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First ever post! Hello Tom'sHardware! (p.s. i need laptop help)

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 21, 2011 11:48:32 AM

Hey Guys,

First ever post! I’ve been looking to buy a laptop and have combed the internet for advice and information and this Forum looks really helpful!

I am looking to buy a laptop for no more than £300 (roughly $450 – but I will have to buy from the UK).

As a recent graduate of a course that I no longer want anything to do with I want to try my hand at web design/digital illustration. As these will be tentative steps into a world that I could either love or hate I don’t want to make a heavy investment to begin with. Thus I am hoping to get away with a (cheapish) laptop that can let me do the fundamentals, i.e. run Photoshop, illustrator, Dreamweaver…

I know that these programmes will demand a decent processor/RAM/Hard Drive (which I have very little knowledge on)

So I ask you, my esteemed friends, are there any products that come to mind?

Here’s a laptop that has taken my eye.

It’s an Asus K52N-EX366V

AMD Phenom II N660 3GHz (no idea about processors, is this better than i3? Dual core?)
3GB RAM (if I pay a little more I can get 4GB, do I need to?)
320GB HDD (not massively important as I have a 1TB external HDD)
15.6" HD LED (I Like)
ATI Mobility Radeon HD4200 (I assume this is good?)
HDMI port (essential for me)

This all comes to £330. I know a little over budget, but seems reasonable…

So go easy on me, these might be dumbass questions but im very green!

P.S. is Asus a good manufacturer?
September 21, 2011 12:25:04 PM

Asus: good manufacturer.
3 or 4 gb, 4 if possible, only with 64 bit operating system.
Gpu is bad, but good enought for work/office/photoshop/ *cant say dreamweaver or illustrator, dont know em.

About cpus and so on, check www.notebookcheck.org. there is a section comparing mobile cpus and gpus so you know what it can do (but its mostly focused on games).
a b D Laptop
September 21, 2011 12:27:15 PM

Hello and welcome to Tom's hardware.

Asus is a good manufacturer no doubt.

Your budget is something I'm not agreeing with. Let me put it like this, if you invest so little in a laptop, truth be told, you'll only get that much out of it. $450 usd is not much to go on, even if you look at the desktop market.

So my question to you is, why do you have a requirement for HDMI? do you plan to use an external screen with the laptop often? if yes, then perhaps you should consider upgrading your current desktop rather than purchasing a laptop that will be running already outdated technology.

There's nothing wrong with the tech specs of that asus, except that, they are not as good as you'd see in a laptop today. It will probably run windows Ok, but graphics intensive progs like photoshop and dreamweaver might have some trouble.

the cpu performance level is between core 2 duo and first generation i-3 processors. Allow me to point out that core 2 duo clocking 3ghz came out back in April, 2009. So, even though that AMD processor came out recently it's still catching up to intel from 2 years ago, so go figure.

So, end verdict, it's probably a decent laptop for the money you're paying for it, just consider that you'll probably get fed up with it in 2 years or less and will be looking for a replacement. So, reconsider your needs, do you really need a 15" laptop rather than upgrading your current desktop (of course I'm assuming you have one)
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September 21, 2011 1:17:07 PM

Thanks guys,

really quick response, i really appreciate it : )

i am glad to hear Asus is a good manufacturer,

Antizig i completely agree that i will most probably get bored of it in 2 years time, hopefuly before then i will have a better idea if i like web design etc. then i can either reinvest (probably a MacBook Pro - industry standard) or pass my laptop onto a family member - get something newer.

i did have a pretty decent desktop but it died after giving me a good few years, but my current circumstances demand mobility now. the HDMI would be used just to play movies through my Full HD TV.

cats_paw, bearing in mind the upgrade is only about £30 i will probably buy it and decline my next purchase of a pint (cost about the same in London these days!)

Thanks again



oh P.S. whats a cache in terms of a processor?
a b D Laptop
September 21, 2011 6:44:49 PM

cache is quick access memory available to the CPU on the die. Basically it's the fastest memory available to processor since sending data to/from RAM takes longer.

The more cashe there is the better, but typically there isn't much to choose from, so when picking a processor you look at number of cores/threads and speed (Ghz) oh and price obv.

as far as getting RAM upgrade from 3 to 4 gb. That's ridiculously expensive, for $50 I could go pick up two 4Gb sticks. (basically it's that much because without the upgrade you're getting two 1.5gb sticks, if you upgrade they have to give you two 2Gb sticks, so you end up paying full price instead of upgrade)
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