Best [fast] laptop for less than £700?

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by BabylenTatarsky, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. BabylenTatarsky

    BabylenTatarsky Rocks Your Socks

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    I'm thinking about buying my girlfriend a new laptop for her birthday next month because she's always swearing at her current one for being slow, and needs to be plugged into the charger to actually power on. Time for a new one!

    £700 is the absolute maximum. I'd rather spend less than £600 if possible.

    She doesn't use it for much more than school stuff (she's a teacher) so just like word processing, powerpoint, that kind of thing. ie NO GAMING OR VIDEO RENDERING WHATSOEVER. She's impatient though, so I'd like it to be fairly nippy at booting and loading things.

    What can you recommend?

    I was looking at the Sony Vaio CB2M0E/B on the Tesco website but it got a 2 star review. However, that review's only bad thing to say about it is the cost, but it cost £926 at the time it was written. All of that's unimportant though because it's out of stock there. :D Seems out of stock everywhere actually.

    I'm thinking Sony Vaio because the adverts sway me (and they look cool) but please correct me if there's a better name in the laptop market. I was also thinking 6GB RAM to avoid any slowdown in loading. Or is that overkill?

    Found this Toshiba Satellite C855-2EU Laptop, Intel Core i5, 2.6GHz, 8GB RAM, 750GB for what seems really cheap (£500) for good specs. Are Toshiba crap?

    Lesser specs but SONY here: Sony VAIO E Series SVE1513Q1E. Whaddya reckon?

    Basically, please help me. Preferably closer to £600, but I'm willing to go to £700 (will just have to stay in every weekend for a month!)

    EDIT: Is there any reason I shouldn't just buy this Sony VAIO E1513D4E Intel Core i5 3230M / 15.5 inch / 6GB / 750GB for £564?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2013
  2. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    Not sure what website and places you have access to for purchasing.

    But if you can track down a

    ASUS K55A with the intel i5 3210M + Intel HD4000 iGPU, They should be in or below your budget and trust me... you should be quite pleased with the results.

    http://www.asus.com/Notebooks_Ultrabooks/K55A/#specifications

    If you have a few extra bucks to spare, buy a 128gb Samsung 840 SSD and swap the drive (if you don't need a large amount of space as most people generally don't), that puppy with blow your doors off in boot times and overall speed. IF space is a thing, you may be able to pick up a Seagate Momentus XT 750gb which will have similar initial performance of a ssd while giving you nice capacity.

    The battery life on that model is fantastic, averaging out to about 4 hours of relative consistent use.

    I've been selling this model since it's initial release. And since the haswell launched.. they should be a smidge cheaper.

    Oh and lastly, the HD4000 gpu does a really good job of playing modern games at reasonable quality. Nice warranty on the setup.

    Personally I've made a point of avoiding Toshiba.... and sony.. well.... they really seem to be a hit and miss for some.

    If you do get the laptop, i'd also see if you can get a windows 8 disk from someone and the first thing you should do is update the bios, and then wipe the system clean of all the garbage on it installing windows 8 fresh and then installing the hardware devices... doesn't seem to matter what brand laptop you go with (aside from Toshiba being among the worse for bloatware), all manufacturers seem to be going out of their way to make life miserable when it comes to bloatware.
     
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  3. BabylenTatarsky

    BabylenTatarsky Rocks Your Socks

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  4. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    personally would avoid getting one with dedicated graphics... unless you really need them... but even then.. i'm really not to impressed by the NVidia 610 series. I'd rather have the HD4000.

    And if the laptop uses the hybrid dual gpu modes.. that'll just make you life a living hell.

    I'd personally make certain to go with the specific model that only uses the HD4000 graphics with the i5 3210M
     
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  5. BabylenTatarsky

    BabylenTatarsky Rocks Your Socks

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  6. Ishank

    Ishank New Member

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    take a look at lenovo y500. it has i7 processor and 2 gt750m in sli....you can get just one 750m and a ssd/blu-ray in the ultrabay. ultrabay is a neat thing. also it has a full hd display and red backlit led keyboard.
     
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  7. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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  8. Takaharu

    Takaharu Unus offa, unus iuguolo

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    Is 1366x768 a reasonbale option? That screen res is a pain in the butt to many; the linked items above all have that res so just pointing it out.

    This deal has comparable specs for a lot less money.

    You'd do well by getting a reasonable laptop and replacing the harddrive with a Momentus XT for the extra load speeds. MXTs are perfect for laptops in my opinion and do make a massive difference.
     
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  9. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    You might not have to redo the Asus laptop. Most times there isn't too much bloatware on them. Of what Asus installs, most of it (for Windows 8 anyways) is simple stuff, like LifeFrame, Asus Convert, Asus Calculator, and what not, nothing that interferes with the system at startup. It's mostly just apps to show off the Metro UI. However, there is one I don't like: McAfee. Worthless POS. Just uninstall it, and Windows Defender will kick in (Windows Defender is now both anti-malware and anti-virus, aka Windows Defender + Windows Security Essentials in one package).

    There is stuff I recommend keeping like Asus InstantOn, USB Charger Plus, Asus Splendid Video Enhancement, and Asus Smart Gesture. Gestures is the most useful. Swiping the bottom of the touchpad is the same as swiping the from the right edge of the screen inwards, swiping from the left edge inwards alternates between Metro (or whatever Metro app is running) and the desktop or vice versa, double finger press for right-click, pinch the touchpad with 2 fingers for zooming, rotate 2 fingers on the pad for rotating the picture... that sort of thing. Plus the same gestures you use on the touch pad work on the touch screen too... well most of them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
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  10. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    yeah "usually" a complete format and reinstall isn't as necessary on Asus as it is on other manufacturers.

    But still, personally after doing a full format and reinstall from scratch and only installing the necessaries, the machines noticeably outperforms itself if it hadn't.
     
  11. BabylenTatarsky

    BabylenTatarsky Rocks Your Socks

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    I've whittled it down to two options, and successfully avoided ebay. Both choices are ASUS: one is a K55A and the other is a K55VD.

    Please help me decide whether the K55VD is good value for money. The reason I ask this is because the more expensive option may be slight overkill for what it will get used for, but it is still well within my budget so I don't mind.

    Option One: ASUS K55A-SX376H red £399.97
    -----
    Option Two: ASUS K55VD-SX494H £499.97
    I can't believe both have 8GB DDR3 RAM. :wtf:

    So for exactly £100 more you get 500GB more harddrive space, and dedicated graphics. Is it worth it?

    Judas, you said you preferred the integrated Intel HD 4000 gfx ahead of the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT 610M. Why is this?

    And Takahuru you said that 1366x768 resolution is a pain in the butt. Why is this?
     
  12. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    The GT 610 (and GT 610m), game by game, is slower than the Intel HD 4000. If we were talking about the HD 3000 series, that'd be a whole different matter as the GT 610 would kick the snot out of Intel HD 3000. Then again, since you said this wasn't for gaming, the point is moot.

    Since both are essentially identical systems, the difference being the graphics and hard drive size, personally I would go with the ASUS K55A-SX376H. The graphics isn't going to make a difference in this case either way (of note though, they list the Intel HD 4000 as having only 128MB of memory, but this is "default" size, and Asus usually allows for changing this in the bios up to 512MB), and if she really needs more space she can grab an external drive for less than 1/2 of £100 price difference.

    Plus, it be in Red. Win win. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
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  13. Stuart_Davidson

    Stuart_Davidson Well-Known Member

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    Just to throw a spanner in the works but if this isnt for gaming then why are you not going for an Ultrabook? Slimmer, lighter, longer battery life... all things I would think people would want?

    And due to Haswell models hitting the market there are loads of discounts in the existing ones to clear stock: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/lapto...avilion-b005sa-14-ultrabook-17056533-pdt.html (700g lighter than the ASUS, this has a 32gb cache ssd too.)

    Slightly faster CPU, touch more memory: http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/lapto...lion-14-b130sa-14-ultrabook-20582414-pdt.html
     
  14. Judas

    Judas Obvious Closet Brony Pony

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    Sure it's another option....

    But one thing I've seen a whole lot of... is uber thin laptops kicking it quickly and taking little to no punishment at all (resulting in breaking easily).

    Personally preference and all that, I just find the K55 Asus models are incredibly cool, and extremely fast, and After having tore one apart, build quality (heavy duty) is pretty damn good i'd say, the size of the heatsink block is likely a significant reason for the weight, least on the model I had, reason they run so damn cool.

    Like I said.. go with the ASUS K55A-SX376H, the HD4000 intel gpu is pretty potent little bugger, and the latest bios I've installed allowed up to 2GB of shared VRAM.

    Additionally you could with the money saved, swap the 500gb hardrive for a Seagate momentus xt 750gb or go straight into 128 or 250GB Samsung 840 SSD. Trust me.... these laptops with the momentus xt 750gb drives boot in absolutely no time flat, and only a smidge faster with a 840 128gb ssd.
     
  15. BabylenTatarsky

    BabylenTatarsky Rocks Your Socks

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    Just ordered this. Thanks for all the helpful replies. I hope she's pleased!
     

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