New Laptop Advice

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Rod
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#1
Hi everyone, Happy New Year, my old Toshiba laptop has died and I am looking to buy a new laptop that will be used mainly for photo editing, I currently subscribe to Photoshop CC and use Lightroom as my main tool, can anyone recommend a good laptop for around £500?

I am currently thinking about this one

HP 15.6 Inch i5 8GB 1TB FHD Laptop

CPU, Memory and Operating System:

Intel Core i5 8265U processor.Quad core processor.1.6GHz processor speed.8GB RAM DDR4.1TB HDD storage.Hard drive speed 5400RPM.Microsoft Windows 10.

Display features:

15.6 inch screen.Full HD Display.Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Graphics:

Intel UHD 620 graphics card.Shared graphics card.


Your expert advice would be much appreciated.
 

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#2
Looks about standard for new prices.

Absolutely diabolical that £500 only gets an 8gb ram and 1tb old fashioned HDD these days.

I remember getting a laptop with 12gb ram about 10 years ago for £350 ( an older type of ram but still )
 
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#3
Is there a reason you need a laptop instead of a desktop?

That's an OK spec with reservations as below - also look at Lenovo for a similar spec/price, but better quality build. We got an Ideapad 530s for £499 in the autumn, and it's nicely made & slightly quicker than my Dell XPS9530.

Things to watch out for:
Screen should be IPS - do NOT accept a TN panel for editing work.
1TB HDD will be dog-slow - you would be better having a 256/512GB NVMe SSD for editing with an external HDD for storage via USB3.1 or Thunderbolt.
8GB is OK for image editing, but 16 GB (upgrade later - make sure there are slots available).
 
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#4
I have just ordered a Dell refurb as they have/had 45% off, not sure how long that offer lasts. £360 got me a machine that was on their website for £650 that was new £1100 not so long ago. 14" Latitude i5 5470 8gb 128gb ssd
 
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Rod Boughton
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#5
Is there a reason you need a laptop instead of a desktop?

That's an OK spec with reservations as below - also look at Lenovo for a similar spec/price, but better quality build. We got an Ideapad 530s for £499 in the autumn, and it's nicely made & slightly quicker than my Dell XPS9530.

Things to watch out for:
Screen should be IPS - do NOT accept a TN panel for editing work.
1TB HDD will be dog-slow - you would be better having a 256/512GB NVMe SSD for editing with an external HDD for storage via USB3.1 or Thunderbolt.
8GB is OK for image editing, but 16 GB (upgrade later - make sure there are slots available).
A desktop kind of restricts me to one room, with a laptop I can use it anywhere, including when I'm away from home, I looked at some Lenovo's but reviews said the screens were bad, but I will look again with the advice on hard drives and screen type that you have provided.
 
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Rod Boughton
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#6
I have just ordered a Dell refurb as they have/had 45% off, not sure how long that offer lasts. £360 got me a machine that was on their website for £650 that was new £1100 not so long ago. 14" Latitude i5 5470 8gb 128gb ssd
I have always been a bit concerned about buying returned equipment.
 
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#7
Lenovo screens aren't very bright, meaning they're hard to read in direct sunlight. The screen on the machine we bought is nice indoors - crisp, clear, pleasing colours (not tried to calibrate at all) and absolutely fine to use.

As for Dell refurbs, I bought the XPS 9530 that I'm typing on in 2014 as a refurb for (IIRC) about £1000 instead of £1500 list price. I also bought 3 years next business day onsite warranty, and just before the time was up I had them out to replace the keyboard because a key was sometimes failing to register - can happen to any machine (or most current Macbooks ;) ).
 
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#8
I have always been a bit concerned about buying returned equipment.
I understand that, mine comes with 180 day warranty and tbh for £300 I thought it worth a punt, I am registered for vat so will get that back. I could upgrade my present machine but I'd need to buy win 10 for £120 or so, a refurb will in effect cost me £180. Your reasons/views may differ.
 
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#9
I have always been a bit concerned about buying returned equipment.
For the most part, you shouldn't :). Been buying refurbs from https://mcscom.co.uk/ for years now and putting in an SSD (if they don't come with one) for friends and family. I wouldn't buy one without a year's warranty and the worst I have seen so far is one of the laptops had a very small scuff on a corner.

1. This isn't a bad one and well under your budget though it's CPU is 4C/4T and the screen is TN rather than the better IPS but you do get a modern CPU, SSD, integrated GFX and OK connectivity. https://mcscom.co.uk/product/dell-i...nvme-ssd-15-6-fhd-win-10-1yr-dell-wty-dln110/

2. Intel 4C/8T CPU, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, FHD IPS screen, integrated GFX, better connectivity and can be had for £450. https://mcscom.co.uk/product/dell-l...e-ssd-15-6-fhd-win-10-pro-1yr-rtb-wty-mll810/

3. Intel 4C/8T CPU, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, 14" FHD IPS screen (2in1 screen), integrated GFX, better connectivity and can be had for £535. https://mcscom.co.uk/product/dell-i...14-fhd-touchscreen-win-10-1yr-rtb-wty-mln984/
 
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Rod Boughton
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#10
Is there a reason you need a laptop instead of a desktop?

That's an OK spec with reservations as below - also look at Lenovo for a similar spec/price, but better quality build. We got an Ideapad 530s for £499 in the autumn, and it's nicely made & slightly quicker than my Dell XPS9530.

Things to watch out for:
Screen should be IPS - do NOT accept a TN panel for editing work.
1TB HDD will be dog-slow - you would be better having a 256/512GB NVMe SSD for editing with an external HDD for storage via USB3.1 or Thunderbolt.
8GB is OK for image editing, but 16 GB (upgrade later - make sure there are slots available).
What do you think about this one please :
https://www.laptopsdirect.co.uk/len...nch-full-hd-windows-10-81hn00xmuk/version.asp
 
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#12
SSD is a little on the small side and its listing here suggests it's a TN panel - https://www.technoworld.com/lenovo-v130-81hn00xmuk-laptop (though the way it talks about sharing the screen with others at different angles suggests it might be an IPS lol but at this moment I would go with the direct mention of it being a TN). It's OK but should be able to get a better one at that price point.

If you're keen to buy from Laptops Direct - this one is a little more but comes with an IPS screen and a larger SSD (though smaller overall HD capacity).
 
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#13
If you're looking for mobility how about going down the iPad route? Lightroom on an iPad is very capable these days for most editing tasks, and editing with your fingers or the Apple Pencil instead of a trackpad is a wonderful experience.
 
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#14
Few words of advice...

1. A refurb mid-range device is a better buy than a new entry-level. I would take a 2-3yr old mid-range or high-end Dell rather than the HP you linked at the top. I avoid HP laptops like the plague due to really bad experiences of them.

2. SSD's are a must... Do NOT entertain a spinning disk purchase, unless it has an SSD AND a spinning disk. Some units may have a small size M2 SSD and a large sized spinning disk where you could store your photos etc...

3. 8Gb RAM should be the bare minimum.

4. FHD resolution screen (1920x1080) is a must, do not settle for anything less.


As long as you stick to the guidelines above you'll likely get a good laptop, Dell Outlet is always a good place to start.

And one last thing, iPads are good but they are not a PC or Mac replacement, think carefully about everything you'll use it for before turning down that path, same goes for Android tablets and Chromebooks!
 
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Rod Boughton
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#16
Thank you all for your advice, I am going to make a list of the specs you have recommended and go shopping,0 much appreciated for all your input.
 
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#17
I recently bought a 'refurbished' DELL Vostro 5581 15" IPS screen i5 laptop which came with the balance (33 months) DELL onsite warranty from ITCSALES, it was indistinguishable from new. It cost just over £500, I upgraded it to 16gb and added a NVME M.2 SSD alongside the 1tb HDD is came with for another £100.

I have probably bought 300-400 DELL new and refurbished laptops over the last 20 years (mostly for the school I worked at), they are easy to repair/upgrade and the spares are relatively inexpensive & easy to obtain.
 
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#18
Just to add, MUST be IPS - you just don't know what an image really looks like on a TN screen. Otherwise agree wholeheartedly.
And preferably 100% sRGB coverage, or close to it. Just having an IPS screen isn't a total guarantee of quality. There are some cheap IPS panels out there with very poor colour space coverage
 
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#20
I have just ordered a Dell refurb as they have/had 45% off, not sure how long that offer lasts. £360 got me a machine that was on their website for £650 that was new £1100 not so long ago. 14" Latitude i5 5470 8gb 128gb ssd
I've been looking at them too as laptop is on last legs.
I would go for something like this, note you will need an external drive for storage but in general i'm fine with that.
https://www.europc.co.uk/dell-latit...sd-14-1920x1080-fhd-dell-3-yr-wty-132358.html
 
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#25
Ancient _mariner the links are not leading to laptops, could you try again as I would like to see them.
Sorry - I can't make it link - suspect it's using a cookie to remember.

Go here: https://www.dell.com/uk/dfh/p/?

Select refurbished laptops, then from the menu options select i5 & i7 processors, 15" screen, screen resolution (pick HD & QHD options) plus any other criteria you care for & sort by price. I bought the XPS15 I'm using now from the outlet in 2014, and it's been really good - came with just a bare Windows install - no bloatware, unwanted apps or other rubbish.
 
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#27
For editing photos you want 16gb ram if not more, some of those are as low as 4gb you could make tea while photoshop opened.
Fitting more ram to a laptop isn't as easy as dropping another card in a PC
File sizes are only getting bigger
 
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#28
For editing photos you want 16gb ram if not more, some of those are as low as 4gb you could make tea while photoshop opened.
Fitting more ram to a laptop isn't as easy as dropping another card in a PC
File sizes are only getting bigger
Depends on the laptop, but with Dells I've used in the past, it's as easy as a desktop.

8GB minimum, and I agree 16 is better.
 
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#29
For editing photos you want 16gb ram if not more, some of those are as low as 4gb you could make tea while photoshop opened.
Fitting more ram to a laptop isn't as easy as dropping another card in a PC
File sizes are only getting bigger
Is it not also down to the processor and storage medium?
The laptop I bought 8 yrs ago has 16gb ram, my "new" one has 8 but opens programmes at light speed compared to my old one. The old one also has 1Tb HDD as opposed to 128gb SSD.
 
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#30
I appreciate it's an older version, but LR5.7 would run in about 2.7GB, so very comfortably in a $GB machine, and switching to 8GB made zero difference. I suspect that's doubled with CC, but certainly will run happily in 8. Different for video editing of course.
 
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#31
Some DELL laptops support 2.5" HDD and M.2 NVME SSD simultaneously, the Vostro 5581 I bought last year does. My Vostro now has 16gb memory, a 256gb NVME drive and a 1tb HDD.

Installing the SSD and extra memory is easy, often all you need is a small pozi screwdriver to remove the screws & an old credit card to gently pop open the case. The DELL support website has instructions on how to gain access for most of their products.
 
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#32
Some DELL laptops support 2.5" HDD and M.2 NVME SSD simultaneously, the Vostro 5581 I bought last year does. My Vostro now has 16gb memory, a 256gb NVME drive and a 1tb HDD.

Installing the SSD and extra memory is easy, often all you need is a small pozi screwdriver to remove the screws & an old credit card to gently pop open the case. The DELL support website has instructions on how to gain access for most of their products.
Yup. My XPS is a bit older, so has both mSATA and conventional SATA drive bays, but later versions have NVMe instead of mSATA with all the extra speed that brings. I have a 1TB mSATA and 2TB HDD installed at the moment.
 
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#33
I’m looking for a laptop too so won’t start another thread about it, for general use and a wee bit photo editing so I can use it when watching telly instaead of in studio/office/ spare room, whatever it is now haha
https://www.laptopoutlet.co.uk/hp-e...r-windows-10-silver-6bg33ea-abu.html?___SID=U
Anyone dealt with this lot as see mixed reviews but look ok on trust pilot, i don’t know much about computers so is this decent?
Been looking at dell refurbished so not sure which way to go. Her indoors wants to go to Currys and pc world but I’m not keen , advice please
 
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#34
PCWorld/Currys is the last place I would go to to buy anything.

I am a big fan of DELL kit, having bought hundreds of units between 2003-2014 as a school IT network manager. These days since retirement, for personal use I tend to buy factory refurbished rather than new. My most recent purchase was a DELL Vostro laptop.
 
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#36
PCWorld/Currys is the last place I would go to to buy anything.

I am a big fan of DELL kit, having bought hundreds of units between 2003-2014 as a school IT network manager. These days since retirement, for personal use I tend to buy factory refurbished rather than new. My most recent purchase was a DELL Vostro laptop.
You seem to know your stuff, so what would you buy if you were about to buy a laptop assumimg you were looking for a decent but nothing fancy photo editor / general surfing model. I’m drawn to interest free credit but it’s not absolutely required. I just like it haha
 
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#38
PCWorld/Currys is the last place I would go to to buy anything.

I am a big fan of DELL kit, having bought hundreds of units between 2003-2014 as a school IT network manager. These days since retirement, for personal use I tend to buy factory refurbished rather than new. My most recent purchase was a DELL Vostro laptop.
Looking at dell 15 5000 too, what do you think? It’s on refurb page but I see you can’t link above
 
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#39
Looking at dell 15 5000 too, what do you think? It’s on refurb page but I see you can’t link above
if it is something like THIS ONE
then it is a good buy, latest processor, decent nVME hard drive and you can upgrade the ram and add an additional ssd for storage, if you order from the Dell Outlet store, Email them as a new customer and they will give you a 10% off code
 
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#40
if it is something like THIS ONE
then it is a good buy, latest processor, decent nVME hard drive and you can upgrade the ram and add an additional ssd for storage, if you order from the Dell Outlet store, Email them as a new customer and they will give you a 10% off code
Not sure why but links don’t work to their site, thanks for the shout on discount
As a side note, we are looking to replace our old Toshiba and seen somewhere how to find out how old it is...... turns out the old girl is 2009 and still going strong , what a buy that was haha
 
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