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  • FIRST POST
    • FifiAnne
    • By FifiAnne 9th Jul 18, 9:58 AM
    • 10Posts
    • 1Thanks
    FifiAnne
    Laptop life? What to get for A-levels and Uni?
    • #1
    • 9th Jul 18, 9:58 AM
    Laptop life? What to get for A-levels and Uni? 9th Jul 18 at 9:58 AM
    Hi

    I've done a search but can't find anything on this, hope someone can help.

    My daughter is 16 and about to go into sixth form and then hopefully on to university. She will need a computer to use at home for A- levels then I think she will need something she can carry around at uni.

    I thought it would be better and more cost effective to invest in a decent laptop now to last her the 5 years rather than a cheap one which might be obsolete in 2 or 3 years. I went into PC World for advice and one person agreed and showed me some eye-wateringly expensive machines, but another said that 5 years is a long time to expect a laptop to perform well and I should consider getting something cheap and cheerful for A-levels and then get something better if and when she goes to university. Both recommended windows rather than Mac.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Fi
Page 1
    • Ant555
    • By Ant555 9th Jul 18, 10:31 AM
    • 860 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    Ant555
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:31 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:31 AM
    From the father of a child just finished the first year at Uni...

    Slightly different to you as the GCSE/A level lap top we had was pretty much dead so we bough a new one for the first year at Uni (a decent one so it would last the 4 years of her course) however she says that there is actually very little need to take the lap top to uni on an average day so its mostly used in the room.
    She tells me that in her course, very few people take notes on lap tops in lectures - I had imagined that everyone would be tapping away but apparently this is definitely not the case.
    All lectures are recorded and you can watch them back at your leisure.
    All resources are online
    There are so many workstations available around the uni campus that you just log on with your ID and have access to all your data.

    it will, of course, depend on the subject and the Uni but we are Chemistry.

    Windows/Mac choice might make a difference if you are doing a creative course - a friends daughter opted for a touch screen windows Surface machine for her design/art course. Course leader said their software wont run properly on Macs.

    My opinion would be cheap/cheerful now and replace in 2 years ready for Uni if budget will allow - I notice you said 'if' she goes to Uni.
    I would go for thin/light if budget allows (probably no need at all for CD/DVD player)
    There will be deals during the summer 'back to school' or 'uni bundles' - often lower spec and cheap for a reason however thats not to say they will not run everything you want.

    The lap top will almost certainly be used for (in order)
    1. Spotify
    2. Netflix
    3. School/Uni Work

    Hope this helps.

    Feel free to fire back any questions.
    Last edited by Ant555; 09-07-2018 at 10:43 AM.
    • that
    • By that 9th Jul 18, 10:38 AM
    • 515 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    that
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:38 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:38 AM
    no one can predict the future. Just because you buy a PC today does not mean the newer software will continue to work on it, or companies will write drivers. Also in the future they will be newer advances. The people in the past that bought 'upgradeable' PCs, it there ever was a hardware upgrade paid over the the odds for the initial cost, The upgrade was also very expensive, and the performance after mediocre. In short do not do it, as technology moves on.

    Saying that these are currently among the best spec notebooks out these Dell Precision 7530 and Precision 7730, after extras install can easily go to over 3000

    Would I buy one, well no, especially as they are new and expensive. They will play music and films at the same rate the cheaper ones will

    The best advice is to get a business range, rather than a home laptop as they are often built better. Dont avoid the secondhand refurbs and dented ones.

    I would side with buy two laptops, but the cheaper one will probably still function into the uni years. Also if she does rocket science, or 3d rendering she may need something a bit more powerful, but if she does dance or literature then a cheaper one may suffice.

    Dell Toshiba, lenovo HP (the business range models) are all decent brands. My pet hate is ACER laptops, but their monitor quality vs cost can be competitive.

    Sometimes dell sell a scratched, dented, refurb for 219+ vat that is quite good, and sometime they off 10% discount too. Search on this forum for the user EveryWhere and he seems to have the finger on the market, and I do not want to type stuff that you can easily search for here.
    Last edited by that; 09-07-2018 at 10:50 AM.
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 9th Jul 18, 10:40 AM
    • 33,558 Posts
    • 39,656 Thanks
    Browntoa
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:40 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:40 AM
    This is quite a good deal on a basic decent laptop with 3 years warranty

    https://www.aldi.co.uk/p/083785202477400?gclid=CjwKCAjwj4zaBRABEiwA0xwsP2Gj m92F4v6fMZaYVY-8iu9Xm92FBPB_4AMr3ttaQlECPGmmF6zOJRoCwpYQAvD_BwE&g clsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CIOlocrckdwCFRn3UQod2FQAFw
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's and Discount Code boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum runnning smoothly .However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • that
    • By that 9th Jul 18, 10:47 AM
    • 515 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    that
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:47 AM
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:47 AM
    Yuck!!! 64GB Flash storage, Nooooo

    Intel atom to add salt into the wound.

    2 GB ram??

    Good screen spec though, but overall is a very bad spec and overpriced.
    Last edited by that; 09-07-2018 at 10:52 AM.
    • Browntoa
    • By Browntoa 9th Jul 18, 10:58 AM
    • 33,558 Posts
    • 39,656 Thanks
    Browntoa
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:58 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 18, 10:58 AM
    It's fine for the requirements

    OP only wants a basic machine , others in the same spec only have 32gb , not 64gb

    It's light and flexible .

    My daughter had trashed her expensive one by year 2 of university as I suspect most of them do . Dropped , left on charge endlessly, accidental spills.

    You COULD spend loads of money for cutting edge but realistically you only need to look at a 2 year old mobile phone owned by a teenager to see what happens to their stuff
    I'm the Board Guide of the Referrers ,Telephones, Pensions , Shop Don't drop ,over 50's and Discount Code boards which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum runnning smoothly .However, please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 9th Jul 18, 11:54 AM
    • 2,618 Posts
    • 2,260 Thanks
    Stoke
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 18, 11:54 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 18, 11:54 AM
    Is she doing a course that requires any kind of high powered machine? If not get something cheap and cheerful. Just my opinion.

    Oh and don't get a Mac..... waste of money, and she'll look like just another hipster student
    • armchaireconomist
    • By armchaireconomist 9th Jul 18, 12:41 PM
    • 331 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    armchaireconomist
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 18, 12:41 PM
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 18, 12:41 PM
    OK, so sounds like she isn't doing anything particularly intensive. The question really is how much you want to spend...


    Any bog standard Windows 10 laptop will do her fine for light use, bottom spec usually around 4GB RAM, mechanical HDD, i3 or equivalent CPU - if you want to "future proof" her I would recommend


    W10 64-bit
    8GB RAM minimum
    i5 (or equivalent) minimum
    SSD (not HDD)


    Don't worry too much about built-in disc drives etc, as long as it's got at least 2 sets of USB ports and an HDMI connection she'll be fine. Everything else can be bought as USB "plug in" devices.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 9th Jul 18, 3:01 PM
    • 3,556 Posts
    • 2,626 Thanks
    Tarambor
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:01 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:01 PM
    I went into PC World for advice and one person agreed and showed me some eye-wateringly expensive machines, but another said that 5 years is a long time to expect a laptop to perform well
    Originally posted by FifiAnne
    Well I used to sell refurbished ex-corporate laptops 5 years old and run a Thinkpad T400 which is over a decade old now so I don't agree with that statement if you're talking decent ones but if you're talking about the majority of what PC World sell which, Apple excepted, is mostly low to mid end consumer grade crap nowhere near the quality of corporate grade then they have a point.

    As for the comment by Stoke about Macs being a waste of money, they're not because they don't depreciate. My current Macbook Pro is 3 years old and they're selling on Ebay for just 200 less than I bought it for new. Find me another laptop that costs you just 200 to own for 3 years. So yes whilst the initial cost of your first one is quite eye watering ultimately they end up being cheaper to own than even the cheapest laptops you can buy due to the fact you can sell them a couple of years later for nearly what you paid for them.
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 9th Jul 18, 4:38 PM
    • 2,618 Posts
    • 2,260 Thanks
    Stoke
    Well I used to sell refurbished ex-corporate laptops 5 years old and run a Thinkpad T400 which is over a decade old now so I don't agree with that statement if you're talking decent ones but if you're talking about the majority of what PC World sell which, Apple excepted, is mostly low to mid end consumer grade crap nowhere near the quality of corporate grade then they have a point.

    As for the comment by Stoke about Macs being a waste of money, they're not because they don't depreciate. My current Macbook Pro is 3 years old and they're selling on Ebay for just 200 less than I bought it for new. Find me another laptop that costs you just 200 to own for 3 years. So yes whilst the initial cost of your first one is quite eye watering ultimately they end up being cheaper to own than even the cheapest laptops you can buy due to the fact you can sell them a couple of years later for nearly what you paid for them.
    Originally posted by Tarambor
    What a stupid and quite ridiculous remark. Of course they depreciate. You literally (correct use of the term) contradict yourself in the following sentence. To say they don't depreciate suggests could legitimately sell a second hand one for the price of a new one. Duh.... No you can't.

    Your second comment is even more ridiculous, but that's the reality distortion field right? Just another one sucked in and bitten by Steve and his slick talking. Did the turtle neck and winning smile get to you? That's called grin !!!!ing mate. He's had your pants down.

    The generally accepted 'usable' lifespan of a laptop is 4-6 years for some reason, as suggested by the Tech Guy (I use the term loosely) from PC World. Dorks in PC World will continue to suggest when buying a laptop, that we should be looking for a new one after a roughly 5 years. OK. Good.

    However, what the sales dork is describing is the 'recommended' lifespan. I am yet to meet anyone who actively replaces their computing equipment inline with the manufacturer/market suggestions, other than a mobile phone, which we (and by we I mean society) inexplicably replace every 2 years. I reckon you're more like 18 months, synchronised with the newest iPhone, am I right? That's a fanboi for you.

    A good 5 year old laptop with an SSD would probably (almost certainly) outperform a new laptop with a HDD, although new laptops with HDD's are getting seriously rare now anyway. So the recommended lifetime of a piece of equipment is variable, but the reality is, we should replace when we need to, and most people live their life by that.

    It's this life mantra, that means most people keep laptops beyond their anticipated lifespan. My ex partner continues to use her laptop from university. That means it is over 10 years old now. My best friend continues to use his laptop from BEFORE University, that's now nearer 12 years old. I personally continue to use an old Core 2 Duo which is probably over 10 years old now, most days of the week as one of my laptops for work.

    My ex partners laptop is a budget brand eMachines which cost (assuming she paid full RRP) 299, and came fully loaded with a Core 2 Duo, Windows Vista and 2GB of RAM. The equivalent MacBook from 2008 according to Cnet who are pretty much Apple's own media mouthpiece they're so biased, indicate the typical price for a MacBook back then is 949. Now according to the same article, quote:
    Code:
    The entry-level machine uses an Intel Core 2 Duo CPU running at 2GHz, 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a 160GB hard drive
    So the specs are probably not far off that of the machine my ex partner purchased. I think hers had a slightly smaller HDD at 120GB, but the processor was a Core 2 Duo running at 2GHz.

    So, fast forward to now:
    Here's a 2008 MacBook with 3GB of RAM and a faster processor for 79.99
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-MacBook-A1181-13-3-Laptop-2008/173399152075?epid=78692782&hash=item285f6515cb:g:m owAAOSwCmFbN3MD

    Here's another for 97:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/13-inch-Apple-MacBook-2-4GHz-Core2Duo-2GB-RAM-80GB-HDD-A1181-Early-2008-9006/302794578147?hash=item467ff698e3:g:CgsAAOSwivNbOiH t

    And another for 169, but with significantly better spec:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Apple-MacBook-A1181-Core-2-Duo-2-00GHz-13-2007-2008-4GB-320GB-HDD-Mac-OSx10-7/192522088692?_trkparms=aid%3D555017%26algo%3DPL.CA SSINI%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20151005190705%26meid%3Df19 2e7620ff5412088f6e3a5edf716e4%26pid%3D100506%26rk% 3D1%26rkt%3D1%26%26itm%3D192522088692&_trksid=p204 5573.c100506.m3226

    and the eMachines from the same era?

    Lower spec'd than the one my ex owned, 79.99:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/eMachines-Laptop-E525-Series-Intel-Celeron-Dual-Core-1-8Ghz-120Gb-HDD-2Gb-Ram/263758449191?hash=item3d693a8a27:g:e1kAAOSwhIZbJvL R

    With the AMD, instead of Intel CPU, 69:
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/eMachines-G420-AMD-Athlon-X2-2-10Ghz-Laptop-4Gb-RAM-250Gb-HDD-Windows-10/142845729025?hash=item214244d901:g:MQcAAOSwWV9bMov s

    Unfortunately, there are no others I can compare too. Now, I know they're not as pretty as the 10 year old Mac but they are proof that your theory is essentially nonsense.

    What it also suggests is that Apple products basically depreciate in-line with most other products and like most electrical hardware, their depreciation eventually flatlines and it is probably around the time their price syncs up with their equivalent PC rivals. They may well hold their value for their first few years, but unless you are willing to subscribe to the 2-4 year turnaround of your laptop, then you are not going to experience the financial benefits that you are desperately trying to sell.

    So, Macs are a complete waste of money for a student, unless it's all about 'feels'. If you want to look good while sat in Starbucks, go for a Mac. If you want to use pretty and glossy software, go for a Mac. If you want to have interesting discussions in posh Wine Bar Bistro's about being creative on your Mac, go for a Mac. If you want to get a degree, complete your work and not spend an absolute fortune doing so..... buy a PC.

    And all that was typed by someone who actively refuses to use Windows and is currently on Debian
    Last edited by Stoke; 09-07-2018 at 4:42 PM.
    • that
    • By that 9th Jul 18, 6:33 PM
    • 515 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    that
    Browntoa, depends on the kid I suppose. I would still not buy that Aldi one. I would rather get a lenovo that is older, is better is all aspects except screen, battery life and weight. Something like this has a bout 3x more cpu speed, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder
    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lenovo-ThinkPad-T410-Laptop-Core-i5-2-4Ghz-8Gb-Ram-1TB-HDD-One-Year-Warranty-DVD/311549490216?hash=item4889cbf428%3Am%3Amn-BpZ_Geu2nW8CzVh_SA-Q&var=610535269188

    64GB - a good few mobiles have this capacity, and some even more
    • FifiAnne
    • By FifiAnne 9th Jul 18, 10:29 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    FifiAnne
    Thanks for all your repllies, it's all teally helpful.

    Fi
    • fred246
    • By fred246 10th Jul 18, 3:00 PM
    • 1,106 Posts
    • 629 Thanks
    fred246
    Desktop PCs are the best for money saving. Just upgrade components as needed. My son made himself a gaming PC with fantastic components. My daughter inherited an old PC. I give my kids plenty of pocket money and they buy their own phones, tablets, laptops. My son just uses his phone and desktop PC at university. My daughter uses her desktop and phone but also wanted a laptop to type on. She bought a cheap Lenovo which is adequate. She wanted it to be cheap because laptops are hard to repair. After the warranty expires any issue means buy another cheap laptop. They look after things so much better when they buy them themselves.
    Last edited by fred246; 10-07-2018 at 3:05 PM.
    • EveryWhere
    • By EveryWhere 10th Jul 18, 6:40 PM
    • 776 Posts
    • 350 Thanks
    EveryWhere
    Hi

    I've done a search but can't find anything on this, hope someone can help.

    My daughter is 16 and about to go into sixth form and then hopefully on to university. She will need a computer to use at home for A- levels then I think she will need something she can carry around at uni.

    I thought it would be better and more cost effective to invest in a decent laptop now to last her the 5 years rather than a cheap one which might be obsolete in 2 or 3 years. I went into PC World for advice and one person agreed and showed me some eye-wateringly expensive machines, but another said that 5 years is a long time to expect a laptop to perform well and I should consider getting something cheap and cheerful for A-levels and then get something better if and when she goes to university. Both recommended windows rather than Mac.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Fi
    Originally posted by FifiAnne
    https://mcscom.co.uk/product/dell-inspiron-15-5570-pentium-4415u-2-30ghz-8gb-120gb-ssd-15-6-fhd-win-10-1yr-rtb-wty-mln493/ is ok as a starter laptop until she needs something a bit more specialised.
    Would she prefer a smaller machine/screen?
    • macman
    • By macman 10th Jul 18, 6:48 PM
    • 42,686 Posts
    • 17,956 Thanks
    macman
    How about a Chromebook?
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • FifiAnne
    • By FifiAnne 10th Jul 18, 9:38 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    FifiAnne
    What would be the benefit of a Chromebook? Aren't they a bit limiting?
    • FifiAnne
    • By FifiAnne 10th Jul 18, 9:45 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    FifiAnne
    Hi that

    Sorry to be a thickie on the techie forum, but i searched for EveryWhere and the only thing it brought up was your post. What did I do wrong?

    Thanks.

    Fi
    • zagubov
    • By zagubov 10th Jul 18, 10:26 PM
    • 15,509 Posts
    • 131,862 Thanks
    zagubov
    Hi that

    Sorry to be a thickie on the techie forum, but i searched for EveryWhere and the only thing it brought up was your post. What did I do wrong?

    Thanks.

    Fi
    Originally posted by FifiAnne
    EveryWhere is a regular poster who answered your in post 14 at 6.40
    He's posted many times; you can click on his username and then click on Find all posts by EveryWhere.
    There is no honour to be had in not knowing a thing that can be known - Danny Baker
    • that
    • By that 10th Jul 18, 10:53 PM
    • 515 Posts
    • 290 Thanks
    that
    Sorry to be a thickie on the techie forum, but i searched for EveryWhere and the only thing it brought up was your post. What did I do wrong?
    Fi
    Originally posted by FifiAnne
    No problem, and there is no need. Everywhere did a decent search and his above offering is quite good!

    I did check Dells site and found only 1 scratched/dented, and it was too expensive for what it was, so no deals there at the moment. to get to it type https://www.dell.com/en-uk > Deals > Dell Outlet (refurbished products) > for home > outlet home > laptop and tablet > view all laptop and tablets > sort by lowest price
    • FifiAnne
    • By FifiAnne 10th Jul 18, 11:00 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    FifiAnne
    Oops! I knew I'd embarrass myself! Thanks though.
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