I need a new laptop for my daughter, any recommended?

Manonabike

Über Member
The budget is around £400.

The basic spec is 15" screen or larger
Best processor for the budget - preferably Intel
4GB RAM
Win7

I'm told that Dell are quite good but no idea what model.

Thanks in advance
 

Milo

Guru
Location
Melksham, Wilts
What's it being used for?
 
OP
Manonabike

Manonabike

Über Member
Oh gosh, from watching dvds to word processing, from internet browsing to photo editing and everything in between BUT nothing dedicated, other than Facebook I guess ^_^
 

defy-one

Guest
I get asked this all the time. Get a midrange cpu. The biggest performance boost will come from memory. Most are coming with 3Gb of mem. Try and go for a 4Gb or more dependibg on how deep your pockets are
 

ian turner

Veteran
Location
Leicestershire
With that spec it's practically any laptop as there are no power hungry requirements.
Given the mention of photo editting disk capacity would seem more important than processor speed and
build quality though there isn't much of a consistent opinion on that outside of the sell your children and buy a mac brigade.
Performance boost from memory only comes if you're using applications that need it and despite using vista I have no problem with 2gb despite using a software development system and film editting software on it so unless you're editting photos in raw format you're not pushing the limits there. As long as you have a 64 bit os installed, most laptops now sold come with that but check just in case, then 4gb will be easily enough for your requirements and with room for expansion
 
I'd be wary of Dell. Used to be when everything I got was Dell but in the last few years have had two laptops (for my daughters) and one notebook. The former both fell apart after a couple of years of light use and the batteries died after a year followed by both machines dying terminally with disk failures within a couple of months of each other just after two and a half years. The notebook the battery died after a year. We replaced them with Sonys bought from John Lewis and they have been soldiering on doing a sterling job now for four years. We have three other Sonys lying around dating back over 12 years now for the oldest. They are all still in good shape despite having a hard life being carried around every day in a Brompton bag, the batteries are still just fine and apart from being a bit slow now being old machines with old software and processors, are still perfectly usable laptops.
 

Octet

Veteran
As the others have said, any mid-ranged laptop shall be suitable and the more RAM the better.
One thing that I do suggest, is if it is going to need to withstand a fair number of knocks or small drops then in past experience Fujitsu Siemens seems to survive the best... yes, I've dropped my fair share of laptops. :blush:
 
I'd be wary of Dell. Used to be when everything I got was Dell but in the last few years have had two laptops (for my daughters) and one notebook. The former both fell apart after a couple of years of light use and the batteries died after a year followed by both machines dying terminally with disk failures within a couple of months of each other just after two and a half years. The notebook the battery died after a year. We replaced them with Sonys bought from John Lewis and they have been soldiering on doing a sterling job now for four years. We have three other Sonys lying around dating back over 12 years now for the oldest. They are all still in good shape despite having a hard life being carried around every day in a Brompton bag, the batteries are still just fine and apart from being a bit slow now being old machines with old software and processors, are still perfectly usable laptops.
The Dells were actually using Sony batteries, and I assume Seagate disks. I had a similar generation of Dell and Apple and they did about the same.

Don't pay for the extra RAM, do get a good CPU. Extra RAM is cheap, do get 64bit Windows. RAM is cheap and easy to add later, it will give a much needed speed boost at the 18 month mark. Hard disk isn't much of an issue, an external drive is more useful.

I'd buy from John Lewis for the two year guarantee, most actual computing brands are pretty solid these days. Everyone has their horror stories too. We have HP, Samsung and Toshiba at work. The Toshiba are just exquisite, but bonkers expensive, the HPs are our portable dev environments (and for £450 came with Dre Beats), the Samsung is a demo machine for being £550 and coming with a NVidia chipset.

As the others have said, any mid-ranged laptop shall be suitable and the more RAM the better.
One thing that I do suggest, is if it is going to need to withstand a fair number of knocks or small drops then in past experience Fujitsu Siemens seems to survive the best... yes, I've dropped my fair share of laptops. :blush:
Extra RAM is a false economy as you tend to pay a premium for it, for 1GB difference you can often purchase 4+GB and install it yourself.
 

sabian92

Über Member
I would personally avoid Dell - they have fallen apart on me and people I know. Me and my mate got identical (well, his had a webcam in it but that's by the by) and they fell apart at around the 12 month mark. They were identical laptops as well.

At the moment I use an Asus netbook - the only damage done to it has been done by me taking it apart (IT student, what do you expect? :biggrin:). Decent enough, works and I do everything you want yours to do on it including Photoshop, web design, video editing, word processing, the lot.

I'd get her a 2nd hand one in decent nick. If you format it and re-install Windows on it it's as good as new anyway as long as it isn't visibly damaged. You'd get a lot more for your money as well.
 
OP
Manonabike

Manonabike

Über Member

Rusky, thanks for the link.

Perhaps I didn't make it clear in my opening post but I was after recommended laptos make and models rather that what to buy or not to buy - I have a technical background so I'm familiar with those things. On the other hand I don't buy hardware all the time and I thought I could get good info on laptos you have purchase recently.

My daugher is at university and like many students use their laptops for various things. She doesn't play games but listen to music, watches films, download videos (youtube) a bit of skype, photoshop, wordprocessing and DTP for Uni.

Her current laptop (on its last leg) was built around a midrange AMD processors of the time (4 years ago) 4 GB RAM and a descent video card, nothing too sophisticated though.

The ASUS seems interesting and the price is good too.

Good tip buying from John Lewis, specialy that they do a price match.
 

Raging Squirrel

Well-Known Member
Location
North West
I too would avoid Dell

the new Fujitsu Lifebooks are amazing spec's for the money, I've seen them somewhere for £300, 2Gb quad core, 6Gb RAM and a 1TB hard drive
 

Octet

Veteran
I too would avoid Dell

the new Fujitsu Lifebooks are amazing spec's for the money, I've seen them somewhere for £300, 2Gb quad core, 6Gb RAM and a 1TB hard drive
Yeah,
Dell make decent desktops but I would stay away from their laptops and the Fujitsu Siemens are not only good for your buck but also survive a fair number of knocks.
 
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