Jul 28, 2012
Budget: Maximum £590-600
Size: 14"-15.6"
Type: Preferably portable, but basically I will be getting a Nexus 7 to take it with me but it will be nice not to be bulky.
Battery Life: Minimum 6 hours Games: FIFA (this is extra but would be nice that it could handle it)
Tasks: Office, Web Browsing, Photoshop (Extra), Research and any other school needs.
Storage: 320GB upwards
Optical Drive: Not necessarily
Brand: Any
Website: (IMPORTANT! As it's the only website which ships to my country at almost free shipping)

As I said I need this laptop mainly for school but occasionally I use some Photoshop and play some FIFA(I will buy a PS4 later on, so it's not necessarily) but it will be nice to play it on the go. Thanks in advance :D
thats about $937usd

do not forget about or (tigerdirect uk) or any local retailers you have that are our equivalent to best buy, officemax, staples or microcenter. if its a company already within the uk shipping shouldnt be an issue. i do understand about import fees and high international shipping so i can see why you marked this as important.

the reason i say to have a look around is that when it comes to laptops there are normally quite a few different models and by looking around you can 1) get something that fits you best and 2) find a better deal on it. of course this is up to you.

if you want to play games or use photoshop i would suggest something with a discrete graphics card over something with just integrated. usually such laptops come with both and use the onboard graphics when disconnected from power and discrete when connected via power but you can change the settings if you want at the expense of power savings.

for photoshop or any sort of demanding tasks you may want an i7. a mobile i7 is more similar to a desktop i5 so its the minimum i would personally go however if you are okay with somewhat worse performance you could drop to an i5 and make due since it doesnt appear as if you will be using photoshop as much or gaming too heavily (i can imagine fifa is that demanding).

as far as storage is concerned if you want the laptop to be very snappy and fast booting there is only one way to go and that is a ssd. the trouble is that they can be expensive. a samsung 840 in 250 is a minimum of about $200 and the 500 is about $320. it would be hard to find a price lower than that. the trouble is that this is 1/4 to 1/3 of your total budget so you need to think if its worth the tradeoff in space and price for speed.

i used to have a 5400 rpm drive in my laptop and when switching to a ssd the difference was quite noticible. 30+ second startups turned into 8 second startups. average windows performance turned into snappy windows performance.

its hard to find a good deal on laptops with an ssd in them however so you would likely need to replace the one which comes internal. what i did is put this internal hdd into a portable hdd case and use it like i would a flash drive for backup. ssd drives are also low power consumption so thats a good thing.

if you dont want to go ssd then you could go 7200rpm for performance similar to a desktop. this would use more power however. if you dont care about hdd speed then any standard fare 5400rpm drive they provide is going to work. in your budget they are normally at least 500gb so you will be fine.

i would suggest an optical drive for the occasional movie or program cd for school. most come with one so its not an issue really.

another note on battery life... this can vary greatly depending on the task at hand as well as the hardware. for instance my asus k53s has an i7 and gt540m gpu with a 256gb ssd i added and during web browsing or other such tasks with the backlight on low i can get about 5-6 hours maximum out of it. if i have the backlight on full while watching a movie its about half or so. if i am playing a demanding game it can be as low as 1.5-2.5 hours.

cpu and gpu usage are the biggest draws so anything which uses them is going to kill battery life. the same is true on phones and tablets.

as far as brands are concerned i would suggest looking at asus. the aluminum tough models (aluminum tray around the keyboard) such as the one i have are very good for an average power user who doesnt require much in terms of gaming performance. if you want gaming performance at the expense of battery life then the asus rog laptops may be more your style.

as an ending note... i use my laptop mainly for web browsing, photoshop, some basic gaming (total annihilation, unreal tournament 2004... not anything demanding) and as a portable movie player and its great for that task. its not going to compete with gaming desktops but thats not why i bought it.

i paid around $700 for it which is a pretty good deal (granted it doesnt have a 1080p screen) which for $200 i upgraded to a ssd so its somewhere around your budget level. most of the laptops at the time with both an i7 and gpu were $900+ and those with an ssd at least $1200 so i think i did pretty darn good.

just some thoughts!


Jul 28, 2012

So which model do you recommend? As I said before all I need is to play FIFA 14 and use Photoshop occasionally.

Regarding the retailer, I can only buy from Amazon UK as they are the only retailer to ship to Malta at affordable shipping.

UPDATE: I'm thinking of buying this laptop, though I' can't find an i7 model of it
ah. since you stated uk i figured you were in the vicinity. what about (italy) seeing as how its right next to malta? just trying to give you a few choices as choices vary from site to site.

i was looking at some prices on and wow...quite a bit higher than i expected.

i did find a few things you might be interested in


Brand ASUS
Item Weight 2.5 Kg
Product Dimensions 37.8 x 3.2 cm
Item model number K55VD-SX494H
Form Factor Portable
Screen Size 15.6 inches
Processor Brand Intel
Processor Type Intel Core i5
Processor Speed 2.5 GHz
Processor Count 2
RAM Size 8 GB
Computer Memory Type DDR3 SDRAM
Hard Drive Size 1 TB
Graphics Card Description NVIDIA GeForce 610M
Graphics RAM Type DDR3 SDRAM
Graphics Card Ram Size 2 GB
Operating System Windows 8


from an italian vendor.. not sure about shipping rates from them though.

Processor Manufacturer Intel
Type Core i7 3517U
Clock speed 1.90 GHz
Speed ​​BUS 5 GT / s
Level three cache 4 MB
Chipset Intel HM76
Installed Memory 4GB
Maximum supported 4GB
Hard Disk Type SATA
Ability 500GB
Speed 5400rpm
Graphic Adapter Manufacturer NVIDIA
Type GeForce GT 740M
Total Memory 2GB DDR3 dedicated
Details Nd
Optical Drive Type DVD ± R / RW SuperMulti Double Layer
Features Nd
More Nd
Audio System Card Intel High Definition Audio
Speakers Integrated
Display Type LCD 16:9 LED backlight
Dimensions 15.6-inch
Resolution 1366x768 pixels
Connectivity Modem No
LAN Ethernet 10/100
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth No
Infrared No
Interfaces Expansion Slots No
Video Output VGA
TV Output HDMI
USB Ports 1 USB 3.0, 2 USB 2.0
FireWire No
PS / 2 port No
RJ 11 connector No
RJ 45 connector 1
Microphone input 1
Headphone output 1
Card reader It SD
TV Tuner No
More Nd
Battery Type Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Ability 4-cell
Freedom Nd
Dimensions and weight Width 38 cm
Depth 26.6 cm
Height 2.1 cm
Weight 2.3 kg
Accessories Keyboard Standard keyboard with keys to the island and integrated numeric keypad
Mouse Touchpad
Webcam It
Microphone It
Remote Control No
Other Accessories No
Operating System and Software Operating System Microsoft Windows 8 64bit
Applications Buy Microsoft Office to activate Office software on this computer
Utilities Nd
Antivirus Nd
Manufacturer Warranty Duration 12 months
Type Pick-up and return, parts and labor


or maybe something like this?


for anything intensive i would say i7 is the way to go however if you want better battery life and dont mind a slight slowdown in intensive tasks an i5 is going to be fine. for photoshop i would go with an i7 unless you want longer waiting times for filters and actions. your choice.

4gb of ram is plenty but if you can get 6-8 that is ideal. the extra ram is good to have for photoshop as well but not required for all but professional photoshop users.

to check the video card find it on and scroll to the bottom to see the frame per second numbers of many games. it looks like the gt610 would handle something like fifa with ease. the gt740 would do even better. i've seen threads saying photoshop doesnt require a good gpu yet others which say the newest version uses gpu acceleration and a good card helps. hard to say what the case is here but regardless i think the 610 or 740 range will work for you.


just some more thoughts of course...
about the choice you listed....

it would likely work...

Fifa 13 (2012) low: 191 fps Compare med.: 131.1 fps Compare high: 101.6 fps Compare ultra: 58.1 fps Compare » With all tested laptops playable in detail settings ultra.

according to a benchmark on the gpu.

i'm a fan of the icecool series though. again.... your choice. see my above post for more info.