Laptop buying help Watch

katiew1243
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Hi guys,

I’m a 3rd year English language and linguistics student, I am looking to buy a new laptop as my last one has popped its clogs. I want one that is light & portable, with a good processor and a good battery life.

What would you advise?

I have looked at MacBook airs, retina 12’ and pros (although pros are too expensive), I even looked at the Dell XPS 13’ and a couple of others. What would you advise? Having a USB no longer bothers me as I’ve started to use google drive after hearing a USB horror story involving a dissertation.

Thanks!
Kate.
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T0ucan
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Hi, if you're looking at something like a Macbook I'd recommend a Windows Surface Laptop (8gb). I'm only an a level student but I use this laptop daily. It's great because it has all the benefits of a Macbook without the nasty OS haha. It's also very light, portable and looks really good!
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katiew1243
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Hmm thank you! I’ll take a look at it! The OS doesn’t bother me to be honest, but I’m open options.
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TheWorm1234
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Macbook would be an unnecessary expense tbh, the Macbook Air has outdated hardware and the 12 inch Macbook has a terrible keyboard and only USB-C ports. The Surface is good but other manufacturers sell clones which are much cheaper. The current Surface package means you have to buy the keyboard and pen separately. I'd also recommend a 13.3 inch screen minimum for extended periods of writing.

https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/b...o-alternatives

Spoiler:
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Most people at my uni with Macs are artsy fartsy hipsters
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wolto
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I would recommend the surface laptop it's gone cheaper plus student discount and it would be perfect but the material does get dirty over time or buy the overpowered surface book for £1440 excluding 10 percent off and you would not have to worry about speed, gaming, or anything it's 13 inch but 15 inch is incoming this year
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katiew1243
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Surface laptops seem to be the most popular on the chat! I’ve never really considered them because I wasn’t sure I’d like the layout of or compared to windows or Apple!
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Acsel
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Highly recommend a Dell XPS 13, own one myself and it feels brand new. Hands down I'd consider it the best ultrabook available now. An i5 model with 8GB of RAM is perfectly sufficient for an English Language degree. Battery life is excellent, I can easily get a full day of medium to heavy usage which often includes watching videos. A Macbook Pro would be overkill and if you're willing to pay for an Air then you might as well pay the slightly higher price to get a new XPS 13 with far superior specs

Also good job on using Google Drive over USBs, horror stories happen

Others have mentioned the Surface, a Surface Pro wouldn't be awful but they're not exactly great value for money. Battery life is often subpar as a result of only having the tablet size to work with coupled with a high res display, the pen isn't a feature you are likely to utilise and you may or may not get a keyboard with it depending on the model you buy. Not a bad choice by any stretch but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Tagging AngryJellyfish to move this to tech
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Master_Khan
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(Original post by wolto)
I would recommend the surface laptop it's gone cheaper plus student discount and it would be perfect but the material does get dirty over time or buy the overpowered surface book for £1440 excluding 10 percent off and you would not have to worry about speed, gaming, or anything it's 13 inch but 15 inch is incoming this year
Since it's 2018 now, it's too late to change Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro for free if got the Surface Laptop.

Message to the OP, if you didn't already know. The difference between Windows 10 S and regular Windows 10 is that you can ONLY download apps that are available in the Microsoft Store, preventing you from downloading "outside" programmes.

It costs £99 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro if you do end up getting the Surface Laptop. Good laptop though, probably the best Laptop you can get on the market on than the Surface Book which is a MACHINE!
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katiew1243
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I can appreciate that but, I don’t want to be paying an extra £99 on top of it. I did like the Dell, so really I’m battling with the idea against a MacBook Air or retina 12’. I have other Apple products that is the only other thing that draws me to them, but I’m aware the air is not very good on screen res, and the retina 12’ is more expensive but apparently the process isn’t quite as good.
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wolto
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(Original post by Master_Khan)
Since it's 2018 now, it's too late to change Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro for free if got the Surface Laptop.

Message to the OP, if you didn't already know. The difference between Windows 10 S and regular Windows 10 is that you can ONLY download apps that are available in the Microsoft Store, preventing you from downloading "outside" programmes.

It costs £99 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro if you do end up getting the Surface Laptop. Good laptop though, probably the best Laptop you can get on the market on than the Surface Book which is a MACHINE!
Or you can still find a way to get it free but I would advise using the right method 😉
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katiew1243
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Mm yeah, good point!😏
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Master_Khan
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How much are you willing to spend?
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katiew1243
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About the price of the MacBook retina. I’m just not positive that it’s the right choice that’s why I’m seeking advice.
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Acsel
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(Original post by katiew1243)
About the price of the MacBook retina. I’m just not positive that it’s the right choice that’s why I’m seeking advice.
MacBook Retina 12 inch:

£1249 or £1549 depending on model

£1249 gets you an m3 processor, £1549 gets you a dual core i5 (so probably 7th gen)
Both models have a 2304x1440 display which in all honesty is wasted in a 12 inch display


Dell XPS 13:

Varying prices but models of a similar price to the Macbook come in at vastly higher spec. A £1149 XPS 13 comes with an 8th gen i5 and a £1249 comes with an 8th gen i7. Both are quad core whereas the Macbook comes with dual core at best, m3 at worst.

In all honesty, spec and price wise it's no contest, the XPS comes out vastly cheaper in comparison. I've not included any student discounts in the price, you can get money off with Apple and Dell are offering 10% or £100 off XPS models so both end up going down by a similar amount. If you buy a top end XPS instead of a MacBook you end up with a quad core i7, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, compared to a dual core i5, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. And there's really no need to get a top line model, a quad core i5 with 8GB of RAM and even a 256GB SSD is sufficient. Cost and spec wise, there's no comparison.

Feel and OS wise, it's personal preference. If you like Mac OS then you have no choice. If you prefer the design of the Macbook then there's your winner. Neither are bad devices though. If there's aspects of the MacBook you prefer and don't mind spending more to get it then go for a MacBook. Otherwise the XPS is the better value choice.

And on a personal note, I vastly prefer the keyboard on my XPS to the keyboard on the MacBook and the slightly larger screen helps when you've got tabs and documents open for assignments.
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katiew1243
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Thank you Acsel! That’s really enlightening, I really appreciate your help! I’m shopping on Sunday so we shall see how I feel when I see things in person! Thanks for you all your help guys!
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TheWorm1234
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The new Macbook keyboard has been ruined by the 'butterfly' design, I'm sticking with my 2014 Macbook Pro Retina for that reason. I'll admit to being a fan boy (Mac, iPhone, iPod, iPad and Apple Watch) but even I think the Mac is a waste of money for an English degree when much better options exist out there. In my experience the only reason other students by Macs is that they are hipsters, Macs should serve a functional purpose (I'm a CS student) not just owning one as a fashion piece.
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katiew1243
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I’m in my final year of university, and afterwards I’m going on to do a PGCE primary school teaching, I was hoping it would keep up with all my work at that point, as well as my needs now. Plus apple comes in handy when you can transfer all your music and photos across. But I do agree, most people get them as a fashion piece and they are stupidly priced, that’s why I’m considering my options - the expense!
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uberteknik
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Intel are in deep doo doo land.

Shares have dropped 6% on the breaking news of a processor design-flaw that requires a significant redesign of Windows and Linux kernel OS software requiring kernel page isolation. macOS is not immune and will also need a fix.

The flaw affects x86-64 processors and the software fix is reported to slow processing speeds by up to 30% on affected devices produced over the last decade. i.e. pretty much all Intel kit produced since 2008.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3245...ts-pc-mac.html
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Alexis1
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Do not get a macbook they are overpriced and even if they were not they would still be terrible.
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