Help me find a new laptop please!

Home Forum Chat Forum Help me find a new laptop please!

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 44 total)
  • Help me find a new laptop please!
  • I’m going to need it for HD video editing, using MATLAB(for my degree) browsing, watching films and playing music.
    Ideally as cheap as possible – I’m a student (rules Macbooks out)

    Any ideas what’s good? Haven’t heard a bad word said about Lenovo.


    I bought a Lenovo a few months ago and I hate it. It’s got that shitty Windows 8 installed on it.

    Steer clear of windows 8 then? Does it work well with touch screens?

    **** knows, that’s the thing, my laptop doesnt have a touch screen yet they decided to sell it with an operating system designed for a touch screen. Bunch of bellends. I asked them if they could just downgrade me to windows 7 and they said they couldnt.

    Premier Icon DaRC_L

    Why don’t you just put Ubuntu on it?
    You can even dual boot it.

    Any suggestions?
    What specs would I need?

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    For HD video, you’ll need a dedicated GPU and nothing less than an i5 in my opinion.
    Some of the Adobe software requires a 1GB GPU.
    The more RAM the better (absolutely minimum 8GB imo).
    I’m also really enjoying an SSD.

    The problem with HD video is that you will always want more – you’ll always want your previews to be higher res, your rendering time shorter, your UI more instant, etc, etc.

    I’m quite happy with W8 – just ignore the start screen. Everything else is very nippy and clean. W8.1 is easier to boot straight to desktop. You just get used to doing things is a slightly different (but quicker) way.


    Have to say I ‘sorted’ (loaded classic shell & other software) onto a Asus touchscreen laptop and was quite impressed, it does seem though that Asus have loaded there own ‘gesture’ software onto it though (the other makes in comet didn’t seem to accept them), but yes windows 8 on a machine without a touchscreen is a really quite stupid thing to do (cheers MS for pushing it out).
    Wasn’t really impressed by the performance considering the i3, 6Gb of ram it was running, would be tempted to say (really need more research tbf) get an i5 at least.

    Does something like this look good?
    Quite expensive though, would it be worth going down the second hand route?

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    It’s not too bad – the HD4000 is the GPU I’ve got.
    There are some photoshop and premier features grayed out (3D, Lighting effects), Speedgrade wont run at all. But After Effects ran without issues.
    It would definitely do the job, but can be bettered.
    Obviously if that’s right at the top end of your budget, then perhaps that might be the best you can hope for.

    Here’s another to consider:
    Lenovo outlet i7

    I don’t know why it only comes with a 4-cell battery, but it’s high res.

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    This one is a lower build-quality lenovo (thicker, heavier and cheaper plastics), but also looks interesting (including GPU)

    okay that Lenovo looks much better value, cheers. Food for thought anyway.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    I asked them if they could just downgrade me to windows 7 and they said they couldnt.

    You can legitimately downgrade to W7. Download the .ISO from digital river, then do a telephone activation.

    Cougar, go on?! Is there anymore to it than that?

    Surely my product key won’t work as it’s for A lenovo copy of Windows 8?

    Also, it keeps telling me I should upgrade to windows 8.1, is this any bettER?

    My main issue is the laptop won’t recognize my phone, but windows computers do.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Steer clear of windows 8 then?

    Really nothing wrong with W8, just a load of ‘bellends’ who like to bitch about the fact that it’s different 🙂

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    Also, it keeps telling me I should upgrade to windows 8.1, is this any bettER?

    The only reason Windows 8.1 exists is to help people who didn’t like 8, so yes, it should work for you.

    I was annoyed with 8 until I
    a) Setup my ‘default apps’ so that nothing opens with rubbish metro apps.
    b) Realised that pressing the windows key and typing the start of what you want is actually quite a quick way of doing things
    c) Decided to completely ignore the ’tile’ interface.
    d) put ‘desktop’ as the top-left tile so that I can just hit return after boot to get to the desktop.
    e) Got rid of the login screen.

    Took me about ah hour over a day to get it how I wanted.

    the hustler

    samsung laptop

    If you can find one of these at a good price they are brilliant IMHO

    picked mine up from samsung factory outlet for £599


    A lot of your requirements could mean anything…

    E.g. what are you doing with MATLAB? I have a laptop for matlab use (for my job) and it’s not a cheap one! But you’ll have different (almost certainly lesser) requirements. But depending on what you want to do with it, good linux support for the laptop might be on your list. If you’re just using “standard” matlab and not dicking about with too much mex action then you’re probably fine with any OS though.

    If you’re on student matlab, you’re limited to 32bit IIRC so more than 4Gb ram doesn’t help you there.

    Similarly, how much are you actually editing HD video, what software etc? No point blowing all your money on a discrete GPU if you can’t afford the software to take advantage of it, or if it just speeds up a job you only actually do twice a year and could go and grab a coffee whilst it’s processing etc.

    FWIW I quite like win8 with touchscreens, though I’ve only used other people’s machines as my work stuff’s all win7 or ubuntu and my home kit is OSX or ubuntu.

    Take a look at the dell outlet store though (remember to add VAT to prices!) both the home one and the business store – the business laptops tend to be better made. At the higher end at least, can’t say I have much experience with low end ones.

    You said “cheap” but what’s your budget? Pretty much anything will do what you want, but might not be brilliant at it. But then clearly something to be brilliant at HD video editing and matlab is out your budget.

    E.g. quick look on dell outlet, about £700 all in gets you 8Gb, quad core i7 up to 3.2Ghz, 2Gb 640m GPU, 1080p screen and a 750Gb HD with 32Gb mSATA SSD cache.

    I cant recommend these guys enough, excellent service and a great product. Had my 9170 nearly two years and its been faultless.

    At the moment pretty basic stuff with MATLAB, not too sure on editing software, I’d probably end up using GoPro Studio, just for a few edits really.
    It need to be able to render at a usable speed though, and play back high resolution footage no problem (something my laptop struggles with).
    Budget is not really more than £550 but preferably cheaper.


    You need a 1080p screen for a start many of those links are less than that.

    I have bought dell precision workstations from before but they seem to be out of stock. They have other stuff to look at.

    I would try for a matt screen myself.

    my laptop doesnt have a touch screen yet they decided to sell it with an operating system designed for a touch screen

    You do know that you can use Windows 8 perfectly easily with a keyboard and mouse? I assume your Lenovo has these? Windows 8 has been enhanced to include touch but it is not exclusively a touch OS. It’s really not very hard.

    Now, whether you like Windows 8 or not is a personal preference and you may not like it. But to describe it as shitty just because you have a machine that doesn’t have a touch screen rather identifies you as the bellend.

    Personally I’m not really a huge fan of Lenovo. Had a fairly powerful i7 based laptop that was very unimpressive from a performance perspective. Currently have an HP which is better. Had a less than perfect experience with an Acer and an horrific experience with a Toshiba. So, in the laptop arena I would probably be looking at Dell and HP. Good value for money (but I can’t vouch for reliability) Asus are up there. My daughter has an MSI (bought from Novatech a couple of years ago) and that has been outstanding value for money. I reckon it performed better than my work Lenovo and yet it has a weaker processor, far less memory and lower spec graphics. That said, Lenovo do make some nice looking machines at the moment but not sure I could persuade myself to buy one.

    Also worth considering Sony although they are not especially cheap.

    Budget is not really more than £550 but preferably cheaper

    With a laptop you really are in the “get what you pay for” territory. Do you really need a laptop? Would a desktop machine suffice? If so, you will get far more bang for your buck and a wider choice of machines / vendors. Typically more easily upgradable as well. And at anything less than £500 I would say you are likely to be struggling to get a decent graphics solution on a laptop.

    Yeah unfortunately I definitely do need a laptop

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Surely my product key won’t work as it’s for A lenovo copy of Windows 8?

    You’ll get a one-time activation key over the phone. Hang on, I’ll see if I can find a walkthrough.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Seems I’m half right. You can, but only with Windows 8 Pro.

    If you’ve got Home, you might well be stuck.


    The recommendation of a precision above would be a good one (and I’d recommend one too, typing on one right now) but really not gonna fit in the budget!

    Something’s gonna have to give if £550 is the budget – i’d say ditch the discrete GPU requirement. I happily edit HD video on my 2 year old i7 MBP with integrated graphics. Producing the final render takes some time, but it’d still take appreciable time on a top end machine – you’ll always be waiting.

    Looking on the dell biz outlet… £500 inc vat will get you a latitude E5530 with a i5, 4Gb, 500Gb, 1080p display., win 7 pro.

    Spend the change on some more ram.

    Doubt you’ll do much better than that for your budget, and the dell biz machines are reasonably well built.


    Don’t get too enticed by downgrade rights as they only apply to pro editions which most common commercial kit doesn’t have.

    I am no big fan of windows 8, particularly without touch like on a surface pro, but with some fettling you can get along with it fine on standard kit. Getting shot of gestures on my mouse and hot corners were my first steps to restoring sanity

    okay cheers, the budget can’t really give to be honest. I’ll take a look at that dell.
    This looks kind of tough to beat though:


    Sorry cougar beat me to it. Don’t give up on 8 though, poki\8.1 make it more liveable if you hate metro and want a menu of sorts back

    Premier Icon AlexSimon

    Just go into a PC world and make sure you’re happy with the quality of the screen/keyboard/build.
    These are things you don’t want to get wrong.

    Since the trend for punch through keyboards, many are good now (unlike 3-4 years ago when most were awful to type on).

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Our Lenovo z510 is ace. Fast, not missed a beat, seemingly well made (if tank like) and a slightly too shiny screen -but ours is win 7.
    I also have win 8 on non touch screen Acer at work, and it is great and rock steady. It is sorted to load in desktop and the keyboard shortcuts are really quick, I don’t wish for a touch screen. It did take some reading of instructions and learning new habits.


    If you’re stuck with 8, just install ClassicShell or Start8 and turn all the useless rubbish e.g. hotspots off. Also you can boot straight to the desktop etc.
    It’s not a bad OS underneath all the brain-dead design decisions relating to Metro that shitty tile screen you keep getting stuck in Modern.

    I think I’ve settled on one of the below:

    The Z510 has a slightly bigger screen, but it only has an i5 processor and is £50.
    They have different graphics cards though.
    Not really knowledgeable enough to know which is better.
    Which one would suit my needs better and why?

    Strangely my laptop seems to have crashed just now (from my phone), it froze for ages so I shut it down by the button.
    when I boot it up, it just says : “Boot from AHCI CD-ROM – Operating system not found”
    Any ideas on this or the question in my post above?

    Premier Icon molgrips

    If you’re on student matlab, you’re limited to 32bit IIRC so more than 4Gb ram doesn’t help you there

    Just to clarify, a 32 bit app can only address 4Gb (or is it 2?) but if your system is running 64 then you can allocate an whole 4Gb to that app and still have some left for other stuff like Windows.


    Buy Second hand:
    HP 8440p; Core i5 and has a dedicated NVIDA GPU, spend the spare money on an SSD and memory. 🙂



    Thanks for the info Cougar, unfortunately I have the home edition. Might try an upgrade to 8.1 though.

    Looks like I offended some of the IT crowd with my commens about Windows 8 though. Maybe if you spent less time touching your screens and more time out on the bike honing your technique, then you wouldnt need to go on a skills course just to be able to ride round the llangdegla black route. Think on.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    What’s that supposed to mean? I can’t quite figure it out. Are we bad riders because we can use W8?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 44 total)

The topic ‘Help me find a new laptop please!’ is closed to new replies.