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Please recommend a laptop!

Rob_Taylor 14 661 5 Wales
23 Nov 2013 11:48AM
I need to buy a laptop computer as a Christmas present for my daughter.
She is 18yrs old, in her first year at Uni, living away from home.
She needs it for uni work but also for watching catch-up TV, listening to and storing music, watching /dvd's,etc.
I was going to get one of the standard windows 8 £300 machines being advertised at the moment but she has thrown a spanner in the works by saying she would like to be able to run and play her old Sims games (of which she has many!)
Do I need a faster than standard computer?
Will integrated graphics manage it or will I need to get a laptop with separate graphics card?
Are touchscreen laptops any good or should they be avoided?
Just for a bit of context, she has an iphone and an ipad.

Any help would be appreciated, maybe you've recently had to make a similar decision?


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GarethRobinson 11 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2013 12:30PM
take her along to pc world and have a look at the new microsoft surface pro 2 it will do everything she needs and more so will many other in the price range but it's double your original budget. If i was a laptop person it would be my choice and Im hard to please when it comes to computers. Been building custom pcs for customers since I was 12 and im now 42.
Rob_Taylor 14 661 5 Wales
23 Nov 2013 12:53PM
She's got an ipad so doesn't need the portability of a Surface.
Also no CD/DVD drive to load music and games.
My son has the MS surface RT from last Christmas - it's not what I'm after really but thanks for the reply.
GarethRobinson 11 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2013 12:55PM
No problem Rob just an idea. The rt is not something I would be happy with either.
23 Nov 2013 12:57PM
One of the Acer Aspire models. Look for one around your budget. I recently bought an 17.3 inch V3 Aspire with an i5 processor for £399. The V5 Aspires are out now. I got mine from Amazon and recently upgraded it to Windows 8.1 and am very pleased with it.
Ade_Osman 14 4.5k 36 England
23 Nov 2013 1:05PM
I'd have thought that the integrated graphics for the old Sims game would be more than adequate to be honest......The Sims games aren't that that graphics intensive in comparison with say some of the 3d rendering type games such as Call of Duty et al......

If any laptop you buy is capable of playing DVD's or watching catch up TV, I'm sure it will be fine for the Sims type of game.....
Rob_Taylor 14 661 5 Wales
23 Nov 2013 1:15PM
Thanks for the replies guys.
Ade, that is what I was hoping. She went to PC world and was advised she needed a separate graphics card, faster processor, more RAM, bigger hard drive ....they recommended a laptop at around £600. I thought maybe she'd been wrongly advised. I don't want to spend over the odds for something that is not neccessary, especially when it could get knocked about/stolen/etc.
Ade_Osman 14 4.5k 36 England
23 Nov 2013 1:27PM
Hmmm....PC World.....say's it all really, it's the last place of the face of the planet I'd go too for anything PC orientated, but I digress Smile I once walked in there and asked where I could find a RJ45 network cable, the assistant looked at me as though I was talking double dutch Wink

I won't guarantee it as I don't know what specs the games you have will need, but as I said if the machine is capable of running a DVD or watching catch up TV I would have thought it powerful enough to deal with the Sims type of games.......To put it into context, my sister in law has an old Acer Netbook running Win XP and that will run the original SimCity with no bother whatsoever.....

You could ask an independant PC dealer, but I'm fairly sure they they'd think the same thing as me....
GarethRobinson 11 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2013 1:42PM
yeah pcworld is nice to go look and buy just don't ask them anything at the end of the day they are sales people that sure does not mean they know anything other than a price and credit agreements.
Ade_Osman 14 4.5k 36 England
23 Nov 2013 1:42PM
Just had a quick check for the game specs at Sims3 and that states it will run using Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator (on board graphics) although it may run a little slow, but this is for old pentium based machines with older graphics chipsets and only 2GB Ram, so I'd go for Rob as I don't see any problems, however I would make sure you got a machine with at least 4GB of RAM, preferably 6GB or better if you can find one.
Andy_Cundell 7 1.1k 5 England
23 Nov 2013 1:53PM
After a few months.....she will be wanting a mac!
GarethRobinson 11 1.0k 2 United Kingdom
23 Nov 2013 1:57PM
not for 300 quid lol that will get 8gig ram from apple.
robthecamman 6 1.7k United Kingdom
23 Nov 2013 5:10PM
students get special deals on macs check them out
Rob_Taylor 14 661 5 Wales
23 Nov 2013 5:37PM
Thanks everyone Smile
Ade, I'll do as you suggest and consult an independent dealer. I'll try and find some of the Sims games and take them with me so they can see the specs required.
Thanks again.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
23 Nov 2013 5:40PM

Quote:students get special deals on macs check them out

What! Only £299 coupons for 8Gb of RAM.......PMSL....Wink They do like to get them young and fresh meat is easier to deal with....Grin

Brands to consider, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, (Acer are ok but a tad flimsy at the lower end) for your budget or just a tad over these manufacturers offer a lot of bang for your bucks.

I put Lenovo first because I know someone who bought one recently, Now take into consideration I don't like portable computers because they are all so dam slow compared to a half decent desktop ( Or one of my own build flying machines Smile ) This Lenovo was under £400 quid, An Intel i5 CPU, 8Gb Ram and a 500Gb HD, I had a play with it and have to admit I was fairly impressed at how responsive everything was, However like all laptops etc, You may need to clear out some of the " Bloat Ware " they are so fond of loading at the factory, Get rid of that junk and your away.

Do follow the options on Back Up disks etc...Wink

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