RAM heavy laptop with SSD. No gaming. Worth it at £460?

smyther5er

Estimable
Jul 27, 2014
2
0
4,510
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I'm looking for a low-end desktop replacement. I'm having difficulty finding advice for my needs. I think 8GB of RAM will be more important (and cheaper) than a better CPU, but don't know how true this is. I'm also tempted by an SSD, but have no experience with them, and if an SSD does the job of more RAM without needing a good CPU, then I can get cheaper laptops elsewhere. So far, this is the cheapest I've found.

Novatech nSpire N1594
Screen: 15.6" LED
CPU: I3 4100M
RAM: 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 (optional upgrade)
SSD: 128GB Crucial MX100 (optional upgrade)
GPU: Intel HD 4600 (probably, all other nspires use it)
£457.19

What I (don't) need from it:

  • ■ Under £500
    ■ Reliable as possible
    ■ No trouble with customer support refusing to fix repairs because I use Ubuntu or repairs taking a month (this will be my final undergrad year, so it's the last thing I need)
    ■ No gaming
    ■ Little portability; it will mostly be used plugged in and on a desk
    ■ Heat and noise minimal
    ■ Under £500
    ■ Heavy multitasking e.g. capable of handling +100 tabs open while I have a lecture paused, a pdf of a textbook up and the F1 on a second monitor without slowing down when I turn music off to answer an email that needs me to search for a few files to attach.
Other than not being able to take it to the library, my current desktop does all this happily. For reference:

Zoostorm Desktop PC
Screen: 18.5" widescreen LCD
CPU: Pentium G860 2x 3.0GHz
RAM: 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3
HDD 1TB SATA HDD
GPU: Intel HD (H61 Express)
Running Ubuntu Linux
~£350 2 years ago
 

snowctrl

Honorable
Sep 10, 2013
107
0
10,660
16
That laptop will b fine, and the SSD is an exceptionally worthwhile upgrade - it will make the system as a whole far faster and more responsive... Go for it!!!
 

smyther5er

Estimable
Jul 27, 2014
2
0
4,510
0
I'm also concerned that reviews of other novatech laptops sum up to "good laptop, but you can do better out there for the price". Is it also worth saving £37 and downgrading to the pentium option? Would I notice it being slower than my current pentium? Would it become the bottleneck for the SSD and RAM?
 

snowctrl

Honorable
Sep 10, 2013
107
0
10,660
16
Personally I would never buy a new computer that is slower than my current one... It would feel like such a retrograde step, and more pertinently, I would risk buying something that became obsolete that much sooner....

As for those views, what other laptops do they suggest?

My recommendation for a minimum spec laptop, btw , would be to make sure it has:

SATA 3 (6gbps)
USB 3
SSD, of at least 256GB
 
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