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Author Topic: Which laptop ?  (Read 581 times)

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Migv6 le Frog Fan

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Which laptop ?
« on: 02 December 2019, 21:17:50 »

Swmbo has had her Sony vaeiou for years and has been happy with it but its getting near the end of its life apparently.
She has a budget of approx. £800 to replace it but isn't sure what to go for.
Knowledgeable advice/ opinions welcome.
Tia.
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LC0112G

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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #1 on: 02 December 2019, 22:03:47 »

Well, I like my Microsoft Surface Pro 6. Expensive compared to the competition for an equivalent spec perhaps (Dell, HP etc) , but runs everything I need it to. You can get the newer SP7 i3 version for sub £700. Being able to use it as a tablet is a definite plus, and battery life is very good on mine. Definatley get the type cover keyboard, but I wouldn't bother with the pen or mouse options.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #2 on: 03 December 2019, 05:25:15 »

Rather than just say buy this....
I'd like to know her requirements.
£800 is a lot on a laptop (imho) £400 may be more than adequate without more knowledge.

Is she after lightness? battery life?  touchscreen?  size - Small / Medium / Large? What does she want it for and where does she use it?
« Last Edit: 03 December 2019, 05:26:57 by Jimbob »
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #3 on: 03 December 2019, 08:17:10 »

Always used at home sat on the sofa, plugged into the mains and usually for internet browsing- a lot of it. Several hours per day.
I think reliability and solid robust construction will be high on her list of priorities. Don't think shes overly keen on touchscreen function as she has an ipad that doesn't get much use. She is also a fast touch typist and enjoys a bit of typing.
Tends to download quite a lot of concert footage onto her laptop, so plenty of memory, good image quality could be useful.
The Sony has lasted about 10 years, and she has been impressed by its solid feel and reliability compared to other laptops in the house during that time - Acer and my current Toshiba - so she might be best to go for another Sony ? unless they have declined in recent years ?
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #4 on: 03 December 2019, 08:59:32 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #5 on: 03 December 2019, 10:23:50 »

Solid and robust construction usually means weight, and manufacturers spend their lives trying to makes things lighter.
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Migv6 le Frog Fan

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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #6 on: 03 December 2019, 10:52:35 »

I doubt weight will be much of a concern for her as it wont need to be portable very often. She has thought about an Applemac but knows little about them, and new ones would be out of her budget.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #7 on: 03 December 2019, 10:53:19 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y

I would feel neglected and disappointed if he doesn't.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #8 on: 03 December 2019, 11:29:27 »

I doubt weight will be much of a concern for her as it wont need to be portable very often. She has thought about an Applemac but knows little about them, and new ones would be out of her budget.
You misunderstand, Albs, what I mean is your missus sounds as if she likes a weighty one (because they feel as if they'll take some welly) and most are very light now.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #9 on: 03 December 2019, 11:33:47 »

My missus has an applemac, btw, and tells me they don't behave the same way as a windows laptop. So your missus would have to learn to use it if she bought one, and I'm guessing she wouldn't be fussy on doing that.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #10 on: 03 December 2019, 11:39:09 »

May have to mention to her to do research on quality rather than feel the heft and assume quality. Shes far more intelligent than me, so will probably explain slowly that she has already thought of that.
Her old Sony though, does feel like something that's well put together compared to most others I have seen. Not sure if they are still like that now though. Might be best to visit Laptops R us type shop and have a look at them I suppose
I think that's the problem with Apple. She could really stretch the budget and get one only to find she doesn't get on with it, as it will definitely be different to what she is used to..
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #11 on: 03 December 2019, 12:14:45 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y

With no exceptions. :)
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #12 on: 03 December 2019, 12:30:01 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y

With no exceptions. :)

Except the one from the mid 2000s that he's still using because it's better than anything produced in the last 15 years. Hm, so the same as cars, then?  ;D


Seriously though - don't go Apple; it is a whole new way of working that you'll either love or hate but to be honest, if it's just for browsing the t'interwebs, stick with what you know. I wouldn't like to go back to Windows now but even I'll admit that (as a tech bod) there was a learning curve when I moved to Apple a decade ago just as there'd be a (less steep) learning curve to go back to Windows 10 now.

I'd say steer clear of the bargain basement stuff that still has spinning rust for storage (rather than SSD) and limited RAM (RAM is king) but beyond that, go for something you like the look of because they are all much of a muchness unless you get into "high end" business stuff that is still built for reliability.

The HP Envy laptops look nice but are expensive (decent spec, though)
Look at the Microsoft Surface range, too - small, light, decent build quality and most of them are more powerful than my 9 year old MacBook Pro.

Basically, wander around Currys and pick one that floats your boat, then buy it online where it's cheaper. Just avoid (like I say) spinning discs (aka hard discs) and go for an SSD based machine with a reasonable amount of RAM and you can't go far wrong.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #13 on: 03 December 2019, 12:48:26 »

Always used at home sat on the sofa, plugged into the mains and usually for internet browsing- a lot of it. Several hours per day.
I think reliability and solid robust construction will be high on her list of priorities. Don't think shes overly keen on touchscreen function as she has an ipad that doesn't get much use. She is also a fast touch typist and enjoys a bit of typing.
Tends to download quite a lot of concert footage onto her laptop, so plenty of memory, good image quality could be useful.
The Sony has lasted about 10 years, and she has been impressed by its solid feel and reliability compared to other laptops in the house during that time - Acer and my current Toshiba - so she might be best to go for another Sony ? unless they have declined in recent years ?

If you are after durability, a Lenovo Thinkpad would be a decent way to go if my experience is anything to go by. Our team at work have a total of 12 and they have lasted really well. Our guys spend about 50% of their time on the road so they are chucked in bags, dropped, used on trains etc and generally treated like company property (ie. badly). So far we have had two failures in about 2yrs across 12 units- both due to drinks being spilled on the keyboard ::). I would add that there have been a lot more spillages than that, but not all have resulted in failures.

They are quite costly to buy new (although they can be had within your budget), but I have seen an X260 - which is my current workhorse and will do more than you want it to refurbished - for under £300.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #14 on: 03 December 2019, 15:27:11 »

I have a Dell Precision series at the moment that has been dropped, bashed and lugged around on a daily basis and feels nicely screwed together.

I would not advise an Apple compute platform these days, its the same hardware as all are using but with a fancy (Marmite ?) OS. Sadly the days when they had better compute power are long gone and you no longer get your moneys worth.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #15 on: 03 December 2019, 18:19:37 »

Does she use it on her lap, or on a desk.  Essentially, there are 2 formats, those that have a numeric pad on the keyboard, larger screen, the touchpad offset left a bit.  These tend to be heavier, more consumer orientated.  The other is a bit smaller, no numeric pad, smaller screen, touchpad central, ignoring the very budget ones like Chromebooks, these tend to be budget business (in your pricerange).

I can't use the former on my lap, due to extra weight and the offset mouse.


So you need to sort that bit first.


Spec wise, forget AMD powered ones.  Needs to be a minimum of an i3 CPU, worth spending a little extra on i5 if your budget will stretch. 4Gb RAM is fine for all general office application tasks and email and browsing, but may need more if using Photoshop or CAD type tools. Disk wise, I'd personally sacrifice disk space for an SSD. A 120Gb SSD is the absolute minimum really, and is comfortable enough for Windows, Office and so on.  If you store all your photos and music, or do any video work, larger will be needed.

For the most part, if its sold in PC World, its junk, and will do well to outlive the warranty.

Most of these will be Windows 10 Home, which is good enough unless you want to connect to large work networks.

Ones to avoid are things like HP Pavillion, Dell Inspiron and anything Acer or Asus.  Better options are HP <number>, Dell Latitude etc. If you want the larger style, something like an HP 250 g7 i5, 8Gb RAM, 250Gb SSD, Win10 Home is under £400.  I'm struggling to find something similar in the smaller size...   ...I know because I'm on the lookout myself ;)



I agree with the Mac remarks.  Mrs TB was using mine after she let some pixie smoke out of her (funnily enough, HP 250 G1) laptop.  I had to take it off her before she smashed it in frustration.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #16 on: 03 December 2019, 18:20:46 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y
Though not as crap as the Vaio she currently has.  How that has lasted 10yrs I'll never know, never seen one past about 4 years.
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Eboy.com

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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #17 on: 03 December 2019, 18:26:14 »

Except the one from the mid 2000s that he's still using because it's better than anything produced in the last 15 years. Hm, so the same as cars, then?  ;D
Don't dis the mighty HP 6720s (I think).  Its been an excellent machine, though Core2 Duo is definitely showing its age now. And the machine only has 2Gb RAM.  But still is my day to day machine...   ...based on the fact that the other options not in use are a late 2016 MacBook pro and a circa 2010 Lenovo i5.

The HP Envy laptops look nice but are expensive (decent spec, though)
But with woeful reliability. Really bad.  But consumer oriented, so built to fail.

Look at the Microsoft Surface range, too - small, light, decent build quality and most of them are more powerful than my 9 year old MacBook Pro.
Bro has a Surface Laptop, which is brilliant, but out of Alb's stated range for a decent spec.  And they are not upgradable (easily)
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Migv6 le Frog Fan

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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #18 on: 03 December 2019, 18:28:24 »

Thanks for all the info and opinions. Have now showed her this thread so she can digest it and draw conclusions from it.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #19 on: 03 December 2019, 18:32:25 »

As an example of that HP I mentioned for under £400, Ebuyer have it - https://www.ebuyer.com/879510-hp-250-g7-15-6-full-hd-intel-core-i5-laptop-with-windows-6mp21es-abu - but might be worth going through a cashback site first ;)

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Eboy.com

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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #20 on: 03 December 2019, 18:34:49 »

That said, just looked at the actual specs of it, and the wifi is a bit wank, and with only 1 antenna, might struggle with speed and range.
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Migv6 le Frog Fan

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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #21 on: 03 December 2019, 19:47:26 »

She uses it on her lap. Don't think she will mind if its a bit on the heavy side as the Sony is bloody heavy and she is well used to that.
Budget could possibly be pushed to close to £1k.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #22 on: 03 December 2019, 21:15:12 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y

With no exceptions. :)



Seriously though - don't go Apple; it is a whole new way of working that you'll either love or hate but to be honest, if it's just for browsing the t'interwebs, stick with what you know. I wouldn't like to go back to Windows now but even I'll admit that (as a tech bod) there was a learning curve when I moved to Apple a decade ago just as there'd be a (less steep) learning curve to go back to Windows 10 now.


Yes Apple does take some getting used to.

What really gets me down, when using an iPod, iPad or iPhone, is the constant need to enter, re-enter, and re-enter again both your ID and password.  As I have found recently, heaven help you if you forget any of that; you end up being locked out of your account, with the “account recovery” process taking days to be satisfied it is you trying to get back in! ::) ::)

Yes it is my fault to forget / mis-enter the details, but why the hell does it take sooooooo long to recover your account? :(
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #23 on: 03 December 2019, 21:20:54 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y

With no exceptions. :)



Seriously though - don't go Apple; it is a whole new way of working that you'll either love or hate but to be honest, if it's just for browsing the t'interwebs, stick with what you know. I wouldn't like to go back to Windows now but even I'll admit that (as a tech bod) there was a learning curve when I moved to Apple a decade ago just as there'd be a (less steep) learning curve to go back to Windows 10 now.


Yes Apple does take some getting used to.

What really gets me down, when using an iPod, iPad or iPhone, is the constant need to enter, re-enter, and re-enter again both your ID and password.  As I have found recently, heaven help you if you forget any of that; you end up being locked out of your account, with the “account recovery” process taking days to be satisfied it is you trying to get back in! ::) ::)

Yes it is my fault to forget / mis-enter the details, but why the hell does it take sooooooo long to recover your account? :(
I show my iPad my thumb and it's done.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #24 on: 03 December 2019, 22:14:11 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y

With no exceptions. :)



Seriously though - don't go Apple; it is a whole new way of working that you'll either love or hate but to be honest, if it's just for browsing the t'interwebs, stick with what you know. I wouldn't like to go back to Windows now but even I'll admit that (as a tech bod) there was a learning curve when I moved to Apple a decade ago just as there'd be a (less steep) learning curve to go back to Windows 10 now.


Yes Apple does take some getting used to.

What really gets me down, when using an iPod, iPad or iPhone, is the constant need to enter, re-enter, and re-enter again both your ID and password.  As I have found recently, heaven help you if you forget any of that; you end up being locked out of your account, with the “account recovery” process taking days to be satisfied it is you trying to get back in! ::) ::)

Yes it is my fault to forget / mis-enter the details, but why the hell does it take sooooooo long to recover your account? :(

I have a policy. I never buy anything with a small i in front of the name. It will get complicated.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #25 on: 05 December 2019, 13:03:34 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y

With no exceptions. :)



Seriously though - don't go Apple; it is a whole new way of working that you'll either love or hate but to be honest, if it's just for browsing the t'interwebs, stick with what you know. I wouldn't like to go back to Windows now but even I'll admit that (as a tech bod) there was a learning curve when I moved to Apple a decade ago just as there'd be a (less steep) learning curve to go back to Windows 10 now.


Yes Apple does take some getting used to.

What really gets me down, when using an iPod, iPad or iPhone, is the constant need to enter, re-enter, and re-enter again both your ID and password.  As I have found recently, heaven help you if you forget any of that; you end up being locked out of your account, with the “account recovery” process taking days to be satisfied it is you trying to get back in! ::) ::)

Yes it is my fault to forget / mis-enter the details, but why the hell does it take sooooooo long to recover your account? :(
I show my iPad my thumb and it's done.


Yes indeed, I have found that facility to be very good, and easy, on my new iPad 8) 8) :y

That is after I had sorted out all my troubles with ID details first :D :D ;)
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #26 on: 05 December 2019, 13:32:02 »

As I've seen others say - you can change your passwords when they are (inevitably) breached and leaked. Good luck changing your fingerprints.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #27 on: 05 December 2019, 15:25:34 »

As I've seen others say - you can change your passwords when they are (inevitably) breached and leaked. Good luck changing your fingerprints.

I cannot see the risks are greater with finger print recognition, but to be safe anyway I do not view my bank accounts on my iPad.  I do those on a fully protected PC, with full bank security also loaded for their web sites.

However, I think we must accept that no matter what "security" we all employ, there will always be some clever IT sod (like TB ;D ;D ;)) who will find a way around it eventually. :D ;)
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #28 on: 06 December 2019, 00:38:55 »

Got her indoors a  Macbook pro, 18 months later it needed summat replacing  :P
I tried too fix it & failed after she managed to launch it down the stairs.
Surprising how little there is under the plastic   :o so I removed the drive & flogged it on Ebay as "spares or repair with original box & charger" & it made £85  :)
« Last Edit: 06 December 2019, 00:42:58 by 78bex »
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Eboy.com

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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #29 on: 06 December 2019, 18:00:21 »

Eboy will be along in a minute to let you know that they're all crap. HTH :y

With no exceptions. :)



Seriously though - don't go Apple; it is a whole new way of working that you'll either love or hate but to be honest, if it's just for browsing the t'interwebs, stick with what you know. I wouldn't like to go back to Windows now but even I'll admit that (as a tech bod) there was a learning curve when I moved to Apple a decade ago just as there'd be a (less steep) learning curve to go back to Windows 10 now.


Yes Apple does take some getting used to.

What really gets me down, when using an iPod, iPad or iPhone, is the constant need to enter, re-enter, and re-enter again both your ID and password.  As I have found recently, heaven help you if you forget any of that; you end up being locked out of your account, with the “account recovery” process taking days to be satisfied it is you trying to get back in! ::) ::)

Yes it is my fault to forget / mis-enter the details, but why the hell does it take sooooooo long to recover your account? :(
Because Apple are the 3rd worse arseholes of the universe. After Google and Arsebook.

If you want to do it instantly, it *has* to be from an Apple device, even if its not your Apple device.  The delays if you use a non Apple device is for security reasons, not technical.

Quite how this is more secure is slightly beyond me.


Don't ask how I know this pain. Its been a Lady bits of a week, and its still too raw to talk about it.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #30 on: 06 December 2019, 18:14:20 »

I've never had any trouble with any of the apple devices that I've owned.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #31 on: 06 December 2019, 18:19:13 »

I've never had any trouble with any of the apple devices that I've owned.
I don't technically own my Mac, hence its set up with my work email as my crAppleID.  And Catalina, being a particularly hateful piece of shite OS is too buggy to reset a forgotten AppleID password once its finished with its 8.13Gb download and 90 minute installation time (on an i7 2.9GHz, 16/32Gb RAM*, big SSD)

I will never grumble about Microsoft's update size, quality and speed ever again.


*Buggered if I can remember which, or when I CBA to turn the heap of crap on again.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #32 on: 06 December 2019, 18:23:25 »

The new favourite IT system for all local authorities and payroll providers is iTRENT. Now that is a piece of shite, reset your password(s), use it once, and you're locked out again.
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Re: Which laptop ?
« Reply #33 on: 06 December 2019, 18:26:31 »

The new favourite IT system for all local authorities and payroll providers is iTRENT. Now that is a piece of shite, reset your password(s), use it once, and you're locked out again.
I suspect I've been locked out of systems at work more often in the last 2 days than the entire universe, forever.

Did I mention I'd had a really bad week.
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