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Thread: Laptop advice

  1. #1

    Laptop advice

    Hi all
    The laptop my 11yr old lad uses (mine from 14yrs ago) is giving warnings of imminent hard drive death, so time for a new one.
    He doesn't use it for any gaming, it's just for web stuff, his school literacy and maths homework sites, etc. So a cheap and cheerful 15in laptop needed. Happy with the cheap HP one we got my wife a few years back, so looking at those again.

    Found this First, intel pentium gold CPU, 4Gb ram, 128gb ssd £290
    https://www.hp.com/gb-en/shop/produc...pt=ABU&sel=NTB

    Popped into Currys today for other reasons and they had this version. Ryzen 3, 5300u, 4gb ram, 256gb ssd, £420
    https://www.currys.co.uk/products/hp...hTerm=Hp%2015s

    Wondering if that's a worthwhile upgrade?

    Then also saw this version for pretty much the same money. Intel core i3 1115g4, 8gb ram, 256 ssd £430
    https://www.hp.com/gb-en/shop/produc...hnical-details

    What's best out of ryzen3 with 4gb ram vs i3 with 8gb?

    Cheers


    Brighty

  2. #2
    Master Lampoc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brighty View Post
    What's best out of ryzen3 with 4gb ram vs i3 with 8gb?
    There's not a lot in it between the Ryzen 3 5300 and the i3 i3 1115G4 so the RAM really settles it. RAM upgrades aren't expensive though. Saying that, I think you can do a lot better for under £400 - keep an eye out on hotukdeals for any bargains that appear:

    Ryzen 5 with a 512gb SSD and 8gb RAM: https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/len...opebay-4024601
    i3 with 256gb HDD and 8gb RAM for under £300: https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/asp...s29900-4024077
    i5 (11th gen) with 256GB SSD and 8gb RAM: https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/len...s-blue-4023492 https://ao.com/product/82hs00m7uk-le...95582-251.aspx

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    Just swap the hard drive.

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    Get a mac book, cheaper in the long run.

    Sent from my SM-F936B using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Master M1011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael27 View Post
    Get a mac book, cheaper in the long run.

    Sent from my SM-F936B using Tapatalk
    Sorry but this is nonsense. Apple is many things, but cheaper is not one of them.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    Sorry but this is nonsense. Apple is many things, but cheaper is not one of them.
    Fanboys will be fanboys.

  7. #7
    Master
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    They are expensive to buy buy they run forever trouble free. Probably the best bet over the longer term.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    They are expensive to buy buy they run forever trouble free. Probably the best bet over the longer term.
    The OP's (not Apple) lasted 14 years.

    Presumably if the Mac is 3x the cost it will last 40 years.

  9. #9
    Master M1011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    They are expensive to buy buy they run forever trouble free. Probably the best bet over the longer term.
    A classic mistake is for people to compare a Macbook costing a grand to a Windows laptop costing 30% of the total. If comparing, then compare apples with apples (pun intended), compare a Macbook to a similarly priced Windows option (of which there are plenty). I think you'll find both will be well made and reliable.

    I've got nothing against Apple options and I'm sure for a good number of people they may be the best option. But I do find it funny when people go from a £300 windows laptop to a £1,000+ apple laptop, thanks to clever marketing getting them to up their spend appetite, then act amazed that the latter is a superior device like it's some kind of Apple magic.

  10. #10
    Try and go for one with the i3core but 12th gen, faster than the i5core 11th gen. Maybe struggling at your price point.

    Thanks
    deano

  11. #11
    Master Man of Kent's Avatar
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    I recently upgraded with a new laptop to replace my 11 year old Lenovo. I reckoned it was worth trying to do something with the old one so that it could be useful for the family for web use only, so did a full windows reset with a complete drive clean.
    I must say, it seems to have done something as it now works quite well. I removed as much of the Windows bloatware as possible and installed Chrome as the default browser. I disabled as many other programs as possible.
    Might be worth doing this as a cheap short-term fix.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Iím not an Apple fanboy but both sons were given MacBook airs that are now 8 years old and still going strong. The youngest first laptop was aHP which lasted less than three years and couldnít be economically repaired. His Mac is used every day.

  13. #13
    Master dice's Avatar
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    If its purely for web browsing, consider a Chromebook. Really need to have a chat with your little one to see if they're required to run any programs or have a dependency in Windows. It may not be right for them, but just throwing it out there.

    Macbooks are great but they are expensive. Sure they're a good long-term prop but they can be fragile. Eg, on my 16 inch MBP the tolerance between the screen and the body when closed is tight. So much so that anything trapped in there on close will cause the screen to crack. The horsepower of the new M1 chip however is insane. a New operating system though (MacOS) may not be the right choice so again, ask if it would work.

    I would attempt to steer you away from HP (personal bad experiences, both consumer-grade and enterprise) and suggest Dell or if the budget allows, Lenovo's Thinkpad range.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    Sorry but this is nonsense. Apple is many things, but cheaper is not one of them.
    Currently working on a mid 2015 Mac Book Pro, using it for HD video editing, photography editing, 3D visuals, graphics, and much more, almost every day for 7 years. Name another laptop of lower cost, at that age, that would outperform my MacBook.

    For comparison for a new machine with similar spec: today you could spend £1098 a brand new HP ProBook 450 G9 15.6" with an intel i7 chip, 2.2GHz, 16gb RAM with a display with fewer pixels 1920x1080 vs 2880x1800 (mac). My machine is 7 years older, slimmer, and better built and better spec.

    Call me a fanboy, but at that price I'd take a 2022 Mac Book Air, it'll be going long after the HP has been retired from duty.

  15. #15
    Have a look at https://itzoo.co.uk

    I've used them a few times and have been using a hp spectre 360 for a couple of years. Surf's the net and plays football manager when I'm bored just fine and cost less than a new 'home' laptop that's likely built from biscuits.

  16. #16
    Master
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    I was also going to suggest either s/h or refurbished.

    If going the pc route Iíd look at ex business machines rather consumer ones so Lenovo thinkpad x, T or E series devices or Dell Latitude or Precision with a intel i5 gen 10 or newer, 16Gb of ram & a 512GB ssd.

    Or a m1 MacBook Air from the Apple referb store.

    Both options will likely be above (well in the Macís case) budget but they are built to a better standard than the consumer offerings & will likely have a longer service life, with him enter his teens not a bad thing.

  17. #17
    Master M1011's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    Currently working on a mid 2015 Mac Book Pro, using it for HD video editing, photography editing, 3D visuals, graphics, and much more, almost every day for 7 years. Name another laptop of lower cost, at that age, that would outperform my MacBook.

    For comparison for a new machine with similar spec: today you could spend £1098 a brand new HP ProBook 450 G9 15.6" with an intel i7 chip, 2.2GHz, 16gb RAM with a display with fewer pixels 1920x1080 vs 2880x1800 (mac). My machine is 7 years older, slimmer, and better built and better spec.

    Call me a fanboy, but at that price I'd take a 2022 Mac Book Air, it'll be going long after the HP has been retired from duty.
    Maybe you'd have been better off spending half as much and buying a new laptop after 4 years, given the pace of change in tech. Who knows. I certainly don't have a time machine to go back and see prices/availability in 2015, so I'll assume that ask was rhetorical.

    To call Apple cheaper is a tough sell. It's a premium brand with premium pricing. It can be a good choice depending on the needs of the user, but it doesn't sound like the right choice for "web stuff, school literacy and maths homework" for a 11yo school kid, particularly when the ask was for "cheap and cheerful."

    To be clear I haven't faulted Macs or called anyone a fanboy. What I have said, and I stand by it, is that all too frequently people compare their old Windows laptop to their new Mac that costs 3-4x as much, and then act amazed that it's better. Those same folk all to often have never and would never spend the same on a Windows laptop.

  18. #18
    Cheers all

    After some googling of how to put a new HD into a laptop, thought i'd give it a go, so a 500GB SSD and SATA to USB cable is on the way. How hard can it be?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Brighty View Post
    Cheers all

    After some googling of how to put a new HD into a laptop, thought i'd give it a go, so a 500GB SSD and SATA to USB cable is on the way. How hard can it be?
    Should be trivial. You might even be able to keep the old drive for storage and use the new one for the operating system. In my laptop it was easy to replace the redundant optical drive with a hard drive caddy.

  20. #20
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    They are expensive to buy buy they run forever trouble free. Probably the best bet over the longer term.
    They don't, and they certainly aren't.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by monogroover View Post
    They don't, and they certainly aren't.
    So why is my Mac-Pro (Late-2013) still running fine with no issues then?

    Used 9AM - 5PM every working day.

  22. #22
    Master
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    I have a big dual monitor windows graphics workstation with a couple of rtx 3090s a year old ryzen and 128gb of ram in it. ( its so fast its not funny)

    I also have a current model top spec macbook pro 16 (its so fast its not funny).

    I'm finding it hard to justify switching on the windows workstation.

    I spent a lot of my younger years using Irix based workstations and find that the unix terminal on macs is my go to for file management .

    My previous macbook pro was a 2013 15 top spec for the time. It died last week a couple of months after I gave it away , I'm sure its fixable though.

  23. #23
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    A left field option but the best laptop Iíve ever had bar none is my Panasonic CF19 Toughbook- the Land Rover Defender of the laptop world. So tough you could bludgeon someone to death with it, wipe it clean and type up your report on it, with it still working perfectly. Probably.

    Mine is now 6 years old and holding up incredibly well to heavy daily use and abuse. It was expensive at the time- £3k+ - but a couple of years ago on learning they were discontinued and in panic lest it ever die I picked up a perfect little-used replacement for a bargaintastic £250 or so on eBay. Utterly superb machines and unreservedly recommended even used.

  24. #24
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
    I have a big dual monitor windows graphics workstation with a couple of rtx 3090s a year old ryzen and 128gb of ram in it.
    Do you mind me asking what brand/model it is?

    I'm looking for a new PC, and that sounds like a very nice spec!

  25. #25
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipK View Post
    Do you mind me asking what brand/model it is?

    I'm looking for a new PC, and that sounds like a very nice spec!
    its one i bought of the classified here 18months ago , originally an ebuyer alphasync build . subsequently i have removed the tough gaming 3090 it came with to fit two "smaller" 3090s into it . Probably replace that tuf gaming 3090 back as its rgb works better with the asus mobo.

    I'll find the details . Its got a 1200w corsair psu in it currently but came with an 850w corsair i can swap back , and the ram is now 98GB (not 128bg as i said). ryzen something or other cpu 3500xt rings a bell.

    The case is not to everyone's taste and the glass panel on the side was removed to improve airflow to the twin 3090s. (one is on a pcie ribbon riser cable ) The glass side panel subsequently spontaneously shattered in hot weather in the boot of my mates brand new jaguar ipace!

    However its a beasty beast of a beast , currently with an lg 2.5k monitor and an acer 4k monitor. I am tempted to sell on as its not getting much use , could probably sell with the monitors.

    used as a graphics workstation for film work , although i'm happier on the macbook to be honest . I can probably give you any card you want in it from 3060 , 3070 , 3080 or 3090.

  26. #26
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brighty View Post
    Cheers all

    After some googling of how to put a new HD into a laptop, thought i'd give it a go, so a 500GB SSD and SATA to USB cable is on the way. How hard can it be?
    What's the cable for? Cloning the old drive?

  27. #27
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Fanboys will be fanboys.
    I've been a Windows user since the very first iteration, (DOS before that on an IBM 3G so giving my age away now), both for work, home and subsequently database development and support when I started my own business.

    Earlier this year I tried a friends Apple Desktop as editing photographs on my 27" DELL Inspiron AMD Risen 7 using Affinity Photo and Silkypix Studio Pro 11 wasn't as quick to refresh as I'd like given the volume of photographs I handle. The difference was chalk and cheese.

    I've now gone full Apple with a MAC Studio Desktop, 27" Studio Monitor, iPad Pro, iPhone 13 and Apple Watch 7. Would I go back to Windows? Only if I wanted to play games, which I don't. For everything else Apple is IMO way better, the integration of Apple Apps across all four platforms is nothing short of excellent; and I can still run all my MS Office products too.

    Not a fanboy, just someone who like to use the best tool for the job.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I hate being bipolar, its brilliant.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    What's the cable for? Cloning the old drive?
    Yes, seemed the easiest way from my limited googling, was only £4

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