Looking for a laptop for my wife for Christmas

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Looking for a laptop for my wife for Christmas

Postby gutt3d » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:06 am

It's been a very very long time since I logged in here... And the first thing I do when I log back in? I ask you for help. :oops:

So... I need a laptop for my wife for Christmas. I have only ever used laptops provided by work, so don't know much about buying my own other than buying a couple of old laptops from work a number of years ago.

Budget would be maximum £1000 - though this would be an absolute maximum, and I'd be hoping to spend no more than £750-£800.

Requirements (according to my wife) are:

It doesn't actually have to be all that portable. It's going to be used almost exclusively inside the home, rather than for work and/or travel. It doesn't need to be super-portable, or ultraslim, or anything like that.

It needs to be "fast". She currently has my old IBM Thinkpad T30 running XP - it was upgraded to the max back in the day, but of course is ancient now. She complains that it's horrendously slow to browse the internet (which is true) so when she says "fast", she just wants something snappy for browsing... She says she needs MS Office for Excel and Word, which is why she wants a laptop as opposed to a tablet.

It must also be capable of Blu-ray playback, and she wants a built-in Blu-ray drive (as opposed to a separate accessory).

She might play the occassional game on it, but nothing particularly intense as far as the graphics go (she'd use a desktop for that if required). She spends a lot of time editing photos though (not professionally - just family pics of out baby daughter) - so she'd need something that won't be upset if she spends an hour looking through photos while she prepares a new photo album, or whatever.

She also says she wants a full sized keyboard. She'll likey use an external mouse, as she tends not get get on with touchpads.

As far as I'm concerned, it'd need to have wireless N as a minimum - and ideally on 5Ghz. USB3 would be nice. Solid state drive would also be nice if I can get a decent sized (100GB+) within budget. Gigabit Ethernet port would also be nice if possible.

I reckon if I searched enough, I could probably find several laptops which ticks most of these boxes - but I wouldn't have any recommendations about them so wouldn't know whether to get a Samsung/Acer/Sony/HP/Dell etc.

I'm not really a fan of Apple - though they seem to be pretty much out of my price range even if I wanted to buy one for her.

So... Any thoughts?

My wife says size isn't important (for laptops, anyway) so doesn't need to be ultra portable.
Must have a full-sized keyboard
Built-in Blu-ray drive.
Fast for internet browsing.
Graphics not a major requirement, but she'll do some not-very-intense photo editing.
Wireless-N essential - 5GHz if possible (but not essential).
GB Ethernet ideally, but not essential.
USB3 would be nice, but not essential.
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Postby Mr T » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:15 am

Samsung RF711 is one example... With this you pay for what you get...

Brands I would avoid - Lenovo, MSI, Sony and HP - they are not good value..

Decent hard wearing brands are Samsung, ASUS, ACER and Toshiba... See very few of these in the shops for wear repair (ie wear repair ranges from a duff DC socket to LCD hinges snapping), more for reformat and reinstall of the OS... look for 17" and don't worry about a solid state drive yet, size on them is still not great value for the performance. If you can upgrade to windows 8 over win 7 - yes its a little different but a lot zippier and sharper. Most new laptops are USB3 and wifi N now..
I have been programming on computers since the ZX81.
I am an apprentice trained Electronics Engineer with qualifications to back it up.
I have been repairing computers since 1996.
Yet to some people I still know nothing...
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Postby gutt3d » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:23 pm

Cool - thanks Mr T. Much appreciated, as always 8) I'll check out the Samsung...
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Postby Karlsweldt » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:10 am

Most electronics stores will have displays of their models. Look over the lines, choose which best suits your needs.. and budget.
If there is a 'wholesale club' in your area, similar to Costco or BJ's, that would be the best price offering. You get the full manufacturer's warranty and features, but at "club" prices.
Some good offers can be found for less than $600.00 USD, with good memory, features, and graphics. Most new models have built-in Wi-Fi.
New Egg does not ship to the UK, but you could peruse their listings for a choice.
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