mnot
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mnot's Laptop recommendation thread

Everything is flexible

Budget
£250

Subject being studied
NA

Software that will be used
Chrome remote desktop/Office/Netflix/internet/PDF reader

Screen size
Other (10+ )

Operating system preference
Other (windows 10 or tablet OS such as android/ios)

Minimum amount of RAM
8GB

Minimum storage requirement
128GB (flexible as I mostly store important stuff on onedrive/icloud)

Weight limit
As light as possible...

Used for playing games?
No

If yes, what games?


Touchscreen needed?
Don't mind

Are there any specific ports you need?
2 x USB, standard headphone port

What devices do you have currently?
Dell XPS800, lenovo desktop not sure on the model, iphone XS max, MBP (2014, RIP)

Laptops researched:
Laptop 1 -
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0903684058896/

Laptop 2 -

Laptop 3 -

Additional Comments:
So I have a 2014 MBP and its time to replace it (after 6-7 years of service the battery is dying, and I believe its not worth replacing, I will sell off the laptop to CEX or something...)

I used this laptop for undergrad & masters however now as a PhD I have 2 very good desktop PCs.

This laptop will be mostly for use in the evenings whilst in bed or on the sofa or for light work on a train etc.

Ideally it will be suitable to run chrome remote desktop & windows remote desktop.

I would also consider a tablet as an alternative but I would like a 10+ inch screen a keyboard & mouse capability.

I only want to spend a minimal amount as this is a casual portable device for limited usage. Although I would like good battery life so I can use on trains/planes.

Im really unsure on wether to go tablet or laptop all suggestions & advice welcome
Last edited by mnot; 8 months ago
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Joy L
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(Original post by mnot)
mnot's Laptop recommendation thread

Everything is flexible
Budget
£250

Subject being studied
NA

Software that will be used
Chrome remote desktop/Office/Netflix/internet/PDF reader

Screen size
Other (10+ )

Operating system preference
Other (windows 10 or tablet OS such as android/ios)

Minimum amount of RAM
8GB

Minimum storage requirement
128GB (flexible)

Weight limit
As light as possible...

Used for playing games?
No

If yes, what games?


Touchscreen needed?
Don't mind

Are there any specific ports you need?
2 x USB, standard headphone port

What devices do you have currently?
Dell XPS800, lenovo desktop not sure on the model, iphone XS max, MBP (2014, RIP)

Laptops researched:
Laptop 1 -

Laptop 2 -

Laptop 3 -

Additional Comments:
So I have a 2014 MBP and its time to replace it (after 6-7 years of service the battery is dying, and I believe its not worth replacing, I will sell off the laptop to CEX or something...)

I used this laptop for undergrad & masters however now as a PhD I have 2 very good desktop PCs.

This laptop will be mostly for use in the evenings whilst in bed or on the sofa or for light work on a train etc.

Ideally it will be suitable to run chrome remote desktop & windows remote desktop.

I would also consider a tablet as an alternative but I would like a 10+ inch screen a keyboard & mouse capability.

I only want to spend a minimal amount as this is a casual portable device for limited usage. Although I would like good battery life so I can use on trains/planes.

Im really unsure on wether to go tablet or laptop all suggestions & advice welcome
does it have to be a laptop, or would you be happy with a chromebook.
also, for 250 punds you'd be hard pushed to find a laptop with 8gb ram
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mnot
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(Original post by Joy L)
does it have to be a laptop, or would you be happy with a chromebook.
also, for 250 punds you'd be hard pushed to find a laptop with 8gb ram
RAM is flexible
Also happy to consider good quality refurbished, and ill adjust price if it is sensible to invest mor. Really just looking for ideas, im not sure what to get.

I set the price low as this is very much a tertiary PC and as such dont want to spend more then is necessary

Also yes ill look at chromebooks, how are they with microsoft office & remote desktop?
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mnot
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#4
Any thoughts on this:
https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0903684058896/
Im considering offering like £220 & see what the seller says.
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username5383500
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£250 isn't going to get you anything new worth talking about. £350-400 is more the entry point and even then laptops are pretty lacklustre.

As far as Chromebooks go, there is an RDP app on the Play Store but personally I'd rather just have a dedicated Windows host. Similarly tablets probably aren't a good idea.

Used is basically your only option, which comes with all the used caveats (unknown condition, needing to reinstall the OS, potentially needing to make hardware upgrades, probably poor battery life, etc.). I can see why you might not want to spend out loads on something that won't be your primary device, although part of me is weighing up the value proposition of spending out on a good laptop that'll last, vs buying something used and needing to replacing it sooner down the line.

Of note on the Facebook laptop, the seller lists it as an i5 6200 quad core. Well for starters there is no 6200, the mobile chip is the 6200U and it's only a dual core rather than a quad core. I'd be wary of anything else they got wrong. The price looks right for this laptop, so don't expect to get anything knocked off on account of the misadvertised spec. But the 6200U is a 2015 CPU and odds are doesn't perform any different to whatever is in your MacBook. I can't see a compelling argument to spend £250 on a new used laptop (that's going to have a similar battery life issue as your MacBook), when you could spend that money replacing the battery in the MacBook you are have and are familiar with.

In all honesty, if you're willing to spend more you can get a laptop that is actually better than your MacBook. If you're not, fixing the MacBook may make far more sense than buying a used laptop with similar spec and age issues.
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mnot
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(Original post by bIuewolf2l)
zz
Thank you (glad to see you've returned to TSR).

(Original post by AcseI)
£250 isn't going to get you anything new worth talking about. £350-400 is more the entry point and even then laptops are pretty lacklustre.

As far as Chromebooks go, there is an RDP app on the Play Store but personally I'd rather just have a dedicated Windows host. Similarly tablets probably aren't a good idea.

Used is basically your only option, which comes with all the used caveats (unknown condition, needing to reinstall the OS, potentially needing to make hardware upgrades, probably poor battery life, etc.). I can see why you might not want to spend out loads on something that won't be your primary device, although part of me is weighing up the value proposition of spending out on a good laptop that'll last, vs buying something used and needing to replacing it sooner down the line.

Of note on the Facebook laptop, the seller lists it as an i5 6200 quad core. Well for starters there is no 6200, the mobile chip is the 6200U and it's only a dual core rather than a quad core. I'd be wary of anything else they got wrong. The price looks right for this laptop, so don't expect to get anything knocked off on account of the misadvertised spec. But the 6200U is a 2015 CPU and odds are doesn't perform any different to whatever is in your MacBook. I can't see a compelling argument to spend £250 on a new used laptop (that's going to have a similar battery life issue as your MacBook), when you could spend that money replacing the battery in the MacBook you are have and are familiar with.

In all honesty, if you're willing to spend more you can get a laptop that is actually better than your MacBook. If you're not, fixing the MacBook may make far more sense than buying a used laptop with similar spec and age issues.
Yea, I was originally going to replace the battery

I think it will cost about £130 for a replacement battery BUT I figured with Covid it will be a nightmare getting an appointment, and then it would probably cost me travel costs etc. so I figured it would basically net cost me £200 and a lot of time, which is why I thought id see if I could find a low budget replacement then see if i could get some scrap cost back for the MBP.

Perhaps its better to just ride out going to the apple store at some point (although im in a local lockdown, so not sure if im even allowed to go atm :confused:).
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username5383500
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(Original post by mnot)
Yea, I was originally going to replace the battery

I think it will cost about £130 for a replacement battery BUT I figured with Covid it will be a nightmare getting an appointment, and then it would probably cost me travel costs etc. so I figured it would basically net cost me £200 and a lot of time, which is why I thought id see if I could find a low budget replacement then see if i could get some scrap cost back for the MBP.

Perhaps its better to just ride out going to the apple store at some point (although im in a local lockdown, so not sure if im even allowed to go atm :confused:).
You might end up slightly better off financially if you were able to sell the MacBook, although finding a buyer for a MacBook with a dodgy battery wouldn't be easy. However on balance it'd be really hard to recommend doing that.

Up front, £200 to replace the MacBook battery is still going to be cheaper than a £250+ replacement laptop. And of course you know the life history of your MacBook. You could spend £250 on the used ThinkPad, and find that battery life is equally poor. So that'd be a battery replacement anyway, plus travel costs if you didn't want to do that yourself. And of course while the seller claims it's well looked after, you'll never be able to verify that. You could get it home and a week later end up with a storage failure, or a dead CPU, or any other unforeseeable hardware failure. It's not likely, but you have absolutely no way of knowing, whereas at least you know how well taken care of your MacBook is.

The other option, if there's no urgency then don't bother buying anything. Run the MacBook into the ground. It's not like a dead battery stops you using the laptop, you can still plug it in and run off mains power. Might not be good for travel, but you might get away with it for bed/sofa work. Then when it's totally given up just buy a decent replacement.
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mnot
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(Original post by AcseI)
You might end up slightly better off financially if you were able to sell the MacBook, although finding a buyer for a MacBook with a dodgy battery wouldn't be easy. However on balance it'd be really hard to recommend doing that.

Up front, £200 to replace the MacBook battery is still going to be cheaper than a £250+ replacement laptop. And of course you know the life history of your MacBook. You could spend £250 on the used ThinkPad, and find that battery life is equally poor. So that'd be a battery replacement anyway, plus travel costs if you didn't want to do that yourself. And of course while the seller claims it's well looked after, you'll never be able to verify that. You could get it home and a week later end up with a storage failure, or a dead CPU, or any other unforeseeable hardware failure. It's not likely, but you have absolutely no way of knowing, whereas at least you know how well taken care of your MacBook is.

The other option, if there's no urgency then don't bother buying anything. Run the MacBook into the ground. It's not like a dead battery stops you using the laptop, you can still plug it in and run off mains power. Might not be good for travel, but you might get away with it for bed/sofa work. Then when it's totally given up just buy a decent replacement.
Yea, I dont want to sell the MBP to a consumer on facebook or ebay, as i have used it pretty much 6hours+ a day for at least 4 of the 6.5 years Ive had it, and I think at some point it will die and I wouldn't want to scam someone with a computer that dies shortly after I shift it.

I think a tablet would really be the most sensible replacement it will mostly be used for reading PDFs, netflix & general internet use. I just didnt want to lose remote desktop, but now im starting to think its worth sacking that off for how little I'll need it (& its impractical to use whilst travelling due to the need for constant internet to use).

Are their any decent budget tablets you would recommend? (and at least with a tablet I can still use MS teams, office etc. anyway). Or should I be looking at the £400ish mark for a decent one?
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username5383500
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#9
(Original post by mnot)
Yea, I dont want to sell the MBP to a consumer on facebook or ebay, as i have used it pretty much 6hours+ a day for at least 4 of the 6.5 years Ive had it, and I think at some point it will die and I wouldn't want to scam someone with a computer that dies shortly after I shift it.

I think a tablet would really be the most sensible replacement it will mostly be used for reading PDFs, netflix & general internet use. I just didnt want to lose remote desktop, but now im starting to think its worth sacking that off for how little I'll need it (& its impractical to use whilst travelling due to the need for constant internet to use).

Are their any decent budget tablets you would recommend? (and at least with a tablet I can still use MS teams, office etc. anyway). Or should I be looking at the £400ish mark for a decent one?
I'll be honest, I don't have the foggiest idea what the budget tablet market is like nowadays. Gofre might have better suggestions on that front. It's probably going to be an Android tablet, as even the cheapest iPad is going to be pushing your budget. But I wouldn't be surprised if even the cheapest Chromebook/Windows based laptop offer a better all round experience than cheap Android tablets. Same sort of story at the £400 mark I imagine, only the laptops actually start becoming a bit more desirable.

I feel like it depends a little on what you value more. The "netflix and reading in bed" experience will probably be nicer on a lightweight tablet, but the general "getting work done" experience will be superior on a Windows laptop. A Windows laptop is naturally going to be a better all rounder too than an Android tablet, but that might be irrelevant if 95% of your use case is casual at home use and very little work. Then again a Windows laptop may have better longevity than an Android tablet. It's a tough one.

For what it's worth, you wouldn't be scamming someone by selling your MacBook, that is just the risk you take buying used. From a buyer perspective, there's risk involved, but that doesn't mean as a seller you can't be upfront about it.
Last edited by username5383500; 8 months ago
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Gofre
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(Original post by AcseI)
Gofre might have better suggestions on that front.
Not really, I stopped paying attention to Android tablets years ago!
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mnot
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(Original post by AcseI)
I'll be honest, I don't have the foggiest idea what the budget tablet market is like nowadays. Gofre might have better suggestions on that front. It's probably going to be an Android tablet, as even the cheapest iPad is going to be pushing your budget. But I wouldn't be surprised if even the cheapest Chromebook/Windows based laptop offer a better all round experience than cheap Android tablets. Same sort of story at the £400 mark I imagine, only the laptops actually start becoming a bit more desirable.

I feel like it depends a little on what you value more. The "netflix and reading in bed" experience will probably be nicer on a lightweight tablet, but the general "getting work done" experience will be superior on a Windows laptop. A Windows laptop is naturally going to be a better all rounder too than an Android tablet, but that might be irrelevant if 95% of your use case is casual at home use and very little work. Then again a Windows laptop may have better longevity than an Android tablet. It's a tough one.

For what it's worth, you wouldn't be scamming someone by selling your MacBook, that is just the risk you take buying used. From a buyer perspective, there's risk involved, but that doesn't mean as a seller you can't be upfront about it.
PRSOM - Thank you for helping me think things through.
Im going to take a week to decide.

I think Ill either get a moderate tablet (after having a deeper dive of options on the market).
or
I might just nurse my laptop till the end of the year & ask family to group together and get me a decent tablet for XMAS.
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username5383500
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(Original post by Gofre)
Not really, I stopped paying attention to Android tablets years ago!
Much like me then, the last one I touched was a 2014 Note 10.1

(Original post by mnot)
PRSOM - Thank you for helping me think things through.
Im going to take a week to decide.

I think Ill either get a moderate tablet (after having a deeper dive of options on the market).
or
I might just nurse my laptop till the end of the year & ask family to group together and get me a decent tablet for XMAS.
That sounds like a fair plan, definitely not worth rushing into a purchase. Besides Bluewolf I don't know of anyone else on TSR that may give solid advice on the matter.

The Android tablet market has been in heavy decline over the years. There's a few brands in the super cheap category but Samsung seems to dominate the "this is what I'd actually buy" category. And their range is fairly straightforward by the looks of it, premium and no-premium in different sizes, so it shouldn't be too hard to choose something. You are of course free to come back for advice when you want to buy
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mnot
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(Original post by AcseI)
Much like me then, the last one I touched was a 2014 Note 10.1


That sounds like a fair plan, definitely not worth rushing into a purchase. Besides Bluewolf I don't know of anyone else on TSR that may give solid advice on the matter.

The Android tablet market has been in heavy decline over the years. There's a few brands in the super cheap category but Samsung seems to dominate the "this is what I'd actually buy" category. And their range is fairly straightforward by the looks of it, premium and no-premium in different sizes, so it shouldn't be too hard to choose something. You are of course free to come back for advice when you want to buy
PRSOM.

I think its just looking for the right balance, I'll have a look around see what I can find, & yes I might well be back here in a few days time.
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mnot
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Just an update.

Ive decided to go with a tablet. And ive given up on the idea of being frugal and finding a very low cost solution. Due to the 2nd lockdown ive not needed to be as fast on a replacement.

Right now im torn between 2 devices ipad pro 11" and surface pro 7.

I think im going to go with the ipad pro because I like the crisp user experience and its great for light work on the go, netflix etc. Having windows 10 would be nice for the additional freedom in the software but I just think for mobile use Id better off with ipad OS 95% of the time.
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username5383500
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(Original post by mnot)
Just an update.

Ive decided to go with a tablet. And ive given up on the idea of being frugal and finding a very low cost solution. Due to the 2nd lockdown ive not needed to be as fast on a replacement.

Right now im torn between 2 devices ipad pro 11" and surface pro 7.

I think im going to go with the ipad pro because I like the crisp user experience and its great for light work on the go, netflix etc. Having windows 10 would be nice for the additional freedom in the software but I just think for mobile use Id better off with ipad OS 95% of the time.
That sounds fair, if you want some additional insight on iPad vs Surface Pro there's a thread here. But if you think you'd be better off with iPad OS then you're absolutely right, that's likely to be the better option for you.
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