Looking for a laptop deal

Looking to buy a new (ish) laptop online in the UK.

Manufacturers refurbs are fine: not all that keen on properly second hand ones.

Want a 15 inch (ish) screen DVD player with some version of Windows. 500 MB. WiFi.

Other than that it doesn\’t really matter, simple games, email, browsing machine.

Anyone got any good pointers? Sure, I can Google, but anyone with personal experience of various sellers?

21 thoughts on “Looking for a laptop deal”

  1. It’s hard to beat Dell, particularly the “outlet” site where they sell PCs & laptops whose orders were cancelled or which have very minor faults (typically, slight dent or smudge).

  2. We use PCWB or eBuyer. EBuyer have a lot of end-of-line stuff, sometimes better value.

    I suggest buying a big name, and buying new. HP Compaq, Acer, Lenovo etc will all be fine. Have a look at the keyboard layout though and make sure you are happy with it. Some laptops come without proper Home/End/PGUP/PGDN keys, which is a real annoyance if you are used to them.

    I have had bad experience with refurbs (from other vendors, not those).

  3. Dell are hard to beat. you can get your spec for £400 or so. I’ve had Dell, Toshiba, Samsung and IBM/Lenovo laptops. Toshibsa was robust, but power supply was problematic. Samsung does bot seem to be so robust, bits are falling off it. Dells have all given a full 3 year life without problems.
    IBMs were very robust, but the Lenovo replacements are not as well built.

  4. Dell, HP, Toshiba if you like them, Lenovo as long as you check the actual model carefully – some have weird designs and there’s not standard look-and-feel as there used to be in the IBM days.

    Don’t buy any “white box” rubbish or anything with a name you’ve never heard before; such things are mostly short-life companies selling parts-bin cocktails of whatever’s cheap that week; no consistency, poor support, uneven quality.

  5. Marksany,

    Lenovo’s been good for me (in reliability, support and build quality), but I think it’s worth avoiding the cheaper ranges. Then again, I think that most manufacturer’s cheaper ranges are poorly built.

  6. There is something to be said for buying a machine at Tesco or Argos if you are just looking for a cheapie from a major brand – they sell the basic machines from Dell, HP, Acer etc at good prices. Probably though, if I were buying such a machine myself I would go for the Dell outlet store too.

    A £400 cheapie is likely to be fine if you are just going to use it at home and drive it around in a car. If you are going to carry it a lot (including in you hand luggage when you fly) machines in this category tend to be quite heavy and have relatively poor battery life. Paying an extra couple of hundred quid will get you a more lightweight machine with better battery life and better build quality (and probably a nicer screen). In the £600-700 category there are some decent machines from Samsung.

  7. I have used Dell kit for more than 15 years and have never regreted it. Other manufacturers have given me grief. If you decide on a Dell put aside you idleness and type “Dell vouchers” into Google and you may save yourself a bundle.

  8. Recommended: Dell, Toshiba, Lenovo, Gateway

    Avoid: Acer, HP, Sony, Apple, i.e. the cheap crap and the overpriced crap.

    If you want the basic Dell models, as stated before, use Tesco Direct.

  9. I got an Acer Aspire in 2003 and it’s still going strong. Obviously it’s laughably obsolete being that old, but it’s been carried all round the world and never had any sort of fault and is still running as well as when I got it, so I feel I can recommend Acer’s build quality.

  10. I’ve got a Compaq with a full keyboard and wide screen. Runs a Core 2 Duo at 2.2 GHz or thereabouts. Cost about $500. Very high build quality, but the keyboard layout is a bit annoying.

    I’m using Windows 7, which is Microsoft’s best yet. Unfortunately that’s not saying much. If I didn’t have my Macbook or Ubuntu box to run to when Windows does something boneheaded I’d have battered the Compaq to death by now.

  11. Dell, HP/Compaq, Acer are all fine. Lenovo (IBM as was) or Toshiba if you want a slightly better-built machine.

    I’d also echo Michael’s point on Samsung – I’ve just bought this chap, and it’s absolutely excellent.

  12. The Dell Inspiron 15 is pretty good. It’s what I’m writing this with. It does look cheap, but it works well. I’m not sure the Dell 15R or 15z is worth the extra money for you.

    If you want to make sure you get something rugged and reliable then a Dell Latitude 6510 or 6410. That’s really what you need if your going to be travelling all over the world every few weeks. It’ll be more damage resistant than a consumer laptop.

    I used to work for Dell. Though I didn’t leave on the best of terms I still think their products are generally better than the other laptop vendors.

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