Laptop purchase no idea

Aug 3, 2016
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We need to buy a new laptop but have no idea what to buy, we will use it for surfing the net, we will also need programs like word and excel and will need a disc drive. We would like a Windows operating system not apple

We want it to be as fast as possible for the money and would like to keep the cost to below £500 if possible, I have attached a picture of our present laptop spec and would not want to go below this, so all you computer experts out there please throw me some advise

20190809_174605.jpg
 
Apr 27, 2008
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Unless you need a huge disk drive worth considering solid state drives. Lighter thinner and no moving parts to get jolted.
These days with so much in the cloud I find 256Gb to be more than adequate. Starts up faster too.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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I'm in same position and I've been looking at Chromebooks but I like to do a little video editing. Whilst not out of the question with a Chromebook, it does seem a bit more limiting.
For £500 you should get a decent solid state laptop, I was recommended to get an i5 processor with 8GB of ram, doesn't mean much to me but Currys have plenty.
You can get a MS office package or there are free alternative programs.
good luck with the search, I may be at Currys too later if the rain continues !
 
Jun 25, 2019
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If buying new:
CPU: i3, i5 (8th gen, not 7th) or AMD equivalent
RAM: 8GB
HDD: ~256GB SSD

If 2nd hand:
Go for an i5 or i7 Lenovo ThinkPad. If you want a large screen go for a T5**, smaller go for a T4**. If smaller still an X***. Whichever, go for a 1080P screen or higher. Not bling, but a damn good workhorse and knowing nods from serious IT folk.
 
Apr 27, 2016
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Looking at the software, all the tasks you mention can be done easily by free software. Firefox for web browsing, Thunderbird for email/calendar, Libre Office for word processor, spreadsheet, presentations and simple drawing. There are various other free programs for viewing/editing photos, doing backup, reading/writing DVD/Blueray/USB stick.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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Looking at the software, all the tasks you mention can be done easily by free software. Firefox for web browsing, Thunderbird for email/calendar, Libre Office for word processor, spreadsheet, presentations and simple drawing. There are various other free programs for viewing/editing photos, doing backup, reading/writing DVD/Blueray/USB stick.
Is Firefox an alternative to say chrome ?
What does thunderbird do please ?
What are the advantages
Thanks
 

Gellyneck

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Jun 5, 2014
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Before going into Currys, or elsewhere, have a look here.
You can filter by a number of options.
Once you've narrowed the field down you can then Google for the best price for the particular model\s you're interested in.
 

Gellyneck

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Is Firefox an alternative to say chrome ?
What does thunderbird do please ?
What are the advantages
Thanks
Firefox is a web browser and is an alternative to Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc, etc, etc, ......
Thunderbird is an e-mail client from the same stable as Firefox (Mozilla)
Advantages are in the eye of the beholder as it's a personal preference thing! I use both but others will swear by Chrome, etc, etc, etc, ......
 
Jun 25, 2019
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Re. email; if you use GMail, Hotmail or any other web based email system, just use the website and don't bother with a client (like Thunderbird). If you get your email through your internet provider, then I would use Thunderbird (whatever you do, avoid POP email delivery at all costs! Use IMAP).

Unless you're using the laptop for work purposes and need to easily share documents with other colleagues / companies, I'd go with the above advice and use LibreOffice rather than paying for Microsoft Office.

Web browsers are a personal thing and if you are used to one in particular, use that (unless it's IE). Avoid Internet Explorer (IE) at all costs, but Edge (which is from Microsoft and comes bundled with Windows 10) is OK, but do try Chrome, Firefox and / or Opera. In my opinion they are all better than Edge (which I just find deeply annoying).

Returning to hardware advice, a decent amount of RAM (8GB minimum) and a faster hard drive (i.e. an SSD) are far more important than a faster CPU. If you have a choice of models and one has an i5 CPU and another an i3, but the i3 has 8GB RAM and an SSD, whereas the i5 has 4GB RAM and / or a non SSD hard drive, the i3 is the one to go for all day long. Also make sure the SSD is at least ~256GB (it may be 240GB or above). More RAM and a faster hard drive (SSD) is really that important.
 
Aug 5, 2018
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Can't beat Open office for a bit of free software for your letters / spreadsheets / documents etc
Made by Apache I think
 
Jun 25, 2019
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Can't beat Open office for a bit of free software for your letters / spreadsheets / documents etc
Made by Apache I think
Ah now, that's a hornets nest! OpenOffice was the original (actually StarOffice by IBM I think, but that's ancient history), but taken over by Oracle and a lot of the original developers didn't appreciate how Oracle work and how they changed the licensing model. OpenOffice was then forked (the free source code legally copied, if you like) by these dev's and they created LibreOffice. This latter one is generally the preferred option now, not only because of the politics, but it's the most developed and has improved beyond OpenOffice.

I believe LibreOffice uses the Apache free software licence model, though I'm not sure
 
Mar 23, 2012
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I used to use open office but now just use google drive it saves as you go along and you can access it from anywhere
 
Apr 27, 2016
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I used to use open office but now just use google drive it saves as you go along and you can access it from anywhere
Anywhere? I know places even in central London where you can't. Cloud access is problematic in motorhomes.
 
Apr 27, 2016
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Unless you're using the laptop for work purposes and need to easily share documents with other colleagues / companies, I'd go with the above advice and use LibreOffice rather than paying for Microsoft Office.
On the other hand, I've found that in Libre Office sometimes I can read/convert a document that was written in an old version of Word, that my MS Office won't open. Libre Office is sometimes more compatible with MS Word than MS Word itself.
 

Gellyneck

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Jun 5, 2014
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Why's that please ?
Also some processors are described as 7th or 8th generation. Do you know the difference ?
Intel \ AMD (the two main laptop cpu manufacturers) release new processors with great regularity. Intel are now on 10th gen for their "Core" family processor.
 
Jan 28, 2008
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7 years campers before that
processors plateaued 10 years ago for the normal user everything since is just froth you need lots of ram and fast drives now
 
Aug 4, 2012
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Hi
If you dont specifically need windows for a particular APP....... Then maybe installing something like linux mint or peppermint will allow your old laptop to fly for free.

Perhaps others would care to confirm linux breathes new life into old windows running hardware and offer libre office etc
 

Gellyneck

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Jun 5, 2014
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Hi
If you dont specifically need windows for a particular APP....... Then maybe installing something like linux mint or peppermint will allow your old laptop to fly for free.

Perhaps others would care to confirm linux breathes new life into old windows running hardware and offer libre office etc
I tend to install Mint Cinnamon onto older kit and it works effectively. Mint XCFE(?) is even lighter. There are even lighter lighterweight Linux distributions, as well.
 
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