life or portability as almost solely use it as a desktop (edit: on second thought I do actually use it as a laptop quite often, but still plugged in).

    Your assistance would be much appreciated.
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    PC World and Argos have great offers and deals.
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    I got an Acer aspire for about £250 recently from Teso direct - it's doing the job for me
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I am not bothered about battery life or portability as almost solely use it as a desktop.
    Then... does it have to be a laptop? I recently built my own desktop for £275 and it exceeds the performance of my 2011 £1,800 laptop.
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    (Original post by Malamo999)
    Then... does it have to be a laptop? I recently built my own desktop for £275 and it exceeds the performance of my 2011 £1,800 laptop.
    I do occasionally use it as a laptop and on my desk I enjoy putting my leg into the space where my desktop formerly used to be placed.
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    Just had a look on Hot UK Deals and these 3 have been mentioned:
    1. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-2...aptops-2397556
    2. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/leno...t-shop-2395253
    3. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/acer...rosoft-2407334

    I think the first 2 would be better choices than the 3rd, I'm not too sure about Acer's build quality but I have nothing to back it up lol. Plus, you could use the rest of your budget to buy more RAM or an SSD maybe.

    I only looked for ones with Intel processors; I have a little AMD laptop and the processor is weak so I can't recommend AMD. tbh I'd have expected more pixels than 1366x768 at 15.6" but it should be fine.
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    HP ProBook G2:
    http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/P5S40...2_1884971.html

    This model has 12gb of RAM, more than enough for multitasking. It does come with a HDD however I would recommend installing a SSD in it to make it faster.
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    (Original post by + polarity -)
    Just had a look on Hot UK Deals and these 3 have been mentioned:
    1. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/hp-2...aptops-2397556
    2. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/leno...t-shop-2395253
    3. http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/acer...rosoft-2407334

    I think the first 2 would be better choices than the 3rd, I'm not too sure about Acer's build quality but I have nothing to back it up lol. Plus, you could use the rest of your budget to buy more RAM or an SSD maybe.

    I only looked for ones with Intel processors; I have a little AMD laptop and the processor is weak so I can't recommend AMD. tbh I'd have expected more pixels than 1366x768 at 15.6" but it should be fine.
    PRSOM

    Surprised AMD are still weak. I remember aaaaages ago when I was looking to build a gaming rig and dual core processors had first came out and I was hesitant to buy one as I was so used to seeing AMD trump Intel. Thought AMD would have gotten their act together by now.
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    (Original post by SheLikeTheMango)
    HP ProBook G2:
    http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk/P5S40...2_1884971.html

    This model has 12gb of RAM, more than enough for multitasking. It does come with a HDD however I would recommend installing a SSD in it to make it faster.
    Yeah I do do a lot of multitasking so I suppose plenty of RAM would help with that.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    PRSOM

    Surprised AMD are still weak. I remember aaaaages ago when I was looking to build a gaming rig and dual core processors had first came out and I was hesitant to buy one as I was so used to seeing AMD trump Intel. Thought AMD would have gotten their act together by now.
    Unfortunately not! I'm not sure what happened to them, but they seem content to supply their processors to budget laptops, where they compete with Celeron and Pentium processors since they can't compete performance-wise with Core-series processors
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I do occasionally use it as a laptop
    Okay, that's fair enough. I can't recommend any laptops specifically, but I can tell you what to consider when buying one.

    The CPU has the biggest impact on computational performance, but generally anything above an Intel i3 will cope with your needs perfectly. Really, anything you'll find on the market today in a laptop that costs more than £200 is good enough.

    A solid state drive (SSD) (compared to a mechanical hard drive) will make the biggest day-to-day impact on performance - how quickly your new laptop starts up, how long it takes programs to open, how long it takes files to transfer and programs to install. However, this speed and durability comes at a cost - capacity. While most laptops have a 1TB hard drive these days, SSDs are usually only offered in 120 or 240GB sizes for the same price. There are also "hybrid drives" (SSHDs), which are mechanical hard drives with an SSD buffer in them. What this means is you'll get slightly improved performance over a regular hard drive without compromising on capacity or price, but unfortunately they're still nowhere near the performance of SSDs, and never will be. If I were you, the deciding factor for any laptop should be whether it has an SSD or not, as that will make the biggest performance impact in the things you do.

    RAM has absolutely no effect on performance whatsoever - unless you run out of it, in which case temporary files will be written to the hard drive instead, meaning your whole system will slow down. This isn't usually a problem with modern computes any more, however, as browsers are increasingly efficient and computers come with more and more RAM. 4GB should be enough, while 8GB should be more than enough. Though it doesn't matter too much.

    Lastly, the screen. 1366x768 should be adequate (but ugly), while 1080p should be beautiful and more than enough, though probably not in your price range. You're not missing out (much). Something to note, however: if you have a high resolution display on a small (physical) screen (e.g. 1080p at 15"), everything will look tiny unless you turn the display scaling up.

    I'd also like to mention, as someone who used his laptop as a desktop replacement for 4 years, that it's detrimental to the battery to keep it plugged in 24/7, as I did. It died within two years, and Dell wanted to charge £100 for a new one, so I said no thank you - but that meant I had to keep it plugged into the mains if I wanted to use it. I know you'd do that anyway, but it means you can't ever use your laptop on top of your lap, which kinda sucks. So best practise is to treat it like a smartphone battery - unplug the charger when it gets to about 80%, plug it in again when it gets to around 20% and don't leave it plugged in overnight.

    (Original post by Smack)
    Thought AMD would have gotten their act together by now.
    The desktop AMD Zen architecture releasing this year is actually anticipated to overtake Intel - in the desktop segment at least. Budget AMD processors are "weak" because they're exactly that - budget; cheaper than the cheapest Intel processor, with performance representative of that.

    (Original post by Smack)
    Yeah I do do a lot of multitasking so I suppose plenty of RAM would help with that.
    That deal doesn't look too bad, but in my honest opinion, I think 12GB of RAM is a marketing tactic. I'm a heavy gamer/mindless web surfer, so I do stuff like rendering videos whilst playing games with 40 idle browser tabs (don't judge me ) and I've never exceeded 6-7GB of RAM. To be honest, you'd be better off buying a laptop with an SSD outright, as those other specs aren't particularly impressive - and you'd have to spend £45 on an SSD to replace that hard drive, already putting you £15 over budget. Hope that helps.
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    (Original post by Malamo999)
    Okay, that's fair enough. I can't recommend any laptops specifically, but I can tell you what to consider when buying one.

    The CPU has the biggest impact on computational performance, but generally anything above an Intel i3 will cope with your needs perfectly. Really, anything you'll find on the market today in a laptop that costs more than £200 is good enough.

    A solid state drive (SSD) (compared to a mechanical hard drive) will make the biggest day-to-day impact on performance - how quickly your new laptop starts up, how long it takes programs to open, how long it takes files to transfer and programs to install. However, this speed and durability comes at a cost - capacity. While most laptops have a 1TB hard drive these days, SSDs are usually only offered in 120 or 240GB sizes for the same price. There are also "hybrid drives" (SSHDs), which are mechanical hard drives with an SSD buffer in them. What this means is you'll get slightly improved performance over a regular hard drive without compromising on capacity or price, but unfortunately they're still nowhere near the performance of SSDs, and never will be. If I were you, the deciding factor for any laptop should be whether it has an SSD or not, as that will make the biggest performance impact in the things you do.

    RAM has absolutely no effect on performance whatsoever - unless you run out of it, in which case temporary files will be written to the hard drive instead, meaning your whole system will slow down. This isn't usually a problem with modern computes any more, however, as browsers are increasingly efficient and computers come with more and more RAM. 4GB should be enough, while 8GB should be more than enough. Though it doesn't matter too much.

    Lastly, the screen. 1366x768 should be adequate (but ugly), while 1080p should be beautiful and more than enough, though probably not in your price range. You're not missing out (much). Something to note, however: if you have a high resolution display on a small (physical) screen (e.g. 1080p at 15"), everything will look tiny unless you turn the display scaling up.

    I'd also like to mention, as someone who used his laptop as a desktop replacement for 4 years, that it's detrimental to the battery to keep it plugged in 24/7, as I did. It died within two years, and Dell wanted to charge £100 for a new one, so I said no thank you - but that meant I had to keep it plugged into the mains if I wanted to use it. I know you'd do that anyway, but it means you can't ever use your laptop on top of your lap, which kinda sucks. So best practise is to treat it like a smartphone battery - unplug the charger when it gets to about 80%, plug it in again when it gets to around 20% and don't leave it plugged in overnight.


    The desktop AMD Zen architecture releasing this year is actually anticipated to overtake Intel - in the desktop segment at least. Budget AMD processors are "weak" because they're exactly that - budget; cheaper than the cheapest Intel processor, with performance representative of that.


    That deal doesn't look too bad, but in my honest opinion, I think 12GB of RAM is a marketing tactic. I'm a heavy gamer/mindless web surfer, so I do stuff like rendering videos whilst playing games with 40 idle browser tabs (don't judge me ) and I've never exceeded 6-7GB of RAM. To be honest, you'd be better off buying a laptop with an SSD outright, as those other specs aren't particularly impressive - and you'd have to spend £45 on an SSD to replace that hard drive, already putting you £15 over budget. Hope that helps.
    Thank you very much for this; I will respond tomorrow when I have more time.
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    It's best to buy a laptop with at least 6GB RAM and a hard disk drive for your needs. The hard drive can be replaced with an SSD, and then you can use the old internal drive as a portable one.

    Laptops with an SSD in your price range won't be a huge improvement over a HDD since manufacturers can throw in a low end SSD (which may barely surpass a HDD speed) just to have the 'flash storage' tag on it. Something like Samsung's 850 Evo are widely used and heavily reputed, which will give you better support and performance than some random SSD from Lenovo.

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    (Original post by Smack)
    Thank you very much for this; I will respond tomorrow when I have more time.
    That's okay, no pressure.
    (Original post by SkyJP)
    Laptops with an SSD in your price range won't be a huge improvement over a HDD
    You are right on all accounts, and that's a very good idea to replace the hard drive. I didn't realise manufacturers went cheap on SSDs like that, so I learnt something today too. I put an 850 Evo in my desktop build, so I can vouch for its effectiveness. The 250GB model (highly recommended as a minimum) is £65 on Amazon (make sure you're buying directly from Amazon), although you can get other SSDs that are basically just as good for less, if you want to save a bit of dosh. Good luck, OP.
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    (Original post by Malamo999)
    That's okay, no pressure.

    You are right on all accounts, and that's a very good idea to replace the hard drive. I didn't realise manufacturers went cheap on SSDs like that, so I learnt something today too. I put an 850 Evo in my desktop build, so I can vouch for its effectiveness. The 250GB model (highly recommended as a minimum) is £65 on Amazon (make sure you're buying directly from Amazon), although you can get other SSDs that are basically just as good for less, if you want to save a bit of dosh. Good luck, OP.
    Exactly. Plus you can rarely ever find the exact storage drive model on a manufacturers website, unless the laptop is customisable, so you can't look up the reliability, heat production, energy usage, performance (aside from hard drive RPM) or reviews. All an average user has is the storage capacity and storage type.

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    (Original post by Malamo999)
    Okay, that's fair enough. I can't recommend any laptops specifically, but I can tell you what to consider when buying one.

    The CPU has the biggest impact on computational performance, but generally anything above an Intel i3 will cope with your needs perfectly. Really, anything you'll find on the market today in a laptop that costs more than £200 is good enough.

    A solid state drive (SSD) (compared to a mechanical hard drive) will make the biggest day-to-day impact on performance - how quickly your new laptop starts up, how long it takes programs to open, how long it takes files to transfer and programs to install. However, this speed and durability comes at a cost - capacity. While most laptops have a 1TB hard drive these days, SSDs are usually only offered in 120 or 240GB sizes for the same price. There are also "hybrid drives" (SSHDs), which are mechanical hard drives with an SSD buffer in them. What this means is you'll get slightly improved performance over a regular hard drive without compromising on capacity or price, but unfortunately they're still nowhere near the performance of SSDs, and never will be. If I were you, the deciding factor for any laptop should be whether it has an SSD or not, as that will make the biggest performance impact in the things you do.

    RAM has absolutely no effect on performance whatsoever - unless you run out of it, in which case temporary files will be written to the hard drive instead, meaning your whole system will slow down. This isn't usually a problem with modern computes any more, however, as browsers are increasingly efficient and computers come with more and more RAM. 4GB should be enough, while 8GB should be more than enough. Though it doesn't matter too much.

    Lastly, the screen. 1366x768 should be adequate (but ugly), while 1080p should be beautiful and more than enough, though probably not in your price range. You're not missing out (much). Something to note, however: if you have a high resolution display on a small (physical) screen (e.g. 1080p at 15"), everything will look tiny unless you turn the display scaling up.

    I'd also like to mention, as someone who used his laptop as a desktop replacement for 4 years, that it's detrimental to the battery to keep it plugged in 24/7, as I did. It died within two years, and Dell wanted to charge £100 for a new one, so I said no thank you - but that meant I had to keep it plugged into the mains if I wanted to use it. I know you'd do that anyway, but it means you can't ever use your laptop on top of your lap, which kinda sucks. So best practise is to treat it like a smartphone battery - unplug the charger when it gets to about 80%, plug it in again when it gets to around 20% and don't leave it plugged in overnight.


    The desktop AMD Zen architecture releasing this year is actually anticipated to overtake Intel - in the desktop segment at least. Budget AMD processors are "weak" because they're exactly that - budget; cheaper than the cheapest Intel processor, with performance representative of that.


    That deal doesn't look too bad, but in my honest opinion, I think 12GB of RAM is a marketing tactic. I'm a heavy gamer/mindless web surfer, so I do stuff like rendering videos whilst playing games with 40 idle browser tabs (don't judge me ) and I've never exceeded 6-7GB of RAM. To be honest, you'd be better off buying a laptop with an SSD outright, as those other specs aren't particularly impressive - and you'd have to spend £45 on an SSD to replace that hard drive, already putting you £15 over budget. Hope that helps.
    Okay, thanks for this.

    What I take from this is that the most important thing I should be looking for is an SSD is the most important spec I should be looking at. A 240 GB drive would actually be fine for me as that's only marginally smaller than what I currently have, and I'm still not quite close to filling it, so that's fine. I have backup storage too, and would be willing to look at the next size up (I'm assuming around 500 GB) if that would only be marginally more expensive or only put me a tad above my budget.

    In terms of RAM, I'm looking at 4-8 GB?
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    That's alright. Actually, SkyJP made some good points, and I take back some of what I said. You should simply buy a laptop (most have a 1TB hard drive as standard), replace the hard drive with an SSD (I'd recommend either of the two links I specified earlier) and use the removed hard drive as a backup drive, as SkyJP suggested.

    Yes, the next size up is 480GB*, and double the capacity means double the price - £115 on Amazon at the moment (again, make sure you buy directly from them), although that does limit your budget to £285... so generally I'd recommend you stick with 250GB, if you can live with it, because the ~£50 difference between that and the size above could net you another 1TB backup HDD on top of the drive that came with the laptop, which you'd replace.

    4GB minimum, 6GB is better and 8GB is probably more than enough. Not that more RAM is a bad thing - I just don't think anybody except professional computer users would ever be able to find a use for (or need) more than 8GB - most £200 Chromebooks only have 2GB RAM and £270 Chromebooks have 4GB RAM. I know Windows uses more RAM than Chrome OS/Linux, but you're still only a casual user, with web surfing being the primary use case - so I honestly doubt you'd ever exceed 6GB in the real world, even with heavy browsing. Hope that helps.

    * or 500GB depending on which brand you buy from - there's no huge real-world difference between 480GB and 500GB and I'd buy an SSD based on brand (e.g. Samsung 850 Evo) rather than sheer capacity. My "250GB" drive shows as 232GB in Explorer, and it's recommended that you never use more than 90% of the drive at any one time anyway - (it's called "over-provisioning", although most drives come with software that reserves that area of the drive anyway, or that storage already allocated with no way to claim it back, which is another reason why you shouldn't trust those figures!).
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    I can't recommend any laptops specifically, but I can tell you what to consider when buying one.

    PC World and Argos have great offers and deals.I think the first 2 would be better choices than the 3rd, I'm not too sure about Acer's build quality but I have nothing to back it up lol. Plus, you could use the rest of your budget to buy more RAM or an SSD maybe.
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    (Original post by Malamo999)
    That's alright. Actually, SkyJP made some good points, and I take back some of what I said. You should simply buy a laptop (most have a 1TB hard drive as standard), replace the hard drive with an SSD (I'd recommend either of the two links I specified earlier) and use the removed hard drive as a backup drive, as SkyJP suggested.

    Yes, the next size up is 480GB*, and double the capacity means double the price - £115 on Amazon at the moment (again, make sure you buy directly from them), although that does limit your budget to £285... so generally I'd recommend you stick with 250GB, if you can live with it, because the ~£50 difference between that and the size above could net you another 1TB backup HDD on top of the drive that came with the laptop, which you'd replace.

    4GB minimum, 6GB is better and 8GB is probably more than enough. Not that more RAM is a bad thing - I just don't think anybody except professional computer users would ever be able to find a use for (or need) more than 8GB - most £200 Chromebooks only have 2GB RAM and £270 Chromebooks have 4GB RAM. I know Windows uses more RAM than Chrome OS/Linux, but you're still only a casual user, with web surfing being the primary use case - so I honestly doubt you'd ever exceed 6GB in the real world, even with heavy browsing. Hope that helps.

    * or 500GB depending on which brand you buy from - there's no huge real-world difference between 480GB and 500GB and I'd buy an SSD based on brand (e.g. Samsung 850 Evo) rather than sheer capacity. My "250GB" drive shows as 232GB in Explorer, and it's recommended that you never use more than 90% of the drive at any one time anyway - (it's called "over-provisioning", although most drives come with software that reserves that area of the drive anyway, or that storage already allocated with no way to claim it back, which is another reason why you shouldn't trust those figures!).
    (Original post by jenifferhomes)
    I can't recommend any laptops specifically, but I can tell you what to consider when buying one.

    PC World and Argos have great offers and deals.I think the first 2 would be better choices than the 3rd, I'm not too sure about Acer's build quality but I have nothing to back it up lol. Plus, you could use the rest of your budget to buy more RAM or an SSD maybe.
    Okay, are laptops customisable? I was wondering about buying a decent laptop with an HDD and simply replacing it with an SSD, if that was an option, because it seems that you don't get much laptop for your money if you buy one with an SSD already installed.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    are laptops customisable?
    Yes. You can replace the hard drive and the battery easily on virtually every model, and you can even replace the RAM and/or Wi-Fi chip on others with little effort. In fact, you can replace just about everything in a laptop, depending on how much patience you have... but that's out of my league even. Don't worry, though. Replacing a hard drive is the easiest of procedures, and in the worst case scenario, you'll need a screwdriver. It doesn't get much worse than a few screws.
 
 
 
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