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Which laptop?

Jonpe
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Registered: ‎05-09-2016

Which laptop?

My five-year-old Dell Inspiron is telling me that a catastrophic hard disk failure is imminent, and last night it was causing me problems.  Does anyone have a recommendation for a decent laptop.  I don't do gaming so it won't need to be super fast, but I always like to get something better than what I've got.

I had a quick look at the Argos, John Lewis, and Dell websites last night but didn't see one that stood out.  (Ironically this is when my computer started playing up; perhaps it recognised the threat of obsolescence.)  One of my old bosses loved his HP despite their reputation being less than excellent at the turn of the century.  An American I chat to on line sometimes, swears by Lenovo which is a brand sold by BT (at least it was when I was with them).

My current one has an i3 processor which I notice is still mentioned in TV ads although I see there are several generations of i3, i5, and i7 so the current i3 is presumably superior to the one I've got.  Then there is the question of SSD versus HDD.  Is a 256GB SSD going to be sufficient?  A RAM of 8GB sounds OK; I currently have 4 (I think).

Having said all that, you can't beat personal recommendation so I'll sound out my colleagues and hopefully some of you will be kind enough to let me know your recommendations and, just as importantly, which ones to avoid like the plague.

13 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎16-10-2014

Re: Which laptop?

What about getting yourself a Surface @Jonpe? Giving you the advantage of power and portability, and the latest Windows OS as well. They do look good in the averts (well they would) but maybe worth a try and if you buy from JL and your not happy you can always return it.

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Which laptop?

I have just bought an HP250 G5 which was dirt cheap as it was old stock

http://www.ebuyer.com/759316-hp-250-g5-laptop-x0q09ea-x0q09ea-abu

As it has a M2 SSD it isn't upgradeable so I will need to use an external hard drive

one thing to note is that the HP warranty period isn't correct which I will need to sort out

Other than that it seems to do everything I want at present

Highlighted
DWC
Hooked
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Registered: ‎14-09-2016

Re: Which laptop?

HP 250 G5 Laptop X0Q09EA

 
  • Intel Core i3-5005U 2GHz
  • 4GB RAM + 256GB SSD
  • 15.6" FHD + DVDRW
  • WIFI + Webcam + Bluetooth
  • Windows 10 Pro 64bit

Sorry, this product is currently out of stock

 

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Which laptop?

@Jonpe Check out the Dell site, and see what they are offering on the cheapest and basic laptop...

 

I have an inspiron ( and had many before this over the years )... currently it is Inspiron 5558 15 inch .. with 250 gb hdd.. and 4 GB  ram  It orignally came with windows 8.1.   but I dumped that, and bought a windows 7 professional cd/dvd from a suppllier on ebay..

 

As you are saying you dont do games and much surfing...you don`t really need a Hi-spech super duper machine.. so why not buy a replacement HDD from EBAY... for aboutt £40 for 500Gb and a Windows 7 DVD for about £30...  you will then have a new machine !..

 

if you get yourself a HDD caddy, you can easily use it to remove stuff from your old drive, and copy it direct to the new one...

 

beeceegee
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Re: Which laptop?

I'm quite fond of my Acer Aspire. It's 7 years old now, but has an i5 processor and an Nvidia graphics card. I upped the memory from 4GB to 8GB many years ago. More recently when it began to struggle I suspected the Windows 7 OS had become corrupted rather than actual hardware, so I did the free Windows 10 upgrade, but just to be sure I also swapped the HDD for a SSD. It was like having a new machine! I put the old HDD in a USB caddy as one of the backup drives.

Anyway the Aspires are reasonable value, and there are many models / configurations to choose from depending on requirements

Jonpe
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Re: Which laptop?

Thank you all for your comments.

@Mook  Portability isn't important.  My laptop lives on my coffee table with the occasional day trip to the dining table.  That's why I didn't expect the HDD to be the first thing to go.  I understand HDDs don't like the computer being moved while they are in use; I always shut down before moving the laptop.  The latest Windows OS will be forced upon me whatever I buy, and whilst I like Windows 7, it will not be supported forever.

@Oldjim  When I bought this Dell from Argos the warranty seemed to start from the time the computer was dispatched from Dell to Argos.  I'm not sure whether this is the norm, or even legal.

@shutter  I didn't say I didn't do much surfing; I do a fair bit.  As I said I always try to buy something that's better than what I've got.  You know the saying in computers:  "If we have it in stock, it's out-of-date."  I stupidly (because I was in a hurry) bought a laptop with Windows Vista and only half a GB of RAM so I know what I'm talking about in this regard. Smiley  I could change the HDD, which is what Dell suggest, but since one of the hinges on the laptop is broken (plastic fatigue if there is such a thing) it's probably safest to get a new computer.

@beeceegee  Yes, I've come across a couple of people who have Acer laptops and are quite happy with them but if they've never tried any other brand they can't make a comparison.  I'll certainly have a look at Acer's website.

 

I forgot to mention that I'd like whatever computer I buy to have an SD card slot.

 

wisty
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Re: Which laptop?

Spec is more important than brand. They all use basically the same components.

Choose a screen size (dimensions & pixel density), choose a storage capacity, check on the ports you need/want then get as much RAM as you feel like paying for.

Personally I like the Surface tablets (I have a couple) because I can use them as either a laptop with a keyboard, or as a tablet with decent handwriting recognition using the stylus. I also use a lynx 1010 Win 10 tablet (£99.00 from Sainsbury!) because it does what I need for basic browsing while allowing me to run windows apps occasionally.

If you only use the laptop for basic browsing & e-mail with the odd spreadsheet or letter, consider a lynx or one of the other cheapo Win 10 tablets. For your use I would get a stand, and decent Bluetooth KB & Mouse rather than the portable KB that they sell to go with the tablet. £120 will set you up.

Community Veteran
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Re: Which laptop?

@Jonpe

my HP is the same and no it isn't legal and can be sorted - of course you still have the 2 year legal right against the retailer until we leave the EU that is

in reply to an earlier post - yes I know it is no longer available but I thought that the spec would be interesting

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Re: Which laptop?


@Jonpe wrote:

 

@Mook  Portability isn't important.  My laptop lives on my coffee table with the occasional day trip to the dining table.  That's why I didn't expect the HDD to be the first thing to go.  I understand HDDs don't like the computer being moved while they are in use; I always shut down before moving the laptop.  The latest Windows OS will be forced upon me whatever I buy, and whilst I like Windows 7, it will not be supported forever.

 

 


The life of an electromechanical hard drive is very variable.  On average they live for longer than the computer but the distribution is quite wide and I have seen one die after just over a year of sporadic use by an old lady who never moved her laptop.  I would strongly recommend getting a computer with an SSD.  If you look at how much space you have used on your current hard drive that should be a good indicator of how much capacity you need.  256 GB is plenty for most people.    

VileReynard
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Registered: ‎01-09-2007

Re: Which laptop?

Why not take it to the repair shop and shove a replacement disk in?

Of course, you might find that some other component fails imminently.

Community Veteran
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Re: Which laptop?

As above, if you are happy with the performance, a replacement HDD could be the easiest option. I had a similar issue last year, and got an SSD from eBuyer, it came with software to copy my existing HDD, so once that was done, it was just a case of swapping the disks. Once done I got a massive increase in performance, alas the overheating CPU due to dust clogging it up meant it still cut out when it got hot.

 

 

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎15-06-2007

Re: Which laptop?

update - contacted HP and sent them an electronic copy of the receipt - all now sorted

Jonpe
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Re: Which laptop?

I'm sorry this feedback is a bit late but the HDD gave up shortly after my last post.  Firstly, thank you all for your helpful comments and suggestions.

There didn't seem any point in getting a new HDD since the computer had other problems:  I've already mentioned that one of the hinges was coming off, and at Christmas time the keyboard started causing problems, e.g. some of the keys in the bottom row of letters, like the X and the V, would need to be pressed repeatedly before they would work.  This gradually spread to other keys (?/'@ etc.).  You never realise how many Xs you use until that key is causing problems.

Because the matter was now becoming urgent I didn't have time to do quite as much research as I'd have liked to, and mainly compared Dell and HP models with a quick glance at Lenovo and Acer.  I eventually settled for a Dell Inspiron 17 5000.  I bought it on Friday 16th June and spent most of the following day setting it up (updates took about five hours!), and by midday on Sunday I was almost starting to like Windows 10.  I'm using Firefox and Thunderbird so most of the time what I see on the screen is pretty much what I'm used to from my old computer.  There seems to be a slight known problem with Dell's bloatware which I'm still investigating.

Not much data was lost in the disaster, just a few relatively unimportant photos and my history and favourites files, but I remember the sites I visit regularly anyway.

Thanks again for your help (I can't click on This fixed my problem since everyone's contributions were valuable).

Edit:  I notice that despite logging in, this forum doesn't recognise me as the OP (presumably since I'm on a new computer) so I can effectively thank myself and click that I've fixed my own problem. Smiley

Re-edit:  It's caught up with me; I can no longer thank myself but I can still click that my posts, with the exception of the original one obviously, fixed my problem.