Need advice on a Christmas gift for my father.

First of all, I would like to apologise in advance if I have opened this thread in the wrong area or if it has already been asked elsewhere. I have looked around already, but I couldn't find anything specific to my question.

Right, so I am looking for a laptop for my father for Christmas. I am a student so my budget is fairly tight, so I am looking to spend between £350 and £400. I cannot exceed £400 no matter what.

Currys currently have http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/packard-bell-ts11hr039-15-6-laptop-black-10783798-pdt.html for £379.99. This is currently the cheapest laptop I have found which offers a Second Generation Core i5 processor, but at this price, it obviously comes without any dedicated graphics card.

On the other hand, at around the same price, there are laptops that offer the AMD E-450M/HD 6320 combination. I have read around and seen many people suggest that even a Second Generation i3 would run rings around the E-450M in terms of CPU power, but that it falls shorter in terms of GPU capabilites. So how would the Second Generation i5 compare if the i3 falls short?

My father isn't a gamer (by gamer I mean running games that open programs and are bought from a shop/downloaded and installed onto the laptop), but he does play those Facebook and internet games (Poker, flyordie Snooker, some darts game). The laptop will also be used for light use of Microsoft Office, watching videos online, browsing through photographs, and other light stuff. Because of his use of the laptop, I am guessing that the lack of a dedicated graphics card with the i5 laptop isn't really going to cause him any problems and that the i5 would be the better choice for my money?

I would like to say a big thank you in advance to anyone who can throw some tips and expertise my way soon as I am looking to make my purchase this weekend. And if you think that there are any laptops out there between £350-400 that would suit him better than the i5 I listed, please throw some links my way. It would really be appreciated.

Cheers!
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  1. Hello ReeceFarrugia;

    The AMD E-350/E-450 APU with Radeon HD 6310/6320 graphics is about mid-way between a low power 'Netbook and a low end Notebook in performance.

    The i5-2410M CPU and HD 3000 graphics is a step up in overall performance. That HD 3000 graphics chip performs about the level of a Geforce 310M or Radeon HD 5450 dedicated graphics card. So both the CPU/GPU of the i5 laptop would be a better performance option.
  2. You can't go wrong with Sandy Bridge. :D
  3. From http://www.saveonlaptops.co.uk
    ASUS K53E-SX069V £380
    Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ HD 3000 graphics
    It's a step down in CPU and HDD - but not a large step down. And I think most around here would find the Asus brand more acceptable than Packard-Bell.
  4. @ £350 I think this is also a good value: Lenovo B570 15" laptop
    Pentium Dual Core B950 2.1GHz CPU (an entry level Sandy Bridge CPU), 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, 15.6" 1366x768 LCD w/ Intel HD Graphics (Sandy Bridge).

    It's another step down in CPU and graphics but it's still in the 'sweet spot' for doing all those tasks you mention.
    Those 'facebook games' take very little graphics power to run. You can certainly feel good about its overall performance.
  5. Thank you so much for your advice! The Lenovo seems like it good be a perfect and reliable buy for his laptop needs and the extra bit of cash I save compared to the Packard Bell could go towards something a little extra like a laptop bag or so.

    I can't explain how much I appreciate the help you provided! Thank you!
  6. Clevo W251HPQ might run ya 440 GBP (450 w/ OS) but it's a significant step above anything else I have seen mentioned and worth the extra dough. As a student, you should have no problem grabbing an OS copy for 10 GBP on campus.

    15.6" 1366 x 768 HD (16:9) LED Backlit Glare Type Display,
    Intel® Core™ i5-2430M Processor, 2.4 GHz,
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M 1GB GDDR3 with Optimus Technology
    4GB, PC3-10600/1333Mhz DDR3 - 2 x 2GB
    640/5400rpm GB 8MB Cache Buffer SATA-300
    8X Max. DVD±R/RW Writer/Reader / 4X Max. +DL Super-Mulit Drive
    Integrated 802.11 b/g/n + Bluetooth V3.0 Combo
    Li-Ion Battery
    Built-In 1.3M Pixel Digital Video Camera
    Built-In Gigabit Ethernet LAN Card
    Built-In 9-IN-1 Flash Memory Reader(MMC/RSMMC/MS/MS Pro/MS Duo/SD/Mini-SD/SDHC/SDXC)
    2 USB 3.0 Ports
    1 USB 2.0 Ports
    1 eSATA Port
    1 HDMI Output
    1 CRT Out Port
    1 Kensington Lock Port
    Built-in Microphone and 2 Speakers
    3 Audio Jacks for Line-Out, Microphone-In, and S/PDIF-Out
    1 100/240V Autoswitch AC Power Adapter
  7. A laptop mouse would be my #1 suggestion for an accessory.
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