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Thread: Inexpensive laptop advice, please!

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    Efficiency freak Queelis's Avatar
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    Question Inexpensive laptop advice, please!

    Hi there,

    my girlfriend is looking to buy a laptop, and I'm trying to look up something that will last, so she wouldn't buy something morally old (like a C2D).

    Requirements:
    • 15.6" matte screen
    • Around 500 of your pounds (so you would get an estimated price range; we're not in the UK)
    • I'd like to have Sandy Bridge, since then an integrated GPU would be more than sufficient


    It's only up to light tasks - browsing, movies, office work. Basically no gaming at all. It doesn't need to be very light, since it'll be mostly sitting on a desk.

    The thing I'm worried the most is build quality, since there's no way of checking that. And because there are so many models of laptops, it's quite hard to get a review evaluating it.

    The questions I have are:
    • Would a 2.1GHz SB Core i3-2310 (it's without turbo) be sufficient?
    • Should I look only into Sandy Bridge, or would older i3s/i5s be OK as well? I like SB for their decent IGP, but for the price she could get an older i5, instead of SB i3.


    Here are several candidates:


    All of the have the i3 2310 (except that the Inspiron also has a Geforce 525M, which isn't needed), 4GB of RAM and sufficient amount of hard disk space. What about the build quality of those? Especially of the HP and MSI.

    Any other suggestions are extremely appreciated

    Edited out the MSI CR640 due to a glossy screen.
    Last edited by Queelis; 08-05-2011 at 11:59 AM.

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    Re: Inexpensive laptop advice, please!

    I'm actually looking at something quite similar for one of my cousins at present. What I've found in my research so far.

    I think it is a bit of a struggle to get anything better than the i3-2310m on your budget.

    You do pay quite a premium for Sandy Bridge over Arrandale i3 / i5 (I still havent decided myself whehter this is worth it, like everything it depends on the price difference but I think it seems like around £100 difference which at this budget is a high %).

    Other than the ones you found I think I was looking at Lenovo G/B/Z570 but I think these have glossy screens.

    I've got 2 HP laptops in my family at the moment and the build quality of those two is excellent (a TX2 convertible tablet and a DM3 think and light 13.3").

    If you were looking for non Sandy Bridge I think the Samsung P530 and P580 would fit the bill (I think they are the non-gloss versions as opposed to R530/R580 but don't quote me on this). Samsung laptops tend to be well rated at present.

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  4. #3
    Efficiency freak Queelis's Avatar
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    • Queelis's system
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      • Memory:
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      • Storage:
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      • Graphics card(s):
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    Re: Inexpensive laptop advice, please!

    Here is a resource for the performance of the i3-2310. In single threaded (SuperPi) and multi-threaded (Cinebench) applications it's about the same as the i3-370M/380M (2.4/2.5GHz), so that's perfectly fine. I doubt my GF would need anything faster (since the CPU will be idle most of the time anyway).

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    • Champman99's system
      • Motherboard:
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    Re: Inexpensive laptop advice, please!

    I spotted what I thought was a great deal today.

    It might only be relevant to the UK though. Direct from Lenovo, going through quidco.com you can get a Thinkpad Edge, which would be fantastic build quality I think, you have the choice between matt and glossy finish in the customiser.

    Its £410, changing the RAM to 4GB and the Hard Drive to 500GB brought it up to £460, but quidco have a code EDGEOFFERINGS for 5% off, plus 6% cashback, which brings it down to around the £400 of my cousins budget. I'm recommending this to them, although the EDGEOFFERINGS code it seems ends today, and might be UK only. This particular model is already 50% off (although the RRP is way too high anyway.)

    http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/c...ad%20Edge/E520

    Here's the link if you are interested, not sure if its relevant to you being out of the UK, although it seems the Lenovo store does have country select, but I think for build quality the Thinkpad edge might be nice.

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    Re: Inexpensive laptop advice, please!

    Have a look at the latest range of Acer TimelineX laptops they are packed with top technology and rigid quality body with a batter power for up to 8 hours. I think great improvements from several years back laptops. If you compare specification, design and price ratio, I think its well worth it.

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