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Affordable laptop recommendations: budget £350-£450

Discussion in 'computers, web and general tech' started by psycherelic, Dec 6, 2009.

  1. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    SSD speeds things up massively - especially when you're booting up the machine.
  2. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Sure. I'll try to find time tomorrow :)

    With regard SSD they aren't essential, but very nice to have. For less demanding stuff, your hard drive is the thing you are waiting on most. I've fitted them to quite old machines and they've made a huge difference to how responsive the PC feels.
  3. little_legs

    little_legs Поехали!

    Right. Waiting was ticking me off with my last laptop. So SSD sounds like a solution. Ok, I am open to having one as long as a dufus like me can attach it to the laptop.

    UnderAnOpenSky and editor educating us luddites :cool:
  4. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    You don't need to. Unless someone told you, you may not know you had one as they do the same function as a normal hard disk.
  5. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Pretty much what I got about 6 weeks ago, except I opted for 8gb RAM, just to make Handbrake run a bit faster. Didn't bother with an SSD, as I'm not particularly arsed about quick booting, and no program I use requires fast writing.
  6. little_legs

    little_legs Поехали!

    Good morning, do you guys have any more recommendations?
    Throbbing Angel likes this.
  7. yield

    yield zero

    This Acer looks good top of your price range though. Most recent, 7th generation, processor & a decent sized ssd

    Acer Aspire E5-575 £550 @ ao.com or saveonlaptops
    Throbbing Angel likes this.
  8. yield

    yield zero

    What are your first impressions? As sturdy as the older models?
  9. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Yep. I've previously had a couple of T23s and a T60, and it's just as solid.
    yield and UnderAnOpenSky like this.
  10. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    I've got several T430's, 440's and 450's on my ebay watch list at the moment.

    I might have been prepared to pay up to £500 for this if I was around near the end of the auction, but alas I missed it.

    I definitely much rather get a good second hand Thinkpad over a brand new Acer all day long.
  11. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    I had a look at Acer's for you. They don't seem as well specced on the more basic models.
  12. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    They look like a nice bit of kit. Will definelty be in the running to replace my T60 later this year. See you can get an i5 a fair bit cheaper, which would be fine for me as I also have a desktop.
  13. little_legs

    little_legs Поехали!

    Many thanks to yield and UnderAnOpenSky

    Have not made the decision to buy yet. So far, as I've gotten past the laptop withdrawl, I've been able to clean my room, go for 2 bike rides, cooked every day, ironed 5 shirts, cleaned the bathroom, folded away woolens.
  14. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    I eventually bought 2 T430's and a couple of docking stations which cost £14 each


    So far I'm very happy with what I got for the money. These are business orientated machines and this spec would have been sold for around £1000+ when it was new about 4/5 years ago.

    Only a couple of slight negatives so far. The first one I has some fan noise, which tbf, isn't very loud at all, especially compared to my work laptop, but I do notice it when the room is quiet. The second one isn't "noisy" like the first, however the trackpad was a bit worn. The screen resolutions and brightness are definitely not "retina", but apart from that I think they are FANTASTIC, well built, bullet proof machines, and I LOVE the docking station setup.
  15. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Looks good. I've been looking at old lenovos to replace my T400. The annoying thing is you can several screen types on the same model and ebay doesn't have an easy way to search so I only see screen of a higher resolution.
  16. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure which model you are looking at but for the T430 and older models there's only 2 resolutions 1366 x 768 and the "high" resolution of 1600 x 900. During my shopping spree if the resolution didn't appear in the description I assumed it to be the lower one. If it's important enough you can always ask the seller. I wasn't particularly bothered about the resolution as the ones I bought will be used with external monitors plugged into the docking station.
  17. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

    Not sure one model, maybe a T440. Your right if it's not listed I assume it's lower one, it would just be nice to able to sort through them. I've already got a decent desktop, so it's very much a second machine, but I'd still like at least 1600x900.
  18. Throbbing Angel

    Throbbing Angel "Broadsword calling Danny Boy"

    Inspired by some of the links to refurbished Thinkpads above......
    Does anyone feel like recommending or slagging off some of these laptops for me?

    jabl2939 | eBay

    I'm after a small-ish laptop with a better keyboard than my Chromebook, purely for writing on. I struggle with chiclet/island keyboards for some reason. [probably my age]

    No games, vidz, web use (well maybe to upload documents to Google Drive?) I'm not interested in the 17" or 15"+ screens as I don't want to be lugging that around.

    I'm planning on running a word processor only. These laptops are all £150, mainly Thinkpads, running Linux Mint. I might upgrade to the larger battery and SSD (if I have an SSD am I likely to have a quieter computer? less fan usage?). This brings the price up to £210ish which is comparable or a little more expensive than those linked to above on eBay and at Scan.co.uk running Windows.

    TBF I don't care about the OS for this machine as long as I can write on it fairly easily in some form of reasonably modern WP. A quiet machine is a requirement, though, as noisy fans etc really get on my nerves.

    Cheers muchly
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  19. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    Having recently bought 2 Thinkpads, if I was in your shoes, I'd probably be heavily favouring Thinkpads and probably wouldn't even bother with the others. Some ebay examples that might be ok within the up to £150.

    Lenovo Thinkpad T410 14.1" Core i5 Nvidia Quadro 4gb ram 160gb hd Linux Mint | eBay

    Lenovo Thinkpad T410/14.1"/i5-520M/4GB RAM/160GB HD/WIN 7 - 60662 | eBay

    Fast Lenovo Thinkpad T410 Laptop 14.1" Intel Core i5 2.4Ghz Wireless Windows 10-

    It would be good if you could get some try before you buy "hands on". The Thinkpad keyboards are widely regarded as being among the best ever laptop keyboards. Neither of the laptops I bought were particularly noisy, although the first one has an audible whine and I'd probably find it a bit annoying if I were using it in a quiet room.
    Throbbing Angel likes this.
  20. Throbbing Angel

    Throbbing Angel "Broadsword calling Danny Boy"

    I've had a couple of 2nd hand thinkpads in the past and have used a few through work and do like the keyboards (except for that bloody nipple thing).

    I'll take a look at those links, thanks :)
  21. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    I briefly owned a T40 that I bought on ebay (£1700) back in 2003/4, apart from that I haven't really used Thinkpads, but I've always wanted to buy one. I actually really like the nipple and much prefer it to using the trackpad, although 90% of the time I'm using a proper usb keyboard and mouse at my desk and hardly ever use it on my lap.
  22. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    The build quality on modern thinkpads is nowhere near what it used to be, and in my opinion the performance of them has also got worse.

    I'm using an Ideapad personally at the moment, and whilst appreciate it's not in the thinkpad range the build quality is terrible, It's about 6 months old and the monitor besel is already loose and will not clip back in correctly. I'm just dealing with it at the moment because I need the device more than I don't need it, but I suspect it will go back under warranty at some point. Really do think Lenovo have started cutting a lot of corners.

    Although for the prices you're picking them up on ebay above, you can't complain too much, but in my opinion the fact you can get them so cheaply 2nd hand just echo's what i've said above.

    We've actually stopped buying thinkpad's at work and replaced them with Acer Travelmate's of which I am very impressed with, but there's better spec's out there for the same sort of price.
  23. Beetlebum

    Beetlebum Banned Banned

    I'm surprised Lenovo still sell the Thinkpad and the Ideapad with similar names as there's no comparison.

    Indeed I'm surprised they didn't keep the IBM brand just for Thinkpad unless they weren't allowed to.
  24. PaoloSanchez

    PaoloSanchez Well-Known Member

    Agreed, Thinkpads and Ideapads are in completely different leagues, even though the purists probably aren't happy with Thinkpads becoming dumbed down and a bit more ultrabook like. I would put Ideapads in the same category as the cheaper Acers.
    UnderAnOpenSky and Beetlebum like this.
  25. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    Despite the build quality issues on the shell of my ideapad, I love it. it flies. I ripped out the shipped with HDD before I even powered it on, and replaced it with my SSD from my old laptop, I also purchased a Samsung Evo 850 m2 for the main OS as it also has an M2 slot.

    15" screen, 16GB of RAM in built and i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz woth a Nvidea Geforce GTX for just over £800 including the purchase of the M2, and nothing else came close spec wise for the price. Model is now dicontinued which may have helped the price at the time, and probably the crappy build quality. Seems the latest versions are equipped with less RAM (12GB) with the same processor and graphics and might not have the backlit keyboard looking at the layout, unless they've moved the Fn key for it. Yet cost more! Design looks the same.

    But as I say besides the bezel issue I love it. Runs all my VMs with no fuss.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  26. Chz

    Chz Stark Raving Sane

    I'm not going to knock the Ideapads too much. I bought one for the missus 4 or so years back (or whenever SB was being phased out for IB and things were on sale), and there was nothing else on the market that was a thin and light 13.3" for under £400. And unlike similar models today, it's a full Core CPU (no Atom-derivates) and you can upgrade the RAM and HDD. Yes, the screen is crap - they all are under £500 - and yes the touchpad is an abomination (use the nipple!). But other than that, it's served very well.
  27. Beetlebum

    Beetlebum Banned Banned

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  28. UnderAnOpenSky

    UnderAnOpenSky baseline neural therapy

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  29. cybershot

    cybershot Well-Known Member

    Ah yes, I forgot to mention the trackpad is awful, proper RSI inducing. I have to use a mouse with it.
  30. iamwithnail

    iamwithnail Well-Known Member

    I'm excited. Just bought my first new laptop in 6 years, and it's an utter beast. (This doesn't fit into the 'affordable laptop recommendations', but it's still less than a Macbook Pro and about twice as powerful. Plus I couldn't find a more relevant thread.)
    It's a full on desktop replacement. Going from a Macbook Air 2011 to this, for about the same as the Air cost:

    2.8Ghz Quad Core, 16Gb Ram, GTX 1050Ti 4gb Graphics, 480Gb SSD. 15" screen (actually the only bad point, you can't get a GTX in anything smaller, didn't really want one that size, it's 2.5kg!)
    cybershot likes this.

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