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Ok, need help. Need a new laptop, no idea where to start.

(22 Posts)
minxthemanx Tue 11-Feb-14 20:23:14

My old one is Dell - don't want to go through Dell again, as can't face trying to get technical support from international call centres. I know what I want, but have no idea about which processor, memory size etc. Anyone able to advise? Our needs are:
-everyday laptop for home, school, office use
-not fussed about touchscreen
- need Microsoft Office student and home 2013 (preferably)
- also need Publisher

I can;t find anyone offering Publisher with the laptop, so accept I will have to buy that separately. But surely I can buy a laptop with Office already loaded? And Norton anti virus etc? Or do I have to get it all separately? Have looked at john lewis and argos so far, as want to pay over 6 months. Can't find a laptop with Office on it. Also, which processor do I need - I have no idea what intel, celeron etcc all are. My outgoing laptop runs on Vista. Also have no idea what ram or memory I need. Would really appreciate any help - it's largely used by myself for work, internet and facebook, and my son for school work (hence need for publisher).

Twighlightsparkle Tue 11-Feb-14 20:27:13

We spent ages trying to find out what we needed, ended up returning a packard bell to currys after the hair drive went after a day!

Ended up going to our local independent computer repair shop, got a reconditioned one with all the program's etc we needed.

We hated windows 8, so got 7 put on etc.

caroldecker Tue 11-Feb-14 21:04:46

what price do you want to pay and do you have Office at work or DC's?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 11-Feb-14 21:14:06

The intel i5 and i7 processors are both good, with the i7 being slightly better. Celeron are a bit old and slow as far as I'm aware.

I recently got a laptop with 6gb ram and 750gb hard drive. I think these days that's the minimum you want to go for.

Any new laptop will likely be running Windows 8. I don't think any come with Office preloaded. I use LibreOffice as its free and compatible with all the Microsoft Office stuff.

I rate Toshiba for been a good make.

minxthemanx Tue 11-Feb-14 21:29:43

Thanks everyone - don't have a huge budget and was aiming for about £400 ish. That's helpful advice about the processor, ram and hard drive. Yes I had wondered about Toshiba, seems to get good reviews. I need Microsoft office at home to prepare work, on Word and Powerpoint. DS1 needs Publisher as some of his school work is done on that.

caroldecker Wed 12-Feb-14 00:46:05

I am surprised you need publisher as not normally included in packages - office student is £110 here Uni version including publisher is £60, but only 4 year licence and needs proof of uni attendence, so not school.
for £400 would try tesco or dell

I know you said not dell, but i have never had an issue. I think memory is more improtant than processor, so have specced 6gb

If you want £400 all in, then tesco, but only 4gb

can easily buy cheap external hard drive here, so less important

Lioninthesun Wed 12-Feb-14 00:54:54

I'd go from a chromebook - you can store all of your pics etc online so at least when that dies you won't have to figure out all of your bookmarks etc again. I want one.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Feb-14 07:08:53

Levano are meant to be good, they're made by IBM I believe.

At your budget I'd go for spec over brand. Otherwise at £400 you'd get a toshiba with a fairly shitty processor that will drive you up the wall.

minxthemanx Wed 12-Feb-14 07:13:21

Thanks - we have a Toshiba outlet store near us and I wondered about having a look there, don't know what the downside to 'outlet' would be. maybe not the latest models. They have windows 8 on them. Vivalabeaver, I will aim for the processor you mentioned intel i5 or i7, and I'm not so worried about huge memory as I store all my work stuff on portable hard drive, and cloud etc. Thanks for your help, really wanted to go with JL or Argos so could pay over 6 months! Ho hum.

GerundTheBehemoth Wed 12-Feb-14 09:23:42

It's Lenovo and their Thinkpad laptops which are (or possibly were - I'm not sure) associated with IBM - they are v good but pricey.

caroldecker Wed 12-Feb-14 17:37:38

Doubt you will get i5 in your price range - AMD are fine

Chanatan Wed 12-Feb-14 18:11:16

Unless your doing some heavy gaming or photo editing,an Intel i3 would be plenty for what you state you would be doing.
If I recall rightly,Toshiba have slipped down in the customer satisfaction survey,with Apple being top with Lenovo second.Samsung also score well.

Chanatan Wed 12-Feb-14 18:12:59

survey here,Toshiba have slipped to 9th.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Feb-14 18:20:32

this ones a good price in argos

Its a slightly slower processor than an i5 but better than a celeron or pentium.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Feb-14 18:22:25

I admit I have a Toshiba bias! Just been happy with all my toshiba laptops so I do tend to sing their praises. Any Samsung, levano, toshiba or asus is going to be better than a HP, or Packard bell type laptop.

Serafinaaa Wed 12-Feb-14 18:27:21

I've just ordered one from the Sony website. They also have an education store, just like Apple, which you can use if you are a teacher or student of any kind. You can build your own laptop to your own spec and it's not too expensive. Mine is a fancy looking white one, 15.5 screen, intel i3, 1tb hard drive, 4gb ram, 2 years warranty. Was about £430, free delivery.

minxthemanx Wed 12-Feb-14 19:50:21

Great tips, thank you. Would the 3.1 processor be enough for me (I have no idea). It won't be used for playing games or downloading loads of stuff, really just for work, school, photos, internet emailing etc. If that's enough processing speed then that looks good - £100 off means I can afford the Office/publisher on top.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Feb-14 20:41:35

I think it would be. Its an entry level processor but gets good reviews. Any current laptop should be fine for what you want and although its classed as entry level due to the processor its faster than quite a few out there.

WhoWasThatMaskedWoman Wed 12-Feb-14 20:53:40

While all you knowledgable people are here, could you please let me know what's the cheapest laptop I can get which will reliably play Minecraft? thanks

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Feb-14 21:15:39

Even though its not advanced graphics you could do with a specialised graphics card rather than an integrated one. Mst cheaper laptops will have an integrated one.

scroll down to the minecraft bit here

VivaLeBeaver Wed 12-Feb-14 21:21:14

this is my laptop, its got a good graphics card and plays minecraft and other more advanced games no problem

WhoWasThatMaskedWoman Wed 12-Feb-14 21:40:54

Thanks Viva. Irritating, because it's basically for DD so I wanted the cheapest possible option, but I have read elsewhere that it's all about the graphics card, so that rules out the very cheap ones.

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