Looking for Office-Machine (on a Budget)

As the “family IT Guy”, I was tasked with recommending a laptop for office tasks.
My initial recommendation, of the machines we have a number running without complaints at work, was denied since 900€ is apparently exceeding the budget.
Shame since the laptops with their Ryzen 5625U are quite snappy to work with.

I do not deal with laptops below the 800€ mark since at work, we need machines that work and last 3 years.

Requriements:

  • Run Office-style workloads (the usual 3 spreadsheets, Email, some PDFs and light web browsing)

  • Win10 is preferred. Since I will be supporting this thing and have very little Win11 experience…

  • ≥8Gig RAM, user-upgradeable is a plus

  • Budget of 600€

  • Needs to be NEW, I am not dealing with some used, half broken machine via remote!

  • Available in the EU

From looking around, the “Lenovo V15 G2 ALC” looks good given the budget limitations.

I see a lot of Lenovo Ideapads and HP Pavilions in the wild for the basic email / excel machine.

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In my experience, the HP Pavilions have this sharp edge in the front where your palms rest. Has that changed in recent years?

Not sure but I think you’re right in that they do have a squarish front lip.

Get one with not a shit-tastic screen and avoid the ones for consumers if you can

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I would like to get an HP Probook or Dell Precision, maybe Lenovo Thinkpad. The former two I have experience with.
They are cost prohibitive though.

Yeah… that’s not going to happen with your budget unless it’s stolen and Probooks (4XX-series are kinda poor). Just go with the Thinkbook and call it a day really.

fwiw, all V-series are “value” and they cut down on everything possible because they’re made to a cost. “15.6” FHD (1920x1080) TN 250nits Anti-glare" also falls under the “shit-tastic” category. I can tell you right now that as long as it’s not ancient hardware going from 4 cores to 6 or even 8 cores will have no value at all if the machine itself is unusable so you’re wasting time trying to find that best CPU in a laptop as possible within that budget.

There is a reason 800€ is bottom cut-off for office machines at my work place.

That doesn’t mean everything below is crap, but you need to look a bit harder. I’d take the Gigabyte U4 UD-laptops at ~500 EUR any day of the week…

https://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/202026653_-u4-ud-50de823sd-gigabyte.html
https://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/201665980_-u4-ud-70de823sd-gigabyte.html

Just to prove my point for example =)

If it were not for it being a big retailer in Germany, I would classify this as “too good to be true”

Same as this:

As much as I like Fujitsu laptops A-series are extremely plasticky and cheap and I’m not sure if you even bothered to read the specs on any of these two.

i3-1005G1 is ancient and slow, the screen is poor and I’m pretty sure there’s a typo because Fujitsu doesn’t list that combination of specs at all.

The L-series are worse than Thinkbooks in general and CPU is kinda meh. While it’s not that old it lacks a lot of “nice to have” instructions for a laptop to keep power and noise down. The screen is at best slightly better than the Fujitsu but it’s still poor at best.

I suggested a friend to buy the Lenovo Ideapad 5 Pro with the Ryzen 5 5600U, 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM @3200MHz. The screen is gorgeous, is light, the 5600U can do any office work, microphones are nice, webcam kinda sucks because is a no-IR filter camera for Windows Hello and uses USB C charging with the stock brick so it’s designed to do that. Has also many nifty software tricks like over charging protection, if you keep it on the charger all the time and fast charging for smartphones through USB.
It should be availabe in Europe and, since it’s an outgoing model, should be at 600€.

I had good luck recommending IdeaPad 5 (non pro is fine too). Full aluminium chassis, good config for the money, decent battery life and that Lenovo keyboard (backlit) - nothing beats that for me.
In my part of the world people go for Dell because of 5 year warranty thing, but I’d still go for Lenovo, just for the keyboard.
The only potential issue is that the RAM is soldered on.

Another thing, if you go for HP check if the specific model is made by HP Enterprise (typically probook) or HP (pavilions), night and day difference in quality.

I will keep looking for surplus business laptops from this and last gen.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone!