Laptop.....don't know which one to buy!?!

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1Ruby
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I'm starting a maths degree at uni soon and have been looking at laptops....but I don't know which one to buy.
Should I be looking at a particular make/model?
Any advice would be helpful.
Thanks
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Dunnig Kruger
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Best place to start is to establish what you want to do with. Word processing, web browsing, LaTeX, or something similar? Anything else?

And where do you stand on the portability vs large screen size compromise?

15.6" laptops have pleasantly large screens, but are relatively big, heavy and slabby.
13.3" are small, light and portable, but have small screens.
14" are inbetween, but veer more towards easy portability.

With you doing maths, would it be fair to say that you have a certain amount of confidence with technical things?
If so, that'll stand you in good stead for getting and keeping your laptop working properly and in doing any upgrades or repairs cost effectively.

There have been a lot of "what should I buy?" type threads lately, which is understandable with the start of uni coming up.
Check out the advice in the other recent threads.

And congratulations in getting into uni and on studying a subject that will open some doors, career wise.
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1Ruby
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Thanks for the advice, it’s much appreciated.
Perhaps I was hasty in asking the question, not realising that many others have asked this on numerous occasions. I’m working my way through the other threads.
Thank you.
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Dunnig Kruger
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It's perfectly fine that you've started a new thread. As the best laptop for each person can depend on many things.
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kurro
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Do you have a budget?
Generally speaking, if you are not going to game on the laptop (Which I don't advise anyway) specs like these will do for smooth user experience:
i5
4gb ram
no dedicated graphics card needed (depends on the programs you use)
256GB SSD or HDD - almost all laptops these days have 1TB. I advise SSD as it is SO MUCH faster than HDD. 256GB should be sufficient for anything you need to save, but you can just buy an external hard drive - and just in case your laptop dies on you.

Maybe something like this:
https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...80997-pdt.html
you could prbably find cheaper on that website
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flemis
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Just buy a macbook pro 13 inch
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by 1Ruby)
I'm starting a maths degree at uni soon and have been looking at laptops....but I don't know which one to buy.
Should I be looking at a particular make/model?
Any advice would be helpful.
Thanks
what is your budget? this is the most important question!

If you can afford £800, the Acer Swift 5 15" i7 laptop is just amazing - they've somehow managed to create a featherweight (0.9kg!) laptop without any compromises on battery life, power or cooling. oh and to top it off it even has a touchscreen, i just dont understand how it can be so cheap tbh.

the best quality non-macbook is the Dell XPS 7590 15", which costs just around double that at £1500

if you can only afford half, i recommend the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 15" i3 which again is ridiculous value. anything lower than this particular laptop will be a pile of junk.

don't buy any other laptop without testing it, as laptops all have a few annoying niggles here and there.

make sure you get 3yrs warranty.
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1Ruby
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I was looking at a MacBook Air 2019, 128 or 256, not sure which one.
I'm being persuaded by my dad to get one of these but I just don't know.
I definitely won't be gaming on it, it just has to be right for my uni work.
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kurro
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(Original post by 1Ruby)
I was looking at a MacBook Air 2019, 128 or 256, not sure which one.
I'm being persuaded by my dad to get one of these but I just don't know.
I definitely won't be gaming on it, it just has to be right for my uni work.
IMO, MacBooks are too overpriced for specs.
You are just paying for the brand and interface. As well as materials.

You can get windows equivalents for £500-£700
The link I posted above is practically the same as a 256gb 2019 MacBook, except the MacBook has more ram.

The Acer Swift 5 suggested by rolling stone has better specs, cheaper price and you're not even giving up the portability.
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Dunnig Kruger
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
what is your budget? this is the most important question!
No it's not! The most important question is what will it be used for. Followed by preferences for size and weight.

And then surely it's down to buying the cheapest laptop that will do the job well?

For someone doing word processing and web browsing, and looking for a 13.3" to 14" laptop for the portability, there is zero practical benefit to buying anything more than a £150 Lenovo L450, or at a stretch a £320 HP 430 G5 off ebay. Or to get a pre 2015 MacBook for someone that prefers MacOs to Windows and Linux.

If I wanted a hammer to bang in a load of nails, there is zero benefit to paying more than £1 for one off a car boot sale. £1 is all I'd spend, even if I had a budget of £100.

Edit: 1Ruby please Google "butterfly keyboard issues" before pulling the trigger on a 2019 MacBook.
Last edited by Dunnig Kruger; 6 months ago
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Certificate
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I'd recommend a Lenovo.
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WillJVII
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I bought one of these: click here, using my brother's employee discount. It's a very good laptop for uni stuff since it boots quickly and can run word processors, netflix etc and a few games while costing less than £450.

Obviously though it depends on budget and requirements. I think Dell and HP have offers on Unidays that you might be able to look at. I'd look for an intel (i3, i5 or i7 at least) 7 series processor and at least 8gb of ram though. An SSD also helps it boot faster & programs load faster.

It's also worth remembering that brands like Lenovo, HP and Dell come with a bit of bloatware (software they put on the pc that takes up space and that you most likely won't use) so you might need to delete that stuff if you buy from these brands.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Dunnig Kruger)
No it's not! The most important question is what will it be used for. Followed by preferences for size and weight.

And then surely it's down to buying the cheapest laptop that will do the job well?

For someone doing word processing and web browsing, and looking for a 13.3" to 14" laptop for the portability, there is zero practical benefit to buying anything more than a £150 Lenovo L450, or at a stretch a £320 HP 430 G5 off ebay. Or to get a pre 2015 MacBook for someone that prefers MacOs to Windows and Linux.

If I wanted a hammer to bang in a load of nails, there is zero benefit to paying more than £1 for one off a car boot sale. £1 is all I'd spend, even if I had a budget of £100.

Edit: 1Ruby please Google "butterfly keyboard issues" before pulling the trigger on a 2019 MacBook.
budget is the most important thing... as a starting point.

the acer swift 5 despite being 15.6", is roughly/almost as portable as a 13" macbook air

low spec laptops are a pain in the arse - they are slow to load, freeze with lots of tabs open, don't last as long, have lower quality hardware (eg. nothing beats the Dell XPS touchpads)
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Dunnig Kruger
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
budget is the most important thing... as a starting point.

the acer swift 5 despite being 15.6", is roughly/almost as portable as a 13" macbook air

low spec laptops are a pain in the arse - they are slow to load, freeze with lots of tabs open, don't last as long, have lower quality hardware (eg. nothing beats the Dell XPS touchpads)
Low spec is all relative to the job required of it.

I started a thread related to time to load:
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5875564

I would not consider 32 seconds as a slow time for a laptop to power up, including doing its' power on self test, to load windows, to log the user in, to load a web browser, to navigate to a desired web page and for the web page to appear.
And yet that's the time I can achieve with a HP 8440p laptop that dates from 2011 (with £35 worth of SSD fitted as an upgrade).
This ancient laptop takes about 2 seconds to load the LibreOffice word processor.
This ancient laptop also only has 2 GB RAM, and yet this is more than enough memory for having 8 web browser windows, a word processor document, a spreadsheet open at the same time. No Freezing or slow downs here with that number of tabs open.

For the durability thing, my recommendation is to buy used business laptops. With HP business laptops being the most durable thanks to their pleasantly rugged aluminium cases.
Coming back to my HP 8440p laptop, this has good quality hardware when it comes to durability. It's good for another 5 to 10 years of use. And yet I paid £80 used for it a few years ago.

My point here being that if an 8 year old HP business laptop displays none of the drawbacks you mentioned (for someone just doing MS Office and web browsing type tasks) then a 2015 Lenovo L450 (for £150) certainly won't and a 2018 HP 430 G5 (£320) most definitely won't either.

There is no actual benefit (for our web browsing , word processing user) to spending more than £150 to £320 on a laptop, even if they have a £2000 budget. No difference in load times, no difference in freezing with lots of tabs open, no difference in how long it will last from here on in, no significant difference in general build quality (more a case of swings and roundabouts).

For someone running AutoDesk Inventor, it'd be a different story. They'd require a monster of a laptop to run that application well and would therefore need to spend more on a laptop that they would be delighted with, than for our more typical student user.

It's the tail wagging the dog to say that you should start with the budget and buy the most expensive laptop you can for your budget. It's the dog wagging the tail to start with the users needs and preferences and then for that to lead to the price.

The reason that I recommend HP, Dell and Lenovo business laptops is because these are the big brands, worldwide.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market...mputer_vendors
Corporates buy their business laptops by the thousand. With laptops having relatively short production runs before they are replaced with a new model, it's nice to buy a laptop that's been sold in huge numbers to help for the availability of spares in years to come.
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1Ruby
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Lots of advice, thanks all.
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