Laptop - around £1000 budget - not interested in gaming

#1
Help needed. An old friend (serving) has asked for my advice buying a laptop. His isn't that technically savvy, but he is a grown up and needs the laptop to run office productivity software and watch the odd movie. He wants to run Windows and there's no debate on that, apparently. Also, no gaming.

His wishlist includes:

17 inch widescreen
Able to watch movies
Cope with Windows Vista
Store a good chunk of photo, music, other files.

I run Apple computers at home so I'm a little out of touch with what's on offer out there. I was looking at Dell last night and a well-speced Studio 17 seemed like a real bargin. The XPS 17xx on the other hand were mighty pricey.

I'm not really after a geeky tech debate on which graphics card he should be using. Just sensible advice based on your own experience.

Budget around a grand, but would happily go £250 either way if persuaded.
 
#2
They all seem to be much of a muchness, I guess general advice would be

Stick to the big names like Acer, Toshiba, Dell and HP
Buy a couple of magazines and read their latest reviews
 
#3
meridian said:
They all seem to be much of a muchness, I guess general advice would be

Stick to the big names like Acer, Toshiba, Dell and HP
Buy a couple of magazines and read their latest reviews
I see your point, but these magazines are usually written by uber-geeks. I'm after a real-world perspective from someone who has a 17' laptop that cost between £750 and 1250!
 
#5
I'm a mac user, but I've heard good things about the portable Dell Workstation from friends.

Not sure about cost, etc, but I'd have thought any 17" lappy would be aimed at IT/design professionals, so pretty expensive.
 
#6
I've got a HP pavillion 'entertainment' but with a 15 inch widescreen. It has a big memory (100gb), a 5 in 1 card reader, remote control (for movie viewing), built in camera and mic and came Vista compatible (although I don't run it).

Excellent machine that I have owned for 2 years. They make a 17 inch version and it sells for around 600 quid. Bought mine from PC world and got a couple of things thrown in like laptop bag.

Edited to add link:

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/ho/WF02a/321957-321957-3329744.html
 
#7
Sony visio anything for 1000 will be ok except its full of visio software.

Mes 2 years old but had HD and lots of stuff then , now comes with blu ray as well.



However create a backup disc and your away. Ever have any problems with trojans,virus slip in the old backup nad back to normal.
 

Schaden

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Get a 17" wide screen - Dell have some nice specials on atm.
 
#11
I have DELL VOSTRO 1700 WITH A 2.2 CPU AND 4MB L2 CACHE, running with xp pro, and has two seperate hard drives which is great for back its 6 or 7 months old now and cost me then £600 the new vostro 1710 looks better and is cheaper now. No need to spend £1000 on a laptop unless it for gaming or your going to work it hard and need a higher spec.
 
#12
Believe it or not, tesco have some really good deals on at the moment with their reductions. I just bough one at a slightly lower spec for my son for £350 but the nearest I could find one with same spec was nearly £70 more and i looked everywhere. Check this one out, does everything he needs and more for £699.

http://direct.tesco.com/q/R.204-1070.aspx
 
#13
jaybee2786 said:
I have DELL VOSTRO 1700 WITH A 2.2 CPU AND 4MB L2 CACHE, running with xp pro, and has two seperate hard drives which is great for back its 6 or 7 months old now and cost me then £600 the new vostro 1710 looks better and is cheaper now. No need to spend £1000 on a laptop unless it for gaming or your going to work it hard and need a higher spec.
Good advice. Thanks.
 
#14
Based on what you have said there is no need to spend anywhere near £1000 for a laptop as has been said.

Dell XPS are good machines but they are considerably more than your mate needs and he will pay for it!

Heres a few I have found from sites I use. I'm not saying they are the best around but they should me more than capable of doing whats needed and 25-50% cheaper (ish).

Ebuyer.com (just a couple, quite a few others)

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150616 : £568

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145521 : £586

Dell

http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/p..._studio_17?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&ref=lthp&s=dhs : First is fairly basic but capable, others are all OK.

Dell XPS !!

http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/productdetails.aspx/xpsnb_m1730?c=uk&cs=ukdhs1&l=en&s=dhs :

Cheapest with 17" screen £1,299! Has reasonably high end process and graphics, neither of which are really going to be utilised for general file work and watching DVDs.

Ive never been a fan of XPS to be honest though. They took overe mantle of Alienware (which was bought out by Dell if I remember correctly) and stuck with the same overpricing regime. Even if that was what was you can get the same, or better, for less £ elsewhere.
 
#16
Yes i wouldn't reccomend a Dell XPS even if he can afford it, due to the fact most of them are built in SLI graphics, solid state hardrives etc. and because of the HUGE power supply unit used in it, the battery wouldnt last longer than 1 hour on balanced power setting in vista (this isnt a guess ive done my research as im interested in the M1730) they are more of a portable computer rather than 'mobile' meaning they were only meant to be carried, plugged in and play rather than running the battery, it wouldnt even manage a full DVD at half screen brightness.

I had a packard bell forgot the model number, but picked it up from PC world for £500 on the dot, now I havnt been a fan of them since as every one has managed to burn out within 9 months (my habit of leaving it on overnight) but their customer services are great and from buying one laptop and 2 of which breaking down they supplied me with a new laptop (double spec 8) ) without any problems under their 1 year warranty (i believe you get 2 or 3 years if paying by credit card) but to cut it short if he's only needing it for every other task except gaming, then £1000 is too much unless he wants it smothered in gold dust :lol:

Oh and one more thing, try your best to get it with either XP, or with the option and driver support for future downgrading, as vista is only advisable on top spec laptops or desktops because its a total power hog.

Dave.
 
#17
If you are going down the Dell route (I only use them for corperate golf days :roll: ) you need to register and use the forces discount website if you are in or ex as you can get upto 10% off Dell Products.

You must register to get into the site.
 
#19
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