Laptop buying advice - best available for £350-£450


Jun 9, 2014
Hello folks. My dad has asked for some help on choosing a laptop, and I'd really appreciate your input. I know my stuff when it comes to desktop builds but I'm less sure what you can expect to get for your money in a laptop.
His budget is around £350-£400, with the possibility of going up to £450 if there was a real benefit.

The kind of tasks he performs daily are the usual basic things like browsing the interwebs, word processing, checking emails, listening to music, streaming video etc.

He's also a musical kinda guy and likes the idea of using some music apps/recording audio. I know this would require a much better build and an external soundcard to do properly, but if there is the odd laptop with some audio based frills that would be a bonus for playing around with.

He doesn't do anything graphically intensive, and is the kind of guy who'll set his OS to the basic skin to save a few seconds here and there.

On that basis I appreciate you may be inclined to suggest something very basic at the low end of his budget, but I'd really like to get something which is as quick, well made and as frustration-free as possible. Part of this would ideally would include be the ability to swap in an SSD and add more RAM.

He's as prone to get annoyed as the rest of us with slow performance, and I'd like to encourage him to be a bit more tech-savvy and do more with his laptop than he does currently, and a decent laptop could help with that.

With those things in mind, I think a few good things to aim for would be:
- An i5 processor (I see this should possible in this price range)
- Decent quality 8GB Ram
- Decent build quality
- Good wireless
- Ability to add/swap in an SSD
- Windows OS

Other things that would be a bonus are:
- Ability to add/upgrade RAM
- Good screen resolution
- Good range of ports - USB 3, Video out, Audio in
- Decent audio

I hope the above is enough info to work with. Thanks a lot in advance for taking any time at all to tell me your advice/experiences.

As a starter for ten, the below are the ones he was looking at in PC World.

I don't know whether I should be wary of these guys on the basis that they might do things like the following to make their deals look way better than they are:
- Use crappy ram
- Use crappy wireless tech
- Have crap ports


Jun 9, 2014

Thanks for the advice, I'm leaning toward that one now.
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