Best laptop for ~£500?

  corneliuscruys 22:14 12 Jul 2010

I'm looking for a laptop for my partner for her birthday. She would use it mostly for recreational use and a bit of word processing.

The budget is around £500 and was looking at Sony Vaios or Dell Inspirons/Studios. Would these be the best for this kind of price and what models are usually the better ones/best value for money?

I know something about specs so I'd like the best specs on the laptop for that kind of price.

Any help is much appreciated!

  MAT ALAN 22:52 12 Jul 2010

click here
might give you some ideas...

  the hick 22:56 12 Jul 2010

I bought daughter a Toshiba L500 1XC couple of months ago, no problems so far. Was £429 at Tesco. Whatever you decide on, remember to allow for cost of Office 2007 if that's what you use. Vaio probably better, but a bit dearer I reckon.

  chub_tor 12:56 13 Jul 2010

Asking for the best laptop for £500 is a bit like asking for the best car for a certain price, the question is too general. All laptops from the cheapest to the most expensive are capable of being used for "recreational use and a bit of word processing." and you don't need a great specification for those tasks.

The main question you should be concerned about is where and when your partner will be using the laptop. Does she need portability? Will it be mainly used in one fixed place in the home where screen size is probably more important than weight or will she be using it out and about so that a compact lightweight device with a high contrast screen would be better. Will she be using it for extended periods where no mains is available? If so you need a laptop with a good battery life.

£500 covers a wide spectrum of laptops and generally speaking Asus, Toshiba and Sony are the top three for reliability - that's not to say that other brands such as Acer, Dell, HP/Compaq etc. are all bad, there are some good machines made by them but overall they are reckoned to be not quite so well made.

If you want to spend more on the machine and less on the software you can forgo Microsoft Office and use Open Office instead click here={keywords}&pk=1550-4 for word processing it is every bit as good as Microsoft Office.

  corneliuscruys 15:11 14 Jul 2010

She'll mostly be using it at home, so portability isn't a major issue though she'd prefer a slimmer and lighter laptop than a bigger, chunkier one. Battery life not crucial though obviously don't want a laptop with limited battery life.

She's willing to pay for Office on top of the laptop.

  chub_tor 19:14 14 Jul 2010

In which case I would recommend this one click here or for a lower price and slightly lower spec the one recommended by the hick click here

  corneliuscruys 23:18 14 Jul 2010

They look good, thanks for your help.

Out of curiosity, how would a Dell compare to them for the similar price?

  chub_tor 08:58 15 Jul 2010

Sorry but I haave never owned a Dell laptop so i have no experience of them. They are rated in the middle in terms of reliability see click here I have read some complaints about their after sales service but have also read some glowing reports. In general for their price point Toshiba seem to have the edge on build quality.

  The Kestrel 09:24 15 Jul 2010

Staples have a HP laptop with the latest Intel i3 core processor click here . With VAT and free delivery it comes in well under your budget.

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