O/T: Laptop recommendations around £500

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Daughter is about to take on my old laptop (Sempron 3400, 1gb ram) when she goes to uni and hence I'm looking to replace it, but clearly the laptop world has moved on! Uses will be for work and pleasure - web design, graphics, video and audio in the main.

Two I'm considering are -

Gateway MX8716b (£549 Tesco)


FUJITSU SIEMENS AMILO LI1818 2G £599 (but elsewhere cheaper)

Anyone know of other 17" dual core (not Mac!) laptops they like? Suggestions gratefully received!
How about Dell? Always have good deals and are extremely quiet, with a good service arrangement - well, in my opinion anyway... and my son's, who does his fair share of web design, graphics etc and detests his Mesh with all its problems, heat and noise. His next stop will be a Macbook I suspect but he is 100% happy with the Dell he has - using Flash, P/Shop, Illustrator etc etc...
I like Dell generally because they are quiet and have a good service arrangement - unlike that of Mesh for example, which was a nightmare experience when a laptop went wrong.
Hope your daughter has a good time - my son has just finished three years and it has flown by. He's now in London for a fourth year - bloody students!
Thanks Aperitif - son is just entering 4th year, so both could be studying next year... and at the same Uni!

Dell - mmm. Have heard some problems from friends, so not too sure about that one, but will certainly look at it based on what you say. ;)


Legendary Member
Hong Kong
IBM Thinkpad.

I've had mine for 3 years and not a problem. Brilliant reliability and memory space which means it's great for work leisure.
Cookie - had one of those 10 years ago! Pentium 100 if I recall - actually, it's still lying around the house somewhere.

I think they're called Lenovo nowadays, but not sure what specs/prices are like as I've never seen one in a high stret retailer. Are they business models?


Legendary Member
Do NOT buy a Dell Latitude if you plan to use the laptop undocked. The internal cooling arrangement is inadequate; they overheat and then hang up. I have had two now for work and they are an endless source of frustration.


Senior Member
I'd opt for a Dell, in my experience they are built well, last a long time and cheap. You can't lose. Unless your the poster above me ;) But I have bought* 5 Desktops and 3 laptops from them, all good.

If your put of by a few bad comments on Dell then have a look at HP. Although you have to remember Dell are selling thousands of PC/laptops a week, your bound to have the odd person who isn't happy.

*Well I say I bought them, I chose them for work


New Member
I recently had to replace my 5 year old Dell Inspiron and got an Acer Aspire 5100. 160gb HD, 2gb ram, 15.4" widescreen, DVD-RW, dual-core AMD processor and Vista Premium for £480.
i bought a dell inspiron 6400 from their factory outlet site

Dell Outlet
and it's fantastic. would definitely recommend them.

i got it from there cos we use dell laptops at work and they are good quality.


Resting in suspended Animation
Dell can have good offers. Dell tend to be rip-off merchants extraordinaire though if you want a decent amount of ram i.e. 2Gb. Their current range of laptops is better as they have been putting in graphics cards that are a lot better.

On the gateway link, looks a decent system but the 950 internal graphics is all right, I have this set up myself. To be honest the prices sound a bit steep for what you're getting i.e. a budget to midrange system that has been suped up a bit i.e. bigger screen, more ram.

If you're wanting heavy video and stuff don't get something with a 950 in, it's all right as I say but it's not a great card that has been optimised for high def (and it manages that). Current dell laptops for your price range or just above have graphics cards that will slaughter the internal ones in the laptops you're looking at (that's not a recommendation for dell, just saying).


New Member
I wanted to buy for my business computer, something with a large screen (and simultaneously a full size keyboard).

There are now called both a "desktop replacement", in that it is not a teeny little laptop that should be carried everywhere, also randomly called an "entertainment laptop" as it has a big screen.

I'd think for someone doing graphiccy stuff - it might be a sensible option to have a large screen.

I was looking at a HP, an Acer, and a Dell, and in the end went for a Dell Inspiron 9400.
All of these have 19 inch screens, all cost £550.

(Note that by the time you add Windows, Office, bag, blah blah and VAT it came to £950 ish).

I am perfectly happy with it - with one exception - there is no desktop port replicator available.

(Also finding Windows Vista a but of a minefield - but I'll get used to it eventually!!)
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