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JoeDavola

Laptop for under £400

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One for the hive mind.

Friend wants a new laptop, just for Netflix on holiday and a few other basic things. i.e. nothing powerful but needs to be a windows machine.

But the important thing is a decent screen. He sent me this:

https://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/lenovo-ideapad-320s-14ikb-14-laptop-grey-10169170-pdt.html?srcid=198&cmpid=display_GDN_Remarketing~All_Products~Product_Viewers&mctag=gg_goog_7904&awcmpid=727444555&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIu_bEr5HN2QIVMR7TCh37CgCdEAEYASABEgLVkvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CJKDkriRzdkCFYkS0wodklYECw

and then this:

http://www.argos.co.uk/product/8062868

I've done some googling and it seems that just because a screen is 'full HD' doesn't mean it's any good, there is talk of different types of panels, all 2 or 3 letter abbreviations that I've never heard of. He's in no rush to buy so I'm keeping an eye on HotUKDeals but does anyone here have any recommendations at this price range?

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Screen is everything on a laptop. I'd take matt over gloss. Full HD of course. Need to read some reviews on the screen or see it in person. Good thing about Currys is you can go in-store and compare screens. Some are truly awful.

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1 minute ago, MrPin said:

I have a very nice laptop with a full HD screen, which was sold as a "games machine". This one here I am using today, has a slightly crappier screen.

I bet it cost more than £400 though

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8 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

I bet it cost more than £400 though

I was helping my daughter find a new laptop a few weeks ago.  I was amazed at how much they have risen in cost. 

@JoeDavola we settled on this http://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/laptops-notebooks-and-2-in-1-laptops/inspiron-13-7000/spd/inspiron-13-7370-laptop/cn37005 as a reasonable feature/price point. 

Luckily , I managed to fix here crappy old five year old one so saved the money. :)

From the research though, I’m not sure you will get what you want at that price point 

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57 minutes ago, MrPin said:

One of my mates bought a very high spec business laptop secondhand from the Internet. It's a Lenovo, but a posh one. I admire his thrift.

Yeah second hand would be the way to go if you were fine with that. I always go second hand when I can.

58 minutes ago, One percent said:

I was helping my daughter find a new laptop a few weeks ago.  I was amazed at how much they have risen in cost. 

@JoeDavola we settled on this http://www.dell.com/en-uk/shop/laptops-notebooks-and-2-in-1-laptops/inspiron-13-7000/spd/inspiron-13-7370-laptop/cn37005 as a reasonable feature/price point. 

Luckily , I managed to fix here crappy old five year old one so saved the money. :)

From the research though, I’m not sure you will get what you want at that price point 

Thanks, will check that out.

I agree it's gonna be a challenge at that price, but it's silly because as @gibbon says, the screen is the most important thing and most people don't need the power of a gaming machine. Was hoping there was a less powerful option out there with a top notch screen.

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Just bought a Fusion6 laptop for £210 from Amazon. Looks ok. Does tinters and basic games ok. Doesn't seem to get too hot. If it lasts a few years I will be happy with it.

What false economy have I inflicted upon myself?

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Ideapads aren't that well made.  The only Lenovo worth getting is a Thinkpad.

I'd buy secondhand quality over new cheap.  A few-year-old Thinkpad will be more robust, have a better screen and will have similar or better performance.  At under half the price.

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1 minute ago, billfunk said:

Just bought a Fusion6 laptop for £210 from Amazon. Looks ok. Does tinters and basic games ok. Doesn't seem to get too hot. If it lasts a few years I will be happy with it.

What false economy have I inflicted upon myself?

Hey, I'm typing this on a £70 second hand Chromebook that's seen more use than any laptop I've ever had! I'm all for the cheap option.

I see Dell outlet has a sale on where you can get an extra 12% off....what do you reckon, is Dell's quality any good these days:

http://outlet.euro.dell.com/Online/InventorySearch.aspx?brandid=7&c=uk&cs=ukdfh1&l=en&s=dfh&fid=1895

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Just now, dgul said:

Ideapads aren't that well made.  The only Lenovo worth getting is a Thinkpad.

I'd buy secondhand quality over new cheap.  A few-year-old Thinkpad will be more robust, have a better screen and will have similar or better performance.  At under half the price.

I bought a thinkpad just over a year ago. It had to go back twice for repair and because it was classed as a business machine (I bought as a consumer) they insisted that I paid to have it sent to them. Bunch of sharks (but then so is every company these days)

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2 minutes ago, billfunk said:

Just bought a Fusion6 laptop for £210 from Amazon. Looks ok. Does tinters and basic games ok. Doesn't seem to get too hot. If it lasts a few years I will be happy with it.

What false economy have I inflicted upon myself?

Is it one with 32Gb storage?  Hmmm, they can be an utter bugger to update...they often run out of space.  IIRC, one of the last Win 10 updates was 10Gb.  Putting it on external storage doesn't often work properly either..

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8 minutes ago, dgul said:

Ideapads aren't that well made.  The only Lenovo worth getting is a Thinkpad.

I'd buy secondhand quality over new cheap.  A few-year-old Thinkpad will be more robust, have a better screen and will have similar or better performance.  At under half the price.

Useful to know, thanks. 

What about this?

EDIT: to be honest I don't think he'll be interested in second hand if it's not a proper 'refurb' type.

 

Edited by JoeDavola

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1 minute ago, JoeDavola said:

Hey, I'm typing this on a £70 second hand Chromebook that's seen more use than any laptop I've ever had! I'm all for the cheap option.

I see Dell outlet has a sale on where you can get an extra 12% off....what do you reckon, is Dell's quality any good these days:

http://outlet.euro.dell.com/Online/InventorySearch.aspx?brandid=7&c=uk&cs=ukdfh1&l=en&s=dfh&fid=1895

I’ve bought both my daughters an outlet laptop. As new when arrived and no problems. At the cheaper end, quality is carp. 

I think that new stock is released at 2pm - it might have changed though 

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Just now, Dave Beans said:

Is it one with 32Gb storage?  Hmmm, they can be an utter bugger to update...they often run out of space.  IIRC, one of the last Win 10 updates was 10Gb.  Putting it on external storage doesn't often work properly either..

It did 2 updates straight after it finished introducing itself to me. I opted to do that in the background. Must have taken more than 8 hours. I think it has 64gb storage. I'm not planning on storing much.

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1 minute ago, billfunk said:

It did 2 updates straight after it finished introducing itself to me. I opted to do that in the background. Must have taken more than 8 hours. I think it has 64gb storage. I'm not planning on storing much.

The 64's give you much better working area - especially as Win OS can take up to 20+ gig..

Edited by Dave Beans

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8 minutes ago, JoeDavola said:

Edges aren't the best (most don't think they're Thinkpads at all).  The hinges go on that vintage -- if you look at the pics you can see they've tried to fix them.

Get X if you want portable, T if you want bigger screen, P are power variants (but lower battery), E are budget (avoid), L big screen budget (avoid), just-a-number are for students (avoid), Y/Yoga are convertibles (I've not had one but they seem okay).

Edited by dgul

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17 minutes ago, dgul said:

Edges aren't the best (most don't think they're Thinkpads at all).  The hinges go on that vintage -- if you look at the pics you can see they've tried to fix them.

Get X if you want portable, T if you want bigger screen, P are power variants (but lower battery), E are budget (avoid), L big screen budget (avoid), just-a-number are for students (avoid), Y/Yoga are convertibles (I've not had one but they seem okay).

Excellent thanks.

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3 hours ago, JoeDavola said:

there is talk of different types of panels, all 2 or 3 letter abbreviations that I've never heard of. He's in no rush to buy so I'm keeping an eye on HotUKDeals but does anyone here have any recommendations at this price range?

Most screens, even Full HD ones, will be TN, Twisted Nematic. They have poor colour rendering and a very limited field of view. Ideally you want an IPS (In-Plane Switching) screen, but the various types of VA screens will be better than TN (not sure whether they were commonly fitted to laptops, TBH). If a laptop spec doesn't actively boast about it having an IPS or *VA panel, assume it's TN.

I'm not sure £400 will get you a new laptop with an IPS screen but you might find a clearance model or something. Ebuyer were banging out a Lenovo one for £500 a couple of weeks ago (last year's model I think) but they seem to have sold out now.

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1 hour ago, One percent said:

I bought a thinkpad just over a year ago. It had to go back twice for repair and because it was classed as a business machine (I bought as a consumer) they insisted that I paid to have it sent to them. Bunch of sharks (but then so is every company these days)

Unlucky, unfortunately not all Thinkpads are of the same build quality. Louis Rossman (the MacBook repair guy on YT swears by some of the models as the best out there and he's seen a few machines), don't remember the best models to get but they are definitely mentioned on his channel.

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1 minute ago, onlyme said:

Unlucky, unfortunately not all Thinkpads are of the same build quality. Louis Rossman (the MacBook repair guy on YT swears by some of the models as the best out there and he's seen a few machines), don't remember the best models to get but they are definitely mentioned on his channel.

It is a thinkpad yoga. Very fast and it does get good reviews. Motherboard went within a week or two.  Then one of the keys fell off when nearly a year old 

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6 minutes ago, onlyme said:

Unlucky, unfortunately not all Thinkpads are of the same build quality. Louis Rossman (the MacBook repair guy on YT swears by some of the models as the best out there and he's seen a few machines), don't remember the best models to get but they are definitely mentioned on his channel.

Personally, I'll only by X or T.  They're well made and relatively easy to find parts and repair if they do go wrong.  There are also lots that come off the corporate refresh circuit, which keeps the prices down.

[well, I've bought E, L and 'number' for staff, and regretted it on every occasion]

Edited by dgul

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