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Tech Helproom


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Need a new laptop but don't know where to start!


Angie Coops

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I'm not computer/IT savvy & the availability out there now is so immense it’s borderline ridiculous! I don't have the time to spend hours searching for 'what is the best laptop' & comparing all the hardware/software etc for everything out there, but I would really appreciate some advice for currently available laptops out there at the minute. I bought a netbook a couple of years ago & while it's very sweet, it just never had the capability for what I needed so I don't want to make the same mistake again in wasting money I absolutely don’t have on something that will never be functional for me. I need something that has excellent & fast word processing capacity: I am finishing off writing my thesis so I need to work with large word documents. I also need to use simultaneously Excel, PowerPoint, the internet plus several other random software packages for statistical analyses/referencing/image analysis etc. I need it to be fast!!! I can’t bear having to struggle along with a laptop or software that clearly can’t cope with being used simultaneously. I don’t do gaming so guessing that graphics isn’t top priority, but speed & capability is. Did I say I need it to be fast??? It does, it needs to be fast otherwise my stress levels rise incomprehensibly. I just want stuff to open quickly & do what I want them to do when I want them to do it….quickly…I don’t really understand what lies behind it…I just want to click on stuff…it opens fast ….it does what I want it to do. I don’t want to skimp on what I buy so am guessing anywhere up to around £1000 is possible. Of course, if I didn’t have to spend that much that’d be great, but I’d rather spend more & get something that will do exactly what I want it to do….quickly….for the next 3 – 5 years than buy something that will only see me through for the next 12 months!!! This is a major investment for me: I’m very poor & have been saving for months & getting by on my daughters laptop which is generally not bad, but she got pressurised into ‘lending’ it to me (I did that) as I now work away during the week on top of everything else, but she’s desperate for her laptop back as she’s doing her A-levels and I feel horribly guilty for keeping it from her. I would very much appreciate some basic English non-tech advice on where to go as I need to get something in the next week or two. As I am still registered as a student, I can buy Office through my uni at a very reasonable price so that per-se isn’t an issue…many thanks in advance for any advice.

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john bunyan

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Just as a start, have a look at John Lewis. This link shows some Toshibas at under £700 for a 7i processor. I would keep some budget for a back up usb HD to do back ups of your important data, and buy the latest Acronis True Image software to make an image or clone of your system, as we so often hear tales of lost data.

Others will comment but 5i or 7i processors , 6Gig RAM should be fine, I think. J Lewis gives a 2 year warranty - better than some.

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john bunyan

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Forgot the link!

J Lewis Toshiba

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Nontek

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I agree wholeheartedly with john bunyan, an i7 laptop from John Lewis would be very hard to beat! Though I am not sure about what Bloatware they put on it - that is stuff you do not need/want!

An excellent alternative is Novatech whose after-sales service is second to none IMHO. Also guaranteed NO Bloatware!

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chub_tor

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This an Acer machine i7 processor, USB3 for fast external transfer, 17" screen (you can go smaller) and 1Tb hard drive 8Gb RAM. Search around for the best deal - and I agree John Lewis has excellent warranty and after sales.

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Nontek

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alternative .... hmm, I do not like my entries to be hijacked by Ads!!

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Woolwell

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If you want to view documents side by side or work on large spreadsheets and are not too worried about portability then a 17" screen makes sense.

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john bunyan

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Re portability. My granddaughter found lugging a laptop around rather heavy. At Christmas I bought her a Samsung Galaxy 7" tab ((£155 then) and a dock keyboard (About £45). The software is compatible with Word so she does essays etc on the tab, the edits and prints it at home on her laptop (or uses email or Dropbox to transfer it to the `PC). Purely a thought. I would aim, with your budget at a max of £700 for the laptop, and having enough to get one or even two hd's as back up ..

Office , I think, has a 3 computer licence- has your daughter already got it?

I favour (not everyone does) keeping my "System (programme)" files on one partition of about 120 Gig and the balance on another partition for data. I find this makes it easier to make frequent mirror image copies of data on a second drive - much quicker than an image. I back up the system using Acronis True Image, which I find quicker than Windows own back up.

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john bunyan

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PS do get a Tray - the sort that has a cushion on one side. Many people use a laptop literally and clod up the cooling fan port.

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