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Tech Helproom

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New Laptop Needed, Should I Buy or Should I Wait?


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Hi All,

My old HP laptop (pavilion dv6) recently killed its 2nd hard drive in two years. I figured it is time to buy a new laptop.

I am moving to Manila with work in August so overseas support issues are unavoidable. I have been advised against buying in Manila so I can only wait until August max. I want to game on my laptop but I do not play overly taxing games, I am a humble bundle fiend. However, I would like to get into Skyrim on my new laptop.

Now that I work I wouldn't mind buying one with a medium-high spec and I currently have my eye on either the lenovo z580 or the MSI CX61. Basically I want something that is less than £800 but has an i7 core and dedicated graphics memory.

However, I have read that the new 4th generation processors are about to be released. Though I can see some i7 haswell laptops appearing on US sites, here in the UK things are quieter, and I can't seem to find any information on when these laptops will be coming out, or the cost.

I would very much apprieciate if anyone could could shed some light on these questions:

  1. when will laptops with haswell processors be released in the UK, and will I be able to get one with an i7 processor and deicated graphics memory for less than £800?
  2. Considering I have seen laptops within my price range on US sites, is it worth getting one and importing it (I am moving to Manila to work in August so lack of overseas support isn't an issue)?
  3. How long would I have to wait for a 3rd generation i7 laptop to fall in price? Would you suggest going with an older model for cheaper or waiting out and getting a brand new one?
  4. Is there any need for a dvd drive? The hard drive that died was a WD scorpio black 500GB 7200rpm tat I bought and replaced. It was in warranty and am awaiting the brand new replacement. What would be the benefits of installing this on my new laptop, over a dvd drive (apart from more space, and lack of dvd ability)?

Thank you in advance I hope I have given you guys enough info.

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Ian in Northampton

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  1. I don't think anyone can predict with any certainty when kit with Haswell processors will start to show up in the UK. In all honesty, I'd be somewhat surprised if the ones advertised in the US would be deliverable tomorrow. Similarly, it's nigh on impossible to predict pricing.

  2. They may be cheaper in the US - but don't forget, you'll have to pay import duties and VAT on anything you buy there. That can easily (more than) erode the price differential. Yes, it's possible to get around that if you have a sympathetic seller - but in my experience, most US vendors have scarcely heard of Europe, let alone know how to ship there - and even less how to help you with our friends in customs & excise.

  3. Intel operate on a tick/tock policy of releases. You can confidently expect the 5th generation processor to be announced around May/June next year. As such, prices will likely decline most dramatically in the period leading up to the announcement. Between now and then, they'll likely be stable (high) for the near future to make the most out of early adopters, then decline gradually until manufacturers get to inventory dumping time ahead of the new generation.

  4. No real comment. If I were spending that amount of money on a laptop, I doubt I'd mess about with it.

FWIW, by the way, my son tells me that Skyrim is quite graphically demanding.

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Thanks Ian, sorry for taking so long to reply!

I ended up buying a lenovo y500, then sending it back the same day, then going to pcspecialsit and getting a custom pc. For about a £100 more I got far better specs and a spare hard drive bay. And thanks to your son, I made sure it could run Skyrim!

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