OceanClio
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#1
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I'm (hopefully) going to uni this year and I'm not sure which laptop to get.

I've got a HP Chromebook right now which I'm pretty comfortable with but I'm not sure if it being so reliant on wifi is a good choice for uni life, plus I'm willing to spend more money on it for something more durable.

I'm going to study BSc Psychology at either Winchester or Exeter so I don't think the laptop has to do anything special in particular, I just want something decent.

Thanks for the help!
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Theloniouss
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How much money are you willing to spend?
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OceanClio
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(Original post by Knortfoxx)
How much money are you willing to spend?
The most I'd be willing to spend it £1000 but realistically up to £800.
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by OceanClio)
The most I'd be willing to spend it £1000 but realistically up to £800.
So I would say the specs you probably want are:

Aluminium build (these are more durable than plasticky laptops)

Probably 14" (smaller = more durable and more portable, but less screen space - Almost all backpacks will comfortably fit a 14" laptop in a case)

8gb RAM (Unless you're doing anything RAM heavy, and I can't imagine why you would be, you don't really need any more than this)

maybe 500gb memory (again, it depends. I've never had more than 240gb on a laptop and rarely come close to filling that. If you really need more space, external HDDs are much cheaper than buying a laptop with more space.)

probably a generic processor (Ryzen 5, i5 etc. - 2ghz 4 cores)

I recently got one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenovo-Idea...dp/B07Z11G2YT/ (although I got it cheaper than this) and it works perfectly for everything I use it for. I'm a sucker for lenovo keyboards though.

Edit: cheaper link - https://www.johnlewis.com/lenovo-ide...-gold/p4263655
Last edited by Theloniouss; 1 year ago
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Mustafa0605
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For £800 you could get intel core i7 8gb ram laptops. There’s no 16gb ram or i9 laptops below £1k
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adam271
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What do you need it for?

For your needs (Psychology) I think you could probably get by with a chromebook with like 4GB ram and save yourself a lot of money.
As you know they are great for netflix and documents and general browsing and have great battery life and can get a decent one for under £300.

I wouldn't pay £1000 for a laptop unless your into gaming / video editing.
The wifi isnt really an issue at university tbh and with a decent mobile data plan on your phone you can make do incase the wifi drops.
Last edited by adam271; 1 year ago
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Knortfoxx)
So I would say the specs you probably want are:

Aluminium build (these are more durable than plasticky laptops)

Probably 14" (smaller = more durable and more portable, but less screen space - Almost all backpacks will comfortably fit a 14" laptop in a case)

8gb RAM (Unless you're doing anything RAM heavy, and I can't imagine why you would be, you don't really need any more than this)

maybe 500gb memory (again, it depends. I've never had more than 240gb on a laptop and rarely come close to filling that. If you really need more space, external HDDs are much cheaper than buying a laptop with more space.)

probably a generic processor (Ryzen 5, i5 etc. 2ghz 4 cores)

I recently got one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenovo-Idea...dp/B07Z11G2YT/ (although I got it cheaper than this) and it works perfectly for everything I use it for. I'm a sucker for lenovo keyboards though.
Aluminium build (these are more durable than plasticky laptops)

hard disagree on this.

my laptop (Acer Swift 5) has a slightly cheap feel to it and that is the ONLY compromise to what is ridiculous... the lightest normal-sized laptop in the world for a reasonable price (around 800-1000) coming in at 0.9kg.

i would however recommend that same laptop you've linked to on Amazon. it's a very solid choice
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
Aluminium build (these are more durable than plasticky laptops)

hard disagree on this.

my laptop (Acer Swift 5) has a slightly cheap feel to it and that is the ONLY compromise to what is ridiculous... the lightest normal-sized laptop in the world for a reasonable price (around 800-1000) coming in at 0.9kg.

i would however recommend that same laptop you've linked to on Amazon. it's a very solid choice
It's possible that I'm just a clumsy idiot, but I've broken a couple of plastic laptops just by putting my bag down too hard - might also be the laptops themselves.
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Showaddywaddy
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If you are going to be doing Psychology then really all you really need is a half-decent laptop with a good keyboard. I know you mentioned £800 budget but for what you are going to be doing you can really get something more than sufficient for a lot cheaper if you don't mind going older and on the used market.

I'm currently studying computer and digital forensics and for my laptop (not my main pc), I use a Lenovo ThinkPad t430 from 2013 (although upgraded outside of spec), you can get the lower end models for around £120 used but keyboard wise you would be better off buying a Lenovo Thinkpad t420. They are easily serviceable, easy to upgrade laptops at a very cheap price.

If you insist on getting new laptops I would suggest looking at more business-oriented laptops from HP or even Lenovo's latest ThinkPad (although they do have pretty subpar keyboards) as they give a good overall package with more then sufficient build quality.

In terms of metal vs plastic, it all depends on the quality of such materials. I say this because a good quality plastic laptop will always be better compared to a shoddy metal laptop and vise versa. Metal, however, is overall more durable in most cases.

A few questions before I can make a certain suggestion though...

Do you need a touchscreen/laptop hybrid?
Do you care about upgradability?
Do you care about internal storage expansion?
Do you care about the display resolution/quality/aspect ratio(only applicable on older laptops)?

Thank you.
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A Rolling Stone
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(Original post by Knortfoxx)
It's possible that I'm just a clumsy idiot, but I've broken a couple of plastic laptops just by putting my bag down too hard - might also be the laptops themselves.
i think it's probably more to do with SSD drives... they are much faster than mechanical HDD drives but a lot more susceptible to breakage
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
i think it's probably more to do with SSD drives... they are much faster than mechanical HDD drives but a lot more susceptible to breakage
I don't mean completely broken - cracks in the casing, damaged hinges etc.
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Showaddywaddy
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(Original post by A Rolling Stone)
i think it's probably more to do with SSD drives... they are much faster than mechanical HDD drives but a lot more susceptible to breakage
What SSD's have you been using? HDD's are a lot less durable than SSD's due to SSD's having no moving parts compared to a Hard Disk.
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adam271
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(Original post by Showaddywaddy)

I'm currently studying computer and digital forensics and for my laptop (not my main pc), I use a Lenovo ThinkPad t430 from 2013 (although upgraded outside of spec), you can get the lower end models for around £120 used but keyboard wise you would be better off buying a Lenovo Thinkpad t420. They are easily serviceable, easy to upgrade laptops at a very cheap price.
Those ThinkPads are beasts.
I have toyed with the idea for a while with getting one just because of the performance of them.
They are great for gaming laptop on a budget.
Also companies are always selling them so you can get them cheap.
Ye they look pretty crap but they are well built and upgradable.
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Showaddywaddy
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(Original post by adam271)
Those ThinkPads are beasts.
I have toyed with the idea for a while with getting one just because of the performance of them.
They are great for gaming laptop on a budget.
Also companies are always selling them so you can get them cheap.
Ye they look pretty crap but they are well built and upgradable.
I wouldn't get a Thinkpad if you just want it for raw gaming performance. Best gaming options IMO are HP Zenbooks which have old Quadro's for all-round performance (i know quadros are not made for gaming but they are in endless supply from business's basically chucking them out),however you do lose the upgradability and quality (Hewlett Packard is not known for their high-quality products in my mind). Could probably get the old lenovo Y series as well (Gaming oriented laptops) however the keyboards and overall quality are pretty naff apart from the fact it has a GTX 550 in it.
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OceanClio
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(Original post by Showaddywaddy)
If you are going to be doing Psychology then really all you really need is a half-decent laptop with a good keyboard. I know you mentioned £800 budget but for what you are going to be doing you can really get something more than sufficient for a lot cheaper if you don't mind going older and on the used market.

I'm currently studying computer and digital forensics and for my laptop (not my main pc), I use a Lenovo ThinkPad t430 from 2013 (although upgraded outside of spec), you can get the lower end models for around £120 used but keyboard wise you would be better off buying a Lenovo Thinkpad t420. They are easily serviceable, easy to upgrade laptops at a very cheap price.

If you insist on getting new laptops I would suggest looking at more business-oriented laptops from HP or even Lenovo's latest ThinkPad (although they do have pretty subpar keyboards) as they give a good overall package with more then sufficient build quality.

In terms of metal vs plastic, it all depends on the quality of such materials. I say this because a good quality plastic laptop will always be better compared to a shoddy metal laptop and vise versa. Metal, however, is overall more durable in most cases.

A few questions before I can make a certain suggestion though...

Do you need a touchscreen/laptop hybrid?
Do you care about upgradability?
Do you care about internal storage expansion?
Do you care about the display resolution/quality/aspect ratio(only applicable on older laptops)?

Thank you.
Thank you for your help and to answer your questions:
- I've never used a touchscreen/laptop hybrid but I am interested in them
- I don't care about upgradability as long as the laptop itself is durable (I'm definitely clumsy so that's a big thing with me).
- I don't need a high resolution as long as it's decent, the most I'd be using it for is netflix entertainment-wise since I'm not an avid gamer.

Thank you for all your help!
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adam271
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(Original post by Showaddywaddy)
I wouldn't get a Thinkpad if you just want it for raw gaming performance. Best gaming options IMO are HP Zenbooks which have old Quadro's for all-round performance (i know quadros are not made for gaming but they are in endless supply from business's basically chucking them out),however you do lose the upgradability and quality (Hewlett Packard is not known for their high-quality products in my mind). Could probably get the old lenovo Y series as well (Gaming oriented laptops) however the keyboards and overall quality are pretty naff apart from the fact it has a GTX 550 in it.
They arent as cheap as a thinkpad though (From what I have seen).
I've never really been after raw gaming perforamce just simple games (e.g. Kotor maybe mass effect 1-3) but I am probably going to get a chromebook anyway .

I am actually toying with the idea of taking a PC to university though.
I put toegther an elitedesk G1. Has 8GB ram an SSD and a 1050TI.
Think it cost £250 ish all in and it plays all modern games pretty damn well.
Blows all the laptops in that price out of the window performance wise. I suspect you would have to spend £1000+ to get a laptop that can out perform it.
(budget builds are fun)
Last edited by adam271; 1 year ago
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OceanClio
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(Original post by Knortfoxx)
So I would say the specs you probably want are:

Aluminium build (these are more durable than plasticky laptops)

Probably 14" (smaller = more durable and more portable, but less screen space - Almost all backpacks will comfortably fit a 14" laptop in a case)

8gb RAM (Unless you're doing anything RAM heavy, and I can't imagine why you would be, you don't really need any more than this)

maybe 500gb memory (again, it depends. I've never had more than 240gb on a laptop and rarely come close to filling that. If you really need more space, external HDDs are much cheaper than buying a laptop with more space.)

probably a generic processor (Ryzen 5, i5 etc. - 2ghz 4 cores)

I recently got one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenovo-Idea...dp/B07Z11G2YT/ (although I got it cheaper than this) and it works perfectly for everything I use it for. I'm a sucker for lenovo keyboards though.

Edit: cheaper link - https://www.johnlewis.com/lenovo-ide...-gold/p4263655
Thank you so much!!! It's a great recommendation and the aluminium build wasn't something that I thought I needed until now. I'll look into it, thanks again for your help!
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OceanClio
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(Original post by adam271)
What do you need it for?

For your needs (Psychology) I think you could probably get by with a chromebook with like 4GB ram and save yourself a lot of money.
As you know they are great for netflix and documents and general browsing and have great battery life and can get a decent one for under £300.

I wouldn't pay £1000 for a laptop unless your into gaming / video editing.
The wifi isnt really an issue at university tbh and with a decent mobile data plan on your phone you can make do incase the wifi drops.
I love my chromebook because it's light but I've started to notice that it's not very durable which is why I'm willing to spend more on a new on to get something that would hopefully last.

Thanks for your advice, it's definitely going to save me a lot of money!
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spotify95
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(Original post by Mustafa0605)
For £800 you could get intel core i7 8gb ram laptops. There’s no 16gb ram or i9 laptops below £1k
It should be relatively easy to upgrade the RAM yourself to 16GB. I did it on my HP Omen for about £30.

I have seen a couple of laptops with 16GB RAM, and if you're spending £800-£1000 then you really should look out for a Core i7, 16GB RAM and 512GB+ SSD.
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Showaddywaddy
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(Original post by adam271)
They arent as cheap as a thinkpad though (From what I have seen).
I've never really been after raw gaming perforamce just simple games (e.g. Kotor maybe mass effect 1-3) but I am probably going to get a chromebook anyway .

I am actually toying with the idea of taking a PC to university though.
I put toegther an elitedesk G1. Has 8GB ram an SSD and a 1050TI.
Think it cost £250 ish all in and it plays all modern games pretty damn well.
Blows all the laptops in that price out of the window performance wise. I suspect you would have to spend £1000+ to get a laptop that can out perform it.
(budget builds are fun)
Taking a desktop PC to university would be a decent idea, I would want a laptop as well however just to take into university. I live at home so I have my main pc at home but I take a laptop with me to university both just for notes and entertainment (travelling an hour to university can get very boring very quick).

Budget builds can be very satisfying especially if you are able to then sell them on for a large profit on eBay hah.
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