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Laptop Purchase Advice (13inch around £400 budget)

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Last response: in Laptop General Discussion
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January 18, 2012 4:59:29 PM

Recently started a thread asking about internal graphics ability of the i5, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to asked an experienced community for their advice on buying a laptop. Feel free to advise on not just which laptop would be good, but even about buying experiences if you've bought second hand etc.

1. What is your budget?
£300-£400

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
Small laptop, I'd prefer it to be thin, but desk space and screen size is most important (13inch ideally, 14inch at most).

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1376 x 768 should suffice, more is a bonus.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
It's replacing my old laptop, but I've got a desktop for serious gaming.

5. How much battery life do you need?
It isn't paramount - if all other specs were perfect and it only had 2 hour battery life, I'd prob still get it. My current laptop has to be plugged in by the AC... so anythings an improvement.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
New games (Skyrim) to run on low settings but with a smooth frame rate.
Older games (Fallout) to run on medium settings with a smooth frame rate.
Games 4 years or older to run on high.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
I edit my photo's in Photoshop CS5 as I'm into my photography a bit. I do the odd video on youtube but that's not a priority.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Not too much, 320GB would be enough. I'd prefer 7200RPM, unless there really isn't much difference between the slower RPM's and I'm mislead?

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I'm happy to buy from anywhere. Due to my requirements and budget, I've been looking on ebay - but it's hard to feel confident spending £400 on ebay on a second hand laptop. New would be ideal, refurb is fine too (unless you have experiences to share regarding refurbs?), second hand is fine - though prefer some form of warranty.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
The next 5 years, that's how long my last one lasted.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
I want a DVD/CD drive, writer would be nice too.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Vaio's look nice, but are expensive. Dells, well they look fine - but I've heard they sometimes come with a lot of junk preloaded? I'm pretty much open to any brand, though have read Lenovo are reliable.

13. What country do you live in?
England, United Kingdom.

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I'm open to AMD CPU's, as apparently they seem to be good at gaming in comparison to the intel HD 3000 graphics. I've got the idea in my head I want an i5, but yeah - seems the graphics on those won't be ideal for me. It might be worth considering a good dual core and a dedicated graphics card? This is why I'm asking for advice!

THANK YOU for taking the time to read this, and I appreciate any advice, big or small
a c 572 D Laptop
January 18, 2012 5:46:48 PM

Hello DPJenkins;

Sorry, don't seem to find anything in your price range in the size you prefer
Let alone anything in your budget that can run Skyrim on low graphics settings. HD 3000 graphics won't run Skyrim on low settings.

Closest match:
Toshiba Satellite L730 13" notebook £450
Core i3-2330M 2.2Ghz, 13.3" 1366x768 LCD w/HD 3000 graphics
!