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having bought many laptops for school, I'd say buy the best spec for the least money available as it'll be knackered after a couple of years anyway. (talking about laptops for teachers, not ones the kids use)

It seems laptops are only made to last the warranty these days (if that). I'm never spending more than ?400 on a laptop again after seeing that the cheaper ones last just as long.

I bought some Acer laptops last time and I'm very happy with them for general webness and wordy/photo/video processing stuff.

I'm also Windows free at home now - Linux all the way
(though I still have to use Windoze at school
)

Just my tuppence.
 

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300-400 covers a lot of models.....
do you want to use it mainly in one place, or move around with it?
dou you want small (10-12") medium (15") or larger (17" -)
is battery life important to you?

any must have or nice to have features? webcam? bluetooth? docking station?
 

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Still say look into a proper desktop... think of the entertainment you can watch on your tellie


Else look at the old Compaq NC6120. Really good lappys. More then fast enough for what you use it for and about a 3rd of your budget.
 

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Personally i would buy an ex-corparate high end HP model such as the 2510p ( i have one of these)
or the 6910p.
Build quality is very very good.
And having around 2000-3000 of these in our company (our estate is over 20k machines)we see these in for repair very very seldom, The toshibas, are always in for repair.
Only ever changed 3 motherboards on these and that was down to spilling on them.
The 2510p hard drive does have a tendency to slow down as it is a 1.8" drive but i replaced mine with a SSD

6910p was over 1k new now sells for £250 on the tbay
Also have a 6120 and it is a cracking laptop i must say
 

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have a look at dell outlet, they do slightly marked, returned stock etc at great reduction, bought my last 3 laptops from there and all have been faultless
 

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Samsungs have a high failure rate of GPU'S on teh motherboards expect 2-3 years life

Dell's use cheap and nasty components the desktops are programed to fail at 3 years capacitors bulge and explode
 

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Personally i would buy an ex-corparate high end HP model such as the 2510p ( i have one of these)
or the 6910p.
Build quality is very very good.
And having around 2000-3000 of these in our company we see these in for repair very very seldom, The toshibas, are always in for repair.
Only ever changed 3 motherboards on these and that was down to spilling on them.
The 2510p hard drive does have a tendency to slow down as it is a 1.8" drive but i replaced mine with a SSD

6910p was over 1k new now sells for ?250 on the tbay
Also have a 6120 and it is a cracking laptop i must say
+1 for business HP models, mine is 4 years old and still kicking ass, stripped it to airbrush it too, and still no problems. business models do seem to last longer/be more robust
 

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Picked up a Dell for the wife from Tesco with a reasonable enough spec for ?350, honestly wouldn't spend anymore for a home machine.

My Toshiba laptop from work (about ?2k's worth) was a heap of junk and i've gone back to using the HP I had before. The Toshiba had a flimsy docking station, weak power cable, needed 2 replacement screens in 3 months, the catch went and cracked the casing plus it needed to be flattened every few weeks. The HP's out of warranty though so as soon as there's any issue that needs parts i'll be forced back onto the Toshiba.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cheers lads, much to think about there, apart from I'm staying away from toshiba. Home use but mobile at home, but also will be gettingg an external HD storage so I suppose unit HD not too important, but I filled my last 60 gig HD up to bursting point, so either need bigger or ext storage. Def must be wifi and a DVD though
 

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NC6120 is deal then mate. Will do all that and more... ohh and I have batteries left over from my one that went kaput that will keep it running just on battery for 14 or so hours
 

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halli's right - get the biggest disk, best screen and the most memory you can find for the budget.

spending out extra on graphics cards or processor speed is a waste of money, if you want power buy a desktop.

it is worth forking out a bit extra if they offer uprated screens and in most cases a memory upgrade is worth it too as you're likely to find they fill all the slots with small sticks rather than leaving empty space for upgrading later

Also, do check Dell's outlet centre (something like outlet.dell.co.uk but google it) - they take back wrongly ordered corporate laptops and such and flog them at a hefty discount.

I got a cracking deal on a high end workstation from there last year, you get a basic dell warranty which is actually worth the paper it's written on and you'll see support in terms of drivers for the future which you won't get with people like Asus (the graphics drivers for the laptop I'm on now haven't been updated on the Asus site since 2008)
 

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I'm on my 2nd Sony Vaio and I wouldn't buy anything else
However, they are slightly above your budget, starting at just below ?500-ish. As others on here have hinted, probably not worth spending too much on a laptop just for general home use though.

I'm thinking about getting something like this one later this year: Sony VAIO VGN-NW20EF/S Looks quite similar to my current Vaio, but just has more of everything! At ?487.61 I reckon it's a bargain.

A friend of mine has bought several Dell laptops over the past few years, and swears by them. I've had a Dell desktop PC for years and that has been absolutely faultless, so Dell would be my 2nd choice if I couldn't stretch to a Sony.
 

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The only thing to watch with Dells is that the build quality has been a bit variable over the years - last year's vostros are very solid, the current ones look like they'll be alright but the fancy white and silver ones from a couple of years back were bags of shit and just fell apart.
 

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Ron, if you want something a bit smaller than a normal laptop, Misco are doing a deal this week on a Samsung netbook bundled with a Garmin Nuvi sat nav for ?317.24. Might be worth a look, and you could always flog the sat nav on ebay which would make it a cheap option.

Linky here: Misco

 

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Hi Ron,
nip down to John Lewis in WGC and have a look at their stock. A lot of laptops have good specs on paper but in reality are flimsy pieces of junk. Checking them out in the flesh is the only way to see how well built they are which is all important if you want it too last.
 

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Just to add, stay well clear of fujistu siemens, they are total crap!!!!
 
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