Laptop for travel and connecting with TV? Please help

donline

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Apr 20, 2016
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Hi folks,

We're looking to get a small laptop (11.6" screen) for travel and also connecting (via HDMI) with the TV for watching/streaming youtube videos...

How powerful does the laptop need to be for watching/streaming youtube videos on a TV?

We were looking at one of the following and wondered if they would be good enough?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Acer-Aspire-R3-131T-Touchscreen-Notebook/dp/B016B902OM/ref=sr_1_3?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1463599666&sr=1-3

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B015EL2BNS/ref=psdc_429886031_t2_B016B902OM

Otherwise, do you have any other laptop recommendations? We're not looking to spend more than 250GBP.

Thanks,
D
 

thejackal85

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Jan 18, 2016
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No worries! The bare minimum I would get is 6GB of RAM, an i5 processor (if you go Intel), and a 1GB ethernet connection. GPU is important, but when it comes to laptops, you can't really pick and choose that much. I would think if all you're doing is streaming, then whatever may come with the laptop would be enough (especially if it offers HDMI).

Put all that together with a good internet connection as you say you have, you should be good.
 

thejackal85

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Jan 18, 2016
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If all you're going to use it for is streaming videos and things, I wouldn't go higher than 8GB of RAM and an i5 processor. Anything higher than that would not have a justified cost. The other thing about streaming is your internet source, too, it's not all just your laptop.

The top one that you linked to should work fine.
 

donline

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Apr 20, 2016
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Thank you thejackal85

What would be the bare minimum laptop spec for smoothly streaming videos onto a TV?

I was wondering what components are most important for this task? CPU? GPU? RAM or?

No problem with the internet source, we've a good connection.

Thanks



 

thejackal85

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Jan 18, 2016
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No worries! The bare minimum I would get is 6GB of RAM, an i5 processor (if you go Intel), and a 1GB ethernet connection. GPU is important, but when it comes to laptops, you can't really pick and choose that much. I would think if all you're doing is streaming, then whatever may come with the laptop would be enough (especially if it offers HDMI).

Put all that together with a good internet connection as you say you have, you should be good.
 

donline

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Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks thejackal85

I was out shopping today and dropped into an electronics store and asked them the same question...

They said Pentium processor as a bare minimum (so not Atom or Celeron), and that the processor was the most important component.

It seems you pay a lot more for the small laptops with a decent processor, so it's challenging finding a suitable laptop at the right price point. Will have a look around.

Thanks again!




 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Of the two laptops you linked to the 1st one is better overall. It's graphics core is about 1.75x to 2x more powerful the the graphics core in the Asus laptop that has the Atom 3735F CPU. Videos relies on the graphics core to decode the video data so that you can watch the video.

A current generation Pentium CPU is more powerful than the Atom and Celeron CPUs used in the laptops you linked to. The graphics core is also more capable. While a laptop with a Pentium CPU may cost a little more than the other two laptops, it should also last you longer before you feel that it is too slow for your needs and you will be looking to spend money on another laptop.
 

donline

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Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks jaguarskx

Do you think the Celeron processor in the first laptop would be fine if the laptop is only used for light web browsing and sending emails whilst travelling, and video/youtube streaming (via HDMI connection) into a TV screen whilst at home? It wouldn't be used for anything else.

Otherwise, I just found this one (with Pentium) for around the same price:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lenovo-Touchscreen-Notebook-Bluetooth-Integrated/dp/B012VJ1S4E/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1463688999&sr=1-1

What do you think? Thanks
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
The Pentium N3540 is somewhat of a mixed bag compared to the CPUs in the other two laptop you linked to.

The Pentium N3540 is a quad core Bay Trail CPU similar to the Atom Z3537F. Overall it is more powerful than the Celeron N3050 because it has 4 cores instead of only just two and the clockspeed is 500MHz higher. The Celeron is a newer generation CPU, but that will not make up for the performance difference. The Pentium N3540 should make the laptop feel a bit more responsive that the Celeron N3050 when you have several windows open.

However, the Celeron has a more powerful graphics core. Both the Pentium and Atom CPU has the Intel HD Bay Trail generation graphics core. But it is still fine for playing back video. The Celeron's integrated graphics (which is known as the Intel HD 5300) is based on the graphics core used in the 5th generation Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs which is why it is more powerful than the Intel HD Bay Trail graphics core. The Intel HD 5300 is capable of handling 4k video... at least according to Intel. But I do not believe the Intel HD (Bay Trail) graphics core is capable of 4k video. If 4k video is not a requirement, then purchasing the laptop with the Pentium N3540 will be fine.


If you want the best of both worlds, then there is the Pentium N3700. It is a quad core CPU and it also has the Intel HD 5300 graphics core. The following Toshiba laptop has that CPU, but it costs £300 which is £50 more than what you budgeted for. There could be cheaper laptops with that CPU, but you need to do a little digging.


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Toshiba-Satellite-L10W-C-10H-11-6-inch-Touchscreen/dp/B01CUIR660/ref=sr_1_3?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1463768017&sr=1-3&keywords=pentium+n3700


If you definitely want to stick as close to your budget as possible, then the Lenovo Yoga 300 with the Pentium N3540 should be more than adequate for your needs.
 

donline

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Apr 20, 2016
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Thank you so much for your really helpful response, jaguarskx!

I'll suggest that we go with the Toshiba (otherwise, it will be the Lenovo).

 

donline

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Apr 20, 2016
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Hi jaguarskx,
Hope you're enjoying the summer :)

What do you think about this laptop:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/HP-ProBook-Education-11-6-Inch-Graphics/dp/B013T58716/ref=sr_1_6?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1470323548&sr=1-6&keywords=pentium+3805

It has a Pentium 3805 processor... it's better than the N3700 as far as I can see? What do you think?
Thanks!
 

jaguarskx

Champion
Moderator
Hi,

Sorry about the late response...

Yes, it is a better CPU. The Pentium 3805u is based on Intel's Broadwell CPU that is the basis of the 5th generation Core i3/i5/i7 CPU. The N3700 is a quad core entry level CPU in Intel's Atom CPU line up, that means it uses less power for potentially longer battery life. But it also makes it a much weaker CPU overall.
 

donline

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Apr 20, 2016
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Thanks jaguarskx!

And is the integrated graphics in the Pentium 3805u better than the N3700?
(I think you said the N3700 has Intel HD 5300 graphics core)
 
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