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 Post subject: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:26 
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Board Mother

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Hiya,

While we think we know what we are looking for, hardware is not our bag, so if anyone has an opinion on these laptops I'd like to hear it.

I have recently installed Dragon 15, and while my laptop will run it, it has the minimum spec requirements and it shows. Specs here

We have found a couple of laptops that we think are good deals, but this is where we would like another opinion.

Cheapest one is a Dell Inspiron 15 here for £449.64

Or a HP Pavillion here for £591.26

It won't be used for carrying around outside of the house (just occasionally room to room), so bigger is better as I want a separate numeric keypad (on the keyboard), must have a webcam and be able to run the Dragon software. I think that's about it really. So if anyone has seen anything better I'm open to other options.

I'm sure Joans will be along shortly to correct me on something. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:33 
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Only thing I will point out is that those prices are post-discount, so don't all rush to point out that once you click through the prices don't match.

From what I can see (and from memory): the Dell one is a little faster, but has integrated graphics. The extra £150 odd for the HP gets you a touchscreen, dedicated graphics (neither of which I think will get much use) and a 512GB SSD, rather than the 256GB one on the Dell.

Personally (and I'm probably in the market for a replacement too), I'm all over the Dell one, but I may well have missed something, or there could be something even better out there.


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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:37 
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Assuming you don't care about the integrated graphics, the Dell looks like a steal at that price.

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 11:40 
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Cras wrote:
Assuming you don't care about the integrated graphics, the Dell looks like a steal at that price.


Well, it's been put on HUKD with an NUS/NHS discount, so you're technically correct.


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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:02 
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Don’t buy HP anything. Utter garbage. When I worked for them I got a staff discount and my mum, dad and sister all got different models and they all had problems.

Dell stuff has usually been good. I had one bad experience but was fixed under warranty – the other three have been fine.

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:10 
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Not that this changes much, but the codes for the Dell have been expired. We're both entitled to 5% off anyway, but that means the Dell comes in at £502.55, rather than £449.64.

Still seems like the right way to go?


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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:31 
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If you don’t need the extra storage, touchscreen or ability to play games/do other GPU-intensive stuff then yes.

Even if you do, don’t buy the HP. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:34 
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I guess it was more a question of - is £500 still a good price for a laptop of that spec?


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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:56 
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Joans wrote:
I guess it was more a question of - is £500 still a good price for a laptop of that spec?

I would say so, yes. It was a no-brainer at £50 less but still very good value.

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 18:44 
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Joined: 25th May, 2014
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I've had nothing but good experiences with Dell if that helps...

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2020 19:23 
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I'm a huge fan of buying refurbished ThinkPads! Corporate IT departments regularly fling them away in large numbers when they're barely run in.

They're practically bombproof, really well spec'd (and easy to upgrade) and have the nicest keyboards of any laptop. The main caveat to watch out for is the low-end display options on them are pretty low-res and crummy (designed to appeal to corporate bean counters), so make sure it says what the display is in the description.

I like the 12-inch X-series ones, but if you want a numeric keypad the P-series ones have them (as well as even more horsepower, more ports, and bigger batteries).


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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 11:44 
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Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
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Yeah, I've got a Lenovo X240 that I got from eBay for £250 about a year or so ago. Has an i7, 16GB of RAM and I swapped out the HD for an SSD. The screen is, as you say, a bit pants (1366x768 I think) but it does the job.

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 21:57 
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Here's another potential contender:
https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/aldi-m ... op-3470343

Other than the brand, and other issues highlighted in that thread (crap, non-replacable battery, and no way to upgrade the ram), anything else to be wary of, or at £70 cheaper (and a bigger SSD), is that a better deal than the Dell?


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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2020 22:03 
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I personally would not buy a laptop with unupgradeable RAM if it only had a measly 8GB to start with.

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2020 8:41 
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Board Mother

Joined: 6th Apr, 2008
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The Dell has been ordered. Thank you for your opinions guys. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 9:20 
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GazChap wrote:
Yeah, I've got a Lenovo X240 that I got from eBay for £250 about a year or so ago. Has an i7, 16GB of RAM and I swapped out the HD for an SSD. The screen is, as you say, a bit pants (1366x768 I think) but it does the job.

**fist bump** Nice!

Is that the first X-series that had the new keyboard layout?


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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 9:28 
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Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
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Pass on that one, what was the new keyboard layout?

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 10:16 
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The original keyboards were like this, with the six ins/del/home/end/pgup/pgdn keys scooched up above the backspace:

Image

Then at some point Lenovo decided to lose some keys and reorganise it a bit:

Image

(Still lovely to type on for a laptop keyboard, mind.)


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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 10:40 
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gooby pls

Joined: 30th Mar, 2008
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Yeah, it's the bottom one (even says X240 on the top of that image!)

My only criticism is that it doesn't have a numeric keypad, but that's minor. The main thing for me is that it has Home and End keys, which a lot of laptops don't (or, if they do, they make you hold the Fn key)

The trackpad and buttons are shash, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2020 10:46 
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Comfortably Dumb

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Another fan of refurbed Thinkpads here. I have the X220 which has the first keyboard layout but as it has a maximum 8gb RAM, I ended up getting a T450, which was still an i5 but has 16gb which comes in handy for Power BI which likes to chew through the stuff. The T450 has the second keyboard layout and has a nicer feel to it - although mine is labelled up with the US layout so I sometimes forget where stuff is.

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 Post subject: Re: Another laptop help thread
PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2020 14:04 
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Board Mother

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Hey all, just want to say thank you for your help in this thread. I'm very happily posting this using my dictation software on the new laptop.

Absolute game changer. Thank you.

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