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Anyone know of a good laptop?


Droy

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Anybody know of a good laptop? I know I really should be asking this stuff on a computer tech forum or maybe at PC World. Anyway, I felt like I should try here first ;). Range would be about 500 EURO - 900 EURO.

Don't really do much, browse the internet a lot (Computer that runs the internet fast and other applications quickly as well), games (A laptop that can handle games at their lowest quality at least).

Any help would be appreciated.

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Re: Anyone know of a good laptop?

So roughly £400-750

That's quite a big range, so there are a LOT of options really. I'd say Samsung offer the best value for money at the moment though.

I bought one recently myself, so I've looked at quite a lot of laptops around the £500-600 mark. Most other trusted brands (HP, Toshiba, Sony, Dell, Acer etc) were asking around £50 more than Samsung for laptops with the same processors/RAM/hard drives and other things.

Well built machines from a reputable company, so they're a pretty safe bet really.

There are cheaper options, but only from budget brands like Advent as far as I'm aware, which I'm not really that keen on. When I'm spending £500+ on something, I'd rather not take a gamble on quality and customer service.

So basically, look for any Samsung laptop with an Intel Core i3 processor (Core i5 is faster if you can afford it, but i3 should be more than good enough), and at least 4GB of RAM.

Here's a few that are for sale on Amazon in case you want to take a look (obviously you can get them from other places too):

Samsung R530

Amazon price: £533 (637EUR)

RRP: £599 (716EUR)

A good all-rounder, for a good price. Intel Core i3 processor and 4GB RAM means it will be more than quick enough for what you want. No bluetooth though for some reason, so if you want to connect to phones/cameras etc, you'll need to use the USB cable. Will run low quality games ok, but the graphics card might not handle much more than that.

TAKE CARE: There are cheaper versions of this laptop available with slower processors and/or less RAM. Don't buy the wrong one by mistake.

VERDICT: A great laptop that's had some great reviews in various magazines. It's about 200-270EUR cheaper than the highest you want to go, so will save you some money. Personally though, I would spend the extra 30-40EUR (depending on where you buy from) on the slightly faster, bluetooth enabled R540.

Samsung R540

Amazon price: £563 (673EUR)

RRP: £599 (716EUR)

This is essentially the same as the R530 above, but with a slightly faster version of Intel's Core i3 processor, and with bluetooth. The difference in speed is only small, so you might not even notice it much, but being able to connect phones and cameras wirelessly is very handy, especially if you're already using your USB ports for other things. Graphics card still isn't good enough for medium-high quality games though. Not everyone will like the colour (brown, almost wood effect), but some think it looks a bit classier than shiny black or silver plastic. Depends on your taste.

TAKE CARE: There are cheaper versions of this laptop available with less RAM. 4GB is the best one to get.

VERDICT: This is the laptop I actually bought. Great performance and great value for money. This is the one to get if you decide you'd rather not spend your entire budget.

Samsung R580

Amazon price: £660 (789EUR)

RRP: £699 (836EUR)

This has the same processor as the R530 (slightly slower than the R540, but probably not enough to notice), 4GB RAM (the same as all 3 others), and bluetooth. So performance will be the same as the cheaper laptops. The difference is that this comes with a Bluray DVD drive and a better graphics card. Not good enough to handle the latest games on ultra high settings, but certainly enough for most modern games on medium settings.

There are a few different versions of this available for different prices (a cheaper one with a smaller hard drive, a more expensive one with a faster processor etc), but this one offers the best value in my opinion. All of them are good enough for what you need.

VERDICT: Good performance again, with the added bonus of a better graphics card. If gaming is more important to you than finding a bargain, you should think about getting this. The R590 is a better choice, but costs a bit more.

Samsung R590

Amazon price: £751 (898EUR)

RRP: £799 (955EUR)

This one is easily the most expensive, but it's also the fastest and the best for gaming, out of the ones I've linked. This has an Intel Core i5 processor, which is faster than the i3 in the other 3 laptops. Not massively faster, but enough to notice some difference. It also has a fairly decent graphics card (a bit better than the one in the R580, and quite a lot better than the R530/R540). This should easily play most of the latest games on medium-high settings (although it will still struggle with the very highest settings). No Bluray drive though for this price - you can get an R590 with one, but it's £100 more expensive. A very good laptop, but you need to decide if the extra speed and gaming capabilities are worth the big price tag.

VERDICT: The fastest of the 4 laptops, and the best for gaming, but unless those extra gaming capabilities are essential I'd say save some money and get one of the others.

OVERALL:

  • If gaming is a priority and you don't mind spending all your budget, get the R590.
  • If you'd rather get a bargain and have 200EUR (maybe more) left to spend on something else, get the R540 - it is fast, and it will still play games (just on lowish settings)
  • If you want the R540, but don't like the colour or you can't find it cheap enough, get the R530 (more places seem to sell the R530 at the lower prices for some reason).
  • If you want something in between the two, get the R580 - personally, I'm not sure I'd go for this one for that reason, as it's only 100EUR cheaper than the R590, but that's up to you.
  • If you need a Bluray DVD drive, get the R580 - or an R590 if you're willing to go 100EUR over your budget (the one I linked here doesn't have one).

Well there's my 2 cents anyway. There's a lot out there in your price range, so someone else may well come along and recommend something totally different, but if you do go for one of these I doubt you'd be disappointed. :P

EDIT: Oh, and if you do need advice, only ask the staff at PC World as a last resort. They only tell you what they think you want to hear. They'll either try to sell you something expensive you don't need, or try and tell you something cheaper is a 'bargain' when it's actually just rubbish (usually when you seem unsure and they're afraid you'll leave and buy from somewhere else, or sometimes because their boss has told them to try and shift a specific product).

PC World staff are primarily just typical salespeople. They aren't interested in what you need or even what you buy - they just want you to spend as much as possible, and make sure that what you do buy is bought from them.

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