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The current Laday Boatboy needs a new laptop, or should I say laptop style device. Her old dell is reaching the end of it's life, it's had a new screen, mo-bo etc. To be honest I'm fed up of stripping it down, repairing it and rebuilding it (which anyone with a Dell laptop will know is not easy).

So I look at suggestions for the best device on various comparison sites, should she have a windows laptop, or a chromebook? Is a laptop best or a hybrid style 2 in 1 device? It will not get a lot of heavy use, browsing, a few online apps, browser based games etc, messenger, face time and social media. We do want it to be reasonably quick though, no waiting ages for browsers to open 

Having looked as sties like which, what etc they all offer advice on the ideal machine, and they all cost in excess of £750, a cost I don't see as necessary given the limited duty list for her machine. Any suggestions or advice, especially on chromebooks which I know little about, benefits, limitations etc gratefully received.

Apple machines of any kind will not be considered.

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I had a little 11" Lenovo netbook that ran on Windows 10S and was actually pretty nippy considering it had an old school Celeron processor. The downside was that there was an issue with the battery that meant it wouldn't charge, even after 2 new batteries. It's not an old machine either. As it turns out it was a common problem with that model and the only repair is to send it back to Lenovo.

On the plus side, for (very) basic games, word processing and social media etc it was more than adequate, and cost less than £200.

I wouldn't avoid Lenovo in the future, but I would do a bit more homework on common problems.

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25 minutes ago, Paul said:

Having looked as sties like which, what etc they all offer advice on the ideal machine, and they all cost in excess of £750, a cost I don't see as necessary given the limited duty list for her machine. Any suggestions or advice, especially on chromebooks which I know little about, benefits, limitations etc gratefully received

The problem in my experience is not in finding a machine that is suitable for what you want to use it for today, but to ensure that it is still suitable for the same job in three or four years time. Each new release of Windows, major or minor introduces more bloat into the OS. The same with all the apps and browsers etc. So if you buy a machine that is just about capable of running what you want to do today, it will more than likely be severely struggling in two years time. Often in the past I have reloaded a PC with the base version of Windows that it shipped with and found it to be quite nippy again. Then watched as it proceeded to play catch up and download the 100 or so updates and quality improvements and finally when it done all that, its back to running slow again!. Frustrating but Microsoft and others seem to build in the need for hardware upgrades with each release of software.

My advice would be to set a budget first that you can comfortably live with and then purchase the most powerful spec you can find to meet your budget. It may be more powerful than you need now, but OS and app upgrades will always eat into that capacity, but hopefully it will be longer before you find you need to replace it.

My last three devices have been Dell. I always stick to Intel processors and I would make sure you buy something with a SSD drive. SSD drive and more RAM are probably of more use than an out and out top of the range processor. Perhaps consider going to the top of your budget with a PC that you could look to add extra RAM to later if your start to struggle. One last thing to consider is physical size, especially for portable devices. I take my laptop to site a lot and have gone for the most powerful and small device within my budget for the convenience of carrying it around. This means that I also have to budget for a docking station and extra screens as I couldn't live with the laptop small screen for any long period of time. Smaller devices and packaging generally come at a much higher financial premium than their larger counter parts due to the cost or trying to keep them cooled efficiently and mange to fit all the parts in. Light weight also often means more money. If you can live with a larger heavier device it will generally be more powerful and cheaper.

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Last two laptops I have had in the last 12 years, have been refurbished HP Pavlions, 15.6 screen.

Both have worked and still do faultlessly. Only reason I replaced the other one, was speed for Graphics creating.

If looking would go for at least, an i5 intel, 8gb memory and 1Tb HD.

Problem being is, the shortage of laptops at the moment due to everyone working from home, has pushed up the price.

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currently running a dell latitude d630 as one of my machines, it has an ubunto linux operating system, and runs smoother and faster than my up to date work laptop, usually booting and useable before the  work dell has even finished getting to the power on password.

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34 minutes ago, FairTmiddlin said:

If looking would go for at least, an i5 intel, 8gb memory and 1Tb HD.

You're quite right, although just a cautionary note to check the actual performance figures for the specific model of i5 against others. Passmark is a good website to do this. Higher numbers are better, and anything less than around 5,000 is probably not a good long-term investment.

The term i5 has sadly become as broad as saying that a car is a 'BMW'. It might be a base model Mini with a 1.2 litre three-pot, or it might be an M5. Most people are going to want something inbetween.

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I use userbenchmark for checking processors, I find it very reliable in giving an accurate assessment of processors in real life applications. Otherwise working out what is what would be impossible. There are some very pedestrian early series i5 twin cores, easily out performed by later i3s. 

I thought about looking at Chromebooks as there seems to be a suggestion that they run faster than Win 10 based on similar equipment and is theoretically cheaper than Windows machines, but looking at the main retailers that doesn't seem to be the case. There is also a worry about the idea of storing everything in the cloud rather than on the machine, Elaine's not ready for that yet, she likes to have her photos and music on the physical machine, as well as on back ups of course. 

Swapping the current machine to a new OS is not an option, it's not particularly suffering too much performance wise it's just one break down after another. It no longer charges, the case is cracked, the hinges are not very good. It's very old, like me it's past it. 

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