PetitePanda
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I’m currently in sixth form, looking to use it to help me for mainly school and just minecraft. I’m hoping it will survive when i go into uni for law (hopefully). Me and my dad are looking for one right now and we have some that are in our budget but idk if any are good. Thank you if you see this; it’s much appreciated - I’m sorry that there’s a lot.

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...80950-pdt.html

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...93349-pdt.html

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...93911-pdt.html

These are at the closer end of our budget:

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...93910-pdt.html

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...98873-pdt.html
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Dunnig Kruger
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Currys. Only buy from them if you absolutely must have something today. Otherwise buy from online sources.

You get far better deals on ebay than you do from Currys.

You have set a very sensible budget for your laptop. They are tools to do a job. And the job that you want to do is not demanding.

I don't rate consumer grade laptops from HP at all. Their business grade laptops on the other hand are nice to own and use.

14" laptops are a sensible size for uni. I'd find a 15" laptop too big and slabby to carry around campus.

As an example of what you can get on ebay, this HP business laptop has a better internal spec than all the laptops you listed and is about the same price. The 128 GB internal hard drive isn't great, but the great thing with HP 440 G5's is that you can add a 2nd internal hard drive for about £40 and 2 minutes work, should you ever require more storage space.
g[/s]ZEgAAOSwEDFddCz~]https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HP-ProBook-440-G5-14-Laptop-Intel-i5-128GB-SSD-8GB-RAM-Windows-US-Keyboard-B/293217956273?hash=item444526f1b1:g:ZEgAAOSwEDFddCz~

Look out for other deals on HP 430 or 440 or 830 or 840 G5's or G6's on ebay.

For playing minecraft I'd be looking to get a big monitor. Something like this:
https://www.cclonline.com/product/vi...vx3276-2k-mhd/
Which might mean you having to cut back on what you spend on the laptop.
Your eyes are important. Better to look at something big at a distance than something small right up close.
Health and safety should always come first.
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PetitePanda
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Me and my dad want to buy it from there since we can get it from the city rather than online. I’m a bit cautious on sites like eBay but my dad wouldn’t trust the site at all so it’s unlikely my dad will get me one from there - I’m sincerely sorry but thank you for the suggestion though. Thank you for the size recommendations and I totally agree since I’m a quite small so 15 would probably be even more bigger for me to carry. I’ll keep in mind about business grade laptops and internal hard drives when looking again for more - it’s really helpful to know . Since I have a budget I’ll cut back on the aspect of gaming, thank you for the information about it.

(Original post by Dunnig Kruger)
Currys. Only buy from them if you absolutely must have something today. Otherwise buy from online sources.

You get far better deals on ebay than you do from Currys.

You have set a very sensible budget for your laptop. They are tools to do a job. And the job that you want to do is not demanding.

I don't rate consumer grade laptops from HP at all. Their business grade laptops on the other hand are nice to own and use.

14" laptops are a sensible size for uni. I'd find a 15" laptop too big and slabby to carry around campus.

As an example of what you can get on ebay, this HP business laptop has a better internal spec than all the laptops you listed and is about the same price. The 128 GB internal hard drive isn't great, but the great thing with HP 440 G5's is that you can add a 2nd internal hard drive for about £40 and 2 minutes work, should you ever require more storage space.
g[/s]ZEgAAOSwEDFddCz~]https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HP-ProBook-440-G5-14-Laptop-Intel-i5-128GB-SSD-8GB-RAM-Windows-US-Keyboard-B/293217956273?hash=item444526f1b1:g:ZEgAAOSwEDFddCz~

Look out for other deals on HP 430 or 440 or 830 or 840 G5's or G6's on ebay.

For playing minecraft I'd be looking to get a big monitor. Something like this:
https://www.cclonline.com/product/vi...vx3276-2k-mhd/
Which might mean you having to cut back on what you spend on the laptop.
Your eyes are important. Better to look at something big at a distance than something small right up close.
Health and safety should always come first.
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Acsel
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
I’m currently in sixth form, looking to use it to help me for mainly school and just minecraft. I’m hoping it will survive when i go into uni for law (hopefully). Me and my dad are looking for one right now and we have some that are in our budget but idk if any are good. Thank you if you see this; it’s much appreciated - I’m sorry that there’s a lot.

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...80950-pdt.html

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...93349-pdt.html

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...93911-pdt.html

These are at the closer end of our budget:

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...93910-pdt.html

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...98873-pdt.html

Of the 5 laptops you've listed, the more expensive ones are notably a lot better. Specifically because they get you a decent entry level processor and because they come with SSDs. The Ryzen 3 and i3 processors drastically outperform the Pentium Gold and AMD A6, while the SSDs offer a faster all round experience. Between the Acer Aspire and HP Pavilion, the difference basically comes down to SSD vs size. The Acer has a larger SSD (and I do typically recommend 256GB) but the HP is smaller and lighter. I'd personally be more inclined to go with the HP. You can deal with the smaller storage by using cloud, using an external drive, etc. You cannot do anything about the size and weight of the Acer though.

With that in mind however, neither laptop is particularly standout. Both are reduced but in all honesty I think they're both quite expensive at £350. I wouldn't have paid £400 for the Acer and the HP originally being £530 is a monumental joke.

I fully appreciate that you mentioned how these laptops are at the top of your budget. However for just £50 more (so £400), Currys currently has some really good sale deals. This Lenovo IdeaPad and this Acer Aspire for example. Both laptops used to be £530/£550 but actually have decent hardware to back it up. In this case your £50 gets you:

  • Either an i5 8265U or Ryzen 5 3500U processor. Notably both of these are quad cores rather than the i3 / Ryzen 3 in the other laptops. Having those 2 extra processing cores makes the world of difference
  • You get 8GB of RAM instead of 4GB
  • You get a 256GB SSD with both


Unfortunately both are 15.6 inches, which does hurt portability a bit. But the obvious tradeoff is the larger display to work on. In terms of weight, they're both around 1.8Kg which is only 200 grams heavier than the 14 inch HP Pavilion. Notably the Lenovo has a 1366x768 display, whereas the Aspire is 1080p. At the same price, that makes the Lenovo a harder sell. But other than that, they're both solid laptops that wouldn't be a terrible purchase if they cost £500. The Acer in particular is amazing value for what you get. The fact that they're both £400 makes them insanely good value, especially from a longevity perspective. You're basically spending an extra £50 now to not have to buy a new laptop as soon in the future. You're also going to have no trouble with light gaming (i.e. Minecraft) on the £400 laptops. Minecraft isn't a demanding game, and the £350 laptops will just about it run it. But the experience all round will be far better with the £400 laptops. Minecraft as a game is quite CPU intensive, so that's another place those 2 extra cores come in handy.

If you absolutely cannot spend more than £350 then I'd be most inclined to go with the HP Pavilion. Being a 14 inch laptop makes it more portable, and if you need more storage you can deal with that later on. However if you are able to stretch another £50 (and I'd strongly recommend it if possible) then the £400 Acer Aspire. The extra £50 simply gets you so much more value in the CPU, RAM and storage, while also maintaining the 1920x1080 display and at only 200 grams above the HP it's not even much heavier. In the short term you'll have a much better experience, and in the long term you'll save that £50 because the laptop will simply last longer and not need replacing. I'm 100% confident that the £400 Acer Aspire will last you through Sixth Form and it'll get you through 3/4 years of law at university if you take care of it. I cannot say the same for the £350 HP Pavilion, as even nowadays an i3 with 4GB of RAM can become sluggish very quickly.
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by Acsel)
Of the 5 laptops you've listed, the more expensive ones are notably a lot better. Specifically because they get you a decent entry level processor and because they come with SSDs. The Ryzen 3 and i3 processors drastically outperform the Pentium Gold and AMD A6, while the SSDs offer a faster all round experience. Between the Acer Aspire and HP Pavilion, the difference basically comes down to SSD vs size. The Acer has a larger SSD (and I do typically recommend 256GB) but the HP is smaller and lighter. I'd personally be more inclined to go with the HP. You can deal with the smaller storage by using cloud, using an external drive, etc. You cannot do anything about the size and weight of the Acer though.

With that in mind however, neither laptop is particularly standout. Both are reduced but in all honesty I think they're both quite expensive at £350. I wouldn't have paid £400 for the Acer and the HP originally being £530 is a monumental joke.

I fully appreciate that you mentioned how these laptops are at the top of your budget. However for just £50 more (so £400), Currys currently has some really good sale deals. This Lenovo IdeaPad and this Acer Aspire for example. Both laptops used to be £530/£550 but actually have decent hardware to back it up. In this case your £50 gets you:

  • Either an i5 8265U or Ryzen 5 3500U processor. Notably both of these are quad cores rather than the i3 / Ryzen 3 in the other laptops. Having those 2 extra processing cores makes the world of difference
  • You get 8GB of RAM instead of 4GB
  • You get a 256GB SSD with both


Unfortunately both are 15.6 inches, which does hurt portability a bit. But the obvious tradeoff is the larger display to work on. In terms of weight, they're both around 1.8Kg which is only 200 grams heavier than the 14 inch HP Pavilion. Notably the Lenovo has a 1366x768 display, whereas the Aspire is 1080p. At the same price, that makes the Lenovo a harder sell. But other than that, they're both solid laptops that wouldn't be a terrible purchase if they cost £500. The Acer in particular is amazing value for what you get. The fact that they're both £400 makes them insanely good value, especially from a longevity perspective. You're basically spending an extra £50 now to not have to buy a new laptop as soon in the future. You're also going to have no trouble with light gaming (i.e. Minecraft) on the £400 laptops. Minecraft isn't a demanding game, and the £350 laptops will just about it run it. But the experience all round will be far better with the £400 laptops. Minecraft as a game is quite CPU intensive, so that's another place those 2 extra cores come in handy.

If you absolutely cannot spend more than £350 then I'd be most inclined to go with the HP Pavilion. Being a 14 inch laptop makes it more portable, and if you need more storage you can deal with that later on. However if you are able to stretch another £50 (and I'd strongly recommend it if possible) then the £400 Acer Aspire. The extra £50 simply gets you so much more value in the CPU, RAM and storage, while also maintaining the 1920x1080 display and at only 200 grams above the HP it's not even much heavier. In the short term you'll have a much better experience, and in the long term you'll save that £50 because the laptop will simply last longer and not need replacing. I'm 100% confident that the £400 Acer Aspire will last you through Sixth Form and it'll get you through 3/4 years of law at university if you take care of it. I cannot say the same for the £350 HP Pavilion, as even nowadays an i3 with 4GB of RAM can become sluggish very quickly.
Thank you so much. I somewhat understand but I understand that it’s much better functionality wise, which I really want to focus on. I’ll try to convince my dad to get the ACER one you mentioned before with your argument. Thank you so muchh
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Acsel
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
Thank you so much. I somewhat understand but I understand that it’s much better functionality wise, which I really want to focus on. I’ll try to convince my dad to get the ACER one you mentioned before with your argument. Thank you so muchh
Feel free to show your dad my post as part of the convincing. On the off chance he doesn't trust the words of a random stranger on the Internet (I can't blame him), I'm a current Cyber Security and Forensic Computing student, I wrote a detailed guide on laptop buying which was very well receieved on TSR and have basically been making recommendations in this forum for a few years now. All round, if you can convince him to stretch to £400, or maybe if you're able to put the extra money in yourself through chores or something, it'd be an absolutely huge boost in value. You're spending £50 more, but getting effectively £150 more laptop for your money thanks to the sale.

You also mentioned above that you want to buy from Currys in person, there is a reasonable chance they won't have that exact model in stock at your local store. You can check the availability online, or you can order it online and request in store pickup. If you go into the store, they'll be able to order it in for you as well. I'm generally not a huge fan of buying from Currys, as in my experience they try to upsell the wrong products. Whatever you end up buying, make it very clear that you know what you want and won't be interested in another product. Don't bother letting them sell you insurance or anything either, you'll get the default product cover anyway which covers factory defects and after that it's unlikely anything will break if you take care of it.
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by Acsel)
Feel free to show your dad my post as part of the convincing. On the off chance he doesn't trust the words of a random stranger on the Internet (I can't blame him), I'm a current Cyber Security and Forensic Computing student, I wrote a detailed guide on laptop buying which was very well receieved on TSR and have basically been making recommendations in this forum for a few years now. All round, if you can convince him to stretch to £400, or maybe if you're able to put the extra money in yourself through chores or something, it'd be an absolutely huge boost in value. You're spending £50 more, but getting effectively £150 more laptop for your money thanks to the sale.

You also mentioned above that you want to buy from Currys in person, there is a reasonable chance they won't have that exact model in stock at your local store. You can check the availability online, or you can order it online and request in store pickup. If you go into the store, they'll be able to order it in for you as well. I'm generally not a huge fan of buying from Currys, as in my experience they try to upsell the wrong products. Whatever you end up buying, make it very clear that you know what you want and won't be interested in another product. Don't bother letting them sell you insurance or anything either, you'll get the default product cover anyway which covers factory defects and after that it's unlikely anything will break if you take care of it.
Hopefully I can but thank you so much. I’ll try in store first and I will stick to that model. However what do you mean the default product cover?
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Acsel
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
Hopefully I can but thank you so much. I’ll try in store first and I will stick to that model. However what do you mean the default product cover?
So when you buy some goods, in particular electronics, you tyically get a 1 year period where the product is covered regardless of whether you take out any other cover. From Curry's own Terms and Conditions:

We will offer either a repair, exchange or refund if the fault occurs within 30 days of purchase (or delivery or installation). If the fault with your product occurs within its guarantee period (normally 12 months from delivery) we will offer you a prompt repair service.
A lot of stores try to sell you stuff like "2 Year Extended Warranty". It sounds like you're buying 2 years, but in reality you are buying 1 year on top of the year you get for free regardless. I'm not a fan of the misleading practice in the first place, but moreso than that it's typically not necessary. If your laptop has some sort of fault, it'll be discovered fairly quickly after you start using it. Beyond that, components are very reliable and do not just randomly break. If it works when you get it, it's not likely to fall apart from normal use in the near future. Most people never need to claim on warranty, and those that do would usually not need to if they simply looked after their stuff better.

On top of all that, a lot of people have some sort of insurance policy which may cover their laptop anyway. It could be contents insurance, a lot of students are forced to take out cover at uni, etc. and it makes the extended warranty from their store a pointless duplicate.

Extended warranties are a huge waste of money, because the store gets your money and then almost never has to do anything in return. You're covered by the 30 day and 1 year periods if anything goes wrong, beyond that you're probably going to be fine. And the money you save from warranty can be used in the unlikely event you do need to make repairs.


Unrelated obligatory comment that I tell everyone. Make sure you back up your work as well, and don't simply rely on the laptop. Cloud, an external USB or hard drive, it doesn't matter how you do it. Just make sure you have a second copy of your work somewhere just in case.
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PetitePanda
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(Original post by Acsel)
A lot of stores try to sell you stuff like "2 Year Extended Warranty". It sounds like you're buying 2 years, but in reality you are buying 1 year on top of the year you get for free regardless. I'm not a fan of the misleading practice in the first place, but moreso than that it's typically not necessary. If your laptop has some sort of fault, it'll be discovered fairly quickly after you start using it. Beyond that, components are very reliable and do not just randomly break. If it works when you get it, it's not likely to fall apart from normal use in the near future. Most people never need to claim on warranty, and those that do would usually not need to if they simply looked after their stuff better.

On top of all that, a lot of people have some sort of insurance policy which may cover their laptop anyway. It could be contents insurance, a lot of students are forced to take out cover at uni, etc. and it makes the extended warranty from their store a pointless duplicate.

Extended warranties are a huge waste of money, because the store gets your money and then almost never has to do anything in return. You're covered by the 30 day and 1 year periods if anything goes wrong, beyond that you're probably going to be fine. And the money you save from warranty can be used in the unlikely event you do need to make repairs.


Unrelated obligatory comment that I tell everyone. Make sure you back up your work as well, and don't simply rely on the laptop. Cloud, an external USB or hard drive, it doesn't matter how you do it. Just make sure you have a second copy of your work somewhere just in case.
Ohh I understand - this is something my dad would probably fall for so I’ll try to persuade him not to. I will but when do you think I should back up my work like how often?
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Acsel
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(Original post by PetitePanda)
Ohh I understand - this is something my dad would probably fall for so I’ll try to persuade him not to. I will but when do you think I should back up my work like how often?
There isn't really a correct answer to how often, but a good rule of thumb is once a week if you're making significant changes. The more often you back up your work, the less work you lose if something goes wrong (you lose your laptop, the data becomes corrupt, you delete a file by mistake, etc.).

In terms of what I recommend for the average person, if you've got a Microsoft account that you use to log into your laptop, just use the built in OneDrive as your backup. It's built into Windows, so there's no need to install new software or mess around with external USB drives. You don't get a ton of storage, so you won't be backing up absolutely every file you own but it's more than enough to store years worth of school work. When you get to university there's a good chance you'll get a free student account with either Microsoft of Google and can make use of their storage. Even at sixth form you may have access to a free student copy of Office which also comes with more OneDrive storage.

Simply set up a folder in OneDrive called backups, and then once a week remember to copy all your important files across. If anything ever happens to the laptop, you can simply log into OneDrive through a web browser and retrieve all your files. It's basically the same if you get a Google Drive account instead, only it's not built into Windows. While I don't consider it the most rigorous backup procedure, it's simple and low maintenance so anyone can do it. I personally take it a step further and simply keep all my university files in the university provided Google Drive rather than on my laptops local storage. I can access them from anywhere with an Internet connection and they're effectively backed up by just being in the cloud. This is sufficient for most people.
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Dunnig Kruger
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(Original post by Acsel)
Feel free to show your dad my post as part of the convincing. On the off chance he doesn't trust the words of a random stranger on the Internet (I can't blame him), I'm a current Cyber Security and Forensic Computing student, I wrote a detailed guide on laptop buying which was very well receieved on TSR and have basically been making recommendations in this forum for a few years now. All round, if you can convince him to stretch to £400, or maybe if you're able to put the extra money in yourself through chores or something, it'd be an absolutely huge boost in value. You're spending £50 more, but getting effectively £150 more laptop for your money thanks to the sale.

You also mentioned above that you want to buy from Currys in person, there is a reasonable chance they won't have that exact model in stock at your local store. You can check the availability online, or you can order it online and request in store pickup. If you go into the store, they'll be able to order it in for you as well. I'm generally not a huge fan of buying from Currys, as in my experience they try to upsell the wrong products. Whatever you end up buying, make it very clear that you know what you want and won't be interested in another product. Don't bother letting them sell you insurance or anything either, you'll get the default product cover anyway which covers factory defects and after that it's unlikely anything will break if you take care of it.
I think it's quite morally reprehensible that in this thread you have been urging someone to spend more than they originally intended for what is of no actual benefit to them.

This is other people's money that you are "spending" on their behalf.

All of which is of importance to PetitePanda. Stick to your original budget and do not go over it on someone elses say so. If you go over your budget make sure you're doing it because you need some feature or the raw computing power that you can't get with your original budget.
At the moment any of the laptops in your original post would be fine for school work, a law degree and minecraft. Although Minecraft would benefit from a large external QHD monitor (for £190 new). For sure a business laptop from HP, Lenovo or Dell would be a slightly nicer long term ownership prospect than the Currys consumer grade laptops listed in the opening post. But it's only worth buying one of them if you can get it at the same price or cheaper than the Currys ones - eg by buying off ebay.
With ebay not being an option for you, stick to your budget. And look for other deals elsewhere apart from Currys.

And remember that Black Friday is coming up!
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Acsel
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(Original post by Dunnig Kruger)
I think it's quite morally reprehensible that in this thread you have been urging someone to spend more than they originally intended for what is of no actual benefit to them.

This is other people's money that you are "spending" on their behalf.

I also think that it's quite morally reprehensible that you describe your laptop guide as "well received". As that is a rather unbalanced view of how well it was received. Especially by people that have more experience of laptop computers than yourself. Your guide contained a lot of sub-optimum advice.
If you could keep your personal vendetta against me out of it and not derail threads, that'd be great thanks. I'm not going to waste time on the attempts of one individual trying to discredit me. I've helped hundreds of people over the years and received plenty of kind feedback, so your opinion here holds very little weight.

Maybe put your effort into offering better advice, rather than hating on someone else. This behaviour is toxic and you should really consider the impact your words have on people.
Last edited by Acsel; 2 weeks ago
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