Help! Going round in circles! Laptop £500-£700

  tommypepper 14:22 16 Apr 2009

Hi all

If anyone can help me I'd be very grateful. I know bugger all about laptops, except that I've got £500 to £700 to spend, possibly a bit more if there's a good deal. Basically I'm after a laptop with the following specs, or thereabouts, and I'd really appreciate some help from cleverer people than me on it! I just seem to be trawling around the internet, not really knowing if I'm looking at a good deal or not, not knowing a good brand from a duff one, basically going round in circles, which is why I've come here! Any help anyone could offer would be hugely appreciated. ANyway...

Screen 12" to 14" (or thereabouts)
Windows XP/Vista
160GB Hard drive or more
DVD Writer
Decent enough spec to do the following - light gaming, video editing, photo editing, internet browsing

If anyone has any good suggestions of brand, model and supplier, that'd be fantastic. Thanks for taking time to help out.



  MAJ 15:01 16 Apr 2009

Basically any laptop with a Core 2 Duo processor and 3GB of memory will do what you want, tommypepper, they start at around £400. Use your extra cash for a large external hard drive (for backup purposes) and a copy of Acronis True Image, to aid your backups. click here I notice that you specify a pretty small screen size (12"-14"), is there a reason for that as most will usually come with at least a 15" screen size? If gaming is important to you, pay particular attention to the graphics card included, it's not my area, so I can't advise on that part I'm afraid.

  tommypepper 15:35 16 Apr 2009


Thanks for your help, dual core, 3GB memory duly noted. - I'm after a smaller screen size just for portability and I had a Mac Powerbook a while back and got on pretty well with the smaller 12".

I'm not too fussed about gaming on the laptop, but d'you (or anyone else) know if the graphics card affects things like video/photo editing, or is it just associated with games?? And are there any particular brands I should aim for/avoid.

Thanks again


  wjrt 15:55 16 Apr 2009

click here
good reputation good reviews

  MAJ 16:18 16 Apr 2009

"but d'you (or anyone else) know if the graphics card affects things like video/photo editing......."

No, even the most basic onboard graphics chip nowadays will cope with that, tommypepper. I like Dell laptops, have heard some bad reports about HP laptops even though their (HP/Compaq) desktops are excellent. I guessed you wanted portability, so on the face of it, wjrt's suggestion looks good even if it is towards the top end of your budget, personally I have never used a Toshiba laptop so can't vouch for them.

  tommypepper 16:37 16 Apr 2009

Thanks very much for your help guys, really appreciated. If anyone else has any suggestions I'm all ears by the way!

Have also been looking at this Samsung...

click here

...but maybe the Toshiba's better...? Hmmmm? So many decisions!

  Woolwell 18:51 16 Apr 2009

You tend to pay more for a smaller than 15" screen. For portability look at the weight of the machine and make sure that it includes the battery and the charger brick.
I have a 12.1" Acer which I am quite pleased with but I am not sure about whether it would cope with light gaming (that depends on what you mean by that) for graphics or even screen size.
Note that MAJ recommends a Core 2 Duo processor this is not the same as a Pentium Dual Core.
Toshiba is a good brand.

  tommypepper 20:13 16 Apr 2009

Thanks again for your help guys - cheers for pointing out the Dual Core, Core 2 Duo thing too Woolwell... it's looking like the Toshiba Satellite U400-15B is a pretty good machine and is pretty high up on my list -

click here

...£684 is the cheapest I've found but I'll keep scouting about...

...when I said light gaming, I mean Football Manager-ish, not so graphics-heavy games, so I'm sure the Toshiba's up to spec...other than that I can't see anything too wrong with it, unless I'm missing something.

If anyone can offer an alternative I'll happily check it out, and honestly thanks so much for your help and suggestions. What I can't understand is I've been searching for laptops for a coupla days now, and I can't seem to find a decent comparison website, you know where you put in the details for different laptops, and they list the specs & prices side by side. Seems to be loads for mobile phones, but none for laptops!



  user8 17:22 17 Apr 2009

Go for Toshiba.
I'm currently on my 2nd.
1st one lasted 10 years!!

  tommypepper 19:26 17 Apr 2009

Thanks everyone for all your help, and taking the time out - it's really appreciated. Looks like the Toshiba then!


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