Best budget laptop for playing movies

  Lorveney 14 Sep 12

Hi All,

I am looking for a laptop for my disabled daughter for around £400-£500 (or less). She will only be using it to play movies, bit of internet use (Youtube & skype) and a bit of word processing. She will not be using it for playing games or anything that needs serious processing power and there will be minimum hard disk requirements. What I am more interested in is build quality and the best screen/sound for viewing movies. So basically:


Build quality Reliability Best 15" screen for viewing movies (not necessarily 1080) – not too reflective Screen resolution (lower the better if that means bigger text/icons) DVD drive - not necessarily blue-ray Integrated WiFi Decent sound Good integrated webcam

Not important

Processor/RAM/graphics spec (as long as it will play movies well) Hard disk capacity (any minimum spec will be sufficient) Connectivity components (one USB 2.0 for a mouse is enough) Quality of touchpad (she uses a mouse) Quality of keyboard (she only does one finger typing) Weight (she won't be carrying it around much) Battery life (it will be mostly plugged in to the mains) Software (the less the better!!)

Most of the reviews and recommendations I have read tend to focus on what components they have and their ability to play games seamlessly (quite understandably) but these are less important to me and my daughter. In these reviews, the Acers seem to come out well, but are they well built/reliable?

From what I have seen in the shops, most of the laptops in my price range seem to be quite flimsy/plasticky nowadays, presumably to keep down on weight. They also seem to have very glossy reflective screens. She currently has an Asus A6U which is seven years old but is really sturdy and has a matte screen. We have a Sony VGN-NR21E which again is really well built with a metal case (although it has a glossy screen and c**p battery life). I know the Asus would probably do with a separate webcam but we have promised her a new laptop for her birthday and don't want to disappoint her.

The guy in PC World recommended the TOSHIBA Satellite C850D-107 at £329.99 ( which did seem quite sturdy, but is this good value and are Toshibas good reliable makes in this budget range?

I guess what I am asking is if you can recommend a particular make/model that fits the bill, then great. Otherwise can you steer me towards the best manufacturers in terms of build quality and reliability (and away from those best to avoid!).

Hoping to make a purchase next week so any advice gratefully received!

Many thanks.


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