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    • Nikiya
    • By Nikiya 8th Feb 18, 1:31 PM
    • 500Posts
    • 437Thanks
    Help with buying a laptop
    • #1
    • 8th Feb 18, 1:31 PM
    Help with buying a laptop 8th Feb 18 at 1:31 PM
    Need to replace my battered 7 year old Dell Inspiron before it packs up altogether.
    A friend adviced me to go for i5 and 8 GB for long lasting service. He also recommended the Lenovo brand. But in the last few days most of the laptops I had shortlisted have gone up in price. My friend also changed his advice on Lenovo after learning they have some problems.
    At the same time, I have found some very good options in refurbished laptops. I have read they are well tested and a good option.
    I was ready to go for a HP with which have very good reviews in Trust Pilot. But I noticed which do NOT have good reviews, say “Microsoft Authorized Refurbished”. Is that an assurance you MUST look for?
    I would be grateful for any pointers since the more I research the more confused I am.
    My budget is not strict. I am prepared to spend up to around 500 pounds for the right choice, but if I can get the same service for less money I’d rather go for that option.
    I use mostly Word and do quite a bit of research online but I do not need graphics. Many thanks in advance!
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    • debitcardmayhem
    • By debitcardmayhem 11th Feb 18, 8:56 PM
    • 8,498 Posts
    • 6,421 Thanks
    What single component would you replace that would give a bigger performance increases than an ssd ?
    Originally posted by AndyPix
    Andy, you gave me an open goal, and I don't miss those, checked the linesman no flag so here we go


    But before the OP spends money on h/w, spending time on discerning what makes him think it is in imminent danger of failing may be a zero cost option(other than his time)
    • Nikiya
    • By Nikiya 21st Mar 18, 5:15 PM
    • 500 Posts
    • 437 Thanks
    Hello again guys. I'm afraid I had to put this quest in the back burner for a while and now most of your links to recommendations are obsolete. I am certainly not a hands on person when it comes to computers and the like and my wise friends live too far to help me, so a new disc/new battery are out of the question.
    Your recommendations and my own research indicate that the way to go is to buy a refurbished laptop. But who to trust? I have found very good options in a few sites and read positive reviews in trustpilot, to then find the opposite advice in other users sites. Since some of you seem to be quite well informed and experienced I wonder if you could point me in the right direction. Thanks!
    • toshi
    • By toshi 22nd Mar 18, 1:50 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 123 Thanks

    I have used for myself and my client. I am quite impressed with the quality product and their service. (no affiliation !)

    They are a part of Stone Computers, whose customers are UK public sectors, They collected the devices from their own customers and reconditioned them by themselves to resell them as refurbished items. - I personally quite like this simple distribution. We know about the previous owner of the device (Stone customer - UK public sectors)

    If the price is OK to you, I would recommenced Encore PC.
    (But great MSE members would find much better deals for you, so no rush. Also Encore often offers sales discount, then you may want to subscribe their news letter)

    Please upgrade the option
    120GB SSD + 35 Pound
    4GB + 20 Pound
    (purely optional: 1 year warranty 25 pound)

    In terns of capacity, I think that you can survive with 120GB for 1 year at least, then the SSD price will go down further to upgrade with a bigger SSD

    Happy computing

    P.S. I strongly wish you will keep your existing notebook as a great backup with installing Linux(Mint) etc, (and even an SSD when it price will go down further)
    • Nikiya
    • By Nikiya 22nd Mar 18, 2:05 PM
    • 500 Posts
    • 437 Thanks
    Thanks again Toshi! Actually I have looked at encore, after seeing that the name kept coming up in MSE forum. I found what looked like a great deal but once I added the "ingredients" that were missing the price reached nearly 400. Anyway, tried to contact them to ask them which brand their SSD was (you convinced me with your first link, thanks again!!) because I have been told the Samsung ones are super but the Chinese ones are dodgy, I did not manage to contact them and they have not called me back.
    Now, so far as I can tell, the only reasonably priced laptops that have SSD (probably Chinese!!) are the Lenovo. Any thoughts on those?
    • toshi
    • By toshi 30th Mar 18, 12:54 AM
    • 171 Posts
    • 123 Thanks
    There is an advantage to buy and install an SSD by yourself; you can get the (longer) warranty from the SSD manufacturers directly.

    I haven't tested cheap Chinese brand SSDs, but they might use lower graded flash memory to cut the cost. The companies such as Samsung, Crucial (Micron), Toshiba produce flash memory by themselves. So I have assumed that they use high quality memory for their own products.

    We really don't fuss about the SSD performance here, so the longer warranty would be one of the considerations.

    Samsung 850 EVO; 860 EVO 250GB; (5 years warranty) Yes, this is the best selling consumer model. You won't be regret. But 850 EVO maintains the relatively high price. 860 EVO released recently, I haven't test this yet. But Samsung pricing is not so aggressive now (they are too busy to sell their smartphone now? )

    Sandisk X400: (5 years warranty) This business model used to be my choice for my business client. This model has been used for a business OEM and has some extra function such as power- loss protection, encryption etc. HOWEVER, since WD has taken over Sandisk, WD increased the price up to 50 % and starts to sell their own product (WD blue SSD with 3 years warranty) Practically WD kills the great Sandisk X400. No choice anymore.

    Crucial MX500 : 250GB (5 years warranty) This is a new product. I have tested 250GB model. I usually not use the brand new model to avoid potential bugs etc. However, this model uses the SMI SM2258 (2 year old, less buggy, more stable ) controller. This is more business oriented model, like Sandisk X400. Unlike other Crucial SSD models, this offers 5 years warranty. This model would be my choice now.

    The good news is that Crucial maintains very competitive price. £66 for 250GB. I hope they will push the price down further...,5390.html

    Yes, get any computer you like, and install an SSD with 5 years warranty. This will be money saving, performance improving solution

    How to install an SSD

    Happy SSD computing
    • Nikiya
    • By Nikiya 10th Apr 18, 9:30 AM
    • 500 Posts
    • 437 Thanks
    Thanks! I have since bought and received my computer, supposedly with a Samsung 128GB SSD. But it turned out to be as Kingston SV300S37A. I complained and they have offered to swap it. Still considering what to do.... I have been told the only ones that won't let you down (i.e. break) are the Samsung ones... I already had two hdd dying on me so quite weary of how this new technology will last.
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