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Buying a new Laptop and need advice and recommendations

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kingdrastic1

Registered
Joined
May 3, 2014
I have a budget of £400-£500 at the very max
Things needed
1920x1080 res for high quality screen/vidoes/movies streaming etc
8gb ram
preferably an i5 cpu
15 inches screen at the very minimum
1tb hdd

Since i won't be gaming/video editing or anything of the sort, mainly browsing and downloading/viewing movies/tv series, the screen quality has to be good and not pixely and lq like the current £300-350 laptops i have seen.
I'd appreciate any advice and recommendations. Thanks.
 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
I had purchased this machine.

I would be hard pressed to find a laptop deal in the UK or EU. What I would like to point out from my link above is that it came with a discrete graphics card and no optical drive. I use my laptop in a similar way that you describe. I like having the discrete graphics because it does not take from the slower main memory and allows for smooth streaming. I added a super slim blue-ray drive just in case I ever get a blue-ray disk.

Just some things to keep in mind as you shop.
 
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Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
Look for IPS screens if you want quality. The rest of your specs are reasonable for the price point, but getting that with a full HD IPS screen will be tricky/luck.

Since IPS is a selling point (and raises the cost), most makers list it as a spec because they want you to know. If it doesn't mention IPS, it's likely not.

I was recently introduced to the Lenovo Outlet, which sells new and refurb. They may have something in their new offerings? [unsure if there's a Lenovo Outlet for UK/EU]
 
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kingdrastic1

Registered
Joined
May 3, 2014
Look for IPS screens if you want quality. The rest of your specs are reasonable for the price point, but getting that with a full HD IPS screen will be tricky/luck.

Since IPS is a selling point (and raises the cost), most makers list it as a spec because they want you to know. If it doesn't mention IPS, it's likely not.

I was recently introduced to the Lenovo Outlet, which sells new and refurb. They may have something in their new offerings? [unsure if there's a Lenovo Outlet for UK/EU]

After searching and looking over specs and other things from different brands around the same price range all day, your comment is very relevant. It's because the laptops with good specs don't have the ips high quality screen, whereas the ips high quality screen laptops won't have the same higher specs the other side offers. I'm hoping i can find one that has both, i'd like your opinion on these that i have been looking at recently.
First one i found was an Acer with decent specs but no IPS screen.

Acer Aspire E15 E5-575G-53VG [$510.00]
Intel Core i5-5200U 2.2 GHz (3 MB Cache)
Windows 10 (I plan on installing w7)
8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
15.6-Inch Full HD Screen, NVIDIA GeForce 940M with 2GB VRAM

Acer Laptop Aspire E5-575G-55KK [$459.99]
Intel Core i5 7th Gen 7200U (2.50 GHz)
8 GB Memory
1 TB HDD
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
1920 x 1080 - 15.6" Windows 10 Home


These two are roughly the same specs, and not too much of a difference in price. Then i started to look at other brands and their rough equivalents to the popular acer models above. Both have decent specs, especially like the dedicated GPU they have, but lack IPS screen.

This Lenovo ideapad is a bit pricier than the acer models but has IPS
Lenovo Ideapad 700-15ISK [$624.99]
Intel Core i5-6300HQ 2.3GHz
IPS 1920x1080 - 15.6 inches
8GB RAM
1TB HDD
Win 10 Home
NVIDIA GTX 950M


The last one i looked at also included an IPS screen like the one above and is also a bit pricier than i prefered. It has i7 instead of i5 and i can't really think of the need for i7 since i'm not video editing etc etc. It has Intel HD Graphics 520 so don't think it's good GPU wise but the screen seems to be extremely good.

HP laptop [$609.00]
2016 Newest Premium Performance HP Pavilion

6th Gen Intel Core i7-6500U mobile processor, Intel HD Graphics 520
12GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SATA Hard Drive, SuperMulti DVD burner
15.6-inch full HD (1920X1080 resolution) IPS UWVA BrightView WLED-backlit display, HD webcam
B&O PLAY with dual speakers, full-size island-style backlit keyboard with numeric keypad, 802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth, HDMI
Windows 10 Home operating system


Any help is appreciated, thanks!.

- - - Updated - - -

I had purchased this machine.

I would be hard pressed to find a laptop deal in the UK or EU. What I would like to point out from my link above is that it came with a discrete graphics card and no optical drive. I use my laptop in a similar way that you describe. I like having the discrete graphics because it does not take from the slower main memory and allows for smooth streaming. I added a super slim blue-ray drive just in case I ever get a blue-ray disk.

Just some things to keep in mind as you shop.

Funeral home? I think you pasted the wrong link friend, sorry for your loss if that's the case, and thanks for the information. I don't intend on buying blurays to be quite honest with you and if you do find any deals i'd love to take a look since you're right about it being hard to find good deals on laptops in the UK/EU. Also, my above post to the other user, i was asking about a dedicated GPU helping in streaming movies/youtube better quality/smoother.
 

Bluefalcon13

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
My wife got me a Lenovo yoga 910. It's a pretty solid machine for most the things I use it for. A little small for what you want in screen size, but it's a nice 4k display

 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
i'd like your opinion on these that i have been looking at recently..

I'm not a fan of Acer (poor reliability history, typically lower end parts used), plus that has the "U" processor which is for ultrabooks and slightly less powerful.

I have a Yoga 700 11.6" laptop. The Lenovo's specs you posted with the "HQ" processor and IPS make this the best candidate. I can vouch that their IPS screens are good quality, with a bit of bleed at the edges (which isn't noticeable unless looking at a black screen).

The HP is an option, even though it's the "U" processor as well it would be somewhat closer to the Lenovo's i5 HQ performance.

You can do rough benchmark comparisons by searching google for the processor model with benchmark added. Passmark's website will be one of the first results. Any processor with 2,000+ points will do basic email/internet/HD streaming fine. Performance past that is bonus unless needed for more intensive app use. Example:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/[email protected]+2.30GHz

https://www.google.com/#q=i5-6300hq+benchmark

You don't need a dedicated graphics card, HD streaming doesn't require *that much* processing power. You'll be limited by your internet connection long before most modern computers start choking. Gaming and CAD/3D rendering is the only thing that benefits from a dedicated card, and even then you can get by with less with lower quality settings.
 

Bluefalcon13

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Pinky, I can say that the 7xxx series u CPUs don't seem very sluggish at all. At least my i7-7500u seems to do just fine in my yoga. I'd say the current u CPUs are leaps and bounds better than the 3xxxU series processors, just judging from what my wife's laptop can do.

 

don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Funeral home? I think you pasted the wrong link friend, sorry for your loss if that's the case, and thanks for the information. I don't intend on buying blurays to be quite honest with you and if you do find any deals i'd love to take a look since you're right about it being hard to find good deals on laptops in the UK/EU. Also, my above post to the other user, i was asking about a dedicated GPU helping in streaming movies/youtube better quality/smoother.
That's embarrassing. Sorry. The real link is:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834315303

On a lighter note for the bad link is that the funeral home site shows a local burger joint for the location via google's street view. Like they aren't even close. I used that link to tell the funeral home site that they may want to change the picture lest someone get the wrong idea about the burger joint.
 
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kingdrastic1

Registered
Joined
May 3, 2014
I'm not a fan of Acer (poor reliability history, typically lower end parts used), plus that has the "U" processor which is for ultrabooks and slightly less powerful.

I have a Yoga 700 11.6" laptop. The Lenovo's specs you posted with the "HQ" processor and IPS make this the best candidate. I can vouch that their IPS screens are good quality, with a bit of bleed at the edges (which isn't noticeable unless looking at a black screen).

The HP is an option, even though it's the "U" processor as well it would be somewhat closer to the Lenovo's i5 HQ performance.

You can do rough benchmark comparisons by searching google for the processor model with benchmark added. Passmark's website will be one of the first results. Any processor with 2,000+ points will do basic email/internet/HD streaming fine. Performance past that is bonus unless needed for more intensive app use. Example:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/[email protected]+2.30GHz

https://www.google.com/#q=i5-6300hq+benchmark

You don't need a dedicated graphics card, HD streaming doesn't require *that much* processing power. You'll be limited by your internet connection long before most modern computers start choking. Gaming and CAD/3D rendering is the only thing that benefits from a dedicated card, and even then you can get by with less with lower quality settings.

Is there any other brand or something else i should look for?

- - - Updated - - -

That's embarrassing. Sorry. The real link is:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834315303

On a lighter note for the bad link is that the funeral home site shows a local burger joint for the location via google's street view. Like they aren't even close. I used that link to tell the funeral home site that they may want to change the picture lest someone get the wrong idea about the burger joint.

Unfortunate but also quite funny!
 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
Pinky, I can say that the 7xxx series u CPUs don't seem very sluggish at all. At least my i7-7500u seems to do just fine in my yoga. I'd say the current u CPUs are leaps and bounds better than the 3xxxU series processors, just judging from what my wife's laptop can do.

No doubt, I think I was clear to make the distinct that they are on paper less powerful but serviceable. The HQs, clock for clock, are faster. That just is. If given the choice and low power consumption isn't a concern, definitely get the HQ. Googling the passmark results, the previously referenced i5 HQ scored higher than the i7 U.

Don256us, not sure why you mentioned 4k. That wasn't listed in their requirements.
 
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don256us

Uber Folding Senior
Joined
Jul 17, 2003
Don256us, not sure why you mentioned 4k. That wasn't listed in their requirements.

I put too much emphasis on the "high quality screen" requirement.

I have the E15-574 which is last years model. I have the Nvidia card. I had to add an SSD to really feel like it had any speed, I also added another 8 GB of RAM to take advantage of the memory dual channel as it only came with one stick.

I will say that the body of the laptop is all plastic and the unit does feel a little weak. With that said, I have traveled with this machine without any problem of breakage.

The other issue with the 574 and probably the 575 is that there is no access panel to swap the HDD, RAM. etc. I had to remove 18 screws and work the back of the machine off. If you don't mind any of that, the second machine that you list is a great choice from my experience. YMMV
 
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Bluefalcon13

Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2008
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
No doubt, I think I was clear to make the distinct that they are on paper less powerful but serviceable. The HQs, clock for clock, are faster. That just is. If given the choice and low power consumption isn't a concern, definitely get the HQ. Googling the passmark results, the previously referenced i5 HQ scored higher than the i7 U.

Don256us, not sure why you mentioned 4k. That wasn't listed in their requirements.
That's not a super fair comparison, it's a dual w/ hyperthreading vs a full blown quad [emoji14]

I was saying dont run away from the 7xxx duals, they are alot stronger than the older generation U cpus, that's all. If you need horsepower, and not battery life, then get the HQ ones. They are stronger for sure, as you said.

 

Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
That's not a super fair comparison, it's a dual w/ hyperthreading vs a full blown quad [emoji14]

Given the price points (better processor and IPS), that was one reason I suggested the i5 HQ equipped Lenovo laptop was the better deal over the i7U HP. More is more.
 
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kingdrastic1

Registered
Joined
May 3, 2014
I put too much emphasis on the "high quality screen" requirement.

I have the E15-574 which is last years model. I have the Nvidia card. I had to add an SSD to really feel like it had any speed, I also added another 8 GB of RAM to take advantage of the memory dual channel as it only came with one stick.

I will say that the body of the laptop is all plastic and the unit does feel a little weak. With that said, I have traveled with this machine without any problem of breakage.

The other issue with the 574 and probably the 575 is that there is no access panel to swap the HDD, RAM. etc. I had to remove 18 screws and work the back of the machine off. If you don't mind any of that, the second machine that you list is a great choice from my experience. YMMV

High quality screen is a must, however i don't think i need 4k, an ips screen fhd 1920x1080 will do.
If anyone knows where i can see a clear difference in ips and non-ips, i'd appreciate a link. All the videos and stuff i've found are not fair representatons although you can kinda see how different they are in videos on youtube.
As far as i can see, the 574/575 don't have ips fhd screens and have the regular fhd led screens? Besides that, the specs are pretty good for the price, the build quality doesn't matter too much.

Overall, from my view i can see that it's either the slightly more expensive ips screen with good specs or the slightly cheaper led screen with good specs, will have to make a decision i guess unless someone recommends i keep searching for other laptops and believes i can find something better than the lenovo for the same pricepoint.

Also i have a bit of a problem, i found the model on amazon for the same price but on the UK version, it's completely different and far more expensive, like 300+ GBP more.
On the .com version of amazon i found it but it doesn't ship to UK, i look at other sellers that sell it on amazon.com NEW and not sure how i can find one or know which one is willing to ship to UK, any help guys?
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B01I7WYHJ2/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=all
I can't find this price anywhere else, especially not in the UK.
 
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Pinky

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2001
Location
Narf City, USA
I can't comment about the ins/outs of Amazon's shipping since I literally only use it for personal, within USA purchasing...

Regarding the older LED/LCD versus IPS panel question... the biggest difference is the viewing angle improvement with IPS. I can literally look at a IPS screen at any angle and see clearly what's on the screen, with older panels the viewing angle is poor, you have to be looking straight at it to get the best image. On top of improved viewing angle, the contrast (darker/lighter regions) is much improved with IPS. I actually had to turn my IPS screen down, even though it looked fine (good image) at full brightness it was just too much. But at full brightness the contrast beween light and dark was immense.
 
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kingdrastic1

Registered
Joined
May 3, 2014
This video explains the panels well:


Thanks, i now have a good idea of the two.
I been looking for laptops around my price range and have found these currently. [Excluding the first one since i can't get it shipped to the UK otherwise it would be perfect.]
The HP envy stands out since it has ips screen but i am a bit worried about its CPU, '1.8ghz' seems abnormally low compared to the others. Although it does say it can 'turbo boost to 3.2ghz' but not sure if that's a real possibility/worth doing.
Sorry forgot to mention the Used Acer also seems to be really good with the ips screen and 12gbram, I know it's used but it's from 'amazon warehouse deals' so it's not a local/dodgy seller that i have to worry about.
n9CyPKd.png
 
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