Know what I want, don't know where to get it. (laptop)

  Mindframe 19:03 27 Feb 2013

Hi all, new to the forums, hoping you can help.

I've been reading PCA for a while now and piecing together what laptop I want from various articles, the only problem is where to get it. The spec is (to my eyes) only average and so I'm not sure why it's so hard to find.

Here's what I'm after...

Budget: £500-650ish Screen: matt/non reflective, not too fussed about the size but probably around "15 CPU: Intel i5 or i7, can't remember the i5 chip number but the i7's were 3610QM or 3630QM, I don't know if there are better options than these but those are the specific chip numbers I've read so far RAM: At least 4GB, 6GB+ would be good too Graphics: I don't need a dedicated card so Intel HD 4000 is fine OS: Windows 8 64 bit, with the disk preferably Storage: No mechanical HDD needed. 120-240GB SSD, I'm not entirely sure how much I need not to have a problem with Windows 8 and basic internet usage, I'm not going to be using this laptop to store film or game libraries, though may use it to play older games, and Facebook games Battery life: not important to me Weight: not sure but comfortable for typing on lap Optical drive: either none if it pushes the price up over or a BD/DVD combo drive if it's still within (From what I understand these specs will be able to play HD films?)

To explain the usage, I'll be using it to type on at work, I need it for several writing projects so the keyboard should be geared towards that, no numpad is needed and a full height enter key is preferred as I'm used to typing on a desktop PC. I don't want Microsoft Office on it, or any other software than the OS, as I prefer to type in Notepad or Wordpad as it causes less compatibility issues when putting it on different computers and I can just paste it in for formatting if needed. I'm also hoping I can use it to model base mesh's in Blender3D, even if I don't use this machine to render/animate. Light internet use.

I'd prefer a Dell or Lenovo, however, Dell only seem to allow customised laptops for gaming, as do a lot of places. The only place that has come close is PCSpecialist. PC World today told me that finding matt Lenovo screens is probably not possible, and the only SSD's they had are on Ultrabooks (which are mostly i3's and overpriced), or Toshiba and Samsung which were slightly off in other areas.

Perhaps I'm just being too fussy, but I keep coming back to why pay for things I don't need (graphics cards/bundled software etc) especially when they hike an average systems price up into the range of higher end machines. I was hoping that because of the things I DON'T need on it I could keep the price lower.

Any help would be greatly appreciated,


  chub_tor 19:13 27 Feb 2013

Have you tried entering your criteria in the Toshiba selector? I'm not sure about the matte screen but most of your other requirements can be met.

  Forum Editor 19:20 27 Feb 2013

My advice is to follow chub_tor's suggestion. I use laptops a lot, and over the years I have developed a particular fondness for Toshiba machines.

  Mindframe 19:34 27 Feb 2013

Yeah, tried it. If I select SSD, and less than £700 it has a terrible processor, if I select SSD and Windows 8 the prices are over £800. :(

  chub_tor 22:09 27 Feb 2013

You can buy a 128Gb SSD for around £75. Why not get a Win 8 model with the processor that you want with the cheapest hard drive then clone it onto a new SSD?

  Mindframe 22:27 27 Feb 2013

Hehe, I'm old, I still believe in paying an honest amount for the right product, monkeying around with the insides when I should be enjoying it (especially for anything over £500) just isn't something I'm comfortable with.

I really didn't think I was asking a lot, ya know? It's not the highest spec'd system or anything. But nowhere seems to customize to order, unless it's for gaming, shame really.

  HondaMan 16:12 28 Feb 2013

Try Novatech

  Woolwell 18:13 28 Feb 2013

Try looking for business laptops instead of home consumer ones eg the Dell Vostro series have SSD and anti-glare screens.

  Mindframe 15:46 01 Mar 2013

Thanks for the suggestions guys, had a look. Could I get your opinions on this, I'm not sure if it matches what I want or not, or if it's good value... with... 15.6" Matte HD LED 16:9 widescreen (1366x768) (is it worth having the full HD screen?) i7-3630QM 4GB RAM 120GB Kingston SSD Windows 8 Standard 64 bit No office/antivirus/bundled anything comes in at £569 inc VAT

Am I missing anything? Are they reputable?


  chub_tor 16:11 01 Mar 2013

Are they reputable? They get good reviews here

  Terry Brown 21:02 01 Mar 2013

Have you had a look in your local area for someone (or a shop) that does special builds, there are normally a few around.

That way you can discuss what you want from a computer and they can offer advice and build it to your specifications. It may be slightly dearer this way , but you will get what you want and with a reputable (check it out)builder, they will service it for you, if required.

Suggestion:- Look in local paper and ask to speak to people they have done work for.


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