Help choose 17" laptop


Nov 15, 2009
My parents have an old (ish) Acer desktop replacement which they're looking to replace. I'm trying to convince them to go down the desktop-pc route, for ease of upgrading later (another thread elsewhere on that), but they're still thinking a laptop is what they want for occasional portability. So I'm going to present them with options..

So, the essential Q's:

Budget: £800-1000GBP
Size: 17" 1080x1920
Type: Desktop replacement
Battery: Not important
Games: not really
Tasks: Web, email, photoshop (basic), Office stuff (word/excel/powerpoint), Autocad (basic)
Storage: 750G- 1TB
Purchase sites: Not fussy (be nice to find one on a shelf somewhere to poke at)
Lifespan: The old one lasted 6-7 years, so I'd guess as long as possible..
Optical Device: DVD-RW as a minimum, though not necessarily built in.
Preferred brands: Not Sony (historical, personal reasons)

Additional info:
8Gb Ram (would settle for 6 if it can be increased later)
Would really like something with some headroom to upgrade in the future - I know it's hard with laptops, but the chance to upgrade the ram and processor to keep it useful for longer would be good.
Not windows 8 - don't think my folks are ready for that big a change.
Not fussed too much about weight or looks - the Acer wasn't small or pretty

The problem I'm finding online is where to look to compare stats, specs & prices - I can find a laptop on Amazon that doesn't exist on the manufacturers website, and at the same time other laptops with wildly different specs on different retailers sites. Things just don't seem to be consistent across the web. Is this just down to the myriad of options on a laptop, or folks just plain getting it wrong?

thanks for listening..


Nov 15, 2009
Linky no worky. :(

Searching that site for a G75VW lists a gaming laptop that's almost twice the budget I set :??:

Asus are one of these manufacturers that seem to list laptops on their corporate site that don't exist (or are very hard to find) in the retail world, and similarly the ones found for sale don't exist on their main website. The level of frustration from Asus and Acer in particular in this way almost want to make me wash my hands of them and look elsewhere.


Oct 9, 2012
The link works... anyway...
The Dell Inspiron 17R Special Edition is a good laptop, with good specs. It will suit your needs just fine. The i7 processor is a good quad core processor that will ensure your comp runs fast and smooth. The 8GB RAM and 1TB Hard Disk Drive are large enough to suit all of your needs for the next few years. The NVIDIA GTX 630M 1GB card is a low-level class 2 graphics card, which is only ok. You may want to spend a bit more and get the 17 SE which has a 650M card, which is an entry level class 1 GPU.
But then again, you said you're not really gaming. So to keep costs low, you can manage just fine with the 630M. It's a good laptop and Dell has very good customer support and warranty, so you're pretty much covered at all times. I wouldn't recommend HP or Toshiba laptops, because they all encounter loads of problems along the way, and their customer service and battery life SUCK. Lenovo is all right, but I still think Dell is the most reliable out of all of them, in terms of a basic functioning laptop, which is what you're looking at :)
Basically, this laptop will suit your needs for the future as well, so you don't have to worry about changing much any time soon. You'll be good for the next few years.


Oct 25, 2012
If you are really wanting a 17" laptop, I would highly suggest a 1080P screen, and if your budget is that low, skipping a graphics card and just using the intel HD 4000 graphics. This will really lower the cost. RAM can always be upgraded, but look for a laptop that can use DDR3 1600. Almost all laptops (of the 17" size) can use at least 8GB, but some can go up to 16GB.

Try again,I edited my post