Laptop recommendations

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bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5465
edited November 9 in Off Topic

With Apple's laptops now getting ridiculously expensive for the specs I am going to be jumping ship in the new year to a non-Apple laptop.  I have no idea about what's good as there are so many companies out there and so I am seeking recommendations. 

I need a 15" screen at least and SSD with at least 500 gig of space. 

What are Chillblast's laptops like?  They seem to get good reviews and the customer service is apparently good.  It's nice that you can customize them before you buy.


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  • dbphotodbphoto Frets: 509
    edited November 9
    I spent an age deciding which new laptop to buy for when I work from home recently and ended up rather confused.

    So I decided to hell with it and went to Argos and bought one of these:

    https://www.argos.co.uk/product/7606823

    It’s really good, ok, only 256gb on this model, but they might do the same with a bigger SSD
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  • Dell XPS get good reviews from my software developer buddies.
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  • FX_MunkeeFX_Munkee Frets: 2017
    Dell XPS get good reviews from my software developer buddies.
    Yep I have a work supplied one. It's very nice, seriously powerful and the screen is fantastic. Although at the price mine lists for, you're already into Apple territory.
    Shot through the heart, and you’re to blame, you give love a bad name. Not to mention archery tuition.
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5465
    dbphoto said:
    I spent an age deciding which new laptop to buy for when I work from home recently and ended up rather confused.

    So I decided to hell with it and went to Argos and bought one of these:

    https://www.argos.co.uk/product/7606823

    It’s really good, ok, only 256gb on this model, but they might do the same with a bigger SSD
    What is the screen and sound quality like?  I assume its very fast to boot up and load programmes? 

    I didn't know about the Dell XPS models so will have Look. 

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  • dbphotodbphoto Frets: 509
    edited November 9
    The screen is great (I work with images for a living) and yes, it’s super quick booting up and launching programmes.

    I can’t comment on the sound quality though as have not played any music or videos on it yet!

    I almost spent around twice as much when I was looking so really happy with it.
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5465
    dbphoto said:
    The screen is great (I work with images for a living) and yes, it’s super quick booting up and launching programmes.

    I can’t comment on the sound quality though ad have never played any music or videos on it yet!

    I almost spent around twice as much when I was looking so really happy with it.
    Thanks  this is going on my possibe list.   Its getting good reviews on the Argos site too  
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  • fandangofandango Frets: 1152

    With Apple's laptops now getting ridiculously expensive for the specs I am going to be jumping ship in the new year to a non-Apple laptop.  I have no idea about what's good as there are so many companies out there and so I am seeking recommendations. 

    I need a 15" screen at least and SSD with at least 500 gig of space. 

    What are Chillblast's laptops like?  They seem to get good reviews and the customer service is apparently good.  It's nice that you can customize them before you buy.


    What about used? Happy to accept an offer for mine that I have for sale in the classifieds.
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 874
    I got the Acer Aspire e1572 about 4 years ago. 500g for about £429. I dont want to put the mockers on it but its been faultless up to now. Sound is fine. I run Sonos system and use steinberg ur22 interface through event speakers. good enough for me.Battery is not as good as was and it gets a bit hot these days. I mostly use plugged in .
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  • mgawmgaw Frets: 2546
    I have just bought a Dell Inspiron 5000 2in1 (mainly for the touch screen)  seems pretty good to me for my modest needs
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 874
    There is a acer aspire E1 572 on ebay touch screen refurbished for £349.
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 1077
    You've got a choice of Apple with their squonky keyboard of all the other brands running Windozezzzzzzzzzzzzz. None of them are as well made as an Apple and if you want the screen quality and quality of finish you'll spend nearly as much on a high-end brand as you would on the Mac and still not quite be there.
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5465
    JAYJO said:
    I got the Acer Aspire e1572 about 4 years ago. 500g for about £429. I dont want to put the mockers on it but its been faultless up to now. Sound is fine. I run Sonos system and use steinberg ur22 interface through event speakers. good enough for me.Battery is not as good as was and it gets a bit hot these days. I mostly use plugged in .
    Would you get another Acer laptop?  Acer seem to be another major laptop maker alongside Dell.  

    mgaw said:
    I have just bought a Dell Inspiron 5000 2in1 (mainly for the touch screen)  seems pretty good to me for my modest needs
    Looks good, but I'd need to get one with a 15.6" screen because my eyesight is getting worse.  I see that Dell are giving money off selected models until the 11th, that's quite tempting but I"m still going to wait until after Christmas.

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  • SporkySporky Frets: 14073
    prowla said:
    None of them are as well made as an Apple 
    That is simply not true. 
    Be your own evil twin. 
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 1077
    Sporky said:
    prowla said:
    None of them are as well made as an Apple 
    That is simply not true. 
    OK - which are then?
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5465

    What do you guys think of this Chillblast?  I would get 16GB of memory added and 500GB Samsung SSD.  Sounds like good value for £883.71.  
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  • RaymondLinRaymondLin Frets: 3701

    What do you guys think of this Chillblast?  I would get 16GB of memory added and 500GB Samsung SSD.  Sounds like good value for £883.71.  
    It looks okay, but without and reviews on build quality, quality screen, how the keyboard feels, heat, battery life etc, it seems overly generic for £900 of a laptop with built in Intel Graphic.

    What are you using it for?  I can't help but think may be something like a Dell XPS is better value.
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 11641
    The Chillblast stuff is overpriced is my opinion. The Clevo chassis they utilise are used by many companies. Scan PC use them as do PC Specialist. The latter offer the most comprehensive options for customising a laptop to your needs. 

    The Chillblast 15" you flagged up has an an i3 8130U processor with 16GB and a 500GB SSD for £833.71: that's with  so not exactly a well-stocked processor. 

    The PC Specialist 15.6" Ultranote V uses exactly the same chassis as the Chillblast. With 2x 8GB RAM, i3 8130U processor, and 500GB Samsung SSD with Windows 10, you're talking £717.00

    For £797, you could swap the SSD for 500GB Samsung NVMe and upgrade to the i5 8250u. 

    https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/notebooks/ultraNoteV-15/

    Regarding Acer: I've found them to be very reliable. My mum's been running one for years that gets treated like absolute shit, dragged from lounge floor to sitting in barns on the farm, and it keeps on going. My own experience with the Chromebook 14 has been excellent. Reliable, works very well, and has been the most useful piece of mobile computing I've ever bought. You wouldn't be disappointed with a suitable Acer but you would pay more as prices for higher GB SSD models jump up quite a bit. 

    The Acer DBPhoto recommend is a very decent laptop. 

    https://www.argos.co.uk/product/7606823




    Clarity over quantity.  
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  • ShrewsShrews Frets: 204
    Always bought new until about 3 years ago, where an Acer died on me and didn't really have the funds to buy a new one at that time. Bought a refurbished Toshiba for £150 and (touch wood) never had a problem since, in fact it's the best computer I've ever bought. They even sorted my old Dell desktop (running on XP) for me, for nothing.  Battery had died and it contained all my music files, so I was dead chuffed to get that back up and running too.

    I'll never buy new again.
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3613

    I've said this so many times over the years on here that your probably bored of hearing it. Recommending a brand such as Acer or Dell is pointless ... Almost all laptops are built by third parties such as Quanta, Compaq, Foxcon etc then branded HP, Toshiba ect. When you work on them as I do you see the real part numbers internally . Now Compal build some fantastic machines for some companies like Dell and HP and some utter piles of shit which are also branded Dell, HP etc. In short when you recommend you have to be model specific ... like Lenovo ThinkPad T420 etc

    Most of today's laptops on sale are pretty bad ... being built to a low standard and price. There are some which are better, some high end Lenovo's, Dell Precisions, HP Probooks ..... but these machines are twice the price of a high street laptop

    The Macbooks are built to an extremely high standard but when you mill out aluminium like they do in the construction of the palmrest and keyboard system it becomes very expensive.

    Personally I always buy ex corporate machines like the one I'm typing on, Dell Latitude E6410. It cost about £110 and I put another stick of ram and an SSD in it so now it boots in seconds and has no problem running 32 track Protools sessions. Because it is an ex corp machine parts are easy to obtain, replacement motherboard is £25, LCD is £35 .... so very cheap to maintain over the years


    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 11641
    edited November 10
    @Danny1969 Any recommendations for a ex-corporate machine with a 1920x1080 screen? 

    Clarity over quantity.  
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5465

    What do you guys think of this Chillblast?  I would get 16GB of memory added and 500GB Samsung SSD.  Sounds like good value for £883.71.  
    It looks okay, but without and reviews on build quality, quality screen, how the keyboard feels, heat, battery life etc, it seems overly generic for £900 of a laptop with built in Intel Graphic.

    What are you using it for?  I can't help but think may be something like a Dell XPS is better value.
    I would be using it for some gaming (Street Fighter V, King of Fighters XIV etc), occasional recording, watching films, listening to music on and internet.   I don't even know if i need 16gb of RAM, maybe that's overboard?  


    Danny1969 said:

    I've said this so many times over the years on here that your probably bored of hearing it. Recommending a brand such as Acer or Dell is pointless ... Almost all laptops are built by third parties such as Quanta, Compaq, Foxcon etc then branded HP, Toshiba ect. When you work on them as I do you see the real part numbers internally . Now Compal build some fantastic machines for some companies like Dell and HP and some utter piles of shit which are also branded Dell, HP etc. In short when you recommend you have to be model specific ... like Lenovo ThinkPad T420 etc

    Most of today's laptops on sale are pretty bad ... being built to a low standard and price. There are some which are better, some high end Lenovo's, Dell Precisions, HP Probooks ..... but these machines are twice the price of a high street laptop

    The Macbooks are built to an extremely high standard but when you mill out aluminium like they do in the construction of the palmrest and keyboard system it becomes very expensive.

    Personally I always buy ex corporate machines like the one I'm typing on, Dell Latitude E6410. It cost about £110 and I put another stick of ram and an SSD in it so now it boots in seconds and has no problem running 32 track Protools sessions. Because it is an ex corp machine parts are easy to obtain, replacement motherboard is £25, LCD is £35 .... so very cheap to maintain over the years



    RE:  Lenovo.  I bought a Lenovo Flex 10 10.1" (500 GB, Intel Celeron, 1.46 GHz, 2 GB) about 2 years ago and I hated it!  I found it a little slow and the writing was so tiny on the screen and there was no way to increase the overall writing on Windows at that time.  I don't remember what version of Windows it had on it, maybe Windows 8.  I remember it came with that Superfish thing preinstalled on it too.  

    I was pretty disappointed and sold it  two weeks later.    I know it was a cheaper Lenovo, but the experience put me off the brand.  

    Are the ThinkPads all good machines?  
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  • westwest Frets: 350
    i think danny said the T series are the better ones ,but i coudnt get one of those but i got an E 580 with an ssd and 15 hd screen for 300 quid new .. ive been reall happy with it ...
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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5465
    west said:
    i think danny said the T series are the better ones ,but i coudnt get one of those but i got an E 580 with an ssd and 15 hd screen for 300 quid new .. ive been reall happy with it ...
    what are you using yours for?  Any gaming or recording?
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  • JAYJOJAYJO Frets: 874
    JAYJO said:
    I got the Acer Aspire e1572 about 4 years ago. 500g for about £429. I dont want to put the mockers on it but its been faultless up to now. Sound is fine. I run Sonos system and use steinberg ur22 interface through event speakers. good enough for me.Battery is not as good as was and it gets a bit hot these days. I mostly use plugged in .
    Would you get another Acer laptop?  Acer seem to be another major laptop maker alongside Del


    Yes I would. I know little about computers but ive had 4yrs and no problems so i am happy. I dont use it for gaming so i cant say anything about that. 
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2333

    I bought a Lenovo Ideapad 720s.  Really happy so far.  I think there is value in this kind of model, the flagship models (like the Yoga 920) tend to be quite a bit more and no better specs, just fancier cases.  This one was top of the less premium range but for £900 has quad core i7 (7th gen), dedicated graphics (1050ti), 8GB upgradable RAM (unlike macbooks and Yoga’s etc), aluminium case. The equivalent Mac was over £2k, but this is very fast, a very impressive experience.  Boots up and logs on with fingerprint in less than 10s.

    The only downside, the screen is good but not quite up there with the best, not quite as bright or vivid as a mac or XPS.

    I was initially put off by the 7th gen processor but them looked at benchmarks and realised it was faster than many of the 8th gen I5’s.  I’m really happy I didn’t spend an extra £500+ on an XPS or £1000 extra on a macbook pro.
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  • Matt_McGMatt_McG Frets: 110
    Any recommendations in the £500-600 quid range? My wife is looking for a new family laptop that'll she use for work now and again, but also for supervised use by the sprog.

    I'm guessing something with an SSD and a 8GB of RAM, but it's not going to need an i7. 
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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 3613

    It's hard for me to recommend any laptop in terms of reliability because by the time I can tell you a model is reliable for 3 years or more it's out of date and of little interest to the spec driven buy today. What I can say though if your interested in something that has more chance of giving 3 to 5 years or reliable service is :-1: 

    Don't buy any laptop with an AMD chip. I write off way more AMD based laptops given to me by the shop due to failed motherboards than I do Intel. 

    Don't go mad with the processor ..... sweet spot for reliability and performance is an i5, more processing power = more heat = less reliability 

    Don't go for a powerful GPU .... 
    more GPU power = more heat = less reliability  ..... By far GPU ball grid array joints are the biggest cause of motherboard failure. The more powerful the GPU the more likely it is to fail. If your into gaming get a desktop

    Don't buy any model with soldered on ram even if it has a spare ram slot. If the onboard ram goes duff putting another one in the spare SODIMM socket won't help. Buy something with no onboard ram and preferably 2 SODIMM slots

    Don't buy any model with SSD storage soldered straight on the board for the same reasons as above. A lot of models now have the SSD in a PCIE type slot, that's fine or standard 2.5" format is fine but if onboard SSD fails you need a new board AND you have zero chance of recovering data

    Don't buy anything with a reverse loaded keyboard unless it's Macbook Pro or high end Lenovo or Dell ...... Making a laptop with this design looks cool but requires expensive manufacturing techniques ... in the case of the Macbook and Lenovo it means some 40 odd tiny screws hold the keyboard firmly against the underneath of the palmrest ....... solid as hell but means the keyboard can be easily replaced. Acer, Asus and a lot of cheap brands try to achieve the same thing by plastic riveting the keyboard to the palmrest and this means the keyboard moves like a diving board and replacing the keyboard means replacing the whole palm rest assembly as well or spend hours melting plastic rivets and carefully gluing in a  replacement keyboard

    In terms of screen res you can actually upgrade the screen on almost all models as the LVDS is common to more than one panel ..... I actually often grade down my machines because I prefer size to desktop space, being an old guy with failing eyes. There's a couple of different connectors, 30 and 40 pin being most common and a few different mounting brackets but generally you can buy a screen for one specific model in 3 or 4 different resolutions

    Better brands have proper part number systems .... IBM \ Lenovo have FRU numbers, proper HP laptops have numbers in the format 344343-001 for example, Dell part number is typically something like 0yh39c  ....... I couldn't tell you what a Asus part number looks like or a Packard Bell or Novatech despite being in the repair game for over 20 years


    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2333
    Danny1969 said:



    Don't go for a powerful GPU .... 
    more GPU power = more heat = less reliability  ..... By far GPU ball grid array joints are the biggest cause of motherboard failure. The more powerful the GPU the more likely it is to fail. If your into gaming get a desktop



    I agree with this to a certain extent but I think the physical heat management and also the laptop management software play a part here.  i.e. the better designed laptops have better thermals so GPU's can be used to some capacity without heat becoming an issue.  Also, some manufacturers throttle the performance quite aggressively, so heat may never become a major issue, the downside being the GPU in there is operating significantly below its capacity.
    Dell XPS laptops tend to do this as I understand.  Razor are probably much better due to more sophisticated cooling.


    My Lenovo throttles quite heavily.  For example, you can play Tomb Raider 2013 fine, but some later games drop frame rates as soon as heat would become an issue.  But the throttling ensures the laptop doesn't heat up at least, using Intel Extreme Tuning utility is seems everything is operating cooler than my previous non dGPU laptop.  So it is handy for some GPU tasks and light gaming and I could probably tweak setting to improve gaming performance but then heat definitely become an issue. At present I don't think it is but agree the addition of a GPU adds more to go wrong.  An eGPU would be a better option for laptop gaming but ultimately desktops are where it is at.  Still my laptop runs cool enough under full load and self limits so prepared to take the risk, but did make sure I payed the extra for 3 years warranty.  

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  • bingefellerbingefeller Frets: 5465
    @Danny1969 thanks for the tips.  How do I know if the machine has soldered on RAM or SSD drive?  It's likely I would be buying from PC Specialist so I'm guessing they wouldn't do this...
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  • westwest Frets: 350
    west said:
    i think danny said the T series are the better ones ,but i coudnt get one of those but i got an E 580 with an ssd and 15 hd screen for 300 quid new .. ive been reall happy with it ...
    sorry i missed this it was an i5 intel i was lucky on ebay  im not a gamer i may use it for recording in the near future plenty fast enough ....
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