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Thread: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

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    Question Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Hi.

    Left this kind of late (he moves into student accomodation on Sat 25th Sept!) but I've been asked to research a good specification/build quality laptop for around £500 for my 19 year old Nephew who's off to do a Business Management degree at University. Something that will likely see him through the next three years.

    Budget: Around £500 (upto a maximum of say £650 for something extra special!)

    Screen size: Been asked for around 15" but I wouldn't rule out 13" (ultraportable)

    Resolution requirements: Be able to display 720p video

    Matte or glossy (reflective) screen: Not bothered so long as it can display good quality images/video

    Laptop use: Word processing, e-mail, internet (incl. youtube videos etc), music

    CPU: Core i3 or i5 would be nice

    How long does the battery need to last: Minimum of 4hrs but something around 6 to 8 hrs would be ideal

    Does it need to be portable: Preferably, yes as I imagine it will be regularly carried around

    Do you require Blu-Ray: no but a DVD-RW would be handy

    Do you require HDMI output: Not really

    Do you have a preferred brand: Dell or HP

    Are there brands you would prefer to avoid: Not really

    Would you be happy with a refurbished laptop: Prefer a new one

    Must have: Webcam, Bluetooth, Wireless N. Good quality speakers would be good. 3 or 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, Windows 7 Home Premium (64-Bit)

    So far after a quick browse, Acer Aspire Timeline X5820T ticks most boxes but is reaching the maximum budget at £629.99! Dell Inspiron N5010 (Core i5) which starts around £479 seems reasonable. And a HP G62-a21SA from Staples @ £399 seems like a cracking deal.

    Thanks.

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Seems a similar set of criteria for when I looked for my stepmum a month ago or so.

    I think the best blend of battery life, portability and performance comes with the 14" segment.

    Samsung Q330
    HP DM4

    http://www.trustedreviews.com/laptop...amsung-Q330/p1
    http://www.trustedreviews.com/laptop...avilion-dm4/p1

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    I'd always recommend a Thinkpad, having been impressed with their practicality and robustness. Obviously no laptop is indestructible, but even the cheaper Thinkpads are well put together. At this kind of price you'd be looking at an SL410 or SL510 (14" or 15" respectively). They have the excellent Thinkpad keyboard, and the trackpoint mouse is excellent... if non-intuitive at first.

    It has a non-reflective screen which will make photos and videos slightly hazy looking. You don't notice when you're using it, but the picture doesn't pop out in the way that a glossy screen does.


    By the way, gaming on any laptop will require modest ambitions. Without going for a highly expensive heavy brick of a machine he'll be limited to older games. You didn't mention gaming, but most university-age people invariably want a computer that can do some gaming and get disappointed.

    Finally, look out for good warranties, they're very important with laptops, where any fault will need the manufacturer to fix it. Acer 3 year warranties are on the cheaper end, see here for an example.

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    HP 5310m (no DVD drive though)

    Toshiba R700

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    I quite like the look of this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...=hotukdeals-21

    Someone was asking me today and it looks pretty good for the money.
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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Nice but the L650-12p is around £700
    £500 your looking at the i3 Toshiba Satellite Pro L630-134
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/231425

    You're going to be very hard pressed to find a sub 15" screen i3 under £500
    for i5 sub 15" you'll be hard pressed to find one under £800

    I'd actually say for sub £500 look at an 15" athlonII http://www.ebuyer.com/product/222475

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Dell Inspiron M301z? 13.3" with the latest AMD processor & chipset, could be worth considering. Start at £450 new direct from Dell, but also make sure you check Dell Outlet for refurbished bargains

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    Nice but the L650-12p is around £700
    Well it's gone now but when i posted it was 423 quid I thought it was very good value! Seems like it was if it's normally that much!
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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Any thoughts on this Toshiba L650-1DG:

    Toshiba Satellite L650-1DG 15.6 inch Notebook, Intel Core i5-450M 2.4GHz, 3Gb, 320Gb, DVDSMDL, HDMI, Windows 7 Home Premium: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

    Comet have a package deal for £599.99 including a free memory card camcorder worth £129.99 plus Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student is available for an extra £59.99 which seems like a cracking deal.

    Buy TOSHIBA SAT L650-1DG | 15.6" widescreen laptop - Laptops | Comet

    Thanks.

    Cheekster.

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Well...

    The Microsoft Office is definitely not good. Once he has his uni email address he'll be able to go here and buy a much more complete version for £49.99.

    I would respectfully suggest that a "free" memory card camcorder is not worth £129.99. Best to ignore it, and only think about whether the laptop itself is worth the money.

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Toshiba T230

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    I would have said Toshiba for durability.

    Acer for specs at that price.

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Considered an iPad?

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    An I-Pad isn't really a laptop substitute. Great for content viewing, not so good for content creating - no keyboard for a start, apart from the soft on screen keyboard - probably not something yioyu would want to create essays and coursework on. I don't know if it is possible to use an external USB keyboard with it though, which would solve that particular issue.

    On the subject of laptops (although I suspect the OP has probably solved the problem now) keyboard quality is important if he is going to be doing a lot of his assignments.

    I've just bought a cheap OEM laptop - good machine for the price (under £500) but the build quality, while adequate, is flimsy, and the keyboard is poor - I have an external keyboard plugged in when I'm at my desk. (but that is another option of course for any cheaper range laptop.)
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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    An I-Pad isn't really a laptop substitute. Great for content viewing, not so good for content creating - no keyboard for a start, apart from the soft on screen keyboard - probably not something yioyu would want to create essays and coursework on. I don't know if it is possible to use an external USB keyboard with it though, which would solve that particular issue.
    The Apple Bluetooth keyboard works perfectly with the iPad, and that's also what I now use to do most of the typing on my iPad. Can get them for £55 off the Apple site (So £429 + £55) for a 16GB iPad.

    Or there's also the keyboard+dock built into one, but that's something I used and felt very awkward to use, just with my hands being SO close to the screen of the iPad.

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    Re: Laptop for Nephew going to Uni - recommendations please around £500

    I wouldn't recommend getting an iPad for university if you don't have a laptop.

    You can't even get Microsoft Office on the iPad and that is the most used software for university studies, whatever the subject/elective.

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