Which computer for our Grandson?

Sep 26, 2007
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Our grandson Sam is going to Sheffield University this month and we have promised to help him with the purchase of a small laptop. (It needs to fit in his backpack)

I’ve started researching but there are so many offers I can’t work out which would be the best. It needs to be Window 10, reasonably fast, reasonably priced and have a good sized memory.

Any advice would be greatfully received.

Ginny
 
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Teasy2007
Sep 26, 2007
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I’d let him make the decision because you might buy the wrong one
He is about as knowledgeable as I am, computers aren’t his ‘thing’. He likes the look of HP, but I want to make sure he gets one which will see him through to end of his degree.
 
Aug 27, 2009
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Our grandson Sam is going to Sheffield University this month and we have promised to help him with the purchase of a small laptop. (It needs to fit in his backpack)

I’ve started researching but there are so many offers I can’t work out which would be the best. It needs to be Window 10, reasonably fast, reasonably priced and have a good sized memory.

Any advice would be greatfully received.

Ginny
There are some really good value ssd on the market now not as large as a disk drive but very fast and easy to boot. Additional storage is readily available in a number of clouds at reasonable cost and it is there from whichever university or home computer he is using. Just another option....(y)
 
Apr 25, 2014
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There are some really good value ssd on the market now not as large as a disk drive but very fast and easy to boot. Additional storage is readily available in a number of clouds at reasonable cost and it is there from whichever university or home computer he is using. Just another option....(y)
I don't know anything about computers either except our Dell has always been reliable. I don't understand this post quoted at all so can't comment on it (apart from what I've just said).
Do you have an independent computer shop or someone who fixes computers nearby? We've got a couple locally and they have been very helpful with advice in the past.
 
Apr 25, 2014
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Just another thought. I was in Manchester the other day and saw a shop that said 'Google Garage' so went in. They specialise helping people with any software/computer/smart phone etc problem and were very helpful with a friend and their smartphone. They're not trying to sell you anything just reccomend.
They said that there are a few of their shops arund and they are taking on more
 
Jan 3, 2008
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I don’t know why it has to be windows 10 based. If that really doesn’t matter you could try Apple as they do a substantial student discount. A MacBook Air is very light and compact and would fit a backpack easily. They are also very robust. Worth looking at.
 

Mattyjwr

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Aug 18, 2013
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Our grandson Sam is going to Sheffield University this month and we have promised to help him with the purchase of a small laptop. (It needs to fit in his backpack)

I’ve started researching but there are so many offers I can’t work out which would be the best. It needs to be Window 10, reasonably fast, reasonably priced and have a good sized memory.

Any advice would be greatfully received.

Ginny
Why Windows 10 and what will he need it for? What will he be studying and what make of smartphone does he have (assuming he has one)?
 
Mar 23, 2012
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I would llok more into the spec required. He will need it to be approvede by the IT lot before connecting tot he uni network (unless its changed since our son went there) so you could ask them for tips on where to look or there might be a computer supplier they recommend. Try contacting this link its for student equipment repairs
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cics/support/student

The link is for Sheffield uni if its Sheffield Halam send me a message my brother works there I can ask him. I think it will be better to get one from somewhere recommended/possibly local in caes theres a problem later especially if he's not very IT savvy himself.

One thing to remind him is to MAKE SURE HE BACKS UP EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!! no matter how big the memory
 
Sep 10, 2012
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Aldi had a small computer for sale in its offers the other day.
Usually excellent spec for the price but no sexy brand name.
I've had one of their medion brand machines for years and it's been good.
 
Aug 26, 2008
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Or, you could buy him a refurbished ex-corporate laptop.

A shop in our High St offers good quality high spec ones with Win 10 installed for around £150 including VAT. The Win 10 is proper licensed not iffy pirated. I bought a Lenovo from them as a back-up when my main laptop broke down.

Dells, HPs, Lenovos, Toshys etc.
 
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Teasy2007
Sep 26, 2007
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Why Windows 10 and what will he need it for? What will he be studying and what make of smartphone does he have (assuming he has one)?
He has an android smartphone which has served him well for his A levels but he needs a ‘proper’ laptop for Sheffield Uni.

He is starting a Paramedics degree course and has worked very hard to get there. Another funster told me he should aim for Windows 10 and the office suite of programs.

Ginny
 
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Teasy2007
Sep 26, 2007
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I would llok more into the spec required. He will need it to be approvede by the IT lot before connecting tot he uni network (unless its changed since our son went there) so you could ask them for tips on where to look or there might be a computer supplier they recommend. Try contacting this link its for student equipment repairs
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/cics/support/student

The link is for Sheffield uni if its Sheffield Halam send me a message my brother works there I can ask him. I think it will be better to get one from somewhere recommended/possibly local in caes theres a problem later especially if he's not very IT savvy himself.

One thing to remind him is to MAKE SURE HE BACKS UP EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!! no matter how big the memory
Sam has already emailed the University to ask which computer etc but they have not replied yet.

He does not really like computers! A novelty for someone his age, he sees them as a means to an end. He wants me to help him choose, but it’s nearly 12 years since I was fully IT savvy and an awful lot has changed!
 
Mar 23, 2012
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He has an android smartphone which has served him well for his A levels but he needs a ‘proper’ laptop for Sheffield Uni.

He is starting a Paramedics degree course and has worked very hard to get there. Another funster told me he should aim for Windows 10 and the office suite of programs.

Ginny
I think that will probably be at Sheffield Hallam so the link to the IT dept I gave will be wrong. I will ask my brother if theres an IT help desk
 

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
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Dont forget he will also want to connect to the internet. There may be a wireless network in the uni but probably not where he is going to be staying.
You can get USB dongles from most of the main phone companies, such as O2 etc and you could buy him a 12 month data plan to go with it. A MiFi is another way of achieving the same thing but a dongle will be simpler as it will use the laptop's battery.
Without any guidance from the uni I would stick with Windows 10 as it will be the most commonly used OS amongst the students I think so he should be able to get help if he needs it and if there are any specific programs the uni need him to run they are bound to be available for Windows 10.
If he signs up to a Google account he will get 15Gb of cloud storage free. It might sound a lot and if all he is going to do is backup essays etc it should be enough. I have 1Tb but it costs be £10 a month though it now holds a backup of all my photos and videos etc.
 
Mar 23, 2012
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Dont forget he will also want to connect to the internet. There may be a wireless network in the uni but probably not where he is going to be staying.
You can get USB dongles from most of the main phone companies, such as O2 etc and you could buy him a 12 month data plan to go with it. A MiFi is another way of achieving the same thing but a dongle will be simpler as it will use the laptop's battery.
Without any guidance from the uni I would stick with Windows 10 as it will be the most commonly used OS amongst the students I think so he should be able to get help if he needs it and if there are any specific programs the uni need him to run they are bound to be available for Windows 10.
If he signs up to a Google account he will get 15Gb of cloud storage free. It might sound a lot and if all he is going to do is backup essays etc it should be enough. I have 1Tb but it costs be £10 a month though it now holds a backup of all my photos and videos etc.
These days I don't think the dongle is needed as theres such good wifi coverage and he can probably tether from his phone for short term use. I would buy too little if anything until its clear what he needs I remember buying what turned out to be more than a years supply of jars of pesto when our son went to uni!!!!!!
 
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Teasy2007
Sep 26, 2007
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I don’t know why it has to be windows 10 based. If that really doesn’t matter you could try Apple as they do a substantial student discount. A MacBook Air is very light and compact and would fit a backpack easily. They are also very robust. Worth looking at.
Do you know what sort of discount? I’ve tried to access their site but can’t get to see any prices or discounts.
 
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Teasy2007
Sep 26, 2007
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These days I don't think the dongle is needed as theres such good wifi coverage and he can probably tether from his phone for short term use. I would buy too little if anything until its clear what he needs I remember buying what turned out to be more than a years supply of jars of pesto when our son went to uni!!!!!!
That is exactly what I thought, it’s too easy to buy what you think and get it terribly wrong. He is funding everything (through student loans and working part time), so it has to be right as he can’t afford to make costly mistakes.

Ginny
 
May 8, 2011
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He has an android smartphone which has served him well for his A levels but he needs a ‘proper’ laptop for Sheffield Uni.

He is starting a Paramedics degree course and has worked very hard to get there. Another funster told me he should aim for Windows 10 and the office suite of programs.

Ginny
My son has just finished his first year at uni training to be a paramedic and he absolutely loves it!
 
Jan 3, 2008
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Do you know what sort of discount? I’ve tried to access their site but can’t get to see any prices or discounts.
I think something on the order of £250 nit you would still be looking at say £600/700 even with the discount. You could also buy a refurbished MacBook which come withc12 months warranty and would be indistinguishable from a new one. If you want facto go further you could phone Apple and they will answer your questions.
 
OP
Teasy2007
Sep 26, 2007
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My son has just finished his first year at uni training to be a paramedic and he absolutely loves it!
Wow, is he at Sheffield? Well you know exactly what he needs, can your son give any advice, and do’s or don’ts. it’s a small funster world!

Ginny
 
Last edited:
Feb 22, 2014
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I don’t know why it has to be windows 10 based. If that really doesn’t matter you could try Apple as they do a substantial student discount. A MacBook Air is very light and compact and would fit a backpack easily. They are also very robust. Worth looking at.
My Grandson got rid of his Mac purely because a lot of the uni stuff is done on Windows. Some are converted to Apple, most are not, lots of free theory books, papers, reports, exam papers etc all on windows for free and either not available for Apple or they. cost. He’s very pleased with his Lenovo though. Fast and able to handle having lots of different windows open. It costs though.
 
Feb 22, 2014
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My Grandson got rid of his Mac purely because a lot of the uni stuff is done on Windows. Some are converted to Apple, most are not, lots of free theory books, papers, reports, exam papers etc all on windows for free and either not available for Apple or they. cost. He’s very pleased with his Lenovo though. Fast and able to handle having lots of different windows open. It costs though.
Apple give Students a 10% discount, I think. Lenovo it’s 20%
 
Aug 26, 2008
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For an Office suite, you can choose between Microsoft Office Home and Student edition (not free) or Libre Office which is free (I also use it).
 

Mattyjwr

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Aug 18, 2013
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He has an android smartphone which has served him well for his A levels but he needs a ‘proper’ laptop for Sheffield Uni.

He is starting a Paramedics degree course and has worked very hard to get there. Another funster told me he should aim for Windows 10 and the office suite of programs.

Ginny
Don't forget students can get MS Office 365 for free: https://products.office.com/en-gb/student/office-in-education

As this is cloud-based, it wouldn't matter what OS is used. There may be some limitations using it off line - I have not experimented with it but it would allow a Chromebook or similar to be purchased for less than £200. Not as flexible or as powerful as a laptop but cheaper and potentially more versatile than a laptop (https://www.lifewire.com/chromebooks-vs-laptops-4163797)
 
D

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Another funster told me he should aim for Windows 10 and the office suite of programs.
Why?

There are plenty of other and better options.

The "it has to be Windows and Office" thing is the default position of people who haven't got a clue what they're talking about.
 
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