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  • I broke my nearly new laptop so after some bartering with the home insurance, I’m sitting here with a £750 voucher for PC World.  I’ve never bothered with Black Friday but according to my colleagues I must wait until then before buying a replacement…

    Busted laptop was a Lenovo Ideapad 700 series, the two big negatives for that was the super delicate micro-HDMI port, and rubbish battery life.

    Anyone got any recommendations for replacements?  Obviously any discounts will affect the final decision…  I’d like a 13.3-14″ IPS screen, SSD, metal or smart plastic case, decent battery, and ability to plug in two external monitors through a combination of either HDMI, USB-C, Mini-display port etc.

    Ones that have caught my eye are the Lenovo Ideapad 500 series, a lower end Dell XPS, a Dell Envy model although I don’t really need the touchscreen, or an Asus Zenbook, but I haven’t seen those in the flesh as PC World sell them as online only.  Left field option is the Microsoft surface but I think the thin/textured keyboard thing would annoy me and it looks like the screen rest would work best on a desk, and might be annoying for using on the sofa.

    Any opinions welcome…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Dell XPS, it’s my current work machine. Solid, fast, excellent battery, nice light charger if I had the cash I’d have one for home. Got the 7th Gen I7 and 16Gb which is hard to make it slow down.

    Thanks, there are £1200 and £1300 models so they would depend if they are discounted and by much, I’ve never paid much attention to Black Friday, do they discount across the range or just offer big discounts on a few models?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Dell do decent sales and run a lot out through their outlet. No idea how much of a discount PC World do

    chewkw
    Member

    Two weeks ago I bought from PC Curry World an Acer Swift 3 14″ Intel Core i5 (8th generation) 8GB 256GB M.2 SSD for £599 (£50 discount at that time and now retail at £649).

    For extra storage I am using an external USB 32 GB key dongle as it is only for work.

    This one.

    It is not a touch screen nor a super doper designer but merely a traditional square laptop design.

    Based on the specs it seems to be the best value.  Bluetooth is only 4.0 but apart from that there are plenty of ports for other things else so it is fine for me.

    I have not used it yet as I am busy …   still need to install Microsoft office etc …

    😀

    p/s: this one has IPS monitor and not the other version with shiny monitor that can cause reflection.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Member

    XPS is lovely, *officially* the worlds smallest, lightest 13” laptop, but they’re spendy, not sure you’d get much for £750.

    I’m a bit in love with my ASUS Zenbook. They’re about £600 for the model I have (14” 8th gen i3, 4GB RAM 256gb). I upgraded to 8GB.

    I sell IT equipment for a job, I wanted small, long battery, great 1080 screen (4K seems a bit pointless in 14”). i3 is perfect for me, I only use it for Office Suite stuff, my work is largely cloud based and we store documents in SharePoint so i5/7 is a waste of time, with the performance of the 8th gen chips I’d literally not see any gain from an i7.

    Starts from cold in 6 seconds (I’m sad, I timed it) will do a full days work on a single charge without turning down the brightness to ‘mood lighting’.

    Downsides:

    Network port is only via USB3 adapter, but as I carry it in its little wallet thing I’ve never got it.

    As with any small Laptop with a metal or strong plastic chassis it wobbles on any surface that’s not completely flat.

    I got to test it side by side with an XPS (current gem, i7, 16GB, 1080) and it’s not quiet as nice, but it don’t cost £1700, and a Surface Pro (last gen, not the one that came out a few weeks back) way better, they’re great at what they’re great at and a total PITA the rest of the time, also spendy.

    No, I don’t work for ASUS.

    chewkw
    Member

    XPS is nice but the price will be more than 1k.

    ASUS is fine but limited ports.

    Lenovo is fine but I think it costs more for me at that  time.

    p/s: Acer Swift 2 is also “Network port is only via USB3 adapter, …”

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Look at x-stock and Europe for refurbished Dells, which are mostly machines returned either from the 30 day returns period or something that was doa and since replaced and retested. They can’t then sell them as new so they become refurbished.

    Have bought 4 or 5 like this and no problem and 3 year warranty of is a business model.

    http://www.x-stock.co.uk/

    https://www.europc.co.uk/

    chewkw
    Member

    If money no object go for XPS …

    petec
    Member

    Just got one of these https://www.dell.com/en-uk/work/shop/laptops/latitude-7390-2-in-1/spd/latitude-13-7390-2-in-1-laptop/n019l7390132n1emea with the i7-8650, 16GB, and 256GB SSD, for slightly less than half price from the Dell Outlet

    It’s in perfect condition from what I can tell. Lovely little thing

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Dell or Lenovo would be my go-to.  Dell Outlet for bargains and Lenovo for build quality.  You can always add money to the payout (if you have it).  I paid £700 for a Dell laptop ten years ago and I’m typing on it right now.

    Why have you got a PC World voucher rather than cash?  Schoolboy error right there.

    Yeh its a PC World voucher, I had the option of cash via my insurance but to be honest its taken 4 weeks of wrangling to negotiate a laptop that is vaguely similar to my broken one (i.e. not 50% bigger and heavier) that when an email finally came through with yet another unsuitable replacement but as a voucher for £250 more than the models they have been proposing I jumped at it.

    Also its an insurance gift card so I reckon I would have got less as a cash settlement, the gift card is £50 more than I originally paid for the laptop and I reckon they’d have stalled at that if it was a cash settlement.

    It does limit me slightly but I work right next door to a massive PC World so its convenient anyway, thanks for all the advice.

    I am leaning towards the Zenbook so I just need to get a look at a few…is Black Friday instore online or online, as the Zenbook isn’t instore.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    Black Friday gets worse and worse every year, I would imagine the only laptops appearing in offers will be old stock they’re trying to sell off. Not necessarily a bad thing and if you’re fine waiting until the 23rd before buying one you may as well wait but I wouldn’t expect any current gen models you short-list now to be any cheaper on Black Friday (offers for which can be online or in-store or both, depends on the retailer and sometimes the specific offer)

    chewkw
    Member

    Get this one, 970 grams

    https://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/computing/laptops/laptops/acer-swift-5-14-intel-core-i5-laptop-256-gb-ssd-blue-10181007-pdt.html

    This one is better ^^^ 😀

    I am leaning towards the Zenbook …

    Also a nice laptop.

    Premier Icon kiwicraig
    Subscriber

    Device’s I’d consider:

    Macbook Air:
    The new one is just out, haven’t seen it in person yet but I use my older gen one every day for personal use and love it.

    Surface Laptops:
    Just bought 200+ of these for work, lovely devices (not to be confused with the Surface Books or Surface Pros). Light, decent screen and keyboard.

    XPS 13″:
    We have around 20 of these for our developers. Again lovely devices and more of a premium feel, you won’t go wrong with one of these.

    retro83
    Member

    Two weeks ago I bought from PC Curry World an Acer Swift 3 14″ Intel Core i5 (8th generation) 8GB 256GB M.2 SSD for £599 (£50 discount at that time and now retail at £649).

    For extra storage I am using an external USB 32 GB key dongle as it is only for work.

    This one.

    It is not a touch screen nor a super doper designer but merely a traditional square laptop design.

    Based on the specs it seems to be the best value.  Bluetooth is only 4.0 but apart from that there are plenty of ports for other things else so it is fine for me.

    I have not used it yet as I am busy …   still need to install Microsoft office etc …

    p/s: this one has IPS monitor and not the other version with shiny monitor that can cause reflection.

    OP please don’t get an acer swift.  I’m on my third.  On  paper it is a brilliant laptop.

    In practise, it’s crap because the drivers are from Acer only and will not install from AMD,Realtek,Windows Update etc, and they are miles out of date and are seriously buggy.  For example the Night Light windows feature results in trippy pink-o-vision. Playing 24 bit music results in static. Playing h265 video often results in a crash. Plugging in an SD card results in a bluescreen about 25% of the time. Resuming from sleep results in a reboot about 1/10 times.

    The BIOS/firmware updates fix something and break something else everytime (currently the memory bus is running at half speed).

    The power plug has gone loose already, and it has never ever been pulled or snagged.

    Memory is not upgradeable.

    Fingerprint reader is the slowest and most unreliable I’ve ever had.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Member

    So, an Acer then? 😉

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    yes, I know that as my first outlet laptop was from there, but at times their stock hasn’t been good as they were selling them on to places like EuroPC and x-stock, which therefore had good stock.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Oh and a leftfield thought sell the PC world voucher and spend the  cash where you want

    retro83
    Member

    P-Jay

    Member
    So, an Acer then?

    Haha, well to be fair obviously kiwicraig has had better results with his swift than I have with mine. Maybe I’ve just been unlucky.

    However I’ve owned both the the Intel i5 one and the AMD one (SF315-41) and all have had IMHO serious (but different) problems.

    It is a fast machine at least thanks to the M2 SSD, but TBH any premium laptop should have that.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Member

    Yeah it’s a bit ‘Cracknfail’ to dig Acer these days. We don’t supply many as they tend to stay away from the Business market, very few models come with Pro OS.

    I suppose as a purchaser I’m always wary of brands who offer the same like-for-like spec as Dell, HP etc for a lot less, and still cheaper than my usual go-to ‘cheaper’ brands like Fujitsu and Lenovo.

    Pyro
    Member

    I have the higher spec Asus Zenbook 3 Deluxe (i7, 512GB SSD, 16GB RAM) and love it. Not had it long but it replaced two older units, a big heavy-but-powerful HP Probook and a smaller Asus Transformer – it’s a Macbook competitor, thin and light but powerful enough to run photo editing stuff quickly – I use Lightroom a lot and it’s cracking for that.

    Downsides – I’ve had to buy a few adapters and cables on top as it only has 3 USB-C ports, but it comes with a mini hub that includes a USB3 port and HDMI.

    Upsides – It charges off any of the USB-C ports (including the one on the mini-hub so it’s a darn sight easier to plug in. Also, since USB-C will do video, ethernet, etc it’s easy to get and use adapters.

    chewkw
    Member

    Update about my laptop Acer Swift 3.

    All good and running as it should be but there plenty of unnecessary pre-installed software that need clearing out.

    The Norton security trial software is a pain as I forgot to unhook it before uninstalling it so it pop up from time to time … arrghhh … will deal with that at a later stage.  The pre-installed Firefox is 32bits so need to uninstall and to re-install a 64 bits version. No a problem.

    However, if you wish to use Cortana you need to have a Microsoft account, which I have, but could never get it to work because Microsoft keeps saying wrong password etc … so I cannot use Cortana or get onto Microsoft store whatever.

    Windows update is fine as it automatically detected all Acer software updates and everything installed/updated properly.

    Now I just have one more PDF software to install as PDF XChange reader is no longer free so need to use my older version.

    OP please don’t get an acer swift. I’m on my third. On paper it is a brilliant laptop

    I think most of the issues have been ironed out but then I uninstalled many of the software I don’t use including all the music or movie or game related stuff.

    This is just my work laptop so I need browser, Microsoft Office and some basic security features.

    Never used Night Light so need to check that out but I want to mess with Cortana yet unable to for now … argghhh … Microsoft seems to want all your personal details to use their products by the looks of things.

    😀

    Earl
    Member

    P jay. What’s hp stuff like now days ?

    I’ve used the business grey ones in the past and they have always been no problem

    stof41
    Member

    Toshiba Satellite??

    chewkw
    Member

    What’s hp stuff like now days ?

    Colleague bought a HP few weeks before me all well.

    His last HP laptop lasted him for about 10 yrs.

    Toshiba Satellite??

    Have not seen that for ages …

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    What’s hp stuff like now days ?

    Colleague bought a HP few weeks before me all well.

    His last HP laptop lasted him for about 10 yrs.

    and the answer to the question is?

    chewkw
    Member

    and the answer to the question is?

    HP laptop is fine but not “sexy”. Dull looking … 😀

    Earl
    Member

    And has anyone noticed how many nowadays are only 4gb and non upgradeabe? Even though they are i3/i5 machines.

    Premier Icon finishthat
    Subscriber

    HP Elitebooks are cool looking  ,  I use second hand ones as they are built strong , Lenovo at work = now they are the dullest looking of all but strong.    Definitely get business level laptop if you can , they really are designed to last.

    chewkw
    Member

    And has anyone noticed how many nowadays are only 4gb and non upgradeabe? Even though they are i3/i5 machines.

    Yes, I noticed for most sub £1k laptops they come with fixed RAM (they are being considered as “value” (cheapo) laptop), hence I went for the 8GB to make sure it is slightly “future proof” but I guess as more apps get more RAM hungry even 8GB might not last that long before a new laptop is required.

    I think now manufacturers/brands want us to buy more so take away the users’ flexibility.

    🙁

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    And has anyone noticed how many nowadays are only 4gb and non upgradeabe? Even though they are i3/i5 machines.

    How many people are maxing out their ram these days? For the majority of people browsing and some light office is hardly tickling the chips on a modern laptop. It’s not compulsory to buy one of them but it will do a lot of people who on reality need a tablet with a decent keyboard.

    footflaps
    Member

    I’ve got 32 GB in my work laptop and still have Apps running out of memory! Also need a bigger SSD, filled up my 1 TB and can’t get VMs to run properly on external SSDs (no idea why, USB-3 should be quick enough).

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    So typical user there footflaps…..

    Earl
    Member

    How many people are maxing out their ram these days? For the majority of people browsing and some light office is hardly tickling the chips on a modern laptop.

    Based on that there is prob no need for a i3/i5 processor either – celeron would do the trick with a with the processor savings going to a ssd instead.

    I’m just saying there are plenty of i5 machines for sale with 4gb of non-up gradable ram. No one would ever spec that if they were doing a self build – so why are manufactures doing it?

    scuttler
    Member

    Based on that there is prob no need for a i3/i5 processor either – celeron would do the trick with a with the processor savings going to a ssd instead.

    I’m just saying there are plenty of i5 machines for sale with 4gb of non-up gradable ram. No one would ever spec that if they were doing a self build – so why are manufactures doing it?

    Because people want speed over the ability to do lots of things. Agree RAM impacts speed too once you have loads of applications running but fundamentally this is about mimicking a tablet with a decent keyboard – light weight, fast boot, responsive, decent price and i5/4GB may be the sweet spot for that. No one upgrades a tablet and if that means the manufacturers can either make these laptops more cheaply or more likely encourage planned obsolesence then they’ll do it. So long as you think of a portion of the market being “tablets with decent keyboards that run MS Office” then it starts to make sense.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Member

    P jay. What’s hp stuff like now days ?

    I’ve used the business grey ones in the past and they have always been no problem

    Generally the low-end stuff is good VFM, robust, no frills, and importantly use a lot of good quality generic parts so screen replacements etc are cheap and quick.

    Again as you go up the ranges they get fancier, but never that flash. ‘Elite’ level stuff seems pointlessly expensive and the cases are different to lower end stuff, but not really ‘better’. and they do try it on with some software stuff that no one really uses, which is really hard to remove. it’s Bloatware really.

    Their major problem with buyers like me is that Dell is better than HP at what HP is known for, plus there’s little or no bloat with Dell (not such an issue for single users, but we’re setting up dozens at a time sometimes). Their support is equal or better than HP and they’re generally a tiny bit cheaper.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Member

    I’m just saying there are plenty of i5 machines for sale with 4gb of non-up gradable ram. No one would ever spec that if they were doing a self build – so why are manufactures doing it?

    Got any examples? I can’t recall seeing any recently.

    There’s loads of laptops that come with 4GB soldered to the board, but there’s still a slot for an additional card. Admittedly most spec sheets are terrible don’t make it very clear.

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