Help me shop for a new Laptop?

  Sunosan 19:12 16 Jan 2012

Hi all.

I do not trust spending large chunks of money online for items - mostly because if something does go wrong, I have nobody to scream at - so by the end of the month I need to go to my local PC World and buy a laptop.

I absolutely HATE PC World with a vengence! I wont get into reasons why I do, it's a long story, but my reason for hating them all boils down to customer services telling me it was ok to do something before I returned a PC - only to be told in store by doing that very act I had invalidated it's warranty. The problem was, when I went there the first time, I knew what I wanted - but I didnt know what different things were - the sales rep saw this and sold me the most expensive dud he could find.

I digress though, I need a new laptop. Ive got no choice but to go back to PC World to buy it as all the independant high-street retailers are either closed or have incompetent staff (one worker tried to tell me a mouse only has 2 buttons - mice with more buttons than 2 do not exsist)

I want to be ready. I want to know exactly what I want so when I get in there I can be on the metaphorical ball and they will think twice about trying to sell me a dud.

Ive got a budget of £1000 - At least £150 - 190 of that needs to be used for a 3-5 year "Whatever Happens" Insurance policy.

Im a part-time GFX designer so it needs to be able to run the latest photo and movie-editing software with ease.

Online gaming (the new Star Wars MMO)at medium - high gfx with a nice 30+ fps would be nice.

Wifi enabled so I can throw it on my superhub.

It cannot be an Apple Mac - I dont know if it's a generation gap thing? I just cannot use an Apple Mac to save my life!

Windows 7 is fine.

It doesnt need a DvD Writer, just a player will do. Good picture quality and resolution is a must.

As you've probably guessed from reading all that, I am hopeless when it comes to buying any sort of tech like that and what I want may be way out of my budget and I cant see it, all I know is, I found a review for a Acer Aspire 8930G dated April 2009 for £730 - it pretty much had everything I wanted but I know a year in the world of computing is like a decade so I wanted perhaps the next up in terms of it's model, but I cannot find it.

Please be kind, im an idiot, im aware of this, I just really need help. I will investigate all suggestions and links given to me - I will even consider a website as long as it is widely trusted and it's customer help and support is outstanding.

  onthelimit1 09:20 17 Jan 2012

I'd start with a trial membership of Which? They have a laptop section with dozens of revues. That may narrow it down a bit for you. To buy, I'd avoid PC world and go straight to Amazon.

  frybluff 16:29 17 Jan 2012

Which? is a good place to start, although some of their reviews are a bit out of date. In terms of face to face advice, you can do a lot worse than John Lewis. I know they are not necessarily cheap, but, at least, you can speak to someone that actually knows what they're talking about, and usually happy to give advice, even if you are going online to buy. Also, I've NEVER heard anyone complain about their after sales service.

  northumbria61 17:26 17 Jan 2012

John Lewis - You are also most likely to get a 2yr Warranty as standard.

  frybluff 16:18 20 Jan 2012

The better versions of Dell XPS give a lot of bang for your buck. Some are at good price (til 25/1/12), on Dell UK, plus chucking in some (actually useful) extras, like Photoshop 10, and FREE RAM & HDD upgrades.

  markd71 00:43 22 Jan 2012

Toshiba Satellite Pro L770-135 - Core i5 2430M - RAM 4 GB - HDD 500 GB - W7 Pro 64-bit - 17.3"

  markd71 00:50 22 Jan 2012

you can up the ram later, steer clear of Dell & HP, corp rubbish !

  Sunosan 18:24 23 Jan 2012

Thanks for all the replies so far guys! I've checked out everything suggested so far and it's made me even more confused (a feat even I didnt think possible!)

I was interested in the DELL Inspiron 15R but, Dell isnt good? Im confused D:

I had a look at John Lewis too and im tempted but customer reviews are so varied that it makes buying a laptop a really annoying process - Which? is helping with a bit of technical know-how, but ive still got this horrible fear that im going to waste a bucket-load of money on something that just isnt quite right - and as we all know, money is in short supply right now!

To say im poor would, perhaps, be an understatement - I dont judge my wealth by the amount of change in my back pocket - when I say im poor I mean "Sometimes I cant pay my phone bill" - which is making me overly cautious and, perhaps for every 5 good reviews I do read, I see a negative one that shatters my will to buy it?

I guess im looking for a definitive "This Is the Laptop you will want!"

  frybluff 19:17 23 Jan 2012

You can find negative comments about every mass produced computer/laptop. The two questions should be:- The best one for the job? What will support be like if I get a problem? I have a similar interest to you, in video editing, and have been looking for a new laptop. The difference is that my interest is a hobby, and can compromise, on choice. If your interest is professional, you should get the best you can afford, either with Intel i7, or an alternative quad core, plus a decent graphics card. All I can say is that, if I could afford £1000, I would be seriously considering one of the better versions of the Dell XPS 15, or 17. There are forums for owners of most makes, where you can usually get a "feel" for a product, from the discussions between owners, about their experiences/problems. Just search "dell forum", for example. You don't have to register, to READ posts.

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