Which Laptop Should I Buy?

Written by Karen Bryan

My Samsung R519 laptop is needing to be replaced soon. Some of the keys have fallen off. I much prefer the flat keys of an integral keyboard of a laptop to the raised keys of the separate keyboard which I have connected to the Samsung by usb. Also the Samsung laptop is getting rather slow.

But as the Samsung is usable, I have not yet bought a replacement.

What I am looking for is a minimum screen size of 15.6 inches. I am unsure if I should pay extra to have 1920 by 1080 pixel screen, or if 1366 by 768 is sufficient for my needs. My current R519 is a 1366 by 768 screen and is adequate, but a clearer display would be a bonus.

My other requirements for a new laptop are 8GB of RAM and a processor with a speed of around 3GHz. The R519 has 4GB of RAM and a processor speed of 2.2GHz. Ideally I’d like to pay under £500 for a new laptop.

A few weeks ago, I was tempted by a HP laptop that John Lewis were selling for £379 which included a three-year guarantee. John Lewis offer a two-year warranty on all the electronic and electrical products, the extra year on the warranty was a promotion available on selected laptops. John Lewis offer free delivery, but as I didn’t want to have to wait in at home all day, I could select to have the laptop delivered to the Waitrose store in Stirling.

However, I hesitated as that HP only had 4GB of RAM. The screen resolution was 1920 by 1080, the processor was 3GHz (up to 3.6 with boost). It also had a long battery life. Whilst that wasn’t too important to me, as I’d generally be using a new laptop plugged into the mains in the office, it was attractive to having a long-lasting battery e.g. If I wanted to use the laptop in another room at home, I wouldn’t need to unplug the lead to take it to the other room.

I asked one of our sons to look a the HP specs and he thought it should be fine for my needs. But when I went to order the HP on the John Lewis website, the additional one year guarantee was no longer included. I was left feeling a bit confused. Had I missed a bargain, or would purchasing a laptop with only 4GB of RAM have been an error?

I’ve also had a good look on the Argos website. I bought the current Samsung R519 from Argos. Around six years ago the £400 price included a three-year warranty. Whenever I am buying electrical or electronic goods, I always check out the Argos website. Their prices are usually competitive. I also always check if I can find an Argos voucher code to get a further reduction on the price. It’s also convenient to pick up of larger items bought at Argos at my local Sainsbury’s store, where I can easily park the car free of charge. There is an Argos store in Stirling city centre, but it’s had to park close to that store.

I was tempted by a 17″ screen HP laptop on sale at Argos. That laptop cost £450. While it had 8GB of RAM and a processor speed of 3GHz, the screen resolution was only 1600 by 900. I wasn’t sure if I needed a larger screen, especially if the screen resolution might be inadequate, plus the battery life wasn’t great.

When I looked for a laptop that did fulfil all my criteria of a 1920 by 1080 pixel screen, 8GB of RAM and a minimum processor speed of 3GHz, the price appeared to increase to more than £600.

The search for a new laptop continues. For any laptop which I’m considering buying, I will make sure to check out if Voucher Butler have  any relevant discount vouchers.