Laptops are getting faster and faster with each passing year, so by getting the best value for money cheap laptop now, you won't be replacing it in a couple of years time when it gets too slow.
One plus to all the different brands is the competition is massive and things brings down the prices of laptops to such a level that a cheap netbook can set you back as little as £130. These laptops won't be the fastest things on the market by any means, but it does give you an idea of what you can get for your money.
Now if you're after something a little meatier, or a gaming laptop for example, then be ready to pay some serious money. But still be wise and shop around. As deals on cheap laptops can be found all over the internet and even deals on the high street to.
Tips for Getting the Perfect Laptop for You
Depending on what you plan on using your new laptop for there are various specs to look out for that may influence your laptop choice. Although budget laptop buyers won’t need to get too involved with the technical details as at the lower end of cheap laptops a lot of the basic hardware is very similar. But still, a basic understanding of what everything means and what to look out for based on your needs will put you in the best place to make a the best choice.
So let's look at the different type of laptop users out their and there different needs they are looking to get out of a cheap laptop.
Gamers If gaming is going to be your primary reason for getting a new laptop then you've got to be looking at spending at least £350, and even at the price you may struggle to get a serious gaming laptop. You can also get away with playing many older games with the integrated Intel HD graphics found on most budget laptops as the Radeon R series equivalent on AMD based laptops. In many cases it may not be worth sacrifices the portability and ease of use in favour if better graphics unless you know you will be doing a fair amount of gaming on your new laptop.
Students Usually students generally only require a laptop that can comfortable browse the web, use word processing apps and watch the odd movie. Due to the mobile requirements of moving around on college or at school mobility is also a prime concern for many students so keeping your laptop lean and lightweight should also be high on your agenda. You should be looking at least 4GB or more of RAM, a portable design, so a laptop of 11-inch or 13-inch are a great idea for this. Students who will be taking their laptop everywhere they go and don’t make sacrificing the screen size and a battery life of 5 hours minimum. Chromebooks are a popular option for those looking for simplicity and who don’t require the use of any MS Office or Windows apps thanks to their mobility and quality designs.
Business Getting the best price on a laptop is vital for business owners. Why spend £600 plus on an office laptop when a £300 will get the job done just fine? Business users generally have similar needs as students with word processing and other office applications at the top if the priority list, although laptops designed for office use may not require quite as much portability unless you plan on taking your laptop to meetings often. As per our student recommendations look for a laptop with at least 4GB of RAM for standard office applications and web browsing. If your business requires photo or image processing or more advanced applications 8GB is recommended. Build quality is also an important factor for many business owners – there’s no point investing in a budget laptop if it’s going to need to be replaced in three years. Lenovo and Dell are two manufacturers who are well know for there business oriented budget laptops which may not have the sleek designs found on many competitors but are built to withstand the test of time with sturdier build quality.
Media/Photo Editors If you’re planning on using your laptop mostly at home for handling all of your movies, music and other media then portability won’t be your biggest concern which means you are free to focus on areas such as screen quality and laptop audio. Unless you have an external monitor or TV lying around you may also want to explore some 17-inch options where possible. Look for a laptop with a 1 TB hard drive if possible, or at a minimum 500GB, and as above note 4GB of RAM or more as requirement for smooth performance with HD video playback and other tasks. Also this will mean your laptop will be better at handling photo and video editing software which can take up valuable space.
These are just a few of the main types of laptop users, we are however, all different so just because you're a student, doesn't mean you have to buy a student laptop. Ultimately, your budget will be a big deciding factor.
Let's have quick look now at some of the technical jargon that you will often see in the product information when looking at a cheap laptop.
Processors Your CPU (central processing unit) is the heart of your PC and does most of the number crunching to bring your computer to life. AMD and Intel are the the 2 biggest CPU manufactures in the budget market. AMD configurations are generally cheaper than Intel’s and provide excellent value for money although Intel is often still the most peoples favourite.
Graphics Your GPU (graphic processing unit), graphics card as it can be sometimes known, differs from your CPU in that in is created specifically for graphic processing in applications such as games and multimedia editing apps. Unless you plan on playing video games or doing any serious photo or video editing a decent graphics card is not all that important and not worth the extra cost.
RAM Your laptops RAM (random access memory) is also an important piece of the laptop. RAM is like short term memory for your PC, and the more RAM you have the less change there is of your PC freezing due to limited memory which can seriously hinder performance. For most users, 4GB of RAM is more than sufficient for daily use, although if using advanced applications or running multiple applications at once performance can suffer.
These is just a short guide on what to look for and a bit of the jargon explained. The best place to get your laptop is from a well known retailer. We find Argos and Currys are the best for this. They have excellent customer service and also some really great deals on cheap laptops and laptops that they have on sale.