Top my lap
February 19, 2010 9:55 AM   Subscribe

I need a new laptop - Windows 7, about 14/15" screen, not super-powerful but with enough storage space and power for me to collect my photo archives and play the odd game. I am flummoxed by what's on offer. HELP!

My budget is about £500. My previous laptop was a Samsung and thanks to a litany of problems I do not want to purchase one again. I've heard good things about Lenovo, but I'm struggling to find the right balance between features and budget. I'm mainly going to use it for web-stuff and writing, but I also need to be able to edit photos and run Photoshop/Gimp, so I can't go with anything too light on spec.

PS: Please don't tell me to get a Macbook. My eyes can only roll so far.
posted by mippy to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Other details:
- A SD reader built in would be super-useful.
- Light is good. Tough and strong even better.
posted by mippy at 9:58 AM on February 19, 2010

Response by poster: ALSO:

My previous laptop had a 120gb hard drive. The music sitting on my work computer right now is 60gb. I'm aware that some Lenovo lappies have space for up to 8gb RAM (my old laptop had up to four and came with 1gb) but is this more important than disk space?

I have no idea when it comes to any other spec beyond hard drive capacity and RAM so would appreciate input.
posted by mippy at 10:20 AM on February 19, 2010

I just speced out a dell studio with core i5 -430 cpu with 4 gig ram ati 4530 video card.500 gig hdd windows 7 home premium 64bit and 720p display for $949

Its not a bad price. You could probably get it cheaper with a dell coupon.
posted by majortom1981 at 10:28 AM on February 19, 2010

IF you dont go dell make sure it has a processor from the core i series and atleast 4 gigs ram .

You can also get a studio 14 inch for a decent price also. It would help how much you are looking to spend.

You can also get a studio 14 inch for a decent price also. My thing is that lenovo might have better upfront quality (more expensive though) but dell usually has no problems sending a tech over if something has to be replaced or sending the aprt out for you to replace.
posted by majortom1981 at 10:36 AM on February 19, 2010

You need the lenovo Y-550p -- its on (can't link as I am on my phone right now) but its an i7, 4 gigs DDR3 ram, great nvidia 240M graphics card, 250? Gig HDD and is on sale for $999 (I got it w free shipping, not sure if they still have that) *only* cons so far for me are that it is a weird resolution (non HD) and "only" 3 USB's (however I use an external monitor so screen size isn't a big deal)

No experience with lenovo customer support, but dell's customer support has always been excellent for me...

The Y550p has been far & away the best laptop I have ever owned and is a steal at its current price (its lower than the lenovo "employee" pricing...)

If you have any more questions about it feel free to msg me on here (...or email - address is in my profile)
posted by knockoutking at 10:48 AM on February 19, 2010

Here is the link (still priced @ 999)
posted by knockoutking at 10:50 AM on February 19, 2010

That lenovo is a good machine to . Cant beat newegg.
posted by majortom1981 at 11:22 AM on February 19, 2010

If you get the one from newegg I suggest getting one of the extended warranties.
posted by majortom1981 at 11:22 AM on February 19, 2010

I love Lenovo laptops (I'm working on one right now). But I'd pause at the 5400 RPM drive on the newegg laptop. That gets to be pretty slow if you're doing anything I/O intensive. I've noticed a lot of difference between a 5400 RPM drive and a 7200 RPM drive in my current laptop.

If you don't anticipate a lot of intensive I/O with the hard drive, it's probably fine.
posted by Brak at 12:12 PM on February 19, 2010

Response by poster: I don't know what I/O is!

I am in the UK, so no Newegg, and $999 will come up more like £800 as electronics are expensive here. Do I have the option of upping the RAM on that machine - 2gb doesn't sound much.
posted by mippy at 2:32 PM on February 19, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry, it is 4gb. Damn phone browsing.
posted by mippy at 2:34 PM on February 19, 2010

I just picked up an Acer Aspire 3810TZ recently. It's impressed me no end, though to be fair I'm not using it as my primary computer. There's a 14-inch version too, though that adds about 70 quid to the price.

Not ace for games, but it sounds like that's not your focus. It'll run lightweight indie stuff without too much trouble. Photoshop'll run, but slowly. If you're not doing anything too insane in it, might I recommend instead? Much more lightweight, but still has support for layers, filters and a few other photoshoppy bits. Free and open source.
posted by radioedit at 6:08 AM on February 21, 2010

yes, the 5400 RPM is the bottleneck on the system, but overall its worth it to me.

and you can replace, but honestly its not like 5400 RPM is so slow one is unable to do anything on it.

its a great deal for a truly powerful machine
posted by knockoutking at 2:04 PM on February 22, 2010

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